Poor defense, Derek Shelton was tossed, the offense struggled again, and for the first time this season the Pittsburgh Pirates have lost three games in a row
There have not been many struggles or moments of adversity for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. Sure, losing Oneil Cruz to a fractured ankle was certainly a moment of adversity, but in terms of on field play that has not slowed the team down.
Well, playing the Tampa Bay Rays and their MLB best record, the Pirates have finally run into some adversity. For a second consecutive night poor offense with runners in scoring position, poor defense, and a frustrated manager highlighted things for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a loss. Following an 8-1 loss, the Pirates have lost three games in a row for the first time this season and have fallen to 20-11 overall.
Bad Defense in the 3rd and 5th innings
The Pirates may have fallen to the Rays 8-1 Wednesday night, but it should have been a much closer game. With two outs in the third inning with the Bucs winning 1-0, Pirate shortstop Rodolfo Castro couldn't scoop a routine groundball. This was the first of several horribly bad defensive plays that allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to take a comfortable lead.
Then in the fifth inning, second baseban Ji Hwan Bae fumbled a soft ground ball, and then yanked his throw passed Carlos Santana at first base and into the corner of right field.
The errors by the Pirates infield overshadowed yet another impressive outing by Mitch Keller, who fanned eight batters trhough five innings while giving up just one earned run. Keller generated 10 swings-and-misses. He had some of the best stuff he has had all season and likely have 6 or 7 strong innings in him, but his defense let him down.
Derek Shelton Was HOT
Pirates' skipper Derek Shelton got tossed from the game in the fourth inning and was just about as mad as you'll ever see a baseball manager.
Shelton was very animated toward not one, not two, but three umpires at Tropicana Field Wednesday night. In a game where the Pirates' untimely errors cost themselves the lead, Shelton let his anger show. Shelton's ejection may have fired up fans, but the Buccos' players were unable to capitalize from it.
Only 1 Run for the Pirates Offense On Wednesday Night
The one bright spot in game two of the series was Andrew McCutchen's solo home run off of Rays' ace Shane McClanahan. With his sixth dinger of the season, McCutchen has certainly turned back the clock so far this season and let it rip. The Pirates must shake off this frustrating loss and gear up to try and get one win from a three game series in Tampa Bay on Thursday.