Pittsburgh Pirates: More Bullpen Struggles, Other Takeaways From Third Straight Sweep

Recapping the Pirates being swept in a three-game series at PNC Park against the Cubs
Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3)
Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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An awful series for the offense

While the Pirates were shutout in game one of the series, the offense had opportunities to score. They laoded the bases in both the 3rd and 5th innings but failed to score each time. Had they managed to score in these innings the game could have gone much differently.

Pittsburgh batters finished game one of the series 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.

Game two saw almost no offense from the Pirates. Ke'Bryan Hayes and Connor Joe each had two hits. Tucupita Marcano doubled, and that was it for Pirate hits. Ji Hwan Bae drew a walk, and the team went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position while leaving six runners on base.

To make matters worse for a struggling Pirate offense Bryan Reynolds is dealing with some sort of lower back issue. This kept him out of the lineup in games two and three of the series. While Derek Shelton is adament Reynolds will not go on the injured list, the fact a reliever was optioned in the middle of a 13 games in 13 days stretch for another outfielder certainly indicates worry that Reynolds will land on the IL.

Wednesday afternoon the Pirate offense exploded for 3 runs on two hits.

Josh Palacios doubled Connor Joe home with no one out in the 2nd inning, but the next three Pirate batters were retired. Their second hit of the game, Henry Davis being hit by a pitch, and a walk loaded the bases with just one out in the 7th inning. Had it not been for an error by Trey Mancini, the Pirates would not have scored.

Overall, the Pirate offense went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's loss and left six men on base. For the series, they were 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 22 men on base. Not a recipe for success.