Yesterday I talked about the bad things that the Pirates managed to get away with in their extra innings victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Today, the Pirates weren’t so lucky. For reference, here is what I said, followed by my recap a day later:
It wasn’t all good tonight. I mentioned earlier that it was great the Pirates were getting to the Dodgers’ bullpen two days in a row. That should provide the Pirates with a big advantage in game three when the Dodgers have to go to the pen once again. The only problem is the Pirates have been going to the pen frequently as well. Donnelly, Dotel, Meek, and Carrasco have been used in both games. Lopez and Taschner have been used once each. The only person who hasn’t been used yet is Hayden Penn, and I don’t think anyone is comfortable with him coming in during a tight game.
So how did that turn out? With the bullpen depleted, Penn came on to relieve Paul Maholm in the seventh inning, with the Pirates down 4-1. Penn allowed six hits in a row, and soon enough it was 8-1, with the game out of reach for the Pirates. Jack Taschner pitched a perfect inning in the eighth, and Javier Lopez allowed two runs in the ninth, but the game was pointless at that time.
The Pirates didn’t see their starter get out of the fifth inning two games in a row, and when their starter in game three couldn’t go more than six innings, their remaining bullpen arm was someone who you don’t want to see with a close game. The Pirates ended up paying for it.
The offense also needed to capitalize on their base runners. They had nine hits and nine walks, and only four runs. They left five runners in scoring position, not counting the runners in the 10th inning for obvious reasons.
The Pirates recorded eight hits and five walks today, and only managed two runs. Meanwhile, the Dodgers had 16 hits and two walks, which was just five more base runners, but managed 10 runs from that effort. The Pirates need to capitalize on their chances. Andrew McCutchen grounding in to a double play in the third with two on and one out didn’t help. Andy LaRoche striking out looking with one out and Paul Maholm up next in the fourth didn’t help either. Ryan Doumit ended the fifth with a strikeout with runners on first and second, down by four. Capitalize on one or two of those chances and you’ve got a totally different game.
As I said yesterday, hopefully the Pirates will start to see more consistency in the length of the starters from their starters, and more importantly, hopefully they will capitalize on all of their chances, rather than leaving runners stranded with two outs.