Pirates Drop Fifth Straight After Giants Walkoff

Morton made his first start of the 2012 season on Saturday

A day after getting shutout by the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Friday, the club saw another loss on Saturday night. After battling back in fourth in the see-saw game, the Giants hit a walkoff infield single in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates giving them their fifth straight loss.

Left-hander Barry Zito was the fifth Cy Young award winner that the Pirates have faced over their first eight games in 2012. After getting off to a cold start to the season, the bats came out swinging early off Zito.

With one out in the first, Andrew McCutchen hit a curveball left over the plate for a base hit into center field. Casey McGehee hit a single that dropped into shallow right field and Rod Barajas drew a walk on four pitches to load the bases. Neil Walker, who has gone 12-for-22 (.545) with the bases loaded in his Major League career, stepped to the plate to face the lefty with just an 0.48 avg over his first seven games this young season.

The lefty Zito left a 1-0 changeup up over the plate allowing Walker to rip a two-run single into left to take an early lead in 1st. It marked the first hit with runners in scoring position for the Pirates since Andrew McCutchen hit the walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th inning on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.  They were 0-for-14 with RISP prior to Walker’s at-bat.

During the 2011 season, lefties hit .360 vs. right-hander Charlie Morton, opposed to .220 by right-handers. The Giants sent out an all lefty or switch-hitting starting lineup to face Morton in his first start of the 2012 season. The Pirates elected to send infielder Matt Hague to Triple-A Indianapolis in order to activate Morton from the disabled list to make the start.

Overall Morton allowed three runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two while throwing 71 pitches, 50 for strikes.

In the first seven games this season, the Pirates have held the lead just once. After plating two runs off Zito in the first, the lead, didn’t hold for very long.

For the second straight inning, Morton gave up a hit to the leadoff batter to start the 2nd. This time, however, Morton wasn’t able to escape the inning without the run scoring. Nate Schierholtz hit a RBI triple into left-center field to plate the first run of the inning. Infielder Brandon Crawford hit a grounder up the right side, Morton didn’t cover the bag at first base allowing Crawford to reach safely. Emmanuel Burriss followed by hitting a RBI single into center field to tie the game at 2.

The Pirates were able to retake the lead in the 5th by capitalizing on the Giants fielding blunders. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford committed back-to-back errors allowing Alex Prelsey to score from first base.

Morton settled in and retired the Giants 10 straight before giving up a one-out stand up triple to Pagan to the gap in right center field. He scored after Sandoval hit an infield single to tie the game at 3.

Righty reliever Chris Resop came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th inning. He gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle elected to intentionally walk Pagan to load the bases with no outs. Melky Cabrera hit a grounder to short, Clint Barmes throw to home was low and Rod Barajas wasn’t able to pick it for the walkoff win by the Giants.

With the 4-3 loss, the Pirates fall to 2-6 on the season.


Game Notes:

  • Relief — Tony Watson: IP, H; Juan Cruz: IP, 2BB, K; Jason Grilli: IP, 2K; Chris Resop: 0.0+, 3H, R, BB
  • After collecting just one hit over his first seven games, Walker went 2-for-4 with two RBI against the Giants arms for his first multi-hit game of the 2012 season.
  • The Pirates combined for just four strikeouts during the game. The club struck out 11 times on Friday, and a total of 38 times over the first four games this roadtrip.
Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Cain Pitches One-Hit Shutout Against Pirates

Next Story »

Corriea Solid as Pirates Snap Five Game Skid

  • John Lease

    A walk off error.  Great!

    • Lee Young

       But THEIR errors let us take the lead in the first place! Besides, if Barmes HAD made a nice throw, they had two more outs to get the winning run home.

      • Kristy Robinson

        Barmes is going to make that play 99% of the time. Just tried to rush it home. If Barajas caught, that’s two, and Pirates could have escaped the inning and head to extras. Just the way that the luck has been going for the club. Things will turn.

        • Lee Young

           Now you KNOW you can’t presume the DP…..:) :)  :)

  • John DiVito

    Glad to see Morton pitch with such control.  He was good last year, but very lucky… throwing strikes was not his strong point

    Hopefully this gets Walker going.

  • Bob

    Good god we are freakin terrible.  

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    17 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles