Pirates Win 5-3, Wandy Rodriguez Suffers Hamstring Tightness

Garrett Jones

Garrett Jones hit his first homer of the season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

The Pirates finally got a few runs to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. Andrew McCutchen and Travis Snider both drove in two runs to break Pittsburgh’s four-game losing skid Monday night.

The good news of a victory was mitigated, though, by the third-inning exit of Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez. The left-hander felt tightness in his left hamstring and was removed from the game after doing some stretches and trying to get back on the mound.

Bucs Go Up Early Again

Starling Marte hit a leadoff single for the third straight day and scored on an Andrew McCutchen double. After Diamonbacks starter Trevor Cahill threw back-to-back walks to Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez, Travis Snider knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single. The Pirates were up 3-0, having already scored more runs than they did all weekend against the Dodgers.

The lone earned run for Rodriguez came on an RBI single to Wil Nieves in the second. Alvarez started the series of Pirates’ mishaps in the third inning when he cut in front of a ground ball toward Clint Barmes.

Clint Barmes cuts in front of Pedro Alvarez

The GIF below shows the last pitch Rodriguez threw. Any left hamstring injury does not leap off the GIF, but here you go. [Note: Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported after the game that Rodriguez felt tightness after the second-to-last pitch.]

Wandy Rodriguez Pitch

Jeanmar Gomez entered and struggled to get outs after pitching three scoreless innings Friday. He gave up a single to Prado, walked Aaron Hill, nearly tossed up a grand slam to Paul Goldschmidt (it was still a sacrifice fly) and allowed an RBI single to Alfredo Marte as his first MLB hit.

Just like that, it was tied up 3-3.

Pirates Tack it On

No problem for the Bucs. Starling Marte became the only Pirates player with two hits on the evening with a triple in the fifth inning. McCutchen drove him in again with a sacrifice fly.

Garrett Jones provided the insurance in the eighth inning by lining a Josh Collmenter fastball into the right-field seats. Home Run No. 1 for GFJ.

Garrett Jones Homer No. 1

After Gomez’s bad outing (but the dude got the win anyway. Pitcher Wins!), the rest of the bullpen faced the minimum 15 hitters to ice away the victory. Justin Wilson tossed three hitless innings, with his control issues only rearing their ugly head via one hit by pitch. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, and Jason Grilli closed it out for the 1-2-3 save.

Three Points to Remember

  • Everything isn’t wavy gravy for Pirates’ hitters just yet, despite five runs qualifying as an “outburst” for this season. The Bucs drew six walks, but only racked up five hits. And like Sunday, the Bucs only got two hits after the first inning. They also continued to swing and miss, totaling a season-high 12 strikeouts. Perhaps a win will supply some confidence, but there are still plenty of problems to address. Neil Walker is 0-for-19 since last Wednesday, Russell Martin is 0-for-17 on the season (but with one stolen base now!) and Pedro Alvarez is 2-for-25 with the most strikeouts in the National League.
  • Give it up for the Pirates’ bullpen in the early going. The relievers are second in the NL by holding opponents to a .171 batting average, third in the NL with a 2.04 ERA and 3.3 strikeouts per walk. Melancon and Wilson are holding up well as two of the newest members of the ‘pen, combining for 8.1 scoreless innings to start the season.
  • It’s too early to say if Wandy Rodriguez will go on the disabled list, though Tim Williams took a look at a couple options if he does. Rodriguez will be re-evaluated Tuesday, but the fact that he was able to walk around and stretch for a couple minutes before leaving the field give me optimism that his hamstring injury is not serious, but that is nothing more than a guess. The Pirates have an off-day Thursday if they want to be on the safe side and have Rodriguez skip a start.
James Santelli

Author: James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

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  • Wizard of Woz

    I like the GIFs. Nice addition to the write ups this year.

  • leadoff

    Walks are a very good sign for this team, the strikeouts are magnified because a couple of players are striking out a lot.
    I don’t think any team is wavy gravy at this time of year, they all have their problems, the key is to start winning while they are ironing out those problems.
    Jones going long is a good sign, gives him some confidence, Martin making solid contact will give him confidence, sooner or later some of those will start to fall.
    The guy that is showing no signs of coming out of his slump is Walker, I would like to see a few solid abs from him even if they are outs.
    I noticed there is very little talk of Marte, without him they probably would not have won a game yet. After this year, everyone in the land will know about Marte.