Deprived of the Brewers as an opponent, the Pirates appear to have settled back in to their more familiar pattern of being really bad at baseball. Trevor Williams got pummeled, the hitters were overmatched as usual by whatever bipedal human was on the mound, and the White Sox won, 10-3.
Williams got hit hard, including home runs by Eloy Jimenez, Danny Mendick and Edwin Encarnacion. He also gave up two doubles among his nine hits allowed. Derek Shelton left him in for six innings anyway, so the front office had ample time to evaluate whether allowing eight runs in a start is good or bad. They’re leaning toward bad, but some more evaluation is needed.
The Pirates’ hitters were baffled by Dallas Keuchel. Although he came in with a K/9 of just 4.6, he fanned seven in six innings. Cole Tucker actually led off the game with a single, so the question of another no-hitter was settled quickly. Derek Shelton cleverly had Erik Gonzalez follow that with a sacrifice, which neatly set the stage for Bryan Reynolds and Josh Bell to strike out. Through five, Keuchel allowed just three singles, two of them to Tucker. Tucker went 2-for-3 with a walk, which should earn him a spot on the bench in the next game.
In the sixth, the Pirates hit on the novel idea of not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. They loaded the bases on walks and Jacob Stallings singled in a pair for their first runs in 14 innings. But they quickly abandoned that time-consuming strategy and didn’t draw any more walks.
Tyler Bashlor threw the last two innings and gave up a two-run bomb to Jose Abreu. Gonzalez responded with a solo shot in the top of the eighth, making it 10-3. It was his second home run of the year. It was also the Pirates’ first extra-base hit in 16 innings.
The Pirates are now 7-19. Tomorrow they’ll be in St. Louis, where the Cards get to play them twice.