Nothing to see here. The Pirates got some good pitching, but their hitters didn’t show up. And Derek Shelton made another head-scratching move that cost them the decisive run in a 3-2 loss to Washington. They’ve now lost eight in a row.
J.T. Brubaker had a solid start, going five innings and allowing just four hits and two walks. Unfortunately, all four hits got strung together within the first five batters in the bottom of the third. Brubaker got out of it with only two runs allowed because Bryan Reynolds threw Kyle Schwarber out at third.
The two runs put the Nationals ahead, 2-1. The Pirates had gotten a lead in the second in an unlikely manner: a home run by Kevin Newman. It was his second of the year.
The Pirates’ only other run came in the sixth and tied the game. Jacob Stallings led off with a double, then took third on a one-out single by Newman. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Erik Gonzalez.
And that was it for the offense. The Pirates finished a standard 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The one hit didn’t score a run, but the sac fly did, so I guess that’s a wash.
Chris Stratton threw a scoreless sixth, then left for a pinch hitter. Shelton of course wouldn’t use Clay Holmes at that point, since he’d pitched the two previous days and done poorly. Except Shelton did go to Holmes. Despite having a nine-man bullpen, Shelton insists on going to the same three guys in close games every single time. He’s become more rigid and mechanical than Clint Hurdle ever was. Naturally, Schwarber homered off Holmes to put the Nationals ahead.
And that’s where it stayed.