Yesterday, the Pirates had the excuse of a horribly incompetent and one-sided plate umpire to explain getting shut out in Coors Field. Today was simpler: They were just terrible, nearly getting no-hit by German Marquez in an 8-0 blowout.
The no-hitter lasted through eight innings. The Pirates’ only runners until the ninth were Jacob Stallings on a hit batsman and Phillip Evans on a walk.
Finally, Ka’ai Tom, of all people, led off the ninth with a line single to right. The hit vaulted Tom’s June average all the way from .054 to .079. It didn’t exactly open the floodgates. Pinch hitter Michael Perez made sure there wouldn’t be any sudden drama by grounding into a double play on the first pitch he saw. Adam Frazier was retired to end the game.
The Pirates’ pitching wasn’t much better than the hitting. Chase De Jong got knocked around for nine hits in five innings, including four for extra bases. He gave up two in the second and then allowed three in the fifth in that special, embarrassing fashion that the Pirates have such a talent for. He gave up a home run to Elias Diaz, the second in two days for the ex-Pirate, who came into the series struggling to keep his OPS above .500. Marquez followed that with a double, giving him one more extra-base hit than the Pirates have managed in 18 innings in this series. A two-out single scored Marquez and another hit made it 5-0.
Cody Ponce, just up from Indianapolis to give the Pirates innings, went the rest of the way. He got hit hard, giving up six hits and three runs. The hits included another double by Marquez.
Jon Gray must really be looking forward to tomorrow’s game.