Against converted reliever Ranger Suarez, the Pirates had one of their worst offensive showings of the year, which is an extremely high bar. They sent up only one batter over the minimum and lost, 3-0, to the Phillies.
Wil Crowe didn’t have the usual one bad inning. He just didn’t pitch very well. In four and two-thirds innings, he allowed eight hits and four walks, and he threw in a balk for good measure. Things could have been a lot worse, but the Pirates turned two double plays behind him. He also got out of another jam when Suarez lined out.
Naturally, Crowe brought his faithful gopher. He gave up 25-year-old rookie Matt Vierling’s first career bomb in the third. Bryce Harper hit another one that inning. Three hits and a walk cost Crowe a third run in the fifth, but Sam Howard got the last out to leave the bases loaded. Crowe has now allowed 25 dingerz in just 110.2 IP.
With the Pirates already down this time, it was safe for the bullpen to put up some zeroes. Chad Kuhl managed one despite a pair of walks, thanks to another double play. Anthony Banda had a 1-2-3 inning. Even Enyel De Los Santos had a perfect inning, all of which kept Luis Oviedo safe in his closet.
The Pirates’ offense was at its most pathetic, making one weak out after another. All baseball’s worst offense could manage was four singles, two of them by newly added Taylor Davis. Three of the four were wiped out by double plays. Nobody got past first. Suarez waltzed through nine innings on 97 pitches. He probably spent most of that time wondering when practice would end and the real game start.