I’m not even sure where to start handing out blame for this one. Kevin Correia was pretty awful today; he couldn’t get out of the fifth inning, he walked five hitters, and he struck out no one. He was the picture of a guy that couldn’t fool anyone. Braves hitters just stood in against him and took their hacks until he either walked them or they hit a ball hard. It’s not easy to win a game when your starter pitches the way Correia did today.
And still, when you have a pitcher that’s incapable of striking hitters out, you have to hope that the defense can do something to help him. The Pirates defense didn’t help Correia out at all. In the third inning, nursing a 2-0 lead, Andrew McCutchen dropped the easiest fly ball you’re ever likely to see an outfielder drop, Pedro Alvarez bobbled what could’ve been a double play, and McCutchen made an AWFUL throw in from left center on a bases-loaded sac fly that ended up letting both the runners on second and third advance. The end result was only one run for the Braves, but it a brutal inning to watch unfold and it could’ve been much worse.
The offense didn’t help bail out the pitching staff or the defense. After scoring twice in the second, they stranded runners on second base in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, then didn’t get a hit until Pedro Alvarez’s (incredibly nice inside-out swing, opposite field, two-strike) double (against one of baseball’s toughest left-handed relievers) in the eighth inning.
The Pirates lost this game 4-3, but really it probably should’ve been much worse.