There are a lot of things that could be said about this one. The Pirates hit some balls very hard late in the game that just didn’t fall in and they made some errors and they lost a game in which maybe they didn’t play all that much worse than their opponents. Ultimately, though, what it comes down to is that they gave up five runs in the fourth inning in an era in which the average offense scores 4.23 runs per night. They tried to come back and they hit some home runs and got a strong night from the bullpen, but it’s just not easy to win if you surrender a five-run inning to a good team.
We can, of course, discuss the source of that five-run inning and whether or not Erik Bedard is healthy (based on what I’ve seen on Twitter tonight, he’s telling reporters that he is) and what to do with him and his rotation spot in the coming days, but maybe that’s a conversation best left for the All-Star Break. For now on Friday night, let’s say that he pitched poorly and he’s been pitching poorly lately and it’s a conversation that needs having at some point. Chris Resop was excellent in bailing him out and giving the Pirates a chance to win, but it just wasn’t enough.
On the bright side, Pedro Alvarez absolutely mauled a home run off of a LOOGY (ex-Bucco Javier Lopez) in the eighth inning, which is not something you see him do often. Unfortunately, the bases were empty the Pirates were down by two. All is not lost in this series; McDonald and Burnett will start the last two games. Remember that one game is not predictive, and let’s hope the Bucs go strongly into the break, tonight notwithstanding.