Game 94: Reds 5 Pirates 3

For four innings, I kept trying to refresh my phone or my slightly lagging feed, certain that Francisco Liriano's complete lack of control was about to come back and haunt him and that he'd start serving up runs like crazy to the Reds. Thanks to weird double plays and terrible base running by the Reds, the Pirates managed to stave that off for the first part of the game. It finally happened in the fifth inning, but only because two potential double play balls just barely deflected off of the glovees of Jordy Mercer and Pedro Alvarez, which loaded the bases up for Brandon Phillips. Phillips doubled in all three runs. 

Immediately after that, the Pirates teed off on Mike Leake. After just one hit in the first five innings, Starling Marte opened up the sixth by taking Leake deep. Jose Tabata flew out, then Andrew McCutchen hit a line drive homer of his own. Pedro Alvarez just missed going back-to-back by hitting a fly ball just barely off of the handle of his bat, then Russell Martin hit the third Pirate homer of the inning. 

And of course, just as soon as things seemed like they were getting interesting, everyone stopped scoring. The Pirates had a nice chance in the seventh, when Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez came up with runners on first and second and one out. McCutchen flew out.

That made for an awfully weird and frustrating game to watch. The only really bad aspect of it for the Pirates was that Liriano really struggled with the strike zone, walking four and throwing 54 of 98 pitches for strikes. Because of his history, it's hard not to notice something like that, even if it is only one start. Beyond that, well, it's hard to watch a team hit three solo homers in one inning, only threaten one other time, and have their best players come up totally empty in that one opportunity. 

This is baseball, though, and these things happen. 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.