Bumgarner, Bullpen Silence Buccos Bats

by Zane Heiple

Photo by Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates ended a 10 game losing streak after defeating the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on Monday night and were hoping that James McDonald could pitch at a high level like Charlie Morton did during the win.  The Giants, who are in a slump of their own, still sit atop the National League West Division, but have the Arizona Diamondbacks on their heels.

Through the first three innings there was not much offense to speak of, but Ryan Ludwick made a great diving catch in the bottom part of the third inning and doubled up San Fran pitcher Madison Bumgarner.  The Giants were able to jump on the scoreboard first when Aubrey Huff would double home Jeff Keppinger in the bottom of the fourth.

Pablo Sandoval made a great play at third base on a one hopper to prevent Ronny Cedeno from scoring on what would have been an Andrew McCutchen single in the fifth inning.  This play proved big as Chris Stewart would take the first pitch of the inning deep to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.  Huff would strike again, this time with a solo home run in the sixth inning.

McDonald’s night was finished after six innings of work and while his stat line of three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks was not as impressive as Morton’s the night before, it was unfortunate that the offense could not give him any run support.  Bumgarner was the reason for the Pirates struggles at the plate on this night.  He pitched seven innings striking out ten batters, walking one, and allowing zero runs on four hits. 

The Giants added three more runs in the eighth inning.  The first was when Nick Schierholtz hit into a fielder’s choice allowing Sandoval to score from third.  The next came when Cody Ross hit a shallow fly ball to right that none of the Buccos defense could get too.  Ross would advance to third base on a throwing error by Ryan Doumit.  Ross then came into score on a Orlando Cabrera single to give San Francisco a 6-0 victory.
It was frustrating to watch the offense of the Pirates shut out only one night after they scored five runs.  Hopefully they will have an answer tomorrow in the rubber match of this series.  Also the bullpen struggled again tonight as they had to use three pitchers just to get out of the eighth inning.  Jeff Karstens will get the ball for the Pirates, while the G-Men will counter with Jonathan Sanchez.  First pitch is scheduled for 3:45pm.

Record vs. Giants:  2-3
Record vs. N.L. West:  10-14
Record on the Road:  29-28
Overall Record:  55-60


As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!!!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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