After being swept for 2 straight series and losing 8 games overall, the Pirates returned to PNC Park for a 3-game set against the Chicago White Sox. After a completely embarrassing road trip, it was a welcoming return to Pittsburgh, where the Pirates haven’t been THAT terrible this year.
Tuesday, June 15: The White Sox scattered 6 runs across the board throughout a frustrating ballgame in the opening game of the series between the two clubs, ruining the PNC Park debut of Brad Lincoln, as the Buccos dropped 6-4 and surrendered their 9th consecutive game.
The Pirates got the scoring started in the 1st with a 2-run double by Garrett Jones. The Sox would answer right back in the 2nd and 4th innings with 2 runs in each frame. The Buccos responded in the 5th with two RBI singles by Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit, but it wouldn’t last long, as the White Sox took the lead in the 6th with a run-scoring of their own by Gordon Beckham, and then tacked on another run in the 9th.
Lincoln lasted 6 innings, while giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while walking 3…not exactly his dream debut at his home ballpark. The relief came in and did a satisfactory job, but regular closer Octavio Dotel did surrender a run in the 9th, and the Pirates dropped the series-opening game by a score of 6-4.
Wednesday, June 16: The losing streak reached double digits on Wednesday, as the Buccos were overwhelmed (to say the least) by the White Sox, 7-2. The Sox got 3 runs in the 4th (which turned out to be all they would need), and a pair of runs in the 6th and 9th on their way to a thumping of the last place Buccos. Carlos Quentin was the hitting star of the day, going 2-4 with 2 RBI for the winning White Sox, guaranteeing that they would take the series victory against the Pirates.
Despite the loss, Wednesday served as the introduction of Pedro Alvarez to the major leagues, and vice versa. While he went hitless in his debut, Pedro did score his first run of his Major League career by way of Bobby Crosby’s groundout sacrifice. Minor-league recent call up Jose Tabata also slammed his first major league homerun in the 8th inning. Overall, this was another embarrassing loss for the Buccos, who actually managed to tally more errors (6) than hits (5). A frustrated team and fan-base left PNC Park with their heads held low, and no wonder.
Thursday, June 17: And there ya go…another loss for the Pirates, dropping them to 20 games under .500, extending their current losing streak to 11, while being swept in their 3rd straight series. Carlos Quentin, once again, was a large part of the victory of the White Sox, going 2-4 with an RBI, helping the Windy City Sox to a 5-4 win and series sweep at PNC Park.
Neil Walker continued his impressive play since being called up with a solo homerun in the 6th. Then the Pirates tacked on 3 more in the 8th with RBI singles by Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge, and Garrett Jones sacrificed Jose Tabata home to bring the Buccos within a single run. But with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 3rd, Pedro Alvarez struck out swinging to end the inning, the threat, and eventually, the game.
So the Pirates continue to lay down for their opponents. Whether it’s on the road or at PNC Park, or whether they’re losing by 1 run or 10 runs, they just can’t seem to get over the hurdle and just take home a W. They have now entered the basement of the National League, and if it weren’t for the lowly Baltimore Orioles, who are in a division with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, they would be the worst team in baseball…they probably are anyway. The terribly scrappy Cleveland Indians come into town for a weekend series next. This should be the team that the Buccos can break the streak against…but at this point, it’s tough to have confidence in any aspect of the Pirates game.
Current Record: 23-43
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!