After a rain out yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds began their series with a doubleheader on Saturday. Pittsburgh probably wished the rain would have canceled game one after losing to Cincinnati 9-2. Why was this such a bad loss? Well, the Reds entered the day with a record of 3-22, five wins less than any other team in the league.
Cincinnati jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on a double by Tyler Stephenson. These would be the only runs that starter JT Brubaker would give on the day during his five innings of work. He would give up three hits, with nine strikeouts and two walks. The Pirates cut the lead in half in the third when Ben Gamel doubled home Roberto Perez.
Ke’Bryan Hayes tied the game at two with a single to left center in the sixth. Both Pittsburgh runs were charged to Reds starter Connor Overton. He worked 5.1 innings and allowed six hits to go along with four strikeouts.
The Pirates had a great chance to blow this game open in the eighth when they had the bases loaded with no outs. However, as most of us long time Bucco fans know, no runs would score as the next three batters would strikeout. During that inning Perez would suffer a hamstring injury and not return to the game. That would not be a big issue on most days, but today his back up Andrew Knapp would be ejected from the bench for arguing a check swing call.
This would lead to Josh VanMeter catching the eighth inning. That is the inning Cincinnati buried Pittsburgh for seven runs. Stephenson drove in two runs with a double to right. Matt Reynolds would score on a sac fly by TJ Friedl. Tyler Naquin hit a bases clearing double to put his team up by six. The final run of the game came on a Brandon Drury double to left.
It is days like this that make you wonder if this team has a curse over it. Thankfully this was only game one of a doubleheader and a win tonight, with one tomorrow, still gives them a series win. Mitch Keller is slated to pitch game two, with first pitch set for 6:40pm.
Record vs. Reds: 0-1
Record vs. N.L. Central: 5-11
Record on the Road: 5-8
Overall Record: 10-15
Let’s Go Bucs!