After the Pirates finished a short five game home stand, they headed west for a four game series against the division rival Cincinnati Reds. This was the Pirates first trip to Cincinnati for the season. Up to this point the Buccos had swept and been swept by the Reds this season at PNC Park. The Reds have been a big surprise not only in the National League Central Division, but in the Majors as well. They entered this series only a half game behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
Monday May 24: Game one of the series featured a special broadcast from Fans From The Stands. Unfortunately even having two of the Pirates biggest fans in the crowd that night couldn’t help the Pirates from suffering a 7-5 loss. Poor pitching and errors cost the Pirates any chance of winning this game. Brian Burres started the game for the Buccos and looked pretty good until the wheels came off in the fourth inning. Walking the first two batters of the inning and then giving up a hit to his mound opponent Aaron Harang. This was followed by a double by Orlando Cabrera. The Pirates were on the board first with a two-run homer by Ronny Cedeno. They even cut the deficit to two in the seventh, but the Buccos were unable to collect any more runs.
Tuesday May 25: The only Pirates’ victory of this four game series would occur on this day as the Buccos defeated the Reds 2-1. Two days after Ryan Doumit hit the game winning home run against the Braves, he struck again with a solo shot in top of the ninth with to give the Pirates the lead and the win. Paul Maholm had a strong outing going seven innings allowing zero runs. The Reds only run would come from a solo shot by Brandon Phillips off of Joel Hanrahan. Octavio Dotel would pick up his tenth save of the year. This game also marked Pittsburgh native Neil Walker’s season debut at the big league level. He would double in the first Pirates run of the night.
Wednesday May 26: Two common themes in Pirates losses during the 2010 season have been blowouts and shutouts. This game was the latter. The Buccos were unable to get the bats going on this night as they would lose to the Reds 4-0. Former Pirate Bronson Arroyo would once again dominate the Buccos pitching seven and two-thirds of an inning allowing five hits. Ross Ohlendorf would go six innings allowing three runs on eight hits and walking five batters. The Reds would get run support from Orlando Cabrera who drove in two runs and a Miguel Cairo solo home run. This was the seventh time the Pirates were shut out which leads the National League.
Thursday May 27: Is Charlie Morton the worst pitcher in Pirates history? Probably not, but every start he makes his case for taking the lead in that debate more prevalent. Morton was only able to go two innings giving up seven runs on eight hits. The Pirates would lose this game 8-2 and Morton would lose his Major League leading ninth game of the season. The Reds offense would bat around the lineup in the first two innings scoring seven runs. The final run of the night for the Reds would come in the fourth inning from a sac fly by Johnny Gomes. The only Pirates runs would come from a single by Aki Iwamura and a double from Ronny Cedeno. After the game Charlie Morton was sent to the disabled list with a tired arm. That in itself is a joke since Morton often this season has been unable to pitch out of the fourth inning. This is just a move by GM Neil Huntington and Owner Bob Nutting to save face. Hopefully Morton will have an extended stay in the minors and only return when he shows he is ready to pitch at the Major League level.
For Pirates fans mark this series were the season was officially a loss. This team is showing the true form we have come to expect from the past seventeen years. Lack of pitching, poor defense, and the inability to come up with a hit when it’s needed most will send this team to the 18th consecutive losing season. The road doesn’t get any easier for the Buccos as they head to Atlanta for a three game series against the Braves. Be sure to check back to Fans From The Stands for coverage of that series.
Current Record: 20-28
As Always…..Lets Go Bucs!!!!!