The Pirates lost 4-3 to the Reds tonight in 14 innings.
Andrew McCutchen led off the fourth with a solo home run, and two more runs came later in the inning to make it 3-0 for Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy pitched a great game, going 6.2 innings while giving up just one run on three hits until he was pulled after giving up a bloop-single. Stupid decision #1 by Clint Hurdle. With two runners on, Jared Hughes came in and served up a game-tying double to Dioner Navarro. Wandy should have been in there.
Both teams had their share of chances to score, but neither could cash in. We headed to extra innings. Cutch led off the tenth with a walk against Aroldis Chapman, who then walked Garrett Jones on four pitches. Keep in mind that Jones is the trailing runner here. His run would make it 5-3, so it’s not nearly as important. Here’s where Clint Hurdle’s stupid decision #2 came. He pinch-ran Chase d’Arnaud for Jones, which came back to hurt the team later in the game. Anyway, the Pirates left the bases loaded in the tenth.
The bullpens got through the first couple extra innings, with a ton of runners left on base. Chris Resop, who was left out there for way to long to begin with, stranded three runners by striking out Jay Bruce to end the tenth. Gutsy stuff.
Jose Tabata made a game-saving not-so-athletic sliding catch to rob Brandon Phillips and get the game to the 12th. As we headed to the 14th, Brock Holt led off with a double. Eric Fryer walked, and Cutch reached on a swinging-bunt that loaded the bases. Here’s where pinch-running for Jones hurt the Bucs. d’Arnaud was up next (Jones’ spot) and he swung at the first pitch. He blooped a shallow flyball to LF that wasn’t deep enough to score a run, and you could really tell this wasn’t going to end well. Pedro Alvarez, who went 0-6, struck out four times, and left seven men on base, grounded into a force-out, and then Tabata grounded out to end the inning. Bases loaded, no outs, 4-5-6 batters up, can’t score. Embarrassing, unacceptable, blah, blah, blah.
Rick van den Hurk gave up a leadoff single in the fourteenth. Phillips chopped a ball just out in front of the plate and McKenry decided to throw to second. The runner was safe, and then both advanced on a wild pitch. van den Hurk got a lineout and then got Joey Votto to strike out on some 95 MPH heat, but couldn’t fully escape the jam. Ryan Ludwick hit a ball in the hole, where d’Arnaud fielded it but couldn’t get a throw off. Reds win.
Don’t be surprised if Clint Hurdle gets fired by the end of the year or even the end of the week after this mess of a game. The blame starts with him, although he seems unwilling to take any of it. Speak for yourself, but the general consensus on Twitter seems to be that it’s time to hit the panic button and fire the manager.
The Pirates went 2-14 with runners in scoring position, and left 15 runners on base. Let that sink in.
Pirates (72-68) – Reds (85-57)
Win: Alfredo Simon (3-2)
Loss: van den Hurk (0-1)