The Pirates dropped the series finale to the Dbacks splitting the series 2 games a piece. A disappointing outcome for the Bucs who were looking to take 3 of 4 from a below average Arizona team.
Francisco Liriano was average in his start tonight, still giving the Pirates a chance to win. He went 6 IP, giving up 4 hits, on two runs of which both were earned, striking out 6 and walking just one. Besides a tough third inning, Liriano was able to handle the Dbacks. He ended up with a no decision in the loss.
The Pirates were the first to strike in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Russell Martin led off the inning with a single, Ike Davis followed that up with a 2B down the line. Michael Martinez then grounded out to second base which allowed Martin to score and put the Pirates up 1-0.
In the third, Arizona plated a run to tie it following an Inciarte ground ball that scored Gosewisch. Pacheco then hit an RBI single to drive in Ahmed and make it 2-1 in favor of the Dbacks.
In the 5th the Pirates had a chance to score, Martinez led off with a base hit and was moved to second on a Liriano sac bunt but was later stranded.
Ike Davis collected his second hit of the night in the 7th with a leadoff single. Jordy Mercer then missed a hit and run and Davis was thrown out at second.
Jared Hughes came on to pitch the bottom of the 7th and worked a scoreless inning of relief.
The Pirates best player the last couple night, Brad Ziegler came on to pitch for Arizona in the 8th. Bucco bats got to him again. Harrison got on to leadoff the inning and then Polanco doubled down the line. Cutch then hit an RBI sac fly to left which scored JHay to tie it. After his at bat, Cutch appeared hurt. He was helped into the clubhouse by the Pirates trainer and Pedro Alvarez. Hopefully it ends up to be nothing serious. Russell Martin then grounded out on the infield and Polanco tried to score on the play from second but was thrown out at the plate for a double play.
Watson came on to throw the bottom of the 8th. He worked a scoreless inning after allowing two base runners. The Pirates were then held scoreless in the 9th. Justin Wilson came on in relief that inning and held the DBacks.
On to Free Baseball...
The Pirates got two men on in the 10th as Harrison and Polanco reached. The runners moved up on a past ball by the catcher. However, the Pirates left both men on, which would come to cost them.
Melancon came in for the bottom half of the 10th. Gosewisch doubled off of him, then moved to third by a wild pitch on a dropped third strike. Andy Marte then hit into what would have been a double play. As Jayson Nix went to throw to first after a feed from Mercer, the throw struck the runner Ahmed in the hand. Automatic interference it first appeared. Clearly the throw hit the runner in the hand and prohibited what would have been an inning ending double play. Gosewisch came across to score as the play unfolded. No call was made by the umpiring crew. Hurdle came out to argue but it was to no avail. The umpiring crew left the field as the Pirate players remained, waiting for an answer. There wasn't one. Another gaffe by Major League baseball.
A tough way for the Pirates to drop the finale...
BUCCO OF THE GAME goes to Michael Martinez. He was 2-4 on the night with an RBI. He was able to grab his first double as a Pirate. MiniMartinez did what he had to tonight, executing a sacrifice play, fielding the ball and making an impact on the game!
I hate to break it to everyone, but there was no interference on the play. The runner Ahmed went into second in a reasonable line with the bag. His arms flew up upon the slide. Anyone with experience in baseball knows that you go into the bag by making yourself "big" or "tall". Just as Ahmed did. Even though it appears as clear interference, it is too discretional and can not be proved intentional. The issue surrounding the play is that there was no conversation by the umpires. No video review. There lies the problem.
Along with that, an inexperienced second baseman, Jayson Nix was in to turn the double play. When he received the throw he did not bounce off of the bag far enough to avoid the runner. A regular, everyday second baseman has no issue on the play, that is a fact.
I will say that I hope Ahmed has a broken hand. The fact that the play went down as it did, proves yet again the Dbacks play without class. No review or discussion shows that MLB is in shambles. The crews and umps have no accountability and have free reign to put on their own show.
The Pirates could have capitalized on base runners in the late innings, they didn't. Once again the Bucs left too many guys on. It cost them in the end. The game didn't even need to go extra innings, it shouldn't have been decided by the controversial play at the end.
Disappointing road trip for the Bucs. They MUST take advantage of this upcoming home stand. One that will be tough with the Tigers coming to town.