What looked like a good night turned into a bad one.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Anderson, one of the team’s top hurlers so far this year, carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning last night in a fantastic performance, only to have it end in a very Buccos way, as not only was the no-hitter broken up, but soon the shutout bid and then the win entirely went down the drain in a 2-0 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Anderson’s no-no was broken up by a Wil Myers single. And then the shutout bid was lost on Tommy Pham sacrifice fly that scored a walked Manny Machado, and then Myers scored on an Austin Nola double to round out the devastating seventh inning for the Pirates.
As seems to be the case almost always these recent days, the Bucs’ bats went totally silent, as they were shut out for the second straight contest. Pittsburgh was four-hit by a plethora of San Diego pitchers, even as Padres starter Miguel Diaz lasted just three innings. He was followed up by five relievers, including Craig Stammen, Austin Adams, Tim Hill, Drew Pomeranz, and Mark Melancon. Hill snagged the win with Melancon getting his league-high 10th save of the season.
Anderson went six and two-thirds for Pittsburgh, falling to 2-3 on the year with the tough loss, and he was helped out by Clay Holmes and David Bednar, who finished out the night.
With Pittsburgh’s bullpen still pitching extremely well and the starters putting in some solid performances, the Pirates’ biggest issue is figuring out a way to manufacture runs. The team has scored just 102 on the year, or just 3.6 per game, and that total is the the fifth-worst in the majors. Their -28 run differential is the second worst in MLB, and that’s with their 130 runs against standing at a middle-of-the-road 18th.
The eventual return of Ke’Bryan Hayes should help some, but relying on one man to save you in baseball rarely works out. Pittsburgh is going to need improved production from their entire lineup if they have any hopes of snapping out of this funk, which has currently ballooned into a five-game losing streak.
The Bucs will look to rebound tonight in another late game in San Diego, as they face a 10:10pm start time again, with struggling Mitch Keller scheduled to take the mound. The Pirates are going to need some plate production tonight if they don’t want to lose their sixth in a row, as the erratic Keller is off to just a 1-3 start this year with a sky-high 8.20 ERA. Can the bats get hot enough to offset that?