The Reds found unusual ways to score runs tonight. The Pirates found zero ways to score runs tonight.
Wandy Rodriguez had more than a quality start tonight, pitching 7 innings and giving up just 3 runs on 7 hits. After dealing with control issues in his last start, Wandy walked no one tonight and struck out 4. The only runs he gave up were an inside-the-park homerun by Chris Heisey in the 2nd and a 2-run homerun to pitcher Matt Latos in the 5th. Heisey’s homerun was on a ball hit high off the wall that Starling Marte couldn’t quite reach. Andrew McCutchen didn’t get over there quite fast enough, and even then it looked like Heisey may have been out at home, but the Pirates did not argue. “I saw the play,” Clint Hurdle said after the game. “I thought [Rod Barajas] might have had it blocked. I saw the high tag. I thought with the high tag [Heisey] might have been in. I thought Andrew got caught up watching the play for a little bit.” The homerun by Latos was hit on a first-pitch fastball however; it’s not quite expected that a pitcher would homer on that. “It was a big big mistake,” Wandy said after the game. “He hit it very well. That was a big surprise to me. That’s what happens sometimes.” Aside from that, Wandy pitched a good game but was tagged with the loss to fall to 7 and 9. “They beat me today,” Wandy said. “I felt more comfortable today. I was able to put the ball wherever I want.” Wandy also collected his first hit of the year, an infield single in the 5th inning. Chad Qualls pitched a perfect 8th inning in relief.
The Pirates managed 4 hits and 3 walks tonight off of the Reds’ pitchers. They also struck out 7 times and grounded into 3 double plays. Reds starter Matt Latos had some command issues early, but the Pirates weren’t able to capitalize on anything. “Overall I feel like we did an OK job,” said Andrew McCutchen, who was 1 for 3 with a HBP tonight. “They just happened to get a play when they needed it. Everything was going their way as far as defense goes, not that Latos didn’t pitch a good game.” Hurdle said Latos “pitched very well, very effective, changed speeds on us, kept us off-balance.” Reds closer Aroldis Chapman hit Cutch with a pitch in the top of the 9th. It could have been intentional; Cutch seemed to think so, judging by his reaction in the dugout following the game. However, he refused to comment on the incident after the game, and I have a ton of respect for him for that. “You don’t like seeing somebody get hit,” Hurdle said. “That hit pretty hard.” Does Cutch have a retaliation plan? “Show up tomorrow and get ready to win,” he said.
“We’ll bounce back tomorrow,” Hurdle said. “This is a great experience. They’re into it and they’re not happy that we didn’t win. They’re going to come and play better tomorrow. It was a battle, there was no doubt about it. We gotta play a little bit better, we gotta hit a little bit better.”
Tomorrow night, James McDonald (10-5, 3.37 ERA) will face Mike Leake (4-7, 4.44 ERA).
Make sure you read Barajas Bombs if you haven’t yet.