The final game of the series in Arizona was not a pretty one. Jonathan Sanchez struggled with just about everything, and Wade Miley was his usual effective self, limiting the Pirates’ offense to just 2 runs in a 10-2 loss.
The Diamondbacks scored their first run in the 1st inning on a pickoff attempt. AJ Pollock doubled with 1 out and attempted to steal 3rd. Jonathan Sanchez turned to throw him out and threw the ball away, allowing Pollock to score. “I just didn’t set up my feet,” Jonathan said after the game. “I wanted to get it there fast and just didn’t set up my feet. I threw it away. It happens.” The Dbacks would score 2 more runs before the inning was over on a groundout by Miguel Montero and a double by Alfredo Marte. In the 2nd inning, Pollock came to bat with 1 out and 2 on and crushed the ball to left field, making it 6-0 Dbacks. Sanchez threw a perfect 3rd inning before facing Pollock to lead off the 4th. Pollock hit his second homerun of the game. After a ground out, Sanchez walked Paul Goldschmidt and gave up a single to Miguel Montero. That was the end of Jonathan’s day. “I got guys at 2 strikes a lot and couldn’t make that quality pitch to get them out,” he said. “They got good hits off me. They were swinging the bat.” Clint Hurdle still has faith in his pitcher. He mentioned that Jonathan is still on the road back to being a dominant pitcher. “As he progresses back, we’ll have days like this,” Hurdle said. “He just wasn’t sharp. We got to get our bearings back, get to where we need to be. We’ve covered a lot of distance, and we have a ways to go.” Hurdle also compared Jonathan’s performance today to his first start in Los Angeles. “Overall, stuff wasn’t as sharp. There wasn’t one pitch today that was as sharp as in LA.” Jonathan’s plan is to “forget this and move forward.”
Chris Leroux came in to replace Sanchez and walked the first 3 batters he faced, allowing 2 more runs to score, both charged to Sanchez. Another run scored on a Wade Miley groundout before Leroux finally struck out Gerardo Parra to end the inning. The Pirates were now in a deep 10-1 hole. Leroux pitched 2 more innings, giving up 2 more hits and a walk but not allowing a run to score. Jared Hughes followed that with 2 perfect innings. Clint Hurdle said he “did some real good work.”
The Pirates scored their first run in the 4th inning, when it was already 6-0, on a Josh Harrison single that scored Andrew McCutchen. Their other run came in the 7th, when Starling Marte singled with 2 outs and the bases loaded to score Michael McKenry. As a team, the Pirates managed just 5 hits off of Wade Miley, 2 of them off the bat of Marte.
Now the Pirates get to come back home. After an off day tomorrow, they take on the Reds Friday night at 7:05pm. AJ Burnett (0-2, 3.27 ERA) will face Mike Leake, who gave up 6 runs over 6 innings in his only start so far this year.
It’s a different city, different team, and as Jonathan Sanchez said today, “Just gotta focus on the next one.”