The Dodgers two-hit the Pirates for the second consecutive game, and this time it was Clayton Kershaw leading the way, striking out nine batters.
The Pirates have only been outscored by four runs in five games, and yet this feels so dark. Instead of having been outscored 10-6, you'd almost prefer they'd been outscored 33-21 or something -- it would be worse for the team, in that the pitching staff would be exhausted, but it would be easier to watch, in that, once the Pirates got in a hole, you could easily imagine them climbing back out of it. These past few days, they've been down one run, or two, and it feels like it's 10. And however good the Pirates' pitching has been so far (and it's been very good), it's impossible to win if you don't score.
And what's just as bad is that even when the Pirates put baserunners on, you can't trust them to protect what they've got. Tonight, Starling Marte (who had both the Pirates' hits) singled to lead off the first, then moved to second on a sacrifice, then needlessly got thrown out at third on a grounder to shortstop. In the seventh, Russell Martin walked with two outs ... and got picked off first.
A.J. Burnett struck out nine batters and allowed his only run on Mark Ellis' RBI single in the third, but Burnett left after 5.1 innings and 108 pitches, also having walked four batters. Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon and Tony Watson combined for 2.2 scoreless innings thereafter.