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Pirates' offense flops against Ryan Vogelsong, Giants

Jason O. Watson

Over eight innings, the Pirates managed just two hits against Ryan Vogelsong, and they fell 4-0 to split the series. The Cardinals and Reds also lost, so the Bucs didn't lose any ground.

But still, you'd like the offense to do a little more than this, and not waste a perfectly good start by A.J. Burnett. Burnett got charged with four runs, but three of those came in the eighth, when he was probably exhausted, and even that inning was fueled by two ground-ball singles. Burnett struck out six and walked three.

You'd also prefer to see the Pirates not run their way into outs. It's not easy to do that in a game in which the Bucs only have three hits, but that's precisely what happened in the fifth. Andrew Lambo walked with two outs, then got caught stealing second. Now, leaving aside the fact that Lambo isn't exactly a burner, he was batting seventh, which meant that Jordy Mercer, the No. 8 batter, was at the plate. If Lambo had stolen second, the Giants would have just shrugged and walked Mercer, bringing up A.J. Burnett, he of the disinterest in hitting an .147 OPS, with two outs. I'm not sure whose decision that was, but it was a weird one.

After an off day, the Pirates will begin a six-game homestand against the Brewers and Cardinals on Tuesday. They currently have 76 wins, which means they're fairly likely to hit 82 when they're on the road, perhaps in Texas but more likely in St. Louis.