The Pirates fell to the Dodgers in an endless 8-4 matchup Saturday, the kind of game where you'd drift off for a second and awaken, surprised that nothing had changed, except that there was one more run on the scoreboard or two more men on base. They ended up leaving a remarkable 18 runners on, which seems like a lot, even in a season in which it feels like the Pirates have had lots of RISP frustrations.
The Pirates created golden opportunities in the first and second as Brandon McCarthy walked in runs in both innings, but took only limited advantage, stranding the bases loaded in both innings and scoring only three runs total. Meanwhile, the Dodgers scored in every inning from the first through the sixth. It wouldn't serve much purpose to catalog it all, but there were a ton of singles and doubles, two Jung Ho Kang errors on the same play in the third, and a Joc Pederson homer in the sixth. Gerrit Cole gave up six of the Dodgers' runs (four of them earned), and Jared Hughes two.
Meanwhile, the Pirates continually got runners on base and failed to cash them in; their only run after the first two innings came on Kang's solo homer in the eighth.
The silver lining to all this is that, hey, at least the Bucs got runners on. You want that. They did walk 11 times. But the effect was that the Dodgers succeeded very slowly while the Pirates failed very slowly, so this game wasn't much fun to watch, to the point where FOX's announcers practically threw a party for themselves when Jeff Locke threw a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth. Naturally, the party ended pretty quickly when the Bucs put two runners on in the ninth, forcing the Dodgers to slow the game down further by bringing in closer Kenley Jansen in to get a single out, which he did.
Oh, and Starling Marte left the game with back discomfort in the late innings, with the Pirates' trainer coming out to get him. We'll see what happens there.
The Pirates are now 58-56, a game and a half back in the Wild Card race.