clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Postgame: Uneven start start for Tyler Glasnow, Pirates hold on for 6-3 win

New, comments
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Glasnow's night

Right now, watching Tyler Glasnow pitch is like watching a anxious shopper with a broken shopping cart navigate his way through Giant Eagle. There isn't much rhythm and little sense of settling in or getting comfortable. He works slowly but impatiently, with long pauses and plenty of chats with his catcher and Ray Searage. He strings together some outs, gains some scoreless innings and even occasionally looks in command. But the foreboding sense that things may quickly turn wobbly palpably hovers over the scene.

Glasnow made it through 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned). He struck out five, with two of them defusing scoring threats and three of them closing out innings.

It took the right-hander 102 pitches to register 14 outs, and the Yankees stole two bases. Glasnow has allowed league leading six stolen bases on the season.

"The one thing that is going to continue to get his attention is controlling the running game," Clint Hurdle said. "They're just free bases [right now]. He's got a slide step that he can use. He can shorten his delivery time. And when you chose not to then you pay a consequence. You put runners in scoring position without a whole lot of work to get there."

Glasnow's night started with a hard-earned scoreless first inning. After two easy groundouts, the Yankees put together back-to-back singles and a stolen base, which set up an important confrontation with Aaron Judge. The count ran full on an alternating series of balls and strikes before Judge struck out looking on a 94 mph fastball.

The top of the third was a rocky ride that Glasnow was fortunate to escape with only one run allowed. After a lead off walk, Chase Headley ripped a double into right field, which scored Brett Gardner from first after Jose Osuna bobbled the ball off the wall. A ground out moved Headley to third, and then Glasnow walked Jacoby Ellsbury, who then promptly stole second. With runners on second and third, Greg Bird hit a massive fly ball that passed just outside of the foul poll and crashed into the Pirates Charities sign above the right field stands. But Glasnow came right back, inducing two consecutive swinging strikes to end the inning.

"Gosh, it was rough right from the beginning," Glasnow said. "Survival mode, I guess."

Finally, the top of fifth began with Glasnow retiring the first two hitters and looking as comfortable and in rhythm as he did all night. However, Ellsbury and Judge hit back-to-back singles and the Yankees were threatening again. For the second time in as many at bats, Bird launched a long foul ball deep into the right field stands. Eventually, the Yankees first baseman hit a fairly easy ground ball that was misplayed by Josh Harrison and both runners scored. Hurdle then came to get Glasnow, leaving the right-hander one out short of eligibility for the win.

"I think it is [a positive outing]," Hurdle said. "There's a lot of wins for him to pick up and a lot of areas to improve."

All in all, it was another uneven performance from the Glasnow. When his stuff flashes he looks unhittable, sharp and under control. But bouts of wildness remain and missed locations lead to hard contact. Tonight, Glasnow didn't implode and was able to work out of some key spots when he needed to. However, there were many points where the night could have tipped and slipped away from him.

"The last couple starts, as you've seen, haven't been spectacular, but it's coming along," Glasnow said. "Each start has been a little better."

Mercer homers; Bucs score two in the first

After Glasnow escaped the first, Pirates lead off hitter, Jordy Mercer, lined the second pitch he saw into center field hedges for his first homer of the year. Harrison immediately followed with a perfectly placed (and paced) bunt down the third base line for an infield single. Andrew McCutchen followed with a sharp ground ball single to left, and the Pirates were in business. After Gregory Polanco struck out, David Freese hit an infield single that scored Harrison. Francisco Cervelli grounded into double play to end the inning.

"It was just something over the plate," Mercer said. "I didn't think it'd go out. I thought it was going to go off the wall. I knew it got over his head, so I was running hard out of the box."

Osuna's first big league hit

In the top of the second, Jose Osuna drove a 1-0 changeup deep into the right-center field gap and easy slid into third with a triple for his first major league hit.

"That feels really good," Osuna said. "I was so happy when I hit the ball. I started watching the ball and it was going and going. I said ‘I got it, I got it.' But then I needed to start running hard again to try to be safe at third."

Josh Bell quickly drove him home with a towering home run to the deepest part of PNC Park. After the ball dropped beyond the North Side Notch, the Pirates were up 4-0 early.

"I don't know what the vertical launch on that one was, but I got to believe it was over 27 degrees," Hurdle said. "I was doing my homework today and hard contact usually happens between 10 and 27 degrees. So, that was 33, so that would still be classified as high, hard contact. Yeah, that was a good aggressive swing."

Bullpen holds, Pirates score

Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero teamed for seven consecutive outs, starting with a clutch out to end the fifth and eventually getting the Pirates to the bottom of the seventh with a 4-3 lead. The offense then added two runs, thanks to Starlin Castro dropping an easy pop fly that would have ended the inning. Instead, the error scored a run and set up a second, putting the Pirates in a more secure position, 6-3.

The Yankees threatened against Danial Hudson in the eighth and Tony Watson in the ninth, but again the Pirates managed to escape.

"We got a little complicated at the end," Hurdle said. "It's not like anybody pitched bad, they got men on base and got the tying run to the plate and both time were able to put it away."