On a day marked by the last radio broadcast for the legendary Steve Blass and the first game played after Clint Hurdle’s firing, the Bucs displayed the same issues in their 3-1 defeat that they’ve shown all year, namely pitchers serving up home runs without an answer from the offense.
Trevor Williams’s (7-9, 5.38 ERA) performance would be considered solid elsewhere. In seven innings, he gave up five hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts. If you guessed that the two runs were home runs, though, you would be right. Aristides Aquino smacked his nineteenth into left center field in the top of the second inning, and Brian O’Grady added his own bomb, only his second of the season, in the top of the fifth inning. The Bucs’ lone run came courtesy of a Adam Frazier walk, a Melky Cabrera single that advanced Frazier, and a sac fly by Jose Osuna that brought Frazier home. Reds starter Tyler Mahle (3-12, 5.14 ERA) matched Williams with five strikeouts, but he got those in five innings, along with just three hits, no runs or walks. The Bucs managed seven hits overall, only to see any forward offensive motion stopped by strikeouts or a double play. The Reds’ final run came from Alex Blandino, who hit his first homer of the year off Richard Rodriguez in the top of the eighth inning.
After a season with few positive highlights, the regrouping of the Pirates will begin in earnest. 2020 will bring a new manager, probably a few departures, and hopefully some good additions. Let’s get on the side of optimism.