After their mostly triumphant homestand against the Mets this past weekend, it was the Pirates’ turn to be embarrassed by a lesser team.
A lack of extra-base hits and back-to-back homers by Arizona in the bottom of the seventh inning put the final nail in the Bucs’ series as they fell again to the Diamondbacks 6-4 at Chase Field. It’s the tenth time they’ve been swept this season, with this series the sixth time it’s happened on the road. It also continues the Bucs’ load of fail at Chase Field, where they’ve only won two of the last nineteen games they’ve played there.
This was not a pitcher’s duel. Neither birthday boy Max Kranick nor Madison Bumgarner were super-effective, Jacob Stallings’ post-game proclamation of Kranick’s “good stuff” notwithstanding. The Bucs did draw first blood in the second inning, when the much-maligned Gregory Polanco singled, stole second (that’s one thing he does well), and came home on a Jared Oliva single. In what would become a recurring theme in the game, though, the D-backs came right back, with Pavin Smith scoring on a Bryan Holaday single.
The D-backs took the lead in the third after a bit of a show by Josh Rojas, who singled, stole second, advanced to third on a Kranick wild pitch, and came home when David Peralta doubled. The Bucs answered in the next inning, with Cheetah singling to Peralta (who robbed him of a homer in the second) and Kevin Newman doing the same. Oliva hit what was originally ruled a double (why?) then switched to an error on Eduardo Escobar (that’s better). Either way, it still scored Stallings and Newman for a 3-2 Bucs lead, which was short-lived when Daulton Varsho and Nick Ahmed hit two doubles in a row in the fourth inning, scoring Varsho for the tie. Kranick hit Holaday, Ahmed stole third, Kranick walked MadBum, and that was the end of Kranick’s day. Austin Davis came in and managed to get Rojas out, only to walk Kole Calhoun with the bases loaded. Luckily, he got out of the inning with no further damage.
Chris Stratton had a 1-2-double-3 inning in the fifth, and he and Chasen Shreve combined to escape the sixth, as did Tyler Clippard for the D-backs. In the seventh inning, the Bucs stirred with three consecutive singles by Adam Frazier, Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes off Joe Mantiply. Mantiply went out, and Brett de Geus came in. John Nogowski did the hero walk—literally, he walked and Frazier scored to tie the game at four.
But then came the bottom of the seventh. This happened:
What the--WHY IS UNDERWOOD IN THERE???? pic.twitter.com/TnZSAvwGPM— Henry Davis Fan Account (@BucsDugout) July 21, 2021
In came Duane Underwood Jr., and out went two monstrous bombs to right field courtesy of Smith and Varsho, which ended up being the game-winners.
The only Bucs extra-base hit was Reynolds’s double in the fifth. Not good. There were seven Bucs left on base, three in scoring position. Really not good. It was pointed out by BD Commentariat member 71Bucs79 that 10% of the D-backs’ wins this year have come against the Pirates.
You’re welcome, Arizona.