An optimist could say that the three mistakes of the Pittsburgh Pirates that led to three unearned races on Tuesday night created an insignificant wrinkle that can easily be solved.
A pessimist, and his number is growing, he will note that the Pirates' 12-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves against a crowd of 13,963 at PNC Park was another example of the team's inability to face the best teams in the league. National.
The Pirates are 3-14 against the Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies, five of the six best teams in the league.
You can not talk about the latest loss – the 11thth in the last 15 games, not to mention the mistakes, but starter Steven Brault placed a large part of the blame on his own shoulders.
"I'm just behind the hitters, trying to make some mid-game adjustments and a little bit of over adjustment here, a bit of over-adjustment there," said Brault, who ran away allowing only one earned run. Another scored on the throwing error of receiver Elias Diaz in the first inning.
Brault pitched 93 pitches in four innings, allowing five hits and three walks. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.
"Finally, I was able to put everything together, but I made too many releases," he said. "I was able to skate in some innings, but I left too many outs for the bullpen to cover, and that's not right."
Manager Clint Hurdle may have to make a decision before Brault's turn in the rotation next week, whether in Milwaukee or Atlanta. For now, he said that Brault's biggest challenge was to try to achieve the efficiency of the launch.
"We had some inconsistencies with the groove in his arm," Hurdle said. "At the end of the day, I had nine counts of three balls."
Relief pitcher Clay Holmes pitched the fifth and sixth with almost no incidents. But the problems started in the sixth when the Braves & Austin Rangers arrived at the base for a mistake by third baseman Kevin Newman, who started there only for the third time this season. Newman was in the starting lineup to get more right-handed hitters against Braves starter Max Fried.
Riley finally scored on a simple RBI for former pirate Matt Joyce.
Then, in the seventh, eighth and ninth, relay pitchers Kyle Crick, Geoff Hartlieb and Rookie Davis each allowed three runs per turn. Eight of the nine were won when each pitcher left a home run.
Despite Newman's mistake, the Pirates still led, 5-3, through six innings, but Crick, who had not allowed a run since April 22, delivered a three-run homer to Riley in the seventh inning. Before that, Josh Donaldson walked and Nick Markakis reached the base when left fielder Bryan Reynolds dropped his sinking line.
"I thought I executed (the release for Riley) pretty well," said Crick, who entered the game after stringing 16 consecutive innings without scoring. "There's a possibility that he knew he was coming or something, because he gave him a good punch."
The Braves (33-27) have a formidable lineup, but Crick said he tried not to think about that.
"I really do not give them credit, to be honest with you," he said. "I just go out and try to execute my pitches. And whatever happens, happens. On that particular 0-1 slider, I think I ran the tone; Just a better hitting piece. "
Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning against Geoff Hartlieb, and Freddie Freeman put a foul ball on the Allegheny River against Rookie Davis in the ninth inning, before holding a just two-run shot.
The result was 12.th Two-digit score presented by an opponent of the Pirates this season, the sixth since May 24.
Those developments were difficult to accept because the Pirates (28-31) had 4-1 and 5-2 leads after the first and second innings.
The game was the first of this season that did not include first baseman Josh Bell in the starting lineup. Hurdle gave her a free night to cool off.
In the position of Bell in the cleaning position, Melky Cabrera, who entered the game with 15 fewer homers and 34 runs less RBI than Bell.
But Cabrera, 34, did everything he could to mitigate those deficits early in the game when he hit a two-run homer to trigger a two-run, four-run outburst in the first and added a RBI single in the second. After Cabrera's home run, the Piratas added two more runs with a single by Diaz, followed by the doubles of José Osuna, who was the substitute for Bell at first base, and Cole Tucker.
Jerry DiPaola is a writer of Tribune-Review. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .