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Pirates Drop Series to Reds Despite Thompson Going Five Strong

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In the bottom of the 6th inning, Dillon Peters had his first bad game of the 2022 season. A bloop base hit by Brandon Drury and then three straight walks to Mike Moustakas, Tyler Stephenson, and Tommy Pham cut the Pirates’ lead in half, making it a 2-1 game.

Heath Hembree came on in relief of Peters with the bases loaded and no outs. A strikeout to Kyle Farmer led to a one-out grand slam by the former Pirate, Colin Moran, giving the Reds a 5-2 lead. 

That grand slam by Moran marked his first home run as a Red and effectively put the final nail in the Pirates’ coffin on Mothers Day. The Pirates lost the game 7-3 and dropped the series win, losing two out of three against the Reds. As a little side note, Moran indeed hit another home run this time it was a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Nothing like a little salt in the wound.

Zach Thompson pitched a hell of a game Sunday afternoon. Thompson primarily used a three-pitch mix with his cutter, sinker, and changeup, causing 12 swings and misses. Thompson’s cutter was the main attraction using it 44% of the time and getting half of his swings and misses with it. 

Thompson was efficient with his pitch count throwing 79 pitches and throwing around 59% of them for strikes. Thompson’s final line read five innings pitched, two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and six strikeouts. 

Less than 24 hours after driving from Indianapolis, Michael Perez hit a two-run home run in his first Major League at-bat of the ’22 season. That two-run homer made it a 2-0 Pirates lead in the second inning. 

In just the third hit of the game for the Pirates, Bryan Reynolds smashed his second home run in as many days cutting the Reds’ lead to 5-3 in the eighth inning. 

Takeaways

This Was Bound to Happen- Dillon Peters has been phenomenal early in the season. Sunday’s appearance against the Reds doesn’t change the fact. Now, the big question will be how Peters bounces back in his next appearance.

Where’s the Offense?- During Zach Thompson’s five strong innings, the Pirates’ offense only managed one hit, and that hit was the two-run home run by Perez. Offensive struggles aren’t anything new for the Pirates, but this one stung just a tad more than the other instances.

Cut the Cheese- During Thompson’s outing against the Reds on Sunday, he threw his cutter 44% of the time, and it looked effective. Thompson kept his cutter on the edges for the most part and kept the Reds’ hitters off balance. This use of the cutter should be the plan moving forward. 

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