PITTSBURGH -- Tyler Glasnow's first and only strikeout Friday night came against the 21st and final batter he faced. With two balls and no strikes against Christian Yelich, Glasnow fired a fastball on the inside corner for strike one. Yelich fouled off a low changeup for strike two and flailed
PITTSBURGH -- Tyler Glasnow's first and only strikeout Friday night came against the 21st and final batter he faced. With two balls and no strikes against Christian Yelich, Glasnow fired a fastball on the inside corner for strike one. Yelich fouled off a low changeup for strike two and flailed at a curveball for strike three.
It was perhaps Glasnow's best sequence of the night, but it was too little, too late. The right-hander was rocked again in the Pirates' 12-7 loss to the Marlins at PNC Park, giving up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in four innings.
"Location and execution," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Those are the challenges still."
Command was Glasnow's lone flaw in the Minors, but he hasn't walked a batter in two of his past three starts. He is throwing more strikes, but hitters are punishing his mistakes. The Marlins only swung and missed at three of Glasnow's 65 pitches on Friday night.
"I just think I'm in the zone too much," Glasnow said.
After a scoreless, 11-pitch first inning, Glasnow gave up the Pirates' lead in the second on four singles with a sacrifice fly sandwiched between them.
"I thought they hit some mistakes, and I thought they found some holes on quality pitches," catcher Jacob Stallings said. "Just one of those nights, I guess."
Giancarlo Stanton got a hold of a hanging 82-mph curveball to lead off the third, blasting it over the batter's eye. The ball traveled a Statcast-projected 449 feet, bounced off the top of the structure and fell back onto the field.
"He's like any other hitter. If you don't hit your spots and your stuff's not there, bad things will happen," Glasnow said. "He just happens to be freakishly strong, which makes it worse."
Quipped Stanton: "I need to get it out of the stadium, man."
With two outs in the third, Tyler Moore pulled a middle-middle fastball into the left-field seats for a two-run homer. Stanton drove home another run in the fourth, this time on a groundout. Dee Gordon doubled and stole third against Glasnow and scored on Stallings' throwing error.
Glasnow's poor outing comes at an inopportune time. Jameson Taillon is set to return to the Pirates' rotation next week, Hurdle said. That means one of their starters will be sent to the bullpen, or more likely, Triple-A Indianapolis.
Will it be Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl or Glasnow? Williams, Saturday's starter, has steadily improved since taking over Taillon's spot, and he's coming off a strong seven-inning outing in New York. Kuhl has struggled to provide consistent innings, but three of his last four starts have been solid five-inning performances on 90 pitches or fewer.
Glasnow has worked into the seventh just once this season, and Friday was the ninth time he has pitched five innings or fewer. He has three quality starts in 12 games. If not for Bartolo Colon, Glasnow's 7.45 ERA would be the worst among Major League starters who have thrown at least 50 innings. He has averaged 1.91 baserunners per inning, the highest total in the Majors.
The Pirates expected growing pains for their young rotation, but they need to create some semblance of stability behind Ivan Nova. Taillon should provide that, but with Gerrit Cole in a rare slump, Williams is the only other starter pitching deep into games.
"We seem to be in a lull right now. We're taxing the bullpen," Hurdle said. "Williams and Nova have given us distance. ... That part of it's been hard."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.