Pittsburgh Pirates End Season With Wild Card Loss To Giants


Oct 1, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop

Brandon Crawford

(left) celebrates his grand slam home run with first baseman

Brandon Belt

(9), third baseman

Pablo Sandoval

(48), and right fielder

Hunter Pence

(right) against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning of the 2014 National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates ended their season with an 8-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game Wednesday in front of 40,629 fans, a ballpark record.

Edinson Volquez started for the Pirates and had trouble with his off-speed pitches throughout the game. The Giants loaded the bases in the fourth inning, leading to a grand slam from Brandon Crawford for a 4-0 lead.

That would be all Madison Bumgarner needed. The Giants’ left-handed ace struck out 10 batters in a complete-game shutout, with a handful of those strikeouts came on curveballs that bounced in the dirt. Bumgarner’s change of speed frustrated Pirates bats the entire game. Bumgarner also allowed four hits and threw 109 pitches, 79 of which were strikes.

Volquez pitched five-plus innings allowing five hits, four runs (all of which were earned), three walks and three strikeouts with 83 total pitches.

Justin Wilson relieved Volquez and the first batter he faced, Brandon Belt hit an RBI single to score Hunter Pence. An additional two runs were scored off Jared Hughes in the seventh inning. The frame started similarly to the four-run fourth inning in that the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out. Belt again knocked in a pair of runs to boost the lead.

John Holdzkom pitched the eighth inning and allowed a run as Buster Posey‘s single plated Gregor Blanco. The Pirates had a chance to score in the eighth inning with runners on first and third base, but Jordy Mercer struck out and Andrew McCutchen grounded out to end the threat.

The Giants have advanced to the NLDS where they will face the Washington Nationals.

Pittsburgh now moves towards the off-season where management will have a lot of thinking to do. Among those who will become free agents are Russell Martin, Volquez and Francisco Liriano.