Grit Index: Cole holds D-backs offense at bay in Pirates' victory
That's the sound of the Arizona Diamondbacks' momentum hitting a wall Friday night.
That wall came in the form of the Pittsburgh Pirates and their impeccable record (42-20) at PNC Park in 2013.
The D-backs came into their showdown with the National League Central's finest fresh off three straight walk-off wins over the Orioles and five overall against teams with records above .500, but none of that mattered in The Steel City.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole became the second rookie -- joining the Mets' Zack Wheeler -- to dominate (six innings, two runs and five strikeouts) the D-backs lineup this week, Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen provided the offense with back-to-back run-scoring hits in the fifth inning, and the Pirates went to win by a final of 6-2.
With the loss, the D-backs fell to a season-high 8.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West standings.
Martin Prado continued his hot streak at the plate with two more hits Friday night, including an RBI single in the fourth inning. Prado has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
Aaron Hill also extended his hit streak to nine games with a single in the second inning.
McCarthy's start against the Pirates served as a microcosm for his entire season.
The 29-year-old looked great at times -- 1-2-3 frames in the second and fourth innings -- and yet in the same outing managed to look terrible -- two runs allowed in third and fifth innings -- at other times.
In all, McCarthy allowed four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings of work. He also walked three and struck out five.
The seven-year veteran hasn't won on the road since May 18.
-Jose Tabata's two-run home run off of J.J. Putz in the bottom of the eighth inning marked the first time since July 1 the D-backs reliever allowed an earned run.
-NL MVP candidates head-to-head: Paul Goldschmidt (0-for-3 with a run scored) and Andrew McCutchen (2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored).
-The top three batters in the D-backs lineup went 0-for-11 with three strikeouts.
He Said It:
"Overall I wasn't entirely sharp and didn't put us in good positions. I need to do a better job of pushing through that, though." -- Brandon McCarthy on his start
The D-backs will look to even up their three-game series Saturday afternoon at PNC Park, as right-hander Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66 ERA) returns to make his first start since coming off the disabled list. Cahill last pitched on June 30 and hasn't won since May 17. Pittsburgh will send All-Star Jeff Locke to the mound (9-3, 2.43 ERA) in opposition of Cahill. Locke has yet to face the D-backs in his rookie season. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Dose of Venom: Dodgers complete two-game sweep of D-backs behind strong performances from Kershaw, Kemp
- Kershaw stymies D-backs as Dodgers sweep two-game set: By The Numbers
- Dose of Venom: Dodgers take advantage of wild Cahill, overturned calls in win over D-backs
- Dodgers' six-run inning does in Cahill, D-backs: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager: Six-man rotation probably on the way
- Tim Kurkjian - Wednesday August 27ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian believes Matt Williams is good for the Nationals.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Reggie Sanders - former Diamondbacks outfielder - Tuesday August 26Reggie Sanders discusses the Diamondbacks' alumni game coming up this Saturday.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.