Rodriguez homers in 9th to lift Pirates over Phillies 5-3

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew Mc Cutchen hits a home run off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jake Thompson during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday Sept. 14 2016 in Philadelphia

Shutting down Cole now with the Pirates not likely to make the playoffs will help him be ready for the 2017 season. However, due to poor offense Nova left the game with the Pirates trailing.

Jeanmar Gomez came on in the 9th for the Phillies, and as has been somewhat typical of late, he did not have a clean inning.

For a team that won 98 games just a year ago, and had three times played in the NL wild card play-in game in as many years, what could have caused such a severe downspin, seemingly out of nowhere?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are finishing this season with a whimper rather than a bang.

Look for the Pirates to rely even more so on the likes of Ivan Nova, Ryan Vogelsong and Jameson Taillon.

Cole returned Monday from a two-week stint on the disabled list with elbow inflammation and allowed five runs, four hits and four walks over two innings against Philadelphia. The 11 strikeouts are a new season high for Nova. Free agent acquisitions in Jonathan Niese and Juan Nicasio failed to replace the level of production of the departed starters from a year ago, while highly touted prospects in Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon have failed to add that significant push that the club needed. They did make some noise in the ninth, but completely pointlessly ran their way into an out at the plate - on Matt Joyce's single with two on in the ninth, Rick Sofield sent Sean Rodriguez, who runs like he has an elephant strapped to his back, and Rodriguez got thrown out. There is a section of the Pirates' fan base suggesting that this year's performance is the real version of Gerrit Cole, that he's not an ace, and actually criticizing him and taking it steps further. "It's unfortunate we ran out of time".

Manager Joe Girardi said Gregorius experienced soreness in his rib on Friday after getting hit while diving back to first base on a pickoff play.

Philadelphia Phillies' Cesar Hernandez right reaches first base on a bunt as Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell leaps for a wild throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday Sept. 14 2016 in Philadelphia. Hernandez advance
Rodriguez homers in 9th to lift Pirates over Phillies 5-3

Gomez, who blew a save Tuesday but held onto his job on Wednesday, entered the day with a 4.81 ERA and.788 opponents' OPS in 33 games at Citizens Bank Park and a 2.53 ERA and a.609 opponents' OPS in 32 games away from South Philly. Chad Kuhl fist pumps after making a big play, and it's great.

In the sixth inning Quinn batted right-handed against Antonio Bastardo. He ended up going six innings giving up just one earned run.

Relief pitcher Felipe Rivero - Felipe Rivero has been very good as a Pittsburgh Pirate. "As long as he can stay on the field and doesn't get injured, I'd like to think he's got a good chance".

Starting with the final batter in the third inning Asher retired 11 in a row but walked the last two Pirates he faced in the seventh, when the Pirates tied the score at 2-2.

Tonight was Alfaro's first major league start.

He began the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, compiling a 1.53 ERA through four games, but things went south from there. Frazier also struggled on defense in Tuesday's game. In the third inning, the Phillies plated two more runs.

Pittsburgh took the lead first when Adam Frazier hit an RBI single that scored Jordy Mercer. Both of them were in the starting lineup Tuesday, a night after Quinn had a pair of run-producing doubles in a 6-2 victory over the Pirates. Gregory Polanco is now stuck in an 0-for-14 skid. "And hopefully I am able to finish out strong".

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