Hutchison bombs in debut as Pirates fall two under .500

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Brandon Phillips and the Reds had their way with Pirates' pitching on Saturday. — GETTY

While the Pirates were busy winning 98 games last year, they boasted a pitching staff that included Gerrit Cole in the best season of his career, A.J. Burnett pitching well enough to reach his first All-Star Game, and Francisco Liriano. Charlie Morton doing some good things, too.

One year later, Drew Hutchison is on the mound for the mathematically-alive Pirates.

Realistically, though, that ship has sailed.

The Pirates have received some good performances from talented young pitchers, especially Jameson Taillon. In general, however, they are starting to fall victim to their pitching staff struggling substantially. Such was the case Saturday night at PNC Park, as Hutchison, making his debut with the Pirates, was unable to protect a big lead against the lowly Reds in a game the Pirates ultimately blew, 8-7.

"I just didn't locate pitches when I needed to," said Hutchinson.

No, he didn't. And given that his stuff is hardly overwhelming, the ability to locate is crucial.