It’s been a disaster of a start to a 10 game road trip for the Pirates, being out scored 16-2 and outhit 24-9 in two straight 8-1 losses to the Colorado Rockies who have the second worst record in the National League and came into the three game series 7-24 in their previous 31 games.
In Friday’s 8-1 loss, the Rockies broke the game open with seven runs in the seventh inning and got an excellent outing from Brett Anderson who allowed just two hits in 6.1 innings.
In Saturday’s 8-1 loss, Pittsburgh again struggled to hit young lefty Tyler Matzek who was taken seven selections after Tony Sanchez in the 2009 draft and someone the Pirates had given strong consideration to selecting at the time.
Matzek threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits.
It’s been no secret the Pirates are on the hunt for another starter and are looking to add another reliable arm in the bullpen, but the need for a right handed bat could arguably be their biggest need and the Pirates have been scouring the market for one.
At first base it’s slim pickings on the trade market with the likes of former Pirates Casey McGehee among the top available first basemen and a lot of the Pirates focus is believed to be on upgrading the bench.
One intriguing option includes Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. Gomes, 33, is hitting .241/.335/.365 with 6 home runs and 32 RBI. He has appeared in 11 games in right field and 62 games in left field.
Gomes is regarded as a great guy in the clubhouse and his ability to come off the bench could be enticing to the Pirates. Gomes now ranks second in Red Sox franchise history with six pinch-hit home runs, trailing only Ted Williams who had seven.
He is 5-13 with 2 home runs as a pinch hitter this season and is batting .318 (35-110) with 4 home runs, 21 RBI vs left handed pitching. His previous three seasons (2011-2013), he batted .277 vs left handed pitching with 22 home runs.
Gomes is a free agent at seasons end and is making $5 million.
The Pirates have been heavily scouting the Red Sox in recent weeks, though, most of the chatter has been on reliever Andrew Miller and long shot trade target Jon Lester.