Chris Archer’s struggles continue in Pirates’ 5-0 loss to Rockies
There are other ways Chris Archer could have reacted Tuesday night after the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 5-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Another man might have with put on a grim face and sullenly wondered what he needed to do to shake his three-game slump. Who could have blamed him if he reacted angrily when confronted by reporters in the Pirates clubhouse.
But that’s not how Archer, 30, approaches his craft. He chose to see it as progress from last week’s horrible outing in Arizona, understand what went wrong this time and work to get ready for the next one.
“I look at it from a bigger lens,” he said. “One or two pitches, I’m not going to let define me. Last outing, that was terrible. That was a lot of pitches (the Diamondbacks) did damage on. This outing … I trust myself. My stuff’s good. I know the ball’s going to start bouncing my way, for sure.
“I don’t see this start as bad, but definitely room for improvement, no doubt,” he said.
Still, he understands that much of what went wrong was his fault. He surrendered six hits, two walks and four runs (three earned) and dealt with baserunners in all five of his innings. He has now given up 16 hits and 17 runs (15 earned) in his past three games (12 2/3 innings).
The Rockies scored in the second when catcher Francisco Cervelli threw errantly on a rundown between third base and home, allowing Daniel Murphy to score.
Perhaps left fielder Bryan Reynolds could have caught Trevor Story’s home run in the third. It did deflect off Reynolds’ glove after he reached over the wall. But Archer said, “The dude hit it a long ways. Good pitchers get out of those situations. They minimize the damage.”
Archer’s biggest sins were walks to Ian Desmond and Tony Wolters — the Rockies’ seventh and eighth hitters — in the fourth inning in advance of Charlie Blackmon’s two-run triple.
“Throwing eight straight balls is something you can’t do in the big leagues,” he said.
Manager Clint Hurdle pinch-hit for Archer in the fifth inning when the Pirates had two on and two out and were trailing, 4-0. Kevin Newman flied out to right field.
“I felt like I had more in me,” Archer said. “But we’re playing National League ball and their pitcher (German Marquez) was dealing so that was an opportunity for us to score. It didn’t work out that way.”
Archer also patiently answered a question from a reporter who inquired if he may be putting pressure on himself, with Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows playing well for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Pirates sent those two to the Rays last year in the trade for Archer. Glasnow is 6-1 and Meadows is hitting .337.
“There really is no reason for me to press,” Archer said. “I have over six years in the league and I’ve accomplished a lot. Little rough patch is nothing.
“It’s hard not to (follow Glasnow and Meadows). Those guys are balling out. It’s the team I used to play for. I do have some friends on that team.
“I’ve seen their success. It really has no impact on me. I’m here. I’m capable of doing really good things myself.”
Hurdle hopes to see those things soon, but he was encouraged by some of what he saw Tuesday.
“There were some good things going on,” he said. “A couple glitches that cost him. Eight guys retired on three pitches or less.
”We’re going to keep working. He wants to keep working. He’s looking forward to the next one.”
Meanwhile, Hurdle hopes new injuries to two more players don’t linger as the team embarks on a string of 14 games in 13 days. Cervelli took a foul tip in the chest area and suffered a contusion that forced him from the game after five innings. Gregory Polanco was pulled from the starting lineup before the game with finger discomfort after he jammed his left hand Sunday in San Diego.
”We’ll see what he feels (Wednesday),” Hurdle said.
The loss in front of a crowd of 12,265 at PNC Park dropped the Pirates to 24-21, 9-10 at home.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .