Most eyes on the minor league side tonight will be on the start from Tyler Glasnow with Indianapolis. A little interest may have been lost in the game, with the word on Sunday that he wasn’t being considered for a September promotion. It will still be an interesting game from the standpoint that it’s an important game in the playoff standings and Glasnow will be pitching on the road. Some of you may remember the last two years regarding him and the playoffs. If not, here is a refresher.

With the West Virginia Power in 2013, Glasnow pitched the opener of the playoffs against Hagerstown at home. He lasted 2.2 innings and gave up four runs on three hits and three walks. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. That came immediately after two straight starts in which he threw five no-hit innings.

In 2014 with Bradenton, he struggled in his last two regular season starts, allowing seven runs over 11 innings. Glasnow again started game one of the playoffs at home and got lit up for six runs in three innings, walking six batters.

He at least had a good start during the 2012 playoffs in the GCL, throwing four shutout innings, although there is probably a little less pressure involved with no crowd and a noon start. He still gets credit for a strong outing though, but now he will be pitching in front of much bigger crowds than the last two years. In fact, Columbus drew 9500 last night, so that’s a decent size crowd and probably close to what he will see in the playoffs. I’m also assuming Indianapolis will make it because they are very close and let’s face it, Glasnow has been in the playoffs the last three years so there is a pattern here.

These obviously aren’t the same as pitching in front of a Major League crowd outside of Miami, but you would always prefer your best pitcher does well in big spots.

With some of the drama taken away from Glasnow’s start due to the September status, some of the minor league focus should be on Yeudy Garcia, who is going to need a strong outing to hold on to his lead in the ERA race. He has a 2.11 ERA, just four points ahead of Mark Reyes from Augusta, who threw seven shutout innings in his last start. Garcia is tied for fifth in the league with 106 strikeouts and his 1.05 WHIP is third. He’s tied in strikeouts with teammate Austin Coley, while Stephen Tarpley is eighth. Garcia has allowed one earned run over his last three starts, totaling 16.2 innings. In his last game, he topped his previous career-high of six strikeouts by sitting down ten batters.

125 Year Ago Today

This would normally go in the history section below, but this is too good for those that usually skip that section and I know some of you do, so prepare to learn Pirates’ history(or skip to the next section). The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys were extremely bad because they lost nearly their entire club to the Pittsburgh entry into the Player’s League. That was a league started by the players that lasted one year. The Alleghenys were so bad that they finished with one of the worst records in baseball history, 23-113. After losing 19 straight games to end August, the Alleghenys and Brooklyn Bridegrooms(a name that simply came from so many players getting married around the same time) played the first tripleheader in Major League history.

The games took place in Brooklyn exactly 125 years ago today and Pittsburgh lost 10-9 in the opener, 3-2 in the middle game and 8-4 in the last game. The good part is that the games didn’t take long, going 92 minutes for each of the first two and 104 minutes for the last game. Also, only 915 people paid to see it, so it was quick and not too embarrassing, especially since they were probably used to losing by then.

Pittsburgh didn’t draw at home, with crowds sometimes in the double digits. There is a story that one game only had six paying customers that year, although the local newspaper indicated that there were more that day. So I think that story is wrong, but not by much. Because they drew much bigger crowds on the road and got a split of the gate, they opted to switch some home games to the road to make more money. In fact, the last 22 losses of that Aug./Sept. stretch were on the road. The losing streak only ended at 23 games when they came home for one game against Cleveland on September 4th. They immediately went back out on the road and started losing again.

The interesting part of that tripleheader from the newspaper side was the coverage of the game. The entire write-up of the three games from The Pittsburg Press(no H back then, so yes it’s spelled correctly) is as follows:

“The National league gang broke the record and lost three to Brooklyn”

That’s it for their coverage, couldn’t even capitalize the “L” in League. By the way, that’s about how much I want to write for the Bristol games when one of their pitching prospects isn’t on the mound.

The 1890 club moved to 19-92 after those games and would go 4-21 the rest of the way, mixing in one tie just for fun. The next year they got their players back, signed some new players and a few newspapers from other towns started calling them Pirates, due to how they went about signing players, although my own research has proven that the Pirates name wasn’t accepted until  1895. They went by numerous names, with a lot of people holding onto the Alleghenys(or just Allies) nickname until Pirates caught on years later. During the entire 1894 season they were known as the Pittsburgh Braves, which didn’t conflict with Boston(Milwaukee/Atlanta) because they were the Beaneaters back then.

See, you made it this far reading about Pirate history and you’re okay. Enjoy your Tuesday and don’t sleep on Jimmy Nelson tonight because he has a high ERA. He has owned the Pirates this year(see below). There is one week left in the minor league regular season, with a total of 41 games left for Pirates’ affiliates.

Playoff Push

The Pirates trail by five games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a 5.5 game lead for the top wild card spot.

Indianapolis is 6-4 in their last ten games. They have a two game lead in the division with seven games left.

Altoona is 5-5 in their last ten games. They are in second place, 5.5 games back of Bowie and they lead the wild card by three games, with seven games left.

Bradenton is 6-4 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by three games in the standings with five games left. That includes tonight’s game against Palm Beach, which is a must win due to the Cardinals holding the tie-breaker.

West Virginia has clinched a playoff spot.

Morgantown is 6-4 in their last ten games. They are a half game behind two teams in the wild card chase with seven games left in the season. All 13 teams that aren’t leading their division in the NYPL, are still mathematically alive in the wild card chase, so this should be a fun ending.

The Bristol Pirates were eliminated from the playoffs.

The GCL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.

The DSL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates were off on Monday. They start a three-game set in Milwaukee tonight with Gerrit Cole on the mound. He faced the Brewers once this season, allowing one earned run over six innings. Milwaukee will go with Jimmy Nelson, who has a 3.81 ERA in 158.1 innings. He has faced the Pirates four times already this season, posting a 1.85 ERA in 24.1 innings. He has a 4.16 ERA in his other 22 starts.

In the minors, Tyler Glasnow makes his seventh AAA start and he hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in any of the first six contests. Glasnow has thrown 17.1 shutout innings in his last three starts combined. He leads all Pirates’ minor league pitchers with 127 strikeouts. Frank Duncan is fifth in the FSL with 104 strikeouts. Bristol finishes their season tonight. The DSL and GCL Pirates are done. You can view the DSL season recap here. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (79-50) @ Milwaukee (55-75) 8:10 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (2.44 ERA, 38:166 BB/SO, 169.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (80-57) @ Columbus (78-59) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (0.81 ERA, 17:39 BB/SO, 33.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (71-64) @ Bowie (76-58) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jason Creasy (4.60 ERA, 49:63 BB/SO, 135.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (70-63, 38-25 second half) vs Palm Beach (73-60) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Frank Duncan (4.40 ERA, 16:104 BB/SO, 139.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (81-51, 44-19 second half) vs Lexington (55-76) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.11 ERA, 34:106 BB/SO, 115.1 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (36-33) @ Batavia (29-39) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

Rookie: Bristol (29-35) @ Elizabethton (33-34) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

GCL: Pirates (28-31)

DSL: Pirates (30-42) (season recap)

Highlights

Here is Steven Brault finishing off his seven shutout innings on Sunday.

Recent Transactions

8/31: Wilkin Castillo added to Indianapolis roster. John Bowker and Adam Miller activated from disabled list.

8/29: Alen Hanson activated from Temporary Inactive List. Wilkin Castillo assigned to GCL.

8/28: Carlos Munoz promoted to Morgantown.

8/28: Edwin Espinal activated from Bradenton disabled list. Clay Holmes placed on disabled list.

8/28: Kelson Brown placed on disabled list.

8/26: Stephan Meyer and Tanner Anderson promoted to Morgantown.

8/26: Cristian Mota promoted to Bristol.

8/25: Ke’Bryan Hayes promoted to Morgantown. Raul Siri promoted to Bristol.

8/25: Kevin Kramer promoted to West Virginia. Jordan Luplow placed on disabled list.

8/25: John Bowker placed on disabled list. Kelson Brown activated from disabled list.

8/25: Pedro Florimon sent outright to Indianapolis.

8/25: Alen Hanson placed on temporary inactive list.

8/22: Jordy Mercer activated from disabled list. Travis Ishikawa placed on disabled list.

8/22: Josh Wall sent outright to Indianapolis.

8/22: Pirates release Jesus Ronco and Luis Brun

8/21: Josh Harrison activated from disabled list. Josh Wall designated for assignment.

8/20: Corey Hart assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

8/20: Travis Snider signed to minor league deal.

8/19: Josh Wall added to Pirates. Pedro Florimon designated for assignment.

8/18: Edwin Espinal placed on disabled list. Junior Sosa activated from Bradenton disabled list.

8/18: Adam Miller placed on disabled list. Jeremy Bleich activated from temporary inactive list.

This Date in Pirates History

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including the son of a Pirates’ great.

Dave Rucker, 1988 pitcher. Lefty reliever signed as a free agent prior to the 1988 season. Spent all of 1989 in the minors for the Pirates. In 31 appearances, he had a 4.76 ERA over 28.1 innings. The Pirates had an 85-75 record during the 1988 season, but they were 6-25 in games that Rucker pitched.

Vic Barnhart turns 93 today. He played 74 games total for the 1944-46 Pirates. He is the son of Clyde Barnhart, who spent his entire nine-year career with the Pirates(1920-28), hitting .295 in 814 games. Vic is the only Pirates’ player alive who played with the team before 1947.

Jim Hopper, 1946 pitcher. Was managed by HOF pitcher Burleigh Grimes when the Pirates signed him out of the minors. Grimes played for the Pirates three different times, and said that Hopper was the best young player the Pirates had. Unfortunately, before he played a game for the team, he was called into active duty for the war. The Pirates signed him thinking he wouldn’t go to war because he had two young kids at home. Hopper missed two full years before returning in 1946. He started the fifth game of the season, they didn’t pitch again for a month, in what ended up being his last big league appearance.

Fred Nicholson, 1919-20 Pirates outfielder. The Pirates purchased him from the Tigers on June 30,1919 for $2500. He hit .273 in 30 games in 1919, then batted .360 over 99 games during the 1920 season. Prior to the 1921 season, he was involved in a trade that included two future Hall of Famers, Billy Southworth and Rabbit Maranville.

Sam Brenegan, played one inning on April 24,1914. If he played in this era, he would be one of the most hated Pirates. Brenegan made his Major League debut in the sixth inning of a game the Pirates were losing to the Cardinals. Manager Fred Clarke decided to give starting catcher George Gibson a rest, sending Brenegan in to catch. Two batters into the inning, he committed a passed ball and walked after the ball behind him, which immediately irritated Clarke. A couple pitches later, a wild pitch hit his finger and he walked after the ball again. Instead of going back behind the plate, he walked to the bench and sat down. That was his entire big league career.

 

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah. Everyone said how hard August was going to be but Sept looks like – Cards, Cubs, Reds, Brewers, and a west coast trip…

    • Because of all the road games, I’ve thought September would be the challenge ever since the schedule was released last year. Let’s hope we get a more favorable schedule next September–this is the third straight September when we’ve had a significant majority of our games on the road.

    • The Bucs performed above expectations in what many predicted would be a killer stretch in August. This road trip will tell the story on whether we can catch the Cards. I am hoping that:
      – Marte breaks out of his slump.
      – Bucs cut down on their league leading number of errors
      – Hurdle decides Kang’s bat is more important than Mercer’s slightly better
      glove.
      – Hurdle decides to keep Ramirez in the lineup to protect Cutch and knock
      in runs.

      • Your last 3 points all slightly contradict themselves. You want less errors, but prefer a slightly lesser glove at SS and a clearly lesser glove at 3B.

        To cut down on errors, best bet is to throw Kang at 3B with Mercer at SS a decent number of games. With Harrison at 3B and Kang at SS in the rest. A Ram is poor on defense and an overall below average hitter in his time with PGH.

        • The whole team needs to tighten up defensively. Kang is not a problem at short.
          Are you suggesting Ramirez at third should be benched in favor of a threesome of Mercer, Harrison and Kang at SS and third. That ignores the Pirates record with him as a starter, his RBI total in Pittsburgh, and the protection he provides McCutchen. McCutchen has been quoted on how much tougher it is to pitch around him with AR behind him.

          • “That ignores the Pirates record with him as a starter, his RBI total in Pittsburgh, and the protection he provides McCutchen.”

            Please continue, but understand you’re not going to get very far on this site arguing logical fallacies.

              • Whoa, I’m just trying to throw you a bone, my friend.

                As I said, feel free to continue that argument, but know that this isn’t the kind of place you’ll find a lot of folks who buy those, let’s just say “old school”, reasons.

                • Cherry-picking obscure stats and ignoring results is a weakness. I guess the manager is “old school” too when he pencils in Ramirez at third and clean-up, citing track record and results.
                  Here is a fact for you and Luke to stare at for a while:
                  Kang and Ramirez combined 25 home runs, 110 RBIs
                  Mercer and Harrison combined 6 home runs, 42 RBIs
                  Is this a logical fallacy, or a fact you missed?

            • With all due respect to advanced statistical analysis, if a guy is batting “clean up”, traditionally that implies his job is to “clean up” whomever is on base.

              ARam is hitting .353 with a 154 wRC+ with RISP. Yes, it’s 40 PAs so SSS, but if one applies the “play Pedro every day until he cools off” logic, then one should give ARam the same courtesy.

              The guy has a higher % of RBI per PA or AB than anyone on the Bucs this side of Cutch.

              http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=0&season=2015&month=29&season1=2015&ind=0&team=27,to&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

              Despite the fact that he mostly sucks in non-RISP situations (and excels at hitting into DPs in those situations), he is nonetheless performing the duties of “clean up”.

              Further, since ARam joined the Bucs, in the 30 games in which he’s appeared, the Bucs have scored 143 runs, or 4.77 runs per game. In the 30 games prior to that, they scored 111. In the 30 games prior to that, 134. And in the 30 games prior to that, 120. So without getting into theory on roster/batting order construction, the bottom line is that they’re scoring more runs as a team with ARam in the lineup.

              Taking all of that into account, please feel free to explain away how and why this is a statistical anomaly and why Hurdle should cease and desist using ARam in the #4 slot.

              I think there is a thing as a “professional at bat” and that when ARam has a RISP opportunity, he changes his approach accordingly. And I don’t understand why there’s anything wrong with that.

              • You know what I think would be a great idea?

                Taking “professional at bats” all the time. Seems awful silly to only try when runners are in scoring position, if in fact one has the innate ability to be a significantly better hitter in that situation.

                Explain to me why a veteran hitter such as Ramirez would deliberately perform worse without runners in scoring position and I’ll buy the “professional at bat” narrative.

                Regardless, that wasn’t even the point of Luke’s initial rebuttal. It is absolutely contradictory to at once expect Ramirez in the lineup *and* for the Pirate’s defense to improve. I want Pedro to hit 400′ homeruns *and* not strike out a third of the time, but I know that ain’t happening.

          • Well yeah, imma ignore “the protection he gives Cutch” because thats a really dumb point when the alternative would be a better hitter that would protect him more. His 80s wRC+ isnt making anyone worry about him after Cutch. Kang and Walker are both better suited for that role, Ramirez at the 4 is and has always been dumb this year.

            And yup, imma largely ignore his RBI total because he’s also squandered a good deal of chances. Give me a better hitter at that spot and it’ll be the same or better result.

            I do very much prefer Kang-Mercer-Walker, or anything without A Ram. He’s bad on defense, below average on offense, and you are using really poor reasons why he’s good. McCutchen would literally never say “yeah, the guy behind me could be better but ohs wells”. Again, i find nearly all the reasons you gave lacking in reality.

            • “imma gonna ignore his RBI total”? That is a brilliant comment.
              Walker better than Ramirez at cleanup? Are you serious?
              “Anything without A RAM”? The fact is Kang and Ramirez are much better options than Mercer and Harrison right now.
              Harrison has stunk at third this year and is not driving the ball since his injury.
              You also ignore McCutcheon’s improvement with Ramirez behind him.
              Do you watch the games or stare at stats all day?

                  • You used logical inconsistencies to create a flawed argument. Im blunt when faced with that. You arent using solid backing and then acting like others are being mean when they point out the flaws.

                    I know people who think A Ram is still okay, i know people who think him getting starts is okay. I literally dont know 1 person (besides you) who thinks A Ram is the best option behind Cutch. And when you use things like “Cutch said” and “RBIs” imma point out its weak.

                    If A Ram were hitting 7th, his RBI total would plummet. Not because his hitting changed from the .250 hitter he has been for us, but because he no longer has 3 quality hitters giving him ample chances.

            • Luke, you don’t want to use the “give me a better hitter at that spot and it’ll be the same or better result” as pertains to ARam’s RBI production because that will be proven false if the other contestants are Walker, Kang and Marte, all of whom have had significant PAs at the #4 slot.

              Check it for yourself. ARam’s RBI yield per PA/AB in the #4 spot is significantly higher than that of the other guys – 45% or so vs 33%-37% for the others.

              Over a full season or two, you’d probably be right. But so far during the 2nd ARam era, ARam is winning on that count. There may be other arguments for not having ARam at 3b, such as defense, but the one you cited in that paragraph does not apply at present.

              I believe the guy simply changes his tactics with RISP. That’s why he can hit a sac fly with regularity when guys like Walker and Marte seem to fail repeatedly.

              • Kang has roughly half as many at bats hitting 4th as Ramirez. So if we double the at bats, and double the RBIs, Kang sits at 2 more RBIs,

                Along with a better average, wRC+, OBP, etc etc. RBIs arent the end all of hitting, and A Ram isnt all that much better than Kang. He also GIDP at a not fun rate, and is just a bad hitter overall. A Ram doesnt produce RBIs at a rate unseen by others. So yes, imma use the others are better because they are. Kang would have similar RBI totals with better every other stat.

                Same with Marte, slightly more at bats at 4 than Ramirez, slighly more RBIs. But better at nearly any other stat hitting 4th. A Ram is mis used at the 4.

                • ARam is at 121 PAs, Kang at 78. ARam has 19 RBI, Kang has 12. With 121 PAs, Kang would have 18.6, so round that to 19.

                  Just so we’re both using the same baseline stats:
                  http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=0&season=2015&month=51&season1=2015&ind=0&team=27,to&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

                  Meantime, Kang has also increased his RBI production with ARam in the lineup, acquiring 37.5% of his RBI in just 31% of his PAs.

                  I’m not making a case to throw out advanced stats. I’m making a case that there very well could be things related to lineup construction (and hitting with RISP) that are not yet defined/explained by advanced stats.

                  • Which would mean you are heading toward arguing hitting well with RISP is an ability a player can control, which makes the high variance in that stat year to year odd.

                    Lineup construction is not something to ignore, but there isnt really anything to suggest that A Ram is a better hitter with runners on than Kang, and a ton to suggest Kang is a better overall hitter. Thus, give me the better overall hitter that already seems to enjoy hitting with runners on. Put A Ram 6th if you have to.

                    • To date I haven’t seen much of anything interesting about lineup construction other than a change in philosophy about hitting your best guy 2nd instead of 3rd.

                      If I had a database and time to do so, I’d take a look at various the efficiency/productivity of various lineup constructs specific to individual players (e.g Miggy with VMart behind him vs not). I think there could be some interesting finds there. I could also be wrong, but until such time as I see something that establishes lineup construction as fairly random except for your best hitter in some anchor spot, I’m going to continue to think there’s something to it.

                • What ever happened to just plain respecting others opinions. Arguments to me are just a waste of time. As long as the Bucs keep winning I don’t care, and will support whoever is in a pirates uniform regardless of how I feel about the numbers. Let’s just keep winning!

                  • I certainly can respect an opinion so long as i feel its coming from a place of solid backing. Disagreement is fine, even good. I dont really respect some arguments i feel use silly reasons to justify it.

                    Here, i can see value with people thinking he is “clutch” or good with runners on. I dont agree, but meh. I dont agree that he’s best suited for the 4 hole. Its possible to respect an opinion while vehemently disagreeing.

                    • Using the words dumb, stupid, and silly in your posts attacking other opinions goes beyond respectful disagreement. You have a habit of using these words when your arguments are systematically destroyed. It has become very predictable.

  2. That’s surprising about the newspaper coverage of the 1880 Allegheny’s because Bob Smizik was the beat writer for the team.

    • {rimshot.wav}

      I’m somewhat concerned about the Brewers series. It’s not just Nelson, who’s 3-1. At least Bucs have scored on Nelson in a couple of game. Jungmann has had two 7 IP/0 ER starts vs Bucs this season and has probably overtaken Syndegaard as top NL rookie pitcher.

      • I concur, I feel like Jungmann and Nelson have owned the Bucs this year. The Bucs really need to start off on the right foot tonight.

Comments are closed.