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