A quick recap for each of the two All-Star games last night, plus a brief look at the playoff situation for all eight of the affiliates. Six Pittsburgh Pirates saw action between the Triple-A and Eastern League All-Star games last night.
In the Triple-A All-Star game on Wednesday night, both Steven Brault and Christopher Bostick saw action for the International League. Brault was the second pitcher out for the IL, taking the third inning. He threw a scoreless frame, allowing just one runner on a single. He threw 21 pitches (13 strikes) and all three of his outs were on ground outs.
Bostick started the game in right field and batted seventh. He struck out swinging in the second inning, flew out to right field in the fourth, then walked in the sixth inning. Bostick finished his day by lining out to left field in the eighth inning.
The IL lost the game and Drew Hutchison didn’t attend the festivities due to starting today’s game in Indianapolis.
In the Eastern League All-Star game, the good guys lost 7-1. Wyatt Mathisen started for the Western Division, batting eighth. He went 0-for-2 and was replaced in the bottom of the fifth without handling any plays over at third base. He grounded out in both at-bats.
Edwin Espinal came into the game at first base at the same time Mathisen left. Espinal also went 0-for-2, striking out and popping out to first base. He wasn’t that busy in the field (for a first baseman) with four putouts.
Alex McRae pitched the fifth and gave up two singles in his scoreless inning. He threw 17 pitches, with nine going for strikes. McRae held a 1-0 lead at the time. The Eastern team actually scored all seven of their runs in the sixth inning.
Montana DuRapau came in during the top of the ninth and retired the only batter he faced on a strikeout, throwing four pitches.
Jordan Luplow (promoted) and Kevin Kramer (injured) were also selected for the game and did not play.
* It’s a little too early to add the Playoff Push section back, but it’s not too early to give updates on all of the teams. Once the Playoff Push section is added back to the Morning Report in a couple weeks, it will track the playoff hopes for all eight affiliates and even the Pirates. So here is a quick rundown for all nine teams.
Pirates trail in the division by seven games and in the wild card race by nine games. Yes, the second wild card team is two games better than first place Milwaukee.
Indianapolis leads their division by 3.5 games. Their season (along with Altoona and West Virginia) ends on September 4th.
Altoona is tied for their division lead, where the top two teams make the playoffs, so they actually have a one game lead for a playoff spot.
Bradenton ends their season September 3rd. They are 2.5 games back of first place.
West Virginia is in sixth place, 3.5 games back.
Morgantown ends their season on September 5th. They have a two-game lead over three teams tied for second place.
Bristol is eight games back and their season ends on August 31st.
GCL Pirates are 6.5 back and their season ends September 2nd.
DSL Pirates are two games out and they wrap up on August 26th.
As you can see, three teams are in first place and three others are within 3.5 games of first. Bristol has a lot of work to do and the GCL Pirates are pretty far back already for a team that started their season last among all of the affiliates.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
The Pirates are off until Friday.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates are on the All-Star break until Friday when they open a series at home against the St Louis Cardinals. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the series opener.
In the minors, Indianapolis and Altoona return to action tonight after their All-Star break ended. Drew Hutchison will be on the mound for Indianapolis and JT Brubaker starts for Altoona, looking to get back on track after some rough recent starts. Taylor Hearn ranks third in the Florida State League with 96 strikeouts, just three behind the league leader. Hearn was tied for the strikeout lead following his last start. Oddy Nunez has the ninth best WHIP (1.05) in the South Atlantic League, one spot and one point ahead of teammate Eduardo Vera. Morgantown had Sergio Cubilete and Scooter Hightower listed for yesterday at various times, and then Ike Schlabach ended up starting. Tonight says Stephan Meyer, so we will see how that works out. The GCL starter is scheduled to be Roger Santana.
MLB: Pittsburgh (42-47) vs Cardinals (43-45) 7:05 PM 7/14
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (4.43 ERA, 27:94 BB/SO, 107.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (50-39) vs Louisville (35-54) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Drew Hutchison (3.65 ERA, 34:77 BB/SO, 93.2 IP)
AA: Altoona (46-41) vs Bowie (47-42) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (5.22 ERA, 21:63 BB/SO, 70.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (48-37) @ Clearwater (48-40) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Taylor Hearn (4.35 ERA, 37:96 BB/SO, 82.2 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (38-47) vs Augusta (32-52) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Oddy Nunez (3.01 ERA, 20:61 BB/SO, 68.2 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (14-8) @ Hudson Valley (7-14) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Stephan Meyer (4.35 ERA, 6:14 BB/SO, 20.2 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (6-14) @ Johnson City (8-12) 7:00 PM
GCL: Pirates (4-11) vs Tigers East (3-9) 12:00 PM
DSL: Pirates (20-14) vs Rangers1 (21-13) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is Eric Wood, hitting his 11th home run of the season, a two-run bomb to straightaway center fielder
7/12: Luis Escobar activated from temporary inactive list. Nick King assigned to Morgantown.
7/11: Hector Garcia assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.
7/10: Starling Marte assigned to Bradenton on rehab.
7/8: Antonio Bastardo designated for assignment. Phil Gosselin recalled from Indianapolis.
7/8: Dan Runzler activated from disabled list. Justin Maffei assigned to Altoona from Indianapolis.
7/8: Luis Escobar placed on temporary inactive list. Nick King assigned to West Virginia.
7/8: Cody Dickson placed on disabled list.
7/6: Pirates recall A.J. Schugel. Elias Diaz optioned to Indianapolis
7/6: Gift Ngoepe activated from disabled list.
7/6: Pirates release Jared Lakind
7/5: Hunter Owen assigned to West Virginia. Nick King assigned to Morgantown.
7/5: Adonis Pichardo assigned to Bristol from GCL Pirates.
7/4. Stephen Alemais assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.
7/4: Starling Marte assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
7/4: Gift Ngoepe assigned to Morgantown on rehab.
7/4: Yeudy Garcia activated from disabled list. Casey Sadler assigned to Altoona from Indianapolis.
7/4: Pirates release Buddy Borden.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including one who played eight seasons for the Pirates. We start with third baseman Lee Handley, who played for the Pirates from 1937 until 1941, then again from 1944 until 1946. Usually when you see a gap for a player during the early 1940’s, it’s due to military service, but Handley actually injured his arm during an off-season automobile accident and spent those two years in the minors. During his time in Pittsburgh, he hit .269 over 843 games and played solid defense.
As for the other six former players born on this date, we have 2011 outfielder Ryan Ludwick, 1997 relief pitcher Clint Sodowsky, first baseman Rich Aude (1993, 1995-96), lefty pitcher Frank Bork (1964) and 1899 second baseman John O’Brien, who was one of the players going to Louisville in the famous Honus Wagner trade. We also have Jiggs Donahue, who caught for the 1900-01 Pirates. He has an interesting note to his career that you may have never seen in a Major League game, depending on how old you are. Donahue was a lefty catcher, one of four in team history.
On this date in 1958, the Pirates swept a doubleheader in St Louis, winning 10-8 and 8-6 over the Cardinals. The interesting note about this doubleheader is that Vern Law saved the first game, then won the second game by throwing five shutout innings. He only faced one batter in the first game, but Curt Flood represented the winning run and Law was able to get him to ground out to Bill Mazeroski to end the game. Mazeroski had six hits on the day.