Trevor Williams Continues Getting Strikeouts, But Offense Doesn’t Show Up in Pirates Loss

PITTSBURGH — Trevor Williams continued his run of impressive strikeout performances, punching out six Milwaukee Brewers in the Pirates’ 1-0 loss on Tuesday.

Williams got all six strikeouts via swinging strikes and only allowed three hits over his five innings. The lone run he gave up was when a Domingo Santana fly ball barely cleared the wall in the short corner of left field in the fourth inning.

“The game plan we had going in, we were going to attack the bottom of the zone,” Williams said. “We did a great job of doing that. Diaz and I are getting better together. I think this is our fifth or sixth start now together. Stuff is rolling and we’re on the same page. It was good tonight to get ahead of hitters.”

The Pirates offense came up with a second straight blank, meaning that Williams’ lone mistake — if it could even be considered a mistake — was the difference maker.

“Unfortunately, it was the front-row homer that it for them tonight,” Williams said. “Sometimes, that’s just baseball.”

Williams now has 111 strikeouts on the season, which is good enough for fourth amongst NL rookies. He didn’t come up with a reputation of being a strikeout pitcher, but he’s developed into one in the majors, particularly against left-handed hitters.

“Today, it was the sliders to the lefties,” he said. “They ran out six or seven lefties. So, once that got going, they were swinging over it and when I’m pounding the bottom of the zone with fastballs to both sides of the plate, it opens up the slider underneath. It’s been really noticeable my past few starts. It’s just fine-tuning some things and honing in on my craft that can hopefully carry over for the rest of the year.”

Here’s more from Williams on his sudden surge in strikeouts.

HE SAID IT

“There’s no one happy in there. So you keep them fresh for the next day. Feel what you need to feel. There’s should be some angst — and there is. Then we have to figure out tomorrow, when we walk through those clubhouse doors, how to beat someone’s backside tomorrow.” — Hurdle on the Pirates’ seven-game losing streak.

GAME IN GRAPHS

The Pirates didn’t hit a single ball that traveled 300 feet against Anderson and managed just four that left the barrel of the bat at more than 90 MPH.

QUICK HITS


***The Pirates current seven-game losing streak includes just nine runs as the light seems to have gone out for the Pirates’ offense. It’s left the clubhouse short on good feeling despite the number of young player getting playing time.

“It’s tough,” said Adam Frazier, who finished 1 for 4. T”hat’s baseball, though, so. You’ve just got to keep doing it. We’ve got another game tomorrow, so you just come up and try to put together a big hit when we need it. I think that’s what it’s been the past few games. We just haven’t been able to get that hit to get the offense rolling.”

***Starling Marte was the lone bright spot for the offense. Marte went 2 for 4, with a shot through a hole to right field and a bunt single. He also stole two bases. Hurdle said “it was good to get him back in there.” Marte had been out with shoulder and finger injuries since last Wednesday, when he hurt himself sliding into second base.

***Catcher Elias Diaz caught Ryan Braun attempting to steal second base in the sixth inning. He’s now thrown out 6 of 22 (27 percent) attempted base-stealers this season. He threw out 46 percent with Triple-A Indianapolis.

  • I think the goal to our management going forward will be to reduce payroll. I believe next year we may have the lowest payroll in the league after we dump Cutch, Cole and Harrison and replace them with first and second year players. So I am guessing we can celebrate that we get more bang for our few Bucs then any team in the league.

  • I have the perfect nickname for the Pirates this year, THE SAWDUST COMPANY> Pass it on.

  • Next year, the Pirates return to 1985.

  • 6th inning said it all, 2nd and 3rd with no outs, 3-4-5 coming up and ended with 0 runs.

  • This run is oh-so 2010…

  • The league must’ve given the Pirates all of the softer baseballs left over from last year — or this management team bought them at a discount to save a buck. That’s my theory why the Pirates can’t seem to hit dingers in an otherwise league-wide record setting year for dingers.

    • Except that the teams playing against us haven’t had a problem belting them against our pitching. Sad part here is we act like our pitching is decent when in reality we don’t have one starting pitcher with an ERA under four and we have a couple with ERAs north of 5. This is a bad team and we are bad in all phases. Even if everything sent perfect next year I would argue we could maybe get to 85 wins. If everything goes south next year I think we are looking easily at 100 losses

  • The Pirates have only won 5 games since the Nicasio give away.

    • And I am sure that Nicasio would have provided the offense that is missing!

      • Normally, I’m the one making this type of snide remark.

        But it seems the team totally quit after they let him go.

        • They actually ‘quit’ before that by being swept by the Cubs. You have the events out of order. Nicasio was let go BECAUSE the team had already failed to make any progress toward a playoff position. I think you are confused if you think it was the other way around.

          • The day that it became public knowledge that Nicasio was on waivers was August 29. That was game 2 of that Chicago series in which they were swept.

            • So the team was battling hard for the 5-9 record in the 14 games prior to Aug 29th? You have no facts to back up your position. Quit or not – they were not making the playoffs at that point which is why NH was trying to get Nicasio to a playoff team. The Pirates best chance for re-signing Nicasio was not to continue to tie him down to a losing team (the Pirates) but to waive him in hopes he would get to a AL playoff team. He is a free agent at the end of the year so expecting to get a return after the trade deadline is unreasonable. No GM is baseball could have got that done under the rules that constrain trades after July 31st.

              • Never did I say the that team was battling hard before his release. I stated the record (which is a fact) after his release. You drew your own conclusions, and then responded to Bob with “alternative facts” about the Pirates putting him on waivers AFTER they were swept by the Cub. (basically agreeing with what Bob had said while attempting to argue with him) I again stated a fact that he was actually put on waivers before the second game of the Cubs series…the series that you cited as above as being when they quit. Nacasio by all accounts didn’t want to be placed on waivers. The Pirate players obviously didn’t want him to be put on waivers. Look up Jordy Mercer’s “it stinks” comments, if you aren’t aware of them already. I’m done here. The last word is your’s and I suspect you’ll take it. 🙂

      • Players have definitely been known to pack it in when the season is over, especially if the players are disgruntled about what’s going on with the team. I don’t know that this is the issue, but I have my suspicions that it is at least part of the issue.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 20, 2017 9:37 am

    The Pirates are a lot closer to being last than first in this division – and that includes projecting into 2018. Their lineup does not measure up to Cubs, Brewers, or Reds – and is just comparable to the Cards. The difference is that the Cards will spend money to improve their lineup in 2018, the Pirates won’t. The Reds just need to play the Pirates 162 times and they would clinch the division by the all-star game next year – their pitching is atrocious, except against the Pirates.

    The only way the Pirates compete next year is for the other teams to fall back some, and the likes of Polanco, Cole, Glasnow, and Marte live up to expectations – and if Kang returns and is the same hitter as he was in 2015 and 2016….and if the FO does the right thing and sheds the dead weight called Stewart, Jaso, SRod, and Hudson – possibly Nova as well. But, I have my doubts….and for good reasons.

    • In other words, if everything goes right for the Pirates, they can compete in 2018. Yes I agree. That’s their plan. Everyone who thinks everything will go right for them next year, raise your hand!

    • Is almost time to stop thinking that Polanco is gonna be a good player.

  • “The Pirates current seven-game losing streak includes just nine runs as the light seems to have gone out for the Pirates’ offense.”
    What offence…..their 13 out of 15 teams. 13 out of 15 in HR’s. This is a team in need of some serious hitters. With their young pitching, just being middle of the pack would probably ad 12-15 wins. In a year that claimed the all time HR record, shows the Pirates as having less that 150 HR’s.

  • Is that 60 innings without a lead? This Front Office should be ashamed.

  • I have to admit, Trevor Williams has been the lone bright spot for me this season.

    • I think Bell has been a bright spot as well. Solid rookie season with room for improvement.

    • Wife and I went down last night as there was no market for selling the tix. Nice night. Williams was really the only reason to go. Don’t know if he’ll get more efficient with experience, but he does have that slow pulse thing going for him. Traffic doesn’t upset him.

      If he could figure out how to regularly get into 7th in under 100 pitches, he’d be a very good #4, IMO. If either TW or CK has to go to pen, I’d prefer it be Kuhl.

  • In order to have a dominant pitching staff, you have to have superior defense. The two tie together, since pitchers always get blamed for most miscues in the field. Right now, the Pirates seem to be ignoring that as an evaluation factor.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      September 20, 2017 9:40 am

      Thank you – been saying that for 2-3 years now….the FO doesn’t appear to have identified a vision of how they should build their team to fit PNC Park….and overall team defense is a reflection of the lack of that vision and philosophy….especially in the infield and behind the plate….

      • If a player stinks at any positon we label them a utility player and let them stink at all positions

    • Check the latest article on PP. Pirates have 2 out of 8 golden gloves for position players in the entire MLB minor leagues. Guess those were ‘mistakes’ or ‘dumb luck’?

  • If the Pirates are going to be successful the next few years, they will need to build a dominant pitching staff. The offense won’t always be this weak, but I expect the offense to be in the lower half of the league going forward. Assuming Cutch is traded, the only player with above average potential is Bell, maybe Meadows in a few years.

    • I think the Pirates have the talent right now to be in the top half of the league instead of No. 28 out of 30 MLB teams in batting average and OPS. The talent is being wasted.

      Then again, a bright note is that the Pirates have now played themselves down to the #7 overall pick in the Draft.

      • The reds have been ripping 6 is possible but Mets at 5 will be tough

      • I wish I had your ability to see something that isn’t there. Every game, the Pirates are proving your wrong. You can’t drink this team pretty.

      • Who are these talented players you speak of? The Pirates have earned the 28th spot. Our best hitters are our worst fielders. Its a really bad combination and I can’t see how it gets better without a major overhaul.

        • Sometimes when a team seems to be tanking, you can wait for next year or send a strong message by either firing the players or firing the Manager. We are too thin to do the former and too stupid to do the latter. The Hitting Coaches will pay for this.

          Some of the players who were strong last year are duds this year and toss in the loss of Marte and Kang. NH goes out and gets us Bostick and Gosselin. The message that we want to win is not getting top billing, and the former leaders who were temps at best over the off-season like ‘Cutch and Cole find it difficult to be leaders when the moving van is still parked in the front yard.

          • I agree with your overall statement but really other than Marte and Kang there really isn’t much to get excited about moving forward. Also its hard for me to believe a year off from baseball wlll not hinder Kang. This team is really lacking in superstars. Marte is a really good lead off hitter but we have no middle of the line up guys. No player that strikes fear in the other team. No one that anyone pitches around.The reality is there is nothing coming that will change that. I would love to believe Meadows will be a star but I certainly will not count on it. Cutch will be gone next year it I would be shocked if we received any major league talent in the return. This team is in trouble and its a lot closer to the bottom then the even the top 5

      • At some point I expect them to start playing better in the last couple of weeks so they may not hold that #7 slot.

      • Tony Sanchez will probably be there for the taking.

    • Completely agree with you. We also need to revamp our bullpen. The only lock that I see is Rivero. What’s sad is that we don’t have a sub 4 ERA or winning record among our starters. Would love to see the Pirates go after a true stud SP pitcher, not reclamation! Lance Lynn and Arrieta could be available…those are my pipe dreams.

      • Pirates don’t have the money to pay Arrieta and Lance Lynn is not a stud. I’m not sure he would be an upgrade over the Pirates current starters, assuming the young guys continue their development.

        • Lance Lynn is 72-47 life-time with a 3.38 ERA. Pretty sure that trumps every pitcher that we have. FYI, Gerrit Cole 59-41, 3.49 ERA life-time. Also, I did say it was a pipe dream.

    • ….and that’s what happens when you draft no one offensively that has a chance to be a top offensive threat….middle of the road, safe high floor players are only useful to augment a team with a few stars or a great pitching staff. ……we don’t have that

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