Last week we started a new series that will be ten parts, looking at the top Game Scores from minor league starting pitchers for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first article looked at the best from the Indianapolis Indians. That was followed by the Altoona Curve on Tuesday and the Bradenton Marauders on Wednesday. Thursday was the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
We picked the series back up on Monday with the short-season teams, starting with Morgantown. Next was a look at the Bristol Pirates, followed by the GCL Pirates. The DSL teams will finish off the series, with the DSL Pirates1 going yesterday and the Pirates2 today. I decided to split up the two DSL squads because the Dominican Summer League teams only play clubs in their own division during the season, so the two Pirates clubs were facing completely different competition, though the same level of play.
Bill James developed the Game Score for pitchers, which you will see in the boxscores on MiLB. It starts with a base of 50 points and awards points for good pitching (strikeouts, recording outs and pitching late in games), while subtracting points for things such as walks, hits, earned runs and unearned runs.
Below you will find the ten best Game Scores for the 2019 DSL Pirates2, with a brief description of each game. With tie scores, I just listed them alphabetical, and if it was a tie between multiple starts for the same pitcher, I went in chronological order.
- Sergio Umana (69) – Umana has the two highest Game Scores for the Pirates2 and both were worth 69 points. This game followed his worst start of the season and it set off three straight starts consisting of five shutout innings. In this game he allowed two hits, with no walks and six strikeouts.
- Sergio Umana (69) – The second game occurred on August 13th in his next-to-last start of the season. He tossed six shutout innings, giving up four hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.
- Felipe Mezquita (67) – Mezquita had one standout start, with his 67 points on July 8th being 11 points ahead of his second best performance. He had major control issues all year and they also showed up in this game as well. Mezquita went five shutout innings on one hit, three walks and five strikeouts.
- Jorge Ramos (67) – Ramos made it here three times. The best game was his start on July 1st and he picked up his first win as a pro with five shutout innings. He gave up two hits and two walks, while setting a career high with six strikeouts.
- Sergio Umana (67) – Not only did Umana have the two best games for this team, his third best game was tied for the third best game all season. He started the DSL All-Star game thanks to these performances. This outing was his season debut and he went five shutout innings on four hits, one walk and a career best nine strikeouts.
- Carlos Jimenez (65) – The best game of the season from Jimenez was his only decision in ten starts. He won this game by going five shutout innings on three hits, one walk and five strikeouts. This game happened on June 13th, 31 days before his 17th birthday.
- Wandi Montout (64) – Montout was a July 2nd signing, who began his career right away. Approximately 99% of July 2nd signings begin playing pro games the following season. Montout began as a reliever, then moved to the starting role late. His best outing was five shutout innings on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He faced just one batter over the minimum.
- Jorge Ramos (64) – The second best game from Ramos came in his final outing. He was far from perfect during his five shutout frames, allowing two hits and three walks. Ramos struck out four batters. It was his fourth shutout performance of the season.
- Jorge Ramos (63) – The third best Ramos performance came mid-season when he allowed three hits over five shutout innings. He walked two and picked up four strikeouts.
- Sergio Umana (63) – Umana appears in the top ten four times, with this outing being his shortest. On August 6th he threw four shutout innings on two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. As a side note, he had back-to-back mid-season starts with three walks each. He ended up walking eight batters all season.
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THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
By John Dreker
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date and two Opening Days of note.
Ryan Reid, pitcher for the 2013 Pirates. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 and it took him seven seasons to make the majors. The Pirates signed him as a minor league free agent during the 2012-13 off-season. Reid made his big league debut on June 3, 2013 and pitched his final big league game on July 4th, 31 days later. In seven relief appearances, he allowed two runs over 11 innings. The Pirates lost him via waivers to the New York Mets after the season. Reid played minor league ball until retiring in 2016.
Bob Beall, pinch-hitter for the 1980 Pirates. He was a 28th round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970. Beall made his Major League debut with the 1975 Atlanta Braves, hitting .226 in 20 games. He spent each of the next two seasons at Triple-A for the Braves before returning to the majors in 1978. He showed amazing plate patience, walking over 130 times during four of his seasons in the minors from 1972 until 1977. In his only full season in the majors (1978), Beall hit .243 with 16 RBIs and a .368 OBP in 108 games. He started the 1979 season with the Braves, but was sent down after going 0-for-9 in his first 12 games. He was in the minors when the Pirates acquired him in a trade on July 16, 1980 in exchange for minor league second baseman Jerry McDonald. Beall was a September call-up for the Pirates, batting three times over the last 31 games without collecting a hit. He spent all of 1981 at Triple-A, in what would be his last season of pro ball.
Dixie Howell, catcher for the 1947 Pirates. He was originally signed as an amateur free agent in 1938 by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but didn’t make his big league debut until 1947 with the Pirates. Howell missed the 1944-45 seasons while serving in the military during WWII. He returned in 1946 and hit .295 in 84 games for the Montreal Royals of the International League. The Pirates acquired Howell, along with four other players from the Dodgers on May 3, 1947, in exchange for Al Gionfriddo and at least $100,000 in cash. Howell hit .276 with 25 RBIs in 76 games for the Pirates during that 1947 season. On January 15, 1948 he was traded to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to complete an earlier deal for highly touted pitcher Bob Chesnes. Howell would end up playing another 264 games in the majors over parts of seven seasons. He finished his career in the minors in 1958 with the Dodgers.
Pete Falsey, star player at Yale, who played three games for the 1914 Pirates. The Pirates signed Falsey on July 9, 1914. He made his Major League debut right out of college, pinch-hitting in the second game of a doubleheader on July 16, 1914. Jeff Pfeffer, who would later finish his career with the 1924 Pirates, struck him out. That turned out to be Falsey’s only big league at bat. The only note in the local paper about his appearance was possibly in jest, saying that “He stands nice at the plate”. He was used just two more times, both as a pinch-runner, before being released by the Pirates in early September. It was said that he failed to show sufficient big league stuff. Falsey played briefly for Albany of the New York State League in 1916 and later played semi-pro ball in Philadelphia.
Jim Field, first baseman for the 1885 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He began his Major League career with the Columbus Buckeyes of the American Association in 1883, hitting .258 in 75 games. The next year he hit just .233 in 104 games, but he was able to score 74 runs. Field was one of nine players the Alleghenys purchased from the Buckeyes on October 30, 1884. The Columbus team folded and sold off all of their players to Pittsburgh, as the American Association went from 12 teams down to eight. Field hit .239 in 56 games for the Alleghenys, before finishing the season with the Baltimore Orioles. He went to the minors leagues in 1886, where he spent 15 more seasons as a player, coming back to the majors for only 52 games in 1890, and another five in 1898.
1919: The Pirates opened up in Chicago against the Cubs after a long layoff between games. The 1918 season was ended early due to the war, wrapping up on September 2nd. On April 24, 1919, Wilbur Cooper was on the mound on a very cold Chicago day and he took a 5-1 loss, with all the runs against him coming in the second inning. The Pirates lineup on that day, which had three future Hall of Famers in a row in the 2-4 spots, was as follows:
Howdy Caton, SS
Max Carey, CF
Casey Stengel, RF
Billy Southworth, LF
George Cutshaw, 2B
Tony Boeckel, 3B
Fritz Mollwitz, 1B
Walter Schmidt, C
Wilbur Cooper, P
1889: The Alleghenys opened their season at home against the Chicago White Stockings with an 8-5 win in front of 4,000 fans. Pud Galvin went the distance for Pittsburgh and was hit hard, plus he had some poor fielding behind him, but he held on for the win. Chicago took a 3-0 lead early before the Alleghenys tied it in the sixth. Chicago came back and scored two in the bottom of the inning (the home team did not always bat lead-off back before a rule changed that practice). Pittsburgh came back with five runs in the seventh and the game ended without another run. The Alleghenys lineup that day was:
Billy Sunday, RF
Ned Hanlon, CF
Jake Beckley, 1B
Fred Dunlap, 2B
Fred Carroll, LF
Doggie Miller, C
Bill Kuehne, 3B
Pop Smith, SS
Pud Galvin, P
Pittsburgh had a crazy schedule that season to open the year. They had eight home games, followed by 22 straight games on the road. They returned for a homestand against the Indianapolis Hoosiers that turned into just one game due to cancellations. They then played another ten straight on the road. That means between May 2 and June 19, they played just one home game.