Pirates Discussion: Braves Come to Town For Three

Sunday was a battle between two starters with elevated ERA’s.

Zach Thompson was able to complete five innings for the first time since July 28th. Along the way he gave up eight hits, walked three, and struck out five while giving up three earned runs. The three Cincinnati Reds’ runs were scored from a Jake Fraley solo homerun — his second HR in as many games — to lead off the game and then a Mike Moustakas 2-run homerun in the third.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a lead momentarily after they were able to jump on Mike Minor quickly in the bottom of the first. With one out in the first, Ben Gamel got things going with an RBI single to score Bryan Reynolds, and then Rodolfo Castro hit a RBI double to left field to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead after one inning.

The Pirates maintained their lead for an inning before Moustakas hit his two-run homerun in the third inning. That stuck Thompson with the loss as the Pirates weren’t able to mount a comeback with their bullpen having a rough day.

Manny Banuelos pitched the sixth inning and gave up four earned runs. In the bottom of the inning the offense would manage to get three runs back with a two-run double from Tucupita Marcano, followed by a Jason Delay RBI single.

Colin Holderman pitched a clean seventh inning before getting the customary second inning for relievers that didn’t go well. Holderman got the first batter to pop out, but then each of the next three batters would reach on a walk, hit by pitch, and then RBI single. Cam Vieaux — recently recalled back up to Pittsburgh — replaced Holderman and would let one inherited runner score before completing the inning with the Pirates now down 9-5. The offense wasn’t able to threaten the final two innings and fall to 47-74 on the season. Two games behind the Reds for last place in the NL Central.

Rodolfo Castro had another strong game going 2-for-4 with his RBI double. He brought his season average up to .246 and his .718 OPS gives manager Derek Shelton the ability to start THREE  hitters with an OPS north of .700.

Braves @ Pirates

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (3-3, 4.02)

Braves Starter: Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.15)

Contreras Notes: Roansy Contreras will be making his 11th MLB start of the season. There was a little over a month in between the two but Contreras has pitched six innings in each of his last two MLB starts. The final stretch of the season will be about gaining experience and maintaining health for Contreras.

LINEUPS

Pirates

Braves

1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (R) RF
2. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
3. Austin Riley (R) 3B
4. Matt Olson (L) 1B
5. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C
6. Eddie Rosario (L) DH
7. Vaughn Grissom (R) 2B
8. Michael Harris II (L) CF
9. Robbie Grossman (S) LF

Pirates Discussion
Subscribe
Notify of
89 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
emjayinTN

Cruz, Castro, Contreras – nice sound to that!

Nice article by delos Santos on the Pirate page dealing with Cruz and the fact that the speed of the game and the pitching at MLB cannot be replicated at AAA. Been saying that for months, and wondering why we have Mitchell, Suwinski, Martin, and Swaggerty at AAA?

DFA Allen, VanMeter, Gamel – no future. If not selected send them to AAA. Return Madris to AAA.

DFA Newman and Chavis – playoff qualified if selected by Aug 31 – a chance for 2 veterans to get picked up. Cannot see either in future plans.

Anthony

No one is saying these things can be replicated at AAA, that’s why it’s AAA. Contreras excluded, these guys are floundering, and it’s starting to look pathetic. None of the players you mentioned have shown to be above average players over an extended period of time in AA and AAA. A couple hundred at bats or a hot streak over a month or two isn’t going to cut it with these kids. This was never an issue with McCuthcen, Walker, or Marte. They all had sufficient develop time in the upper levels, effectively hit the ground running upon their promotions and made the necessary adjustment in MLB to get better.

Catch_22

These guys think that since we’re going through a rebuild the importance of development in the minors leagues doesn’t matter.

NMR

And while obviously the consistent quality of arms can’t be replicated, Cruz absolutely would be seeing the kind of pitching he can still learn from. Watch him at AAA and none of his big league performance would be a surprise. These were the exact pitches he was struggling with there.

The difference is there were enough shitty pitches from shitty pitchers to make the stats look good.

Catch_22

He’s so damn overzealous in his approach. Odorizzi had Cruz in a 2 strike count, threw back to back change pieces low and out of the zone. Cruz spit on the first one and was guessing fastball on the next pitch and bam, change low and out of the zone for a chase and strikeout.

I’m convinced that he has no plan whatsoever and is guessing on every pitch.

NMR

No argument from me, my friend.

1979andCounting

I don’t know if the Braves can win the WS with Jansen as their closer. Can he have the great command he had tonite, with that slow motion balancing act of a delivery? Smh.

PirateRican21

Lower it!

ironmike56

That Marcano at bat highlights a couple of his recurring issues. One a strength and the other a weakness. He shows great pitch recognition and awareness by laying off three close pitches to get to three and one. Then with the count in his favor he manipulates his hands weakly to put the bat on the ball, pushing a fly ball to left. Walk called it a stop-start swing. I noticed he does it frequently at all levels. Some analysts keep citing it as problem holding back his potential.

PirateRican21

He is not gonna be a star, but this is a 22 year old rookie, one that makes contact and able to averagely play the infield and outfield and is an above average runner. In a situation where is late in the game with runners on base and we need a lousy hit to win it, I take him above just any other rookie we currently have on the team to come through!

AdministrativeSky236

I definitely feel like he should be a candidate to put on 10-15 lbs in the offseason as im sure he can still stay quick while gaining some much needed strength

Catch_22

Some guys just can’t put on healthy lbs. I’m sure he’s been trying his entire professional life to get bigger and stronger

NMR

Thin wrists, narrow shoulders.

1979andCounting

BNP you certainly hit Tucu’s issues on the head a couple months ago. The question for me is how did he hit 2 HRs in his first two games and capture the twitter-universe which you so adamantly pushed back against? I gotta just chalk it up to pure adrenalin…….got no other answers.

NMR

Something to consider…

Those two dingers would’ve only cleared the fence in five big league ballparks.

One of them would’ve cleared in 14.

And in a third of the league, Tucu would currently have no home runs.

1979andCounting

IIRC both HR’s were 400-409 ft…….so they weren’t cheapies by any means.

1979andCounting

See above.

ironmike56

I left out the punchline. Marcano too often tries to make contact with a weak lay the bat on the ball swing, rather than drive the ball.

PirateRican21

Next year shopping list, Taillon on a 5/$60,, Bell 3/$30, Brad Hand 1/$6.

AdministrativeSky236

Bell is doing his classic second half big fade, Id take mancini and the rest of those happily though

Last edited 1 month ago by AdministrativeSky236
Catch_22

My God he’s been terrible for SD

PirateRican21

That’s the reason we are able to afford him!

ArkyWags

You like reruns?

PirateRican21

Heck yeah, I even watch Bob Barker era price is right on Pluto TV.

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
1979andCounting

Duane “Never have a clean inning” Underwood on in the 8th.

PirateRican21

KKkruz!

1979andCounting

Saw very few curve balls from Roansy (again). Really think he’d be getting softer EV on his other two pitches if he threw it more.

AdministrativeSky236

I do wonder if he needs to use a third pitch more often at times, though theres a spencer guy doing the two pitch thing pretty well for atlanta so i suppose it can work if the stuff/command is good enough

1979andCounting

Strider is electric. Actually too bad we’re going to miss seeing him.

PirateRican21

Says you and only you! 🙃

ArkyWags

I dunno I like to see good players on other teams. Since it’s few and far between on our team.

PirateRican21

I understand that, I just don’t like watching the team I love getting dominated. No enjoyment out of it!

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
Wilbur Miller

2 R in 7 IP against this team is damn good. If Ro ever has a major league team behind him . . . .

NMR

Big RO energy

PirateRican21

Good comeback inning for Roansy!

1979andCounting

Vogelbach with 2 run dinger, OPS up to .817. Shouldn’t we be getting a PTBNL in addition to Holderman?

PirateRican21

What the Mets did was genius, Volgebach and Ruff combo. That’s a highly productive, relatively cheap DH solution.

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
AdministrativeSky236

They can afford to have 2 guys just alternating for that one spot since the rest of their roster is so well constructed. Many teams would see a platoon with 2 guys with no position other than DH but they can make it work so kudos to them

PirateRican21

In theory we could do it too since our bench players play multiple positions, they just can’t hit!

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
NMR

Hey good news, the Pirates aren’t just hitting home runs anymore!!! 😉

NMR

Booooo rally killer!

PirateRican21

The good old days!

AdministrativeSky236

Castro reminds me of JHay solely in how he brings a real feeling of fun and energy to the team, even if just for that I really hope he plays well enough to stick or also down to have him begin a HOF career if he wants

TNBucs

After some of the criticism he’s gotten, including the phone incident going viral, I hope he knows he’s developing a fan club at Pirates Prospects.

Wilbur Miller

He gets a lot of slack from me since he gave my nephew’s kid a baseball before a Marauders game.

NMR

Swings like Starling, plays with his hair on fire like JHay.

AdministrativeSky236

Hey look its Quinn

PirateRican21

He claims to throw 5 pitches!

chappy

Impressed by his ability to articulate what he is attempting to do. More detail and circumspection than most.

1979andCounting

Dang, that almost got a little uncomfortable with Capper grilling him on his back door slider not working!! But I like putting some pressure on the kid……we HAVE expectations for him.

bucsws2014

Dang, thought Gamel was gonna be money there.

AdministrativeSky236

So naturally their LHB will all decide this is the series they push ground balls to the left side lol

chappy

Which Reynolds shows up this Series will determine how this one goes.

chappy

3 k Reynolds and we lost by a run.

Wilbur Miller

I don’t think Reynolds can do much about this series. Atl has half a dozen hitters as good as him or better, 5 SPs who are better than any of the Pirates’, half a dozen relievers who are better than any of the Pirates’ without Bednar, and a far better defense. I doubt five current Pirates could make their active roster.

PirateRican21

It will make a difference, losing 9-0 or 9-2.

1979andCounting

I like our chances tonite. Odorizzi has been terrible, according to some Braves tweets. Grissom is no Albies, he’s due regression just like all of our rookies regress after 40 ABs. Harris is going thru rookie regression too. Rosario is DHing with a .187 BA and .552 OPS. Grossman is hitting .209/.618 OPS in over 300 ABs. D’Arnaud is hitting above his weight. So Roansy and pen just need to handle 1 – 4. Let’s offer some free passes Shelty, and work around the top of their lineup.

NMR

I look forward to your Gameday comments. Somebody’s still watching the games!

You got me curious about rookies.

So for this year, rookies with at least 100 PA, by age:

22 and younger: 10 total, 4 average or better (>100 wRC+)
23: 13 total, 4 average or better
24 and older: 30 total, 19 average or better

Super rare for 22 year olds to get significant big league time, even more so for them to actually be okay at baseball.

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR
1979andCounting

Geesh, that actually supports the Pirates-way of holding down their prospects as long as possible. Although Key and Cruz were 23 as rookies, Roansy 22.

Anthony

I was looking at this the other day. Pre-BC, the Pirates let most of their top prospects season for at least +800 ABs in AA and above before promoting them to the big club. The primary exceptions being Alvarez, Polanco, and Reynolds; two of those guys came from a major college program. You can prob throw Frazier into that group as well. Nevertheless, the McCutchens, the Walkers, the Martes, etc. all had considerable ABs at AA/AAA. And, most of these guys hit the ground running upon their respective promotions, while most saw their game improve at the MLB level. Polanco being the exception as it took him a few years to adjust, then he almost immediately flamed out. My point being, these guys need more seasoning at AA/AAA. It’s great to see young ball players and hope that something will just click, but none of these guys are really ready, Cruz included. There are major holes in their game, they have almost no identities as hitters, and it shows in their confidence and ultimately the results. As NRM has remarked before, they just aren’t very good. Maybe the aggressive promotions should be at the lower minor league levels, let them get to AA quicker, and then slow things down w/r/t their development curves.

SBRO

I think we have plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest the multi-inning experiments aren’t really working. Of course it’s all a consequence of not having enough good relievers to cover the innings needed – and too many starters unable to get through even 5 innings – but that was a choice. And given Yerry and Bednar on the shelf, Yajure taking a huge step backwards, and the insistence that Oviedo stretch out rather than ply his craft at the big league level in a relief capacity so that we can limit crooked-number innings, it’s going to continue through the end of the year.

But I do love what Castro is up to, that’s giving me a smile.

TNBucs

I’m not a fan of Shelton’s managing but I can’t fault him for giving relievers two innings as in theory that should be an efficient way to use your pen–you’ve already had the guy warm up, you know he has decent stuff if he’s made it through one inning, so why not get a second inning out of him? But the results haven’t seemed to support this and that’s puzzling to me. I guess a counterargument to it not working is that De Jong has pitched 2, 4, and 2 innings his last three outings without allowing a run or even a hit.

Last edited 1 month ago by TNBucs
AdministrativeSky236

I generally agree if a guy is strong and efficient in one inning and built up for multiple then I like the idea of keeping them in, especially if they are a guy that is going to need a rest day regardless. It has really seemed to work against us this year, though I don’t know if they will find something in the data or just some small sample size wierdness

roibert.kasperski

Happy Ro Day Y’all!!!!

joesolo6181

Poor Pirates having to face a hot Atlanta team primed for the playoffs and another possible run at a championship.

ArkyWags

Anyone else glad this season is almost over?

john_fluharty

Not if some of the other guys start showing signs of life like Castro has

roibert.kasperski

Nah. I love baseball and even with ugly baseball happening here in Pittsburgh, I still love the game.

jon6er

I appreciate the players efforts to try to win but it would be nice if management would make any kind of effort to win.

TNBucs

It’s demoralizing when your GM literally says that it isn’t really about wins and losses right now. I can appreciate a game when a player clearly shows progress despite the team losing but that’s not enough to make me happy at the end of the game.

roibert.kasperski

First thought comes to mind with the Bucs playing the Braves is do they play up to the competition and give the Braves fits like they have with other top tier teams this year?

AdministrativeSky236

That would be fun! Also, I hugely envy the position that the braves are in having locked up so much young talent for reasonable rates moving forward. Sure, it could blow up with injuries or bad play, but they could also have a championship level position player core for the next 5+ years

skliesen

The Braves were vilified by fans and media for tearing down a reasonably good team while simultaneously building a new ballpark when the old one was still plenty good.

Now that the team are defending champions, play in a great ballpark located in a premier multi-use development called, “The Battery,” and has a payroll that has basically doubled over the last few years, nobody has anything negative to say about the Braves here in Atlanta.

roibert.kasperski

How many more games do they have left and how do the DSL playoffs work ?

roibert.kasperski

Thanks. Had no clue. Go Gold!!

Most Voted Comments

Menu
89
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x