Pirates Discussion: Return From the West Coast

The Pittsburgh Pirates could’ve finished the long trip on a high note but fell short due to miscues and misfortunes.

Early on the Pirates found themselves in another hole down 5-0 to the San Francisco Giants through four innings.

At that point Bryan Reynolds decided to put the team on his back. With two on and no outs in the top of the fifth, Reynolds connected on a two-run double that would finally cut into the Pirates recent hitting with RISP woes. After a Michael Chavis flyout moved Reynolds to third base, he would then come home on a Ben Gamel groundout, cutting the Giants lead to 5-3.

A couple innings later, Reynolds would find himself in a similar situation with two on and no outs after Jason Delay and Kevin Newman each reached base safely. This time he decided he would rather trot around the bases than having to run by hitting a 3-run shot  to center field, giving the Pirates a 6-5 lead. In total Reynolds would go 3-for-4 with five RBI’s and falling a triple shy of a the cycle. It was a strong performance after coming into the game 4-for-22 during the West Coast portion of the road trip.

Unfortunately for the Pirates bullpen the defense behind them didn’t appear as they had come to play.

Eric Stout entered the game in the bottom of the 7th to replace Colin Holderman after a leadoff single with a 6-5 lead. A walk sandwiched between two outs would bring up Brandon Crawford with men on first and second. Stout got Crawford to hit a ball that appeared it would be a soft flyout just behind second base, but instead dropped in over the outstretched arms of Oneil Cruz and Kevin Newman for a game tying double. Cruz looked as if he didn’t pick it up off the bat very well, and then there was a minor collision between Cruz and Newman.

Fast forward to the top of the ninth, Rodolfo Castro came up with runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Castro hit a chopper to Evan Longoria that not only would he beat out but Longoria overthrew first base, allowing Bryan Reynolds to score from second while Ben Gamel would be thrown out at home trying to also score on the play. This gave the Pirates a 7-6 lead that they would take to the bottom of the inning.

Wil Crowe was on the mound for his second inning of work to close out the game. After a leadoff single, he induced what likely should’ve been a double play groundball. Unfortunately Josh VanMeter attempted a backhanded throw from a clearly-too-far distance that didn’t afford Cruz much time to get a throw off to first so Oneil just put the ball in his pocket.

One pitch later and it was game over as Thairo Estrada put a charge into the first pitch sinker for a two-run walkoff homerun.

The loss brought the Pirates West Coast road trip record to 1-6 or 2-8 for the overall road trip including the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates will now get a much needed day off before welcoming the Boston Red Sox to town for three games.

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

I think the Pirates are right on schedule for another sub-.400 winning percentage. Limping back from the coast road trip and cries to send the prospects back to AAA.

This franchise is in total disorder, and the use of AAAA mid to upper 20’s journeymen have been the causes of the 317 and 377 winning percentages in ’20 and ’21, and have not done very much to help in ’22 either. I expected to look at the transactions page this morning and see 3 or 4 from the group that would contain VanMeter, Allen, Gamel, Madris, and Park being DFA’d. Bring Suwinski, Mitchell, Martin, and possibly a few others to MLB.

No time to piss backwards – play the kids and keep playing them. They are talented and have the time to learn.

RAS TN

Blue Jays, Yoshi Tsutsugo Close To Minor League Deal…Desperate times lead to desperate measures…Toronto has to be right up there among the most disappointing teams in AL…

TNBucs

I wish we could be so disappointing as to have the 3rd best record in our league with a 91% chance of making the playoffs.

emjayinTN

Measure our disappointment by the fact that nobody wanted any of our collection of AAAA guys at the trading deadline. St Louis wanted Q – good get for his 2 games, 12 IP, 2.25 ERA so far. Stratton – not sure they wanted him, but an experienced RP can always find a home with a contender.

Nobody wanted former first round picks Newman and Chavis! Nor did anyone want Gamel, Tsutsugo, Allen, VanMeter, Marisnick, Underwood, etc. Does this not speak volumes. Send them all packing. ‘sugo and Marisnick are gone, but there are still 6 slots on the 40 that are still being held by these guys.

robertkasperski

They did the same with Polanco after we (in my best coach Red Beaulieu voice) cut his ass too,. Ironic., Gregory went to Japan and I am sur Yoshi will follow suit after this season ends.

b mcferren

Best thing that could come out of the rest of the season is a reason to fire Shelton

emjayinTN

We do not have enough reason already? Hire the homeboy, Don Kelly, as interim through ’22 and then full time Manager with a 4 year contract about a week after the season ends.

b mcferren

Don Kelly shares just as much of the blame

2023 has Jason Kendall as manager, Jack Wilson as third base coach and infield coach, Lloyd McClendon as bench coach, Cutch as first base coach and outfield coach and Dave Kirwan as pitching coach

Last edited 1 month ago by b mcferren
bianco599

I would be all for this.

1979andCounting

Chris Woodward out in Texas. FWIW they were 6-24 in one-run games this year! That will wear on a fan base (and I guess ownership too). He had 3 + seasons as their manager. Here’s another ownership group that threw $500 mil to Seager and Semien, and did not get the desired results.

TNBucs

One thing about spending money to bring in talent is that it puts pressure on the manager to win. I feel like we’re kind of stuck right now–Cherington can’t bring in the talent we need to make it clear as to whether Shelton can win (I’m skeptical but acknowledge that he’s lacked a strong roster). But Shelton seems perfectly content with playing, and praising, the AAAA talent Cherington gives him (VanMeter, Chavis, Gamel, …). They seem like the perfect couple, both content with what the other is doing. And because Travis Williams seems to care more about clever promotions than quality baseball and Nutting seems happy to sit back and let the franchise appreciate value, what is the impetus for change?

1979andCounting

I agree, as I said on another post, there’s only 30 GM and 30 manager jobs, and they (DS and BC) are both going to put on a united front to spin that progress is being made, even if it’s only very incremental.

RAS TN

Yet…still need a quality SP and then see what happens…

forkball

Reading the comments, I think it must have been a bad road trip.

AdministrativeSky236

New article rating feature? Or did i just not notice it before lol

john_fluharty

Just noticed it myself for the first time today lol.

Tim Williams

It’s been part of the new comment system since launch.

Catch_22

Please, for the love of God send down O’neil. He’s needs refinement and getting embarrassed by the best arms on the planet is not the place. Utilize your f*cking minor league system and stop messing around with development. This is so bizarre, from saying he needs to learn left field and bringing him up when he clearly wasn’t ready. You have a generational talent and you’re going to ruin him.

1979andCounting

I went on a rant on yesterday’s game thread. I think you keep him up, just play him vs RH’s, build up his confidence again, put him on that virtual machine to help him identify LH ball release and spin and pitch recognition. Then give him “some select LH” AB’s in September. Baby steps. Then play Dominican Winter ball too.

skliesen

Ruin him? Despite his struggles, he’s easily been one of the most productive hitters since arriving. It would send a horrible message to him and the other players in the organization if they demoted him at this point in time. He needs to be coached up and have his ego stroked. Sending him down could set him back further than allowing him to continue to struggle with MLB quality breaking balls ever will. Do you not remember how he fared in Indy after being unfairly demoted after ST?

emjayinTN

Cruz has struggled with K’s (about 6 K’s for every BB), but is hitting a HR every 18 AB’s, and last I looked was fielding at a .975 percentage. BR has him at a 0.9 WAR.

People tend to forget how Newman started the season at SS – 4 errors and a low 900’s fielding percentage. BR has him at a 0.7 WAR, and he is in his 4th year in MLB.

NMR

cherry-picked bWAR because it uses the absurd DRS fielding metric that is wildly different than UZR and OAA.

Catch_22

Give me a flipping break, Scott. He’s striking out damn near 40% of the time, he can’t hit big league pitching right now…he’s not ready.

Unfairly demoted my ass. This dumb narrative you guys have built is complete and utter bullshit.

skliesen

Agree to disagree. Prospects struggle all the time. They need to be given a chance to play through the development pain, not made to feel like a failure at first sign of adversity.

NMR

Calling what Catch is suggesting a “failure” is purely a matter of perspective. If you can’t treat Cruz like an adult then he doesn’t have the mental fortitude to succeed in the big leagues.

Why in the world are you, of all people, all the sudden hellbent on babying these guys?

skliesen

You call it babying him, I call it supporting and encouraging him.

NMR

I wanna call you a lib so bad.  😂 

NMR

I cannot possibly fathom how a prospect could better justify needing more minor league development than the complete cluster*ck that Oneil Cruz was for the first two months of the season.

The Huntington Era saw fans pushing back on prospects, regardless of pedigree, being handed “scholarships” at the big league level instead of earning their playing time.

The Cherington Era has fans demanding they literally turn the major team club into a farm team by handing players arbitrary amounts of paying time.

It’s by far the strangest thing I’ve ever seen as an Online Pirate Fan.

skliesen

I was talking about ST performance. Next time actually read the comment before assuming what was said.

NMR

Come on man, we know better than this! Do I have to dig up all the gaudy ST numbers from absolute duds to prove my point?

Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

National Mart of Records,
Huntington’s rooks didn’t have the wonderful “Exit Velocity” measurement that Oneil Cruz sometimes excels at.

I prefer hits to exit velocity. Hits win games. Exit Velocity just fills air time.

NMR

Groat! Taking us back to the “old days”!

john_fluharty

Can we try not to be vulgar? I would appreciate it.

Catch_22

I’m sorry, John. Sometimes the passion gets the best of me and I lose a bit of control. I’ve been trying to work on this for years.

PiratePrimate

His swing against breaking pitches is even more vulgar

docdon385

How does he learn to hit major league pitching in the minor leagues?

NMR

Maybe the manner in which every other competent major league organization has developed prospects throughout the modern history of the game?

Do you people watch other clubs when the Pirates are playing? Are they literally filled with prospects who have no idea what they’re doing? Does it not at all make you curious about how they seem to do things?

Catch_22

With that theory, why even have a minor league system

NMR

Just 23% of the pitches he saw last week were fastballs.

2nd lowest rate of any hitter in baseball.

I think we know what he has to work on. Time to go do the work.

capirate

Not only Cruz. Giants announcers yesterday talked about the Pirates being a good fastball hitting team but struggling against breaking pitches. We have all seen this. So, how are the Pirates going to teach young players to hit breaking balls better in the minors?

NMR

Fantastic question.

AdministrativeSky236

The giants are known to be on the cutting edge of using high level pitching machines to simulate the day’s probably pitchers or giving guys things to work on rather than just hitting some 70mph meatballs for bp. I wonder where the bucs are on this and why they aren’t already emulating this sort of prep. Heard a story that the giants prepped for hader by hitting sliders that broke more and LH heaters at 101 instead of 98 so they could find him to be more manageable

1979andCounting

The Pirates have the same high level machines, all the way thru the system.
The question is are the coaches insisting it be used, the analytics people educating the coaches, and the players buying into the analytics and using the equipment to the maximum benefit?

AdministrativeSky236

Now this is probably the difference tbh, good call

Catch_22

Yet, Scott gives this a *like*

skliesen

Dude, I know the Pirates are pissing us all off nowadays, but it’s not ok to take your frustrations out on me.

NMR

the vibes were off, man!

Catch_22

Now, that’s perspective. The book is out and like you said, time to go do the work.

RAS TN

Yes…please, but unfortunately he isn’t the only one, and if push comes to shove the major league team may not have enough players to field a team…

Yes, I know the Pirates are not the only team that has players at the major league level that really do not know how to play the game, yes they have in some cases enormous athletic talent but to be successful at the major league talent you have to have development. So you do not have your cell phone in your back pocket…etc…

Wilbur Miller

This is fun:

GM Mike Elias: Orioles will “significantly escalate the payroll” during offseason

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/08/gm-mike-elias-orioles-will-significantly-escalate-the-payroll-during-offseason.html

So, first, the rebuilding Orioles are trying to win and, second, they’re communicating their plans to the fans. Funny how that works in some places.

1979andCounting

Well-timed by Elias. Email just arrived tonite! O’s Front Office working with their Marketing Dept, imagine that.

2023 Birdland Memberships Deposits

Click the button below to place a deposit for a 2023 Birdland Membership and receive 2022 Postseason presale access plus be first in line to lock in your seating and plan option for 2023. Each non-refundable deposit is good for access to purchase up to two (2) seats for one (1) event during a 2022 Postseason presale event. Limit one (1) per account. All deposit funds must be used toward a 2023 Birdland Membership. Any account purchasing solely for resale may be canceled at any time without notice. Other exclusions may apply.
Current 2022 Birdland Members do NOT need to place a deposit for 2023.

1979andCounting

And now they are calling up 2017 first rounder D L Hall. Things are looking bright in Charm City. We really need one of our drafted pitchers to hit and be successful in our rotation in ’23. Although I don’t see one coming…….which is why a F.A. is going to be a must.

skliesen

This after selling off their DH and Closer at the deadline when the team is competing for a playoff berth for 1st time in many years. I wouldn’t be putting Rizzo on a pedestal just yet if I’m an O’s fan.

I would call this declaration “damage control.”

RAS TN

Rizzo Washington GM…Elias Baltimore GM…

capirate

Trades didn’t hurt too much as the O’s are still only 1.5 games behind the last wild card slot.

RAS TN

So what you are saying is instead of doing things the Rays way or the Cardinals way the Pirates s/b be following the Orioles…

Just kidding…

Wilbur Miller

I think they should try the Major League Way. Like the other 29 teams.

hoffmark83

I’m sure the Pirates will significantly raise theirs too. Maybe $50 to $100.

RAS TN

Maybe when something freezes over???

AdministrativeSky236

The O’s have something really good in place imo. Even just a modest investment in FAs will really make them strong for coming years

Catch_22

They’re at the end of a rebuild. They had payroll just south of 170M 5 years ago and you’re surprised?

But, to your point, Pirates aren’t going to pony up like that. Pipe dream

If there’s not significant improvement with the Pirates in 2023, it should be Cherington’s last year.

docdon385

And do what? Start over again with Nutting’s next pick for GM who will have the exact same marching orders. The problem is NOT the GM.

Catch_22

The GM is absolutely the problem.

RAS TN

Unfortunately, the Pirates may be running out of options or I should say quality options if BC is fired, and maybe that can be said if DS is fired…

Honestly who would want the job, much like FA signings what quality FA is going to sign with the Pirates…answer NONE

1979andCounting

There’s only 30 such jobs in the world for GM and manager. There will be a line at the door for aspiring GM’s and managers to work under and for BN.

Wilbur Miller

Not surprised at all. It’s just how major league teams behave. It’s good to check on that now and then, as we get no examples of it from the Pirates.

Catch_22

It would behoove Travis Williams to check in on Matt Arnold. They need a GM that can win with limited funds. Cherington is not your guy.

JimEastTennessee

Ah for the glory days of the mustard yellow caps, Roberto, Manny, Scoops, Willie…and me as a 10 year old.

john_fluharty

I turned 10 in 79. That was a fun year to watch baseball.

mpg43952

What a year! Bucs and Steelers world champs, Bradshaw and Willie on cover of S.I.

AdministrativeSky236

Lets run it back in 29! Pickett and hayes on the cover this time around

JimEastTennessee

Gah! The Bucs are terrible 🙁

I refuse to give up on the MiL clubs, even with poor performances from so many of last years “rising-star-wanna-be” types.
Looking forward to AFL and seeing some players that were limited by injury and/or poor performance re-ignite their potential. (please)

Most Voted Comments

Menu
73
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x