Pirates Discussion: Seven Game Skid Stopper

In the midst of another long losing stretch, Roansy Contreras stepped to the mound and stopped the bleeding.

The Pittsburgh Pirates offense managed to get ahead early this time when Oneil Cruz lead off the game with a triple and Ke’Bryan Hayes then lined the first pitch he saw into right field for a quick 1-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, Tucupita Marcano hit the Pirates’ second triple with one out. One batter later, Greg Allen laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that scored Marcano easily.

That would be all the offense Contreras needed on the night as he managed to cover more innings than Bryse Wilson and Tyler Beede pitched in the previous two games combined.

In his last start, Contreras managed to pitch seven innings, giving up only two earned runs against the Atlanta Braves. Facing another NL East opponent, Roansy brought his A-game, throwing five scoreless innings. He struck out seven batters, throwing 57 of his 89 pitches for strikes.

Contreras continued to lean heavily on a Fastball-Slider combination that accounted for 81 of his 89 pitches, with eight curveballs scattered in. His repertoire was highly effective on this night generating an average exit velocity of 86.4 MPH (per Baseball Savant) which was roughly 5 MPH below his season average. The league average is 88.4 MPH.

Roansy would leave after the fifth inning with a 2-0 lead in hand.

Come the top of the sixth, Bryan Reynolds joined the Trip-Trip-Triple party, hitting the Pirates third triple of the evening and his fourth on the year. This time the Pirates decided to add more runs on top. Michael Chavis came to the plate and singled to left field to score Reynolds. Two batters later with men on the corners and no outs, Marcano hit a groundball that would nick off of Phillies’ starter Noah Syndergaard’s glove. Jean Segura fielded it and tried to throw home, but Chavis slid in ahead of the tag. Allen reached on a force out, then was caught stealing. With two outs, Bligh Madris hit his second double in as many games to score Rodolfo Castro and take a 5-0 lead.

The on-again, off-again bullpen then shut things down by tossing four of their own scoreless innings. Manny Banuelos threw two innings only allowing one hit. Duane Underwood Jr. threw a scoreless eighth inning on six pitches and miraculously didn’t come out for a second inning. Manager Derek Shelton went with Wil Crowe, who finished things off quickly, throwing only thirteen pitches with one walk.

With the victory, Roansy Contreras ties Mitch Keller for the team lead among starters with four wins. They only trail Crowe and Dillon Peters, who each have five wins.

Pirates @ Brewers

Time: 8:10 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Bryse Wilson (2-8, 6.01)

Brewers Starter: Corbin Burnes (9-6, 2.84)

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Brewers

1. Christian Yelich (L) LF
2. Willy Adames (R) SS
3. Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
4. Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
5. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
6. Andrew McCutchen (R) DH
7. Jace Peterson (L) 3B
8. Omar Narvaez (L) C
9. Garrett Mitchell (L) CF

UPDATE: Suwinski up. Madris down

UPDATE #2: Heineman scratched. Delay in the lineup

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TNBucs

Glad I went to bed soon after Castro’s HR, and speaking of Castro he’s now second on the team in wOBA, wRC+, OPS+, etc. to Reynolds. Of course there’s still five weeks left in the season and maybe scouting reports will find a weakness that can be exploited (and it’s not like he’s dominating as it is, just very solid), but it would be nice to think going into the offseason that Castro has locked up a starting spot in 2023. At this point he’s earned it.

Wilbur Miller

So we’re discovering that Wil Crowe isn’t a late-inning reliever. Fortunately, Cheringtoon has done such a fine job of developing pitchers that we have . . . nobody else. Oh, well, who’s on waivers today?

Anthony

Square peg, round hole. I like him much better as a MIR.

I haven’t done a deep dive, but I wonder if his pitch usage has changed since earlier in the season when he was having better results.

Wilbur Miller

Apart from Bednar, all they have is middle relievers. They prioritize making Dumbo’s job easier over winning games, so they want every reliever able to go 2-3 innings.

Anthony

Maybe this is by design, due to a dearth of capable starters. Nonetheless, they made their bed, now they must lie in it.

emjayinTN

Don’t know, but hopefully it will be both Allen, 29, and VanMeter, 27. Madris was a good option back to AAA yesterday, and we certainly have at least 2 more young prospects at AAA or AA more deserving of MLB AB’s than Allen and VanMeter.

With Castro, Cruz, Marcano, Mitchell, and Bae, why are Newman, Chavis, and Gamel still here? I think Newman is having a VG comeback season, and could be picked up by a contender today or tomorrow, if DFA’d by the Pirates. Give him a chance BC!

Has Castro ever been tried at 1B? He’s played 3B, SS, and 2B in MLB, so why not?

NMR

Kevin Newman is an actual competent Major League Baseball player and has several years left with the club.

What the fuck are we trying to do here???

emjayinTN

Newman is in his 4th year and has been inconsistent at best in the field at SS and at the plate. Fielding since 2019 at SS .973, .930, .993, .937. At the plate BA since 2019 .308, .224, .226, .276.

My opinion is that the Pirates have way too much young talent that can play MI and can project to hit for average and some power to have Newman, entering his age 30 season in 2023, keep them at AAA or on the bench at MLB.

PirateRican21

1/3 of an inning 3 runs plus allowed an inherent run to score, fugly!

forkball

Bummer

robertkasperski

jtkuch

Have there been any updates on Bednar? Feels like he should’ve been back by now…

jtkuch

Why do I ask this? Well….

1979andCounting

Why is Allen still at 1st?

1979andCounting

Exactly my take, with Nicky still figuring it out in AA :(((

AdministrativeSky236

And here i was a big frelick hater, shows what i know lol

TNBucs

Seems that the Brewers excel in all the ways that small market teams need to in order to contend. To think our second choice for GM was their assistant GM leads to a big “what if”…

I can’t imagine we’d be worse off now, and maybe we’d be better off.

robertkasperski

Happy Crowe Day Y’all!

![]comment image)_

and….. crap………….

bucsws2014

crap x2

robertkasperski

True dat unfortunately……….

robertkasperski

Pat Murphy looks like he is about ready to have a stroke or heart attack on the bench over called strikes that have been mostly strikes….

1979andCounting

Could have gotten some long odds in April that Newman would be a starting DH this year. Credit due him after being one of the worst hitters in MLB last year.

AdministrativeSky236

Cruz takes a walk against a lefty and smokes some balls, love to see it

emjayinTN

And, just an add about his defense at SS – Advanced board on FG adjusted for his 450 Innings, he is 13th of 30 MLB Shortstops with 4 Defensive Runs Saved. Much better than even the most optimistic of us would have projected.

Shortstops listed 16 to 30 are 0 or in negative numbers ending with Bobby Witt, Jr at -17.

NMR

emjay, why are you only citing DRS?

Has nothing to do with the inarguable fact that it’s the wild outlier among all defensive metrics, right?

1979andCounting

We can thank Chavis for saving his ass on that routine throw with the bases loaded. It was a horribly bad throw…….and his DRS would have dropped several spots to the lower half of SS. But yeah, hanging around 15th middle of the pack is a win so far.

forkball

They may not get many more wins this year, but frankly I would rather see them continue to break in the youngsters. Fun to see them actually hit the ball too.

jtkuch

All 3 balls in play from Cruz over 113.2 MPH EV. If we can have even one guy just have Burnes’ number like that it’d be huge

Wilbur Miller

Srsly, he wasn’t going to learn to hit a guy like this without facing a guy like this. And he’s shown he can adjust. Sending him down would’ve been foolish.

Anthony

Although it doesn’t seem like facing a guy like this are his issues; it’s all the other guys NOT like this.

jtkuch

Hey I agree with you, his time at AAA to start the year was enough. Time to let him figure out ML pitching

Wilbur Miller

Shouldn’t Cruz be in AAA learning to hit AAA pitchers?

robertkasperski

Looks like he is adjusting and much more comfortable there. Not long ago he would have been swinging at at least 2 of the four pitches that he saw before the home run. Hope that he keeps working and improving.

Wilbur Miller

He’s needed time to adjust at every level, but he’s always done it. The guy’s a unicorn. He’s got crazy strengths and crazy weaknesses. You live with one because the other is worth it.

robertkasperski

Yups missed the 1st couple of pitches of his at bat in them7th. Showed patience again. Not long ago he would have swung at a couple of the pitches just off the plate inside especially after taking the first strike. Suter got lucky on the second strike call that was further inside than others. Nice at bat against a lefty.

robertkasperski

robertkasperski

BOOOMMM!!!!!!!

ironmike56

That was hard to believe……the speed it had before crashing into second deck was unreal.

chappy

Never seen anything like it.

robertkasperski

At least since the last one that he crushed

Wilbur Miller

Well, damn, Bryse Wilson is still Bryse Wilson.

b mcferren

Hayes he lost his spot to Castro?

1979andCounting

Brewers coach(es) know the signs…….lol…..more ineptitude. Easy pick off of Jack.

ironmike56

Ok…what is the over under on Jack Ks tonight? I say 2 Hits? 1.

b mcferren

lets go bucs!

Wilbur Miller

Suwinski up, Madris down, SuckMeter still around. Hodge & Podge can’t get the simplest little moves right.

jtkuch

I would hope and pray they’ll make more moves for September. Starting with Mitchell for VanInch. Then Bae for Allen. And then, and I know I’m stretching here, Swaggerty for Gamel.

Wilbur Miller

Like I said, they can’t get the smallest detail right. Mitchell earned a callup, Jack didn’t. And keeping the SuckMeter over Madris, or anybody else, is indefensible. The obvious message is that you can stink up the field, but if you give Dumbo that good clubhouse vibe, you’re safe.

Apart from ditching the SuckMeter, I’d have sent Madris down and probably brought up Park. I’m not a fan, but his 40-spot should be in jeopardy this fall, so I’d do it as a last look.

One positive note: If Newman shows up at 2B in the Daily Dumbo Drop, he should pass the SuckMeter for most innings at 2B by a Pirate this year. That’s today’s quota of good news.

Wilbur Miller

Well, scratch that last part. The SuckMeter remains the Pirates’ top 2B for at least another day.

robertkasperski

JimEastTennessee

Back in the day, a relatively ineffective SP ended up with 8 wins or so, will the Pirates have ONE?
Just sayin’

roberto

But that was back in the day. Does anyone care about pitcher wins? If so, why?

ironmike56

Good observation. That lineup yesterday looked confident and capable and backed it up with good defense. They seemed to be enjoying themselves for a change.

The manager should run out the exact same lineup for once as a reward.

But I doubt if he will……

TNBucs

I definitely want to see Cruz back in the leadoff spot. It seems logical that you’d want him there to jump on a mistake before the opposing starter settles in. If not leadoff, then at least in the first inning. Of course you could make similar cases for a few other guys, but there’s nobody that can punish a mistake as much as Cruz can.

robertkasperski

I see where the MLBPA sent Authorization cards to all minor league players last night. Read that on MLBTR. Not sure why but all I can hear in my head is R.E.M…………..
Now it makes weird sense as to the why if Wilbur is correct in his hearing that Manfried was pushing to contract affiliated ball even more.

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
hoptown

Im pretty sure Roansy and Keller both have a win in relief. Which means the team lead for wins as an SP is 3 and Quintana is still tied for the lead!!!

Wilbur Miller

I’m wondering whether we’ll see a phenomenon where they play better behind Ro. Like the Phillies did years ago behind Carlton.

Wilbur Miller

Jeebers.

bradlej31

I think the Pirates are handling Roansy’s innings just about perfect. I don’t think he can be a 180 inning a year pitcher (30 starts of 6IP). I think he can be an amazing 120-140 inning pitcher (25ish starts of 5-6). I super cool with that.

skliesen

So you’re ok with Pirates Ace to not even pitch enough to qualify for the ERA title?

Personally, I’m fed up with treating Pitchers like Grandma treats her fine china. Train them when they’re in the minors to throw 100-120 pitches and they’ll be able to do it when they make it to the majors.

MB21

If baseball has come to “happy with a 120-140 inning pitcher” with 25 starts with the potential of a Contreras… well, why should this surprise me? It’s happy with .200 hitters who strike out 200 times as long as they hit homeruns; with a mix of owners who spend $200 million on payroll together with those who spend $50 million; with pitchers who can’t finish five innings; and with batters who can’t bunt against a shift that practically gives them a double if they can aim it down the line. Isn’t it getting so much more entertaining to watch teams (even good ones) hit .230 and use so many pitchers during a season that you can’t even remember all the starters?

tventimiglio

Pitchers seem to get injured frequently. Why not protect the arms and prolong the careers and allow them to retire healthy? The added velocity, spin, etc that today’s pitchers utilize does harm to the arm, shoulder, elbow.

MB21

I have yet to see that innings limits really make that big a difference to a healthy career. And let’s be honest, unless the guy is a workhorse or is gifted with great health, even the good pitchers don’t generally last more than 8-10 years. It just makes sense for me that they go all out while they’re young and healthy than when the mileage starts to add up (and resting, rehabbing, etc., all adds to mileage, too – every month a guy is older is a month closer to retirement). If they are blessed to be healthy aces, aces want to pitch deep into games (see Verlander, Justin, or Scherzer, Max, for example – especially early in their careers).

I guess it seems to me that baseball careers are short enough without waiting and waiting to push or challenge the players.

tventimiglio

I agree with much of what you say. I just think at the cost of talent in salary and difficulty to find that caution is necessary. I don’t think that we get 8-10 years out of a lot of pitchers with good talent. For every Garrett Cole there seems to be a Tyler Glasnow. (referring to the TJ surgery)

MB21

I understand the caution part – it’s warranted if the pitcher shows that something is off or he is obviously tiring (in a game or in the season). But if he is healthy and showing no warning signs, let him pitch.

Tyler Glasnow with his injury is not the poster child for too many innings. After his promotion to Pittsburgh they couldn’t keep him on the mound due to performance/management or whatever kept him from reaching his potential. He himself wanted to blame it on the sticky stuff crackdown.

TNBucs

Agree and disagree–I think you’re right about handling his innings this year and next year (without getting into whether the innings he threw in Indy after being sent down should have been in Pittsburgh). But, I wouldn’t rule out that he can be a 180-inning pitcher in the future as he matures. That may come down to organizational philosophy on using starters, but they seem to be pretty traditional when the starter is pitching well enough to last 6-7 innings (i.e., not limits on times through the order and the only limit seems to be a pitch count approaching 100).

jon6er

Yeah, he’s still only 22 and if his control gets better with less walks he’ll pitch a lot of innings. Yesterday was about 89 pitches in 5 innings and not about the number of innings. 7 strike outs and two walks leads to a lot of pitches though the one walk was on 4 pitches. If he is fortunate enough to stay healthy he will pitch his share of 7 inning games next year.

Last edited 1 month ago by jon6er
NMR

I won’t speak for Brad but if he meant from the perspective of getting through a batting order three times then I agree.

Less about number of pitches and health, more about effectively being a two-pitch starter now that he’s in the show. Super, super rare for those types to consistently last that deep in today’s game.

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