Pirates Discussion: Stumble Into Philly

At the beginning of the season I had estimated that the Pittsburgh Pirates would win 68 games this season.

With the loss to the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night the Pirates fell to 47-78 on the season.

Bryse Wilson’s streak of throwing at least five innings came to a screeching halt after only being able to last one inning. Kyle Schwarber lead off the game by reaching on Rodolfo Castro’s ninth error on the season. The next three batters each collected a hit before Wilson got the first out of the inning leading to a quick three runs. The Phillies would end up scoring another run in the inning to take a 4-0 lead.

Zach Thompson pitching in a piggyback role replaced Wilson in the second inning. He quickly gave up a run after the first two batters reached base safely. Thompson got J.T. Realmuto to hit a grounder to Kevin Newman for what would have been the third out, but a fielding error let the 6th run cross the plate and gave the Phillies a 6-0 lead.

From there Thompson threw four scoreless innings — he threw five innings total with two runs against and one being earned — allowing the Pirates to stage a comeback attempt.

To start the fourth inning a recent 1-2 combo connected again. Kevin Newman reached on a line drive single to center field before Bryan Reynolds took Phillies lefty starter Bailey Falter deep to left field for his 21st homerun on the season. To lead off the fifth inning Rodolfo Castro in the midst of a strong stretch hit a ball to left center for his fourth homerun on the season. Not to be outdone, leading off the seventh inning the third brother in the North-Of-700-OPS Club Ben Gamel welcomed Falter’s replacement Connor Brogdon with his sixth long ball of the campaign to bring the game to a 6-4 score.

That would end up being all the Pirates had in them as they went down quickly the next two innings without a single batter reaching base.

Yohan Ramirez relieved Zach Thompson to finish off the game pitching the 7th and 8th innings. Ramirez gave up a run in the 8th inning to bring the game to it’s ending score of 7-4.

I expected the Pirates to be bad as well as the NL Central to be very poor. Both of those ended up to be true but the Pirates have been far worse than I had expected or hoped. Though they have at least been better than their expected W-L record which would have them with four less wins.


Pirates @ Phillies

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Tyler Beede (1-3, 4.13)

Phillies Starter:  Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30)

Beede Notes: This will be Tyler Beede’s fifth start for the Pirates and so far it hasn’t gone well. In his four starts to date he’s given up ten earned runs in 12.0 IP for a 7.50 ERA. He’s had eight strikeouts to go with seven walks and 16 hits allowed.

UPDATE: Pirates claim Robert Stephenson




1. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
2. Rhys Hoskins (R) 1B
3. Alec Bohm (R) 3B
4. Bryce Harper (L) DH
5. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
6. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
7. Bryson Stott (L) SS
8. Jean Segura (R) 2B
9. Brandon Marsh (L) CF


UPDATE: Rodolfo Castro is unavailable for this game as he serves his one-game suspension

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Hell yes cam. Keep getting paid


It’s bad enough when your owner won’t spend enough to try to win games but when his broadcast team makes fun of teams who DO spend money to try to win games, that’s just insulting the fans who have stuck with this franchise through it all. Gosh, this is frustrating!


Shitty ownership and management decisions aside, the real frustration is hearing this running narrative from the fan base that payroll would be materially different under new ownership.


I think under new ownership, they’d spend more. If only for the reason they’d get a ton of unnecessary goodwill. Cynicism aside, I see no reason they can’t spend in Milwaukee range.


Under hypothetical new ownership, the debt structure would reset much much higher causing annual debt payments to skyrocket. All other things being equal, they would have even less money to spend.

The only rev upside with this franchise is with increasing attendance (and eventually ticket prices) and partial ownership in a RSN.


Except that Milwaukee draws over 1 million more fans each year. At $50 a pop that is 50 Million more in revenue to work with.


Bingo! Attendance doesn’t mean squat for the big markets who receive the majority of their rev from TV contracts and corp sponsorship, but this is where the smaller markets live and die.


I’m not saying they should turn into Milwaukee overnight. But the Pirates drew 2.2-2.5 million for about four straight years. I’m saying they can up their payroll. And sometimes an organization has to step up.


That’s somewhat true as the real issue is MLB’s financial structure. The gap between the haves (Dodgers, Yanks, etc) and the have nots is getting wider.

However smaller market teams can be successful, and can be successful without the painful multiple year tear down and rebuild (Rays, Guardians). And mid revenue teams like Atlanta and St Louis can use superior management to be successful.

Unfortunately Pittsburgh has two strikes already against it. They are low revenue and poorly managed. Its like a hitter in the majors who starts every AB 0-2. Not much chance of success.


Only thing more embarrassing than the team is the 4 guys calling it


This organization is just trash. Up and down.


It is such a far cry from how I feel about the system from a year ago. Basically I no longer get excited about anyone below Bradenton. So many guys have taken steps back this year that it all feels like this “build” (makes wanking motion) is already dead on arrival.


The stink starts at the top and works it’s way down. Everyone below the filthy rich owner was hired to do a job and like it or not they’re doing it just the way they’ve been told.

Wilbur Miller

Side-to-side, too.

Wilbur Miller

This Beede baloney, it’s not working. Every time one of the waiver wonders pitches a couple decent games, he gets hailed as a great pickup. And every time reality soon sets in.

They have 24 pitchers on the 40-man roster. You could release 17 of them without weakening the team one little bit.


How about the position players…how many of them can be or should be DFA at least 10 and probably as many as 12…

Wilbur Miller

At least.


So the Pirates are scraping the bottom of the barrel again with another awful waiver claim. I wonder what the record is for most waiver claims in a year is and if the 2022 Pirates have that record.


Why play Hayes way off the line then throw inside? It just seems like it’s asking for trouble.

Wilbur Miller

So . . . that failed former top prospect thing . . . how’s that looking about now?

Wilbur Miller

Fitting that, within minutes after making another pointless waiver claim, one waiver wonder gives up three in the first and another kills a rally by getting picked off. This team can’t play half an inning without making the GM look like a moron . . . except to the one guy who can do anything about it.


They are slightly worse than I thought they’d be. Players who exceeded my expectations include: Quintana, Keller, Suwinski, Newman, Bednar, de Jong.

Players who have done less than my expectations are: Hayes, Tsutsugo, Thompson, Wilson, all other RPs.

Players who have no business near a Major League roster include: Van 0fer, Chang, Allen, Tsutsugo, all the catchers.

Last edited 1 month ago by hoptown

You forgot to include Shelton as someone who has no business being near a Major League roster.


I had to come to the realization that we are still more like 2010 than 2011. BC is not trying to win this year. I mean, sure, if Perez had stayed healthy, and Van Meter had surprised people and some of the rookies would have hit better than expected-like Suwinski did for awhile-I think he would have been fine with that, but it would have all been circumstantial and not very intentional. I think behind closed doors, he sold out on this season, and will only begin actually TRYING to win next year. That is the scenario if he is competent. I hate following a team that isn’t trying to win, it puts me in the embarrassing situation of caring-at least short term-more than those employed by the team. As it is , I still think we could have committed to the rebuild in a way that would have brought us into the 67-72 win territory, but BC did not see it that way.


What leads you to believe BC will be trying to win next year? He made some vague comments recently about there being an “urgency” to win but said nothing specific about how or when that might actually start to happen and hasn’t done anything since to move in that direction. To the chagrin of many he’s clearly stated how much he likes this manager but has been secretive about nearly everything else or maybe there’s nothing to talk about.

The next 5-6 months should tell the tale. If the Pirates go into next season with with the same or different group of cast off veterans instead of adding some competent major league players to their best prospects and allowing them to develop as a team in Pittsburgh from the start of the season instead of keeping them in the minors for extended periods, how can anyone anticipate anything more than another season like this one? It’s up to BC to quite literally put his (or more accurately Nutting’s) money where his mouth is. I hope he does because more of the same is not progress.


Every team has bad stretches of play over 162 game season. The problem is Pirates have them on a regular basis. This combined with the inability to even once put together a lengthy stretch of winning baseball is why they have the record they do.

Is this because the GM did a piss poor job of roster construction? Is it an indictment on Shelton and his staff for not getting expected production from the roster assembled for them? Or is it the players just aren’t very talented?

I say it’s all three. Roughly 50% poor roster construction, and 25% each on Shelton and his staff and players lacking talent to compete.


If we are speaking objectively, this is ALL 1 and 3. Even the best managers couldn’t overcome those obv deficiencies. If they win more than 60 games, this roster has overachieved; sad but true.


Would that not place 100% of the responsibility on Cherington? He constructed and has maintained the talent challenged roster and hired, and apparently plans to keep, Shelton as the manager. Why split it up? It’s ultimately all on the decisions of BC is it not?


By that reasoning, wouldn’t it all fall on Nutting since he is ultimately the one who has created the culture and financial restrictions on the organization. Plus, he’s the one who can demand accountability.

Maybe it’s just darkest before the dawn?


I like your percentages. Agree with those.


Inevitably blame to go around for all, but just look at the roster we’re up against this weekend. Former Top 100 prospects 1 through 9. On the *third* place team in the NL East.

I fear it’s been so long since we’ve seen winning baseball that we’ve started to forget just how much talent is required to truly compete. This 2022 Pirate club doesn’t put more than three guys on a field each night who’d even get rostered by contender.


Wait, you’re allowed to bring context and perspective to this discussion board!?


Winning begets winning…


You have to really squint to see the light at the end of the tunnel without quality outside acquisitions.


I also thought something in the neighborhood of 68-70 wins was very realistic and would show that Shelton was taking them in the right direction. As you say, they are much worse than that, though, and that’s despite not being particularly unlucky in anything (we’ve had injuries but nothing extreme, we had some FA busts but also unexpected contributions, some prospects have struggled more than expected but we got positive WAR from players like Suwinski who weren’t expected to contribute anything, …). I suppose people can argue that we simply played to our talent level vs. we underachieved our talent level, but nobody can say we overachieved and I think that’s relevant.

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