Pirates Discussion: Attempted Playoff Spoiler

The Pirates kicked off a nine game homestand where they’ll take on two division leaders, after facing current AL Wild Card Toronto Blue Jays.

Johan Oviedo notched his first MLB start for the Pittsburgh Pirates after his acquisition at the deadline.

Oviedo was inefficiently effective. He was able to throw three scoreless innings but it took 77 pitches of which 46 were strikes. For comparison opposing starter for the Blue Jays Alek Manoah was at only 75 pitches after six innings. Oviedo recorded four strike outs while allowing two hits and three walks. He threw a four seam fastball that touched 98.5 MPH, ranging from 96.3-98.5 MPH, and a slider that accounted for 54 of his 77 pitches. He also threw a curveball 12 times along with 11 changeups.

Recent long reliever-turned starter and now back to long reliever Tyler Beede followed Oviedo. He gave up two doubles and a single to the first three hitters he faced in the fourth inning that resulted in two runs and a 2-0 lead for the Blue Jays. That would be all the damage against Beede as he’d complete three innings with the two earned runs along with five hits, a walk, a HBP, and one strike out.

Chase De Jong covered the seventh and eighth inning. He stretched his scoreless streak to seven appearances over 17 IP. He allowed a hit, two walks, while striking out one batter.

In the ninth with the Blue Jays leading 2-0 the Pirates turned to Yohan Ramirez. He struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Alejandro Kirk followed by a Bo Bichette two-run homerun that accounted for the final runs in the 4-0 defeat.

The Pirates never really threatened as they were only able to get five hits and a walk against Manoah through 7.1 innings. Four of the five hits were singles with only Tyler Heineman hitting for extra bases, a double in the third inning. The Pirates otherwise went 0-for-3 with RISP and weren’t able to get a hit against the Blue Jays bullpen.

Heineman, Cal Mitchell, and Jack Suwinski accounted for all of the Pirates baserunners on the evening. Mitchell and Suwinski combined to go 3-for-6 with a walk.

Blue Jays @ Pirates

Time: 6:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (4-4, 3.57)

Blue Jays Starter: Trevor Richards (3-1, 4.53)

Contreras Notes: Roansy Contreras recorded his third victory of the season in his last start after he pitched five scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. This will be his 13th start of the season for the Pirates. Contreras has thrown at least five innings in each of his last four big league starts. In the month of August he recorded three starts that covered 18.0 innings and had a 3.00 ERA.

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Blue Jays

1. George Springer (R) DH
2. Vladimir Guerrero (R) 1B
3. Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
4. Matt Chapman (R) 3B
5. Bo Bichette (R) SS
6. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) LF
7. Santiago Espinal (R) 2B
8. Raimel Tapia (L) CF
9. Danny Jansen (R) C

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TNBucs

We’re 2-11 since Cherington announced Shelton would return and have been outscored 77-30, or roughly 6-2 per game.

At least we’re seeing some positives during this stretch by players we hope to be key parts of the future–Cruz has an OPS of .831, Castro an OPS of .921!, some very good outings by Contreras, and arguably Keller’s best outing of his career. (Don’t look up, though, what Reynolds has done during this stretch–it’s ugly.)

piratemike

One run (1) in 18 innings….. that $$##%%Vanmeter.

hoffmark83

Another waisted good start. This season can’t end soon enough but, that will just put us closer to next season.

jon6er

To make matters worse the same guys will be back running the club next season.

1979andCounting

The schedule is the schedule. Underdog gets the entire 7th inning because Shelton and Marin can’t pivot in the clutch.

TNBucs

I didn’t mind Underwood getting that inning, but with his control, they shouldn’t let him pitch with the bases full. But then Stephenson just hit a batter, so things might not have gone better. Ben just needs to build a much better pen.

1979andCounting

Stephenson struck out his first batter after Underwood. You just don’t leave a reliever out there after 2 walks, bases loaded in a tie game.

You’ve said it many times TN, I don’t think Shelton can manage a winning team, and make the best baseball decisions. I mean can you imagine this happening if we are in an actual wild card race……

docdon385

But you really gotta love Shelton’s timing and decision making. Wait until Underwood totally blows the game and THEN take him out. Brilliant.

jon6er

I’m certain Shelton leads all of baseball in that statistic, lol.

Wilbur Miller

Somehow, Underwood always seems to make the wrong pitch at the wrong time.

TNBucs

It’s the walks. Bichette had a great AB but the extra pitches Underwood had to throw because of the walks contributed to him running out of steam.

docdon385

Yes, that had to be another throwing error for Cruz but an actual first baseman would probably have picked that ball. Chavis has a lot of good points and certainly tries very hard, but he is not a first baseman. A good one can save all infielders, not only Cruz, several errors a year but the Pirates choose not have one on their roster.

Anthony

You’re really blaming that on Chavis? Routine play with all the time in the world and your shortstop throws one in the dirt from 100 feet away. This is really just an indictment of Cruz’s defensive inconsistencies.

piratemike

LOL, Yeah, throw some shade on your buddy.

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, but Chavis has a .271 OBP, so we need him for . . . something or other.

jon6er

Maybe Shelton likes his ‘splits’

mpg43952

If we only had a 1st baseman in Indy who plays good defense and is hitting better since August, maybe rule 5 eligible.

Last edited 1 month ago by mpg43952
ironmike56

Cruz…

Low outside breaking ball from a lefty, and with a reaching almost kneeling half swing he drives it to the track for a triple. I’m not the only one trying to see every one of his at bats…..

jtkuch

Cruz tripled on a down and away breaking ball from a lefty with 2 strikes?!? Is he learning??

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, he’s learning that a lot of Pirate fans know sh*t-all about baseball.

mpg43952

Count me in. My employees think I’m dumber than a boxcar full of hobos!

TNBucs

I couldn’t stop smiling seeing that hit. There can’t be more than a handful of players who can one-hop the wall with a swing like that.

slider1971

I’m guessing we will see Kikuchi for the Blue Jays in tonight’s bullpen game. Reason I will be paying attention is this is a guy I could see BC targeting this winter. I’m guessing the Jays would be thrilled to get ride of him one year into a 36 million dollar deal as he has struggled as a Jay. Typical change of scenery guy with high ERA and big strikeout numbers as a 30 yr old LHP. If the pirates take the rest of the contract I could see the Jays even including a prospect. Thoughts?

Anthony

I was actually thinking the same thing when watching the condensed game this morning. If they pick up some salary or thrown in a decent prospect, it would be a done deal for me.

With that being said, I would try to target a couple of these types of players this off-season. Players who have previously performed but underperforming current contracts, one to three years left on term, and clubs that are willing to eat some salary and/or throw in a prospect or two.

hoffmark83

Ain’t happening

john_fluharty

How many years is it?

slider1971

It was actually front loaded so his contract has two years at 20 million total. If the pirates pick up half (5 million per season) I could see the Pirates jump on it

jtkuch

No chance even in a frozen version of hell they take on his contract. Way more likely they try to find the next Quintana/Anderson type, even though they should aim higher.

TNBucs

He was my top realistic hope for a FA starter last offseason, so I’d be all for it.

ironmike56

No way the Pirates take that contract.

jon6er

Shelton using his secret weapon tonight.

joebaseball

Is there any reason at all to play JVM? Or even keep him on the roster?

TNBucs

Yes and no. Everyone on the roster should get a chance to play. But no, he shouldn’t be on the roster.

piratemike

You could ask that about 14 other guys. There is that 6’7″ rooster walking around like the cock of the walk hitting all of .198 but he can throw the ball 100 mph so everybody kisses his butt and what about that great glove guy that gets an 8 year contract and he has an aversion to making contact with a baseball with his bat. So, let’s all pick on Vanmeter who is gone at some point but we will have years of those others making millions and not doing any better than VM,

Anthony

One-half like for first part, one-half dislike for second part. Nonetheless, I applaud the effort mike 👏🏼

Last edited 29 days ago by Anthony
docdon385

It’s really pretty simple. Cruz and Hayes have talent and potential and VanMeter has neither and hasn’t even been playing in the past three weeks. No one’s picking on him but just pointing out the obvious.

Anthony

Mr. Obvious, constant criticism is the ACTUAL definition of picking on someone.

Also, I miss the days when this forum was more than just stating the obvious.

Anthony

The old “have potential” comment; the greatest backhanded compliment of all LOL

robertkasperski

Well, Cruz just Tripled in the 1st run…….Off of a Lefty no less…..

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
piratemike

And he just struck out by a lefty.

Wilbur Miller

Just to give us a reason to trigger C22.

RAS TN

BTW: Cruz is on an 18-game consecutive strikeout streak is that bad???

Anthony

I think he only had ONE game in all of August in which he didn’t strikeout LOL

docdon385

Why does everyone care so much about strikeouts? An out’s an out whether it’s a ground ball, pop up, strike out or whatever and everyone makes an out at least two out of every three at bats. What matters is whether a guy hits the ball hard when he makes contact and not how he makes outs.

RAS TN

What matters is if a batter actually makes contact, no contact no chance of getting a hit…

Anthony

The context here is consistency. The statistics support that hitting the ball hard results in positive outcomes but that doesn’t really matter if you’re not consistently hitting the ball hard. Great, hard contact may yield a 70% chance of a hit, but if that’s only happening one out of every eight to ten at bats, it just confirms that you’re inconsistent at it.

1979andCounting

I was going to let that comment go…….but just couldn’t do it. Baseball 101 says a K is an unproductive out. It is the worst kind of out. Because it fails to move a runner(s), fails to cause the defense to make a play to actually make an out (also where an error could possibly occur), and of course results in no action for fans to watch a batted baseball put into play. But your sentiment is where the game has evolved to today.

john_fluharty

As long as it’s no more than one strike out every three at batw you can live with it for a guy with his power.

TNBucs

Not good, obviously, but also not necessarily something that will keep him from being a star. Out of curiosity I checked Aaron Judge’s game logs and in his first season he had a 19-game strikeout streak and the following season, his first full season, he had a 37-game strikeout streak.

Wilbur Miller

The O’s and Rays have to be gnashing their teeth at the Jays getting to play a team that so obviously is just playing out the string.

jon6er

I would rather see the O’s make it than the Jay’s or Ray’s.

john_fluharty

It would be a good rags to riches story wouldn’t it

Wilbur Miller

Hopefully that’d add some pressure on Hodge ‘n Podge.

VTBucFan

Imagine how the Braves feel when they look and see the Mets have seven games left with the Pirates. MLB should let them start selling first round playoff tickets.

jon6er

Yeah but it’s the Braves!

Wilbur Miller

There should be something like a mid-season relegation. The major league teams could play each other and the Pirates could play Hickory.

RAS TN

Well, it’s only fair the O’s and Rays already had their time with the Pirates and made the most of it…

jon6er

And the Braves!

1979andCounting

Now 3.5 games! Nats win. Kinda wishing the lottery didn’t start til ’23.

John Dreker

There is somewhat of an advantage to finishing with the worst record instead of second/third worst, but it probably doesn’t matter with the odds in favor of the top three teams in the lottery. Right now, the worst the Pirates could do is finish with the ninth pick. If they have the worst record, then they wouldn’t pick lower than seventh. It’s highly unlikely that the three worst teams don’t get any of the first six picks due to odds, but I’d still rather know that seventh was the absolute worst they could do.

Anthony

Plus, if they have the worst record, they would get the first pick in rounds 2-20.

John Dreker

That is true. Having the first pick on day two and three of the draft could lead to big things with those picks. You have every available player to talk bonuses with to maximize your pool/talent

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