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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Keller Keeps It Up

We’re down to 12 games left.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently tied for second worst record with the Oakland Athletics.

Trying to find any positive at this point is like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Especially when your team returns home from a six game road trip of getting shellacked, only to lose their seventh game in a row.

Mitch Keller is one of the few positives though. He completed six innings and allowed two earned runs. That’s the fifth start in a row that he’s finished at least six innings. Keller has given up only seven earned runs in those five starts covering 31.0 IP. Against the Cubs he allowed four hits, two walks, while striking out seven. His 4-seam fastball led the way accounting for 30 of his 96 pitches. Keller was able to finally push his ERA below 4.00 and end the night with a 3.99 ERA.

David Bednar made his long awaited return in the seventh inning, allowing one earned run to go along with two hits, a walk, and a strike out. That run made it 3-1 at the time which unfortunately left Keller with the loss before the Pirates could score their second run.

Chicago Cubs deadline acquisition, rookie Hayden Wesneski, had his way with the Pirates offense of everyone not named Bryan Reynolds. Wesneski tossed 6.1 innings with two earned runs, five hits, two walks and six strikeouts.

Reynolds got the Pirates on the board in the third inning with a RBI single. He finished the night going 3-for-3 with two doubles, a RBI, and two walks.

The Pirates second run came in the seventh when Kevin Newman lead off the inning with his 2nd HR of the season to bring the Pirates within one run at 3-2.

Duane Underwood Jr. and Robert Stephenson pitched the final two innings allowing only one hit between the two of them with three strike outs.

In the bottom of the ninth the Pirates managed to get runners on second and third with two outs, but Rodolfo Castro lined out to end the game at 3-2.

Cubs @ Pirates

Time: 6:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Bryse Wilson (3-9, 6.07)

Cubs Starter: Javier Assad (1-2, 3.86)

Wilson Notes: With two outs on Friday, Bryse Wilson will eclipse 100.0 IP for the first time in his career at the top level. He’s been good for covering innings, but gives up a lot of contact that usually leaves the Pirates behind early in the game.

UPDATES: Bae joins the team, Heineman to the IL

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Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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TNBucs

As someone who could be called a Huntington apologist, I think we have too many Cherington apologists. Yeah, we knew we weren’t going to contend this year with so many prospects breaking in to the majors including in the rotation, but it’s not like we were using bullpen innings to audition impact players for the future. I think Ben’s poor pen and Shelton’s poor use of it cost us momentum for next year and Ben should have valued the importance of holding on to wins even if it only meant we’d go something like 71-91 years instead of 61-101. Already I’m seeing the goalposts moved for next year—instead of the year we might expect relevant games in September it’s now the year when we might avoid 100 losses as a sign of progress. Even worse, while Ben pontificates about it not being about wins and losses, we see the Cubs and Reds making progress in their systems so that we’re no longer “the team of the future” in the NL Central.

1979andCounting

I’ve never heard anyone refer to Bucs as “the team of the future”……lol. But your point is spot on that the prospects nor the coaches have “learned how to win” in ’22. It’s a season of mis-placed priorities in a lot of ways.

TNBucs

Yeah, I haven’t literally heard that either. But, it often seemed implied when people would point out that we had a top-5 farm system whereas the rest of the NL Central was in the lower half of MLB. But between the other teams having breakout prospects (e.g., see McDaniel’s recent article with the Reds and Brewers each having four of his top 30 or so breakout prospects) and the Cubs and Reds trading veterans to replenish their farms, our prospect depth doesn’t stand out like it had so delaying opening our window might mean it never opens.

chappy

For me personally if Cherington wants to win this fan over, prove to me that you can construct a solid bullpen next year. NH was pretty good at that. Even right now, this team has the starting pitching and everyday lineup to be generally competitive but the bullpen gives up runs every game. I am actually excited about the talent level of the team we will be watching next year, at least by June, but I need a GM who is finally concerned with making the big league club competitive. You’ve had your 3 years of tanking, now build!

endofline

You can’t really get a feel for how BC can build a bull pen. He wasn’t trying to field a competitive team this year. He had two goals for the bullpen. One, audition as many arms as possible to see if any can stick and Two, spend as little as possible.

He definitely accomplished Two, I’m not sure about One.

Anthony

I completely agree with this take; this was a throwaway year from the get-go. If in fact they will deficit spend or use retained earnings from prior years to supplement future payrolls, this is about as bad as it will get w/r/t this team’s overall roster construction and the bullpen in particular.

ArkyWags

So now we’ve had three throwaway years with BC. How many more are we in for? I’ll believe they deficit spend when it happens. I think also having blinders on for your “plan” if you’re BC limits you on actual deals that are achievable.

Anthony

I think it was always dependent on first major wave of prospects, which is effectively the 2019-2020 draft classes.

skliesen

Pirates bullpen and 1B have to be leading contenders for worst WAR of any position group in MLB.

James_Robert5

And 2B and RF and …

See “Major League Baseball Wins Above Avg By Position”

James_Robert5
1979andCounting

Can the real Bryan Reynolds please show up in April and May when the games are still meaningful? Rather than hitting sub .200.

1979andCounting

Did Manny switch to a Cubs uni? Quite the resemblance w/ Rodriguez.

docdon385

Is Joe Block the “official” Western PA distributor for crapola?

Wilbur Miller

I saw an interview a while ago with some Russian dissident type. They were asked how Putin could expect people to believe the obvious lies pushed on state media. The answer was that the question missed the point. Authoritarian regimes don’t lie to get people to believe it. They lie to show people they CAN lie.

1979andCounting

We’re now onto plan B to get a third out…….wild pitch richochets!! Although I thought Model had his hand on plate. We’ll take it.

Wilbur Miller

The new plan is, any time the Pirates have a lead, Dumbo puts Crowe in and leaves him in until he blows it.

docdon385

At least this time he got one out. This might be the worst bull pen I’ve ever seen.

1979andCounting

9 out of last 10 batters he’s faced have reached base. I think you or I could get 1 out of 10 guys out by sheer luck.

1979andCounting

Geesh…….Block and Neil just gaslighting us the whole inning about Crowe!

docdon385

He’s great, don’t you know that. Really found his niche. Good grief.

Wilbur Miller

This inning is like a contest between Hodge ‘n Podge to show who’s more incompetent.

robertkasperski

Happy Crowe Day Y’all!!!!

comment image

docdon385

Day was much better before he showed up, again.

PirateRican21

Choice between Wilson and Crowe…..

b mcferren

I like how Cruz put so much pine tar on his helmet that it has become shiny

still though, he needs to wear a chinstrap

Wilbur Miller

Not sure I remember a pitcher who has the exact same sub-mediocre start in every single game like Wilson.

Cobra

Jeff Locke

1979andCounting

Oh we’ve had a few! Kingham is one.

robertkasperski

What might have been Nick not had his arm fall apart

robertkasperski

Run. Bae Run!!

b mcferren

woosh – that guy is fast!

he will score the winning run in our game 6 world series victory

1979andCounting

Jack rewards Shelton’s persistence. Shelton refusing to rest Jack, he’s played in every game in Sept.

forkball

He will finally get a day off tomorrow…

robertkasperski

just turned the game on just in time for the homer……..my bad…… jinxed em again…….

robertkasperski

I’ll credit for Jack too 😀

1979andCounting

Bae wearing eye black kinda silly. As is Collins.

Anthony

Do you expect him to wear sunglasses at night or is the use of eye black “unprofessional”?

1979andCounting

There’s no sun on the PNC field due to the Fall earlier setting sun. There’s no proven benefit to the eye black. It’s either a habit by Bae and/or it’s just a kids way of looking cool. No harm. Just an observation.

Anthony

That’s not a true statement, there actually IS evidence that supports the use of eye black improves contrast sensitivity and reduces glare from sunlight and stadium lighting.

b mcferren

Castro at 3rd
Bae at 2nd

Hayes riding pine

last start of Bryce Wilson’s pirate career tonight

Last edited 2 months ago by b mcferren
b mcferren

lets go bucs!

Beat em bucs

Does Stephenson look like a reclamation project that may work?

1979andCounting

Yes, absolutely.

Cobra

Pop quiz in alternate universe:
Cherington becomes GM & doesn’t make a single trade. Nutting opens up his wallet to give extensions to select players, and Ben then adds the same small-cost complementary free-agent pieces to that corps group:

Lineup: Marte, Castro, Reynolds, Bell, Vogey, Cruz, Hayes, Mitchell, Stallings
Rotation: Musgrove, Taillon, Keller, T. Anderson, Quintana
Bullpen: Holmes, Brubaker, Stratton

How many games does that lineup win this year?

Last edited 2 months ago by Cobra
CTBucco

85 – Just enough to be painfully outside the playoffs. Yes, they would have been a lot more interesting to watch. But with Marte and Bell heading into decline along with Quintana, Anderson, and Taillon having their best years behind them, they would be lucky to tread water in the seasons to come because there wouldn’t be the same quality of guys coming up (as there is now) to take over for the aging guys. And, we probably would be stuck with them having had to sign them to long term deals to get them to stay.

robertkasperski

Taillon winning games because of his offense out scores what he gives up.Holmes is just as streaky as he was here has been bad since July. Stallings has been no better than what we have had at Catcher. I miss Musgrove but I love Endy who Musgrove brought to us. We would most likely be over .500 but really not contending with these guys.

mpg43952

You lost me at ‘Nutting opens up his wallet’. Scrooge McDuck is more free with his funds.

b mcferren

and Neal Huntington was fired because he traded two lump arms and a head case for a guy who threw 200 innings in the three consecutive previous seasons???

Last edited 2 months ago by b mcferren
Anthony

Joey Bats for Robinson Diaz was a pretty pretty pretty bad trade too.

robertkasperski

The Pirates had no idea that Archer would fall apart physically any more than the Rays would know haw much time Glasnow would spent on the Il or how much time Baz would spend on the IL or Meadows issues. Every player involved is not helping any team right now. It should be noted that most experts applauded the trade when it happened.

Anthony

The “experts” applauded the intent of the trade, but I remember a seriously flawed Archer who had regressed considerably from his peak. They essentially gave up all that youth for a reclamation project. If Tampa says “yes”, you should prob think again about the trade.

Cobra

With Shelton at the helm, perhaps that’s an open question. Is there a WAR metric for managers?

Last edited 2 months ago by Cobra
Mtgj

I often think about this exact same thing and usually come to the conclusion that they had enough talent to compete In a weak nl central. As long as BC was capable of building a good bullpen then I believe that made up pirates team could win 85-90 games, but I also think that the rebuild was the right thing to do.

Next year should be really fun, I expect the pirates to be relevant for most of the 2023 season with 2024 being the year they compete to win the division.

Cobra

The above hypothetical is probably not far off of a Huntington-like approach if he remained GM. At the time, No-man’s Land and was frustrating & invited a “tear it down to the studs” mentality. However, I’m not sure I appreciated how demoralizing 3 years of tanking has been to a fan who loves to watch baseball

Anthony

This management change had a lot more to do with actual leadership and organizational direction than approach to building a winning team.

AdministrativeSky236

Keller’s era is like 3.36 in the last 15 starts, thats some TOR stuff right there

Anthony

So he is starting to look like what we thought he was going to be, but it just took a couple years to get there 🤔

robertkasperski

And you still hear that Mitch is bust material…..smh…..

PirateRican21

Hey, I stopped saying that like 5 minutes ago…

robertkasperski

Lol!! At least you stopped 😀

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