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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Pirates Take One Before Final Homestand

Roansy Contreras started his final game of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals, and would’ve liked for it to have gone better.

Contreras could’ve used better defense, but he made it through three innings on 50 pitches. He gave up three runs in the first, one earned, after a Ben Gamel error to the first batter in the bottom of the first. Albert Pujols added his 702nd HR of his career in the third shortly after the Pittsburgh Pirates had taken the lead. Contreras would finish with no strikeouts in three innings, and four runs against, but only two earned.

Just after Gamel’s error lead to two unearned runs and a 3-0 deficit, he tied things up in the top of the 2nd with his 9th HR of the season.

Miguel Andujar put the Pirates ahead momentarily in the third 4-3, before the Pujols HR tied it in the bottom half.

Paul Dejong gave the Cardinals a lead in the fourth with an RBI double against Chase De Jong, who had replaced Contreras.

That lead was short lived as the Pirates offense added two in the fifth for a 6-5 lead on an Andujar RBI ground out, followed by a RBI single by Jack Suwinski.

That would be all the bullpen needed as four relievers combined for 4.1 shutout innings, capped off by David Bednar’s 19th save.

Bryan Reynolds hit a solo shot in the 7th for his 27th HR of the season and some insurance to give the Pirates a 7-5 lead.

The Pirates held on for their 60th win of the season and put off 100 losses for another day.

Cardinals @ Pirates

Time: 6:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (5-12, 3.92)

Cardinals Starter: TBD

Keller Notes: This will be Mitch Keller’s 29th and final start of the season. He’ll be looking to finish off a solid 2022 campaign that solidified his position in the Pirates staff moving forward. Struggling with consistency over the majority of his career, Keller stepped up and showed he could be a useful piece for the future.

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Cardinals

1. Brendan Donovan (L) 2B
2. Lars Nootbaar (L) RF
3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
4. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
5. Albert Pujols (R) DH
6. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
7. Dylan Carlson (S) CF
8. Andrew Knizner (R) C
9. Paul DeJong (R) SS

UPDATE: Mears joins Pirates

+ posts

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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robertkasperski

Jerry Meals doing his best Frank Drebin/Enrico Pallazzo impersonation. Only Jerry would stand there and not call anything.

robertkasperski

comment image

robertkasperski

Did the Bucs and Cards switch bullpens??

1979andCounting

Staving off 100 for another day.

b mcferren

raise it

PirateRican21

ricramer

4 straight walks?!? Nice!!!!

Anthony

That was prob a three- to four-sigma event 😂

Last edited 1 month ago by Anthony
1979andCounting

Ugly 9th inning BP, sure looks better on the other guys!

1979andCounting

Gallegos just signed 2 yr $11 mil deal before the game! Can’t blame him for off night. But there’s never a night off in MLB.

bucsws2014

And Marmol is on the phone to Girsch asking if it was all guaranteed.

b mcferren

Cruz hit a homerun off this lefty pitcher Romero a few weeks ago

PirateRican21

I think I made this comment to WM, but Ramirez is intriguing, the stuff is nasty, unfortunately the control is below average, but if we could get it to average we are looking at a better version of Jared Hughes.

AdministrativeSky236

Tbd if it results in improvement, but I dont think they are at all short on interesting arms to fill out the pen for next year.

1979andCounting

Jack is back home!!

ironmike56

He looks so confident at the home park, and I love the way he chokes up on the bat as the count deepens. His Father’s Day performance was season highlight for me, and I was fortunate to be there with family.

Wilbur Miller

This is really wild:

PNC Park record for most HRs in this stadium is 18. Suwinski is at 16.

PirateRican21

Wow, I’m guessing in way less games!

Wilbur Miller

He’s played 54 at home, so in the end it’ll be barely over two-thirds of the home season.

And it’s not like PNC hasn’t been home to a LH power hitter before. Giles, G.Jones, Alvarez, Bell sort of. The 19 was McLouth (!). Cutch topped out at 15, Bell at 17.

Wilbur Miller

Be nice to see him get 20.

AdministrativeSky236

Oneil gone fishing

b mcferren

wouldn’t mind taking Matz off their hands for our 2023 reclamation project

bucsws2014

Signed thru 2025, $11/M per year.

AdministrativeSky236

BC has made many questionable waiver pickups this year, but fernandez and andujar both have pretty solid potential at least. Wouldnt mind to have them both in the org going into next year

1979andCounting

Fernandez reminds me of Clay Holmes a little.
Big dude with a big arm.

1979andCounting

We may have our set-up man in ’23. Love this kid. He got squeezed by veteranosity in St. Louis. What a nice pickup. Get rid of Crowe, Underwood. Add Fernandez and Holderman. Just for starters…….more BP changes to come.

AdministrativeSky236

Oviedo, nunez, and fernandez are all some very interesting guys we took of their hands

bucsws2014

Mitch ends 2022 at 3.91.

Wilbur Miller

Four months ago I wouldn’t have bet a nickel on that at any odds. Kudos to him.

b mcferren

like

1979andCounting

Who will Cards pitch vs Phillies? Gotta think Mikolas, Q and Flaherty. Can’t wait to watch meaningful baseball again.

forkball

Pujols has something else in common in Babe Ruth – the last HR of their reg. season career in Pittsburgh.

PirateRican21

Is that 703 against the Pirates? Sure feels like it.

bucsws2014

My wish that Charlie Morton would finish his career in Pittsburgh has been dashed. Braves re-signed him for $20M with an option.

PirateRican21

Keller looks good, i consider myself a Keller skeptic, but I’m becoming a believer.

b mcferren

does not look like we are going to be able to afford Cantina this offseason

good for him

PirateRican21

Sure we can, we might not want to, but we can. Let me give you the excuses right now, we need to see what we have in Ortiz and Oviedo, we don’t want to block Priester nor Burrow, we are not ready to contend, etc, etc….

b mcferren

“we’d love to bring back Cantina but we already spent all of our available money on Aroldis Chapman”

John Dreker

Lineup is out and Bae isn’t in it for the third time in seven games. Insane that they wait until nine games left to call him up and he’s on the bench that often. At this point of the season, I would have had Bae leadoff, Andujar second and not cared one bit about the rest. Everyone else has played plenty

emjayinTN

Totally agree regarding Bae. I’m sure if asked, Shelton will respond that he wanted a RH hitter (Newman) leading off against Q.

Quintana has done very well in 2022 – his ERA is the lowest of his career, and his FIP is the 2nd lowest of his career. He was 2.2 fWAR with the Pirates and is at 4.0 fWAR total to date.

docdon385

It’s difficult to understand unless BC has a plan to start Bae off in Indy again next year to save that precious service time and doesn’t want him to look so good he has to fabricate some lame excuse for doing that the way he did with Cruz this year. Of course it could be that Shelton’s just a dumbass.

John Dreker

Unfortunately, Cruz made it look like a smart decision for most of his time at Indianapolis this year, so they will definitely go back to it. Bae will be starting next year at Indy, it didn’t matter what he did during these games. I’d put it in writing, as long as I can add an asterisk for injuries keeping him around like Contreras this year.

I’m fine with that btw, I’d rather play long-term games and not give away a year of control for a few weeks during a bad season. I’m looking forward to mid-2023 and beyond, don’t have high hopes for the early part of the season. There’s a lot of talent at the upper levels though and they are going to be arriving throughout the season. April/May 2023 in Pittsburgh next year is just going to be fans waiting (not patiently) for the cavalry to come.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Dreker
TNBucs

Mid-23 should be better, but April and May of ’23 should still be a big improvement over this past April and May with Castro, Cruz, Hayes, Reynolds, Suwinski, and Andujar hopefully providing a decent top six. If they re-sign Perez and fill the need at 1B/DH, then we’re only waiting on a couple of holes to be filled. Likewise, a rotation of Keller, Contreras, Brubaker, Oviedo, and a veteran offseason acquisition should be plenty fun to watch until Priester, Ortiz, and/or Burrows force their way. If they can sign quality 7th- and 8th- inning guys so we’re not dreading the end of games, then we should see the kind of improvement Arizona and Baltimore saw this year (I had no idea the Dbacks and been playing so well until watching part of their game last against the Brewers).

emjayinTN

Agree with your last sentence, but that decision was made at a higher pay grade – BC.

Catch_22

Nice article about Q over at Fangraphs. He’s basically the J.A Happ of this deadline. I’d go 3/50 if I was Cherington.

PirateRican21

Quintana and Taillon, I’ll keep beating those drums until they sign somewhere else!

ArkyWags

Because he’s been pitching forever, I often forget Q is only gonna be 34. In a period where pitchers of all ages seem to find a new gear or wrinkle to stay effective, I’d be down with that bet. And find a second arm of similar value for the rotation.

b mcferren

should redirect that arb3 money (due to Brubaker) and send it to Cantina instead

joesolo6181

Go Keller. Keep that ERA below 4 with a great pitched game today.

docdon385

I’d just like to see management start doing more things before next season to show they actually care about winning. I don’t mean signing some big expensive FA or making a franchise changing trade but simply bringing in some reputable major league veteran players (especially pitchers) through FA or some decent trades rather than spending half of the year again trying out a bunch of players no one else wants.

They could also start convincing fans (at least this one) that they care about starting to win by letting top level prospects start the season in Pitt, if they deserve it, instead of keeping them in the minors until July simply because of service time manipulation and then making up reasons for doing so. It’s about saving money by delaying arbitration/FA and as long as that’s more important than winning they probably never will.

Cruz was supposed to be learning to play the outfield in Indy but that was just a big fib and everyone knew it. April and May might have been a bit ugly but by mid-June he could well have been where he is now and who knows where he might have been by the end of the season. Keeping him in Indy did nothing but retard his development and the same thing will happen with other prospects unless they’re allowed to learn how to play in the majors sooner rather than later.

Oh, and signing Cruz to a long-term contract now would definitely help.

Anthony

I thought the minor leagues was the place you learn how to play in the majors. I guess they don’t matter anymore 🤷🏻‍♂️

jon6er

Yeah and Jack losing Burleson’s routine fly ball in the sun which should have been the 2nd out of the inning didn’t help Contreras’ pitch count or his stat line.

Catch_22
  • Very satisfying to win on Cardinals Day in front of their home crowd.
  • Wish they would’ve shut down Contreras about 3 starts ago when the velo was way down.
  • Really need Mitch to finish strong and put a cap on a very good year.
tedwins

Tip of the cap to all the writers, here, and the subscribers/followers for hanging in with content, posts, and interest. Another tough year, but there is light at the end of this rebuild, keep the faith, what else can we do🤔🤷‍♂️🤣

PirateRican21

The steps that Cruz has taken are super encouraging, he is making the adjustment at plate that were needed. The HR will follow as pitchers change their attack plan.

ArkyWags

That’s probably been my biggest takeaway the last 2-3 weeks. Maybe this recent stretch is a mirage, but if he’s going to be a franchise talent the K’s have to come down and the walks have to go up.

The deeper I look, it may not be a mirage either. At the start of September his K percentage was at 37. 8 and his BB percentage was at 6.1. Since the start of the month, his K percentage is 30.8 and his BB percentage is 9.4. So he’s done that fairly well for a solid month. If I’m remembering correctly, Wilbur or John stated numerous times he needed time at new levels to adjust. We may be seeing the effects of that here.

And oh yeah he’s 31 for 102 in September, with 14 of those hits for extra bases.

Last edited 2 months ago by ArkyWags
Wilbur Miller

So, by facing ML pitching, he’s gotten better against ML pitching. Who could’ve imagined such a thing?!

Anthony

It’s not like he could have gotten any worse!

If we’re being technical, he still hasn’t shown that he can hit AAA pitching.

robertkasperski

If we are being technical, he went from .176 in April to .256 in May and .298 in June before his promotion. Appears to me he was hitting AAA pitching. Did what he did at every level. Started slow and improved. We shall see if he continues to improve next season.

Last edited 2 months ago by robertkasperski
Anthony

You’re joking right?!

One decent month in AAA does not a promotion make.

Anthony

Ohhh, I forgot!! The new rubric on this board for prospect promotions and the service time manipulation narrative stands at one decent month or about 50 ABs.

🤡🤡🤡

robertkasperski

Slow first month good second month and finished strong in the 3rd month. My point was that at every level he started slow and adjusted and improved. That is not proclaiming anything other than just that. He has done the same in Pittsburgh. Does that proclaim him a finished product? Not in the least. It does mean that he can adjust and l am looking forward to see how he proceeds next season.

Anthony

Check it…his second month was his best performing month in AAA. So that pretty much makes your point moot.

robertkasperski

I did check it. That is how I got the numbers that I posted. His 3rd month, in only 1/2 a month before the callup gave him the higher BA. I did look it up. Only looking at his AAA AB he had a .298 average unless I made a math error. I get it that your opinion is that he should have been in AAA longer and my opinion is such that he needed to progress to major league pitching. No matter what our opinions our, the Bucs will do what they want. I guess we will have to agree to disagree and see how things turn out next season.

Wilbur Miller

Ya think?
Cruz’ worst monthly OPS: July – .629
Total OPS with Pirates:
Delay – .534
Yoshi – .478
VM – .558
Marcano – .553
Heineman – .537
Allen – .531
Madris – .509
MPerez – .526
Tucker – .397
Chang – .548
Knapp – .390
Collins – .178
Godoy – .118
Padlo – .000

“Couldn’t be worse” is not a phrase to toss around lightly with the Pirates.

Anthony

Unfortunately, his OPS has been propped up by the S, which is about half as valuable as the O.

PirateRican21

That’s not even 50%, so what’s your point!
😂

robertkasperski

Can we lump a few of them together and somehow come up with at least one decent player???

Catch_22

Pretty low bar there

Wilbur Miller

Tell that to the moron who loaded the roster with all those guys.

AdministrativeSky236

Some pretty impressive offensive numbers there!

b mcferren

Reds count as major league pitching?

PirateRican21

Lol, hey they have Lodolo and Greene, two starters I will be excited to have.

Catch_22

echo

Wilbur Miller

Echo

PirateRican21

I’ll say in Spanish, eco!

robertkasperski

ECHO, Echo, echo…..Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…

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