The Pirates take on the Rays this afternoon, trying to salvage the series after losing the first two games. Check out my column from this morning on how this is when the Pirates need their veteran presence.
Williams: This is When the Pirates Need That Veteran Presence
PIRATES AT RAYS
Game Time: 1:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Vince Velasquez (4-2, 3.06)
Rays Starter: Zach Eflin (3-0, 3.00)
Game three from the Trop.
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— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 4, 2023
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
I didn’t get to watch today and based on the comments about the umpiring, I’m glad I didn’t. It has the look of the ump being out to make a statement after Shelton had his heated argument last night.
My other thought is that since our 16-run outburst on Saturday we’ve scored 6 runs in 4 games. Of course most of that is due to TB’s pitching, and it will be really interesting to see if we can get back on track this weekend against a quality opponent.
Robby: “How did you throw that immaculate inning?”
Holderman: “I was mad.”
And that was said while wearing a “Sit the F down” t-shirt.
Holderman is quickly becoming one of my favorite Buccos.
I don’t feel too bad about this series. Starting pitching showed it is right there with the horses Tampa threw out there. Game 1 the pen blew a chance to win, game 2 a few physical errors blew it, and today with how bad the home plate up was, there may have been a different result. Worst part of the series to me is possibly losing VV. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised now to see them sweep the Blue Jays.
Bethancourt had a helluva game framing. BNP would be proud of his guy back there!
Not sure it had anything to do with framing. The strike call against Cutch in the 9th was him reaching across the entire plate., stabbing at the outside pitch and yanking it “back into the strike zone”. It was as obvious a ball as you want to see, short of it going back to the backstop and it was somehow called a strike. I think the ump was just bad.
BNP still highly upset the Super Utility Catcher was cut loose by the Bucs 🙂
Tampa Bay has to have the worst stadium. They deserve better. I feel like a few years ago they were going to split games in Tampa/Montreal. Wonder if they will ever move.
You may know this, but Manfred said last week that MLB will likely expand as soon as the Rays get their stadium situation worked out. I assume that’s because they don’t want to limit the Rays from relocating by placing an expansion team in a prime spot like Nashville or Montreal (popular choices for expansion cities).
I did read something along those lines. I saw some where Portland, OR and maybe Salt Lake City wanted to try and get one as well. Appears the A’s are heading to Vegas. At least they bought some land there.
Wtf is Suwinski looking for, is gonna be soft and outside
That called strike against Cutch was scandalous. This guy should never work homeplate again.
Delay is the superior option
You don’t like Hedges .133 batting average?
I don´t like it that we are not making use of our return for Tyler Anderson
Shelty playing long game and not gonna use Bednar vs Rays until the WS.
Relieving trade deadline acquisition Ohtani no doubt!
Right now the Angels are 17-14, a half game out of a play-off spot.
what hypothetical return do you offer for Ohtani?
It’s the Angels, so it’s not gonna be anyone that gets them to the playoffs because the Angels historically don’t want those guys.
there´ll be a bidding war that will drive up the price to at least either Endy or Tank
Perfect inning by Holderman. 9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 Ks.
The Immaculate Inning.
watching umpires call balls and strikes is getting ridiculous, It’s getting to the point that I don’t want to watch. They ruin the game. All 3 guys this series have been awful. MLB has the technology to have consistent and fast strike zones every game, why in the world would they not utilize it? Baseball has made some great changes, but the easiest and best change hasn’t been made. Everybody in the world knows within a millisecond if it should be a strike or not, but for some reason the umpire is the only person in the world that isn’t allowed to utilize the technology. It’s mind blowing.
So you’re cool with the strike zone that was called this series?
I doubt it…
anyone here doubt these shitty calls are the result of Shelton and Hedges acting like idiots the past few days???
No doubts for me.
Looks like VV may have hurt his elbow.
Sucks for him. Hopefully not a long DL stint. Dude was having his best year since 2018, probably a leading candidate for ‘comeback player of year’.
Wilbur, the tv announcers confirmed what you originally said. He was removed with elbow discomfort.
Regardless of the severity, there’s zero chance that VV makes his next turn. Hopefully Ortiz’ turn lines up well, because he should be up in a few days.
Velasquez left the game after 3 innings rubbing his forearm. If I understood Matt Capps correctly, he said where he was rubbing his forearm was a good sign (that it moght not be a major injury).
I vote for this reading.
If anyone wants to make a case for robo umpires calling balls a strikes, this is the game to keep on file.
you know in OOTP, there is a fast forward button to let the computer play all the games without you having to even be bored enough to endure them?
think we should just automate the thing and let siri do it all instead?
Actually I want to see the players play the game. I don’t watch baseball to see the umpires. They have made themselves the story the last 2 games. The bias that has been shown since the Shelton meltdown is what I want to see eliminated.
would rather keep the game the way it is and even revert the hoopla and ipads and war statcast
also want to eliminate shelton
We are not too off from the same logic. I am not a fan of WAR (which is a made up stats that tries to clump all stats together). Not sure what to think of Shelton yet. As far as the bias strike zone calls, maybe I’m still bitter about the play-off series in 1992 against the Braves pitching staff.
Every time I start to think robo umps may not be so hot, there’s a farce like this.
If the robo umps can call it correctly, I am for it. The home plate ump has enough to do still with the pitch clock, fair or foul, balks, plays at the plate etc. We are seeing the bias today.
They just called out Marcano on strikes which was clearly not a strike,
Intentional bias or plain incompetence, this phantom strike zone is unacceptable. A recording of this performance needs to be sent to MLB for review.
Another called 3rd strike out of the zone, Tucapita the victim this time. Ridiculous.
What a joke these umpires are. Pathetic.
So much for Lumber Company II, maybe more like Wet Paper Baggers…
They will surely need to hit better in the coming days…
Did anyone saw the highlight of Stalling striking out Acuña?
Joe complains to the home plate ump about being called out again, on strikes, on a pitch that was again outside. The Rays are great, but when the ump is tilted against you (not claiming it is intentional) the mountain gets a lot steeper.
Retaliation for Shelton berating yesterday! I’m kidding.
The strike calls are just insane it seems like. I feel like we are getting a ton against us I’m sure it’s going both ways. No way that was strike 3 on Joe.
calling Sr. Ortiz
Valasquez leaves after the 3rd with some unknown injury. What a crap series this has turned into. We are down 1-0, but it feels like 7-0.
It will be soon enough but does it really matter? The Pirates have scored a total of two runs in the three games so far. How many games is that kind of offense gonna win?
The Rays may end up being one of the very best teams of all time. Do they have a weakness? I am trying to keep some perspective on this. Win or lose today, I am interested to see how we play over the 6 game home stand coming up. The Rays may be so much better than the league this year that it could skew impressions about where we stand against the rest.
Another perspective view , We totally destroyed Colorado, The Brew Crew lost 3-2 and 7-1 to the Rox…Go figure….
Right. Baseball is weird and wonderful stuff and it’s best to not get too high or low with each individual game. Good way to make yourself crazy.
In my case, crazier!
There’s no denying that the Rays are a good team but this circus tent they play in has to be disorienting for visitors especially ones that only go there once a year. MLB has to get that team moved to a decent field and one would hope to somewhere people really care about baseball.
Great…home plate ump already becoming a story. Another ball called a strike and Joe sits down…
These days games after a night game are brutal.
3 pitches, 2 outs? Don’t like that approach. Then a bad 3rd strike call on Cutch.
I don’t either, but they did say Efflin has only walked 3 batters all year.