The Pirates are half a game up on the Brewers in the NL Central, and they take on Milwaukee for the first time this year in a three game series this weekend.
Rich Hill takes the mound for the Pirates. The lefty has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last five starts, and has gone into the seventh in both of his previous two starts.
I wrote yesterday about how the battle between the Cubs and the Pirates might have been the battle of the best in the NL Central. The Pirates are currently 5-2 on the season against both the Reds and the Cardinals. The Cubs swept them in the first three games between the two teams.
Heading into this series, I’d put Milwaukee in the same tier as the Reds and Cardinals, which would be below the Cubs. You hope that the Pirates are with the Cubs, and not in the four-team tier fighting for second place. We’ll start to get a better idea of where they stand with this weekend series in Milwaukee — a scenario that hasn’t always played well for the Pirates.
PIRATES GAME PREVIEWS
PIRATES (34-33) AT BREWERS
Game Time: 8:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Rich Hill, LHP (6-5, 4.23)
Brewers Starter: Julio Teheran, RHP (1-2, 1.48)
How we’re lining up tonight in Milwaukee.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 16, 2023
Rockin' our powder blues tonight.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 16, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS (29-35) AT IOWA
Game Time: 8:08 PM EST
Projected Starter: Cam Alldred, LHP (2-0, 3.58)
ALTOONA (30-28) AT SOMERSET
Game Time: 7:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
GREENSBORO (33-25) AT GREENVILLE
Game Time: 7:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Po Yu Chen, RHP (2-4, 4.73)
BRADENTON (31-29) VS FORT MYERS
Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
FCL PIRATES (6-2)
Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
DSL PIRATES BLACK (4-4)
Game Time: 11:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: Carlos Mateo, RHP (0-0, 67.50)
DSL PIRATES GOLD (5-3)
Game Time: 11:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: Yojeiry Osoria, LHP (0-0, 0.00)
THE NEW PROSPECT WATCH
With all of our game reports now going into this daily article, the Prospect Watch has been repurposed as a daily look at three prospects throughout the system. Check the site each day at noon for the latest edition. We’ll keep the archives updated here.
6/15: Shalin Polanco, Abrahan Gutierrez, Will Matthiessen
6/14: Nick Cimillo, Geovanny Planchart, Jesus Castillo
6/13: Brandan Bidios, Yordany De Los Santos, J.P. Massey
6/12: David Matoma, Jun-Seok Shim, Tsung-Che Cheng
DAILY PIRATES NEWS
Anthony Murphy wrote about Solomon Maguire, who was signed to a big deal out of Australia following the Starling Marte trade.
In the latest mock draft from MLB Pipeline, Dylan Crews is the pick.
With Colin Holderman going down, the Pirates are a bit more thin in the later innings. I like Yerry De Los Santos as an MLB reliever. I also like Dauri Moreta’s chance of stepping up and replacing Holderman. The problem I see is that De Los Santos probably won’t immediately replace Moreta’s role, which makes the entire bullpen weaker. I already thought they needed an established guy to spell David Bednar, and with their unexpected winning, that’s turned into a small issue already. This team could use bullpen help, at the least.
More Recent Pirates Features
6/15: Where Are The Hitting Prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates Farm System?
6/14: Pirates Roundtable: The Book on Osvaldo Bido
6/11: Interview With Andrew McCutchen
6/10: Williams: How Much Depth Do the 2023 Pirates Have Left?
By Wilbur Miller
Check back at the end of the night for all of the daily results throughout the system, or, join the discussion in the comments if you’re following Live.
Final Score: Brewers 5, Pirates 4
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana 2-for-4, HR (6)
Rich Hill dug a hole for the Pirates in the first inning and, despite some excellent chances at the end, they weren’t able to dig themselves out. The 5-4 loss to the Brewers was their fourth in a row and knocked them out of first.
After getting a leadoff walk erased by a double play in the bottom of the first, Hill seemed headed for an easy inning, but it turned out very differently. He walked three more batters which, combined with yet another catcher’s interference by veteran defensive wizard Austin Hedges forced in a run. Then a two-run single made it 3-0.
Facing Julio Teheran, the Pirates came up with a nifty solution for their struggles with runners in scoring position: they didn’t get any. Not for five innings, anyway. Teheran retired all but one batter, Carlos Santana, who led off the second with his sixth home run of the year. The only other run, in fact the only other runner, the Pirates got off Teheran was Ji-Hwan Bae, who led off the sixth with a walk. He stole second, then came around on a ground out and a sacrifice fly by Tucupita Marcano.
After that awful start, Hill somehow got through five innings, which probably shows why he’s still in the majors at age 43. He did give up a fourth run, naturally scored by another guy who walked, then came around on a double. Over five innings, Hill allowed just three hits but six walks.
Carmen Mlodzinski followed, making his major league debut. He got a number of firsts out of the way in short order. He got his first strikeout on the first batter he faced, allowed his first gopher ball to the second, and issued his first walk to the third. Then he got two more outs in the sixth and one in the seventh before yielding to Dauri Moreta.
By then, the Pirates had closed the gap to 5-4, but they could have had more. They loaded the bases with nobody out, but Josh Palacios hit into a force play at home. Ke’Bryan Hayes bounced a two-run single into right, but Palacios got thrown out at third. Hayes stole second to put the tying run in scoring position, only to have Bae strike out.
Moreta kept the gap at one into the ninth, but then things got really maddening. With one out, Jack Suwinski walked and took third on a double by Palacios. Hayes then looked at strike three, Bae walked, and Jason Delay — Hedges had departed for a pinch hitter — whiffed on a pitch well out of the strike zone.
PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH
By John Dreker
Final Score: Iowa 2, Indianapolis 1
Player of the Game: Nick Gonzales, 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, BB
Indianapolis lost a quick low-scoring affair 2-1 to Iowa. Cam Alldred got the start, allowing two runs for the loss. He went six innings, with four hits, two walks and four strikeouts. He threw just 71 pitches.
Colin Selby returned for the first time in a month and tossed a scoreless frame. John O’Reilly also threw a shutout inning.
Nick Gonzales had a nice night, with his 12th double, fourth triple and a walk. He scored the lone run on an eighth inning single by Endy Rodriguez. That was the only hit for Rodriguez.
Jared Triolo also had a nice night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double.
Henry Davis played right field and went 0-for-4.
Cal Mitchell collected his 12th double.
Final Score: Altoona 6, Somerset 2
Player of the Game: Matt Fraizer, 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB
Sean Sullivan missed his last start with a minor injury. He returned on Friday night with 13 days between starts. He went 3.1 innings with one run allowed on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. It was a solid outing, though not efficient. He needed 74 pitches to get through his night, with 44 going for strikes.
Nick Dombkowski got the win with one run over 4.2 innings. Juan Minaya closed the game out with a scoreless ninth.
Matt Fraizer had a nice day at the plate, which included his fifth homer of the season. He also had a single and a walk, finishing with three RBIs. He stole his sixth base of the season.
Matt Gorski hit his ninth homer
Liover Peguero collected three hits, including his 15th double. He also stole his 15th base.
Final Score: Greenville 7, Greensboro 6
Player of the Game: Jase Bowen 4-for-5, HR, 4 RBI
Jase Bowen had himself quite a day at the plate, but Greensboro lost the game in the bottom of the ninth, dropping a 7-6 decision to Greenville.
Bowen had four hits in the game, including his 12th home run. He also picked up four RBIs. He has driven in 46 runs over 50 games this year.
Po-Yu Chen had an average outing, allowing three runs over six innings, on seven hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. He has a 4.71 ERA this year, with 59 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP over 57.1 innings.
Santiago Florez allowed three runs in his only inning. Dante Mendoza tossed a scoreless eighth, but an unearned run scored in the ninth before he could record an out.
Maikol Escotto came in as a defensive replacement during the bottom of the ninth with two men on base. He then made an error on the first batter after he entered the game, which allowed the walk-off run to score.
Mike Jarvis had two hits, two runs and an RBI. Wyatt Hendrie scored two runs.
Final Score: Bradenton 6, Fort Myers 1
Player of the Game: Alessandro Ercolani 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO
Alessandro Ercolani has been making some strong progress lately, which he turned into results on Friday. He tossed five shutout innings on one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. He has a 4.69 ERA through ten starts, with 39 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP in 40.1 innings.
Geronimo Franzua and Brandan Bidois each tossed a scoreless frame. Yoldin De La Paz allowed one run over two innings.
Shalin Polanco connected on his 11th double and his tenth homer. He’s up to a .796 OPS, after a very slow start in the batting average category.
Termarr Johnson went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs.
Rodolfo Nolasco hit a three-run homer, his eighth home run of the year.
ROOKIE: FCL PIRATES
Final Score: Pirates 2, Orioles 1
Player of the Game: Isaias Uribe 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO
Starter Isaias Uribe helped the Pirates to victory on Friday by tossing five scoreless innings in the 2-1 win over the Orioles. He allowed one run over 4.1 innings in his season debut last week.
Jackson Grounds tossed two scoreless innings. Roelmy Garcia allowed a run in his only inning, but good timing left him with the victory. Joaquin Tejada got the save with a scoreless ninth.
The Pirates scored in the second inning on a wild pitch. Their eighth inning run scored on a throwing error.
Yordany De Los Santos had a single, walk and three stolen bases, giving him seven steals on the year. He has a .345 average through seven games.
Axiel Plaz and Lonnie White Jr each went 1-for-4.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES BLACK
Final Score: Giants 7, Pirates 3
Player of the Game: Samuel Escudero 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB
This game had plenty of excitement at the start, which quickly went away for the Pirates, as they lost 7-3.
This was the second pro start of Carlos Mateo, who received the second highest bonus for the Pirates in this international signing class. His catcher was Jonathan Rivero, who received the highest bonus.
Mateo lasted just five batters due to reaching his pitch count, thanks to four walks. He only gave up one run, as Jarlen De La Paz stranded all three inherited runners, while getting the final two outs of the first inning. Mateo failed to get out of the first inning in his first start as well.
Rivero had a rough game as well, committing four passed balls. He went 1-for-4, giving him a .130 average and a .424 OPS.
Samuel Escudero had a big game, collecting two doubles, two RBIs and a walk. He now has a 1.167 OPS.
Angel Aquino had two walks, a single and a run scored.
Only three of the Pirates seven runs allowed were earned.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES GOLD
Final Score: Pirates 3, Mariners 1
Player of the Game: Yojeiry Osoria 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO
The Pirates won 3-1 on Friday behind the solid pitcher of Yojeiry Osoria, who threw four shutout innings on one hit, one walk and five strikeouts. He also threw four shutout innings in his season debut last week. Osoria was a highly regarded lefty pitching prospect when he signed for a $600K bonus. He has progressed slowly, partially due to the canceled 2020 season, while also dealing with an injury last year.
Hader Blanco allowed one run over three innings, which sent the game to extra innings (scheduled for seven). Rafael Mendez got the win with a scoreless frame.
The Pirates scored first in the fifth on an infield single by Roinny Aguiar. They took the lead in the eighth on a two-run double by Carlos Tirado. He had two of the team’s four hits in the game.
Eduardo Oviedo had two walks and two stolen bases. Daje Morales scored two runs, reaching base on a fielder’s choice and as the extra runner in the eighth.