Pirates Discussion: Pirates Look to Avoid the Sweep

The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday as they battle the San Francisco Giants.

Tyler Beede was looking to build off a strong second start where he pitched 3.2 scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he was only able to last three innings this time while giving up two earned runs. Beede had to battle through his three innings as it took 74 pitches to complete his appearance. Of those 74 pitches, only 39 were strikes. He managed to get three strikeouts while also allowing three hits along with three walks.

The two runs came by way of back-to-back doubles to lead off the bottom of the first, and then a lead-off homerun by LaMonte Wade Jr. in the bottom of the third.

The bullpen managed to shut things down the rest of the way with Eric Stout, Duane Underwood Jr., and Chase De Jong combining to throw five scoreless innings.

The offense continues to leave a lot to be desired as a day after going 0-for-9 with RISP they followed it up going 0-for-7 on Saturday.

One of the few bright spots this weekend has been the play of Rodolfo Castro.

In the two games so far Castro has managed to go 4-for-8 while collecting three extra-base hits. More importantly he hasn’t struck out in his last nine plate appearances while he also hasn’t drawn a walk.

Pirates @ Giants

Time: 4:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Zach Thompson (3-9, 5.08)

Giants Starter: Alex Wood (8-9, 4.17)

Thompson Notes: This will be Zach Thompson’s 21st appearance of the season and 20th start. Thompson is carrying a 4.42 ERA on the road this season compared to a 5.57 ERA at home.

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Giants

1. LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
2. Joc Pederson (L) LF
3. Wilmer Flores (R) 3B
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Mike Yastrzemski (L) CF
6. Thairo Estrada (R) 2B
7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
8. Tommy La Stella (L) DH
9. Joey Bart (R) C

Pirates Discussion
Subscribe
Notify of
79 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
skliesen

Was that game the final nail in Shelton’s coffin?

I don’t see how any organization which cares about its’ players and fans could bring him back. But we know this isn’t any organization.

MB21

This management team deserves the criticism. The product this year has been awful and it’s not just because of rookies/young players. The manager and hitting coach should be fired. Lack of spending via ownership and general management is a crime (or should be). And there is not much light at the end of the tunnel, in my opinion. The strikeouts in the minors is downright alarming and situational hitting no longer exists in baseball.

This is the first time in many years, if ever, that I can’t stomach to watch ball games – this from a 50 year old lifetime fan who suffered through the 20 year losing stretch. Part of it is the current brand of baseball that is just boring – low batting averages and no base runners. But most of it is the overall incompetency of my favorite team. I am as down as ever about this franchise. Together with Tiger fans, things are downright depressing.

Wilbur Miller

This game is a microcosm of why the Pirates are about 3/4 of a roster away from being competitive. Yeah, they scored some runs and their major league hitter had a huge day. But they stranded five in the first two innings and got a big 1-for-9 day from their 3-4 hitters when their 1-2 hitters reached base eight times. A team with legit 3-4 hitters probably wins this game 11-8.

Then again, maybe you should win when you get seven runs. But it’s tough when you’re bumbling along with an opener (while your best starter is in AAA to save the owner money) and two marginal 5th starters with 5+ ERAs. All five SF starters have lower ERAs than any Pirate starter. A team with a major league rotation probably wins this game 7-5.

And it’s too bad Bednar is out, but most teams try to have at least 2-3 potential shutdown relievers. Cheringtoon is happy with waiver claims. Other than Yerry, who’s still arguable at this point, this FO in three years has yet to develop a single reliever. A team with more than one late-inning reliever probably wins this game 7-6.

Or maybe a key hit off the bench might have helped, whether in place of Delay (who’s now third on the team in OPS yet left for a pinch “hitter”) or somewhere else. But Dumbo has to have his pet JVM and his 61 OPS+.

The point is, actual major league teams are constantly trying to upgrade everywhere. They don’t say, Oh, it’s OK to carry an automatic out like JVM because he’s only the 26th man, or, It’s OK to find nearly our entire bullpen on waivers because . . . uh . . . something something. The Pirates are a whole team of weak spots. They like to prattle about how they’re losing close games, but that’s actually a bad sign, not a good sign. They’re losing because they have so many weak spots that, sooner or later, one of them, or a bunch of them, will blow the game.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
Cobra

“Withdrawal from disgust is not the same as apathy”
– Michael Stipe
— Richard Linklater

TNBucs

I’ve always liked the logic of giving relievers a second inning when their pitch counts are low and they’ve pitched well the first inning out of the pen. But it seems that hasn’t worked well for this team this year, at least not lately. I can’t complain too much about sticking with Crowe.

My complaint about Shelton today, though, is pinch hitting and then keeping VanMeter in the game. The problems with the PH decision:

  1. Delay had been on base three times and while it gave us the lefty/righty advantage in theory, VanMeter is batting .218 against righties. I’d always go with the guy that isn’t coming off the bench cold when the other option is batting .218.
  2. Though it’s a SSS, JVM was batting .182 as a pinch hitter (2 singles in 11 ABs with a BB and 3 K’s for an OPS of .432), presumably entirely against righties. It’s worse now. He’s shown no evidence of being able to pinch hit.
  3. Delay had just worked with Crowe in the 8th so on top of giving Crowe the 9th (which I agreed with), they made him get use to throwing to a new catcher (new to the game and also new to the team)–the shot of those two working out a game plan in the dugout in the top of the 9th says it all.
1979andCounting

Thought the same thing…..Delay should not have been lifted……head scratcher.

Mblee24

I honestly have no clue how this team comes close to competing next year. They have no one other than Reynolds who can hit. Only way they compete for a 500 season is if they go and spend this off-season which we all know won’t happen. I thought they could win 70-75 games this year and I thought they would try to but I was way off. I’m not sure they will win 60. At this point just trade Reynolds and let him win somewhere else before he’s past his prime.

TNBucs

I thought I was being realistic and open to praising Shelton and staff when I posted at the start of the season that going something like 71-91 would be a tangible sign of progress and give me hope that we’re moving in the right direction. I don’t see us going 26-21 in the remaining games.

This is a stretch of the season, though, when some non-contending teams check out while others play spoilers. If Shelton has developed the clubhouse culture he’s claimed, then they should bounce back from this road trip a play alright, at least at home. Let’s see.

Mblee24

I hope they show some life to end the season. I also want a few hitters to emerge as above average guys.

skliesen

What’s new? Anyone here surprised a RP gets lit up while pitching a 2nd inning? Happens frequently. This time, like many other times, it costs Pirates the game.

bucsws2014

unbelievable

skliesen

Hardly.

TNBucs

In a way, but sadly also believable.

RAS TN

Is it?

bucsws2014

Well, it did require both JVM to come into the game, replacing Newman, and Shelty having Crowe go 2 innings. Newman gets you the DP. Maybe the HR still happens, maybe not. But it required more moving parts than a bad pitch.

AdministrativeSky236

Uh crowe going back out for a second inning?

bucsws2014

Shelton’d

1979andCounting

No Bednar, No saves.

bucsws2014

Shouldn’t have sent Gamel. D’oh.

ironmike56

He slowed to a near stop before the slide, then tried to trick the catcher with his hand. Really akward, shades of Polanco.
Sad part is he was steaming around 3rd and then slowed up.

bucsws2014

Gamel had one foot and an ankle in the batter’s box while the catcher had the ball and his glove in front of the plate waiting. Gamel was out by three feet.

bucsws2014

With this PA, Gamel on verge of leaving Reynolds as the lone Bucco with a wRC+>100.

1979andCounting

That’s an E-6 not E-4. Newman was in shallow RF to start the play. Cruz barely moved when it was hit. Smh.

bscat

I’m not defending either Cruz or Newman, but where was the centerfielder? He had the benefit of seeing the ball all the way.

bucsws2014

Well it’s a double now.

skliesen

Welcome to SF, Cruz. Those pop-ups aren’t a gimme.

1979andCounting

I would rather have had JVM at 2nd and Newman at SS today. Cruz has no clue in the box vs LH’s.

bucsws2014

Keep playing Cruz, let him try figure it out. I don’t want to see JVM ever.

1979andCounting

Cruz has all winter in Dominican winter ball to face LH’s. I don’t want to see it in the show. It’s not doing him any good for his psychy, these lefties are good in the MLB.

bucsws2014

If it’s going to affect his psyche, then he’s probably not the guy we’re hoping for. Pitch recognition is pitch recognition.

edit: Right after posting this, JVM got his chance to hit. Looked worse.

Last edited 1 month ago by bucsws2014
1979andCounting

Have you watched his ABs? Yeah it’s in his head……he is flailing at LH pitches in the dirt or a foot outside.

bucsws2014

He’s a rookie. He needs to see MLB LHP enough to work on it/trhough it, I’d think becoming a platoon player would mess with his head even more.

1979andCounting

A manager needs to put his players in best positions to succeed. You can see Cruz is demoralized by all the LH whiffs and it’s spilling over to his RH ABs as seen in the 9th.

bucsws2014

Then he’s not ready to be an MLBer.

1979andCounting

Not true. Reynolds was flailing at pitches yesterday and not seeing the ball well and for the past week, IIRC he was 0-17 or 1-17. See my previous post. As a rookie, put Cruz in best positions to succeed. A funky herky jerky Wood is the wrong pitcher to have Cruz work on his approach.

chappy

B-Rey back from the dead!!!

1979andCounting

Rodon, Webb and Wood are all TOR pitchers. Our AAAA hitters are getting schooled, as we are having a majority of uncompetitive AB’s.
I just don’t see a way toward competitiveness without Bob spending in offseason. Wood has a 2/$25 deal. Rodon has 2/$44 deal. Someone needs to explain to Bob that he owns a prof sports franchise and if he doesn’t want to compete then he needs to sell to someone who will.

mikeschalke

Keep dreaming, we’re talking about the Pirates here.

Jeff

It’s an exercise in futility unfortunately. Bob will not sell. It’s being handed down to his daughters.

1979andCounting

Really? Any of the 3 daughters shown any interest in owning and running a MLB franchise?

Jeff

Not sure if they have interest, but he indicated a few years ago it’s the way he wants to go: (from Trib article)

“Nutting, previously has indicated he might eventually pass the franchise down to his three daughters, all of whom are in their 20s. He aims to take a cue from the Rooney family, which has owned the Steelers since the team formed in 1933. 
“What Ambassador (Dan) Rooney has done and what Art is doing now is a great model for providing stability, clarity of vision and consistent commitment,” Nutting said. “It has served that franchise well. If we live up to anything close to what they have done, I think that would be tremendous for the Pirates.”

postal911

Someone should remind Bob of that quote. He’s not following the model. There is no stability, no clarity of vision and certainly no commitment by ownership.

1979andCounting

Ok so there’s Kim Ng, GM in Miami. Marge Schott a few decades ago owning the Reds. But it may not be something those 3 daughters want to be involved in. We just need Bob out.

bucsws2014

Now that he’s diversified into booze, maybe he’ll drink himself into making irrational decisions, like spending money.

postal911

It’s too easy of a money maker for them to sell. The way Bob operates it, he’s probably clearing $30+ million in profits each year. All the daughters have to do is find someone to run it and they can sit back and enjoy the profits.

forkball

Still more interesting to watch than last year.

Wilbur Miller

And it takes the Pirates one inning to rack up an 0-for-3 wRISP.

skliesen

A year to forget for Reynolds hitting w RISP.

docdon385

This team is so fiffing bad and a lot of it has to be the overall approach. How can hitter after hitter take fastballs down the center of the plate and then swing at pitches six inches off the plate. Is their pitch recognition really that lacking?

bucsws2014

Stunned that Castro took that pitch.

chappy

Truly baffling.

Jeff

I find it harder and harder to sit down and watch a game. Endless inept offense has me turning off soon after game starts to do something else.
thank goodness football season starting.

docdon385

They are particularly hard to watch because they continue doing the same things that have failed so many times before with the same result. Having to daily contend with knowing the lineup will consist of Newman, Gamel, VanMeter, Madris (whose BA in August is now .087 after being .074 in July and whose only possible reason for still being on this team is to make VanMeter look good) and/or Allen (who will be 30 by next season and has yet to perform like a major league player) has become intolerable.

Why are these guys, none of whom can possibly be considered to be part of the future, still on this team? It’s acceptable if some of the younger guys (and Madris is not a young guy) struggle because they’re still learning and hopefully developing (although with the coaching and role models on this team I don’t know if they can) but these veterans are what they’ve always been and will remain that.

Cherington said there would be changes after the trading deadline but other than the few guys he traded or released the lineup is still filled with the same kind of hopeless players. When he finally released Yoshi everyone sighed in relief, but he replaced him with Madris who somehow has managed to do the seemingly impossible and be even worse. Is he deliberately doing this to frustrate fans so they/we stop caring and turn away the way it appears he’s already done. How is it possible to trust someone who acts this way?

Wilbur Miller

It gets worse the more you look into it. According to Stumpf, the second-worst Pirate team ever wRISP was last year’s team. This team is also the worst ever with runners on base, as opposed to RISP. The second-worst: the 2020 Pirates. So all three of Cheringtoon’s teams have set new standards for inept hitting, even apart from being the NL’s worst-hitting team three straight years (2020 and 2022 by wide margins). This FO and coaching staff are setting new standards for incompetence.

john_fluharty

It’d be great if someone would bring that stat up to them and see the response.

Wilbur Miller

I’m sure they’d find something to be encouraged about.

chappy

The most sobering thing about the Pirates I have read in awhile!

TNBucs

There results are so sobering, I need a beer to watch them.

TNBucs

*Their, obviously. Maybe the beer impacted my spelling.

Wilbur Miller

I need all the beer to watch them.

bianco599

I would like to grab a few dozen and talk to Jason Kendall about what it would take for him to manage the team. I still distinctly remember the day when he fractured his ankle. I loved a catcher who could steal bases, not wear batting gloves, and hit over 300.

bianco599

I’ve found that to watch them I need to start tailgating a few hours before the game starts.

TNBucs

I’m a Chang fan going back to watching Taiwanese baseball during the shutdown, and while he didn’t show much during his tryout with us I thought he’d be a better player to keep than at least four players we kept instead. He’s put up a wRC+ of 136 since joining Tampa (last season he put up a 129 wRC+ in the second half, so it’s not like this is unprecedented), and even when his struggles with Cleveland and us are included, he’s been worth more WAR than VanMeter and Chavis combined.

So a B by the front office for identifying a worthy waiver claim and an F for putting too much weight on small sample size results (49 PAs), which the current FO seems prone to do.

1979andCounting

You may have been right about Chang, but this FO is certainly not prone to short evaluations. There have been an excessive amount of PA’s given to everyone who shouldn’t have been given 100 AB’s. Tucker, JVM, M. Perez, Yoshi, Riddle, Evans, etc etc etc. 49 PA’s is equivalent to a full spring training, so I think they gave Yu a solid look. He looked totally over-matched for whatever reason.

TNBucs

True, it just makes little sense to me. Chang had a semi-extended stretch of success while VanMeter has never done anything at the major league level, yet VanMeter is the one they stick with. Shelton seems to particularly like VanMeter but that shouldn’t be a factor in who gets to stay and play.

1979andCounting

Clearly it’s because JVM has more versatility, certainly over Yoshi. Chang had only 7 hits, a .548 OPS, 18 K’s. Yeah he could have gone out and won a job, but he just didn’t. I don’t blame BC for cutting him loose.

Wilbur Miller

When every single one of them is having the same sharp drop off, and going through the same problems — like taking the first pitch down the middle and chasing the second way off the plate — it’s impossible to believe it’s not some broader problem specifically at the ML level.

And it’s not just rookies. Hayes has been disappointing, Gamel is below last year’s numbers, and Reynolds is struggling badly with swing decisions. NOBODY is above expectations. On anything to do with hitting, this staff is toxic.

chappy

But how much does the hitting coach monkey with each player? How much freedom does a hitter have? He’s the one at the plate, making the decision, hitting the ball or not. How does a person assess this?

Wilbur Miller

How does a person assess this?

GMBS and Dumbo are getting seven-figure salaries to figure that out. Other teams manage. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be in their positions.

jon6er

I would agree with you if they all didn’t look like the Stepford Wives at the plate. They are all up there like Wilbur said, watch fastballs down the middle and swing at anything off the plate. I don’t believe they all batted identical coming up to the majors and it looks too much like a one size fits all approach.

TNBucs

WRT Haines, as much as I’m frustrated with him I don’t want to see him become the scapegoat for everything that is wrong. Cherington and Shelton need to take ownership–they made it clear that Eckstein was not their guy, not on the same page, and that Haines was the right fit. So what will be the excuse if/when Haines is let go?

RAS TN

BTW a nice performance for the first exhibition game for the Steelers…at least they scored…

bucsws2014

Now that shithead is gone, I might actually watch some game for the first time since Kordell was QB. Last night was the first time ever I actually switched from the Bucs game to a freaking pre-season football game, or even watched more than a couple minutes of any pre-season game, albeit only 2nd half.

Wilbur Miller

The Pirates improved their standing last night. They went from sixth to fifth worst all time wRISP.

Dumbo thinks they need more “consistency of approach.” They have a VERY consistent approach. They take a FB down the middle and then start swinging at sliders a foot off the plate. It’s Hainesian hitting.

TNBucs

 “consistency of approach.”

This seems to be exactly the type of thing good coaching should help with. I’ve only coached youth sports, but view one of my responsibilities to be helping players get comfortable to play as well in important situations as they do in scrimmages. Obviously a huge difference in youth sports and MLB, but I think the principles still apply in terms of what coaches can be expected to help with–the talent is there, the coaches need to figure out how to get that talent to perform consistently.

TNBucs

And to be fair, it is easier to achieve that comfort level with some players than others. But can we point to even a couple of hitters who are clearly making progress at the plate?

RAS TN

I will go out on a limb and say that the churn everybody seems to think is important to the team well will be most effective in the dugout after this year when Mgr and all Coaches are replaced…

Most Voted Comments

Menu
79
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x