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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Wreck-It Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds is a man on a mission.

It’s hard to say if the Dennis Eckersley’s “Hodgepodge of nothingness” comment started a fire, because Reynolds has been on a tear in the month of August.

On Thursday night the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided their seventh loss and second consecutive series sweep by scoring early and scoring often. To sweeten the deal the Pirates also got a beautiful pitching display by JT Brubaker.

Brubaker pitched a quick first inning setting down the Boston Red Sox on 15 pitches collecting two strikeouts on the first two batters of the inning. As they did Wednesday night — and in almost identical fashion — Newman singled with one out before Reynolds took a hanging 1-2 cutter from Josh Winckowski to deep right field for an early 2-0 lead.

That was all JT Brubaker needed as he never relinquished the lead. Brubaker breezed through seven innings in total while only allowing two hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts. He managed to get through those seven innings on only 84 pitches. Mike Persak mentioned that Brubaker was actually removed due to a blister that formed in the sixth inning.

Back to the Pirates offense, they didn’t wait long to add on to their early lead. With two on and two out in the third inning, Ben Gamel stepped to the plate and hit a two-run double. Two innings later Reynolds came up with two outs — and once again after a Kevin Newman single — and hit his second home run of the game.

In his last four games, Reynolds has gone 8-for-15 with a double, four homers, and 11 RBI’s. For the month of August he is carrying a 1.087 OPS after Thursday’s game.

They would add two more runs in the sixth on a Michael Chavis RBI double (against Austin Davis who he was traded for) and then a Tyler Heineman RBI single for an 8-0 lead.

Pirates couldn’t maintain the shutout through the end of the game though. Zach Thompson making an appearance out of bullpen couldn’t complete the eighth inning. He got the first batter to groundout before the next four batters all reaching base safely. With a run across, Manager Derek Shelton would bring in Manny Banuelos who let one inherited runner score on a sac fly then two batters later struck out Alex Verdugo to end the inning. Colin Holderman came in for the ninth and shut the door. It took all of nine pitches, eight for strikes, for Holderman to finish the game off while collecting two strike outs.

Bryan Reynolds continues to show that he is a player they should urgently try to extend and build around. Especially if they’re trying to draw any kind of praise from the fan base in the near future, locking up a beloved player that has consistently performed over the course of his career would be a step in the right direction. They would then need to fill in the rest of the roster will MLB capable talent.

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Bryse Wilson (2-7, 5.93)

Reds Starter: Graham Ashcraft (5-3, 3.96)

Wilson Notes: Bryse Wilson will be making his 14th start of the season and his 17th appearance which sets a new career high in appearances. If he can last three innings then he’d also set a new MLB career high in innings pitched in a season. Wilson hasn’t been as effective lately in limiting runs but he has been able to log innings. He has been able to complete at least five innings in each of his last four starts.

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Reds

1. Jake Fraley (L) RF
2. Jonathan India (R) 2B
3. Kyle Farmer (R) 3B
4. Mike Moustakas (L) 1B
5. Nick Senzel (R) DH
6. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
7. TJ Friedl (L) LF
8. Jose Barrero (R) SS
9. Michael Papierski (S) C

+ 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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1979andCounting

And if we win tomorrow, it’s called a …………

forkball

Wins are the most important statistic.

robertkasperski

Whoop Whoop!!!

Wilbur Miller

And game one of the Hapless vs. the Hopeless goes to . . . .

emjayinTN

Not sure which is which, but Cincy has a $114 mil team salary and the Pirates a $55 mil team salary. Wonder what the Pirates could do by bumping their spending to $80 or $90 mil in the off-season. A possible extension for Reynolds and a few FA’s?

1979andCounting

Nice! Glad to see Chavis come thru!! Ballgame!

PirateRican21

Wilbur Miller

Questionable move here. Put in a lefty to walk Reynolds with Gamel and Chavis coming up. Gamel has only a minimal platoon split for his career. Chavis kills lefties.

mikeschalke

Maybe we don’t have the corner on dumb managers.

TNBucs

When some say Shelton is the worst manager in MLB, I think they need to consider Bell to be fair.

emjayinTN

Just happy to see that BC is looking forward to Shelton continuing as the Manager in 2023, for “making progress” in 2022. Talk about BS! Winning percentages of .317, .377, and we are now at .395 so far this year.

Is it time to DFA VanMeter 60 OPS+, Allen 49 OPS+, and send Madris 40 OPS+ back to AAA and bring up Suwinski, Mitchell, and Swagg’s?

TNBucs

The two most frustrating parts of that for me are

  1. He didn’t wait to see how the last 45 games went–there should be a difference in how Shelton is evaluated if the team plays respectably vs. just throwing in the towel. Either could happen; last night was a good step in the right direction.
  2. The arrogance with which he said it’s not about wins and losses but that the FO sees things the ‘fans can’t see’ that show progress. Of course the FO is going to like what they’re seeing–it’s confirmation bias. And to brush off wins and losses?
PirateRican21

F*ck Bell.

Wilbur Miller

Seems like Eckersley may have lit a fire under Newman as well as Reynolds.

TNBucs

Great to see him playing well. If this stems from the Eckersley comments, it does beg the question of why couldn’t something have lit that fire before those comments. But then when the GM and manager have both said that it isn’t about wins and losses, it’s a lot harder to get a flame going. Maybe it’s why our best longest winning streak the last three years has been a single streak of four games (in 2019 we had five winning streaks of at least four games). We’ve won two now and my eternal optimism hopes that we can turn this into a streak of 4+ wins.

1979andCounting

He’s our only starter to have started a playoff game…….future ace!

slider1971

Cruz will have to make up for that lead changing error when he comes up in the 8th

1979andCounting

Padlo should have PH for him…….Shelton does not have his head in the game…….and Kelly is accountable too. Bizarre.

slider1971

Almost an automatic K when a lefty comes in. It’s a shame! Will he have to be platooned as goes along

1979andCounting

Gamel with a TOOTBLAN in the 6th. Wth is Walk talking about? Trying to score from 2nd on a chopper to 1B…….terrible base running. Just watch Rabelo as he was disgusted.

1979andCounting

Ok Gamel redeems himself with RBI in the 7th.
Thats all you can ask for.

forkball

Tie game

PirateRican21

So each time we had a man on 3rd with less than two outs they stroke out, Newman finally broke that streak with a sac fly….

Last edited 3 months ago by PirateRican21
slider1971

Cruz time?
I’m just hoping for a good AB here

NMR

Some mf named Graham Ashcroft pumping 96mph cutters. Pitchers are insanely good. I don’t blame Cruz for trying to jump on the first heater he saw.

slider1971

OOOFFF

Can’t get out of our own way

ArkyWags

Only way these chumps score is a little league run.

patrick_kelly

If Wilson could figure out the HR issues, he’d make a fairly solid mid-rotation guy.

ArkyWags

I still do not understand the stare at fastballs over the plate, wave at bender strategy.

NMR

It’s not a strategy, they just don’t pick up the ball. Nobody is doing this on purpose.

PirateRican21

Castro lack of power this year is a bit surprising.

Wilbur Miller

Not surprisingly, Cheringtoon has confirmed that Dumbo will be back next year. The Pirates are very encouraged by the absence of progress over last year’s disaster, just as they were last year by the absence of progress over the previous year’s disaster. Cheringtoon said he loves working with Dumbo and, oh yeah, f*ck the fans.

TNBucs

It’s hard to read Mackey’s story about Cherington’s comments and have any confidence in Cherington, or that he cares about the fans. This all seems to be about his ego, his stated goal about showing he can build a team from “nothing” (which ignores the talent that was here when he took over). To Ben it’s about Ben.

TNBucs

Of course they love working together–neither pushes the other to do better so there’s no pressure. Ridiculous that you’d make this kind of commitment with 45 games left in the season, but I guess to Cherington the season’s goals have all been met. Cherington’s comments about urgency are laughable.

1979andCounting

We’re on a 6 year plan, and don’t you rush BC.

NMR

Everybody is an individual yadda yadda yadda but difference in treatment of Suwinski and Cruz is remarkable.

Oneil is gettin absolutely worn out over the last two weeks. Almost 1 out of every 2 pitches has either been a called or swinging strike. Almost 60% of the balls he has managed to put in play have been on the ground.

What are we tryin to accomplish here?

Wilbur Miller

We’re wearing out pitchers! Or boring them to distraction. Can’t remember which.

Don’t discount the role of options here. After this season, Cruz has none, Suwinski two. The sunset date for doing the up and down thing with Cruz arrives in a few weeks.

forkball

When it comes down to it, people will be more upbeat when their team wins. I don’t think the majority of fans will really care what the roster looks like if the win column fills up. Of course there will be complaints about why are we keeping player A if he’s striking out too much or making errors that cost runs. BUT they will be much less when the team starts winning. That’s the most important stat of all.

ricramer

Agree, extend Reynolds this off season. Has to be one of the top priorities.

piratemike

Of course, it all depends on how Reynolds feels about playing in Pittsburgh or playing for a winning team because it will be more years of losing before Bob Nutting’s minions can put together a .500 or better team if ever.

piratemike

What a player says to a reporter and what he does is two different things, after all why burn bridges.
As for relying on prospects and this front office….I won’t hold my breath.

Timbertopper

Playing a little devil’s advocate here. If I were Reynolds’ agent, that’s EXACTLY what I’d want him to say whether he means it or not. Feeds the narrative while telling the fans what they want to hear. The ball’s in your court, Mr. Nutting.

piratemike

I like cliche’s they save using a lot of extra words just to make the same point.

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