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Monday, December 5, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Slide to Second Worst

With the Pittsburgh Pirates fourth loss in a row, they fell half a game below the Oakland Athletics and within 2.5 games of the Washington Nationals.

The second half of the season can be summed up by this tweet from Pirates Post Gazette writer Mike Persak:

JT Brubaker returned from Paternity Leave and bounced back after being torched for six runs against the Atlanta Braves.

Brubaker threw 5.1 innings while giving up three runs, of which two were earned. The Toronto Blue Jays scored one run in three successive innings against Brubaker with a RBI single in the second inning, RBI single in the third inning, and then a Cavan Biggio solo home run in the fourth. The run in third inning was unearned due to Rodolfo Castro’s 10th error on the season. In total Brubaker gave up five hits, two walks, a HBP, and struck out five batters. His ERA fell to 4.35 on the season.

The offense made things interesting when Josh VanMeter hit a two-run double in the fourth inning, scoring Ben Gamel and Cal Mitchell to bring the score to 3-2. In the fifth inning Oneil Cruz his a 115.8 MPH shot to the Pirates bullpen to tie the score.

In the sixth inning Brubaker left with two on and one out for Chase De Jong. After walking the first batter to load the bases, De Jong induced a groundball double play to keep the score tied. On the season De Jong has inherited 19 runners and allowed only four of them to score.

Duane Underwood Jr. came in for the seventh inning after the offense went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the sixth. It was an interesting choice, as Underwood Jr. threw 37 pitches the night before without completing a full inning. He would throw only 15 pitches to complete a full inning, but not before giving up four hits and the lead. The first two batters reached on singles and then Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit into a double play. Then the next two batters each singled for the 4-3 lead.

Tyler Heineman hit a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh, but Cruz grounded out to end the inning.

Wil Crowe came out for the eighth inning and labored through 27 pitches issuing two walks, but kept it a one-run game. Yohan Ramirez was tabbed for the ninth inning after the offense had another 1-2-3 inning and was able to have his own quick inning throwing only five pitches while collecting a strike out.

The bottom of the 9th started off great for the Pirates with a Jack Suwinski single. Suwinski moved to third after Cal Mitchell singled. Greg Allen replaced Mitchell and was able to steal 2B to give the Pirates runners on second and third with no outs. But, the offense wasn’t up to the task. Josh VanMeter, Tucupita Marcano, and Kevin Newman would all go down swinging. Two batters known for their contact ability were unable to make contact in a big moment.

Best the Pirates can hope for at this point is to rekindle their 2021 magic when the New York Mets were again the NL East division leaders salivating at a series against the Pirates, before getting swept and their season crumbling.

Mets @ Pirates


Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (4-10, 4.43)

Mets Starter: Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.45)

Keller Notes: Mitch Keller is coming off a game when he collected ten strike outs across six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was interesting in that this was the first game in quite some time that Keller didn’t lean on his Sinker. In fact he relied heavily on his Fourseam Fastball. It’ll be interesting to see what mix he relies on against the Mets. This will also be Keller’s career high 24th start of the season. If he’s able to complete five innings he will also surpass his 2021 innings total between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

UPDATE: Today’s game has been postponed due to rain. They will play a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday now

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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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100 losses is a foregone conclusion. Only thing capable of saving them from that fate is 20 or so rain outs.


There are 11 games left against the Reds and Cubs so they don’t have to be made up. The rest could have playoff position implications for the other teams.


With all the DFAing going on in the last day or two BC’s head must be spinning…what to do, what to do…


Rain, rain go away….you’ll make us lose another day,

Once again, a holiday without Pirate baseball. (Or is that a good thing?)


A game today would either get the Pirates closer to their goal of losing 100+ or just delay it a day…either way the march to oblivion continues…

Last edited 3 months ago by RAS TN
Wilbur Miller

Rain rain stick around
Save us from this bunch of clowns


Have my punny poems become contagious? Not you, too…….:)


Stange year schedule wise: no game on Memorial day, July 4th, and now a rainout on Labor day. We would most likely have lost but I like baseball!


Were #1 were #1 …the drive to be the best in something is in full gear…


WERE #1 ? Were we? 🙂 🙂 🙂 I thought we were #3 . What a bad year to institute a lottery.


That 2-12 that Persak highlights dates to when Cherington made his announcement that Shelton was returning and that wins and losses don’t matter much in their evaluation. Probably just coincidence that we’re seeing the worst stretch of the season, but I can’t help but wonder if there is some association with the announcement.


At least he was being honest


Best this Pirate team can hope for at this point is a rain out.


You got your hope!

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