Rich Hill had his first good start as a Pirate, but he got no support and the Bucs lost, 7-0, giving Houston a 2-1 series win. The Pirates will now take the road with a 7-5 record.
Hill didn’t dominate, but nobody really expected that from him. Over six innings, he gave up five hits and two walks, with no strikeouts. Houston got a run in the third on a two-out, RBI double by Jose Abreu, and another in the fourth on a solo shot by Corey Julks. After the home run, Hill retired seven straight and allowed only one more runner until he departed, having thrown 95 pitches.
The offense was a no-show, as Houston starter Jose Urquidy and three relievers allowed just three hits. Along with six walks, a double by Carlos Santana, and singles by Bryan Reynolds and Jack Suwinski, were all the home team got.
The Pirates had only four at-bats with runners in scoring position. Possibly their best chance came with runners at the corners, two out, and Suwinski up in the fourth. They TOOTBLANed that one away when Connor Joe, not exactly a big base-stealing threat, got caught stealing at second.
The bullpen let the game get out of hand after Hill left. Dauri Moreta ran short of magic at least for one day. He let two runners reach base with one out in the seventh, then threw a 2-0 fastball to Alex Bregman right down the middle. That turned out just like you’d expect.
The struggling Chase De Jong had another bad outing. He finished out the seventh for Moreta, but got hit around for two runs in the eighth.
Jose Hernandez bounced back from a rough outing with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit.
The Pirates visit St. Louis for four, starting tomorrow.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.
A little late to the party with my comments. Nice start from Hill – what you expect from a professional, and he is just that. This is a season where we will see inconsistencies from game to game whether it’s pitching or hitting, but I do think we will see the potential of some of our young guys which will make it fun. Also fun is seeing the examples being set by several of our veterans, especially when it comes to “professional” ABs. Great learning opportunity for the young ones.
Is it time to send Mathias back to AAA? I think we have better and younger prospects doing very well in AAA and deserving of the shot.
Can’t win them all!
Brubaker had Tommy John, 14-16 months seems long?
Possible to get August and September in 2024?
I had felt like Moreta had been playing with fire with his poor control (iirc, even one of his K’s was on a called strike that should have been ball 4), and I’m glad it burned him in a game that we would likely have lost anyway. I don’t know that it will change anything about his approach, but maybe it will keep Shelton from using him in tied or 1-run games until he shows better control.
Nice outing by Hill…
BTW an excellent extension for Happ…set for life…
Interesting parallel between Hill’s and Keller’s Hou starts. Minus the Ks, they were almost exactly the same start, both in end result and how they unfolded. Both had some issues early, kept it under control, and finished strongly. Hopeful sign for Mitch, imo.
Also, another benchmark for Reynolds? Reynolds is the better player but they’re the same age and Happ actually had the better year last year according to WAR. Happ, though, has never put up a year like Reynold’s 2021 (6.2 WAR)–how much extra is that worth?
Happ is a feee agent after this season. So it is really a free agent contract not an arb year extension. $20 million a season for his age 29, 30 and 31 years. Pirates already have those years for Reynolds. First free agent year is age 32 and the cubs just essentially refused to go there with Happ. Have to assume Happ would have accepted more years at that rate.
What’s that tell us?
The way I’d look at it is Reynolds is expected to make around $35MM in the next three years, then you add ~$60MM to buy out 3 FA years (he’s better than Happ but as you note, he’ll be older when he reaches FA). Tack on another ~$12MM for his ages 34 season and you get to the neighborhood of the current offer, though with one less year. All to say, the dollar amount seems to be in the ballpark without the opt out.