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Pirates Drop Second Game to Rockies


The day after the Pittsburgh Pirates received an absolute gem from Mitch Keller, the potential momentum from that game did not materialize. Tim Williams recently wrote about “This is When the Pirates Need That Veteran Presence”, but that also hasn’t materialized.

With Vince Velasquez going on the injured list, the Pirates decided to recall Luis Ortiz, as well as select the contract of Josh Palacios. For three innings, it was going rather well with a 1-1 game.

The Colorado Rockies got on the board first, with a Jurickson Profar solo home run in the second inning. The Pirates then tied the game in the third when Andrew McCutchen singled in Ke’Bryan Hayes, who had hit a one-out double.

After the first two batters reached on singles in the fourth, Ortiz induced a groundball to Carlos Santana that could’ve been a double play, or in the least have gotten an out at second base. Unfortunately, Tucupita Marcano didn’t catch the throw from Santana — whether he just took his eye off it or was somehow distracted by the runner — and the ball rolled into right field. That opened the flood gates with a runner scoring on the play, and the Rockies would score four runs in total in the inning. With only one of the four being earned.

Ortiz ended up finishing the evening with five runs against in five innings, but only two being earned. He gave up seven hits and one walk, while only striking out one. Per Baseball Savant, his most used pitch was a sinker, but if I’m honest, I’m not sure yet if it’s actually a new pitch or it was just being tracked as one due to it’s movement. His fourseam fastball had its usual movement, so it may be a new pitch.

The bullpen took over in the sixth inning, and it was a mixed bag of results. Rule 5 selection Jose Hernandez had a clean sixth, retiring the side on only seven pitches with one strike out. Derek Shelton opted to leave Hernandez in to begin the seventh, and he walked Charlie Blackmon before Duane Underwood Jr. entered the game and it got out of hand.

Underwood Jr. would let the lone inherited runner score, as well as four more to push it to a 10-1 game. The inning was capped off by another Profar home run, one of the two-run variety this time.

That would be the final score, as the Pirates managed only four hits while walking six times. They also struck out eleven times, while hitting 1-for-8 with RISP, and leaving ten men on base.


The Pirates offense scored 16 runs in the nightcap of their double header against the Washington Nationals on April 29th. That gave them a total of 22 runs on the day, if you count game one as well. They have scored 12 runs since, in nine games.

If they’re not scoring, they need players to step up in other facets of the game. The pitching has been debatable, but the defense has been atrocious. One could look past a few mishaps if they were hitting — the very thing people shrug and give Oneil Cruz a pass for — but you can’t have non-shortstops who also aren’t hitting.

 Rodolfo Castro was doing it in somewhat limited Cruz-like fashion, at least showcasing some pop in the bat. Ji Hwan Bae and Marcano don’t show near enough offense to be mediocre at the position, and next up is probably Chris Owings, who may be the best fielder of the bunch, but likely to also not provide much offense.

The outfield hasn’t been much better, as Bae’s full-speed style caught up to him, in making a few misplays in the center. Miguel Andujar has looked rough in the outfield, and Jack Suwinski’s defensive metrics are heading in the wrong direction.

They’ll have an off-day after their finale against the Rockies on Wednesday, two off-days in the next five days, or three off days in the next eight. Hopefully they can find a reset button, take a deep breath, and get back to playing closer to how they did prior to this stretch.

Even with all the recent losing, they’re still first in the NL Central.

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Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
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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