The Pirates finally got back on the winning side last night, beating the Marlins to snap their ten game losing streak.
The offense has received a boost this week from Henry Davis and Nick Gonzales, two former first rounders who seem like they can give this team more stability.
As we’ve seen with Davis, the Pirates might also get an enthusiastic boost from every celebration after every big moment from the 2021 first overall pick. The energy from Davis after every big play reminds me of a College World Series program. It’s the type of energy this slumping team needs.
I’m taking off from coverage today, as I prepare for an upcoming article series. Follow along below as Wilbur Miller recaps all of the daily Pirates action.
PIRATES (35-40) AT MIAMI
Game Time: 4:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Osvaldo Bido, RHP (0-1, 3.60)
Marlins Starter: Bryan Hoeing, RHP (1-1, 2.70)
Let's play baseball.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 24, 2023
On Saturdays we wear red.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 24, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS (32-40) VS COLUMBUS
Game Time: 7:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Quinn Priester, RHP (7-3, 4.74)
ALTOONA (33-33) VS BOWIE
Game Time: 6:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: Brad Case, RHP (1-0, 2.61)
GREENSBORO (36-29) VS WINSTON-SALEM
Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
BRADENTON (36-30) AT LAKELAND
Game Time: 6:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
FCL PIRATES (10-4)
Game Time: 10:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: Gilberto Alcala, RHP (0-0, 9.39)
DSL PIRATES BLACK (6-8)
Game Time: 10:30 AM EST
Projected Starter: Ronal Gomez, LHP (Pro Debut)
DSL PIRATES GOLD (9-5)
Game Time: 10:30 AM EST
Projected Starter: Victor Cabreja, LHP (0-0, 1.50)
THE NEW PROSPECT WATCH
With all of our game reports now going into this daily article, the Prospect Watch has been repurposed as a daily look at three prospects throughout the system. Check the site each day at noon for the latest edition. We’ll keep the archives updated here.
6/23: Michael Kennedy, Po-Yu Chen, Wyatt Hendrie
6/22: Braxton Ashcraft, Jase Bowen, Maikol Escotto
6/21: Termarr Johnson, Connor Scott, Enmanuel Terrero
6/20: Cal Mitchell, Travis MacGregor, Alessandro Ercolani
6/19: Henry Davis, Bubba Chandler, Julian Bosnic
6/18: Jared Jones, Matt Gorski, Tony Blanco Jr.
6/17: Liover Peguero, Dominic Perachi, Carlos Mateo
More Recent Pirates Features
6/23: Nick Gonzales Bringing Successful Hitting Adjustments to the Majors
6/23: Nick Gonzales: What The Exit Velocity Numbers Say About Potential Impact
6/23: Offensive Struggles During the Ten Game Losing Streak
6/18: The Book on Henry Davis
6/17: Carmen Mlodzinski Becomes First Cherington Pick To Reach Big Leagues
6/15: Where Are The Hitting Prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates Farm System?
6/14: The Book on Osvaldo Bido
6/11: Interview With Andrew McCutchen
Check back at the end of the night for all of the daily results throughout the system, or, join the discussion in the comments if you’re following Live.
Final Score: Marlins 4, Pirates 3
Player of the Game: Andrew McCutchen 2-for-2, 2 2B, 3 BB
The Pirates got another good start from Osvaldo Bido and even got a couple of big hits late in the game, but they couldn’t overcome their staggering incompetence with runners in scoring position. After stopping their ten-game losing streak yesterday, they got back to their losing ways with a 4-3 loss to Miami in eleven innings.
Bido didn’t have an easy time of it, allowing nine hits over five and two-thirds innings, but he made pitches when he had to and didn’t walk anybody. He fanned five. The only damage came when Luis Arraez, who’s batting a mere .401, connected for a two-run shot in the fifth.
Bido came back out for the sixth, but left with two on and two out. In contrast to just about any recent game, the bullpen came through, as Yerry De Los Santos got the last out on one pitch. He also threw a scoreless seventh.
The Pirates’ hitters, meanwhile, were getting completely dominated by 26-year-old rookie Bryan Hoeing. In five innings, he held them without a hit, or even anything hit hard.
Hoeing came out for lefty Steven Okert in the sixth and, with one out, Andrew McCutchen — who probably knows enough to ignore Andy Haines — doubled to end the no-hitter. It was Cutch’s 400th major league double, as he piles up the zero-things. Derek Shelton sent Connor Joe up to hit for Jack Suwinski, who by then had extended his latest mega-slump to 0-for-27. Joe, however, has a bit of a problem with runners in scoring position. Like, as of game’s end, a whopping .127 BA in those situations. He of course struck out and, after a walk, Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded out.
The Pirates finally scored a run in the top of the eighth when Cutch doubled again and Santana singled with two out. Cutch reached base all five times in the game, the other three on walks, not that it did much good. Roansy Contreras kept Miami off the board in the bottom half.
In the ninth, things appeared to be headed for the usual ending. With two outs, though, Nick Gonzales walked — his first time on base in the majors — and Jason Delay doubled to tie the game. David Bednar held the fort in the bottom half.
Cutch led off the ninth with another walk, putting two on, and Shelton then called for Joe to bunt. The Pirates have botched those plays time and time again this year, but Shelton just doesn’t seem to pay attention. Joe, of course, popped up the bunt. (The Marlins, by contrast, twice bunted the winning run up in the late innings.) After Santana popped up, Hayes came through with a single to put the Pirates up. Bednar, though, couldn’t strand the free runner, who moved up on a comebacker off Bednar that Rodolfo Castro fielded, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
The eleventh was a classic display of Hainesian futility. The free runner was stranded as Castro, Gonzales and Delay all struck out. Angel Perdomo mercifully kept the ending brief. After the Marlins bunted the free runner to third, like major league teams can do, a single finished it.
For the day, the Pirates went 2-for-17 with RISP. That pitiful showing actually improved their overall numbers over the past week and a half or so. No major league team would put up with this daily horror show without searching for solutions. Shelton, though, has made it clear he’s perfectly OK with it, so there’s no reason to expect any improvement.
PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH
By Wilbur Miller
Final Score: Indianapolis 3, Columbus 1
Player of the Game: Quinn Priester 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K
When Quinn Priester‘s been good lately, he’s been extremely good. This was one of those. Priester threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks, and fanning 11. The one flaw, if you can call it that, was 96 pitches.
Priester ended up with a no-decision because Indy didn’t get on the board until the bottom of the seventh. Three singles loaded the bases with one out, and Endy Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly. The other two runs came in the eighth on Canaan Smith-Njigba‘s eighth home run.
Yohan Ramirez and Daniel Zamora followed Priester with a scoreless inning each. Hunter Stratton gave up a solo home run in the ninth, but got the save.
Smith-Njigba had two hits on the day and stole a base. Jared Triolo had a double.
Final Score: Bowie 15, Altoona 1
Player of the Game: Omar Cruz 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Altoona’s day went bad when it didn’t pour down rain. The Curve got annihilated by Bowie, 15-1.
Brad Case started and went two and two-thirds. He allowed seven runs, four earned. Knuckleballer Matt Eckelman made his first appearance in three weeks and allowed eight runs over two innings. Not much to analyze here. Omar Cruz did a nice job of keeping the game from lasting forever, retiring ten straight hitters. Bear Bellomy threw a scoreless inning.
The offense did its part in getting the game over with, producing just five hits. Andres Alvarez had three singles and Connor Scott an RBI double. Ji-Man Choi continued his rehab, going 0-for-3, so he appears ready to rejoin the Pirates.
Final Score: Greensboro 12, Winston-Salem 2
Player of the Game: Maikol Escotto 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBIs
Greensboro got offense up and down the lineup, and crushed Winston-Salem, 12-2.
The Hoppers actually started off trailing, 2-0. Bubba Chandler had a difficult first, starting off with three straight singles, then a triple steal. A ground out scored a second run, but with a runner on third he got two strikeouts. The whole start consisted of the sharp ups and downs he tends to have. After a quick second, he had two aboard in the third, but got a strikeout to end the inning. He left with one on, via error, and two outs in the fourth. By then he’d thrown 80 pitches.
The Hoppers scored one in the first on a Jase Bowen single, then tied it in the third when Mike Jarvis doubled, stole third and scored on a ground out. They took over with four in the fourth when Maikol Escotto hit a two-run triple and Brendan Dixon followed with his fifth home run.
The rest of the offense came in a six-run seventh. Will Matthiessen, Shawn Ross, Escotto and Sammy Siani all had RBI hits. One the day, Escotto had a double, a triple and three RBIs. In his last six games, he’s 11-for-22 with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBIs. Jarvis stole three bases, giving him 17 on the year, and scored three runs. Dixon had two hits and a walk.
After Chandler left, the bullpen threw five and a third scoreless innings. Logan Hofmann accounted for two and got the win. Jack Carey threw an inning and a third, and Michell Miliano and Santiago Florez one each.
Final Score: Bradenton 2, Lakeland 1
Player of the Game: Alessandro Ercolani 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Bradenton got another excellent start from Alessandro Ercolani and eked out a 2-1 win over Lakeland.
Ercolani threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk. He went that far on 77 pitches, as his control has been steadily improving. In his last two games, he’s thrown 11 shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks. He fanned four in this one.
The offense came from a two-run single by Enmanuel Terrero with two outs in the fifth, following a double by Geovanny Planchart that put runners on second and third. The Marauders had eight hits total, two of them, including a double, by Shalin Polanco. Jesus Castillo had two singles. Termarr Johnson was 0-for-2 with two walks. Rodolfo Nolasco had a double.
After Ercolani left, Darvin Garcia worked an inning and a third. He left in the eighth with one out, a run in and two on. Ryan Harbin stranded the runners and pitched a scoreless ninth for the save. Harbin’s ERA is now 0.91.
ROOKIE: FCL PIRATES
Final Score: Pirates 6, Orioles 5
Players of the Game: Lonnie White, Jr. 2-for-3, 2B, HR (1), BB, SB; Javier Rivas 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 RBIs
The FCL Pirates beat the Orioles, 6-5, on a walk-off walk in the eighth. The game was scheduled for seven innings.
The Pirates gave up only three hits in the game, but walked eight. Starter Gilberto Alcala allowed just one hit over two innings, but he was his own worst enemy. He walked three, hit one and committed three balks. All of that cost him two runs.
Cristopher Cruz (Remember him?) had a quick third inning, but got only one out in the fourth. He left with the bases loaded on two walks and an error. Joaquin Tejada followed and got a strikeout and a fly out, but balked in a run, charged to Cruz as an unearned run. (There must have been an enforcement memo go around. The Orioles also had a balk and got called for several clock violations.) Tejada gave up two of his own in the next inning. Four of the five Orioles’ runs were scored by hitters who’d walked.
The Pirates eventually got scoreless pitching from Hung-Leng Chang and Jorge Ramos, one inning and two, respectively. They still walked three more, but Ramos kept the free runner from scoring in the eighth.
A pair of two-run home runs provided much of the Pirates’ offense. The first one, by Javier Rivas, tied the game in the third. The second, by Lonnie White, Jr., made it 5-4 in the sixth. It was White’s first of the year and Rivas’ first since being demoted from Bradenton. Rivas also doubled and finished with three RBIs. He had an error, but he also had two highlight-reel plays at third, one of which saved at least two runs. (This is routine for Rivas, which makes his swing-and-miss problems especially frustrating.) White added a double and a walk, and stole a base.
The Pirates tied the game in the seventh after Jhonson Pena led off with a bloop double and Rivas followed with a more conventional double. They loaded the bases later in the inning with one out, but the hitters Hainesed it.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Pirates loaded the bases with the free runner, an intentional walk and an unintentional one. Pena then drew a two-out walk to force in the winning run. Pena had a good game, as he led off the first inning with a triple, although the hitters behind him Hainesed that opportunity, too. Kelvin Diaz had a double, a steal and two runs.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES BLACK
Final Score: LAD Mega 18, Pirates Black 11
Player of the Game: Yosmar Gimenez 3-for-5, 2 RBIs
It’s pretty bad when you score 11 and get blown out, but that’s what happened to the DSL Black team against whatever LAD Mega is. They fell behind 8-0, rallied for six, but couldn’t keep up with the ongoing meltdown by their pitchers and lost, 18-11.
Ronal Gomez made his first pro appearance and it could have gone better. He retired one batter and let four reach. They all scored. Four other pitchers all allowed either three or four runs. That included Carlos Mateo, who got the Pirates’ top international pitching bonus this year. Altogether the pitchers gave up 18 hits and eight walks.
The hitters tried to make a game of it. They got six runs in the fourth, helped by five walks. They got three more in the seventh thanks to three walks, a hit batsman and two wild pitches. Samuel Escudero led off the ninth with his first home run of the year, and two walks, a hit batsman and a sacrifice fly produced the final run.
On the day, Jonathan Rivero went 0-for-2, but drew three walks and scored three runs. Yosman Gimenez had three hits.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES GOLD
Final Score: Pirates Gold 6, Mets Blue 1
Player of the Game: Victor Cabreja 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
The Pirates Gold got some strong pitching and beat the Mets Blue, 6-1, in a seven-inning game. Victor Cabreja started with four shutout innings, giving up just one hit. Luis C. Gonzalez followed with two scoreless frames. Greiber Mendez gave up a run in the seventh. The trio allowed just two hits total.
The hitters got a run in the first on a walk, two steals and a ground out, then added on late. They stole seven bases in the game, three by Juan Machado, and two each by Ruben Vizcaya and John Zorrilla. Machado had two hits and two RBIs, and Lennyn Nunez had three hits. Nunez had a triple, as did Roinny Aguiar.