The Pittsburgh Pirates have only been below .500 for a grand total of three days this season.
It’s my assumption that when making a statement like the one above, you count the days that ended with them below .500. Yesterday was the third day this year they ended up below .500.
Prior to that, they dropped to 26-27 on May 29th against the Giants, and 1-2 on April 2nd against the Reds.
Three days below .500.
What’s interesting is how they’ve responded each of the previous two times. They won four in a row starting on April 3rd. They didn’t lose two games in a row until April 30th-May 2nd. They dipped below .500 to start the year, but had a month of winning, with two four game streaks and a seven game streak.
The month of May was the exact opposite. They went on a long losing streak in the first half, and eventually dropped below .500 on May 29th. They won the next six games, but a recent five game losing streak has put them back below .500.
Are we about to see another winning streak?
Luis Ortiz takes the mound for the Pirates today against the first place Brewers. It would all start there. Follow along today in the comments. I’ll have the Pirates recap after the game. John Dreker will have the minor league results as they’re finished.
PIRATES GAME PREVIEWS
PIRATES (34-35) AT BREWERS
Game Time: 2:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Luis Ortiz, RHP (1-3, 4.64)
Brewers Starter: Freddy Peralta, RHP (5-6, 4.73)
Series finale vs. the Brewers.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 18, 2023
Let's wrap up against the Pirates on a high note!
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 18, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS (29-37) AT IOWA
Game Time: 2:08 PM EST
Projected Starter: Quinn Priester, RHP (7-3, 4.29)
ALTOONA (31-29) AT SOMERSET
Game Time: 1:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
GREENSBORO (33-27) AT GREENVILLE
Game Time: 3:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Bubba Chandler
BRADENTON (33-29) VS FORT MYERS
Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: Dominic Perachi, LHP (2-0, 4.35)
FCL PIRATES (8-2) OFF
DSL PIRATES BLACK (4-6) OFF
DSL PIRATES GOLD (6-4) OFF
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.
6/17: Liover Peguero, Dominic Perachi, Carlos Mateo
6/16: Kyle Nicolas, Anthony Solometo, Jack Brannigan
6/15: Shalin Polanco, Abrahan Gutierrez, Will Matthiessen
6/14: Nick Cimillo, Geovanny Planchart, Jesus Castillo
6/13: Brandan Bidios, Yordany De Los Santos, J.P. Massey
6/12: David Matoma, Jun-Seok Shim, Tsung-Che Cheng
DAILY PIRATES NEWS
More Recent Pirates Features
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: Pirates Roundtable: The Book on Osvaldo Bido
6/11: Interview With Andrew McCutchen
6/10: Williams: How Much Depth Do the 2023 Pirates Have Left?
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: Brewers 5, Pirates 2
Player of the Game: Bryan Reynolds, DH (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI)
Recap: The biggest complaint I have about the Pirates’ roster management is the fact that they didn’t supplement David Bednar with a setup man. Ben Cherington added a lot of upside relievers who could eventually be late inning guys. We’ve seen Colin Holderman and Dauri Moreta impress this year as impact relievers at times. The problem, as we saw today, is that the Pirates might be asking too much of these unestablished relievers.
Today, the Pirates took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning against the Brewers. The runs came from a two run homer by Bryan Reynolds — one of four hits on the day for the Pirates offense. The Brewers were kept off the board by Luis Ortiz (4.2 IP, 1 ER) and Carmen Mlodzinski (1.1 IP, 0 ER) combining for six innings. Angel Perdomo followed them with a clean seventh inning.
Perdomo came back out for the eighth to face a lefty and issued a walk. The Pirates turned to Moreta, who is the setup man now with Holderman out due to right wrist inflammation. Moreta issued a walk, then a one-out single to score a run and tie the game. After another walk loaded the bases, the Pirates were forced to call on David Bednar early. Bednar gave up a sacrifice fly to give Milwaukee the lead, followed by a two run single to put the game out of reach.
This could be chalked up to a rare bad outing from Moreta and Bednar. Prior to this, Moreta had given up just one earned run since April 26th. Most of Bednar’s runs allowed have been in blowout wins where he was getting work. Today was a reminder that the Pirates are getting thin in the late innings. The lack of a setup man who you can rely on for three outs in the eighth inning (versus a lefty or right-hander) might have cost the Pirates a close win today.
PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH
By John Dreker
Final Score: Iowa 12, Indianapolis 11
Player of the Game: Endy Rodriguez 3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Indianapolis didn’t get good starting pitching from Quinn Priester, but they still had a big lead late in this game. The bullpen imploded, leading to a 12-11 loss.
Priester gave up six earned runs over 5.1 innings, with eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts. He now has a 4.74 ERA, a 1.46 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 68.1 innings.
Daniel Zamora had a strong outing, throwing 1.2 scoreless on one hit and three strikeouts. He was followed by Chase De Jong, who allowed four runs while recording one out. Duane Underwood Jr then gave up two runs over one inning. He also allowed three inherited runs to score.
Endy Rodriguez had a big game on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs. He’s been slumping a bit, but this game pushed him to a .706 OPS for the season.
Vinny Capra also had a big day, going 4-for-4 with a walk. He had two runs and an RBI.
Cal Mitchell hit his 13th double and Miguel Andujar hit his 17th double.
Chris Owings and Aaron Shackelford both hit homers.
Final Score: Somerset 4, Altoona 3
Player of the Game: Matt Gorski 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 3 SB
Altoona lost 4-3 on Sunday. Starter Brad Case allowed two first inning runs, then threw two shutout innings before handing it over to the bullpen. Bear Bellomy had two shutout frames. Tyler Samaniego and Oliver Garcia each had a scoreless inning, but Noe Toribio took the loss with two runs in his only inning.
Matt Gorski provided the offense with two hits, including his ninth double. He had two runs, an RBI and he stole three bases, giving him 16 steals for the season.
Liover Peguero hit his 16th double and scored a run.
Matt Fraizer drove in a run.
Andres Alvarez hit his 12th double.
Final Score: Greenville 6, Greensboro 5
Player of the Game: Mike Jarvis 2-for-5, 3B, RBI
Greensboro took an early 4-0 lead, but they lost 6-5 on Sunday, Starter Bubba Chandler had a rough outing, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. He now has a 6.44 ERA in 50.1 innings, with a 1.85 WHIP and 62 strikeouts.
Cy Nielson took the loss by allowing two runs in the eighth. Michell Miliano threw 1.1 scoreless.
Tsung-Che Cheng hit his ninth home run of the season. He has a 1.000 OPS through 55 games.
Mike Jarvis had a single and his third triple. He scored a run and drove in a run.
Jase Bowen drove in his 47th run of the year. He also stole his tenth base.
Sammy Siani had an RBI, his 12th steal and an outfield assist.
Final Score: Bradenton 4, Fort Myers 3
Player of the Game: Termarr Johnson 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB
Bradenton won 4-3 to finish out the week with a 34-29 record. Termarr Johnson and Enmanuel Terrero each hit solo homers. It was the fourth for Terrero and fifth for Johnson. Both players also drew walks.
Nick Cimillo hit his sixth double and drove in a run. Luis Hernandez had the other RBI. Jack Brannigan stole his 11th base.
Bradenton had eight players each collect one hit. Jesus Castillo failed to collect a hit, but he drew a walk. The team went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Bradenton got some solid bullpen work in this game to pull out the win. Dominic Perachi allowed three earned runs over 4.1 innings. The bullpen of Joshua Loeschern, Julian Bosnic and Carlos Lomeli combined for 4.2 shutout frames and seven strikeouts.
Lomeli now has a 2.28 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.