Full disclosure, my Co-editor Craig, the host of the Bucs In the Basement Podcast is part of the Broadcast Basement Network. Chris, his co-host also does one for the White Sox called Sox in the Basement. So I listen to both pretty regularly, as I’ve always considered the Sox my cheat team.
The Sox are absolutely crushing the baseball, and since their 1-4 start to the season they’re pitching better than most as well. Combine that with a scuffling team who is half injured and the half that’s healthy is doing nothing, and you get exactly what we watched here in this two game series.
The trade deadline looms large now just five days away and the Pirates have reportedly expressed willingness to talk about almost anyone, with anyone. Three guys who have come up quite a bit in discussions are Joe Musgrove, Colin Moran, and Keone Kela. Musgrove has a chance to come back and pitch before the deadline, but it’s starting to feel like a stretch. Yesterday Colin Moran was said to be available, today he was reported as still undergoing testing. Yesterday Kela was said to be doing fine, today we were informed he hasn’t picked up a ball yet.
What is going on here? It certainly can’t be some effort to pull the wool over potential trade partner’s eyes, they would assuredly perform an exam. Is Derek Shelton, the author of yesterday’s updates not talking to Head Trainer Todd Tomczyk? To say the least, I can’t imagine it’s comforting to teams the Pirates are in contact with to see the club not have their stories straight.
Back to the field, because the next set of players that figure to be subject to trade winds created some of their own questions.
Trevor Williams took the hill today and went 6 innings. That’s where the kind words stop. Here’s Trevor’s line beyond that, 9 hits, 8 earned runs, 2 BB, 3 K. Ouch. Of course Trevor has been at least the most public target in rumors this week, and this certainly doesn’t help that, but he also has enough history that an outing like this is hardly a shock. He has these every once in a while and anyone talking to the Pirates is already painfully aware. I’ll say this, if you believed Williams to have value and wanted to trade for him, this changes nothing.
I could go on about the Sox stats in this game and who hit what off who but the real story of this game lies in the directions these clubs are headed.
Many will point out how dominant the pitching was this series against the Bucs, and that’s true, but the bats are and have been inept. Reynolds looked like last series never happened. Bell continues to look like he hasn’t a clue, and it’s starting to lose the qualifier of ‘for Bell’ he just. What I mean here is, Bell just looks plain bad and it’s real hard to keep calling him one of the best players on this team. Polanco is still not making contact often enough, I can’t remember the last time I felt Frazier had an impact. The list goes on.
Yesterday I saw many reference the lack of approach against Giolito and that’s true. Despite Joe Musgrove taking offense to the assertion on social media. Today was no different as the Bucs went up swinging at early stuff, finally in the sixth they became patient and drew three walks off Chi Sox Starter Dallas Keuchel. It’s frustrating how far this team goes without realizing they need to change course.
The significance of this sweep is just about equal to the one the Pirates just put on Milwaukee.
Sox Win 10-3
News & Notes:
- Erik Gonzalez has fallen off the map since his hot couple weeks, but he did hit a homerun today and made solid contact often in he series. They are clearly intrigued enough by him that I’m more convinced than ever he is the 3rd baseman the rest of the way here once Newman is healthy.
- The Pirates acquired Austin Davis from the Phillies for Cash during the game. In his 3rd year in the majors, Davis is a reliever with decent peripherals but nothing to get too excited about. Another talent, not yet realized. Low risk, high reward.
- Tyler Bashlor gave up a two run shot to Abreu, and there’s no shame in that really, but his numbers since being called up to the Pirates are not pretty. Another reason to not get too excited about Davis. Same deal.
- I see no reason to continue playing Riddle, not sure what they get out of it at this point and the Newman injury could have been an opportunity to put Tucker back at short for a stretch.
- Many are frustrated the club has not yet called up Hayes, but I’d like to mention Jason Martin. I can almost understand Hayes with so much infield depth, but the outfield could use another member and Martin seems to be a forgotten man.
- Jacob Stallings has been the most consistent hitter as of late collecting two hits today. If you utter that statement, your team isn’t going to be very good.