It was the best of Trevor,it was the worst of Trevor. Or something like that anyway. The Pirates are working on changing some things for Trevor Williams, he worked from the stretch from the get go, and threw more fastballs than he had all season.
He had good control tonight but made some mistake pitches, being bitten by the long ball three times tonight, add 3 walks, and an error behind him, and he might have been lucky to last 6 innings having only given up five runs.
This morning I wrote a column about the Pirates pitching not going deep in to games. Much of what was called out in that piece played out tonight. And that goes for both good and bad points.
You can’t ever accuse Williams of giving you less than everything he has, I just think it’s fair to ask if that is enough to continue thinking of him as a lock for the rotation in 2021.
When Williams gave up one of his dingers, the Pirates would lose yet another to injury as Anthony Alford tried to bring back a homerun to center and crashed into the wall, fracturing his elbow and no doubt ending his season/audition. What a shame, the kid really looked like he was going to make the most out of this opportunity.
The Reds countered with Anthony DeSclafani who kept the Bucs in check for the most part, save Eric Gonzalez who went 3 for 3 against him and Jacob Stallings. who hit a homerun in the fourth.
Michael Lorenzen would relieve DeSclafani and load the bases in the 6th with two outs, but the Reds would bring Amir Garrett in to face Adam Frazier who struck out. The Pirates futility with runners in scoring position continues.
In the 7th the Pirates sent lefty Derek Holland to the mound, clearly signalling he is transitioning to a reliever role. He last relieved for Kuhl and finished the ball game, tonight he was asked to do the same. He would strike out the side in order to start his evening.
The Reds stuck with Garrett in the 7th and first up was Bryan Reynolds, he was already 0 for 2 with a walk and struck out, then Moran went down followed by Polanco. The Seventh inning was exactly what MLB has become, 6 batters, 6 Ks.
In the top of the 8th Suarez would hit his third homerun of the evening off Holland to make it 6-2 Reds.
In the ninth the Pirates sent Kyle Crick to the mound, another purposeful non-leverage situation. His fastball velocity is still down in the low 90s, but now his slider is coming in at 77-79, that’s almost 6 MPH less than we’re accustomed to. He’s either not healthy (doubtful) or they have him intentionally ramped back.
In the bottom of the 9th we got a look at Archie Bradley just traded from the Arizona Danger Noodles. And that’s what it took to finally retire Erik Gonzalez tonight. Frazier would reach on a one out error and Bryan Reynolds would too. Unfortunately a double play would end the festivities. 6-2 Bucs fall to the Reds. Finale tomorrow afternoon.
This game may have been played at PNC Park, but it was one of the most Great American Ballpark games I’ve seen. 5 homeruns tonight, unfortunately not evenly distributed between the clubs.
News & Notes:
- Trevor Williams threw 111 pitches to get through 6 full innings.
- Anthony Alford was removed from the game after crashing into the Center Field wall, it was announced later he had fractured his elbow.
- Tonight Derek Holland made a second appearance out of the pen. It would appear they are transitioning him to that role and that’s probably a good move.
- Bryan Reynolds went 0 for 3 with a walk. After his welcome back game he’s right back to struggling.
- Gregory Polanco is 1 for 21 against left handed pitching.
- Eugenio Suarez hit 3 homeruns tonight. Two off Williams, and one off Holland. There are only 4 Pirates who have hit more this entire season.
- Suarez has 12 homeruns this season, he also has 11 singles. Yup, not a typo.
- Erik Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with a walk. He’s really been a very good lead off hitter in this lineup.
- Adam Frazier has a 9 game hitting streak, and yeah I didn’t notice it either.