Starter gets through 4 or 5, bullpen keeps it close, hitting takes advantage of the opposition bullpen. This is the Pirates recipe for success, and today it was the recipe for fully coming back from a 1-6 start to an 11-11, .500 record.
Wil Crowe made his first start as a Pirate today and it was nothing short of a bulldog effort. In 4 innings he allowed 4 hits, 2 walks and racked up 3 very timely strikeouts. He’s raw, and today he and Jacob Stallings figured out early his changeup was really playing, so they rode it. Crowe will be part of this rotation at some point, and today did nothing to make you feel that’s a bad thing.
Oh, he had some help…
He exited after 4 with a 2-1 lead and then the bullpen took over. Clay Holmes went 1.1, Sam Howard went .2 to get them to the 7th clinging to a one run lead.
And then the Pirates took advantage of what is a weakness for so many clubs, the bullpen. Scoring 3 runs in the top of the 7th to really open the game up.
Reynolds provided the capper after Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier had each knocked one in.
Bryan Reynolds is just sick right now, 2 for 4 with a couple doubles, a walk and 2 RBI. If teams still think flipping him to the right side is a good play, they might want to update their analytics.
Chris Stratton came on to handle the 7th and despite a couple singles he delivered to keep the line moving. Have I mentioned how much I love what this pen is doing?
Gregory Polanco added a bomb in the 8th to make it 6-1.
The Pirates stuck with Stratton for the 8th and Nelson Cruz led off with an absolute hammer job to make it 6-2. After that he rebounded to finish strong.
On to the ninth.
The Pirates went down 1-2-3 and David Bednar was brought in to close out the game and all that slacker did was put down the Twins in order.
Bucs Win 6-2, .500 record.
Off tomorrow and back at it at PNC vs the Royals for two starting Tusday.
News & Notes
- Phillip Evans had a base hit in the first inning and came around to score but he is in the middle of a brutal slump. It’s time to consider dropping him in the lineup and/or giving him a day off following tomorrows off day would be a nice time to do it. He looks beat.
- Jacob Stallings does just about everything well behind the plate, but something he doesn’t nearly get enough credit for is his ability to diagnose what his battery mate has working quickly. He has helped some of these guys get deeper than they would without him back there thinking for them.
- Chris Stratton has had outings where he looks unhittable, today he showed that while allowing a couple singles in between. If he’s your weakest link, you have a damn good bullpen.
- Todd Frazier has started his Pirates career 0 for 15. Don’t get me wrong, just like Polanco he can change a game with one swing, just make sure you remember him and how you don’t speak of him while ripping Greg a new one.
- Gregory Polanco went 3 for 4 today with a couple singles and a bomb in the 8th.
- Kevin Newman had an RBI single today, but for the past 4 games he looks a whole lot more like the player who really enjoyed the Florida sun than the struggling shortstop he’s been most of the season. Adjustments made, look for him to recapture a bit of what he had found.
- 6-3 road trip in the books. Considering they started the season with a brutal 1-5 trip this certainly has to be seen as a coup.
- Adam Frazier continues to rake. 3 for 5 today and he is the straw that stirs the drink at the top of the order.
- In the ninth inning up by 4 runs Bryan Reynolds barely moved his bat and was called for a strike. He would eventually strikeout in the at bat but he was about as pissed as I’ve seen him on a baseball field. Admittedly, I’ve only seen him play for the Pirates but if there’s one thing that gets under his skin it’s bad umpiring. You’ll find that with players that truly have incredible plate vision, because they know more often than not a crap call vs correct. Never think these guys don’t care.
- Pirates relievers have hitters batting .170 against them this season.