There are no moral victories in baseball.
Oh, sure, we look for positives to take away, individual performances. The growth of a young player.
Tonight there were positives to take away, plenty actually, but the bats remained silent for a second straight night.
Let’s start with the start, Tyler Anderson tossed 6 innings of no-hit baseball. Now he got the benefit of a ticky tack error charged to himself and walked 3 guys, but this was a dominant performance. Finally the Padres would break through in the 7th, taking advantage of a lead off walk and a soft serve single to right to set up runners on the corners, they would score on a deep sac fly by Tommy Pham and then again on a Nola Double.
Before all that though, Kevin Newman made a terrific pick to start a double play early on to erase a leadoff walk. Erik Gonzalez and Colin Moran teamed up on a corner to corner connection that two hopped it’s way over to first. Real Sparkler.
The Padres used a conga line of relievers to shut out the Pirates through 7 themselves.
In the ninth the Padres called on old friend Mark Melancon to close out the game and had no issue doing so.
Quiet. That’s the best way to describe the offense right now. Not a sense that two or three hits being strung together is really a threat. This is a baseball team that needs walks to be part of their offense. They walked three times tonight and only came up with 4 hits. Clearly that’s not enough but they’ve won a couple games like this already this season. A couple more walks on 3-2 and a couple less strikeouts and you have the offense that actually fooled some into thinking it was efficient.
It’s a tough way to win but one that will provide for them again at some point. This is why I place such emphasis on taking good at bats. It leads to walks, and extended looks.
Back at it tomorrow for another late night game. 10:10 again with Mitch Keller against the feared TBA.
News & Notes
- Obviously, a great start for Tyler Anderson, not much more you can say. He’s just been impressive. He’ll likely be nothing more than a footnote in Pirates lore when all’s said and done but pitching like this he’ll return a nice piece from somebody. Enjoy him, and realize this is best case scenario for a rebuilding team.
- While the offense has been really ice cold for a couple games now, Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds continue to hit. Moran looks to be showing signs of slowing down a bit. Taking the occasional undisciplined at bat here and there. He actually looks better against lefties, which makes me feel like his approach of going with the pitch is easier for him facing southpaws.
- Erik Gonzalez has absolutely been incredible everywhere they’ve put him in the field. He’s just a special defender. The bat won’t ever get where it needs to in my opinion but he is absolutely someone I want on my team. That glove alone has incredible value on the bench and for covering for injury.
- We always seem to want to move Kevin Newman to second base, and that may very well happen, but he’s not a bad short stop. He’s actually improved his range a bit if anything.
- During the game they interviewed Nick Gonzales the Pirates 2020 First Round Pick and nothing much of substance was discussed. You know, he’s excited, he can’t wait, all that stuff. He did say that his best friend is Liover Peguero who happens to be his double play partner in Class A Greensboro. The two might as well like each other because they’ll probably move up together as we move forward. This development team has an opportunity to really have an outstanding one two punch in the middle of the diamond, but we’ve seen this movie before haven’t we? Newman – Kramer. Newman – Tucker. Let’s always remember baseball is a journey, with a ton of twists and turns along the way.
- It’s time for Adam Frazier to take a pitch once in a while, especially at the beginning of the game. He had success with jumping on the first pitch early in the season by jumping all over the first pitch, a traditional fastball down the middle-ish. Well, the league has caught on, and now that is becoming 1 pitch = 1 out. Time to change it up a bit. You can always go back to it if you start seeing it regularly again.
- This starting rotation was not built to be a strength. So when you waste starts like this it somehow hits harder. Brubaker just experienced the same thing the other night in Minnesota against JA Happ.
- Bryan Reynolds missed a homerun tonight by the width of a baseball, instead settling for a double, still the swing was vintage in every way, and I continue to be impressed by the consistency of his approach.