Pirates (36-58) Fall to Diamondbacks 4-2

7-20-21 – By Gary Morgan

This has been the unfortunate recipe for so many games this season. Bucs have chances to score but don’t manage to even scratch one across while the opposing squad seemingly feasts on the high fastball philosophy from Pirates pitching.

It’s pretty clear that Chase De Jong isn’t an answer. I’m not shocked by this outcome but he was worth a shot. At 27 years old and not eligible for free agency until 2027 the Pirates have taken a situation of not having nailed on rotation components to see if they could find themselves a free pitcher.

There’s a difference between kicking the tires on a 27 year old with a ton of control and no options and evaluating the performance of someone you actually think has room to develop.

That said, I can’t question the want to. More than once this season Chase has seemingly walked off an injury, or recovered from a terrible start to provide length. He’s had outings where he started well and then seemingly hit a wall in an inning, gives up some really hard contact, looks like he can’t hit the zone then gets back on track in the next.

If Chase was a 23 year old with 2 options left, you might call this potential. At 27 years old you might call him a future long man or someone else’s project.

The offense sputtered. Hayes and Reynolds came through but when resting Adam Frazier those two just didn’t have enough opportunities.

The Diamondbacks are the worst team in the league record wise, but teams like the Pirates will often play better baseball against better competition. I said this on Twitter last night and someone called it the Tomlin effect. Slightly different. The Pirates aren’t good either unlike the Steelers who play down to their competition.

No, I think this is more about a team that gets their bristle up a bit when playing someone they ‘shouldn’t’ beat. Doesn’t mean they win most of them, clearly, but it does mean they’ll play good teams tough more often than not.

I’m not saying they walk in expecting to beat teams like Arizona, but lets just say it looks like they aren’t expecting a dog fight either. Problem is, this is a team that is only going to win most nights when dog fight is part of their mentality.

Pirates 2, Arizona 4.

Back at it tonight at 9:40 Tyler Anderson vs Taylor Widener

News & Notes

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes had a couple hits last night and while that’s encouraging, his most positive step back to being the young start we saw debut with the Bucs was an out. He drove a ball to the right-center gap with authority and in general had an opposite field approach all night. That’s what will get Ke’ back to being Ke’.
  • Jared Oliva is probably one healthy player away from finding himself back in AAA. The Pirates haven’t given him many opportunities and it’s very hard as a rookie to sit on the bench and keep your timing. Last night as a later inning replacement he was able to go 2 for 2. It’s not going to keep him up here most likely, but success is never a bad thing.
  • Kyle Crick was DFAd before the game tonight. I guess to some it was a shock but the Coach was clearly not comfortable using him, and if you tell me you looked forward to watching him pitch I’d have to make sure you watched. He’s a name, but ever since he lost his velocity he’s been largely a liability, and if you want to be nice, he’s at least been dicey. You can’t rail on about how bad this team is, then turn around and get upset when they move on from one of the reasons. Of course there are others, maybe even others that should have gone first, but Crick was clearly worthy.
  • Watching John Nogowski play, you’d never think he’s a rookie. He plays the game like none of this impresses him. Everything down to the nonchalant way he receives the ball at first screams been there done that. It’s easy to heap praise on a guy hitting like .400 since joining the team, but the way he plays the game just looks different.
  • Chasen Shreve should be someone other teams want at this deadline. Lefty relievers are already a premium commodity but he has a 0.7 WAR, 2.16 ERA and a WHIP at 1.240. He’s a classic rental, and at this point I’d be shocked if he wasn’t snapped up.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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