7-31-21 – By Gary Morgan @garymo2007 on Twitter
The Pirates came to the ballpark yesterday eager to finally have the chaos of the deadline behind them. It’s now time for this team to stop wondering which strings would be pulled and instead allow the tangled web of a clubhouse come back together.
How does that start to happen? Veterans who remain can lead. They can show the youngsters that baseball goes on. They can talk a guy through the difficulties of watching someone they grew up playing with as a professional move on and no longer be your sounding board.
Sometimes youngsters can lead. They remind the veterans that every time someone moves on someone else gets their shot. It reminds them of their breakthrough and opens a door to feeding off their youthful energy.
Sometimes it a coaching role, someone who has been a constant throughout the process who can make sure you know what the plan was, and what it is moving forward.
Times like these in baseball guys can get inwardly focused, much more worried about what they’re doing and less about the team, that too is a time when coaching can really lead the way. It’s important to remind guys that this is all part of building a winner, and you wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think you could be part of that.
Sure, guys are smart, but this is still something everybody wants to hear.
Tonight and last night we were treated to some of those things playing out on the field. And the coaching played their role too.
Wil Crowe stepped up, everyone with starting potential watched Tyler Anderson get moved and Chase De Jong fall to injury, and they all know it’s their time to make sure they hold onto what’s theirs. That was last night. And the coaching staff showed confidence him him to take a step forward, get those three more outs and put together a quality 6 innings.
Tonight was JT Brubaker’s turn, and man did he ever. A beautifully pitched 6 innings of 1 run ball.
Chasen Shreve and Kyle Keller got the job done in the 7th.
David Bednar gave up the lead in the 8th.
Stratton handled the 9th.
Then Bryan Reynolds led off the bottom half with a double. Polanco grounded to the left side but Reynolds read the play and knew he could still advance. With one out Nogowski stepped up with a chance to win it. He would walk to put runners on the corners for Jacob Stallings. He of the legendary grand slam to win an epic comeback game against the Mets.
A grounder to third. Great break by Reynolds. Play at the plate. Catcher blocked the plat with his leg and Reynolds slid through it! Video Review and SAFE!!!
Reynolds wanted it.
That double was going to be a double from the moment he made contact. All hustle. Hustle to get to third. Hustle to score the run.
Such a fitting ending to a wonderfully played ballgame.
Tomorrow the Bucs are back at it against the Plillies.
The Phils send newly acquired Kyle Gibson to the mound to face just recalled Mitch Keller at 1:05 EST.
News & Notes
- The Pirates chose not to make David Bednar the closer tonight, instead opting to use him in the 8th to preserve a 1 run lead. Shelton said after the game he wanted to use him there specifically to face the heart of the order. I’ve long liked this method more than a traditional closer who only pitches the 9th. Not sure it will stick but I like that.
- Largest crowd in almost 2 seasons at PNC tonight. (Cutch fans and Philly travels)
- This was Jacob’s 7th walk off hit.
- Ben Cherington said something interesting during his in booth interview tonight. When asked about what the plan was with Rodolfo Castro he said he only planned on this being his AA year. Sounds like they still intend to send him down at some point but it got me thinking, I wonder if Ben likes to do more full years with prospects at a level than mid season promotion. Something to watch, we haven’t seen him operate a full season yet.
- Bounce back game for JT Brubaker, really did a wonderful job placing his stuff. Worked the corners, didn’t give in to hitters when he needed a strike he just made a better pitch. Interesting.
- Pretty weird to see the Phillies keep the infield in with runners on the corners in the 9th. A double play there get’s them out of the inning and you have Nogowski at first and Stallings in the box. Seemed like a bad strategy to me, but hey, I don’t have all the numbers that essentially manage today’s game.
- Kevin was 1 for 3 tonight with a near homerun triple. He’s quietly and steadily improving. Interesting player as to what they do with him. If he finishes strong his glove more than plays. If he finishes weak he certainly can’t be seen as a lock to hold his spot with the talent right behind him.
- 6th Walk off win this season
- 12th series win this season
- Mitch Keller will get the start tomorrow.
- Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez both have started rehab assignments in AAA.