8-2-21 – By Gary Morgan @garymo2007 on Twitter
Young Pitching is always a story.
It’s either promising or deflating. Exciting or excruciating.
This was honestly a tale of two games. First was young Bryse Wilson taking the mound for 5 beautiful innings of one run baseball. He controlled the fastball, painted corners, threw gutsy breaking pitches to tough hitters and overall just looked in command. He did it all only surrendering 2 hits and 2 walks, in 73 pitches.
Of course he got a little help from his new friends to save a run.
Extend Reynolds. Now. Through the end of the decade.
The Pirates bats were relatively cold.
At this point you can feasibly say the first “game” ended.
It was 1-0 and the two sides were locked in a pitcher’s duel. The Brewers started lefty Eric Lauer who also went five. And this one was officially a bullpen game, a match up that will favor few against the Brewers this season.
The Brewers simply went to anther of their seemingly endless barrage of left handed arms. Veteran Brent Suter delivered 2 scoreless. Then newly acquired Daniel Norris pitched the 8th and kept the Bucs off the board.
The Pirates young bullpen would not perform nearly as well. First up was Kyle Keller who started the inning recording two quick outs before things came undone. Shame of it was he really didn’t pitch all that badly. The walks were really long and professional at bats, the big hit was a triple that Escobar just went and got, actually a really nice pitch.
Obviously not what you want to see but it wasn’t as bad as the line looks.
Nick Mears would follow him was drilled in the back of the leg by a line drive. They allowed him to stay in much like Chase De Jong a couple weeks back, and ultimately wound up pulling him after he surrendered a 3 run homerun to Escobar again. He recorded two outs, and honestly, hope the kid is ok. He’s struggled early but I really do like this kid’s arm.
Shea Spitzbarth made his debut for the Pirates in relief of Mears and pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball. Really nice to see and Craig Toth I’m sure is smiling in Florida. This was a guy Craig has liked for a while. (Think I told you guys he liked Castro early too right?)
Regardless, at this point it’s 6-0 and the Brewers finally decided to use a right handed pitcher tonight, John Axford.
He struggled. Hit Bryan Reynolds, then gave up two singles and walked in a run before being lifted for Boxberger. No, not Hamburger helper, Boxberger. Kevin Newman was up first and he flew out to right, two outs.
Wilmer Difo now, bases loaded, 2 outs down five. He would draw another bases loaded walk to score the second of the inning. 6-2
Next up Phillip Evans. And he looked at strike three, and it wasn’t borderline. Game.
The point of all the extra detail on the bullpen arms and such, is really, that’s how you have to watch these games now. You watch for individuals that might be part of this puzzle being built. You evaluate what roles people profile as helping the most. What you can’t do is just read box scores and decide everyone stinks because their ERA is this or their WHIP is that.
You watch. You pay attention to what they do well, what they need to work on. Things that make them special or different. How they handle pressure. How often the friggin’ create pressure too right?
There are some of you rebuild masochists out there who constantly scream bring up all the young guys n’at! Well, this is what it looks like. And if you ingest it like you’re a scout yourself, you start to learn the difference between stinks and won’t ever not stink versus stinks but there’s this one thing he needs to do.
Patience my friends, young and bad isn’t quite the same as veteran and bad, but it sure can be just as hard to watch.
Back at it tomorrow night as Max Kranick takes the hill looking to follow up his last outing facing Adrian Houser
News & Notes
- Bryse Wilson is only 23 years old. Luis Oviedo and Rodolfo Castro are the only two players younger.
- Bryse Wilson debuted for Atlanta in 2018 and has bounced from AAA to MLB 36 times in 4 seasons. He’ll get a chance to stick here in Pittsburgh and this could be a much needed shot in the arm if reaches his potential here.
- Rodolfo Castro continues to make his case. Playing good defense at second base and hitting the ball hard. I’m not convinced he’ll stick yet but he has to have them thinking.
- Kevin Newman is hitting the ball hard, frequently. His approach in Spring is almost completely back. I don’t know where it went, and he honestly may have already shaken confidence in his future too deeply but a strong finish from Kevin down the stretch could really make things interesting.
- Nogowski had a double tonight. He’s absolutely cooled off but he isn’t disappearing.
- Lotta people calling for Hoy Park to play tonight, well, remember all that stuff up there about the lefties Milwaukee throws at you? I think I get it for a kid when you just brought him up and they’re starting a tough one. Overall, he’ll work his way in. Think back to how long it took Ben Gamel, a veteran, to finally become a regular.
- I don’t know what the Pirates will do when Moran is healthy this week or next, but if I’m making the decision, I’m keeping Castro and dropping Evans. At some point let’s show it’s a meritocracy rather than just say it.
- Steven Brault will make his season debut on Wednesday. A much needed veteran presence on the staff. Should be Brault, Wilson, Brubaker, Keller, Crowe and Kuhl if they stick with 6 most of the rest of the way.
- That said, Chad Kuhl is out on COVID list right now, so that’ll have to wait.
- Bryan Reynolds is a legitimate Gold Glove contender for CF. He leads the NL in defensive runs saved.
- 3-11 so far this season against the Brewers
- 52 different players have appeared for the Pirates this season. The record is 55