8-11-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
Wil Crowe pitched his ass off tonight.
Oh his line wasn’t great, 4.2 innings, 3 walks, 1 run allowed, but he had all his stuff working and really had the 2 seam fastball just biting in on righties all night. The changeup was working for him too.
Thing is, Adam Wainwright had it rolling too, and took full advantage of just about the most anemic Pirates offense I’ve seen, and I lived through the 80’s.
Colin Moran had two base hits off Adam and one of them he almost snagged. The approach all night stunk, and that might be kind. For as good as Wainwright was the Pirates handed him favors at every turn. First guy make an out on two pitches? Sure second guy, go ahead and take a cut on the first pitch. What’s that third guy? You’d like to swing two pitches in as well? Sure why not.
The talent level of these hitters isn’t going to confuse anyone with the NL All Star squad, well most of them anyway, but they’re largely better than this. I’m not going to spend the rest of the season harping on the hitting coach, but at some point you either have to say this is the worst collection of hitters ever assembled, or perhaps, just maybe it’s ok to finally question the coaching.
All year this team has struggled to collect hits, and late in the games they seem to start seeing the ball better. Why is that? Surely they’re studying film, and preparing. I’m sure they have analytics on trends, I mean it’s not just bloggers who have access to heat maps for every pitcher in the league at our fingertips.
Whatever is going on, the approach at the plate has been one thing this season, consistently bad.
Somewhere between most of this rant Cody Ponce came in and gave up 3 more runs after a really nice battle with Harrison Bader and potentially get out of a 2nd and 3rd with one out situation. Sadly he would deliver a meatball on 0-2 and surrender a two run double followed by Wainwright singling in the 4th. His second hit of the game by the way. First one was a double.
That was really it. Chasen Shreve and Anthony Banda each pitched an inning scoreless.
I can’t stress this enough, I’m in no way saying these hitters are great, but they aren’t this bad. This isn’t just bad players, it’s a combined effort. Time to try something different. This isn’t a change I feel they can afford to wait on for another season.
News & Notes
- Gregory Polanco is now 1 for his last 22
- Adam Wainwright’s two hitter was pulled together in only 88 pitches. He is the oldest to do it since Phil Niekro who was 42, Adam of course is 39
- Pirates have lost 19 of 21 at PNC vs Cardinals
- The Pirates have 3 hits in the last two games they’ve played