8-12-2021 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)
Over the past two games against St. Louis, the Pirates batters were only able to amass three hits and one run thanks Jun Hoy Park’s first Major League homer, while striking out 16 times and only working three free passes. For some, these results could be chalked up to simply trading away players for prospects at the deadline, however this would we extremely short sighted. Sure, Adam Frazier-tied for the National League batting title with a .320 average-was traded almost three weeks ago at this point; but it’s not like the offense was humming when he was here.
In the short time that Adam Frazier has been gone Pittsburgh has dropped from the 25th ranked offense according to Fangraphs, to dead last at 30th, which may sound like completely bottoming out; yet all it really consisted of was shuffling the deck of the Pirates, Royals, Tigers, Diamondbacks and Rangers for the basement.
They were a bad team before, and they still are a bad team now. A bad team that still has All-Star Bryan Reynold in their lineup, along with Ke’Bryan Hayes and fresh of the IL Colin Moran. Plus contributors in the form of Park and Ben Gamel pre-injury.
And as far as the pitching is concerned, they’ve gotten some solid performances from newly acquired Bryse Wilson and Steven Brault in his first two starts of the season; pretty much replacing the any of the positives Tyler Anderson was able to provide as he took the mound every five days. Also, you can’t really pretend that Rich Rod, Clay Holmes and Austin Davis were setting the world on fire before they left.
So, there is realistically little excuse to not have more games that are similar to the one that took place today, where the Pirates were at the very least a functioning baseball team, rather than one that looks like they are rolling over as was saw at the beginning of the series.
They have an offense that can put up some runs, and a few pitchers that can prevent them. Like I stated in previous articles, I am not expecting wins, I just expect the better players on the Pirates to perform up to or very close their abilities. They did that today.
News and Notes
- Colin Moran came back from the IL pretty well locked in. In last nights contest he had the only two hits, and today he put the first 4 runs on the board for Pittsburgh with a 3-run homer in the 1st and a solo blast in the 4th.
- Anthony Alford struggled with strikeouts in the beginning of the season (55.2%). Anthony Alford hit in AAA, but still struggled with strikeouts (34.5%). Anthony Alford is still struggling with strikeouts (46.2%) and today he got a Golden Sombrero (0 for 4, 4 Ks)
- David Bednar powered through two innings, striking out the side in 10 pitches in the 8th. He would allow what ended up being the deciding run in the 9th, but you really can’t get mad at a guy who has only given up two earned runs since the beginning of July.
On Friday, tomorrow, the first place Brew Crew comes to town as the Pirates try to put an end to their eight game losing streak as Mitch Keller (3-9, 7.06 ERA) takes the mound against Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.54 ERA).
I know what everyone is thinking, how can the Pirates hope to compete against the Brewers? Well, their last win was against them, and they had a legit shot of taking two out of three if it wasn’t for a rough seventh inning from the bullpen.
Also Happy Birthday to my Dad (aka Wild Bill Toth)!