The revolving door of the Pirates pitching staff has continued to rotate, and will more than likely remain in motion over the next few weeks as injuries persist, arms reach their limits and three to five inning starts remain the norm; not that this number has deviated very far from the medium throughout the season.
So, in essence this afternoon’s game against Nationals, as well as the reports that surfaced surrounding a certain Pirates high leverage pitcher, flawlessly encapsulated what has been going on since Chad Kuhl first took the mound on a windy day at Wrigley Field back in April.
Today’s starting pitcher, Bryse Wilson, had already been shutdown once due to arm fatigue, reliever Sam Howard-who made an appearance in the 9th inning-was recently activated at the end of August following a full month on the shelf, the often hidden Rule 5 Pick Luis Oviedo made his third appearance in a week after totaling only six during the previous month and newly acquired Connor Overton was recalled to make his Pirates debut less than a week removed from being claimed off of waivers.
It was the mix matched bunch if I I ever saw one, and we as Pirates Fans have truly seen a lot; which at times seemed like it would be able to grind its way to Pittsburgh’s first sweep of the season, in its thirteen attempt. Although, in the end it was all for not.
Wilson fell apart in the top of the 4th by giving up two additional homers and Oviedo got touched up when he came back out in the 7th, while Overton and Howard tossed scoreless frames; supported by a mere five hits, with no real offense coming beyond the 5th.
News and Notes
- The aforementioned high leverage pitcher, who came into the news today, was none other than David Bednar. Following the game Manager Derek Derek Shelton made it known that Bednar was unavailable due to right side discomfort. Having already pitched 57.2 innings this year after throwing only 6.1 this past year, maybe Pirates Fans shouldn’t get so upset about not hearing Renegade as often as they want to.
- As far as all of the popular Pirates Fan projections circulating the internet are concerned, Kevin Newman is the current starter who is most regularly left out of any future lineup. Now, for what it’s worth, Newman has slashed .258/.289/.441 with 2 homers over his past 30 games; and as much as some would like to see him unseated, this is the furthest thing from a guarantee at this point.
- Anthony Alford has created another curious set of circumstances with his .262 AVG, .828 OPS and 5 homers since being called up toward the beginning of August, good for a 120 wRC+. Unfortunately he has also struck out 41.9% of the time and only walked to the tune of 3.2%.
- The Pirates were 3 for 21 in the series with runners in scoring position. On the season they have have cumulative batting average of .214 in this exact situation, with almost twice as many strikeouts (307) as walks (154).
- On the Minor League Front, Ben Cherington reported that some Double-A players could still be in line for a call-up to Triple-A with Altoona’s schedule ending after just one more 6 game series; even though it would only be for a couple of weeks.
The Pirates have an off day on Monday before their pitching staff is subjected to thirteen days straight, with first game against the Cincinnati Reds; a team they will play 9 times before the end of the season.
On Tuesday at 6:35 PM EST Dillon Peters (0-2, 3.38 ERA) is set to take is place on the bump for Pittsburgh, against fellow lefty Wade Miley (12-5, 2.89 ERA) for Cincinnati.