The Pirates Bullpen Dominates, But It Wasn’t Enough For The Win

9-16-21 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)

Alright, let’s get this over with. As the Pirates fell to Reds this afternoon by a score of 1 to 0, they also failed to get a sweep for the first time this season. They are now 0-14 in sweep attempts, which actually shouldn’t be all that surprising given their record of 54-92. What should actually be surprising is that they had 14 chances to accomplish this feat, and that three of these four chances have come over the last week and a half; after being swept out of Chicago by the White Sox and the Cubs in six games.

Yeah, today wasn’t a great game by any stretch of the imagination. The bats, that gotten it going as of late, got shut down and shut out; managing just six hits on the afternoon. However, the Pirates bullpen, which has struggled recently, allowed only one run on five hits, while striking out seven and walking three. Sure, it was a planned bullpen game; still, how many of you could have predicted that the combination of Connor Overton, Sam Howard, Cody Ponce, Chasen Shreve and Shelby Miller could have pulled this off? Not me, that’s for certain. Yet, they did.

Obviously, Pittsburgh didn’t get the win, or the sweep, but I really don’t think we should focus on that. There is much more at stake for many of the players in a Pirates uniform than breaking out the brooms against the Cincinnati Reds, or any team for the matter over the last 16 games of the season.

News and Notes

  • Connor Overton took the ball, as the “opener” and did his job. The former Toronto Blue Jay, Independent League Ballplayer, San Francisco Giant, Washington National Miami Marlin and 2014, 15th Round Draft Pick made his first major start this afternoon; striking out three, walking one and not allowing a run on two hits. That’s pretty cool.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes bounced back from an 0 for 5 night to go 2 for 4 with two singles in the leadoff spot. He is now slashing .333/.356/.357 in that position in the batting order. It’s probably not a long term solution, but for now it’s helping with some of Ke’Bryan’s last season struggles.
  • Ben Gamel is simply put, a ballplayer. Sounds simple and probably redundant, but to those who know what I am talking about, it just makes sense. Last off-season and for the better part of the first few months the Ben Cherington took ever opportunity he could to find a 4th, but realistically a 2nd or 3rd outfielder. He shouldn’t have to do that t as much this off-season. Gamel is arbitration eligible for one more year. Just get it done.
  • Michael Perez has two hits over his last 15 games. He has 25 total hits on the entire season; 7 of them homers and 15 total for extra bases. He has a -.5 bWAR and a -.4 fWAR. He is entering his 1st year of arbitration, and is quickly become a no-doubt non-tender candidate. There are bound to be some cheap options due to be on the market, or in Indianapolis…enter Christian Bethancourt into the conversation; although it should be noted he just went on the 7-Day IL.
  • The Pirates have 16 games remaining, and need to go 9-7 to avoid 100 losses. They are 7-9 over their last 16. It’s at least within the realm of possibilities.

Tomorrow the Pirates take a long trip down the coast for a three game set with Miami, then over to Cincinnati and over to Philadelphia before returning home for the rest of the season on Tuesday the 28th.

Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.97 ERA) is set to toe the rubber against Elieser Hernandez 1-1, 4.14,ERA) at 7:10 PM EST of the Marlins from loanDepot Park.

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

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