9-19-21 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 56-92 on the season. This equates to being a full 35 games back of the now playoff bound Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Their run differential of -204 run is second to only the Baltimore Orioles (-275) for the worst in the league. They are currently battling the Texas Rangers for the #3 Pick in the 2022 MLB Amateur Draft. The Pirates have also secured their fourth series victory in a row with a 6-3 victory over the Marlins in Miami on Saturday night.
Clearly, one of these things is not like the other. Sure, the competition has not always been top notch as three of the four teams they have bested are under .500 as well; with the Marlins and the Nationals only being a few games ahead of the Pirates in the standings, However, the same could be said about the Cubs, who swept them out of Wrigley; although each of the games were fairly close, and could have gone either way. Yet, they didn’t.
So, what does it all mean? Honestly, I’m not sure if it really implies anything beyond the Pirates being constructed of a group of professional ball players, that have made it this far in their careers by being competitive, and trying their best not to lose is what they do. I mean, I guess it could be that at least a few guys on the team are possibly playing for their respective baseball lives (ie. a spot on the 40-man next year or possibly showcasing their abilities for another team that would be interested in their services). Or maybe, Derek Shelton is just a good motivator,
Whatever the reason(s), the fact is the Pirates are winning, and that always feels better than losing. So, for now I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts, which won’t be that long either way as there are only 14 games left in the season.
News and Notes
- Bryse Wilson looked solid all night; hitting his spots on all but one pitch that ran right up into Nick Fortes sweet spot for a 2-run homer. His final line: 5IP/4H/2R/0BB/2K
- Hoy Park essentially put the game on ice with a 2 run triple in the 5th. Since being acquired from the Yankees, Park has seen a lot of action with the Pirates; totally nearly 100 MLB at bats, with sporadic success. He is batting .182 with 2 homers for Pittsburgh.
- Cole Tucker is having what has to be the best overall series of his career. He is 4 for 8 with 2 RBI, which could have actually been slightly more if Colin Moran was a bit faster, which we all know he is not, and it’s not due to lack of effort. Dude is just slow. In his last 13 games Tucker has batted .239, which is slightly above his career average. With only 14 games to go, I’m not sure there is enough time to salvage his spot on the 40-man, unless the Pirates are seeing something I’m missing.
- The Pirates bullpen has performed pretty well as of late. Chasen Shreve, who closed out the game, has allowed only 1 earned run in the month of September, in 9.1 innings pitched.
- Anthony Alford is another player who is making a late case for the 40-Man; especially on a team with no real answers in the Outfield, aside from Bryan Reynolds and hopefully Ben Gamel. Since being called up from Indianapolis, Alford is batting .264 with 5 homers, in 99 at bats.
Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates are going for their first sweep of the season, yet again, in what seems like their hundredth attempt this year if I had to guess by following the ongoing saga on social media.
For Pittsburgh, Max Kranick (1-3, 7.66 ERA) is set to start, with a move on the active roster due to come. Sandy Alcantara (9-13, 3.10 ERA) will take the bump for Miami.