9-26-21 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)
A couple of days ago, I found myself digging into the shortcomings of the Pirates bullpen. Over worked and underperforming, injury riddled and possibly out of their element as far as newly assigned roles were concerned; which is honestly not much different than than the ever evolving starting rotation.
On the season the Pittsburgh Pirates have had only three pitchers accumulate more than 100 innings; with one of those finishing the year in Seattle and other seemingly shut down. Yesterday’s starter, Wil Crowe is literally the last man standing, with two unfortunate distinctions to show for it. Out of all pitchers in MLB that have reached that benchmark, Crowe has the 6th highest ERA (5.73), the fourth highest WHIP (1.61) the third highest BB/9 (4.34) and the worst HR/9 (2.05). Shoutout to Alex Stumpf for pointing me in the direction of this information.
But, unfortunately it’s not like Crowe is on an island by himself when it comes to being a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher that is performing poorly in some of the major statistical categories; some just may not have logged as many innings. Brubaker, who has, sits just behind Crowe in HR/9 with 2.03. Mitch Keller, who currently has pitched 93.2 innings to Crowe’s 105 has a 1.75 WHIP. Chad Kuhl, in his 14 starts, has a higher walk percentage; 12.2% to 10.6%.
Simply put, it’s not like any starter that is left on the Pirates roster has been very good. Sure, they have all had their strong starts, with some being able to string a few in a row together. But overall, statistically speaking, no one has performed well this year.
There hasn’t been that bright spot, that can build on his success heading into the 2022 season. If anything, with all the injuries and rough patches many have experienced in later parts of this season, I’m not sure how anyone can point towards many positives with the starting rotation, unless somethings really change; like going out and getting a couple of Tyler Anderson types to patch things together.
News and Notes
- The Pirates managed just four hits on Saturday Afternoon, with two of those coming off the bat of journeyman catcher Taylor Davis. The 31 year old now has ten hits in his Major League Career.
- Pittsburgh’s batters struck out seven times and didn’t walk once. This is not surprising, as it seemed like swinging at the first pitch, if it was anywhere near the zone was the plan yesterday against Ranger Saurez; who needed only 97 pitches to dispose of the Pirates on the day.
- The Pirates bullpen combined for 3.1 scoreless innings. It wasn’t dominant by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an improvement over recent performances.
- The Phillies have used the Pirates as a springboard to pull within 1.5 games of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
- The Pirates are now only three loses away from an unfortunate 100 loss season with 8 games remaining.
Pittsburgh will look to avoid the sweep a few hours from now at 1:05 PM from Citizens Bank Park.
Max Kranick (1-3, 7.28 ERA) will take the mound against the dreaded TBD for the Phillies.