9-27-2021 By Craig W. Toth (aka @bucsbasement on Twitter)
It almost never fails. Every time I talk bad or write some negative about a member of the Pirates, an aspect of their overall game performance (fielding or base running) a certain group of players (relievers, starters, batters, etc.), the coaching staff or the general capabilities of the team as a whole, I am proven to be incorrect pretty quickly; at least in the short term. Which is is exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon; and in all honesty, I am here for it.
As a Pirates Fan first and foremost, and a blogger/podcaster second, I always want the team, its individual players and coaches to do well. However, as it is with any other Pirates Fan I get extremely emotional at times when it comes to making assessments. Most of the time statistics overpower the fan side of my brain, but not always.
As an entity, the Pirates Pitching Staff has been a bit of a disappointment, but they are are also young-particularly experience wise-in general. There is room to grow for some, and for others a change in role could prove to be successful in the long run.
Is any of this guaranteed? Absolutely not. Is there much help on the way in the immediate future? Not much. Will next year be any better? I don’t know, but I sure hope so.
News and Notes
- Max Kranick began his Major League Career with no-hit, rain delayed outing in St. Louis back at the end of July; becoming the first pitcher in 127 years to throw 5 perfect innings in a debut. Then just one week ago Kranick became the first Pirates pitcher since Francisco Liriano in 2013 to strike out 10 batters in a row. In between it has been a mixed bag in MLB, as well as in his time in Indianapolis. So, understandably when Kranick took the mound yesterday afternoon, it would be hard to predict how thing were going to turn out. Luckily, for the Pirates it was a whole lot closer to his debut than many of his other starts this year. His final line was 5IP/0ER/3BB/5K.
- First pitch, first batter of the game-Cole Tucker-and the Pirates led 1-0. Since being recalled for Indianapolis, Tucker is batting .243, but has a .292 AVG and a .790 OPS over his last 15 games; which is an extremely small sample size. Nevertheless, Tucker has gone from having no shot at sticking on the 40-man to making things very interesting in the last month of the season with his revamped swing.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t start the game, but once he did, he let his presence be known.
- David Bednar made his return from the IL, with Kyle Keller being optioned to Indy to make room on the roster. Bednar pitched an inning, struck out one and allowed a bloop single.
- Nick Mears has taken a lot of heat recently; mostly due to a 5 hit, 4 run outing on September 14th versus Cincinnati. Since then he has not allowed a single run, walked only two batters two and struck out 7-including three yesterday-in six appearances and across 4.2 innings of work.
Today was originally scheduled as off day; that was until the rain clouds would let up in Cincinnati this past Wednesday.
So, after four days in Philadelphia, the Pirates will return to Great American Ballpark to finish off the three game road series with the Reds.
Pittsburgh has an open spot in the rotation, so as of right now the starter is TBD. For Cincinnati, Reiver Sanmartin will make his first Big League appearance.