Errors and Misplays Abound As Bucs Drop Rubber Match 8-3 (24-22)

5/21/23- By Michael Castrignano – @412DoublePlay on Twitter

Messy game on both sides of the ball as wild pitches and errant throws contributed to runs on both sides, however, more prominent for the Pirates side. Additionally, another late-game pitching decision by Shelton likely will be pointed to as a potential lynchpin for the Dbacks victory. 

Roansy Contreras started the game for the Bucs and had some hard contact allowed early and often as Arizona struck ten batted balls with exit velocity of 90+ MPH. He finished with a deceiving line of 5 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts on 83 pitches but damage could have been much worse, especially with defensive miscues.

Diamondbacks got on the board early with another first inning home run, this time coming off Corbin Carroll with 2 outs in the frame. Bucs tied it back up in the 2nd inning off Snakes starter Merrill Kelly without recording a hit as Connor Joe walked, advanced to third on a wild pick-off attempt and scored on the wild pitch.

The game wouldn’t remain tied for long as Arizona back-up catcher Jose Herrera smacked a lead-off double to center in the next inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch. They would add on in the 5th as a lead-off walk, sacrifice and single plated another run and ended the day for Contreras.

Bucs battled back in the 5th as Joe reached on an infield single, Rodolfo Castro – back in the lineup against a RHP for first time in several weeks – hit a hard single of his own and Tucupita Marcano doubled them both in to tie the game at 3-all.

Dauri Moreta took over for Roansy in the 6th and struck out Carroll but an uncharacteristic throwing error by Ke’Bryan Hayes to first allowed Christian Walker to reach and an uncomfortable swinging bunt from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was fielded by Moreta and also sailed over the head of first baseman Carlos Santana, leading to a run.

Rob Zastryzny came in and managed to avoid further damage in the inning but uncorked a wild pitch in the 7th following a single to Geraldo Perdomo, recording two outs before Shelton pulled him to give Robert Stephenson a chance at redemption following his loss in last night’s affair. The chance to stop the bleeding ended up like trying to retrieve a splinter with a sword, as Stephenson allowed an RBI single, walk and 2-run double before recording his lone out in the frame.

Yohan Ramirez pitched the remaining two innings and managed a clean 8th before a 2-out walk to Carroll and throwing error by catcher Jason Delay on the stolen base attempt would lead to the final run scoring. 

It was a rough day behind the dish for Delay as many of the wild pitches likely could have been corralled or marked as passed balls. His throwing error didn’t do him any favors but between the poor defense, hard opposing contact and return to anemic offense – which produced just three hits on the day – it’s difficult to point to one root cause for the loss.

News & Notes

  • Bucs pitchers were charged with five wild pitches (Contreras – 2, Zastryzny – 2, Ramirez – 1), the most in PNC Park history and first time the Pirates have uncorked that many since September 2000. 
  • Pirates are 0-17 this season when trailing after 6 innings, the only team in MLB winless in this category.
  • Marcano’s 2-run double was the hardest hit ball of his career (105.5MPH)
  • Texas Rangers come to town tomorrow for their first 3-game series in Pittsburgh since 2007. Game start time is 6:35pm. Hopefully, the bats wake back up. 
  • Let’s Go Bucs!

4 thoughts on “Errors and Misplays Abound As Bucs Drop Rubber Match 8-3 (24-22)

  1. One catcher can’t catch, the other can’t hit, and neither are throwing out base stealers. I say it’s time to have a look at Endy, and bump Davis up to Indy, and see how they handle the promotions.
    Are there any bullpen options in Indy ? Bc Bednar is the only consistent relief pitcher they have.


    1. Alex Stumpf posted an article recently on Endy and how he believes Indy is the best place for him right now. Davis has his eyes on Pittsburgh. Bat is likely ready for both but there are so many facets to catching (especially with the pitch clock changing the pace of play) that they legitimately have things to work on. Check out latest episode of Pirates Fan Forum where Gary, Jim and I talked through exactly this issue.

      As far as RP options, Colin Selby is a top one but just went on 7-day IL. Cody Bolton is an option who we’ve seen and Eli Villalobos is one we haven’t but even a number of non-40 man guys could potentially push for time (Perdomo, Stratton, Bido, Flowers, Mlodzinski). Bednar is great but Holderman, Hernandez, Moreta and Ramirez are all excellent. Stephenson got touched up recently. His HH% is pretty rough but it’s a SSS. Underwood is meh and Zas isn’t terrible as an option. There’s always going to be guys in the pen who fans hate but hopefully they’ll hate less of them less often soon


      1. Agreed on both accounts. Good recap.

        Minor note: If we’re saying Delay could’ve blocked more of those wild pitches, then Castro most definitely should have at least knocked down the throw on the steal attempt. I was surprised they didn’t give the error to Castro–the throw was right on the money in front of the base, and he exhibited neither good positioning nor good effort to corral it. I haven’t played second base since high school, but I played enough to know priority No. 1 when an out’s not going to happen: Keep the ball close.


      2. Appreciate it! Castro’s glove got hit by the runner’s foot on the play so unlikely he had a shot at it but I would have to go back and rewatch to confirm. His defense on the field has been shaky but hasn’t helped that he’s been riding the pine instead of getting the reps to figure it out.

        Delay’s had excellent framing numbers this season but the one-knee approach makes it harder to corral pitches in the dirt or with movement away from him. I will say Delay is typically fairly solid back there. I think he just had a bad day and it spiraled on him.


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