Pirates Can’t Climb Out Of Early Hole: (25-24)

5-24-23 – By Craig W. Toth – @BucsBasement on Twitter

It’s so frustrating to sit down for a Pirates Matinee, and feel like they don’t have a shot to win after the top of the 1st.

Of course I am exaggerating a little bit, but I don’t know how many fans actually kept the faith after the Pirates feel behind 3-0 to kick off their series finale against the Texas Rangers.

During the first month of the season this would probably have felt like a blip on the radar; much like Johan Oviedo’s first outing of the season, where he gave up 5 runs in the first inning against Boston, but the Pirates charged back to win 7-6.

Now, it feels like an insurmountable obstacle; and yesterday it was as your Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the Texas Rangers by a score of 3 to 2.

News & Notes

  • Oviedo was erratic, then he was immaculate. After surrendering 3 runs in the first inning, Johan settled down by not allowing another Ranger to cross the plate, while striking out 4 additional batters; including an Immaculate Inning-3 Ks on 9 pitches-in the top of the 4th.
  • Carlos Santana has played a solid first base thus far this season; which is why the double clutch fielder’s choice in the first inning-that allowed a run to score-and the error in the 6th stick out even more. To this point I have ignored his plunging AVG and OPS; but, if he isn’t going to hit consistently, these types of mistakes can’t happen. Santana started the season hitting for a .276 AVG, a .786 OPS and a 116 wRC+. Over his past 81 plate appearances he has hit .176 with a .546 OPS and 58 wRC+.
  • Bryan Reynolds has posted a .282/332/.481 slash line with a 117 wRC+ and 6 homers on the season. On the surface this year would be comparable to the one he had last year; while adding in the potential for some improvement. However, when you break it down into halves, it becomes indicative of the season the Pirates have experienced to this point. Through the end of April, Reynolds was batting .323 with a .926 OPS, a 143 wRC+ and 5 homers. Since that time-across 88 plate appearances-he has posted a .231 AVG with a .661 OPS, an 82 wRC+ and just one home run.
  • Rodolfo Castro should be in the lineup everyday. The same with Marcano. If not what are we even doing here? I get that a certain matchup or a scheduled day off would cause them to be off, but with dueling OPS+ marks of 121 for Castro and 108 for Marcano; that are a full 20 points or more from the nearest competitors for their respective positions.
  • To their credit, the Pirates Bullpen was up for the challenge by allowing just two hits and 0 earned runs, while walking one and striking out four; led by Dauri Moreta over his 1 and a third innings. Over his last 7 appearances, Moreta has not allowed an earned run, struck out 12 and not given up a free pass. He now has a 2.01 ERA and a near elite 0.94 WHIP on the season.

The Pirates are off today as they travel to Seattle for a weekend series with the Mariners.

For Pittsburgh, Mitch Keller (5-1/2.44 ERA/0.97 WHIP) is scheduled to be on the bump; facing off against George Kirby (5-3/2.62 ERA/1.01 WHIP for Seattle.

First pitch is 10:10 PM EST.

Published by Craig W. Toth

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

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