Monday, January 15, 2018

Pirates Dump Cutch, Confirm Hatred Of Fans

Hey boys and girls and transgenders. Your favorite cis-gender, straight white male has returned with some bad news.

Now, I'm not trying to impress anyone with the professionalism of this blog any more so no links are needed.

As you all know the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed their fans up for another year of mediocrity and horseshit play. 

That was probably before they traded Andrew McCutchen.

It was probably the correct move for a rebuilding team, but they're not even rebuilding.  They're constantly trying to balance present day performance with the future.

To be honest they've done a fantastic job of achieving this balance.

The present is shit, as is the future.

In trading Cutch the Pirated traded hope. They traded the guy that made people jump for joy off the Clemente Bridge and they probably traded the goodwill of their fan base.

They were already on life support with this intrepid former blogger with extra disposable income,  and now.......


I don't really care about the return at this point,  Huntington has given me no reason to trust it will be anything worthwhile.

The only thing I care about is those poor ticket reps.  They will likely be on food stamp wages this year.

Should we start a go fund me for this poor creatures?

Maybe we should start a Go Fund Me to buy the team from Bobby "Welfare Queen" Nutting.

It's probably the only way they'll see another dime from me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Get Your Rule Book Out, Mets beat the Pirates 7-0

It's a run, It's not a run, It's a run, No wait It's not a run, I guess it is a run.

Still not sure what happened in the 7th, but I learned a lot about the Fourth Out Rule.

Dodgers scored on a 4th out in 2009.....and I thought you only needed 3 outs in baseball, stupid me.

Kevin Correia was perfect through 4.2 until Jason Bay singled in the 5th.

Rich couldn't contain his excitement.

Correia kept humming until the 7th when Bay hit a sac fly apparently scoring Murphy; however Angel Pagan ran past 2nd, but failed to retouch the base on his way back to first. The Pirates appealed to 2nd and it looked like the run wouldn't count. Terry Collins argued, the umpires conferenced and the run was put back on the board.

1-0 Mets.

That was how the "is it a run?/no wait it's not a run" debate was born.

Many rule books were cracked open.......and I hate reading.

It's a weird play because it isn't an appeal at first for going early, its an appeal at second for missing the base. My head hurts thinking about it.

More drama in the bottom of the 7th.

Lyle Overbay hit a ball to deep centerfield, Angel Pagan made the catch against the CF wall.

Clint Hurdle did not agree, thinking the ball hit the wall before Pagan caught it.


From some of the replays it did look like Pagan caught the ball.

Crazy couple of at bats back to back.

Floodgates opened for the Mets in the 8th, when 6 straight hits with 2 outs over a 3 pitcher (Correia, Resop, Moskos) span plated 4 runs. 5-0 Mets.

Couple of solo HRs by Reyes and Hairston off Cutch 2 by the Mets in the 9th extended the lead to 7-0.


Kevin Correia falls to 1-4 at PNC Park.
K-Core can't wait for a nice long road trip.

Correia's final line: 7.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 Ks, 0 BB........he pitched better than those numbers suggest and deserved better than the L.

Frustrating loss considering how well Correia pitched.

In the end you deserve to lose when you put up this many runs on Chris Capuano over 7 IP.

Jose Reyes had another multi-hit game, his 33rd of the year in 62 games played.

Andrew McCutchen continued streaking with a pair of hits

Cutch's hit streak is now at 11 games and his average is up to .289.

Pirates look to even the series with the Mets tomorrow, Pelfrey (3-4, 5.35) vs. Maholm (2-7, 3.39) at 7:05. A win would close the home stand at 6-4.

Check out Rich's preview here.

Huey Lewis Jamming during SkyBlast was Awesome.........oh yea and the Pirates beat the Mets too

Buccos Down the Mets 3-2....not entirely sure how.

The box score says J-Mac registered his 7th Quality Start of the year. Watching the game told you the opposite.

McDonald surrendered solo runs in the 1st and 5th, but worked out of jams in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. A couple balls were hit hard right at people (Murphy at Wood in the 3rd and Duda at Overbay in the 4th) and J-Mac got Dickey to ground into a double play to end the 4th with the bases juiced.

Air Wood..... that sounds dirty

Gotta give J-Mac credit, he battled it out despite not having his best stuff and picked up the win.

Jason Bay made his return to Pittsburgh

He broke an 0-for June slump with a single in the 4th. J. Bay Bay was 1 for 4 on the night with 2 strikeouts, including one looking with men on 2nd and 3rd in the 5th inning.

He will always be one of my favorite Pirates, it's a shame to see him struggling so much in New York.

Lets talk recap:

Mets struck in the 1st inning as Daniel Murphy beat out a double play, scoring Ruben Tejada. 1-0 Mets.

Garrett Jones tied the game at 1-1 with a double in the 2nd, scoring Walker.

Jones went 2 for 3, possibly getting back on track, against Dickey and his knuckle ball.

Cutch continued streaking (with assists to Daniel Murphy and the official scorer) in the 3rd with a double, knocking in Tabs and J.Harrison (RBIs 36 & 37). 3-1 Pirates.

His hit streak now stands at 10 games.

The Mets cut the lead to 3-2 on a Carlos Beltran infield single in the 5th, scoring Jose Reyes.

McDonald finished his night with a clean inning in the 6th.

Tim Wood went 3 up, 3 down in the 7th.

New York made some noise in 8th but Veras silenced it with a nasty curveball, striking out Ronny "Krispy Kreme" Paulino looking.

Epic Fist Pump

Hanrahan time.

Jason Pridie. Jose Reyes. Ruben Tejada.

Sawed off. Ganked. Sawed Off.

Ball game......16 for 16 for the Hammer.

How dominating has Hanrahan looked at times?

Some interesting notes from the game:

The Pirates' J.Harrison had 2 hits on the night, no word if the NFL will fine the Steelers' J.Harrison for either of them.

Wyatt Toregas thought it was Halloween and came dressed as Bumblebee from Transformers

R.A. Dickey fluttered his knuckler to a complete game, taking the loss. Dickey pitched well enough to win and was charged with all three runs; although McCutchen's 2 Run Double could have easily been scored an error on Daniel Murphy.

Jose Reyes had 2 Hits making this his 32nd multi-hit game in 61 games played. The last player to finish a season with multiple hits in more than half his games (minimum 100 games) was Hall-of-Famer Joe Medwick in 1937. Reyes is pretty sick.

Steve Pearce wears sunglasses at night:

Box Score

Capuano (4-6, 4.86) vs. Correia (8-4, 3.64) tomorrow at 1:35.

Check out Rich's preview here

Buccos Links and Arena Football:

-Evan Meek has a torn labrum. Not Cool.

-Kristy Robinson says the Pirates are looking outside the organization for a catcher but the asking price is a bit high.

-Stetson Allie to start his career in State College with the Spikes (3rd story down).

-PiratesProspects poses the question, Should Neal Huntington be Extended? I say Yes.

Tampa Bay beat the Power, 62-55 in AFL action......revenge for this?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pirates Charities Win, Buccos Lose 8-1

Things were about as electric as one of these:

The Mets and Pirates traded runs in the 1st. Andrew McCutchen knocked in his 35th RBI of the year and extended his hitting streak to 9 games.

Jessica Pearce approves

Nice job Steve.

Bob Nutting made an appearance in the 4th inning....

.....not surprisingly the Mets used 6 hits and some poor defense to put a 5 spot up, taking a 6-1 lead.

Not exactly the same result as the Neal Huntington phone call Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.

At this point the camera can't pan to Jordan Brown enough.

Injuries or not you know Dusty was getting a call up in time for Pirates Charities auction.

The Mets tacked on a couple more runs in the 5th and 6th, 8-1 New York.


I am guessing the Stroll Inn isn't on the other end of this phone call:

Between the last start vs the Mets and this one, New York just has Charlie's number.

Morton's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 Hits, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Morton vs. the Mets - 2 GS - 2.1 WHIP, 6.30 ERA
Morton in all other starts - 10 GS - 1.30 WHIP, 2.61 ERA

Is it a team rule that Pirates third basemen have to wear their hat like this?

Box Score

James McDonald (3-4, 4.97) will try and throw strikes tonight against that wacky knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-6, 4.04) at 7:05.

Check out Rich's preview here

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pirates vs. Mets (Series Twenty Two)

Who is this Jeff Karstens fellow anyway? A sub 3 ERA? Whatever man, he has taken his chance and run with it. At this point he has to really struggle to lose his spot in the rotation and I would think he is a safer bet than James McDonald. Too bad the Pirates patchwork offense couldn’t score any runs. Will this team ever sweep anybody? Series wins are great, but they need a cushion for the inevitable losing streaks that happen to all teams, let alone this one. They have clawed their way back to .500 but an ill timed five or six game losing streak will make it that much more difficult to compete for a wildcard spot or the division because they are just blowing these great pitching performances.

The Pirates should have taken the series at Citi, but they squandered an early seven run lead to split with the Mets on the road. Not a bad outcome, but worse than they should have accomplished. Still the Pirates have not lost a series since being swept by the Braves in a two game set on 5/24 and 5/25.

The Pirates have already beaten the Mets more this year than last year, in which they were 1-6. This year will need a little bit more due to the fact that we play them more than seven times, but that’s two wins we didn’t get against these schmucks last year, and I call that progress.

The Mets probable starters are Dillon Gee, R.A. Dickey, Chris Capuano, and Mike Pelfrey.

Dillon Gee (25) RHP

Gee just continues to have a great season. He is now 6-0 in 11 appearances (8 starts) with and ERA of 3.33. He has been a very pleasant surprise in a Mets rotation that looked to be a compete mess. He is not overpowering, but he has been a pitcher and has struck out nearly as many batters per nine as he has given up hits per nine (6.5 and 6.7 respectively).

Gee pitched very well against the Bucs, giving up three earned runs over seven innings of five hit ball. He struck out eight Pirates in that outing, a career best for him in the majors. He also notched his fifth win of the season.

Gee has never pitched at PNC Park, but he has been a much better pitcher at home this year. He does have two wins in his four appearances (three starts) but that is despite an ERA of 6.38 (1.77 at home). His SO/BB at Citi Field is 2.40 compared to a 1.50 on the road, in fact he has walked the same amount of batters on the road this season as he has in three more games at home. Opponents line on the road isn’t really that bad, but it’s worse than at home as well, .224/.346/.343 on the road and .198/.268/.302 at home.

R.A. Dickey (36) RHP

Dickey also pitched very well against the Buccos his last time out, although he got tagged with the loss. The knuckleballer gave up three runs on five hits over 7.2 IP striking out ten batters, a career high. Oddly enough he was the second pitcher in a row to record their career high in strikeouts against the Bucs.

Dickey’s next outing was another really good one in which he threw 8.0 strong innings against the Atlanta Braves. He was able to pick up the win this time giving up just one run on a solo homer while allowing just four hits and walking one.

After his 5.1, eleven hit, six earned run performance on May 14 Dickey has been outstanding. He is 2-1 in four starts giving up just five earned runs over 24.1 IP. His ERA is 1.85, he is throwing 69% of his pitches for strikes (as a knuckler), and his opponents batting line over this stretch is .193/.260/.307. He also has twenty SO, sadly ten of those came in one game against the Pirates.

Dickey is 1-1 lifetime against the Pirates with a 3.33 ERA in four appearances (three starts). His .904 WHIP is tops for him amongst any team and his 7.8 SO/9 is fourth best amongst all teams. Dickey has just been a really solid pitcher against the Pirates and it probably has to do with the fact that they aren’t patient enough for his knuckleball. Just because you are taking pitches does not mean you are patient.

Dickey has never pitched at PNC Park. Dickey has done his best work on the road though this year, picking up 2 of his 3 wins on the road and just one of his 6 losses. His road ERA is 2.93 compared to 4.69 at home, and his SO/BB is 2.86 compared to 1.65. His WHIP is actually slightly worse on the road, 1.446 to 1.354 and his OPS of .807 is substantially worse than his .7171 at home, this has to do with BAbip, .287 at home and .333 on the road.

Chris Capuano (32) LHP

Last time out Capuano proved that he is a journeyman and not much else. He allowed five earned runs over six innings of ball, giving eight hits and walking one, while striking out just two.

Capuano just isn’t having a good season. He is 4-6 but he has an ERA of 4.86 in his 13 appearances (11 starts). He is giving up a career high 10.4 H/9 allowing 77 hits in just 66.2 innings (that’s .2 more innings than he pitched all of last year for Milwaukee). He is also giving up a career high 1.4 HR/9, already allowing ten homers. His WHIP is also pretty bad sitting at 1.440 (second worst of his career) despite the fact that his walk numbers are really good (2.6 per nine) and his strikeout numbers are basically his career average.

He is 2-2 over his last five games, giving up 30 hits in 28.1 innings. Over this stretch he has given up five of his ten homers, and has an ERA of 4.76.

Capuano has been remarkably consistent at home and on the road, mediocre at each.















The real killer on the road has been homers. He has given up seven of his ten homers on the road, that leads to a better OPS on the road for opposing hitters. The OBP is almost identical (.340 at home .341 on the road), but the SLG isn’t (.390 at home, .537 on the road).

Capuano has eight starts in nine appearances at PNC Park. He is 2-4 lifetime with an ERA of 5.36. He has given up more homers at PNC Park (8) than any other ballpark except Miller (47) and Wrigley (8), hopefully the Pirates can put PNC Park in sole possession of second place.

Mike Pelfrey (27) RHP

Mike Pelfrey should thank the baseball gods he didn’t get a loss the last time he faced the Pirates. Pelfrey had an absolutely disastrous start, giving up seven runs in just five innings, allowing ten hits including one homer. The Pirates managed to lose that game, one of the most bogus losses I’ve seen this team undertake, and one in which Paul Maholm would get plenty of run support, and not know what to do with it.

Pelfrey is proving the every other year theory correct once again. He currently has a 3-4 record with a 5.35 ERA in thirteen starts. He is yet another Mets pitcher who is giving up more than ten runs per nine innings pitched and a career high amount of homers.

Pelfrey doesn’t have a win in his last five starts (0-1) and his ERA is perilously close to five, sitting at 4.83. Opponents are hitting .262/.308/.393, a healthy line but not great. He has also been somewhat lucky, having a BAbip of .273 and pitching three of five at Citi Field, a pitchers park.

Pelfrey has been a disaster on the road this year. He has a 1-4 record with a 7.60 ERA on the road over seven starts. He has allowed an absurd 49 hits in 34.1 innings and eight of his eleven homers have come in opposing ballparks. In fact he is giving up a Ruthian line of .331/.381/.547 on the road!

Hopefully that holds true because Pelfrey hasn’t been too bad at PNC Park. He is currently 2-1 lifetime with a 4.34 ERA in three starts. His WHIP is pretty high (1.500) and he is striking out only 4.3 per nine so he certainly hasn’t dominated the Bucs, just gotten wins. In fact his line of .301/.363/.411 isn’t all that great either. A little more pop in the bats and these numbers could be a whole lot different.


vs. Gee

vs. DIckey

vs. Capuano

vs. Pelfrey

vs. Mets

Josh Harrison






Xavier Paul






Ronny Cedeno






Matt Diaz






Dusty Brown






Garrett Jones






Andrew McCutchen






Lyle Overbay






Brandon Wood






Wyatt Toregas






Jose Tabata






Neil Walker






Pedro Ciriaco






The Pirates probable pitchers are Charlie Morton, James McDonald, Kevin Correia, and Paul Maholm.

Charlie Morton (27) RHP

The 6-2 (feels good huh?) Charlie Morton will put his 2.52 ERA up against the Mets in the first game of the series at lovely PNC Park. Morton had a pretty absurd time at Citi, giving up only one earned run against the Mets over 6 IP, but allowing a whopping 11 hits in the loss (which he wasn’t charged with).

After struggling with walks Morton has now struck out more batters than he has walked in five straight games, going 3-1 over that span with an amazing 1.47 ERA. He also has not allowed a stolen base in 6 games.

Morton’s home and road splits are starting to come together, but he has been better at home, posting a 2.08 ERA and a 2-1 record. The ball just loves the dirt at PNC Park I guess because he is giving up a line of just .234/.312/.315 there.

Morton is still looking for his first win against the Mets (three appearances, two starts) but his numbers overall have been pretty good, save the 1.769 WHIP (somewhat inflated because of that eleven hits he just gave up) and the .86 SO/BB. You wouldn’t think with those numbers he would have an ERA of just 2.08 but he does!

James McDonald (26) RHP

It seemed like JMac was going to cruise through the Phillies lineup in his last outing. The curve was working, he was hitting his spots, and it just looked good for him. Then a few past balls and a complete meltdown on his part and he ended up giving up three earned runs in just 4.0 innings. He walked an absurd five batters, while striking out just three on the way to the loss, the only loss of the series. That game ended a streak of three straight quality starts, his second of the season.

That streak included a tilt against the Mets in which the Pirates would win, but he wouldn’t. He gave up just one earned run over 6.0 innings, striking out five and walking two. That outing would see him finally dip his ERA below five for the first time since his first game on April 5.

McDonald has actually been nearly as good at home as Morton, posting an ERA of just 3.14 and allowing a line of .218/.328/.307 at PNC.

McDonald also does not have a win against the Mets, going 0-1 in seven appearances (three starts) with an ERA of 3.63. He has had trouble with control against the Mets, walking 13 batters while only striking out 16. He has also given up 20 hits in 22.1 innings.

Kevin Correia (30) RHP

You would think I dislike Kevin Correia but I do not. I am still not a believer in Kevin Correia, but I want him to win every single game he pitches in. I would love to eat crow about this, but I must just be a shell shocked Pirates fan, too afraid to believe that it could be real.

Kevin Correia already has eight wins. There is nothing that can take away his performance up until this point. He has been good. He has exceeded my expectations for sure. He pitched a pretty good game last time out against the Mets, picking up one of those eight wins. He lasted six innings, and allowed just two earned runs on six hits for his third straight quality start.

His last outing was pretty bad though. He gave up four earned runs in five innings, allowing eight hits and two homers against the Diamondbacks. A game in which the Pirates would rally late to win.

Correia’s home number leave a whole lot to be desired, but I expect them to get better. He has given up an absurd 41 hits in 29.2 IP at home allowing six of his nine homers there despite pitching 23.2 less innings at PNC Park. He has just one win at home, with three losses. Correia has been our road warrior, but it’s time for him to turn it around at home.

Correia actually has some pretty decent numbers against the Mets. Despite a losing record (2-3), his ERA is a very good 2.95 in eleven appearances (five starts). He is averaging about a hit an inning, but that’s about right for him the important thing is that he has kept the WHIP (1.235) under control while giving up all those hits, in no small part to the decent 2.80 SO/BB.

Paul Maholm (28) LHP

I’m not happy that I don’t even have to look at the ages of these players anymore. I’ve done too many of these.

Maholm has been really solid this year, and I’m not one to go to bat for him (apparently the Pirates aren’t either). Everyone knows how much it sucks that he is 2-7, it blows. Still he had a great opportunity to beat the Mets in the last series and he squandered it. Letting the Mets climb back into it after an early 7-0 deficit. He allowed seven runs, six earned, over just 5.2 innings after pitching a complete game shutout in his previous game.

Maholm bounced back nicely though against the Diamondbacks and his best buddy Zach Duke. He allowed just one hit over six shutout innings striking out four but walking an uncharacteristic three. The Pirates would eventually get the win on an Andrew McCutchen walkoff jack but once against a lack of run support would cost Maholm a win in a game he pitched very well in.

It must be something with Correia because Maholm is another pitcher who has been better at home. He has a win at home and on the road, but his home ERA is 2.45, compared to his road ERA of 4.46. His WHIP is lower at home, and his SO/9 is higher. Opponents are hitting just .210 off Paul at home, compared to .236 on the road. The only problem Maholm has had at home is holding runners. He has given up three stolen bases at home, none on the road.

Maholm remains at .500 against the Mets, 3-3 in starts, due to his implosion at Citi. He has a 5.15 ERA, giving up 29 earned in 50.2 innings. Worse yet is the fact that he has allowed 64 hits over that span and his SO/BB sits at a pathetic 1.22.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Snakebit, D-backs beat Pirates 2-0

Wrong uniform, same devastated walk back to the dugout.

The Pirates make a bad Cinderella.......they hate sweeping.

Resop'd in the 8th on a Chris Young 2 Run Homer.

That would be enough.

Wasted a great outing by Karstens: 7.0 IP, 4 Hits, 1 BB , 2 SO.

Quietly his ERA dipped below 3 to 2.94....that's 9th best in the NL


Buccos scored this many runs for him:

Morton vs. Gee tomorrow as the Mets roll into town for a 4 game set.

Check for Rich's preview tomorrow.

Chris Snyder To Have Back Surgery, Toregas Up

Twitter is abuzz with word that Chris Snyder will have back surgery tomorrow, possibly ending his season. Earlier today the Pirates called up Triple A Catcher Wyatt Toregas to fill in for him, leaving the depth behind the dish basically nil.

Toregas is basically a no stick catcher, and really feels like a bit of a placeholder while the Pirates explore other options and/or wait for Jaramillo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cutchdown .500, Bucs Win 3-2 in the 12th

Pirates had been like 0-234 in games when they were 1 game under least it felt that way.

Not tonight.....Cutch had other plans.

30-30, that feels good.

The Showdown....actually lived up to what little hype it had

Duke: 7.0 IP, 9 Hits, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO

Maholm: 6.0, 1 Hit, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO

Cutch opened the scoring knocking in Tabs with a sac fly in the 3rd.

Veras let Duke off the hook and blew the win for Maholm in the 8th, when a Stephen Drew single scored Kelly Johnson.

D-backs struck first in 10th when......deja vu.....Stephen Drew singles, scoring Kelly Johnson.

Buccos come right back when Cutch doubles, Walker knocked him in on a single, 2-2.

Cutch 1B found himself in trouble in the 11th when Nady doubled and Blanco singled. 1st and 3rd no outs. Ryan Roberts struck out, then D.Cutch got Kelly Johnson to hit into a 3-6-3 inning ending DP.

Cutch 1B held Arizona off the board in the 12th too.

Then it was Cutch 1A time.........


Tabs - 4 Hits, 1 Run scored
Brandon Wood - 2 for 3

The night belonged to the McCutchen Brothers though:

Daniel McCutchen: 2 IP, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 2 SO while picking up the W
Andrew McCutchen: 3/5, 10th HR of the year, 2 Runs scored, 2 RBI while extending his hit streak to 7 games (.517 Average during that stretch).

photo by @rumbunter

Diamondbacks are now 0-2 against the Pirates when leading after 7 innings, 24-0 against everyone else.

Box Score

The quest for .508 tomorrow, Karstens (3-4, 3.30) vs. Collmenter (4-1, 1.25) at 7:05, since brooms aren't bringing the Bucs sweeps this year, bring your vacuum.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DiamondSmack, Pirates Rally, Win 8-5

Kelly Johnson starts the scoring with a solo HR off K-Core in the 1st....secretly Rich was happy, 1-0 Diamondbacks.

Pirates grab 2 off Daniel Hudson in the 2nd. The first off a Snyder sac fly, the second off a Ronny Fresh single, 2-1 Pirates.

Crew Cut does it Sac Fly style again in the 4th, 3-1 Bucs.

Then Correia came unhinged. A lead off HR to Juan Miranda to start the 5th, 3-2 Bucs. Single to the pitcher, Hudson.....Double to Roberts.....single to Johnson, scoring 2, 4-3 Snakes.....single to Upton.

All in all, 5 hits in the inning. Correia leaves the game on the hook for the L, as the Pirates fail to knock in a lead off double by Cedeno during the bottom half of the 5th.

He was pitching at home, we didn't really think he would win did we?

Actual picture of Rich during the 5th inning:

Fast Forward to the 8th, Chris Young lead off HR, 5-3 Arizona.

Arizona was 24-0 when leading after 7 innings this year.

They didn't know Neil Huntington would be on the phone with ROOT Sports.

Double by GFJ.
Tabs double, Jones scores, 5-4 Zona.
J.Harrison, not the one that plays football, single...Tabs scores....Tie ball game baby, 5-5.
XP safe, on a sacrifice attempt.

Cutch Walks....bases juiced.

In steps Lyle Overbay, oops I mean Lyle Over-KellyJohnson.......

Bases clearing double in the gap to right-center, atta boy.......8-5 Bucs.

D-backs knew who was coming and they don't want none of this......

Kelly Johnson, ganked. Justin "Don't Call me B.J." Upton, ganked. Stephen "Don't Call me J.D." Drew, pop out.

Make that 24-1 for the Diamondbacks when leading after 7.

Brad loves his timeline.....

@dbacks did not

All the Pirates have to do to get back to .500 tomorrow is get by our old buddy Wacky Zachy Duke (1-1, 3.00).

Oh the Irony....

Paul Maholm (2-7, 3.66) goes for the Pirates at 7:05.

See Rich's preview here.

Pirates Promote Tony Watson, DFA Jose Ascanio

What Clint Hurdle wants Clint Hurdle gets. In his never ending quest to cram players into cute, distinct roles Clint Hurdle asked for another lefty for his bullpen. Well ask and you shall receive.

The Pirates have called up Tony Watson from the Indianapolis Indians. Now make no mistake I like Tony Watson and I really like his promotion to the big club. He has had a fantastic season thus far for the Indians, even better than Moskos who was called up before him. Watson is striking out nearly a batter an inning (8.9 per 9) and is giving up just 5.8 hits per nine. That problem is I don't want Hurdle to micromanage him. I have disagreed quite a bit with Hurdle's use of the bullpen, and the length of time pitchers are left. I don't see Watson, or Moskos, as LOOGYs and if Hurdle is going to pigeonhole them just for short term benefit it's a horrible move.

Guys you realistically see in the future need to develop. If that means bringing up some scrub, or making a waiver claim you might as well do it.

To make room on the 25 man roster the Pirates Designated RHP Jose Ascanio For Assignment. Ascanio has been putrid since coming off the Disabled List, and many figured he may struggle after his poor minor league rehab starts. Still his stuff is undeniable and he hasn't pitched much in years so it was worth demoting Mike Crotta for. Hopefully his terrible performance was enough to scare any teams away from him because he could still turn it around with more innings in the minors.

Tony Watson was already on the 40 man roster so this opens up another space.

Its Time To Play 5 Questions

With the Diamondbacks in town tonight, we asked the Arizona blog D'Backs Venom 5 questions about the Diamondbacks and Pirates.

1. Arizona is off to a great start. Tell me why the rest of the baseball should believe in the Dbacks?

It's hard to believe how historically bad the Diamondbacks' bullpen was in 2010. The bullpen's ERA was 5.74 last year, over one run more than the next worst team. This year's group has an ERA of 3.55, led by new closer J.J. Putz and set-up man David Hernandez, and has actually been an asset instead of a huge liability. The team offense is solid, led by RF Justin Upton, SS Stephen Drew, C Miguel Montero, and CF Chris Young. 2B Kelly Johnson started slowly but is coming on, while 3B Ryan Roberts will probably come back down to earth after hitting .268/.370/.463 so far. The team defense has been outstanding, with LF Gerardo Parra leading all major leaguers in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). Young, Drew, and Upton are also good defenders, and the Diamondbacks have done a great job of stopping the running game.

2. If the Diamondbacks could trade for any current Pirate, who would you want?

Even though the Diamondbacks have a fine CF in Chris Young, the current Pirate we would love to have is Andrew McCutchen. Good hitting, baserunning, and defense - we could definitely find a spot for him in the OF.

3. Speaking of trades, Pirates fans would like to thank the Dbacks for Chris Snyder. Not so much for Snyder but for taking Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby from us. How was that trade perceived in Arizona?

Fans were down on Snyder last year, but he had some good years for us in the past. It was mainly a salary dump for us, as Crosby and Church did nothing for us, and D.J. Carrasco only helped a little. But all three are off the roster now, so the Diamondbacks have nothing to show for it. Just trying to save a little bit of money, since the team had decided to use Miguel Montero as the #1 catcher.

4. Favorite Diamondbacks and Pirates player of all time?

My favorite Diamondback of all time is a current player - Justin Upton. He really has all five tools, and has tremendous power, with three homers over 455 feet already this year. Like in every city with a young superstar, some fans are on his case a lot, but he is an amazing talent.

My favorite Pirate of all time is 2B Rennie Stennett. I had a baseball card that listed his 7-for-7 game, and I always thought that was pretty cool. I was actually a fan of Barry Bonds back when he was a Pirate too.

5. For some reason that I'll never understand, Zach Duke was a popular member of the Pirates. Does he have to have a successful season for the Dbacks to contend?

Yes, Zach Duke is a pretty important part of the rotation. We are pretty optimistic about Duke. He's usually had respectable Fielding Independent ERAs (FIPs), and we hope that he will have better success with the Diamondbacks' solid defense behind him. He throws a lot of ground balls, which is good in a homer-friendly park like Chase Field. His first start since his injury was great (7 IP, 0 ER, plus he hit a 3-Run HR), while the second was mediocre. But the team doesn't have much depth in the rotation right now, so they need Duke to be respectable. The Diamondbacks have great pitching in the lower minors (Jarrod Parker, Tyler Skaggs, plus new draftees Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley), but not really anyone ready to step in right now.

Thanks to Amit for taking the time to answer a few questions. Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.

Pirates Select Joshua Bell In The Second Round

The Pirates started the second day of the MLB Entry Draft off with a bang by selecting prep outfielder Josh Bell with the first pick. Bell is a huge signability risk, going as far as sending letters to teams telling him not to draft him because he wants to go to school.

He is also advised by Scott Boras, the second Boras client the Pirates have taken in a row this year.

Bell has first round talent. He is projected to have huge power as he grows into his large frame, he has fast hands, and he uses all fields from both sides of the plate. His power is almost can't miss at this point, but it's hard to say how well he will hit overall.

Defense and arm are concerns which is a bit of a problem because he doesn't have the arm for right, but doesn't have the speed for left at PNC but if Garrett Jones can play outfield I see little problems.

Pirates vs. Diamondbacks (Series Twenty One)

It’s very rare when the Pirates set a positive record, but that’s just what they did. Setting the single event attendance record at PNC Park during the Saturday, June 4, 2011 game against the Phillies. Sure it was mostly due to Phillies fans, but this series has been great baseball for anyone watching at home but especially there. If the fans get used to it look out.

That said I’m getting pretty tired of hearing two out of three ain’t bad. Quite frankly it ain’t good. This team need to close out these series’ with a sweep every once in a while. They aren’t going to make up enough ground winning six of nine, or nine of twelve. They need to go on a streak, win six, seven, or eight games straight if they are going to break out of the ignominy that has been Pirates baseball since 1992.

The Pirates just played one first place team, and now they will play a second place team. The Diamondbacks have been surprising this season, their 33-27 record good for second place in the NL West, just .5 games behind the World Series Champion Giants for the lead. Not only will they be playing another decent team, they will be playing a team they had a winning record against last season. The Pirates were somehow 4-2 last season against the D’Backs despite the fact that the Diamondbacks outscored the Pirates 39-30. That differential exists because the Pirates lost by 8 runs one game, and nine runs in the other. Those games were in the first month of the season, the Pirates closed out the series in September at PNC park where they swept the D’backs to take the series.

The Diamondbacks probable pitchers are Daniel Hudson, Zach Duke, and Josh Collmenter.

Daniel Hudson (24) RHP

Daniel Hudson is off to a pretty okay season this year after being fairly dominant last season. He is 6-5 in 12 starts with an ERA of 4.22, good but not great. Hudson is getting hit around a bit, something unusual for a guy who gave up just 6.9 H/9 in his minor league career. He is currently giving up 9.6 H/9 allowing 84 hits in just 79.0 innings. He has eight quality starts in twelve games but despite pitching 6.0 and 7.0 innings respectively in his last two outing hasn’t had one since May 22. Still the guy has gone six plus innings in eight straight starts now, five of which have been seven plus.

His one career start against the Buccos came last season at PNC Park. He pitched a very fine game, allowing just one run, on a solo homer to Andrew McCutchen, in 6.1 innings of work. The righty gave up just three hits, walking two, while striking out six batters. He wouldn’t get a decision in that game but the Pirates would beat the Diamondbacks in what would turn out to be a sweep for the good guys.

Zach Duke (28) RHP

Well, well, well Zach Duke returns to the Burgh. Hopefully the Pirates can actually win with him pitching at PNC Park now that he plays for the other team. Maybe Duke gets too much ire from TiGO? Maybe from me specifically? His babyish ways grew old with me, and the fact that he did not stick up for his teammates was basically it for me. Still he did do some (very little) good for the Pirates and that can’t be discounted. Duke was just thoroughly mediocre to bad during his time here, maybe that’s not his fault, but I don’t dislike him for his performance, I dislike him for his attitude. I hope the Pirates put up nine runs on him.

So far this season Duke has made just two starts after breaking his pitching hand. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. It’s too early to tell which Duke you are getting so far. Are you getting the real Zach Duke who has never had an ERA under 4 or are you getting the Zach Duke whose one good half season propelled him to an All Star game?

In his first outing he gave up just three hits over seven shutout innings, walking one while striking out four in the win. He also managed to hit a three run homer, the first homer of his career.

His second outing was more of his pace. He lasted five innings and gave up four runs on ten hits. He actually struck out six though, walking none so those numbers aren’t too terrible. They are just knocking around his mid to high 80’s garbage at a high rate.

Duke has obviously never faced the Pirates but he has played one or 81 games at PNC Park in his lifetime. He has a 31-31 record with a 4.26 ERA with two complete games, and one complete game shutout. He has a career WHIP of 1.430, his SO/9 of 4.9 is pretty poor as is his 598 hits allowed in 503.1 IP and his opponent’s slash line is a healthy .301/.342/.449. Hopefully he can help the Buccos out at PNC Park, this time as a Diamondback.

Josh Collmenter (25) RHP

Collmenter is enjoying a great rookie year. He started the year in the bullpen, picking up one win in seven relief appearances. He then moved to the rotation where he has a 3-1 record in five starts. He has given up just four earned runs as a starter, and four of his five starts were quality ones. The only non-quality start he had was a 4.1 inning outing in which he gave up two solo shots and allowed five hits. Not completely terrible numbers, but definitely not enough to get it done. He has had a good season though, considering those two runs account for a full third of the runs he has given up over 43.1 innings.

Thats right Collmenter is 4-1 with a 1.25 ERA thus far. He has a WHIP of just .669, is allowing just 5.0 H/9, is walking just 1.0 batters per nine, while having a pretty low SO/9 of 5.4. Still if he is only walking one batter per nine that means his SO/BB is a very good 5.20.

Collmenter has obviously never faced the Pirates or pitched at PNC park, so I will not be including him in the chart below.


vs. Hudson

vs. Duke

vs. D’backs

Josh Harrison




Xavier Paul




Ronny Cedeno




Matt Diaz




Dusty Brown




Garrett Jones




Andrew McCutchen




Lyle Overbay




Brandon Wood




Chris Snyder




Jose Tabata




Neil Walker




Pedro Ciriaco




The Pirates probable pitchers are Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, and Jeff Karstens.

Kevin Correia (30) RHP

Correia just keeps it going. Picking up his eighth win of the season, good enough for the league lead. He notched his third straight quality start on June 1st, lasting six innings and giving up two earned on six hits. He struck out four and walked two, lowering his ERA to 3.40 in the win against the Mets.

Correia will be pitching against a really familiar team. Last season Correia threw in five starts, posting a 2-3 record with a pretty sad ERA of 7.82. The 32 hits in 25.1 innings is bad, but the 22 earned runs and 7 (!) homers is even worse. The only real positive for Correia last season was his 11.7 SO/9, but the Diamondbacks were historically free swinging. Though he had just one quality start against the Diamondbacks the big damage was done very late in the season. He had back to back starts against Arizona on the 26th and 31st of August 2010 and to say they went bad would be an understatement. He lasted just 3.1 and 4.1 innings and gave up nine and six runs, respectively. In fact if you take out those 15 runs that leaves a total of seven runs over three games which is actually pretty respectable.

Those two games were part of a horrible ten game stretch at the end of the season for Correia. Correia had a 5.79 ERA over that span in which he was 4-4 in eight starts. He gave up 49 hits over 46.2 innings during that span and ended up getting moved to the pen for the last two games.

Correia has faced the D’backs 23 times in his career, third most after the Rockies (30) and Dodgers (25). Of those 23 appearances he has 14 starts and a record of 4-8. Despite his bad numbers last year, and negative record he has been pretty okay. A 4.80 ERA is definitely not good, but considering five of those starts combined for the aforementioned 7.82 ERA that isn’t too too terrible. He has one complete game, but has given up 101 hits in 93.2 innings, including 15 homers (most amongst any team). While he has allowed a lot of hits, he has an 8.7 SO/9 and a really solid 3.03 SO/BB which has kept his WHIP at a pretty reasonable 1.399.

Paul Maholm (28) LHP

It just seems right that Maholm would be squaring off against Zach Duke doesn’t it? Maholm is a lot of what Zach Duke isn’t, mostly he is ultra competitive and a good team guy. He just doesn’t strike me as a chump who wouldn’t plunk a guy when a guy deserves it.

Maholm had a really rough outing against the Mets, actually deserving the loss he wasn’t charged with. Baseball gods? He looked to be on his way to another win after the Pirates took an early 7-0 lead but it wasn’t to be. Maholm allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits to give the lead away to the Mets. He lasted just 5.2 innings and threw 91 pitches, which is the exact same amount he threw in the game before against the Cubs, a complete game shutout.

Still his ERA is just 3.66, very good after giving up such a large amount of runs in one game and his secondary numbers are still quite good. His 1.218 WHIP is his best in any full season as is his 7.8 H/9, and his .6 HR/9 is tied with his career best. His 3.2 BB/9 is in line with his career average of 3.1 and his 5.9 SO/9 is slightly higher than his career average of 5.6.

Maholm did not face the Diamondbacks last season and only has four career starts against them. He is 0-2 with an ERA of 5.16 over 22.2 innings. He has allowed a bunch of hits (30) but, surprisingly, never a homer. Shockingly he has only ten Ks against the Diamondbacks, a team that has K’d a bunch for year, and even worse he has twelve free passes. Horrible numbers. His 1.853 WHIP is worst in regards to National League opponents and third worst amongst all teams.

Jeff Karstens (28) RHP

I don’t know how Jeff Karstens is 3-4 with an ERA of 3.30 but I’ll take it. Last year he was pitching in Indy, it looked like he was gonna be a minor leaguer for good, but then injuries brought him back and he once again fought until he stuck. Now he is a legitimate reason for the success of this team, and I no longer worry about his starts. In fact he has been so good the Pirates are going to have a tough time deciding what to do when Ross Ohlendorf returns.

Karstens last outing vs. the Phillies? A seven inning one run gem. Karstens gave up just four hits to the Phillies, a team most expected to come in and dominate the Pirates, but a team that would do no such thing. Karstens did not get a decision, but he sure deserved one. Still he gave the Pirates every opportunity to win and they did. Say what you want about his stuff, his past, even his future, but right now Jeff Karstens is pitching winning baseball and the Bucs haven’t seen much like this in years.

Karstens has some history with the Diamondbacks. After the trade which brought him to the Burgh Karstens flirted with history, throwing a near no hitter against the D’backs and Randy Johnson on August 6, 2008. Karstens would go on to get the complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and one walk in the best start of his career.

That would be his only career start up until this point against the Snakes, he has four other appearances but they are all in relief and cover 6.1 innings, 9 hits, five runs, a homer, and four walks. Pretty crappy numbers actually. Maybe the resurgent Karstens can give us that no hitter he was so close to getting last time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pirates Will Draft Gerrit Cole

According to multiple media outlets, the Pittsburgh Pirates will take UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole.

This isn't exactly surprising as Neal Huntington has made it abundantly clear that he prefers to stockpile pitchers. It's hard to argue too. This is becoming a pitchers league and great starting pitchers are in demand now more than ever. It's much less costly to trade a few pitching prospects (who are overvalued at this point) for that bat. It's also a lot easier to develop starting pitchers as opposed to position players due to the amount of slots needed for each in the system.

Cole didn't exactly dominate at UCLA this season but it's not always all about college stats. His stuff is off the charts, and his change-up is devastating. This isn't something that just occured, this kid has been scouted for years now, and I have to imagine the Pirates have been scouting him this whole time too.

He is a bit like Justin Verlander, who also did not dominate in college. Cole can hit triple digits and throws in the mid to high 90's all game. Like mentioned previously his change has been absolutely dominant at times, and his slider is a plus pitch.

It's not unreasonable to think he will be up for the full 2013 season, helping this team in what should be a playoff push.

The change-up/fastball combo reminds me of an in his prime Johan Santana.

Cole has the best stuff, and the best breaking ball. He is a big kid, with the frame to handle innings and has that top of the rotation upside that this team has lacked forever.

The Pirates are doing what they should, taking what they think is the best player. People will be upset about passing on Rendon but the Pirates do not need to be in the business of drafting who fans and bloggers want. They aren't doing this to cut costs, they are doing this to build one of the best rotations in baseball.

If the Pirates hit on two of Taillon, Heredia, Allie, and Cole this staff will be ridiculous. If they hit on three or god forbid four, this staff could be historic.