Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 4/14/14 thru 4/20/14, the third week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 2 wins and 5 Losses, 36 Runs Scored and 36 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Neil Walker. Walker hit 4 home runs and went 9 for 30 during the week.
Zero of the week: Oh Wandy Rodriguez, you have been brutal. Wandy made two god awful starts this week. In 9 innings of work he surrendered 10 earned runs and 4 gopher balls. Wandy has given up more homers than any pitcher in baseball this season. Perhaps he will develop a case of whiplash so the Bucs can stash him on the DL.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. Mark Melancon appeared in 4 games this week tossing 4 scoreless innings. He allowed just 1 base runner.
#HURDLED: With 2 outs and the score tied 2-2 In the 4th inning of Friday night’s contest, manager Clint Hurdle opted to allow Charlie Morton to pitch to Brewer’s catcher Martin Maldonado with a runner on second base, first base open, and pitcher Kyle Lohse on deck. Maldonado delivered a hit that gave the Brewers a lead that they would never relinquish.
#HURDLED: Gerrit Cole cruised through 8 innings on just 91 pitches Sunday against the Brewers. But manager Clint Hurdle took the ball from his ace and gave it to Jason Grilli to protect a 2-1 lead despite the fact that Grilli blew a save Saturday night when he gave up a home run to Ryan Braun. There was only man in Pittsburgh that didn’t notice that Braun was due up second in the 9th inning on Sunday, and that guy was chewing bubble gum in the Pirates’ dugout.
The little things that matter: On Saturday against the Brewers Pedro Alvarez committed a monster gaffe by not throwing to 1B for the easy out that would have ended the 3rd inning, instead opting to tag out Jean Segura running from second base. This resulted in a run down which the entire Pirates’ infield then botched. Segura was safe and the Brewers went on to add 3 runs in the inning.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Josh Harrison has just a .157 career average as a pinch hitter, and was hitless in his first 8 ABs of the 2014 season, but he came off the bench to deliver a 2-run pinch hit blast in the 7th inning on Thursday to break a 2-2 tie.
Stats that blow my mind: Starling Marte has struck out in 14 straight games. In his current 14 game strikeout streak he has whiffed 25 times.
Records and Milestones: The Pirates went back-to-back crazy on 4/14/14 against the Reds. The 3 sets of back-to-back home runs in the game matched a feat that previously been done in major league baseball just twice before. The last time a team hit 3 sets of back-to-back homers in the same game was June 17, 1977 by the Red Sox.
He said what: From Neil Walker’s lips after being involved in 2 of the 3 sets of back-to-back homers against the Reds on 4/14/14.
I never would have thought I’d find a way to be attached to a home run record.
Tweet of the week: This should tell you all you need to know about how good Gregory Polanco is. It is actually tweet worthy when he swings and misses.
Gregory Polanco update: Swung and missed twice last night. Now he has 8 swings and misses in 192 pitches. (4.2 percent).
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) April 17, 2014
Front Office Notes: As you might have heard, the Pirates finally addressed first base. Welcome to Pittsburgh Ike Davis. Travis Ishikawa was DFA’d to make room. Chris Stewart was also activated from the DL and Tony Sanchez was optioned to Indianapolis.
On The Farm: Down at AAA Indianapolis, Brandon Cumpton pitched 7 innings of scoreless ball on Friday night to pick up his second W of the season. He has a 1.42 ERA in 3 starts thus far. The way Cumpton has been pitching he very likely could be the first pitcher to get the call for the rotation if Wandy continues to struggle.
Highlight of the week: Gerrit Cole tells Carlos Gomez he doesn’t appreciate being shown up. Gomez is such a hothead he gets himself tossed. Maybe this will be the spark the team needs.