Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 4/7/14 thru 4/13/14, the second week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 2 wins and 4 Losses, 22 Runs Scored and 28 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Pedro Alvarez. El Toro slammed 3 homers and knocked in 7 runs this week. His big three run blast in the 7th inning on Thursday against the Cubs turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 Pirates’ victory.
Zero of the week: Tony Sanchez. Tony Twitter started two games this week. He was abysmal defensively. He made costly throwing errors in both games. Throwing a ball away on a routine throw to first base in the 6th inning on Sunday against the Brewers cost the Pirates two runs that essentially iced the game. Base runners also swiped 4 bags off of Tony, and Pirate pitchers surrendered 2 wild pitches with him behind the dish.
How do you spell relief? B-R-Y-A-N M-O-R-R-I-S. Bryan Morris pitched 3 innings allowing just 2 base runners on a pair of singles. He recorded 3 Ks. One thing to keep an eye with Morris is his pickoff move. Relief pitchers generally do not possess good pickoff moves, but Morris has one of the best I have ever seen from a right-handed reliever. He already has one pickoff this season.
#HURDLED: This wasn’t costly, but pulling Pedro Alvarez for pinch runner Josh Harrison in the 9th inning of Saturday night’s 3-2 loss to the Brewers makes little sense to me. If Pedro represented the go ahead run I would endorse the move. But I hate doing this when trailing. So let’s play this out as if Harrison scored and the Pirates tied the game in the 9th. Gaby Sanchez and Jose Tabata, the two best hitters on the bench were already used. Pedro Alvarez is now out of the game leaving Josh Harrison to bat behind Andrew McCutchen the rest of the game. How confident are you that this lineup minus Pedro could scratch out a run in extra innings before the Brewers?
The little things that matter: Trying to get caught in a run down to allow another runner to score is a great play in Little League. Travis Snider, this is not Little League. Stupid base running takes away at-bats from hitters. In this case it cost Pedro an opportunity to bat with the go ahead run on base in the 8th inning. The little things in baseball matter. Not doing them is costly.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Emilio Bonifacio destroyed Pirate pitching this month to the tune of 16 hits in 30 ABs over 6 games. That is a .533 batting average. But with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th and trailing by a run Bonifacio is hitting .000 against the Bucs. Jason Grilli got the red hot Emilio Bonifacio to ground out to end Thursday’s 5-4 win over the Cubs.
Stats that blow my mind: Pedro Alvarez hit just 62 balls to the opposite field last season. In just 12 games this year he has already hit 14 balls to the opposite field.
Records and Milestones: Nothing of Note
He said what: Travis Snider talking about Pedro Alvarez following the Pirates 5-4 on Thursday against the Cubs.
He’s come into his own. He’s at a total level of comfort. For us, it’s fun to sit back and watch him scare pitchers.”
Tweet of the week: It appears Tony Twitter doesn’t like the new blocking the plate rule.
The good ole days. pic.twitter.com/Qsv8W1GMns
— Tony Sanchez (@Tony26Montana) April 11, 2014
On The Farm: Gregory Polanco is off to a hot start in Indy with a triple slash line of .465/.511/.744 in his first 11 games of the season. His impressive play is pressuring the Pirates to bring him up before June. Too bad he can’t play first base.
Highlight of the week: Pedro’s 3-run game winning blast against the Cubs on 4/10/14.