Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 5/19/14 thru 5/25/14, the 8th week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 4 wins and 2 Losses, 23 Runs Scored and 28 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Josh Harrison. For the second week in a row J-Hay is the TWIBB Notes Hero of the Week. Harrison might have won the award this week on his defense alone. He made two outstanding catches in RF that saved runs late in games, and he also threw out a runner at the plate. But J-Hay’s bat was also a huge factor in every win the Pirates had. Batting leadoff and playing RF all six games this week, he went 7 for 19, drew 3 walks, and scored 6 runs. In the 7th inning on Saturday night he knocked in the go ahead run by drilling a single up the middle off of Stephen Strasburg.
Zero of the week: Francisco Liriano. Liriano’s fall from grace continues. The Pirates lost two games this week and Frankie started both of them. He pitched 10 innings this week, gave up 10 earned runs, allowed 15 hits, and walked 6 batters. For the season Liriano has a 5.06 ERA. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise considering he puts up 5.00+ ERA every other season.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. Mark Melancon has been much maligned for his struggles in closing situations, but this week he was a perfect 3 for 3. He recorded saves in all three of his appearances, two which he converted with ease. For the week he pitched 3 scoreless innings, gave up 0 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4.
#HURDLED: What kind of idiot pencils Josh Harrison in the lead off spot and starts him in RF for six straight games? In all seriousness I can’t recall anything Clint Hurdle did this week that I would have done much differently. I did question giving the ball to Jeanmar Gomez in the 8th inning while nursing a 3-2 lead on Saturday Night, but the pen was shorthanded and it did work out. Gomez retired the Nationals in order on just 5 pitches.
The little things that matter: Baseball is a sport that is best played while awake. Someone needs to slap Starling Marte across the head to wake him up. In the 6th inning on Saturday night against the Nationals he was thrown out stealing because he slowed to a near stop when he thought a 2-2 pitch was ball 4.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Josh Harrison drew just two walks all of last season. He drew three walks this week in just six games.
Stats that blow my mind: Francisco Liriano has a 5.97 ERA at home this season. That seems unimaginable considering how dominate he was at PNC Park last season.
Records and Milestones: The Pirates 4-3 win over the Nationals on Friday Night marked Clint Hurdle’s 800th win as a manager.
He said what: This is what Charlie Morton had to say after not making it through the 6th inning on Friday but still picking up his first win of the season :
It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how long you pitch the game.
Tweet of the week:
I'm revising the Pirates Prospects 2011 Prospect Guide to include Josh Harrison in the top 10. Order your copy today.
— Tim Shilliams PP (@timshilliamsP2) May 25, 2014
Not many people saw Josh Harrison as being anything but an AAAA organizational role player. But here he is stealing a job from two former top prospects while keeping the seat warm for the next top prospect.
Front Office Notes: Wandy Rodriguez was given the boot. We can close the book on that trade now. It wasn’t pretty for GM Neal Huntington. He gave up 3 prospects, paid Wandy more than $16 million dollars, and got just -0.2 WAR from him.
On The Farm: This has not been a good year for the top end pitchers in the system. Jameson Taillon had TS surgery and will miss the entire year. Luis Heredia has missed most of the season with a shoulder injury. Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow have struggled.
Highlight of the week: Josh Harrison’s game ending catch on 5/23/14