Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 5/26/14 thru 6/1/14, the 9th week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 4 wins and 3 Losses, 22 Runs Scored and 31 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Gaby Sanchez. Twice Sanchez came off the bench to deliver huge hits that helped the Pirates win games. On Monday against the Mets he helped erase a 2-0 deficit by drilling a pinch hit home run in the 8th inning. He then put the Bucs ahead in the 9th inning with a 2 run single. On Thursday against the Dodgers Sanchez again would again collect a pinch hit RBI when he doubled in the 7th inning to extend the Pirates lead to 6-3. For the week Gaby Sanchez was 4 for 13 with 4 RBIs.
Zero of the week: Bryan Morris. Morris made two outings this week. He pitched 4 innings and allowed 4 walks and 2 long home runs. Can’t we get rid of this bum already?
How do you spell relief? T-O-N-Y W-A-T-S-O-N. Tony Watson went the entire month of May without allowing an earned run. For the week Tony made 4 appearances and picked up a Win and 3 Holds. In 3.2 innings he allowed 0 hits and just 1 walk. Watson might be the best left handed reliever in baseball right now.
#HURDLED: Last week I mentioned that Clint Hurdle got away with turning a game over to Jeanmar Gomez in a high leverage situation. He wasn’t so lucky this week. Hurdle handed Gomez the ball in the bottom of the 6th inning on Tuesday against the Mets with the score tied 2-2. Four batters later the Mets retook the lead. I don’t get the fascination with Gomez. He is nothing more than a mop up/long reliever. Hurdle can’t afford to use him in the middle innings of a tie game.
The little things that matter: The Pirates have done a lot of their damage offensively late in games this season. That has contributed to the poor win/loss record of Pirate starting pitchers. It seems like the starting pitchers aren’t getting a lot of run support, with the one exception being Gerrit Cole. But it should be noted Gerrit Cole is the only starting pitcher that actually helps himself with the bat. On Thursday night against the Dodgers Cole twice executed sacrifice bunts to move Clint Barmes into scoring position. Twice Josh Harrison drove Barmes home. Cole has 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 sac bunts in 12 games this season. So 10 times in 12 games he has made an offensive contribution. Maybe the rest of the staff would get a little more run support if they could do something positive every once in a while with the bat too.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Prior to this week the Pirates had beaten the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium just 3 times since 2008. The Bucs equaled that total by taking 3 games of a 4 game series from the Dodgers over the weekend. I can’t explain it so it must be Hidden Vigorish.
Stats that blow my mind: The Pirates lead the league with 25 pinch hits.
Records and Milestones: Tony Watson got a rare opportunity to swing the bat this week. He picked up his first major league hit off of Carlos Torres of the Mets on 5/26/14.
He said what: Andrew McCutchen on being pitched around.
It’s frustrating. As a hitter you want to hit. … Ask Barry Bonds. He would probably say, ‘I’d have hit 1,000 home runs if they pitched to me more’
Tweet of the week:
The Pirates literally just turned a guy who doesn't belong in the big leagues into an asset worth several million.
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) June 1, 2014
Front Office Notes: Bryan Morris was dealt to the Marlins for their competitive balance pick, the 39th overall selection in the 2014 MLB draft. This was a steal for the Pirates.
On The Farm: Gregory Polanco has been moved to the leadoff spot in the order in the Indianapolis Indians’ lineup. This is an obvious precursor to what his role will be when he gets called up to Pittsburgh.
Highlight of the week: Yasiel Puig who? Andrew McCutchen, the reigning NL MVP, put on a show of his own in front of a national audience on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. This bomb to center by Cutch was the signature moment.