Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 6/9/14 thru 6/15/14, the 11th week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 5 wins and 2 Losses, 35 Runs Scored and 26 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Andrew McCutchen takes the honor this week in a runaway land slide. Cutch was a monster this week. He had multiple hits in every game going 14 for 29 with 4 HRs and a ridiculous 13 RBIs.
Zero of the week: Casey Sadler got roughed up in his only appearance of the week before being optioned back down to AAA. Sadler gave up 4 earned runs in 2.2 innings and took the loss on Tuesday night against the Cubs.
How do you spell relief? Relief? Seriously, what relief? After watching a parade of pitchers march out of the bullpen with a gas can and light the mound on fire all weekend long I’ve decided to suspend the honors for this week.
#HURDLED: Clint Hurdle employed some downright bizarre usage of the intentional walk this week. On Friday night in the 9th inning versus Miami, Hurdle elected to intentionally walk Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases and push the potential winning run into scoring position. I know Stanton is a great hitter, but the math makes no sense at all. The only way Stanton could win the game is with an extra base hit. Stanton has registered extra base hits in 12.5% of his plate appearances this year. By moving the winning run into scoring position any hit that leaves the infield would likely score the winning run. Casey McGehee, who follows Stanton in the order, has gotten hits in 27% of his plate appearances this season. Walking Stanton essentially doubled the chances of the Pirates losing the game. Oh, but this wasn’t the end of Hurdle’s head scratching decisions with intentional walks. In the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday, Hurdle elected this time to pitch to McGehee with 1 out and first base open. I’m flummoxed as to why he wouldn’t walk McGehee and play for the double play. On a side note, I’m not sure I have ever seen a team disrespect a clean up hitter like the Pirates did to Casey McGehee this weekend. Clint Barmes gets more respect from opposing pitchers than what the Pirates gave McGehee. I know he isn’t a great hitter, but he is still a major league hitter. And he sure did burn them this weekend. Maybe the Pirates should update that three year old scouting report they have on McGehee. It seems a little stale.
The little things that matter: How about Charlie Morton laying down not one, not two, but three successful sac bunts? One was so well executed he even got a hit out of it. Another was in a 1st and 3rd situation, and turned into a safety squeeze for an RBI. Nice job Chuck! Way to help yourself.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Tony Watson had not allowed a hit since May 22nd and had not allowed a run since April 22nd. You can’t run a streak like that without having a little luck on your side. That luck ran out on Sunday against the Marlins. Watson made just one bad pitch, and a whole lot of good ones to nearly wiggle out of a jam created by some shoddy defense, but it wasn’t enough to prevent him from blowing a 2 run lead in the 8th inning when Casey McGehee roped a 2 RBI double.
Stats that blow my mind: Pirates starting pitchers over the last 4 games have pitched 29 innings and have allowed just 4 earned runs. Those pitchers were Edinson Volquez, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, and Vance Worley.
Records and Milestones: Have you ever had a friend just have a baby and all you ever hear about is all the stuff they do for the first time… like their first poop, first giggle, first steps, first words? Well, that is kind of what this week’s Milestones are like. Gregory Polanco made his highly anticipated debut on June 10th and got most of the important firsts out of the way this week. He collected his first hit and run scored on Tuesday, first RBI on Wednesday, and blasted his first homer on Friday. He even had his first defensive gaffe and first TOOTBLAN this week. He also had a pretty noteworthy 5-hit game.
Gregory Polanco: 1st player with a 5-hit game within the first 4 games of his career in 81 years- Cecil Travis, 1933 Senators
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2014
He said what: Clint Hurdle loves McDonalds and Andrew McCutchen. Exhibit A:
No. 22 is McHot right now.
Tweet of the week:
Gregory Polanco in beast mode tonight. If only the Pirates had access to such a wonderful player in May…
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) June 14, 2014
Front Office Notes: LHP Blake Taylor was sent to the Mets as the Player to be Named Later to complete the trade for Ike Davis.
On The Farm: The Bradenton Marauders hosted the Florida State League All-Star game at McKechnie Field. OF Josh Bell and LHP Orlando Castro represented the Marauders. Bell is having a break out season, posting a triple slash line of .318/.368/.512. He will likely be promoted to AA Altoona in the next few weeks.
Highlight of the week: This 13th inning blast by Gregory Polanco on 6/13/14 was his first career home run.