Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 6/30/14 thru 7/6/14, the 14th week of the 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 5 wins and 1 Losses, 27 Runs Scored and 19 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Andrew McCutchen. Cutch had multiple hits in 4 of the 6 games the Pirates played this week. The Phillies’ pitching staff is going to have nightmares about McCutchen after what he did to them this weekend. For the week McCutchen was 11 for 24 with a home run, 2 triples, a double, 6 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. And his week was capped off by the announcement on Sunday that he was selected by fan vote as a NL All Star starting outfielder
Zero of the week: Ernesto Frieri. Big Ern made two rather craptastic appearances out of the bullpen this week. On Tuesday night he was bailed out by Josh Harrison who cut down another runner at the plat with an outfield assist. Frieri would not be so lucky in his next outing as the Diamondbacks touched him up for 5 runs in the 9th inning on Thursday night. For the week Ernesto Frieri pitched 1.1 innings and gave up 8 hits and 5 runs.
How do you spell relief? T-O-N-Y W-A-T-S-O-N. Tony Watson took the ball three times this week and did his job. Honestly, he barley broke a sweat. Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings without surrendering a hit. He allowed just one base runner on a HBP. He earned two Holds for the week, increasing his total to a league leading 22. On Sunday night it was announced that Tony Watson was selected to be an All Star for the first time in his career.
#HURDLED: Vance Worley was sent to the plate to pinch hit in the 7th inning on Friday with a runner in scoring position and the Pirates holding a 7-2 lead. Ike Davis was still available on the bench. Clint, WTF?
Cannonballs: Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen
The little things that matter: I’m going to highlight Jordy Mercer this week for his hustle out of the batters box. Mercer stretched a single into a double on Thursday night against the Diamondbacks due to his hustle. Josh Harrison gets tons of credit for his all out play, but Mercer is quite similar in that regard. He doesn’t take anything for granted. You’ll never catch Jordy loafing.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Since the beginning of May the Pirates have the best record in baseball. The Pirates had a .600+ winning percentage over the last two months without the benefit of a series sweep….that is until the woeful Phillies came to town on July 4th weekend and the Pirates shoved a broom handle up their asses.
Stats that blow my mind: Jeff Locke, Vance Worley, and Brandon Cumpton all started the season in the minor leagues. What they’ve done since being recalled to the majors has been nothing short of remarkable. Since June 1st the trio have combined to post a record of 7 wins and 2 losses with a 2.46 ERA in 15 starts.
Records and Milestones: Andrew McCutchen was selected to his 4th straight All Star Game. Tony Watson and Josh Harrison were named as All Stars for the first time in their careers.
He said what: Dejan Kovacevic wrote a feel good column about Josh Harrison that I suggest all Pirate fans should read. In the piece Dejan dropped this quote from the Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook describing Josh Harrison’s abilities when he was in the minors:
“too small to hit for power, too slow to play a small man’s game, too limited in range to play shortstop, too impatient to draw walks.”
Tweet of the week: This is a tweet that legitimately made me LOL. It happened after Pedro Alvarez airmailed another throw into the stands in the 1st inning against the Phillies.
— John Perrotto (@jperrotto) July 6, 2014
Front Office Notes: Clint Barmes was placed on the DL with a groin strain. Michael Martinez was recalled to take his spot. Infielder Dean Anna was claimed and stashed in Indianapolis as a depth option.
On The Farm: West Virginia Power CF Harold Ramirez has a 23 game hitting streak but has not played since July 1st. Perhaps a website that covers prospects in the Pirates system could find out why he is not playing.
Highlight of the week: On Monday night the Pirates were shut down all game by Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley until mounting a rally in the 9th inning. This game tying triple by Starling Marte was the key hit.