Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 8/4/14 thru 8/10/14, the 19th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 3 wins and 3 Losses, 22 Runs Scored and 22 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Gregory Polanco. Polanco stepped up in a big way this week to make up for some of the lost offense missing from the lineup with Andrew McCutchen out. Polanco had 8 hits in 23 ABs, 4 of which were of the extra base variety. His 8 RBIs represented more than 1/3 of the Pirates’ offensive output for the week. Polanco also showed off his cannon by gunning a runner out at third base in a crucial moment of the win over the Marlins on Thursday.
Zero of the week: Michael Martinez. Martinez was 0 for 12 this week and struck 7 times. Enough said.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. Mark Melancon had one of the most impressive relief outings of the season on Friday against the Padres when he struck out the side in the 9th inning to lock down a 2-1 win. For the week Melancon pitched two scoreless innings.
#HURDLED: I already detailed Hurdle’s bullpen mismanagement earlier this week. Jared Hughes is an extreme ground ball pitcher and has been solid all season. Taking him out when a double play was needed in favor of the struggling Justin Wilson was a terrible decision.
Cannonballs: Gregory Polanco
The little things that matter: Chris Stewart took some heat for failing to field a throw on a play at the plate that clearly beat the runner, but Stewart wasn’t the main culprit in this play. Fielding a short hop with a catcher’s mitt is not easy. Jordy Mercer has to deliver a better relay throw. He was only 30 feet into the outfield grass. That throw has to be delivered in the air.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: The Pirates had won 19 straight games in which they had scored in the 1st inning. You can only dodge “Hidden Vigorish” for so long. The streak died when the Pirates scored a run in the 1st inning on Saturday against the Padres but failed score the rest of the game in a 2-1 loss. The Pirates also scored a pair of 1st inning runs on Sunday and lost. I sure hope this losing streak when scoring in the 1st inning doesn’t reach 19 games.
Stats that blow my mind: It is almost beyond believe that the Pirates have never won a series against the Padres at PNC Park. 14 seasons at PNC, 14 series vs the Padres, and the Pirates have dropped every single one of them.
Records and Milestones: Nothing of note.
He said what: If you are a fan of the Pirates just stop torturing yourself. There is zero chance the Pirates are going to resign Russell Martin. GM. Neal Huntington said as much when he made these comments about his expectations of the free agent market for Martin:
“If the market goes where we think the market is going to go on Russ Martin and we’ve got to become creative, then we’ve got an internal option in Tony Sanchez. But, we’ll see. We’re still working through that.”
Tweet of the week: Few things in baseball are as jarring as seeing a pitcher get lined in the head like Marlin’s pitcher Dan Jennings did. Truly a scary moment.
Everyone please take a moment to pray for @LtDanJennings , & wish him a speedy recovery
Front Office Notes: The good news is that Ernesto Frieri was finally sent packing. The bad news is that GM Neal Huntington continues to hamstring the manager with a short bench. That decision is only looking worse with Neil Walker having another setup back after pinch hitting on Saturday.
Highlight of the week: Gregory Polanco shows off his hose in another episode of “Gunned by Gregory”.