Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 9/15/14 thru 9/21/14, the 25th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 baseball season.
Weekly result: 5 Wins and 1 Loss, 21 Runs Scored and 6 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Russell Martin. Super Russ takes Hero Honors for the second straight week. The Pirates scored just 5 runs in the weekend series against the Brewers. Martin drove in 4 of those runs. His clutch hitting was just enough offense to give the Bucs two huge wins over the Brewers. Martin is riding an 11 game hit streak.
Zero of the week: Neil Walker. Walker is the midst of a slump in which he has just 1 hit in his last 15 ABs. Walker has also killed a lot of rallies lately. He hit into 3 double plays this week.
How do you spell relief? T-O-N-Y W-A-T-S-O-N. Tony Watson tossed 4 scoreless innings this week. He picked up a Hold and a Save.
#HURDLED: The Pirates won 5 of 6 games this week and stuck a dagger into the hearts of the Brewers. The Pirates will be making their second straight playoff appearance. Any complaints about the manager this week would be nitpicking. The Pirates are rolling right now and the manager deserves a lot of credit for that. The #Hurdled segment is suspended for this week.
The little things that matter: When the breaks go your way you have to take advantage. In the 1st inning on Wednesday Francisco Liriano loaded the bases and fell behind 3-0 to Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks. The next pitch was clearly out of the zone but Liriano got a gift strike call from the umpire. Liriano ended the inning on the next pitch. He survived the 1st inning thanks in part to a lucky break, and went on to pitch 6 innings and pick up the victory. The Pirates are hot right now and a big reason why is they are taking advantage of every break they have been getting.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: The Brewers were crushed this weekend under an avalanche of Hidden Vigorish. Milwaukee has owned the Pirates for most of a decade, but that did them little good this weekend. The Brew Crew’s 2014 season was basically ended after dropping 2 of 3 to the Pirates. No playoffs for you Brewers, this is a Buctober!
Stats that blow my mind: Just 19 of Vance Worley‘s 82 pitches on Sunday were balls. The Vanimal is such a control freak.
Records and Milestones: This record is kind of a big deal….
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 21, 2014
He said what: Clint Hurdle can barely walk to the mound these days to make a pitching change. He was advised months ago to have hip replacement surgery. He refuses to have the surgery until the season is over. Hurdle feels he owes it to his team to wait until the offseason. I don’t think you can find a more selfless man to manage a baseball team. This quote from Hurdle about his hip pain tells you what kind of guy he is:
I say, Give me the strength and courage to burden my pain so that my pain doesn’t become a burden for others
Tweet of the week: I’m going to break a rule and use one of my own tweets for Tweet of the Week. Against the Brewers on Sunday Vance Worley was incredible. This tweet sums up his performance.
Worley's command has been sensational today. He is painting corners like Bob Ross painted happy trees.
— Hidden Vigorish (@piratesvigorish) September 21, 2014
Front Office Notes: Neal Huntington made his feelings known that he doesn’t appreciate the high heat that Andrew McCutchen has been taking from opposing pitchers.
Andrew McCutchen is our best player…..we get get that our hit by pitches are high. I should check this, but how many of those are breaking balls? Others have alluded to our HBP numbers….but it seems our guys get dotted up with fastballs to the ribs.
On The Farm: The Pirates decided to part ways with Altoona Curve manager Carlos Garcia. No details yet on why Garcia was let go or who will manage the Curve in 2015.
Highlight of the week: The 3 run bomb that Russell Martin hit in the 8th inning on Friday night to give the Pirates a come from behind victory over the Brewers might be the highlight of the season.