Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 4/13/15 thru 4/19/15, the 2nd week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.
Weekly result: 4 Wins and 2 Loss, 22 Runs Scored and 14 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: Gerrit Cole started the week by holding the red hot Detroit Tigers to just 1 hit in the first 6 innings on Opening Day at PNC Park. Cole would run into trouble in the 7th, but the bullpen held on to give him the W. Cole finished the week with another solid 6 inning outing on Sunday to earn a win over the Brewers. For the week he pitched 12 innings allowing just 3 runs and 8 hits while striking out 14.
Zero of the week: Try as I might I could not find a truly deserving candidate this week. Jordy Mercer was only 2 for 17. But he played stellar defense and did enough of the little things that I don’t think it is warranted to label him the zero. In a TWIBB first I will give the zero award to an umpire. David Rackley was downright awful calling balls and strikes on Wednesday night. Rackley ejected Hurdle when the skipper argued this missed call in the 8th inning.
— Pirates Strike Zone (@PiratesUmp) April 15, 2015
How do you spell relief? J-A-R-E-D H-U-G-H-E-S. Jared Hughes was dropped into a hornet’s nest in the 7th inning on Opening Day. The Tigers had the bases loaded with no outs and were on the cusp of erasing the Pirates 2-0 lead. The Pirates needed a double play in the worst way, so manager Clint Hurdle summoned his ground ball specialist from the pen and told him to roll a pair. Hughes did just that on his very first pitch by inducing Nick Castellanos to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. In took Hughes just three pitches to get three outs and slam the door shut on the Tigers. Hughes would go on to pitch three more scoreless innings this week. His final line for the week – 4 innings, 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 BBs, and 5 Ks.
#HURDLED: Knowing the right moment to pull a starting pitcher is always tricky for a manager, but there should be a few absolutes. Any time after the 6th inning that a starting pitcher walks two hitters in an inning it is time to go to the bullpen. On Tuesday night with the game scoreless A.J. Burnett issued two straight free passes to Tiger hitters in the 7th inning. Hurdle allowed Burnett to try and get out of the inning on his own. The plan backfired. Rajai Davis squirted a single up the middle to drive in the only run the Tigers would need to defeat the Bucs 1-0.
The little things that matter: Andrew McCutchen allowed Jose Iglesias to take 2nd base because he did field a base hit with enough urgency in the 9th inning of a 2-0 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday night. Iglesias was hustling out of the box and took advantage. McCutchen’s mistake cost the Pirates a run.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: When the Brewers intentionally walked Pedro Alvarez in the 6th inning on Friday night it snapped a string of 44 straight innings that Pirate hitters had gone without drawing a walk. It wouldn’t take nearly as long for the Bucs to get their next walk. Andrew Lambo would draw a walk an inning later.
Stats that blow my mind: Jordy Mercer has a streak of 158 games and counting without making an error on a throw to first base. His last throwing error to first base was on September 20, 2013.
Records and Milestones: When Corey Hart deposited a baseball into the left field seats on Opening Day it marked his 1000th major league hit.
He said what: The Pirates were shutout by the Tigers in two straight games this week, but Clint Hurdle was was never too concerned about pressure affecting his hitters.
Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing. (Playing ball) is not a fistfight; it’s more of a dance.”.
Tweet of the week: Do you remember that god awful trade that sent Rajai Davis to the Giants for a washed up Matt Morris? This guy certainly remembered after Davis knocked in the only run in a 1-0 Pirates loss on Tuesday night.
Dave Littlefield still finding ways to cost the Pirates games.
— David (@battling_bucs) April 16, 2015
On The Farm: Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire are both off to great starts to the season for the Bradenton Marauders. Meadows is slashing .381/.314/.500 thru his first 10 games. McGuire already has 4 doubles. But the big bopper in the early going for the Marauders is JaCoby Jones. Jones already has 7 extra base hits – 3 2Bs, 1 3B, and 3 HRs.
Highlight of the week: Josh Harrison did not make the Pirate fans wait long to give the home crowd at PNC Park something to cheer about. He drilled the very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Opener for an opposite field home run.