Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 5/4/15 thru 5/10/15, the 5th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.
Weekly result: 3 Wins and 3 Losses, 24 Runs Scored and 28 Runs Allowed
Hero of the week: For the second week in a row Jung Ho Kang takes hero honors. Kang collected 7 hits in 16 ABs this week. On Sunday he blasted his first home run at PNC Park in the 1st inning off of Cards pitcher Tyler Lyons. In the 7th inning he drilled a single to left field to drive in a run that staked the Pirates to a 4-3 lead.
Zero of the week: Things just keep getting worse for Josh Harrison as he takes zero dishonors for the second week in a row. Harrison finished the week with just 1 hit in 14 ABs and made a very costly error in the Pirates 8-5 loss to the Cardinals on Friday night.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. His velocity is down, and he may not look pretty doing it, but Mark Melancon has gotten the job done in his last 5 save opportunities which includes two this weekend against the Cardinals. For the week Melancon pitched 3 scoreless innings and notched 2 saves.
#HURDLED: I saw no egregious bonehead moves from the skipper this week.
Cannonballs: Starling Marte, Neil Walker, Jung Ho Kang
The little things that matter: On Sunday Francisco Cervelli attempted to take 3rd base on a fly ball to CF. It was a dubious decision to begin with as the Pirates had the heart of the order coming up. Cervelli did manage to just beat the throw, but an aggressive head first slide took him past the bag which caused him to be tagged out. The base running blunder killed a potential rally. I don’t understand why this team constantly over slides bases.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: The Pirates scored just 5 run in the first 5 games of May. Since Hurdle Gnome Giveaway Night on May 7th the Pirates have exploded for 19 runs in 4 games. Coincidence, or is the gnome a master of Hidden Vigorish?
Stats that blow my mind: The Pirates and Cardinals combined for 12 runs, 19 hits, and 8 walks in the 7-5 victory by the Pirates on Saturday Night. Despite a significant amount of offense the game ended in just 2 hours and 34 minutes. This is a clear sign that the pace of play changes instituted by MLB are working.
Records and Milestones: On 5/9 The Pirates turned a triple play. It was the first ever 4-5-4 triple play in major league history.
He said what: No way Jose! It doesn’t sound like the Pirates have any desire for Jose Tabata to ever play in Pittsburgh again. This is what GM Neal Huntington had to say at his weekly media session about Tabata.
We’ve been very open with Jose that while we hope his return to the big leagues is with us, he’s a guy that may need to get somebody else’s attention and have somebody come get him to get back to the big leagues.
Tweet of the week: Starling Marte has a youthful exuberance to his game that is both fun and maddening to watch. This tweet sums that up.
Front Office Notes: Andrew Lambo was placed on the DL with
a broken psyche plantar fasciitis. The contract of Steve Lombardozzi was purchased to take Lambo’s place on the 25 man roster.
On The Farm: The Pirates top two pitching prospects both succumbed to injuries this week. Tyler Glasnow rolled an ankle sliding into second base. It is a minor injury. He should be fine. On the other hand Nick Kingham‘s injury seems more serious. He left his last start in the 5th inning with elbow discomfort.
Highlight of the week: Jordy Mercer broke out of his slump with a two run double off the top of the wall that provided the difference in the Pirates 7-5 win over the Cardinals on Saturday night.