Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 6/22/15 thru 6/28/15, the 12th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.
Weekly result: 3 Wins and 3 Losses, 25 Runs Scored and 24 Runs Allowed.
Hero of the week: Jordy Mercer. Mercer caught fire this week with 11 hits in 26 ABs. 4 of his hits went for extra bases and he knocked in 5 runs – the biggest of which was his walk off RBI double in the 10th inning Friday against the Braves.
Zero of the week: Gregory Polanco is a train wreck right now. He keeps falling deeper into a slump that has stretched for two months. This week Polanco collected just 3 hits in 20 ABs. When he did get on base he kept getting thrown out because of base running miscues. Twice he had stolen bases overturned on replay because he couldn’t keep his foot on the bag. Polanco also committed a world class TOOTBLAN when ran into an out by trying take an already occupied base.
How do you spell relief? A-N-T-O-N-I-O B-A-S-T-A-R-D-O. Antonio Bastardo has gone from forgotten man to trusted bullpen arm in a span of three weeks. He has been very good the entire month of June, but he was exceptionally good this week. The Old Dirty Bastard pitched 3.1 scoreless innings and allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. Bastardo snuffed out a Braves’ rally in the 7th inning on Saturday to earn his 3rd Hold of the season.
#HURDLED: The Pirates bunt when they shouldn’t and don’t bunt when they should. It is maddening.
The little things that matter: FREEZE ON A LINE DRIVE. This advice is hammered into kids from the very moment they walk onto a baseball field for the first time. It is reinforced at every level of the game. That Neil Walker forgot to FREEZE ON A LINE DRIVE and did so when he was the most meaningless of base runners is inexcusable. Walker managed to get himself doubled off first base when the winning run was on second. This is the hands down winner for TOOTBLAN of the year.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: A.J. Burnett knocked in two runs with a single on Wednesday night. It was the first 2 RBI game in his 17 year career.
Stats that blow my mind: The Pirates are 9 games over .500 and 9 games out of first place and we have not even reached the half way point of the season. That doesn’t even seem possible. The Cardinals quite simply never lose.
Records and Milestones: Nothing Noteworthy
He said what: Andrew McCutchen is fed up with getting plunked.
Maybe I need to drop-kick a pitcher. Maybe that’ll scare them into not throwing me in.
Tweet of the week: Colin Dunlap of the 93.7 “The Fan” Morning Show is lobbying for MLB players to make A.J. Burnett a much deserved All-Star for the first time in his career.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) June 25, 2015
Front Office Notes: A lot of guys were shuttled back and forth between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh this week. Chris Volstad came and went, Deolis Guerra made an impressive big league debut in relief, and Jose Tabata was DFA’d for the 1000th time as Gorkys Hernandez and Steve Lombardozzi were recalled to boost the bench.
On The Farm: Don’t look now but John Holdzkom appears to have gotten back on track. Since return from a shoulder injury Holdzkom has tossed 10 innings and has allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks while picking up 13 strikeouts.