Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 6/1/15 thru 6/7/15, the 9th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.
Weekly result: 5 Wins and 1 Loss, 33 Runs Scored and 22 Runs Allowed.
Hero of the week: Gerrit Cole. The Cole Train sped down the tracks this week to the destination of Aceville where he was just elected as mayor. He stymied the Giants on Monday over 7 innings and then closed out the week by doing the same thing to Atlanta. The Giants touched him up for 2 unearned runs in the 1st inning. Those would be the only runs to cross the plate in Cole’s 14 innings of work. He was at his best during the 6th inning against the Giants in which he pitched out of a bases loaded no out jam without allowing a run. 2 Wins, 14 innings, 0 ER, 16 strikeouts – yeah, that is pretty much domination. Cole leads the league in Wins and ERA.
Zero of the week: Vance Worley. Worley threw one pitch this week. It cleared the fence to give the Braves a 9th inning walk off win on Saturday night. It was the only loss the Pirates suffered all week.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. Rumors of Mark Melancon‘s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Pirates won 5 games this week and Melancon recorded a save in every one of them. He struck out 3 in 4.2 innings and allowed 0 earned runs. Melancon has now locked down 16 straight save opportunities. His velocity has also improved a few ticks in his recent outings.
#HURDLED: It is hard for me to find fault with Hurdle’s decisions this week. He did give the ball to a starting pitcher miscast as a reliever in the 9th inning of a tied game, but that had as much to do with other options being overworked this week. My biggest gripe is the decision to stick with Jeff Locke in the rotation over Vance Worley. However, Locke wasn’t terrible in his lone outing this week, though perhaps the manager stuck with him an inning too long. I just want to clarify that I actually think Clint Hurdle is a far better manager than he gets credit for. The #Hurdled segment of TWIBB is more to lampoon modern baseball strategies than it is to specifically pick on Clint Hurdle.
The little things that matter: The Pirates should send a thank you to Nori Aoki for his poor base running in the Pirates 5-2 win over the Giants on Wednesday afternoon. His TOOTBLANs were much appreciated. Aoki was thrown out stealing 3rd base for the final out of the 3rd inning. He made an even bigger blunder when he broke on a line drive hit at shortstop Jordy Mercer and was doubled off second base in the 8th inning.
Stats that blow my mind: Mark Melancon’ Cutter Velocity by month:
April – 89.33
May – 90.43
June – 91.56
Records and Milestones: Nothing noteworthy.
He said what: Jeff Locke (AKA Mr. Nibbles) admits he has a nibbling problem.
It’s not mechanical, it’s not physical. It’s just a commitment to throw the ball to the big part of the plate, not throw the ball to the edges all the time.
Tweet of the week:
Twitter was basically made for second guessing Major League managers.
— Steve Kubitz (@Munkie91087) June 6, 2015
Front Office Notes: The front office is preparing for the Rule 4 draft which begins tonight (6/8/15).
On The Farm: If the Pirates need to dip into the minors to fill a spot in the rotation the best option right now might be Adrian Sampson. The 23 year old right hander has a 2.69 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 73.2 innings.
Highlight of the week: Jordy Mercer finds the seats to give the Pirates the lead over the Giants on 6/3.