Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 7/6/15 thru 7/12/15, the 14th week of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.
Weekly result: 6 Wins and 1 Loss, 28 Runs Scored and 21 Runs Allowed.
Hero of the week: This week had so many heroes that picking just one seems like an injustice. Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang, and Neil Walker all could easily have staked a claim to being the hero this week. I give this one to Cutch simply because that walk off homer in the bottom of the 14th inning on Saturday Night was magical. It was the biggest HR for a regular season game in PNC Park history. Cutch also did some handy work in helping to save a PNC Park grounds crew member from becoming a human burrito.
Zero of the week: Rather slim pickens for the zero award. Every player pulled their weight. I guess it has to go to Arquimedes Caminero for a brutal outing in which he gave the lead to the Cardinals in the 10th inning on Sunday Night. The Cards scored twice on Caminero and would have added more if not for a tremendous play by Neil Walker. Luckily, the Pirates bailed out the hard throwing reliever with another heroic comeback in the bottom half of the 10th. In fact, Caminero actually was credited with his first major league win for this putrid outing.
How do you spell relief? M-A-R-K M-E-L-A-N-C-O-N. Mark Melancon just keeps on putting up zeros. This week he picked up 2 mores saves, pitched 3 more scoreless innings, and was named to the All-Star game for the 2nd time in his career
#HURDLED: We have a substitute HURDLER this week. Bench coach Dave Jauss took the reins after Clint Hurdle was ejected in the second inning on Saturday and made us all appreciate our big purple skipper a whole lot more. Jauss made a series of questionable moves from double switching Starling Marte out of the game (which meant Cutch was followed in the lineup by a pitcher) to electing to pitch to Jhonny Peralta in the 14th inning with light hitting Pete Kozma on deck. Peralta delivered a base hit to give the Cardinals the lead.
Cannonballs: Andrew McCutchen (2), Neil Walker, A.J. Burnett
The little things that matter: If the Pirates proved anything this week it is to never ever quit. When things looked like they were about to get away from them they came up with big plays to stop the bleeding. A double play in the 5th inning on Saturday helped end a Cardinals rally and hold the deficit to only three 3 runs. On Sunday Neil Walker saved a run with a diving play in the 10th inning to keep the Pirates within 2 runs. If not for these huge stops at critical moments the later heroics never would have occurred.
It must be Hidden Vigorish: Hidden Vigorish was strongly in the Pirates corner this week. In the 14 years since PNC Park had opened the San Diego Padres had not lost a series on the North Shore….that is until the Pirates brought out the brooms and swept the Friars this week. Then the Bucs did the unthinkable by mounting two epic come from behind wins to walk off the Cardinals in back to back games. The Cardinals were previously 44-1 when leading after 8 innings. The Pirates broke them twice. Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal had allowed just 3 runs all season prior to this weekend. The Pirates torched him for 4 runs in two games as he twice coughed up late leads. I cant explain it….so it must be Hidden Vigorish.
Stats that blow my mind: Gerrit Cole picked up his
12th win of the season 13th win of the season. The last Pirates pitcher to win a dozen games 13 games before the All-Star break was Ken Brett in 1974 Dock Ellis in 1971.
Records and Milestones: Four Pirates were selected to the all-star game: Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Melancon. For Burnett it was a well earned first time honor at the ripe old age of 38. This is Burnett’s 17th MLB season. Only two other players have played longer before being selected for the Mid-Summer Classic for the first time: Arthur Rhodes (19 seasons) and Doyle Alexander (18 seasons).
He said what: Clint Hurdle makes a valid point that umpire Vic Carapazza needs his hearing checked. Carapazza is hearing phantom foul tips…maybe he is also hearing phantom foul language.
Both times, it would have been the third out. (Cervelli) is upset; let him go. For me, no game awareness. … It was wrong. He said (Cervelli) said something personal? You know what? We are professionals. He heard a foul tip? There was no foul tip
Tweet of the week: Some absolutely inspiring baseball was played this week. Also this happened….
McCutchen and Rodriguez try to stymie the tarp BUT THE WIND COMES SOARING ON IN AND IT GOES FLYING, OH WHAT CHAOS! https://t.co/AHuJPRpn9u
— Doc Emrick (@DocInRealLife) July 8, 2015
Front Office Notes: Trade deadline rumors are heating up. Will no move be the right move this year?
On The Farm: Pirates AA 1B Josh Bell slugged a two run homer in the Futures Game.
Highlight of the week: How many regular season games will you truly never forget? Whatever your answer you can also add this one to your list.