Final Score: Pirates 0 Yankees 16
Why The Pirates Lost: Another blowout loss for the Pirates as they could not hit or pitch last night. If the Pirates had swept the Yankees, there probably would have been world economic collapse. The Pirates can add this 16-run performance to the 21, 19, and 18 runs they have given up in previous games. We are only at the halfway point of the season. Can they do 20 and 17 to complete the parlay. Call Vegas they are taking the bets now.
Key Moment of The Game: When it stopped raining. Another key moment was when The Shadow Shelton removed Manny Banuelos from the game in the top of the 8th, after he gave up 5 runs, 3 hits and 2 walks in an economical 19 pitch, 1/3 of an inning. He did not allow Banuelos to take the beating that that Cam Vieaux did against the Brewers, where he threw 48 pitches before he recorded an out. So, we know that Shelton got a good night’s sleep. I feel better already myself.
Next Game: Today and Tonight, the Reds in Cincinnati. The Pirates have reached the halfway point and stand at 33-48. If they can repeat that performance, they will win 66 games and lose 96. It will be tough, with management trying to lose games, but we will see what happens. Remember, only The Shadow knows.
Final Score: Pirates 5 Yankees 2
Why The Pirates Won: The Pirates did it all last night, hit, pitched and fielded their way to victory over the mighty Yankees. The Pirates are 6-1 against the Yankees and the Dodgers this year. Quintana pitched a strong 5 innings, and the bullpen kept the Yankees at bay for the final 4 innings. The hitters got 2 home runs and 2 doubles and scored 5 runs which was more than enough to win. The defense made no errors and came up with some big plays when the Yankees threatened. It was about as a complete game that the Pirates played this year.
Key Moment of The Game: In the top of the 7th the Yankees put runners on first and second via a single and a walk, with one out, and Aaron Judge coming to bat. It looked like it was going be another disastrous 2nd inning outing for Will Crowe. However, Crowe, on a 2-2 count, induced Judge to hit into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play. Even with Duane Underwood Junior pitching the 8th, the Yankees could not do much after that. The only way Shelton could have helped the Yankees more was to pitch Castillo, but that would have really obvious. He did all he could, but the Yankees failed miserably.
Next Game: Tonight, Yankees in Pittsburgh. Mitch Keller will have his work cut out for him tonight coming off a bad outing. You never know, we may be catching the Yankees at the right time. They were shut out by the Guardians on Sunday, and they could only get one run off Duane Underwood (Do I really have to keep typing Junior after his name every time) Junior. Holy Hell, could we sweep the Yankees, no way.
Final Score: Pirates 0 Brewers 2
Why The Pirates Lost: After having a very good day hitting in the clutch, the Pirates failed miserably with runners in scoring position, by going 0 for 11. They had 9 hits and 2 walks, but could not push a run across. They also had a big strikeout day again, by whiffing 14 times. In my view, the Pirates are just not aggressive enough in the early part of the at bat. Even though the Turtle got 3 hits yesterday, this was the 2nd game in a row, where he had an at bat and did not swing at a pitch. He struck out both times. DID NOT SWING AT A PITCH. On Saturday it was a 6 pitch at bat and yesterday a 5 pitch at bat. It’s like he is trying to prove that you could still get a hit without swinging at the ball. Zach Thompson pitched a nice 4.2 innings coming off the IL. You have to be philosophical about this loss, because the Brewers pitching staff is going to do this to a lot of teams.
Key Moment of The Game: The Pirates had 1st and 3rd with 2 out and Ke’Bryan Hayes at the plate. The first pitch by Josh Hader was a 97-mph fast ball almost down the middle of the plate, just on the inner half, and Hayes stood there with his bat on his shoulder. Even though he drew a walk to load the bases, the Pirates never saw a better pitch to hit from Hader again. Bryan Reynolds hit a lazy fly ball to left to end the game. Fast ball almost down the middle of the plate and Hayes stood there. He must be getting advice from the Turtle.
Next Game: Tuesday, Yankees in Pittsburgh. If some way somehow the Pirates could get a split, they would be 6-2 against the Dodgers and the Yankees, the most likely teams to play in the World Series. After the Yankee series the Pirates will be exactly at the halfway point of the season. Even if the Pirates lose both games to the Yankees and then play exactly the same way in the second half, they will lose 98 games. I am sure this is very upsetting to management who was hoping they would lose 110.
Final Score: Pirates 7 Brewers 4
Why The Pirates Won: The bats woke up again and the Pirates scored 7 runs. They hit 2 home runs, each one coming with 2 outs, to drive in 3 of the runs. They scored all of their runs after two were out, in each of the three innings they scored. Probably the best clutch hitting the Pirates had all year. Bryse Wilson went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 8 hits and a walk. He was aided by some line drives hit right at people and some very good plays in the field. The bullpen was a little shaky again, with David Bednar coming on in the 9th. After an opening walk, that looked like here we go again, he settled down, and got the next 3 outs rather handily to end the game. After the debacle on Friday night, this was a very nice win.
Key moment of the game: After scoring 1 run in the 1st the Brewers had 2nd and 3rd with one out in the top of the 2nd. Bryse Wilson was getting hit pretty hard at this point, and it looked like the Brewers may break the game open. The Pirates brought the infield in and Christian Yelich stroked a bullet that looked like it was headed to left field. Then Oneil Cruz stretched that 6’7 frame and made a great catch, continuing on to third base to easily double off, Jace Peterson. It was a great play by Cruz, but another base running gaffe by an opposing team, got the Pirates out of the inning. It seemed to settle down Wilson who had given up 4 hits and hit a batter, in the first two innings. Over the next 4 innings he gave up 1 run and 4 hits. If that play does not happen it is hard to tell how the game would have gone from there.
Next Game: This afternoon, Brewers in Pittsburgh. The Pirates have another chance to take 3 out of 4 from a team who slaughtered them in one game of the series. Quintana takes the hill for the Pirates today, which gives them a good chance. Cherrington said yesterday that the Pirates will be bringing up many accomplished Major League players in the coming days. No comment needed for that asinine remark.
Final Score: Pirates 2 Brewers 19
Why The Pirates Lost: Contreres just didn’t have it last night, and it was just as well because nobody else did either. This is the third blow out of the season for the Pirates. They have given up 21, 18, and now 19 runs in a single game. In 4 other games, they have given up 10 runs or more. One thing about the Pirates they know how to lose. I wonder if there have been any seasons where the Pirates have given up 18 runs or more in 3 games. I am sure you won’t hear any of that coming out of the Pirate broadcast booth. It was fitting that this was Pirate charities night. Maybe Major League Baseball can give the Pirates some players, particularly some pitchers. Cruz can thank Derek (Nothing is going to get past me) Shelton, for challenging a call trailing 17-1, allowing Cruz to get an RBI. Did you notice that the umpire could barely keep a straight face when he announced the overturn?
Key Moment of The Game: The top of the 8th inning may have seen a little-known Major-League record. Someone with more time on their hands than I have may be able to find this out, but Cam Vieaux threw 48 pitches before he recorded his first out. I have to wonder if anybody else threw more before he recorded a single out. He finished the inning, which is just as amazing. He did come close to the most pitches thrown in one inning which is 61.
Next Game: This afternoon, Brewers in Pittsburgh. No one knows who is going to pitch today. Both clubs have asked Major League Baseball if they would allow pitching machines for at least 5 innings. There is only one thing certain about today’s game Cam Vieaux will not pitch. There is even uncertainty about whether or not the Pirates will even show up. They didn’t last night.
Final Score: Pirates 8 Brewers 7
Why The Pirates Won: Surprisingly, the Pirates bats have come alive, and even with the pitchers folding up, the Pirates managed another 8-7 win. In the last two games the Pirates have given up 14 runs, 28 hits, and 9 walks. The Pirates won both games. I would consider that a miracle. Michael Perez was the star with a 3 home run game and the final one proved to be the difference. This recent home run surge by the Pirates have moved them up to 13th in the league. It may be the only stat that the Pirates are above the league average. J. T. Brubaker hung tough for 6 innings to get his 2nd win in a row. David Bedner was very shaky again, giving up 3 runs in the 9th, to make things way more exciting than necessary. This gave Yerry De Los Santos another save opportunity and he came through in the clutch. I expect to see Bedner on the IL soon. Another nail-biting win for the Pirates.
Key Moment of The Game: Every time Michael Perez came to bat. Going into the game he had 3 home runs and 6 rbi’s. In this game he had 3 home runs and 5 rbi’s. Talk about an unexpected pleasure.
Next Game: Tonight, Brewers in Pittsburgh. Contreras vs. Burnes. It’s a good bet there will not be 15 runs scored tomorrow. The Pirates have the long ball going and Corbin Burnes is prone to throw a few gopher balls. The Yu Chang era came to end as the Pirates did DFA him yesterday. I will miss him. Next to The Turtle, he was my favorite player. Right now, the Pirates do not have a player on the team that is a total waste of cells. Shelton is completely dumbfounded on what to do. He has been heard muttering, when will Yoshi return. I am sure the bullpen will bail him out and continue to stink.
Final Score: Pirates 8 Nationals 7
Why The Pirates Won: It took another spectacular day by a Pirate for them to get a victory. This time it was Bryan Reynolds who had the big day with 3 home runs and 6 rbi’s. It was a wild game with many base running gaffs by both teams but many more by the Nationals. The Nationals got 16 hits, along with 6 walks but could only get 7 runs. They had base runners every inning but the 9th. The bullpen held it together pretty well especially in the late innings when it mattered most. Yerry De Los Santos pitched a clean 9th inning to get his first major league save. It was a great way to break the losing streak.
Key Moment of The Game: It came in the bottom of the 6th with the Nationals leading 6-5. They had Josh Bell on 2b with one out and Nelson Cruz at the plate. He hit a rocket just to the right of the 2b bag, in which Hoy Park made a spectacular play to catch the ball and double off Josh Bell. As the pitch was being thrown, he drifted a little more to his left then had to take 2 steps back to the right and back handed the ball about one foot off the ground. The force of the ball moved him back into the outfield just a touch. Bell took off at the crack of the bat and was easily doubled off. Greg Brown called this a nice play. The other factor was the umpire was in the way and had to lean backwards from the ball. If the play is not made the score is going to 7-5 and there is no telling what would have happened next. The play may have been one of the best defensive plays of the season. Reynolds hit the 3-run homer in the next inning to propel the Pirates to victory.
Next game: Tonight, Brewers in Pittsburgh. Brubaker takes the hill tonight which should be a good pitching performance. Anyone who thought Oneil Cruz could not play shortstop has certainly been proven wrong. He looks as solid as any shortstop in the last 20 years. We will see if the Pirates are going to make any moves today. The Chang era is in jeopardy. He will be missed if it happens. However, Yu never know what the Pirates are going to do.
Final Score: Pirates 1 Nationals 3
Why the Pirates Lost: Sounds like a broken record but another silent night for the Pirate bats, getting 5 singles and a home run, plus striking out 13 times. Shelton was asleep at the wheel by not bringing in a left hander in to face Yadiel Hernandez. His spits are a little better against left handers but slugs less against them 353 to 408. He wasn’t 12 for 24 against lefties like Choi of Tampa Bay when Shelton went for the lefty in that game. For the second straight time trying to get 2 innings of relief out of Will Crow proved disastrous. Five straight losses all bullpen related. Quintana seemed to get back on track with a nice 6 innings allowing only a 1st inning run on 4 hits.
The Key Moment of The Game: The winning double by Yadiel Hernandez to take the lead 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th. The Pirates are losing the close ones now, which they did not do in the early part of the season. The bullpen, which was used so unnecessarily in the first part of the season, seems to be on the verge of collapse and we are not even in July yet. Things could get a lot worse soon. Remember the Nationals stink.
Next game: This afternoon, Nationals in D. C. Mitch Keller takes the hill and hopefully will continue to look like a major league pitcher. It is a day game, so could we see the dynamic duo of Van Meter and Chang. A guarantee for a 6th straight loss. The last 3 games the Pirates have scored 5 runs. They are not quite there yet but they are getting close to last place in some of the more important hitting stats. No kind of breakout seems to be in the near future. For the next 88 games, I hope you like low scoring.
Final Score: Pirates 2 Nationals 3
Why The Pirates Lost: For the most part the Pirates bats were quiet only getting 7 hits and the 2 runs. Miguel Yuri danced through the raindrops for 4 innings giving up 4 hits and walking 3 batters but did not allow a run and threw only 65 pitches. He did not come out for the 5th inning and once again the bullpen could not hold the lead, giving up 3 runs in 4 innings of work. Another strange move by the Shadow. Yuri benefitted from some hard hit balls being right at someone, but he still only threw 65 pitches. The way the bullpen has been performing lately, you would have thought, they would have left him keep pitching. It was not the “thought” process on the Pirate bench and their 4th close loss in a row was sealed.
Big Moment of The Game: The Maikel Franco 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th with 2 out, won the game for the Nationals. The Pirates did get a runner to 2b in the top of the 9th but could not get the hit to get him in. It was another bad day for the Pirates. They showed that they don’t do the little things to win games.
Nest Game: Tonight, the Nationals in D.C. The bullpen has failed miserably over this 4-game skid and the bats are sleep walking through games. In last night’s game, the Pirates did not strike out a ton, 7, but they seemed to take a lot of strikes. They were not aggressive at the plate at all. It’s Quintana tonight and he has not looked all that hot lately. Let’s hope he can have a good game.
Final Score: Pirates 4 Rays 2
Why the Pirates Lost: Again, Roansy Contreas was not that sharp walking 5 batters in 5 innings, including 4 in one inning to score the 1st Ray run. He also benefitted from some hard-hit balls going directly to fielders. He still only gave up the one run, so he knows how to bear down when the going gets tough. You have to like the kid. Mainly, the Pirates bats were quiet, and it was another big strike out day with 12 Pirates going down on strikes. Yu Chang played, unfortunately and did get a hit. However, he made the last out of the game in typical Pirate fashion. With 2 out, Jack Suwinski walked and up strode the worthless Chang. Oneil Cruz was on deck. The first pitch was a ball which Chang took. The next pitch was even lower, and yet he swung, even though the Pirates desperately needed another runner on base. The third pitch was another ball, which should have made the count 3-0. Of course, Chang swung and hit a routine flyball to end the game. He did not have a clue on what to do or what was needed at that moment. Chang, you da man.
Key moment of the game: The missed tag by Diego Castillo in the bottom of the 7th proved to be the Pirates undoing. I guess it is ok for Castillo to learn and develop at the big-league level, but not Cruz. Before that, the Shadow wanted to make sure that the Rays had every opportunity to win the game, by bringing a left hander in to face Ji-Man Choi. Choi this year is 12 for 24 against left-handed pitching. Now he is 13 for 25, and the Rays went ahead to stay and then added on 2 more runs. They don’t call Shelton mister analytics for nothing.
Next Game: Tonight, The Nationals in D. C. The competition drops considerably with the Nationals. Shelton will have to burn the midnight oil to try to ensure that we lose to these guys. He may have to pull out all stops, by making sure that Chang plays in all the games, and Vogelbach is in the field. They haven’t announced the starting pitcher, but there is a rumor that it might be Bob Walk.