Pirates Morning Report, 3 Hours 34 Minutes of Living Hell

Final Score: Pirates 1 Reds 10

How the 2023 Pirates Did: Other than the fact that Rudolfo Castro hit a home run, they stunk just like everyone else, including the Reds pitching staff. Only 5 of the 2023 Pirates started and they went collectively 3 for 17 and collected 4 walks. Cruz had another throwing error which led to a run, and still looks lost at the plate. Tyler Beede did not really pitch all that bad. In the 4th the Reds got some bleeders and bloopers for hits and then they just teed off on him, as he probably ran out of gas. It really didn’t matter as the Pirate’s bats were as quiet as church mice. The Reds pitcher’s must not have known the score, or thought they were playing the Yankees, instead of the Pirates. They walked 8 batters, including 2 in the bottom of the 9th leading 10-1. The top of the 6th was a game synopsis. There was catcher interference that needed reviewed. Next a hit by pitch that needed reviewed. Two strike outs in a row. Another walk and a pop up to the infield to end the inning. Six batters, one ball in play and the bases loaded took a long time to execute. The game took 3 hours and 34 minutes to play and was just plain excruciating to watch. No one had to be told that this was the 4th and 5th place teams in the embarrassing National League Central Division. This was fireworks night, so the fans had to stay until the end of this God forsaken game, that set baseball back 100 years. Shame on the Pirates and Reds for playing this great game so poorly and slowly to boot.

Key Moment of The Game: It wasn’t so much the key moment as it set the tone for whole game. Tucupita Marcano opened the game for the Pirates by doubling to the right field corner. Bob Walk and Joe Blockhead were extolling on how baseball smart Marcano is, when he got picked off second base. Bob Walk said I guess we were talking nonsense, which sums up his whole broadcast career.

Next Game: This afternoon, Reds in Pittsburgh. Maybe they will be able to play a 4-hour game today. Who cares what goofy lineup Shelton comes up with today. That was a disgrace to baseball last night.

Pirates Morning Report, Always Nice to Beat The Reds

Final Score: Pirates 5 Reds 4

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Six of them got to play last night and it was Michael Chavis who got the walk off hit. Jason Delay was the only member not to get a hit. Madris had 2 hits, Cruz, Castro, and Reynolds had one each. I will admit that it was the 29-30 year old rejects that had the big game. Newman had 2 hits, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. Ben Gamel had 3hits and 1 RBI and did not mess up too bad in the field. He did have one bonehead baserunning move, but all is forgiven in a win. Bryce Wilson a non-member, in my mind, of next year’s starting rotation, none the less pitched a solid 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on long balls, but only allowing 3 other hits, all singles and not walking a batter. Both he and Zach Thompson have had their moments this year. It would be nice to see them become next year’s Will Crowe. They have about another 6 weeks to show their stuff. It is always nice to beat the moronic Reds, who without a doubt have the worse manager in baseball. He makes Shelton look like Einstein.

Key Moment of The Game: In the bottom of the 9th the Reds bring in the lefty, intentionally walk Bryan Reynolds, to face the left hand hitting Gamel. Gamel works the count to 3 and 2, them gets hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two pitches later Chavis put the Reds out of their putrid misery.

Next Game: Tonight, Reds in Pittsburgh. It would be nice to see a lineup with 7 to 8 members of the 2023 Pirates. Newman and Gamel have been hot lately, so they made need a rest. Could Padlock start tomorrow. He could be the key to victory. I just can’t help myself, but I think it was pretty clever. Or how about starting Parking Meter, that may be the ticket to a victory. Ok, I’m done now. It’s been a long season.

Pirates Morning Report, Happy Birthday Roberto

Final Score: Pirates 8 Red Sox 2

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Again only 5 were in the starting lineup and Bryan Reynolds had an even bigger game last night. He hit 2 home runs and drove in 4 going 3 for 4. Oneil Cruz finally got a hit, but Marcano, Cruz, and Madris all hung collars. Michael Chavis came in to pinch hit and went 1 for 2, with an RBI double. J. T. Brubaker pitch a great game going 7 innings giving up only 2 hits, hitting one batter, no walks, striking out 7, throwing only 84 pitches, and facing just 23 batters. Of course, The Shadow would not let him come out for the 8th inning, it would make too much sense. Colin Holderman pitched an impressive 9th, striking out 2 and throwing only 9 pitches. Overall, a very good night for the 2023 Pirates. A great way to celebrate Roberto Clemente’s birthday.

Key Moment of The Game: Even though Brubaker was cruising along, it was nice to see the 2 out lightening in the bottom of the third. After 2 were out Newman and Reynolds singled and Ben Gamel, DHing for the 2nd night in a row, doubled in the 2 runs to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead. It was nice to see another team make a questionable fielding play. From that point on with the way Brubaker was pitching the Pirates had the game well in hand. Now, that is the definition of a dominant performance.

Next Game: Tonight, Reds in Pittsburgh. Surprisingly Kevin Padlo did not start last night. I still expect to see him in the outfield. The Reds come to town as Pirates will battle for the cellar in the National League Central. There should be some really good starting lineups as the Pirates try to maintain their position for next year’s draft, currently they would pick 4th.

Pirates Morning Report, Walk on By

Final Score: Pirates 3 Red Sox 8

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Roansy Contreras did not have his best start after his stay down in AAA. His command was not good and really did not seem to have his strike out pitch going. He did go 6innings giving up 4 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, but looked strong at the end. Two more pitchers like him and Pirates would be formidable. Only 5 of the 2023 Pirates started the game. Bryan Reyolds had a good game going 2 for 4, hitting his 18th homer of the year and driving in 2 runs. The bullpen was mediocre, but the good news is that none of them should be pitching for the Pirates in 2023. It’s not often you see a pitcher who gives up 3 runs, 3 hits, and 2 walks in one inning, does a chest pump after the inning. Where do the Pirates find all these awful left-handed relievers? They must have some amazing scouts.

Key Moment of The Game: The Pirate pitching staff issuing 7 walks. One walk was intentional, but 3 of the other 6 walks scored and the 4th forced in a run with the bases loaded. An early Christmas for the Red Sox, as the Pirates help another team get to .500 ball.

Next Game: Tonight, Red Sox in Pittsburgh. In just 2 games Kevin Padlo has established that he can’t hit, can’t field, and can’t run. Expect him to start the next 7 games at least. In 7 at bats, he has accounted for 8 outs. Who cares about giving the young Pirates playing experience. You can learn by simply watching. I am waiting for at least 7 of the 2023 Pirates to start a game. So far, the most has been 6. Last night it was only 5. What the Pirates should do is sign about 5 more players that are garbage, send the rest of the young players down, and even be more obvious about trying to lose games. Maybe then there will be an investigation.

Pirates Morning Report, We Need a Pop Up Drill

Final Score: Pirates 3 Red Sox 5

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Simply put, they did not do well at all. Mitch Keller who currently is diagnosed with right shoulder fatigue, did not look good, but still could have gotten out of those two innings with only 3 runs scoring, if the Pirates were able to corral pop ups and fly balls. Why Cruz was not charged with an error on the pop up in the 1st inning is anybody’s guess. The 2023 Pirates only got 1 hit for game and that was Jason Delay, who is not a cinch to be playing next year, but he has been the best catcher this year. Believe me the competition has not been too tough. Even though I just wrote yesterday that Ben Gamel should not be on the team next year, it would be nice to see the Pirates make him the permanent DH for the rest of 2022. It could be something that Gamel does really well, if given the opportunity. One thing is for sure, he can’t field. The bullpen did an outstanding job holding the Red Sox scoreless over the last 7 innings. Cruz continued his struggles and the rest of the 2023 team could only get 1 hit in 18 at bats with 3 walks.

Key Moment of The Game: The entire first inning was a disaster on all fronts. The Red Sox started the game with a single, 2 walks, and 3 more singles, with one being the misplayed pop up. They had 3 runs and there was nobody out. Then the Pirates went the next 7 innings getting only 1 hit. They fired the hitting coach about this time last year. Maybe this is what the team needs now, no instruction.

Next Game: Tonight, Red Sox in Pittsburgh. Roansy Contreras goes tonight, and it will put a little more interest in the game. I imagine that new call up Kevin Padlo will get another start, just to ensure another loss and to continue to put garbage on the field. He has only played 3 games in the outfield in his professional career, so expect to see him in right field soon. Right now, there are only 3 teams with a worst winning percentage than the Pirates. If the season ended tomorrow the Pirates would have the 4th pick in the draft. This has been their goal all season, and they won’t stop trying to be the worst.

The Pirates 2023

It’s not too early to look at the 2023 Pirate season, since the Pirates never wanted to win in 2022, anyway. I, for one, am very optimistic for the 2023 season, despite so many naysayers out there. However, there are certain players who should not be on the 2023 Pirates. Many people talk or write that they should be on the team. There is talk about offering these players multi-year contracts. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that there are people that still take the Pirate broadcast booth seriously. I do not understand that people don’t realize that the booth is nothing more than a shill for the owner. Let’s look at some players who hopefully won’t be on the team next year. If they are, then all bets are off for the 2023 season.

Kevin Newman is hitting a little better than he was in 2020 and 2021, but not enough to think that he should be on the team next year. The way to look at this is, if he is playing 2b then Castro and Mercano are not. In 2019 Newman had a fantastic season. He had a slash line of 308/353/446 and an OPS+ of 110. To think that he would do this every year may have been stretching it, but you had to think he would be at least an average major league hitter. He has not even come close. The next 2 years his OPS+ was around 55 and he “slugged’ .293. This year he has been injured and has appeared in 44 out of 115 games. His OPS+ this year is 90 which is still 10% below the league average. In my view, his fielding has always been a little overrated. After all, you won’t be charged with an error, if you can’t get to the ball and his range has always been below average. He will turn 30 next year and he should not take up a roster spot next year.

Ben Gamel is another player whose name is bandied about when talking about next year. Some say the Pirates should give him a two-year deal or so. Let’s hope not. He has played 190 games for the Pirates and has a WAR of .5. A WAR of 2 for 162 games is considered a starter. WAR is a volume stat and Gamel has played in 28 more games than a season and is 1.5 below that. Why would you want this player? His offense is right around league average, which is not bad, but his defensive WAR puts him on the first bus out of town after the season. The Pirates have a lot of young outfielders that need to keep the process going and Mr. Gamel is just hindering their progress.

Right now, there are only 3 starting pitchers that should be in the rotation next year. J. T. Brubaker should be the no.5 man in the rotation. Mitch Keller will be a good solid mid rotation guy. When people start calling him an ace, my acid reflux really kicks up. Roansy Contreras should be the 1 or 2 man in the rotation. I do not see Zach Thompson or Bryse Wilson being in the rotation next year. Maybe one of them could find a home in the bullpen, much like Will Crowe has. As far as the bullpen is concerned who knows? David Bednar and Will Crow look like the only locks right now. Tyler Beede has looked good at times, but management has messed that up my making him the opener in bullpen games. They got 2 relievers in trades, Johan Oviedo from the Cardinals, who they have not used and Colin Holderman from the Mets, that they have used. They should be in the bullpen for 2023. It is wide open after that.

I feel that 2023 should be a good year if Pirate management finally lets the young talent loose. 2022 has been nothing more than a way to extend control over this group of young studs, and little to do with helping them develop. I do not look for a lot of different strategy for the rest of this season. We will continue to see a lot of Van Meter, Newman, Gamel, Godoy, Heineman, and I wish I could steal first base, Greg Allen. Hopefully all those names will be seen and heard for the last time after the 162nd game this season.

Pirates Morning Report, Not Cruzing

Final Score: Pirates 7 Giants 8

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Oneil Cruz is really struggling right now. He went 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts, bobbled a relay throw and contributed to a pop fly that was not caught. It will be interesting how he and the Pirates handle this terrible streak. Bryan Reynolds had one of the best Pirate games of the year going 3 for 4 with a double and a home run, driving in 5 runs. Marcano, Castro, and Chavis combined for 4 hits. Jason Delay had a nice game going 2 for 2 and according to Greg Brown having a .269 batting average is hitting close to 300. The bullpen could not hold 2 leads, although giving up the 6th run was hardly their fault. Trying to get a 2nd inning out of Will Crowe proved game losing this time. This was a tough loss but did help solidify the top 5 draft pick for next year.

Key Moment of The Game: Not being able to corral a pop up with 2 out in the 7th inning allowed the Giants to tie the game at 6-6. No error was charged on the play despite what Greg Brown said. I think Greg Brown would have fit in nicely in the 1920’s when they just read a ticker tape of the game. It seems like that is what he does now. Could some independent agency take a picture of him proving he was in San Francisco.

Next Game: Tuesday, Red Sox in Pittsburgh. A much-needed day off for these beleaguered Pirates. This was a pretty sad 10 game road trip. I am still dreaming of that young infield to start the game. Let’s hope some home cooking will help the young Buccos.

Pirates Morning Report, Put The Damn Ball in Play

Final Score: Pirates 0 Giants 2

How The 2023 Pirates Did: The bullpen pitched a nice game, giving up only 2 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks, while striking out 12. Mercano, Castro and Reynolds got 4 of the 5 hits but overall, it was just another bad day for the bats. Oneil Cruz had a particular bad day with the bat, striking out twice and grounding into a double play. The Pirates struck out 10 times and have struck out the 3rd most in baseball this year, heading for second place at this pace. The Pirate hitters are pretty much pathetic. At one time this year they were hitting the long ball but now have fallen to 17th in that category. OPS+ they are 27th and they are 28th in on base percentage. Hitting is just not in their DNA right now. It is a concern moving forward but it would be nice to see a game where the 28 and 29 year old rejects do not play.

Key Moment in The Game: Any time a Pirate came to bat with a runner in scoring position, you knew they were not going to get a hit. In the last 3 games they are 1 for 24 when a runner is in scoring position.

Next Game: Late afternoon, Giants, in San Francisco. The Pirates are 2 and 7 on this road trip. The bats have been very quiet on this trip and are unlikely to perk up tomorrow. The Pirates have been shutout 3 times in the last 9 games. They have been able to salvage at least one game per series, so who knows. Let’s hope that Cruz perks up a little bit if he gets to play. After all it is Sunday crazy lineup day.

Pirates Morning Report, Gift Wrapped Win

Final Score: Pirates 3 Giants 5

How The 2023 Pirates Did: Right off the bat, Bryan Reynold had a horrible game. Misjudged a fly ball that cost the Pirates a run and was 0 for 5 with 3 strike outs. Wow! Other than that, it was a pretty good day for the 2023 team. The trio of Marcano, Cruz, and Castro, went 4 for 11 with one walk, and made some excellent defensive plays. Cruz had a particular good game with the bat, getting a home run and a triple and did not contribute to the Pirates 10 strike out performance. Chavis had a tough game at the plate and overall, the Pirates were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The bullpen did an ok job but gave up a big run in the 8th after there were 2 outs.

Key Moment of The Game: The Pirates had 1st and 2nd with no one out in the top of the 8th with Rudolfo Castro coming to bat who had homer and tripled earlier. Then Shelton decided to have him bunt. Why, as I always say, only The Shadow knows. Even though it was a pretty good bunt the Giant’s pitcher made a nice play and got the lead runner at third. The was just part of a gift wrapped win that the Pirates just handed the Giants. It was one of the dumbest moves Shelton made all year and he has made a ton of them. Are the Pirates aware of any analytics? Who the hell knows?

Next Game: Tonight, Giants in San Franscico. The Pirates are making sure that a top 5 draft pick will be theirs next year. Shelton is the perfect manager if you want to lose games. The starting lineup tonight should be another gem.

Pirates Morning Report, Bullpen Implosion

Final Score: Pirates 3 Diamondbacks 9

How The 2023 Pirates Did: J. T. Brubaker pitched almost a carbon copy of the previous Mitch Keller game giving up 2 runs, on 3 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 6 and throwing 92 pitches, in just 5 innings. Not a great performance but adequate. Then the bullpen took over. Chase Dejong and Yerry De Los Santos, then gave up 7 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, while striking out no one, in 1.1 innings. Relief pitchers are a volatile group. From one year to the next they can go from being great to being cut. Dejong and Santos have been good in the past but last night they got bombed. Both I think will contribute next year, but not if they pitch like that. It was not a good game for the 2023 position players either. Only Ke’Bryan Hayes had a decent game, collecting 2 hits and scoring a run. The other 2023 Pirates collected only 1 hit between them and stuck out 9 times. The Pirates continue to put out players that have no business being in the major leagues and hopefully they will not be on the team next year. When you are behind 9-3, is it really necessary to bat righties against left-handed pitching? Will the lefties that we have ever learn to hit left hand pitching if you limit their opportunities. The Pirates take them out when facing a left hander late in the game and then 2 days later will start them against a lefty. Maybe Shelton didn’t know what the score was.

Key Moment of The Game: When the Pirate bullpen took over the game. We did learn one thing yesterday. Dwayne Underwood Junior is very comfortable pitching when the Pirates trail by 6 runs. I am sure the Shadow put that in his little notebook.

Next Game: Tonight, Giants in San Francisco. Back to two date baseball again, as the game will start around 10pm. I would love to see the 2023 infield start one game this year. That would be Hayes, Cruz, Mercano/Castro, and Madris/Chavis. This is what Pirate fans do. They don’t hope for wins, they hope to see Major League players.

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