https://www.flickr.com/photos/35168673@N03/4742943905/in/photolist-8e7PYV-e7jSyP-944Rx2-39yweG-872KZV-kWrjYP-e116Yn-5cFaN6-8ja7MY-iioy8-4hB3ee-5cKsu9-e117ag-e16KSh-h3BPdJ-e16Ln9-67z2Ch-e114kr-eRhmNh-5Gq3oT-edchKQ-crrDCE-cE1vYQ-bZCwbh-cDq2KC-c19Ryw-5F8SYE-a5K1Mt-9JY5Zu-bEcfTC-e114LF-dWFFZM-4W6FWp-atejkC-af94B8-2MTmpc-e16Jh3-7ff5ei-kXNmUX-bWBt9-5az9t4-f2WgpQ-bzPaNP-bGa8Qr-5ZHgU9-5aDmqG-6PZc3x-bGa8Vi-68oTEv-68t7Aq

Game 88: Pirates 6 Phillies 2

On June 19th, Jason Grilli (predictably) blew a save against the Reds, but the Pirates managed to come back and score a run in the 12th inning to scrape out a 4-3 win and salvage a game from the Reds. That brought the Bucs’ record to 35-37, fourth in the NL Central and 8 1/2 […]

Batmand and Robin cupcake

Batman and Robin

A few years ago, DC killed Batman. I mean, they didn’t really kill him; they shot him with a time-bullet or something and sent him hurtling back in spacetime so that he’d face to fight his way back to the present wearing a ridiculous pilgrim costume or whatever. The end result, though, was that Bruce […]

ketchup

Some catching up on Saturday

Even with the ugly Friday night loss to the Diamondbacks, the Pirates are one win away from hitting the 11-win mark in this 16-game stretch against bad teams after yesterday afternoon’s win against the Phillies. That may come with a price, as Gerrit Cole was removed from yesterday’s start with lat soreness after five excellent […]

a broom

The value of a sweep

In the past week or so, looking at the standings has given me some mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m happy to see the Pirates above .500, in the wild card mix, and still on the periphery of the NL Central race. They were so bad in April and parts of May that being […]

Game 84: Pirates 5 Diamondbacks 1

A lot of things happened in the last six innings of this game, but even now, a half an hour after the game eneded, all I can think about is Gregory Polanco’s home run. Before I can go any further, please watch it for yourself if you haven’t seen it yet.

I’m not sure exactly what Chase Anderson was trying to accomplish with that 3-1 pitch, but since it doesn’t look like he missed Miguel Montero’s target by that much, my guess is that it was a, “Put it in a place that Polanco can’t hit it to either draw a swing and a miss or a walk, then face the righty Marte with a force intact to end the inning” sort of pitch. If that’s what he was trying to do, it was a pretty good pitch; the pitch had some drop on it and ended down around Polanco’s shins and on the inside half of the plate. I think if you could’ve paused time and asked Anderson what he thought was about to happen when the ball was halfway between home and the plate, he would’ve guessed soft contact or a walk.

I don’t know if anyone would’ve guessed that Polanco would be able to both drop his bat head and turn on the pitch enough to hit a line drive over the right-center part of the Clemente Wall, but that’s exactly what happened. Given that the pitch was an 81-mph changeup, the combination of swing mechanics and physical gifts required to hit that ball over the fence like that is kind of staggering. Once you get over the accomplishment of the swing itself and remember that it came from a 22-year old whose power is still a work in progress, and yeah, that home run is the whole Gregory Polanco Hype Machine bottled up in one neat highlight.

Of course, other things happened in this game, too. Charlie Morton wasn’t quite as sharp as he was against the Rays, but most of the damage against him came from his own lack of control (three walks and five hits in six innings) and he was able to keep the Diamondbacks in check for six innings. Polanco also had a double in the first (he took third on a Gerardo Parra error) and scored on a Starling Marte groundout, while the Pirates added two runs in the ninth thanks in part to the Diamondbacks playing defense like a slow-pitch softball team.

With the win, the Pirates are now 44-40. Earlier losses by the Brewers and Reds puts the Bucs ahead of Cincinnati by a half game and within six of the Brewers, which is the closest they’ve been since May 26th. They’re even with the Cardinals for now, though the Cardinals are up by two in the fourth inning against the Giants as I type this. When the Pirates set out on this stretch of baseball against the Cubs, Rays, Mets, Diamondbacks, and Phillies, I said I thought they needed to go 11-5 to get themselves really back into the playoff conversation. They’re currently 9-3 with four games left. Hopefully I set my sights a little bit low.

Image: Phillip Roberts, Flickr

A bunch of Chucks

Charlie Morton tries to put it all together against the Diamondbacks

If you remember way back to the Nate McLouth trade, the Pirates weren’t initially interested in Charlie Morton because they thought he’d be one of the best ground-ball-inducing pitchers in the Major Leagues. Initially, he looked like he had the sort of stuff that could pile up strikeouts, and it was only after his disastrous […]

Excited puppy

Game 83: Pirates 3 Diamondbacks 2

I have this form post stowed away that I feel the need to break out from time to time. It goes a little bit like this: As fans, we always like to put things in terms of what our favorite team does, but sometimes, you really have to flip it onto the other team’s terms. Some […]

Deadspin posts 10 months of Astros’ trade negotiations

Apparently, someone leaked a full ten months’ worth of Astros trade talks online today, and Deadspin has a long look at them:

Documents purportedly taken from Ground Control and showing 10 months’ worth of the Astros’ internal trade chatter have been posted online at Anonbin, a site where users can anonymously share hacked or leaked information. Found below, they contain the Astros front office’s communications regarding trade overtures to and from other teams, as well as negotiations—a few of which actually led to trades.

You should check the whole thing out, if only because it contains the answer to the question, “What sorts of offers did Neal Huntington make at least year’s trade deadline that he said made him so nervous.” The answer, apparently, is Luis Heredia for Bud Norris. Yeah, that would make me nervous, too.

June Bug

The Pirates in June: an improbable return to relevance

On May 31st, the Pirates got smoked by the Dodgers. The 12-2 loss ballooned Brandon Cumpton’s ERA up to 6.85. The Pirates were 25-30 and Pirate fans were attempting to talk ourselves into May being a good month due to the Pirates’ 15-14 record, though that meant ignoring their 111/137 run differential that month. We […]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/35168673@N03/4742943905/in/photolist-8e7PYV-e7jSyP-944Rx2-39yweG-872KZV-kWrjYP-e116Yn-5cFaN6-8ja7MY-iioy8-4hB3ee-5cKsu9-e117ag-e16KSh-h3BPdJ-e16Ln9-67z2Ch-e114kr-eRhmNh-5Gq3oT-edchKQ-crrDCE-cE1vYQ-bZCwbh-cDq2KC-c19Ryw-5F8SYE-a5K1Mt-9JY5Zu-bEcfTC-e114LF-dWFFZM-4W6FWp-atejkC-af94B8-2MTmpc-e16Jh3-7ff5ei-kXNmUX-bWBt9-5az9t4-f2WgpQ-bzPaNP-bGa8Qr-5ZHgU9-5aDmqG-6PZc3x-bGa8Vi-68oTEv-68t7Aq

Game 82: Pirates 5 Mets 2

I will admit that in the early part of this game, my attention was split between the Pirates and the World Cup. For the first few innings, every time I looked up I felt like I saw the Mets hit a deep fly ball to Starling Marte in center field, and so it took me […]

Sunday Best

First: Gerrit Cole, Then: Edinson Volquez

I missed Gerrit Cole’s return from the disabled list yesterday, but obviously after seeing his box score in the afternoon the first thing I did when I got home last night was to open up his Brooks Baseball page and check out his velocity chart. Seeing his fastball top out at 99 and average 96 […]

burnt grilled cheese

Pirates trade Jason Grilli to the Angels for Ernesto Frieri

Jason Grilli wanted to be a Pirate. I think that’s what I’ll remember more than anything. He’s been a bad pitcher this year and by all accounts his book seems ridiculous and it recasts the light that I view him in just a little bit, but that still won’t make me forget a weird tweet […]

Quantcast