Diamondbacks Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 4-0 Win vs. Arizona. Bedard rebounds with a good start. Box score.
Tuesday: 10-4 Loss vs. Arizona. Grilli’s first blow up in months. Box score.
Wednesday: 7-6 Win vs. Arizona. Walker knocks in 5. Box score.
Thursday: 6-3 Loss vs. Arizona. Bats can’t outpace 3 2-run HRs. Box score.

Season Record: 63-48, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.5 games back

Notes: This series easily could have gone better. Arizona is a good team and appears to be an even match for the Pirates. The Bucs left 51 men on base in the series, almost 13 per game. Third base (Pedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison) had zero hits in the series. Every otehr position except for pitcher had at least three. Erik Bedard was the star of the pitching staff with seven shutout innings. The other pitchers combined for a 6.21 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 29 innings.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 15 3 6 3 2 4 2 0.400 0.471
McCutchen, A, CF 15 4 6 2 1 2 2 0.400 0.412
Walker, 2B 15 3 4 7 0 4 7 0.267 0.250
Snider, RF 13 3 6 1 0 3 6 0.462 0.462
Sanchez, G, 1B 11 2 5 1 0 1 5 0.455 0.455
McKenry, C 8 1 2 1 0 1 5 0.250 0.250
Jones, G, RF, 1B 8 1 2 0 2 0 1 0.250 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 2 0 0 1 3 0.250 0.250
Harrison, 3B 8 0 0 0 0 2 10 0.000 0.000
Mercer, SS 7 1 1 2 0 2 0 0.143 0.125
Barajas, C 7 0 1 1 0 2 4 0.143 0.125
Alvarez, 3B 6 0 0 0 2 2 2 0.000 0.250
Correia, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 0.500 0.500
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Presley, PH 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.500
  Totals 131 18 36 18 8 28 51 0.275 0.317

Batting
Doubles (6): Barmes 2 (13), Snider (3), McKenry (10), McCutchen (22), Walker (25)
Triples (1): Marte (2)
Home Runs (4): Marte 2 (4), Walker (13), Mercer (1)

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez 2 (18), Jones 2 (5), Mercer (1)
DP: (Snider-Walker-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Bedard (W, 6-12) 7.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00 0.29
Correia (W, 9-6) 6.0 6 4 3 3 5 0 4.50 1.50
Karstens 6.0 8 3 3 0 4 1 4.50 1.33
Rodriguez, W (L, 7-11) 6.0 7 4 4 2 2 2 6.00 1.50
Locke 2.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Qualls (H, 13) 2.0 3 1 1 0 1 0 4.50 1.50
Resop (H, 7) 1.7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.60
Hughes, J 1.7 5 5 5 1 2 2 27.00 3.60
Watson (H, 12) 1.3 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 0.75
Hanrahan (S, 33) 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Grilli (H, 26)(BS, 2)(L, 1-4) 1.0 4 4 4 0 1 1 36.00 4.00
  Totals 36.0 36 21 20 7 26 6 5.00 1.19

Transactions: Optioned OF Alex Presley to AAA. Recalled LHP Jeff Locke.

Presley Optioned to Make Room for Jeff Locke

In a surprising move, the Pirates optioned OF Alex Presley to AAA and recalled LHP Jeff Locke. Kevin Correia is getting a spot start tonight so the team wanted an extra arm in the bullpen for the next few days; a totally understandable situation.

What make less sense to me is sending down Presley. Yes, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Travis Snider will be starting most days but its seems to me you’d want better backup options than Garrett Jones and Josh Harrison.

This move is probably just for a few days and then an outfielder (Jose Tabata?) Will be called up. But it seems to me that a better choice might have been to send down the almost-never used Jordy Mercer to get some regular at bats.

Series Preview: The Diamondbacks

Current record: 61-46, 2nd place in NL Central, 4.5 games back

Up Next: Arizona Diamondbacks, 55-53, 3rd place in NL West, 4.0 games back

Season Series: 2-1

Notes: The D-backs are hanging in the NL West race and have the best run differential (+32) in their division. Their moves at the deadline were trading 3B Ryan Roberts to Tampa Bay, acquiring 3B Chris Johnson from Houston and trading RP Craig Breslow to Boston for RP Matt Albers. They also recently got SS Stephen Drew back from injury. LF Jason Kubel and 1B Paul Goldschmidt have led the offense with OPS’s of .913 and .902.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Wade Miley (12-6, 126.2 IP, 95 K, 2.98 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (5-12, 104.1 IP, 100 K, 4.83 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Miley was an All Star this year and has the numbers to back it up. Bedard starts for the second Monday in a row after having his turn pushed back again.

Tuesday: LH Patrick Corbin (3-4, 45.0 IP, 35 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeff Karstens (4-2, 56.0 IP, 42 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Karstens pitched very well in his last start, but wasn’t very efficient and only went 5 innings. He’ll look to stretch that out farther this time.

Wednesday: RH Ian Kennedy (10-8, 141.0 IP, 123 K, 4.15 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (8-6, 110.1 IP, 52 K, 4.49 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Well, look who’s back. Correia gets a spot start after being bumped from the rotation for Wandy Rodriguez. Kennedy was a Cy Young candidate last year but has returned to his expected level of production this season.

Thursday: LH Joe Saunders (5-8, 113.1 IP, 79 K, 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-10, 143.2 IP, 98 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

Wandy was okay Friday vs Cincinnati, but Pirate fans are looking for him to step it up and dominate in his third start for the club.

No lineups yet.

Reds Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 3-0 Loss at Cincinnati. Wandy not bad, no support. Box score.
Saturday: 5-4 Loss at Cincinnati. Bucs battle back twice, lose late. Box score.
Sunday: 6-2 Win at Cincinnati. A.J. is the stopper. Box score.

Season Record: 61-46, 2nd place in NL Central, 4.5 games back

Notes: Losing two out of three is not the outcome the Bucs were looking for, but not a disaster either. Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and A.J. Burnett each turned in quality starts, with A.J.’s being the best by far. Gaby Sanchez had his first two hits as a Pirate; part of a 15 hit assault Sunday. Josh Harrison made the most of two spot starts by going 4 for 8 including a homer. The Fort continued his hot streak with a pinch hit on Friday and a homer Saturday.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Jones, G, 1B, RF 13 2 4 0 0 5 8 0.308 0.308
McCutchen, A, CF 11 1 2 1 1 4 4 0.182 0.308
Marte, S, LF 10 0 2 2 0 3 2 0.200 0.273
Walker, 2B 9 2 3 3 2 2 3 0.333 0.417
Harrison, SS, 3B 8 1 4 1 0 0 2 0.500 0.556
Barmes, SS 7 1 2 0 0 3 8 0.286 0.286
Sanchez, G, 1B 7 1 2 0 0 1 5 0.286 0.286
Alvarez, 3B 7 0 1 0 0 3 2 0.143 0.143
Barajas, C 6 0 1 0 1 0 3 0.167 0.375
Snider, RF 6 0 0 1 1 1 0 0.000 0.125
McKenry, C 5 1 3 1 0 1 2 0.600 0.600
Presley, LF 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 4 0 0 0 0 3 3 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
McDonald, J, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
  Totals 101 10 27 9 5 28 43 0.267 0.321

Batting
Doubles (1): Jones (17)
Triples (2): Presley (4), Marte (1)
Home Runs (4): McKenry (11), Harrison (3), Walker (12), McCutchen (23)

Baserunning
SB: Snider (1)
CS: McCutchen (8)

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez (16)
DP: (Walker-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 14-3) 8.7 3 2 2 3 7 1 2.08 0.69
Rodriguez, W(L, 7-10) 7.0 7 3 3 0 4 2 3.86 1.00
McDonald, J 6.0 7 4 3 1 7 0 4.50 1.33
Hughes, J(L, 2-1) 2.0 2 1 1 1 0 0 4.50 1.50
Qualls 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan(S, 32) 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
  Totals 25.0 19 10 9 5 19 3 3.24 0.96

Transactions: None.

Series Preview: The Reds

Current record: 60-44, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Up Next: Cincinnati Reds, 64-41, 1st place in NL Central, 3.5 games ahead

Season Series: 5-4 (1-2, 2-1, 2-1)

Notes: Here’s the big series we’ve been waiting for. The Reds have won 13 of 14 and 20 of 23 to expand their lead to 3.5 games. Joey Votto is still out and Brandon Phillips is questionable. The only move the Reds made at the deadline was to add Jonathan Broxton as a setup man. No lefty starters mean we won’t see much of Gaby Sanchez except as a pinch hitter vs Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman.

Familiar Faces: Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Paul, Bronson Arroyo

Probable Pitchers

Friday: LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-9, 136.2 IP, 94 K, 3.82 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
vs. RH Mat Latos (9-3, 127.1 IP, 117 K, 4.17 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

Saturday: RH James McDonald (10-5, 130.2 IP, 115 K, 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
vs. RH Mike Leake (4-7, 119.2 IP, 79 K, 4.44 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Sunday: RH A.J. Burnett (13-3, 124.0 IP, 102 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. RH Homer Bailey (9-6, 131.0 IP, 97 K, 3.85 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS
Wandy Rodriguez P

Cubs Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 14-4 Loss at Chicago Cubs. Bedard, Resop stink it up. Box score.
Tuesday: 5-0 Win at Chicago Cubs. Burnett CG, SHO, 1 hitter. Box score.
Wednesday: 8-4 Win at Chicago Cubs. Seven straight hits score 5. Box score.

Season Record: 60-44, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: A busy series that saw of lots highs and lows. Erik Bedard and Chris Resop had horrible innings on Monday. A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the 8th on Tuesday. Casey McGehee grounded into a double play in what turned out to be his final at bat as a Pirate. Neil Walker knocked in five runs – including a grand slam – on Tuesday. Joel Hanrahan pitched for the first time in a week and gave up a cycle to the first four betters he faced, then struck out the side. In their Pirate debuts, Gaby Sanchez had no hits but saw a lot of pitches and took a walk, and Travis Snider had three hits and scored three runs.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 14 1 4 2 0 5 3 0.286 0.286
McCutchen, A, CF 11 5 6 0 3 2 1 0.545 0.643
Alvarez, 3B 10 0 4 0 3 4 3 0.400 0.538
Barmes, SS 10 1 2 1 2 1 7 0.200 0.333
Jones, G, 1B 9 3 4 3 2 1 4 0.444 0.545
McKenry, C 9 1 3 5 0 2 4 0.333 0.333
Snider, RF 9 3 3 0 1 2 3 0.333 0.400
Walker, 2B 6 2 2 5 0 0 5 0.333 0.333
Harrison, 2B-3B 6 1 1 0 0 1 2 0.167 0.167
Presley, RF, PH 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 0.000 0.250
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Sanchez, G, 1B 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0.000 0.333
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McGehee, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
Sutton, 2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Watson, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
  Totals 104 17 29 16 13 28 48 0.279 0.359

Batting
Doubles (4): Alvarez (16), McCutchen 2 (21), Jones (16)
Home Runs (3): Walker (11), Marte (2), McKenry (10)

Baserunning
SB: Marte (2), Alvarez (1)
CS: Presley (5)

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez (15)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 13-3) 9.0 1 0 0 2 8 0 0.00 0.33
Karstens(W, 4-2) 5.0 3 1 1 1 4 1 1.80 0.80
Bedard(L, 5-12) 4.3 7 9 8 2 7 2 16.62 2.08
Watson(H, 11) 3.0 3 1 1 0 4 0 3.00 1.00
Hughes, J(H, 10) 1.3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
Resop(H, 6) 1.3 5 4 4 0 0 1 27.00 3.75
Grilli 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan 1.0 5 3 3 0 3 1 27.00 5.00
  Totals 26.0 26 18 17 6 29 5 5.88 1.23

Transactions: Traded RHP Brad Lincoln to Toronto for RF Travis Snider. Recalled RHP Daniel McCutchen from AAA. Designated OF/IF Drew Sutton for assignment. Traded OF Gorkys Hernandez to Miami for 1B Gaby Sanchez and minor league RHP Kyle Kaminska. Traded 1B Casey McGehee to New York Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls. Optioned RHP Daniel McCutchen to AAA.

Trade Deadline Recap

All told, the Pirates made four deals leading up to yesterday’s 4pm trade deadline.

Traded CF Robbie Grossman, LHP Rudy Owens and LHP Colton Cain to the Houston Astros for LHP Wandy Rodriguez

Traded RHP Brad Lincoln to the Toronto Blue Jays for RF Travis Snider

Traded CF Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick to the Miami Marlins for 1B Gaby Sanchez and RHP Kyle Kaminska

Traded 1B/3B Casey McGehee to the New York Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls

They also made two moves to balance the roster:
Recalled Daniel McCutchen from Indianapolis Indians.
Designated LF Drew Sutton for assignment.

The new lineup looks like this:

Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS

Bench:
Gaby Sanchez will platoon at first base.
Michael McKenry play 2-3 times a week at catcher
Alex Presley becomes the 4th OFer.
Josh Harrison
Jordy Mercer

New rotation:
A.J. Burnett
Jeff Karstens
Wandy Rodriguez
James McDonald
Erik Bedard

and the Bullpen:
Joel Hanrahan – closer
Jason Grilli – setup man
Jared Hughes
Tony Watson
Chris Resop
Kevin Correia – long relief/spot starter
Daniel McCutchen
*Chad Qualls – hasn’t joined the team yet, one of the above will need to go make room.

Overall the Pirates improved at RF, 1B, bench and the rotation and lost one good arm in the bullpen. Here’s what the other contenders did:

NL Central
Reds: Traded two minor league pitchers to Kansas City for RHP Jonathan Broxton.
Cardinals: Traded minor league 3B Zack Cox to Miami for RHP Edward Mujica

No huge improvements to either of the Bucs’ main opponents. Mujica is a nice piece that the Cards can use. Broxton doesn’t have a clear role in what was already a strond Reds bullpen. Both are still really good teams.

Wild Card:
Braves: Traded two minor league pitchers to the Chicago Cubs for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson

Dodgers: Traded two minor league pitchers to Philadelphia for Shane Victorino, araded a minor league pitcher and outfielder to Seattle for RHP Brandon League, traded two minor league pitchers to Miami for 3B Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate

Giants: Traded OF Nate Schierholtz and 2 minor leaguers to Philadelphia for RF Hunter Pence, traded minor league IF Charlie Culberson to Colorado for IF Marco Scutaro

All three of these teams made big upgrades and addressed clear needs. The Bucs clearest path to the playoffs is to win the division and avoid what could be a four team race for a single elimination game.

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