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 Tree: Chad Qualls

Kind of a disappointing end to the trade deadline. Casey McGehee was shipped to the Yankees for Chad Qualls. McGehee became redundant when Gaby Sanchez was acquired earlier in the day. Casey seemed like a good guy and I’m sorry to see him go. The more I think about this, I think the Pirates were going to cut McGehee and this way the Yankees pick up part of the tab. Qualls has been horrible with both the Phillies and Yanks this season. Anything they get from him is gravy.

Trade Deadline Tree: Gaby Sanchez

The Pirates acquired 1B Gaby Sanchez and minor league RP Kyle Kaminska from the Marlins for OF Gorkys Hernandez and the Pirates’ competitive balance pick in next year’s draft.

Sanchez was horrible for Miami earlier this season, hitting just .202/.250/.306, but he was an All Star last year and has a career line of .260/.334/.402. Gaby is expected to take over Casey McGehee‘s half of the first base platoon. Against lefties Sanchez hits .298/.390/.488.

Kaminska is a 2007 draft pick with a career 4:1 SO:BB ratio in the minors.

Sadly, we say goodbye to one of the great names in the org, Gorkys Hernandez. Your defense will be missed off the bench.

Hague Recalled, Fryer Optioned

It’s a sign that Rod Barajas is finally healthy enough to catch normally: Eric Fryer has been optioned back down to AAA. Fryer went mostly unused in his 11 days on the roster, acting as an emergency catcher in case Michael McKenry was hurt. In four games he was 1 for 3 with a single.

Matt Hague was been called up. I don’t expect he’ll see many starts with Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones swinging well but he should serve as a good bat off the bench. As a pinch hitter this year he’s 4 for 12 with 1 strikeout, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs.

June Recap

The Pirates went 17-10 in June to bring their overall record to 42-35; a season best seven games over .500. They had two 4-game and two 3-game winning streaks along with one 3-game and one 4-game losing streak.

Wow, did the bats break out in a big way this month. The offense improved to 5.41 runs per game, way up from 2.64 r/g in April and 3.18 r/g in May. The pitching stayed close to the same as it was in May, increasing to 4.07 r/g from 3.93 rpg. Both numbers are well above the 3.00 r/g they allowed in April. Pedro Alvarez in June was the Pedro Alvarez Pirate fans have been looking for all along, hitting .262/.354/.571. Also waking up after a pitiful May was Casey McGehee. Casey took over most of the playing time at first base and hit .291/.360/.532. The best news is that neither player put up those stats by relying on a bunch of lucky hits. Pedro’s BABIP in June was .294 and McGehee’s was .305.

One of the best things that happened was the reduced the number of close games. April saw the Bucs win 8 games decided by three runs or less and only 2 by four or more. May had 14 close wins and 1 big win. In June the increased offense pushed those numbers to 8 close wins and 9 big wins. Good teams blow out their opponents more often than bad teams do.

Other Notes:

The Pirates won seven series, lost one series and split one. I am counting the still to be completed St. Louis series in these numbers since the Pirates have already won the set regardless of what happens in today’s game.

Record vs
NL East: 2-2, 23 RS, 24 RA (5.75 RS/G, 6.00 RA/G)
NL Central: 6-2, 53 RS, 33 RA (6.63 RS/G, 4.13 RA/G)
ALE/ALC: 9-6, 70 RS, 53 RA (4.67 RS/G, 3.53 RA/G)

Home: 7-2, 39 RS, 17 RA (4.33 RS/G, 1.89 RA/G)
Away: 10-8, 107 RS, 93 RA (5.94 RS/G, 5.17 RA/G)

1 Run games: 4-4
2 Run games: 2-2
3 Run games: 2-0
4 Run games: 4-1
5 Run games: 1-1
6 Run games: 1-2
7 Run games: 1-0
8 Run games: 1-0
9 Run games: 1-0

Summary: What a month. The Pirates played their best stretch of sustained good baseball in the last 20 years. The fruit of that good play has the Pirates holding the top Wild Card spot. Who would have thought that at the end of June the Bucs would be in position to host a playoff game? July really offers the team a chance to cement their place in the division. Opponents this month have a combined .433 winning percentage. 17 of 26 games come against NL Central opponents; 16 of those versus Houston, Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s a good time to be a Pirates fan.

Indians Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-0 Loss at Cleveland. James McDonald did his part. Box score.
Saturday: 9-2 Win at Cleveland. Pedro wakes up with 2 HRs… Box score.
Sunday: 9-5 Win at Cleveland. …and follows up with 2 more. Box score.

Season Record: 34-31, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Notes: Any talk has to start with Pedro Alvarez flashing the talent we all know he has inside. Pedro knocked in half of the 18 runs the Pirates scored this weekend. Not to be overlooked in El Toro’s big show is Casey McGehee, who had five hits and five RBI of his own. A.J. Burnett came up big and stopped the losing streak even though he didn’t have his best stuff.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Presley, LF 15 2 2 2 0 3 6 0.133 0.133
McGehee, 1B 13 4 5 5 1 3 8 0.385 0.429
McCutchen, A, CF 13 1 4 0 1 2 6 0.308 0.357
Alvarez, 3B 11 4 5 9 2 1 3 0.455 0.538
Walker, 2B 10 3 4 0 3 4 0 0.400 0.571
Jones, G, DH, RF 10 3 2 1 2 2 6 0.200 0.333
Tabata, RF 8 0 2 0 2 2 5 0.250 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 0 0 1 4 4 0.000 0.111
Barajas, C 7 0 0 0 1 2 4 0.000 0.125
Hague, PH-DH 5 1 2 0 0 1 2 0.400 0.400
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.667
  Totals 105 18 27 17 14 26 44 0.257 0.355

Batting
Doubles (4): Walker (12), McCutchen (11), Alvarez (11), Tabata (12)
Home Runs (7): Alvarez 4 (12), McGehee (3), Presley 2 (5)

BaseRunning
SB: Walker 2 (7), Tabata (8)
CS: Harrison (2)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Presley-Barajas), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee), (Hughes-Barmes-McGehee

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 7-2) 6.7 6 2 2 4 2 2 2.70 1.50
McDonald, J(L, 5-3) 6.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 1.50 0.83
Hughes, J(H, 5) 3.3 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.70 0.60
Lincoln 3.3 8 4 4 1 2 1 10.80 2.70
Watson(W, 4-0) 2.7 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.13
Grilli 1.7 0 1 1 2 3 0 5.40 1.20
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 0.3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 26.0 24 9 9 9 16 3 3.12 1.27

Transactions: none

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