Astros Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 11-2 Win vs Houston. McDonald battles, gets lots of support. Box score.
Tuesday: 8-7 Win vs Houston. Sutton walk off HR. Box score.
Wednesday: 6-4 Win vs Houston. Pirates win #45 in game 81. Box score.
Thursday: 2-0 Win vs Houston. Karstens: 8 very strong innings. Box score.

Season Record: 46-36, 1st place in NL Central, 2.0 games ahead

Notes: A four game sweep puts the Pirates all alone in first place. Five players had at least 5 hits in the series. Pedro Alvarez returned from a lingering leg cramp, but the team lost Alex Presley to a concussion. Joel Hanrahan pitched in the last three games so he will not be available on Friday. He’s been shaky enough lately that I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a few days off. Not counting The Hammer, the rest of the bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Sutton, RF, LF 18 3 7 1 0 6 4 0.389 0.389
Jones, G, RF, 1B 16 8 9 7 0 2 7 0.563 0.563
McCutchen, A, CF 15 6 8 3 2 1 5 0.533 0.588
Walker, 2B 15 4 5 3 3 4 4 0.333 0.444
McGehee, 3B, 1B 14 3 6 4 1 3 5 0.429 0.467
Barmes, SS 13 0 2 2 0 2 10 0.154 0.154
McKenry, C 9 0 2 2 0 5 4 0.222 0.273
Presley, LF 7 1 2 0 0 2 1 0.286 0.286
Alvarez, 3B, PH 6 1 2 4 2 2 4 0.333 0.500
Barajas, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0.250 0.250
Harrison, PH-SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
Hernandez, Go, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Fryer, PH 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P, PR 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 136 27 46 26 8 31 52 0.338 0.375

Batting
Doubles (12): McGehee 3 (11), McCutchen (17), Jones 3 (13), Walker 2 (17), McKenry (6), Sutton 2 (9)
Triple (2): Presley (3), Sutton (1)
Home Runs (5): Jones 2 (12), Walker (5), McCutchen (16), Sutton (1)

Baserunning
CS: Walker (2), Sutton (1)
PO: Sutton

Fielding
Errors: McDonald (1)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Jones) (3), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee) (2), (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 2-2) 8.0 4 0 0 1 8 0 0.00 0.63
McDonald, J(W, 8-3) 7.0 4 2 2 5 4 1 2.57 1.29
Correia(W, 5-6) 6.0 6 3 3 2 1 0 4.50 1.33
Burnett, AJ 5.0 12 6 6 2 5 0 10.80 2.80
Hanrahan(BS, 3)(W, 4-0)(S, 21, 22) 3.0 2 2 2 3 0 1 6.00 1.67
Grilli(H, 19, 20) 2.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.50
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Lincoln(H, 2) 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 2.00
Resop 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
  Totals 36.0 31 13 13 13 25 2 3.25 1.22


Transactions
: Optioned OF Jose Tabata to AAA. Recalled OF Gorkys Hernandez from AAA. Placed LF Alex
Presley on the 7-day concussion DL. Recalled SS Jordy Mercer from AAA
.

Presley to DL, Mercer Called Up

The Pirates placed LF Alex Presley on the 7-day DL with a concussion. Presley sustained the injury diving to make a catch in the fifth first inning of Tuesday’s win over the Astros. The move is retroactive to July 4, so let’s hope for a full recovery by the time he eligible to return on the 11th.

Taking Presley’s roster spot is SS Jordy Mercer. Pedro Alvarez was limited to pinch hitting duty before last night and Garrett Jones has been playing more outfield lately so the Pirates had need for another infielder at the moment. With any luck, Mercer won’t go weeks without a plate appearance this time up.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 14-5 Win at St. Louis. Lots of late runs. Box score.
Saturday: 7-3 Win at St. Louis. Pedro smash. Box score.
Sunday: 5-4 Loss at St. Louis. Not enough to bail out Bedard. Box score.

Season Record: 42-36, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Notes: Two outstandings games and one disappointing one. Good to see the Jeff Karstens from last year show up. Erik Bedard has not been very good for a month. Jose Tabata scored four runs and was on base six times, which was good to see. Big weekend for Pedro Alvarez with eight RBI, including a grand slam. Andrew McCutchen injured his wrist on Saturday making a diving catch and got Sunday off. He’s expected to be fine.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Tabata, RF 13 4 4 0 2 1 3 0.308 0.400
Walker, 2B 12 3 6 3 2 2 6 0.500 0.571
Presley, LF-CF 12 3 5 1 1 2 1 0.417 0.462
Alvarez, 3B 11 1 4 8 3 1 5 0.364 0.500
Barmes, SS 11 2 4 3 0 1 7 0.364 0.364
Jones, G, 1B 11 4 3 2 1 5 6 0.273 0.333
McCutchen, A, CF 9 5 6 3 1 0 2 0.667 0.700
Sutton, LF-2B 9 1 2 1 0 4 4 0.222 0.222
McKenry, C 8 1 2 3 0 4 9 0.250 0.250
McGehee, PH-1B 5 0 1 1 0 0 2 0.200 0.200
Barajas, C 5 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, 2B-3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Lincoln, P, PH 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Fryer, PR-LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 118 25 39 25 10 27 57 0.331 0.383

Batting
Doubles (6): McCutchen (16), Alvarez (14), McKenry (5), Tabata (13), Walker (15), Sutton (7)
Triple (1): Presley (2)
Home Runs (6): Barmes (4), Presley (6), Jones (10), McCutchen (15), Alvarez (15), McKenry (6)

BaseRunning
SB: Presley (8)
CS: Tabata (9)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Harrison-Sutton-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 1-2) 7.0 4 2 2 2 7 0 2.57 0.86
Correia(W, 4-6) 5.0 6 5 5 2 3 1 9.00 1.60
Bedard(L, 4-9) 4.7 8 5 5 2 5 2 9.64 2.14
Lincoln 3.0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.33
Resop 2.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 1.7 3 1 1 0 1 0 5.40 1.80
Hughes, J(S, 1) 1.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 26.0 22 13 13 7 24 3 4.50 1.12

Transactions: None

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.

Phillies Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 8-3 Loss at Philadelphia. Nothing worked. Box score.
Tuesday: 5-4 Loss at Philadelphia. There were chances to win this one. Box score.
Wednesday: 11-7 Win at Philadelphia. The bats save a win. Box score.
Thursday: 5-4 Win at Philadelphia. Score 5 early, hang on late. Box score.

Season Record: 40-35, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Notes: Rough, rough series. The Pirates didn’t play very well at all and still came away with a split on the road. Michael McKenry stepped up in a huge way. The Fort caught all 33 innings after Rod Barajas was injured in the first game while going 8 for 14 with a double and two homers. Drew Sutton made a good first impression by going 4 for 8. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez continued to rake, with Neil Walker joining in too. In fact, the only player who had a bad offensive series was Clint Barmes, to noone’s surprise. Apart from Brad Lincoln and Joel Hanrahan the pitching was pretty bad. As my grandfather used to say, they gave up a lot of “crooked numbers.”

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 18 3 5 3 0 5 9 0.278 0.278
Alvarez, 3B 16 2 4 1 1 8 9 0.250 0.294
Walker, 2B 15 5 5 1 3 3 11 0.333 0.444
McKenry, C 14 2 8 6 2 3 2 0.571 0.625
Tabata, RF 13 3 3 2 0 4 4 0.231 0.231
Barmes, SS 13 1 1 1 1 4 10 0.077 0.143
McGehee, 1B 12 2 3 5 2 0 8 0.250 0.357
Sutton, LF, PH 8 3 4 2 2 1 1 0.500 0.600
Jones, G, RF,1B 5 1 2 1 2 1 4 0.400 0.571
Harrison, PH-RF, SS 5 0 1 0 0 0 3 0.200 0.200
Presley, PH-LF 5 1 0 0 3 1 0 0.000 0.375
McDonald, J, P 3 0 1 1 0 1 2 0.333 0.333
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Hague, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 134 23 37 23 16 35 67 0.276 0.353

Batting
Doubles (8): Walker 2 (14), Alvarez (13), McKenry (4), McCutchen 2 (15), Sutton (6), Jones (10)
Home Runs (7): Tabata (3), McKenry 2 (5), McGehee 2 (5), McCutchen (14), Alvarez (14)

BaseRunning
CS: McGehee (1), Harrison (3)
PO: Harrison

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez 2 (13), Tabata 2 (3), Barmes (9), Jones (2)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 9-2) 5.7 6 3 3 2 7 1 4.76 1.41
Bedard(L, 4-8) 6.0 8 4 4 2 3 1 6.00 1.67
McDonald, J(W, 7-3) 5.7 6 4 4 2 3 2 6.35 1.41
Karstens(L, 0-2) 5.0 11 7 6 0 4 1 10.80 2.20
Hanrahan(S, 20) 2.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli(H, 18) 2.0 2 1 1 0 3 1 4.50 1.00
Slaten 2.0 1 1 1 3 3 0 4.50 2.00
Hughes, J 1.3 1 2 1 1 1 0 6.75 1.50
Cruz, J(H, 13) 1.3 2 1 1 2 1 1 6.75 3.00
Lincoln(H, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 1.0 3 1 1 0 1 0 9.00 3.00
  Totals 33.0 41 24 22 13 29 7 6.00 1.64

Transactions: Activated RHP Jeff Karstens from the 15-day DL. Optioned RHP Bryan Morris to AAA. Activated IF Drew Sutton. Called up C Eric Fryer from AAA. Optioned 1B Matt Hague to AAA. Designated LHP Daniel Moskos for assignment. Traded RHP Shairon Martis to Minnesota. Claimed 2B Oscar Tejeda of waivers from Boston and optioned him to AA. Designated LHP Doug Slaten for assignment.

Tigers Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 4-1 Win vs Detroit. A.J. wins his 8th. Box score.
Saturday: 4-1 Win vs Detroit. Cutch with the big blast. Box score.
Sunday: 3-2 Loss vs Detroit. 2 against Verlander not enough. Box score.

Season Record: 38-33, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 games back

Notes: The Bucs take two out of three from the Tigers to split their season series 3-3. The Pirates finish Interleague play with a 10-8 record, scoring 77 runs and allowing 66. Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley were each on base five times. Pedro Alvarez continued his latest run of good at bats with three hits and a walk. Josh Harrison was the only position player to not get a hit. Michael McKenry threw out Austin Jackson in the third inning Sunday. It was the first time the Pirates have thrown out a baserunner since May 10. All three starting pitchers turned in quality starts. Despite his best outing of the month, Brad Lincoln is being moved back to the bullpen to make room for Jeff Karstens.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 11 1 4 3 1 3 2 0.364 0.417
Presley, LF 11 2 4 0 1 0 2 0.364 0.417
McGehee, 1B 10 1 1 0 0 5 7 0.100 0.100
Alvarez, 3B 9 2 3 0 1 4 1 0.333 0.400
Jones, G, RF, 1B 8 1 1 2 0 1 3 0.125 0.125
Walker, 2B 7 1 2 2 1 3 4 0.286 0.375
Barmes, SS 7 0 2 0 0 1 3 0.286 0.286
Harrison, SS, 2B 7 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 6 1 2 0 0 0 4 0.333 0.333
Tabata, RF 4 1 1 0 0 2 0 0.250 0.250
McKenry, C 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.333 0.333
Hague, PH 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Lincoln, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0      —-      —-
   Totals 89 10 22 7 4 25 31 0.247 0.280

Batting
Doubles (3): Presley 2 (9), McGehee (8)
Home Runs (2): McCutchen (13), Jones (9)

BaseRunning
CS: Tabata (8), Walker (1)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 8-2) 6.0 2 0 0 3 4 0 0.00 0.83
Lincoln(W, 4-2) 6.0 2 1 1 1 7 1 1.50 0.50
Correia 6.0 6 2 2 1 4 1 3.00 1.17
Grilli(H, 16, 17) 2.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan(S, 18,19) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.00
Resop(L, 0-3) 2.0 1 1 1 2 1 0 4.50 1.50
Cruz, J(H, 12) 1.3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Watson(H, 8, 9) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 0.7 2 1 1 1 0 0 13.50 4.50
  Totals 27.0 14 5 5 9 25 2 1.67 0.85

Transactions: Optioned IF Jordy Mercer to AAA. Recalled RHP Bryan Morris from AAA. Transferred RHP Charlie Morton from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Claimed IF Drew Sutton off waivers from Tampa Bay.

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