Cubs Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 12-2 Loss vs. Chicago. 7 errors. Box score.
Saturday: 4-3 Loss vs. Chicago. Nothing going vs Samardzija. Box score.
Sunday: 4-2 Loss vs. Chicago. Grilli falters 2nd day in a row. Box score.

Season Record: 72-67, 3rd place in NL Central, 11.0 games back
2.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Notes: Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. The promise of the playoffs is slipping away even though it’s still right in front of them. Seriously, one good week and the Bucs could be tied with the Cards again. The offense had serious problems this weekend. Brock Holt and Pedro Alvarez were the only players to record more than one hit. Yet the Bucs walked 14 times, including 4 from Gaby Sanchez. Jeff Locke was effective in his second start. Jason Grilli took back to back losses; unusual since he’s been a shutdown reliever all year.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Holt, Br, 2B 13 2 5 0 0 3 3 0.385 0.385
Alvarez, 3B 12 0 4 2 1 1 9 0.333 0.385
Jones, G, RF, 1B 11 0 1 0 2 0 5 0.091 0.231
McCutchen, A, CF 9 2 1 1 2 3 6 0.111 0.333
Marte, S, LF-CF 9 0 0 1 2 4 3 0.000 0.167
Sanchez, G, 1B 6 0 0 0 4 3 3 0.000 0.400
Presley, RF 6 0 0 0 0 4 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, SS 5 2 1 0 0 1 3 0.200 0.200
McKenry, C 5 1 1 1 1 2 2 0.200 0.333
Barajas, C 5 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.000 0.000
Barmes, SS 4 0 0 0 1 1 4 0.000 0.200
Clement, PH 2 0 1 1 1 0 1 0.500 0.667
Locke, P 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0.500 0.500
Mercer, SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 94 7 15 6 14 26 47 0.160 0.273

Batting

Doubles (3): Alvarez 2 (23), McKenry (13)
Triples (1): Holt (1)
Home Runs (1): McCutchen (25)

Fielding
E: Holt 3 (3), Marte 2 (2), Barajas (4), Sanchez (3), Harrison (5)
DP: (Alvarez-Holt-Sanchez), (Barmes-Jones), (Barmes-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Locke 6.0 7 2 2 0 6 2 3.00 1.17
McDonald, J 5.7 7 3 3 2 2 1 4.76 1.59
Burnett, AJ (L, 15-6) 5.0 8 7 3 1 4 0 5.40 1.80
McPherson, K 3.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.67
Leroux 1.7 0 2 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Grilli (2 L, 1-6) 1.3 5 3 3 2 2 1 20.25 5.25
Resop 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 2.00
Hughes, J 0.7 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Watson 0.7 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 3.00
Takahashi 0.3 2 3 3 2 0 0 81.00 12.00
Qualls 0.7 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Wilson 0.0 1 0 0 1 0 0 -.– -.–
  Totals 27.0 34 20 14 10 22 4 4.67 1.63

Transactions: Activated LF Starling Marte from the DL. Activated RHP Chad Qualls from the DL.

Series Preview: The Cubs

Current record: 72-64, 3rd place in NL Central, 10.0 games back; 1.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Up Next: Chicago Cubs, 51-85, 5th place in NL Central, 31.0 games back

Season Series: 6-3 (3-0, 1-2, 2-1)

Notes: Seven of the Pirates next ten games are against the Cubs. This is the time to make a move. Taking any less than five of these games would be a setback. I’m going to stop short of say that they will take that many games; predictions like that have not worked out well for me this year. A lot of breaks went the Pirates direction in June and July – 2 out RBIs, a key strike out to get out of an inning. A lot of those breaks went the other way in August. I’ll just say that if you’re looking for a team to get some breaks against, the Cubs have historically always fit that bill.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: LH Travis Wood (4-11, 120.1 IP, 86 K, 4.64 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (15-5, 163.2 IP, 145 K, 3.63 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jeff Samardzija (8-13, 165.2 IP, 171 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (12-7, 161.2 IP, 147 K, 3.90 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Chris Rusin (0-2, 6.0 IP, 5 K, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)
vs. LH Jeff Locke (0-1, 9.1 IP, 7 K, 4.82 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Astros Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 5-1 Loss vs. Houston. Listless Bucs lose lacklusterly. Box score.
Tuesday: 6-2 Win vs. Houston. Holt, Cutch, Wandy snap losing streak. Box score.
Wednesday: 6-3 Win vs. Houston. Pirates cruise to easy win. Box score.

Season Record: 72-64, 3rd place in NL Central, 10.0 games back; 1.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Notes: Two nice wins take the series after a let down on Labor Day. 72 wins matches the Bucs’ total from last season. 10 more in their last 26 games will clinch a winning season. It will probably take at least 16 more wins to get them into the playoffs. As far as I can remember, this is the first series in a few months that the Pirates did not hit a home run. Brock Holt and Andrew McCutchen each had four hit games on Tuesday. Wandy Rodriguez was brilliant in seven shutout innings. Kevin Correia continues to defy all analysis and evidence by being an effective starter, becoming the Pirates’ third 10 game winner this year.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Alvarez, 3B 12 1 1 0 0 3 11 0.083 0.083
Holt, Br, 2B 11 2 5 2 0 2 2 0.455 0.455
McCutchen, A, CF 11 2 4 3 1 1 4 0.364 0.417
Jones, G, RF, 1B 10 1 5 2 2 1 2 0.500 0.583
Barmes, SS 9 1 3 2 2 3 1 0.333 0.455
Sanchez, G, 1B 8 0 3 1 0 2 4 0.375 0.375
Presley, LF 8 3 2 1 1 1 2 0.250 0.333
Barajas, C 6 1 1 0 0 1 7 0.167 0.167
McKenry, C 5 0 0 0 0 3 2 0.000 0.000
Snider, LF, RF 4 1 0 0 1 1 1 0.000 0.200
Rodriguez, W, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Tabata, RF 2 1 0 0 1 1 3 0.000 0.333
Clement, PH 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.000 0.333
Harrison, PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Fryer, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Locke, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 95 13 24 11 9 24 43 0.253 0.317

Batting
Doubles (3): Jones (25), McCutchen (26), Holt (1)
Triples (2): Alvarez (1), Presley (5)

Fielding
DP: (Sanchez-Barajas-Sanchez), (Hughes-Barmes-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Rodriguez, W (W, 10-13) 7.0 4 0 0 1 7 0 0.00 0.71
Correia (W, 10-8) 6.0 4 1 1 1 1 0 1.50 0.83
Locke (L, 0-1) 5.0 7 5 5 1 6 1 9.00 1.60
Hughes, J 3.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00 0.67
McPherson, K 2.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.00
Takahashi 1.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli 1.0 2 2 2 0 2 1 18.00 2.00
Resop 0.7 2 2 2 0 0 0 27.00 3.00
Watson 0.3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 27.0 25 10 10 4 27 2 3.33 1.07

Transactions: None

Series Preview: The Astros

Current record: 70-63, 3rd place in NL Central, 11.0 games back

Up Next: Houston Astros, 41-93, 6th place in NL Central, 40.5 games back

Season Series: 9-2 (2-1, 4-0, 3-1)

Notes: Bucs lost the first game and looked bad, but are in the process of winning game two and looking pretty good.

Familiar Faces: Chris Snyder

Monday: Bucs lose, 5-1
RH Edgar Gonzalez (1-0, 5.1 IP, 5 K, 1.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)
vs. LH Jeff Locke (0-1, 9.1 IP, 7 K, 4.82 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)

Probable Pitchers

Tuesday: RH Jordan Lyles (3-10, 113.2 IP, 76 K, 5.46 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (9-13, 170.0 IP, 110 K, 3.86 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Wednesday: LH Fernando Abad (0-2, 31.2 IP, 25 K, 4.83 ERA, 1.64 WHIP)
vs. RH Kevin Correia (9-8, 135.0 IP, 64 K, 4.40 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)

Brewers Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 9-3 Loss at Milwaukee. Karstens hurt. Box score.
Saturday: 3-2 Loss at Milwaukee. So close. Very winnable game. Box score.
Sunday: 12-8 Loss at Milwaukee. Ugly. Box score.

Season Record: 70-63, 3rd place in NL Central, 11.0 games back

Notes: What a let down. Coming off two outstanding wins against the Cards, no one expected the Bucs to fall flat on their faces and get swept. That said, the hitters were still okay. Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones continue to do as much as they can to get the team out of this slump. Jeff Karstens reinjured his groin and will miss his next start. Kevin Correia put up four scoreless innings in relief and may get to fill in for him. A.J. Burnett was more than good enough to win his game. James McDonald was every bit as bad on Sunday as he was good against the St. Louis.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Harrison, 2B, SS 13 1 2 0 0 4 8 0.154 0.154
Jones, G, 1B-RF 11 4 5 2 2 3 2 0.455 0.538
Alvarez, 3B 11 1 3 1 2 2 8 0.273 0.385
McCutchen, A, CF 9 1 3 1 0 1 5 0.333 0.333
Presley, LF, CF 9 0 3 2 1 4 3 0.333 0.400
Snider, RF-LF 9 0 1 0 1 4 2 0.111 0.200
McKenry, C 8 2 3 3 2 4 4 0.375 0.500
Tabata, LF 8 1 2 0 0 2 5 0.250 0.250
Barmes, SS 7 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.000 0.000
Sanchez, G, 1B 6 2 3 3 2 0 3 0.500 0.625
Holt, Br, 2B 5 1 2 1 1 2 0 0.400 0.500
Barajas, C 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.250 0.250
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Leroux, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
McPherson, K, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Mercer, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 —- —-
  Totals 107 13 28 13 11 32 46 0.262 0.331

Batting
Doubles (5): Harrison (9), McKenry (12), Sanchez (14), McCutchen (25), Presley (10)
Home Runs (5): Jones 2 (23), Alvarez (27), McKenry (12), Sanchez (5)

Baserunning
SB: McCutchen (16)

Fielding
Errors: Presley (3), Barajas (3), Alvarez (22)
PB: McKenry (2)
DP: (Alvarez-Holt-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ 6.7 2 2 2 4 9 0 2.70 0.90
Correia 4.0 4 0 0 1 2 0 0.00 1.25
McDonald, J (L, 12-7) 2.7 6 8 7 1 6 4 23.63 2.63
Resop 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
McPherson, K 1.7 1 1 1 2 3 0 5.40 1.80
Hughes, J 1.3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.75
Leroux 1.3 3 3 3 1 1 1 20.25 3.00
Watson 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 1.00
Grilli 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 2.00
Wilson 1.0 4 1 1 0 0 0 9.00 4.00
Takahashi 1.0 4 4 4 2 2 1 36.00 6.00
Karstens (L, 5-4) 0.3 5 4 4 0 1 1 108.00 15.00
Hanrahan (L, 4-1) 0.0 1 1 1 0 0 1 -.– -.–
  Totals 24 32 24 23 13 26 8 8.63 1.88

Transactions: Recalled RHP Kyle McPherson from AAA. Recalled OF Alex Presley from AAA. Optioned Chase d’Arnaud to High-A. Signed free agent 1B Hector Luna. Outrighted 1B Jeff Clement to High-A. Called up RHP Chris Leroux from AAA. Called up IF Brock Holt from AAA. Recalled C Eric Fryer from AAA. Recalled LHP Jeff Locke from AAA. Recalled LHP Justin Wilson from AAA. Designated LF Oscar Tejeda for assignment. Called up 1B Jeff Clement from High-A.

August Recap

An 11-17 August has many remembering last year’s swoon. The Bucs never won more than two games in a row, and had losing streaks of 3, 3 and 4 games. The offense was pretty average, scoring 4.32 runs per game. The pitchers had their worst month by far, allowing 4.82 runs per game.

Really, the worst part was the 10 games against San Diego and Los Angeles. In those games the Pirates allowed 6.40 runs per, which makes it really hard to win. When you add in the split with Arizona in the previous series it gave the Bucs their first losing homestand of the season.

Other Notes:
The Pirates only won two series, both against the Cardinals. They lost five series and tied one.

Record vs
NL Central: 7-7, 59 RS, 49 RA (4.21 RS/G, 4.50 RA/G)
NL West: 4-10, 62 RS, 86 RA (4.43 RS/G, 6.14 RA/G)

Home: 7-10, 80 RS, 89 RA (4.71 RS/G, 5.24 RA/G)
Away: 4-7, 41 RS, 46 RA (3.73 RS/G, 4.18 RA/G)

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

Summary: A horribly disappointing month saw the Bucs drop out of the division race. They do remain squarely in the race for one of the Wild Card spots. Here’s to hoping they pick up the pace.

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