Found May 17, 2013 on
Thursday is podcast recording day. Today it was also “Go see Luis Heredia at Pirate City” day (article coming tomorrow), and “Ten Articles Will Go Up on the Site Today” day, and “Your friends want to go to trivia at 9 PM and the Pirates are already destroying the Brewers so you can watch on your phone on the way” day. So we’re doing the Thursday night “thoughts” article again.
**Two good starts from Francisco Liriano so far. What I liked about tonight’s start was that he wasn’t at his best early in the game, and still ended up with a dominating stat line. So far he’s pitching more like the 2010 version, and less like the 2011-12 version. If the Pirates get anything close to the 2010 version, and pair that with A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez, then they could contend this year.
**It’s not often that you can directly see how defense saves runs, but you saw it in the first inning. Russell Martin threw out a runner at second, and Andrew McCutchen robbed an easy double in center field with his great leaping catch. Without those plays, the Pirates are down at least 3-0, and it could have been worse. That would have resulted in a much different game.
Russell Martin could already be the best major league free agent signing Neal Huntington has made. Photo credit: David Hague
**How great has Russell Martin been? Not just with the bat, but the defense has been outstanding. Before the game he and Michael McKenry each saw 24 stolen base attempts. McKenry threw out one runner. Martin threw out nine. The league average for caught stealing has been 28%, and Martin was at 38%. That was before throwing out one of two tonight.
**Throughout his minor league career, Justin Wilson had a trend. He would strike out a lot of batters, issue a lot of walks, and wouldn’t give up any hits. The result was that he had great overall numbers, and doubts about future success in the majors. So far it’s been the same story in the majors. After tonight he has a 1.46 ERA in 24.2 innings. He’s got an 8.8 K/9, a 4.7 BB/9, and only nine hits allowed. He’s due for some regression, since he’s got a .161 BABIP and an 83.3% strand rate. However, he’s still going to be putting up good numbers even after the regression. You wonder if Andy Oliver can do the same, since he has similar numbers in Triple-A this year.
**A lot of Milwaukee series’ (seri?) have gone this way over the last few years. One team dominates, taking three of four games, and finishing off the series with a crushing victory. It’s just that the Pirates have always been on the other side of this. And it always feels like this:
But the Pirates winning 3 of 4? Winning four games against Milwaukee by mid-May? (Note: they haven’t won more than five in a season since 2007, when they won six games.) Winning 4 of 7 on the season so far? Taking four of the last five? Is this real life? Is this going to be forever? I hope so.
**Never really did trivia at a bar before tonight. I finally found a place for all of my useless pop culture references. Who knew that knowing Lisa Turtle’s real name from Saved by the Bell would ever come in handy (Lark Voorhies, for those of you scoring at home). Also, the girl I’m dating won two beer chugging contests against a girl from another group, and our table got two free pitchers of beer as a result. Can you say keeper? Finally, if you know nothing about the show Friends, you might as well not play trivia at all. Or just eat and talk during the entire round devoted to Friends questions.
**Back to baseball, what is it about the Pirates that prospects never step up until a major league veteran has been signed? In 2010 it was Neil Walker stepping up at second base after Aki Iwamura was added. The last two years it has been Jordy Mercer at shortstop after Clint Barmes was added. This year it’s Tony Sanchez after Russell Martin was added. Sanchez is currently hitting for a .307 average and a .936 OPS on the season. If Martin ever goes down, Sanchez has earned a chance to be the primary starter.
**It’s been bad since Michael Scott left, but The Office really turned it around this season. That’s especially true in the most recent episodes. I’m looking forward to watching the final episode tomorrow after I finish the podcast. Mostly because I can stop avoiding Facebook and Twitter for spoilers. There needs to be a spoiler tag added to social networks, just like they have on IMDB. I don’t even feel comfortable posting spoilers about LOST, and that show has been over for a few years. Basically what I’m saying is if you rush to Facebook and post a spoiler right after watching a show, you’re kind of an asshole.
**Finally, Happy Birthday to our own Tom Bragg!
Links and Notes
**The 2013 Prospect Guide and the 2013 Annual are both available on the products page of the site. If you order them together, you’ll save $5.
**Tomorrow afternoon we’ll release episode four of the Pirates Prospects Podcast. Check out last week’s episode: P3 Episode 3: What To Do With Alvarez, Gomez, and Mercer; Casey Sadler Interview.
**What Are the Odds the Pirates Draft a Future Major League Hitter?
**Keith Law Posts Mock Draft, New Name Associated With Pirates.
**Jonathan Mayo Posts Mock Draft, Peterson Mentioned Again.
**Draft Preview: Focusing In On Certain Players.
**Prospect Notebook: When Should Taillon and Pimentel Be Promoted to Indianapolis?
**Minor Moves: Holmes Off DL, d’Arnaud Starts Rehab.
**Prospect Watch: Tony Sanchez Keeps Hitting, Gregory Polanco Homers.
**Minor League Schedule: Holmes Tries Again In West Virginia.
**Injury Update: Morton, Karstens and McDonald.
**Snider Goes Swimming as Pirates Pound Brewers 7-1.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Right now, no catcher in Major League Baseball is playing better at his position than Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates. After a down year with the New York Yankees–which...The post Pittsburgh Pirates’ Russell Martin is MLB’s Best Catcher appeared first on Bohemian Baseball.
Francisco Liriano moved to 2-0 after the Pirates defeated the Brewers on Thursday. Liriano allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings of work.
In two starts Liriano has recorded 16 strike outs.
The Pirates went on to defeat the Brewers 7-1.
Liriano got a late start on the season after fracturing his non-throwing arm over the winter.
CUE 'YAKETY SAX'
Ladies and Gentlemen, YOUR Houston Astros. Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin was at bat in the bottom of the ninth, full count, bases loaded and with the score tie. A weak pop fly to shallow right and the game is going into…oh wait, I forgot, its the Houston Astros. Right fielder Jimmy Paredes and second baseman Jake Elmore collide before either one of them could catch...
The Pirates activated free agent signee Francisco Liriano last weekend, and he impressed in his first two starts. The veteran lefty He has gone 2-0 with a sparkling 1.64 ERA and 16 strikeouts.PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko caught up with Liriano recently.
Tony Sanchez currently sports a .936 OPS
It’s received wisdom these days that AAA teams serve more as taxi squads for their parent teams than as prospect development vehicles. Most teams in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues are made up primarily of players who are beyond the prospect stage, but who could be useful in the majors under the right circumstances, usually...
The Houston Astros are by far the worst team in baseball, so the way they lost Friday night’s game in Pittsburgh was quite fitting.
Houston blew a 4-1 and lost 5-4 after two players collided when they were trying to catch a pop up to shallow right that allowed the winning run to score.
The Pirates loaded the bases and Russell Martin was facing Edgar Gonzalez with two outs. Martin...
The Houston Astros managed to lose a game with the very rare walk-ooo error. The Astros thought they were heading to extra innings as Russell Martin hit a fly ball to shallow right centerfield in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs. Even Houston reliever Edgar Gonzalez thought it was all over as he skipped off the mound, unfortunately, the Astros are the Astros...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the pre-season rankings, and links to each prospect writeup can be...
Pedro Alvarez struck with a massive home run into the Allegheny to tie the game. (Photo credit: David Hague)
Pedro Alvarez will frustrate the hell out of you. Pedro Alvarez will be unwatchable at the plate. Pedro Alvarez will fly south of the Mendoza Line for a month and a half.
Pedro Alvarez will also come up in the 8th inning of a game and tie it with one swing, send a ball 462...
Final: Pirates 5, Astros 4 (box)
WP: Justin Wilson (4-0, 1.40 ERA)
LP: Edgar Gonzalez (0-1, 7.43 ERA)
Jeanmar Gomez had his worst start after being pretty solid in his first three. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, three of which were earned. He struck out just one and gave up five hits and two walks.
One person I was sad to see the organization and am glad to see in...
The Pirates beat the Brewers…again! I could get used to this. Thursday’s win was the Bucs third in a row and fourth in the last five games against Milwaukee.
Francisco Liriano made his second start (first at home) as a Pirate, and it was just as strong as his debut. After a shaky first in which the Brewers brought home one run, he settled down and kept them at bay through the...
The Pirates had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied against the Astros.
In most cases, you would assume that disaster would strike Pittsburgh in this scenario. But in what might have been a passing of the “biggest joke in MLB” torch, Houston was the team that blew it.
Russell Martin hit a routine pop up between second base and right field. Jake...
Jimmy Paredes dropped Russell Martin's bases-loaded fly ball when he collided with second baseman Jake Elmore with two outs in the ninth inning, the second missed catch by a Houston right fielder, and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Astros 5-4 Friday night.
Down 4-1, Pittsburgh started its comeback in the sixth when Chris Carter, usually a designated hitter, dropped...
The Pirates have had a very odd penchant for losing the first game of a four game series, then ripping off three straight wins. This has already happened three times this year and I would very much like to make it four against the Brewers tonight. Among other things, it would certainly put the Pirates well on their way to the 5-2 record that I hoped to see from these seven games...
It’s weird seeing things from the other side. About six years ago the Pirates were exactly where the Houston Astros are right now. They were in complete rebuild mode, trying to build up a depleted farm system, and looking horrible in the majors. There’s no hope in the short-term, and it may take a few years before the Astros have any hope for the long-term.
When the Astros moved...