Pirates Add Phil Irwin To Leaky Shark Tank
By Tom Smith
Welcome Back Phil Irwin! The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jeff Locke back to Triple-A Indianapolis and have recalled Irwin.
Locke was up and down in his start against the San Francisco Giants and when it went down, it really went down. The Bucs bullpen has been getting plenty of work as the Pirates starters struggle. But they are doing little to resemble the shark tank of last season.
In the extra inning game against the Giants, the Pirates used six relievers. We tweeted GULP when Jeanmar Gomez entered the game, but he pitched better than he has this year–going three innings. But Jared Hughes looked lost in the 13th, with a walk, a hit batter and his own throwing error causing the right hander to be saddled with the loss. Just an ugly mess.
New closer Mark Melancon blew another save for the Pirates in the ninth inning and it seemed obvious that the Giants know the formula for beating him. If you’re a Pirates fan you know it too.
The Pirates add Filthy Phil who has one of the nastiest breaking balls in the Pirates system. Look for him to get some action tonight. The right hander has been pitching rather well lately for Indy (scoreless over the last 5.2 innings) after coming back from surgery on the right ulnar nerve in his right elbow. The 6’3″ 210 pounder has been pitching out of the bullpen for Indianapolis after making two starts. Those starts were reminiscent of the Bucs staff lately–11 earned runs in six innings. In three outings this season, Irwin has allowed 16 earned runs. In the other four, he has allowed two.
The Pirates need a shutdown reliever that can cover some innings and they are putting their trust, at this time, in Irwin.