Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Well that was a dud


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good articles from around the web concerning our baseball team as well.

Well, that was a dud

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After a beautiful sweep of the New York Mets, the Pirates came in and laid an egg against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Pirates had their ace on the mound in Gerrit Cole, but he didn’t look right all night. It’s not that he looked injured, but the Diamondbacks definitely hit him hard all night. He ended up giving up four runs on nine hits on a night when the Pirates were hopefully looking to rest their bullpen, which has been doing stellar lately but has also been put to work a lot as of late. Cole is definitely going to have a rough outing every once and a while, but we’ve become accustomed to his consistency all season long. This was only the second time this year that Cole’s given up more than three runs in an outing, and while he hasn’t been bad lately, he’s definitely slipped from his fantastic output over the first half of the season. Is it something to be overly concerned about? No. But is it something to keep an eye on? You bet.

Even with Cole’s rough outing, the Pirates had their chances to drive in runs but couldn’t. The team was 1-9 with runners in scoring position, and both Andrew McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang have been struggling as of late. Gregory Polanco‘s hitting streak also came to an end, unfortunately. Hopefully the Bucs rebound in the next two games, and they have to to keep pace with the Cardinals, who won again last night.

Could Cervelli be hurt?

After Francisco Cervelli walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, Sean Rodriguez grounded into a double play, during which Cervelli seemed to have hurt his hamstring heading into second base. I don’t know the extent of the injury yet, but needless to say, losing Cervelli to the DL would be a huge blow to this team. Chris Stewart has his moments offensively and isn’t bad behind the plate, but he’s no Cervelli.

In terms of immediate replacements for Cervelli if he were to go down for any extended period of time, one would have to think Tony Sanchez would finally get back to the majors, or the Pirates would give Elias Diaz a shot. In either case, Cervelli would be very difficult to replace.

Cardinals lose another player

The Cardinals lost another player to the disabled list yesterday, even though they somehow managed to win again last night.

Randal Grichuk has been dynamic for the Cardinals this year, batting .284 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs, and he’s been worth 3.2 wins above replacement. For any other team, losing Grichuk would be a serious blow. But the Cardinals will find ways to continue winning. Oh, and they could lose another player as well:

You never want to root for players to get injured, but if Jason Heyward also goes down to injury, this would be the perfect and maybe only time for the Pirates to gain ground on the Cardinals, especially while the Bucs are in the easier part of their home stand.

Around the net

Just about every one of the weekly power rankings around the net yesterday had the Pittsburgh Pirates ranked as the third best team in baseball, as per the usual, behind none other than the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. I won’t link to all of them, but definitely do some searching and check them out.

Here’s a good piece from CBS Sports: what if Major League Baseball altered the playoff seeding to give the top seeds in each league an edge? Definitely check it out.

Oh, and Major League Baseball released the postseason schedule as well. Check that out here.

A.J. Burnett is progressing well, according to Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette, but he isn’t ready to re-join the rotation just yet.

And if you wanted more affirmation on how great the Pirates’ bullpen has been recently, check out this piece by Bill West of the Tribune-Review.

Here’s hoping the Cardinals slip up just a little and the Pirates can regain their form in the next two games of this series.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Report - August 17th