Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Seattle Mariners 1: Stars And Stiffs

Jun 29, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates earned a series split of their abbreviate two game series with the Seattle Mariners by earned an 8-1 victory on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates earned an 8-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners to earn a split of their abbreviated two game series. With their win, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally finished the month from hell. Overall, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished the month of June 9-19.

Despite going 9-19 in June, the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to finish the month strong by winning four of their last six games. Hopefully, this is a sign of the now 38-41 Pirates trending back in the right direction. Anyway, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Wednesday night’s win.

STARS

Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon – Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed starting pitcher Jameson Taillon was absolutely dominant on Wednesday night. In his fifth career Major League start Jameson Taillon held the Seattle Mariners to one run on six hits, zero walks, and six strikeouts in six innings pitched. With the start, Taillon’s ERA is now down to 3.86 on the season.

Jameson Taillon’s curveball was absolutely filthy on Wednesday night. All night long Mariner hitters were totally and completely helpless against Taillon’s curveball, and it produced a ton of ugly swings from Seattle hitters. Next to his eight inning effort against the New York Mets in his second career start, this was the best Jameson Taillon has looked thus far in his Major League career.

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It was great to see Taillon bounce back with a dominating outing on Wednesday night after struggling his last two starts. Jameson Taillon has an extremely bright future for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and that was on full display on Wednesday night.

Right fielder Sean Rodriguez – Sean Rodriguez continues to have the best season of his career. On Wednesday night Rodriguez got the start in right field, and chipped in a pair of hits. Sean Rodrgiuez just continues to murder baseballs this season. Also, it was Sean Rodriguez’s three-run double in the top of the fifth that really put the game on ice for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Sean Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with two doubles, four RBI, two runs scored, a walk, and he was hit by a pitch on Wednesday night. On the season, Sean Rodriguez now has a .359 wOBA and a 128 wRC+. Both of these numbers are career highs for Rodriguez.

Left fielder Starling Marte – After a three hit night on Wednesday, Starling Marte now owns the National League’s second best batting average at .331. Marte finished the night 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and three runs scored. Starling Marte is very quietly rounding into one of the best all-around players in the National League.

Marte now owns a .331/.372/.493/.865 slash line on the season, to go along with a .370 wOBA and a wRC+ of 136. Starling Marte’s stolen base on Wednesday night was his 21st of the season, which is the second most in the National League. Marte also made a nice running catch in left field tonight.

STIFFS

Catcher Erik Kratz – Erik Kratz did what Erik Kratz does and went 0-for-5 at the plate on Wednesday night. Kratz also struck out on Wednesday night, vaulting his strikeout rate on the season to a borderline unbelievable 40.6 percent. On the season Kratz now has a .089 wOBA and a -57 wRC+.

Erik Kratz also stranded multiple base runners on Wednesday night. In the top of the second inning with Josh Harrison on third base with just one out, Kratz grounded out to third base with the infield drawn in for the second out of the inning. Then in the top of the seventh inning, Kratz struck out looking with just one out and the bases loaded.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – Every time it seems like Andrew McCutchen might be turning his struggles around, a game like tonight happens. For this reason, I am not very confident that McCutchen will right the ship this season. Hopefully, the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates offense can continue to hit well to help offset that.

On Wednesday night McCutchen went 0-for-5 at the plate. McCutchen also struck out for 82nd time this season on Wednesday night. McCutchen now has a 24.6 percent strikeout rate on the season, yikes. Also, his 82 strikeouts puts him in the top five in the National League in strikeouts, double yikes.

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That will close the book on this game, and, thankfully, the month from hell as well. The Pittsburgh Pirates finished the month of June 9-19, and have fallen to 38-41 overall on the season. However, there might be reasons for optimism.

The Pittsburgh Pirates won four of their last six games in the month of June, so hopefully they are trending up. The Pirate bullpen has also started to stabilize itself. Furthermore, both Gerrit Cole and Francisco Cervelli are getting closer to returning off the disabled list. And maybe best of all, the Pittsburgh Pirates remaining schedule is much simpler than it was in June.

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