The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, and have now won six games in a row. Yay!
After defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 5-2 on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates have now won six games in a row. Dating back a little further, the Pittsburgh Pirates have won nine of their last eleven games. As a result of this stretch the Pirates are now 43-41 overall on the season.
With the win on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now just two and a half games behind the New York Mets for the final National League postseason position. Tuesday night’s game was highlighted by the successful Major League debut of Steven Brault, and Eric Fryer‘s triumphant return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Anyway, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Tuesday night’s victory.
Catcher Eric Fryer – Eric Fryer made his first start for the Pittsburgh Pirates since September of 2012 on Tuesday night, and it could not have gone much better. The Pirates claimed Fryer off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon with Francisco Cervelli on the disabled list and Chris Stewart having since been added to the disabled list. On Tuesday night, Fryer tortured his old team.
Eric Fryer went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and three RBI on Tuesday night. After his showing on Tuesday night Fryer now has a .381/.422/.452/.874 slash line and a .383 wOBA on the season. So one has to wonder, why did the St. Louis Cardinals let Fryer go?
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Well whatever the reason is, thanks guys! Eric Fryer is a huge upgrade over Erik Kratz. Having Fryer around improves the Pittsburgh Pirates catching situation immensely.
Eric Fryer also contributed defensively on Tuesday night. In the bottom of the seventh inning Fryer made a great snow catch on a ball popped up by Matt Holliday to end the inning. The ball was popped up to the right hand side of home plate, and Fryer was able to make a solid running catch to his right to retire Holliday and end the inning.
Third baseman David Freese – Eric Fryer was not the only ex-Cardinal to kill the Red Birds on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman David Freese also had a huge game for the Pirates. David Freese finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and a RBI.
Signing David Freese in Spring Training just continues to look like a great move by Neal Huntington. On the season Freese now has a .360 wOBA and a wRC+ of 128. This will be vital moving forward for the Pirates as Jung Ho Kang‘s status is now up in the air due to his legal troubles.
Luckily a certain website that claims to bring ‘real Pirate analysis,’ news flash they do not and you should never read their work, are not in charge of the Pirates. Why you may ask? Well, because a few weeks ago on Twitter they said the Pirates should trade David Freese. Luckily, unlike this motley crew, Neal Huntington has a brain and is not stupid.
Relief pitcher Juan Nicasio – Moving to the bullpen continues to be a great move for Juan Nicasio. On Tuesday night Nicasio pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In these two innings pitched Nicasio held the Cardinals scoreless on one hit, one walk, and two strikeouts.
Since moving to the bullpen, Juan Nicasio has been dominant for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 8 1/3 relief innings pitched Nicasio has allowed just one run. In these 8 1/3 innings pitched Nicasio has allowed just three hits, three walks, and he has struck out seven.
Right fielder Gregory Polanco – Gregory Polanco is the Pittsburgh Pirates best player. However, he had a rough go of things on Tuesday night. The 23 year old slugger finished Tuesday night’s contest 0-for-5 at the plate, and also committed a rare error.
In the bottom of the second inning, Polanco dropped a routine fly ball that Stephen Piscotty hit to right field to lead off the inning. As a result, Piscotty wound up on third base. He would then come around to score on a one out single by Jedd Gyorko.
As stated above, Gregory Polanco went 0-for-5 at the plate on Tuesday night. This included Polanco striking out looking to end the fifth inning with runners on second and third. Despite going 0-for-5 on Tuesday night, Polanco still has a .369 wOBA and a 124 wRC+ on the season.
First baseman John Jaso – After going 4-for-6 with a walk, being hit by a pitch, a double, and a RBI the last two games, John Jaso struggled on Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman went 0-for-3 at the plate. Jaso also struggled defensively on Tuesday night.
On top of going 0-for-3, Jaso had some poor at bats on Tuesday night. In the top of the fifth inning with Matt Joyce on first base, Eric Fryer on third base, and just one out John Jaso grounded out to first base. Even though Joyce was able to advanced to third base and Jaso to second base due to a good rundown by Fryer, the Pirates failed to score a run.
In the bottom of the fourth inning John Jaso made an uncharacteristically bad defensive play. Jaso grossly misplayed a blooper hit by Jedd Gyorko to shallow right field, and it dropped for a base hit. Luckily for the Pirates, Gyorko would get stranded on the bases.
That will do it for this game. Contrary to what many people believed a week or two ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates are far from dead. In fact, this team is currently playing as well as any team in the National League.
Tomorrow the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to win this four game series against the St. Louis Cardinals when the Bucs send Jeff Locke to the mound against Jamie Garcia at 8:10pm. If the Pirates are able to win tomorrow, they will then be able to go for the sweep on Thursday afternoon.