Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Philadelphia Phillies 4: Stars And Stiffs

Jul 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pinch hitter Adam Frazier (26) circles the bases on a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pinch hitter Adam Frazier (26) circles the bases on a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 51-47 on the season by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Pittsburgh Pirates won their second consecutive series.

The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to do a good job of beating up on bad teams. On Sunday afternoon the Bucs defeated their cross-state rival Phillies by a score 5-4 to win the weekend series. With the win, the Pirates are now just two games out of a postseason spot.

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a good, but not great, start from Jameson Taillon. However, Taillon was victimized by some poor defense as well. Sunday afternoon’s game also featured an hour and a half long rain delay. In the end though, the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to conduct yet another come-from-behind victory. Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Sunday afternoon.


Pinch hitter Adam Frazier – Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Adam Frazier continues to prove that he should earn more playing time. Frazier had just one at bat on Sunday afternoon, but it was the most important at bat of the game. It was the at bat that won the Pittsburgh Pirates the game.

Adam Frazier was called upon by Clint Hurdle to pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Adam Frazier stepped to the plate with the game tied at four, and drove a 1-1 Edubray Ramos pitch over the Clemente Wall for what would prove to be a game winning home run. This was Adam Frazier’s first career Major League home run.

In 42 plate appearances since being promoted to the Major Leagues in late June Adam Frazier now owns a .359/.405/.590/.995 slash line. Frazier also has a .420 wOBA, 170 wRC+, and he has stolen three bases. In my opinion, Adam Frazier should be getting more starts at second base, while batting lead off, against right-handed pitching.

Right fielder Matt Joyce – Matt Joyce, who should start every time the Pittsburgh Pirates face a right-handed pitcher, started in right field on Sunday afternoon and had a huge game. Joyce finished the game 2-for-2 with a walk, a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored.

Joyce stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with Starling Marte on first base, no one out, and the Pirates trailing 4-2. Joyce proceeded to crush a Vincent Velasquez pitch for a game tying two-run home run. After this home run, the Pittsburgh Pirates would not trail again on Sunday afternoon.


Center fielder Starling Marte – The Pittsburgh Pirates best player played the position he should be playing everyday, center field, on Sunday afternoon and had a great game at the plate. Starling Marte was a catalyst for the Pittsburgh Pirates offense all day long. Marte finished Sunday’s game 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

After his big game on Sunday, Starling Marte now has 34 stolen bases this season which is tied for the most in the National League. Marte also has a career best .367 on-base percentage, and his wOBA (.356) and wRC+ (126) are both the second highest of his career.


Second baseman Josh Harrison – On Sunday afternoon Josh Harrison went 0-for-4 at the plate. Harrison also struck out once, and left four runners on base. Through the seasons first four months Josh Harrison has been a major disappointment at the plate.

Josh Harrison has been the worst hitter among the Pittsburgh Pirates regulars this season. Harrison owns a .267/.295/.375/.670 slash line, .289 wOBA, and a 81 wRC+. All of these numbers are the worst for Harrison since his rookie season of 2011. As I said above, against right-handed pitching I would like to see Adam Frazier get more starts at second base.

First baseman John Jaso – John Jaso went 0-for-3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts on Sunday afternoon. With his poor performance on Sunday afternoon, Jaso’s struggles of the last two months continued. On the year Jaso now has a .265/.341/.378/.719 slash line, to go along with a .317 wOBA and a wRC+ of 100.

John Jaso also made a poor defensive play on Sunday afternoon that cost the Pittsburgh Pirates a run. Jaso botched a ground ball hit by Philadelphia infielder Cesar Hernandez in the third inning on Sunday afternoon that turned into a RBI triple. Without this misplay, Jameson Taillon’s final line would have looked much better.

While I do like having John Jaso has a bench player, it is time for Josh Bell to become the Pittsburgh Pirates everyday first baseman. The Pirates need to recall Josh Bell, make him the everyday first baseman, and have him bat clean up. Bell has nothing left to prove at Triple-A.

Next: Are The Pirates Fielding Their Best Roster?

That will do it for today. Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates victory only had two stiffs, yay! The Pirates are off tomorrow, before welcoming the Seattle Mariners to PNC Park for a two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Enjoy the off day, everyone.