On Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates continued their strong play by picking up a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
The Pittsburgh Pirates now own a 61-56 record. On Wednesday night the Pirates defeated the San Francisco Giants by a score of 4-3, and are now 7-1 in their last eight games at AT&T Park. Also, the Pirates now find themselves tied with the Miami Marlins and just one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the National League’s second Wild Card spot.
On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates got another strong start from rookie Jameson Taillon. The Bucs also got excellent work from their bullpen and timely hitting. With the victory, the Pirates also captured this three game series with the Giants. Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Tuesday night’s victory.
Third baseman Jung Ho Kang – Jung Ho Kang collected just one hit on Tuesday night. However, this hit was the most important hit of the entire game.
In the top of the eighth inning Jung Ho Kang stepped to the plate. The bases were empty, there were two outs, and the game was tied at three. Kang quickly untied the game by launching a solo home run to straight away center field.
More from Rum Bunter
- Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Stockwatch: Outfielder Tres Gonzalez
- Pittsburgh Pirates Podcast: Rum Bunter Radio Talks Winter Meetings Fallout
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being Improved
- Pittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official
This was Jung Ho Kang’s 14th home run of the season, and even came on a 1-2 pitch. With this home run, Kang gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a lead they would not relinquish. This home run continued Kang’s recent hot streak at the plate, and raised his season long wOBA to .345 and wRC+ to 118.
Center Fielder Andrew McCutchen – Maybe just maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates’ center fielder is breaking out of this season long slump. Andrew McCutchen has been better at the plate the past few weeks. This continued on Tuesday night. McCutchen finished Tuesday’s game 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a triple, and a run scored.
The triple McCutchen hit was his second of the season, and came leading off the top of the sixth inning. At the time the game was tied at two. However, Gregory Polanco would quickly change that.
Dating back to July 27th Andrew McCutchen has a 18.2 percent walk rate, .402 on-base percentage, .375 wOBA, and a 133 wRC+. During this time McCutchen has also stolen three bases, and played a much improved center field. As I said above, maybe he is starting to break out of his season long slump. With the Pittsburgh Pirates in a heated playoff race, it could not come at a better time.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli – One player that has certainly turned their season around offensively the past few weeks is Francisco Cervelli. On Tuesday night the Pirate catcher went 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored. For the season Cervelli now owns a .387 on-base percentage, .324 wOBA, and a 104 wRC+.
Cervelli’s double led off the top of the second inning. At the time, the Pirates were trailing 2-1. Cervelli would then score when John Jaso followed Cervelli’s double with one of his own.
Since returning from the disabled list on July 19th Francisco Cervelli has been excellent. He now owns a .346/.431/.423/.854 slash line, .373 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 136 since returning.
Shortstop Jordy Mercer – Even though Jordy Mercer is having a good year for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had a rough go of things on Tuesday night. The Pirate shortstop finished the game 0-for-3 at the plate, even though he did draw a walk. Mercer was one of just two Pirate players who failed to collect a hit on Tuesday night.
The other Pirate who did not collect a hit was right fielder Gregory Polanco. However, Polanco did drive in a pair of runs. Twice Gregory Polanco hit a ground ball with a runner on third base, less than two outs, and the infield back.
Jordy Mercer also committed his sixth error of the season on Tuesday night. With no one on base, one out, and the Pirates leading 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth Jordy Mercer booted a ground ball hit by Eduardo Nunez. This opened the door for a Giants’ rally. However, closer Tony Watson would slam that door shut.
Only one stiff from Tuesday night’s victory, yay!
The Pittsburgh Pirates will go for the series sweep at 3:45 this afternoon. The Pirates will send Ivan Nova to the mound, while the Giants will counter with Matt Cain. With a win the Pirates will finish this six game road trip at 5-1, and with a loss they would finish a still strong 4-2.