Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Cincinnati Reds 4: Stars And Stiffs
The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 10-4 in game one of their double header on Saturday afternoon.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now just one game below .500. After defeating the Cincinnati Reds in game one of their double header on Saturday afternoon the Bucs are 74-75 on the season. This victory gives the Pirates three in a row, included each of the first two games in this four game series.
The Pittsburgh Pirates got a poor start from Jameson Taillon, but over came that with great offense and solid relief work from Wade LeBlanc. Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from their 10-4 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday.
Shortstop Sean Rodriguez – 2016 has been the best season of Sean Rodriguez’s Major League career. The strong season for Rodriguez continued in the game one victory on Saturday. Sean Rod is well on his way to earning a nice paycheck this offseason.
Rodriguez got the start at shortstop in game one on Saturday and, despite an error, played a strong game. Sean Rod made up for this error by making a fantastic play deep in the hole at shortstop to record the final out of the bottom of the eighth inning. While that play helped make up for his error, what really did it was Rodriguez’s defense.
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At the plate in game one Sean Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run, a run scored, and he drove in a pair of runs. Rodriguez’s home run was his 15th of the season, continuing to add to his new career high home run total. Rodriguez also has a career high .359 wOBA, 127 wRC+, .345 on-base percentage, and .504 slugging percentage this season.
First baseman Josh Bell – Saturday afternoon was a first for Josh Bell. In Saturday’s game one victory Josh Bell recorded his first career three hit game. Even though this was Bell’s first career three hit game, it certainly will not be his last.
The Pirates’ first baseman went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored, and a run knocked in during the Pirates’ victory in game one. Josh Bell has now reached the 100 plate appearance plateau in his Major League career, now having 101 plate appearances, and he owns a .313/.416/.482/.898 slash line, 15.8 percent walk rate, 9.9 percent strikeout rate, a .387 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 145. It goes without saying that Bell’s career is off to a fantastic start.
Second baseman Alen Hanson – In Saturday’s game one victory Alen Hanson made his first career Major League start. Hanson got the call for the Bucs at second base in game one of the double header. And the former top-100 prospect did not disappoint.
Alen Hanson finished game one on Saturday 1-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks, a run scored, and his first career RBI. Hanson also contributed on defense. In to bottom of the second inning with the Pirates leading 4-0 Reds’ pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hit a double with Tucker Barnhart on first base. It looked like Barnhart would score, however, thanks in large part to a great relay throw by Hanson Barnhart was thrown out at the plate.
Alen Hanson has a bright future ahead of him, and that was on display in Saturday’s game one victory.
Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon – Game one of Saturday’s double header was one of the more lackluster starts Jameson Taillon has made in his rookie campaign. Taillon lasted just five innings, allowed three runs on eight hits, a walk, and he recorded just a pair of strikeouts. Also, all three Cincinnati runs came on an Adam Duval home run.
Luckily for Taillon and the Pirates, the Bucco offense went off in game one on Saturday. The Bucs scored four runs in the top of the first inning, never looked back, and cruised to victory. Due to this, Taillon’s rough start did not hurt the team.
Despite the bad start, Taillon’s rookie numbers are still fantastic. In 93 innings pitched Taillon is averaging 7.16 K/9, 1.35 BB/9, 1.06 HR/9, and he owns a 1.13 WHIP. These strong results have led to Taillon posting a 3.64 FIP and a 3.39 xFIP this season.
Relief pitcher Jared Hughes – The season long struggles of Jared Hughes continued in game one on Saturday. The 2016 season has been the worst of Jared Hughes’ Major League career, and, due to this, one has to wonder if he has become a non-tender candidate this offseason.
Jared Hughes inherited an 8-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, and immediately put men on base. Jared Hughes pitched one inning and allowed a run on one hit, one walk, and zero strikeouts. On the season Hughes now owns a 4.82 FIP and a 4.84 xFIP, both of which are career highs.
This season Jared Hughes is also averaging just 4.83 K/9, which is a career low, and he is also averaging a career high 1.00 HR/9. His 3.17 BB/9 is also the second highest of his career. In my opinion, Hughes should be non-tendered by the Pirates this offseason.
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Only two stiffs today, yay! The Buccos offense scored at will, and, minus Hughes, the bullpen got great work from Wade LeBlanc. So, only two stiffs for this game.
That will do it for game one today. The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 74-75 on the season, winners of three in a row, and can get back to .500 with a victory in game two of the double header tonight. Game two will start at 6:05 PM, the Pirates will send Trevor Williams to the mound and he will be opposed by Brandon Finnegan.
Let’s win two today, Buccos, shall we?