Pittsburgh Pirates: Game One Notes


The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 5-3 yesterday to the Boston Red Sox.  Gerrit Cole pitched well for the first 14 outs, the final out got a way, and he allowed five runs between the two.  Here are some quick notes to highlight from that loss.

  • Adam Frazier went 1-3 at the dish.  The knock was just single, but he hit it at 102.6 mph, just adjust the launch angle and see what happens.
  • Josh Harrison brought in the first run of the season for the Pirates with a 101.7 mile per hour single in the seventh.  Josh finished second on the team, minimum 100 plate appearances, in others batted in percentage at 15.942 percent.  In the fifth Harrison grounded out to shortstop Xander Bogaerts on a 93.1 miler per hour ball.  Harrison, like Frazier, just needs to adjust the launch angle a bit to see better results.  However, he did strikeout at two inopportune times.
  • Andrew McCutchen flew out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in his first plate appearance.  The next three resulted in strikeouts, 2 on sliders and one a curveball.  His first strikeout, coming in the third, was a hung slider that Leon caught the foul tip.  His last was on a 81.8 mile per hour curveball that went 55 feet.  Rough day for McCutchen, as he drops to 0-6 with a walk and hit by pitch in his last two opening days.
  • Francisco Cervelli almost hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning.  He hit a ball 104 miles per hour 390 feet, which was just short of a home run.  Jackie Bradley came running over and made a sensational catch.  The ball had a higher hit probability at 82 percent than Andrew Benintendi’s home run.  Of course this only accounts for two variables, distance and hang time.
  • Sandy Leon bunted for a single in a shift.  He’s pulled the ball 46 percent of the time in his career, so the shift is not about appearing smart, it’s actually being smart.  Furthermore, the Boston Red Sox have bunted the least amount of times for a hit since 2012, and the amount of bunts against the shift by the is just 1.2 percent since 2010 (was 1.3 percent last season).  Maybe that’s why the Pirates shifted…..

Next: Three Stories for 2017

The game was a good game, both pitchers were dealing early on.  Cole struggled to get the last out in the fifth and allowed five runs.  The team had their chances, but didn’t capitalize on enough of them.  They play again tomorrow as Jameson Taillon takes on Chris Sale.

*Numbers from baseball savant and baseball prospectus