Pittsburgh Pirates home stand report card for June 8-18
In the series opener against the Marlins, the Pirate bats could not do anything against Miami starter Edinson Volquez, only managing one meaningless run in the final frame. Although the outcome of Friday’s game wasn’t any better, the Bucco offense was able to chase Vance Worley early, and managed to put seven tallies on the board in defeat. Pittsburgh put seven more runs on the board Saturday evening, contributing 16 hits as well. Adam Frazier, Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen combined for seven of those knocks, with Bell going 3-5.
The series finale was not as kind. The Bucs only managed to score three runs and left 13 men on base. The bats got heated up again when the Rockies came to town, however. Pittsburgh got to Colorado starter Kyle Freeland early Monday night, scoring four runs in the first three innings, giving Taillon and the bullpen more than enough support in the 7-2 win. After Cutch had led the way in Tuesday’s triumph, the fun did not continue in the series finale. The Bucs managed just one run and left an atrocious 17 men on base in the loss.
Bell was a one man show in the series opener with the Cubbies, going 2-4 with a home run and a long double. Although the Pirates blew that game, it was great to see Bell give us a glimpse of the type of player he can become. Gregory Polanco did the same the next night, hitting a two-run blast and narrowly missing a second one with a double off the Clemente wall. 2017 has not been fun for El Coffe. Hopefully, he can take after Cutch and snap out of it.
Fathers Day saw one of the worst offensive performances of the season. The fact that a washed up John Lackey pitched six innings of one-run ball is atrocious, and there is no excuse for being that inept. The Pirates will need to just forget all about that once their next journey begins in the great state of Wisconsin.
Overall, the offense is getting better. As long as Starling Marte is suspended, there will be struggles, but largely due to the rebirth of McCutchen, the Pirates are scoring more runs, and this homestand, for the most part, was no exception.
Overall Grade: B