Pittsburgh Pirates home stand review for 8/1-8/8

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: Andrew McCutchen
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: Andrew McCutchen /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 07: George Kontos
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 07: George Kontos /


Joaquin Benoit’s Pirates career did not get off to a promising start Wednesday night. The old man allowed a go-ahead solo home run to Reds rookie and already Pirate killer Jesse Winker that proved to be the game winner. Bringing the 40-year-old Benoit in was a head scratcher by general manager Neal Huntington, as the Pirates would be better off with youngsters like Steven Brault and Edgar Santana at their disposal. Hopefully, Benoit is still somewhat serviceable. To add insult to injury, Felipe Rivero allowed two runs in the ninth which put the game out of reach.

After a quiet series finale, the ‘pen was put back to work in the series opener with San Diego. Benoit’s inauspicious Pirates career continued, as he allowed two earned runs in his .2 innings of work. The Bucs came back to win the game, but there is no reason that Benoit should be on this team.

Daniel Hudson’s horribly underwhelming run continued Saturday night. Coming in to work the eighth with the Bucs down 3-2, Hudson allowed a two-run bomb to Dusty Coleman to eliminate hope for another rally.

Sunday further proved that even Rivero is human. The relief ace took a 4-2 lead into the ninth, so the contest looked like a formality. It was not so. Rivero allowed two runs to tie it and didn’t even get a chance to finish the inning.

After a quiet Monday night, the Bucco bullpen was impressive in the final game of the home stand. It took Rivero, A.J. Schugel and George Kontos a combined 25 pitches to secure Tuesday’s win. The addition of Kontos, in particular, has been a positive thus far.

Despite doing its job in the final two games of the home stand, the bullpen continues to be shaky. Things have looked considerably better in the two games that Kontos has been on the team, and hopefully, that is a sign of things to come. Nonetheless, the ‘pen has been a detriment to the Pirates all year long, and as with the offense, that needs to change.

Grade: C-