When you lead a team that goes 4-1 over a home stand, it’s hard to find much to complain about.
As always, Clint Hurdle made some questionable decisions. Leaving Joe Musgrove in for the seventh inning Friday night was a poor choice that worked, and turning to Geoff Hartlieb in the eighth inning of a one-run game Sunday almost cost the Pirates a sweep. Hurdle compensated, however, with some good calls, particularly regarding his use of Jose Osuna.
While I don’t like Colin Moran sitting against left-handers, Hurdle knows Osuna is a hot hand and is taking advantage of that heat until the candle burns out. Without Osuna, the Pirates would have dropped at least two of three to the Friars, and may well have gotten swept, so Hurdle deserves credit for using him.
Most importantly, Hurdle deserves credit for how his team is competing.
The Bucs won’t go away, and while playoff dreams still feel unlikely, this is a group that’s worthy of appreciation for how it plays the game, and that’s a reflection on the manager.
Overall Team Grade