Pittsburgh Pirates: Sloppy Weekend & Other Takeaways From Being Swept At Wrigley
By Marty Leap
Another bad series for the Pirate skipper
Some have argued that the 2019 season has been one of Clint Hurdle‘s best as manager of the Pirates due to all of the injuries the team has endured. This is something that I could not agree less with. Hurdle has been terrible in 2019.
Despite all of the injuries that the team has endured, Hurdle’s in game management has cost the team at least four or five wins already. If not more. Friday was one of these games.
After the Bucs battled back to tie the game at 3, Hurdle went with Kyle Crick in the 8th inning. Crick has struggled mightily of late and, as we will get into late, should be removed from high leverage situations.
After Crick walked a pair of batters, the left-handed hitting Heyward stepped to the plate with two on and two outs. Instead of making the no brainer move of going to Francisco Liriano or Felipe Vazquez, Hurdle, as he often does when it comes to managing his pitching staff, did the opposite of the obvious and left Crick in.
Crick went on to surrender a run-scoring single to Heyward that made the score 4-3 Cubs. The Cubs went on to win 4-3.
On Sunday, starting pitcher Trevor Williams struggled with control throughout his start. He was also giving up one hard hit ball after another. This led to the Cubs owning a 5-3 lead after 5 innings of play.
While they were trailing by 2 runs, the Pirates were very much still in the game. Well, they were until Hurdle got in the way.
Williams should not have returned for the 6th inning, but he did. After retiring the first batter of the inning he allowed a home run to Albert Almora Jr. Hurdle surely would have pulled him after this, right? Nope!
Hurdle left him in the game, leading to Kyle Schwarber taking Williams deep. This had to be it for Williams then, right? Again…nope!
Williams was still left in the game and he surrendered a single to Javier Baez, who would come around to score later in the inning. Mercifully, Hurdle finally pulled Williams from the game.
Despite the struggles of Williams, the Pirates still could have won Sunday’s game. Hurdle, however, had other ideas. His piss poor in game management also led to Williams final line looking a lot worse than it should have.