Luis Ortiz turned in his first poor MLB start as he failed to get out of the 1st inning of a blowout loss for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now one loss away from their second consecutive 100 loss season. After being blown out 13-3 on Saturday night, the Pirates are now 59-99 on the season. A whopping 40 games under .500. Woof.
Luis Ortiz has first poor MLB outing
In his final start of the season, hard-throwing righty Luis Ortiz turned in his first poor MLB outing. Ortiz, who had been lights out in his first three MLB starts, struggled mightily and failed to get out of the 1st inning.
With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 1st inning, Ortiz allowed a two-run single to Albert Pujols. Then with two outs in the inning, he allowed a grand slam to ex-Pirate Corey Dickerson. This gave the Cardinals a 6-0 lead and ended Ortiz’s day after 2/3 of an inning, and 6 runs on three hits and three walks.
Even though Ortiz was lite up on Saturday night, he still had a September that was a net positive. Ortiz turned heads and looked like a future building block of the Pirate starting rotation. He will likely start the 2023 season in the rotation for Triple-A Indianapolis, but he should join the Pirate starting rotation on a full-time basis at some point next season.
Zach Thompson continues to struggle
Zach Thompson has not pitched well for the Pirates this season. He has struggled as a starting pitcher, as well as a relief pitcher. Saturday night, he had his latest poor outing as a reliever for Derek Shelton.
To Thompson’s credit, he was able to go out and eating innings after Ortiz failed to get out of the 1st inning. While Thompson pitched 4.1 innings, he allowed 4 runs. These 4 runs came on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts. In 120.2 innings pitched this season, Thompson now owns a 5.22 ERA and a 4.92 FIP.
When Thompson’s night ended, the Pirates trailed 10-2 after 6 innings of play.
It is hard to envision Thompson surviving the offseason with a spot on the 40-man roster. Thompson has struggled mightily for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season and has shown why he did not make his MLB debut until he 28-years-old. Thankfully, Jacob Stallings has struggled this season or else that trade would really go down as a disaster for Ben Cherington.
Junior Fernández makes his Pirate debut
Earlier this month the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed right-handed reliever Junior Fernández off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Saturday afternoon, Fernández was added to the team’s active roster as Wil Crowe was placed on the injured list.
Saturday night, Fernández would then make his Pirate debut. With the Pirates trailing 10-2 he took the ball in the bottom of the 7th inning. Even though things did not come easy, Fernández was able to post a zero in his Pirate debut.
Fernández issued three walks to load the bases, but retired the other three batters he faced to keep the Cardinals at 10 runs. With the Pirate bullpen being a total and complete question mark outside of David Bednar, if Fernández survives the offseason with a 40-man roster spot he could enter Spring Training with a legitimate chance to make the team’s Opening Day bullpen next season.
Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will play the final game of their three in St. Louis before heading to Pittsburgh for three to finish the season. Roansy Contreras (3.72 ERA, 4.21 FIP) will start for the Pirates while Adam Wainwright (3.51 ERA, 3.62 FIP) will start for the Cards. First pitch from Busch Stadium is scheduled for 2:15 PM ET.