Pirates Postgame Commentary: July 31

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Chicago Cubs (5-2) 6, Pittsburgh Pirates (2-5) 3

WP: Yu Darvish (1-1) – 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K – 86 pitches, 56 strikes

LP: Trevor Williams (0-2) – 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K – 91 pitches, 53 strikes

SV: N/A

Thursday’s day off did little to help the Pirates, as Pittsburgh dropped its fifth game in seven tries, falling to the Chicago Cubs 6-3 at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs got the scoring started in the bottom of the third when a bunt single by Javier Baez scored Kris Bryant. Chicago doubled its lead in the next inning on a solo shot by Jason Kipnis, his first as a Cub. The home team continued to pile on in the fifth with a two-run bases loaded single by Jason Heyward. Chicago added two runs in the eighth for good measure, and back-to-back homers from Josh Bell and Colin Moran in the ninth were merely footnotes.

The Bucs will look to even the series tomorrow night at 8:15 EST.

COMON Network Team Commentary

Joe Smeltzer

  • Offensive woes: The top of the ninth inning was the first time the Pirates’ bats had shown a pulse in more that 48 hours. Brandon Woodruff and Yu Darvish aren’t scrubs, but they aren’t Koufax and Drysdale, either. The Pirates don’t have a lot of guns in their lineup, and the few they have are firing blanks at the moment. Kevin Newman is 1-for-20. Josh Bell is 5-for-27 with one meaningless home run. Bryan Reynolds? 2-for-24. Add that all up, and the Pirates three best hitters from 2019 are 8-for-71 with two RBI between the three of them. This offense probably isn’t going to impress a lot of people regardless, but the bats, and those three in particular, have to be better.
  • Trevor Williams is a nice guy, and, not counting the second half of 2018, an average pitcher at best. This was evident last season, and through two starts in 2020, nothing has changed. Williams is a great guy to have in the clubhouse, and an excellent follow on Twitter. As a pitcher, however, his work leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Never again. Dovydas Neverauskas doesn’t belong in major league baseball. He’s the first big league player from, as Will Ferrell said in Semi-Pro, “A weird country called Lithuania,” and he’ll always have that to be proud of. Pretty much everything that has happened since his big league debut, however, hasn’t cut the mustard. For Neverauskas, it’s time to go.

Player of the Game – Jason Kipnis (CHC) – 2-for-3, HR, RBI, BB

Kyle Dawson

  • When is this offense going to show up for Trevor Williams or Joe Musgrove? Listen, Williams wasn’t great by any means today, but there was zero run support again for him and Musgrove has felt the same. I said this in my commentary the other night and I’m going to say it again. The offense is abysmal right now. Kevin Newman, Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, Gregory Polanco, Jarrod Dyson and Jacob Stallings are all .185 or worse. I know it’s seven games. But in a 60-game season, that’s just not good enough. Those are supposed to be big-league-level starters… everyday players. Watching them look like this is so hard. And yeah I know Bell and Colin Moran went back-to-back in the ninth. Meaningless homers. Whatever.
  • Geoff Hartleib continues to look alright. He tossed another 1.1 scoreless today and allowed three hits from the pen. Shockingly, and I mean that sarcastically, couldn’t get the job done to keep the game close. I am not sure how much longer they can watch that guy pitch and keep running him out there.
  • I’ll say this. I didn’t expect the Pirates to be good. The starting pitching has quietly been alright, but everything else is just not good enough right now. I thought a lot during the offseason and shutdown about expectations for this team, and how it wouldn’t be far to truly judge Derek Shelton, number one because he can only work with what he has and number two because it will be such an unconventional season that I’m not sure how much we can draw from it. But things need to be a little bit better than what they currently are right? Avoid total disaster if you can…

Player of the Game – Yu Darvish (CHC) – Darvish tossed six shutout and had seven K’s. Good enough for me.

Jack Hillgrove

  • The one thing I thought this season that would keep the Pirates in games is the offense. But if you’re going to have Newman, Bell, and Reynolds only combine for one hit, there is slim to no chance you win the game, and slim just left town. 
  • Miguel Del Pozo improved from his last outing, but that’s not very hard. 17/26 pitches were strikes, however he gave up 2 runs in 0.2 IP. The guy still stinks. The bullpen is laughable. 
  • Cole Tucker needs to become an everyday player. It seems like he makes an impact on the game every time he gets on base. He runs hard, and also appears to a very smart base runner. I have faith in this new coaching staff to be able to work with Tucker to have him play anywhere on the field, if it’s in RF, so be it.

Player of the Game – Yu Darvish (CHC) – Winning pitcher, six shutout

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