Pirates Postgame Commentary: August 4 vs Twins
By COMON Network Team
Final Score – Minnesota Twins (9-2) 7, Pittsburgh Pirates (2-9) 3
WP: Jose Berrios (1-1) – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K – 98 pitches, 57 strikes
LP: Joe Musgrove (0-3) – 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 2 K, 5 K – 84 pitches, 51 strikes
SV: Trevor May (1) – 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB – 5 pitches, 3 strikes
Jose Berrios was solid in his start for the Twins, and Nelson Cruz gathered another three hits against the Pirates as the Twins led from pretty much the word go Tuesday at Target Field.
Minnesota got an RBI double from Miguel Sano, a sac fly and an Eddie Rosario RBI infield single as part of a three-run first against Joe Musgrove before Cruz picked up an RBI with a base hit in the second. The first Pirates’ run came from a Gregory Polanco sacrifice fly that plated Bryan Reynolds after a triple in the fourth. Minnesota got the run right back on another Rosario hit. Byron Buxton and Max Kepler hit sac flies in the fifth before the Pirates managed two runs in the ninth on a John Ryan Murphy single and a Phil Evans single.
The two teams now head to Pittsburgh. Tomorrow’s homestand opener is slated for 7:05 p.m.
COMON Network Team Commentary
- I’m starting to get close to hitting the red panic button on Josh Bell. I know he’s not the only star or big player in the majors struggling at the outset of the season here, but since that monstrous May last year, he’s frankly been an average hitter. In fact, he’s hitting .226 since then. Joe Block made a good point on the 93.7 The Fan postgame show in that he expects Bell to be a rather streaky hitter. He said “you could take a 60-game stretch from 2019 and he’s a unanimous MVP and you can take a 60-game stretch from 2019 and be questioning if he is the starter at first base.” I think that’s telling. Frankly, his first strikeout looked really bad today and he’s now at .171 through 11 games after an 0-for-5. If he doesn’t go, the Pirates can’t go.
- It was good to see Phillip Evans and Erik Gonzalez with three hits, but I’m still leaning towards embracing the rebuild. Show me what Cole Tucker can do with everyday at bats (at short) and maybe bring Ke’Bryan Hayes up and show me what he can do.
- Bryan Reynolds with another outfield assist, the first OF to have 3 A’s in 11 games since Sammy Sosa in 2000, I believe is the year. That’s impressive. I’m not worried about his bat. I think he’ll get going pretty soon, and maybe that triple is contagious for him at the dish.
Player of the Game – Jose Berrios (MIN)
- Say it ain’t so, Joe: Today’s game served as a depressing reminder of two things: Joe Musgrove is probably the Pirates’ No. 1 starter and the Pirates traded Gerrit Cole to get him.
- Musgrove is a hard worker who we all want to see do well, but the hard truth is that little we’ve seen in the past two + years suggests that he’s a capable top of the rotation starter. On most teams, he’d be no better than a No. 3. On the Pirates, he’s about as good as it gets. Musgrove has the drive to be a top line pitcher, but he just hasn’t put it together yet. He’s going to be 28 in December, so who knows if we’ll ever see that happen.
- Shelton not at fault: The Pirates got their clocks cleaned today, so my two-day streak of ripping Derek Shelton has come to an end. Nothing the skipper could have done would have salvaged this afternoon. But I’m sure it won’t be too long before he gives me something to bitch about.
- Even in slump, Reynolds finds a way to shine: Nobody is happy with the way Bryan Reynolds has performed this season, but even with his bat in hibernation, the second year left fielder still finds ways to impress. In one of the days two bright spots, Reynolds threw out Jorge Polanco at the plate, already the third runner he’s nailed at home in just 11 games. Even though Reynolds isn’t hitting— and trust me, that will change— he’s still showing himself to be a well-rounded player. Big things are ahead for this kid.
Player of the Game – Jose Berrios (MIN)
- Game was over early. The Twins scored three in the first inning off Buccos starter Joe Musgrove and they added four more to win it. The Pirates offense posed no threat at any point Tuesday afternoon. Bryan Reynolds tripled and scored in the fourth inning to provide and scored a run. The Bucs added a few in the ninth, but it was too little too late.
- Another forgettable day for Josh Bell. The “flash in the pan” crowd is tuning up. After a monstrous first half of 2019, Bell was OK for the second half and has been flat-out bad in 2020. Not sure if the delayed season caused by covid is the reason, but Bell is hitting .171 after an 0-5 day on Tuesday with a pair of strikeouts. He isn’t the only big name struggling around baseball, but the Pirates chances of success will go up as soon as Bell’s offensive numbers do.
- Last win was a week ago. Tuesday afternoon marked the sixth consecutive loss for the Pirates. Their last win was last Tuesday at PNC Park against Milwaukee. That win put them at 2-3 and things actually didn’t look so bad. Here we are a week later. 2-9. The worst team in the bigs continues to lose.
Player of the Game – Nelson Cruz (MIN)