Pirates Postgame Commentary: September 15 vs Reds

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Cincinnati Reds (24-26) 4 def. Pittsburgh Pirates (14-33) 1

WP: Michael Lorenzen (2-1) LP: Joe Musgrove (0-5) SV: Amir Garrett (1)

Once again, the Pirates lost. The team has now lost six in a row and three straight to the Cincinnati Reds, dropping a 4-1 decision Tuesday night at Great American Ballpark.  

The Reds struck early with three runs in the bottom of the first, and made it 4-0 in the second on a solo shot by Tucker Barnhardt. The Pirates struck in the fourth on an infield single by Colin Moran, but wouldn’t get any closer.  

The series comes to a merciful end tomorrow evening at 6:40. 

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • “He’s still really young and at a point in his career where there’s no reason to think that he can’t be a really good player again. I would expect him to be. I look forward to him doing that in a Pirates uniform next year.” – Ben Cherington to reporters today, regarding Gregory Polanco. Keep in mind Polanco turned 29 on Monday and made his debut in the bigs at the ripe age of 22. He’s got nearly six seasons of MLB service time and has fought his way (before play tonight) to a 97 career OPS+, which makes him slightly below average by that measure, a career .247/.314/.416 slash line as a corner outfielder and strikeouts in 23% of his career at bats. He’s, for six of seven years, had a dWAR between 0 and -1. Fast forward to this year and he’s doubled that strikeout percentage. That’s 46% of his at bats this season, including tonight, being strikeouts. His OBP this season is nearly 10 points below .200. He’s walked only eight times. I mean this guy is among the worst hitters in baseball this year. But I digress. I’ve got no issues with what Cherington said about Polanco today, with the exception of calling him very young. This isn’t a young guy. He’s going to be 30 on this day next year and he’s, for as hyped as he was as a young prospect, never shown consistency of being a good player. So I guess I have to get in the old “how can he be a really good player again if he’s never been really good?” line. Baseball is a weird game. Polanco could turn around and have a great year next year. Cherington has to say that though. Polanco is under contract. But he’s not young. I’d think he’s beyond his prime. It is what it is, I guess. I like Gregory Polanco the human and teammate. But he just doesn’t crack it as an everyday outfielder in the majors with the Pirates. Oh and for reference, Adam Dunn struck out 222 times in his worst strikeout season. That was 41% of his at bats. Mark Reynolds, who owns the record for strikeouts in a season with 223 in 2009? 39% of his at bats.
  • Moving on, tonight was a great debut for Blake Cederlind. The 24-year-old righty set down the side in order, and prior to Amir Garrett coming in for the ninth, had thrown the five single hardest pitches of the night. Good sign for the Pirates’ 2016 5th-round pick that has better numbers recently in the minors than at the start of his pro career. Let’s get a longer look at him. Derek Holland was solid from the pen tonight too.
  • The Pirates are starting to pull away with what could end up being the worst win percentage in the league. That could mean Kumar Rocker.

Player of the Game – Michael Lorenzen (CIN)

JOE SMELTZER

  • God these guys are bad 
  • Today, Ben Cherington said that Gregory Polanco, at 29, is “still really young.” I’ll have more thoughts on that later.  
  • Gentlemen, the Pirates somehow don’t get the No. 1 overall pick, would that be better, worse or the same as getting kicked in the nuts? There are no wrong answer to this. 

Player of the Game – Michael Lorenzen (CIN)

RYAN SIMPSON

  • Big Joe did not have a good day and this is worrisome for next year. Musgrove is the easy pick for the number two starter behind a healthy Tallion. If this is the version of Joe Musgrove, we are going to see next year Cherington needs to find some more arms. I am sure I sound like a broken record begging for more pitching, but it’s the truth.
  • Quick congrats to Blake Cederlind on his MLB debut tonight as he worked a quick fifth inning. Six of his fourteen pitches thrown were above 97 MPH according to StatCast. Throwing that cheddar tonight for the debut and you love to see it.
  • Pirates had a chance to tie it up in the ninth, but Amir Garrett continues to live in Pittsburgh’s head rent free. Garett battled back after allowing Colin Moran to launch a ball 395 feet to center only to be robbed by Brian Goodwin, two walks to Bell and Polanco to shut the door.
  • I cannot wait for this season to be over so I can rip the entire team apart.

Player of the Game – Michael Lorenzen (CIN)

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