In our Daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
It is no secret that Gregory Polanco has had lingering struggles this season. He hasn’t lived up to the hype, it’s as simple as that.
Despite his woes, Polanco has hit better over the last few games, a trend that continued Thursday as the Bucs topped the Phillies, 5-3, to clinch the series victory after being swept by the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.
Polanco led the offensive attack in game four of the four game set in Philadelphia, going 4 for 4 with a home run, a pair of RBIs and two runs scored.
It extends Polanco’s hitting streak to six games and is his second three-hit game in six July contests.
With the suspension to Starling Marte, the Pirates really needed Polanco to step up in his absence. While his .258 batting average isn’t exactly ideal, his play Thursday was exactly what Pirates fans have desired and exactly what the ballclub needed.
Bell continues rookie surge
Josh Bell has emerged in to a young star right before our eyes. The rookie first baseman continued his stellar season Thursday as he went 2 for 5 with a home run – his 16th of the season – and three RBIs.
While his .229 batting average leaves more to be desired, Bell has developed in to an underrated National League Rookie of the Year candidate.
To be honest, if Cody Bellinger wasn’t absolutely mashing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bell might be considered an even bigger threat to take home the award.
Relievers shut down Phillies
The Pirates bullpen hasn’t exactly been at its best this season. Every member of what was once known as the “Shark Tank” have had their fair share of struggles this year, but in the Pirates series victory over the Phillies, they were lights out.
During the four game set, Pirates relievers pitched 11 shutout innings – including one each from Tony Watson and Juan Nicasio Thursday – allowing just five hits while walking three and striking out 13.
Baseball Talk on the Web
- Jon Heyman takes a look at nine deadline deals that make sense.
- Ichiro becomes No. 1 foreign player on all-time hits list.
- Mike Moustakas and Justin Turner won the final votes for the MLB All-Star game.
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