In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pittsburgh Pirates fans got a double dose of frustration last night.
The team lost in extras after playing the barnstorming Los Angeles Dodgers tough the entire night. Curtis Granderson — who many Pirates fans were clamoring for the team to acquire — did some damage with a grand slam off of Gerrit Cole in the seventh inning.
And it is that seventh inning that will serve as the focus of our Wake Up Call this morning.
Let’s talk about faith in baseball for a moment. Specifically, the faith a manager must show their players from time to time.
Clint Hurdle has a well-earned reputation as a player’s manager, for better or worse. Unfortunately for Hurdle, one of the main areas that a manager has direct influence over a game — in this case, knowing when to pull a starter out and go to the bullpen — is one that is directly impacted by a manager’s faith in their starting pitcher.
Hindsight will tell us that Hurdle should have came out and got Cole at some point in that seventh inning. He had ample chance to do so — perhaps after Chase Utley‘s leadoff single. Or, the six pitch walk drawn by Logan Forsythe.
We could go on and on, but as the Pittsburgh Pirates desperately cling to any semblance of postseason hope, Hurdle will, perhaps, have to show a little less faith in his pitching staff and carry a quicker hook. That is at least appropriate for Cole, whose home run problem is well documented.
A professional inning
The eighth inning last night likely reminded Pittsburgh Pirates fans why they fell in love with the game of baseball in the first place.
With the flame of hope for the playoffs flickering against the consensus best team in baseball, David Freese put together one hell of an at-bat to keep the rally against Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez going. After numerous foul-offs and gutsy takes, Freese drew the walk. You won’t see it on any highlight, but it was thrilling nonetheless.
To me, the biggest allure of baseball has always been the unique one-on-one duel between the pitcher and the batter. With each pitch, drama is ratcheted up. This is something baseball has that is unique to team sports, and it is always a joy to see.
Baseball Talk on the Web
- Fangraphs’ lead prospect writer Eric Longenhagen released his summer top 100 prospects update. Austin Meadows checks in at number 14. To see where other Pittsburgh Pirates ‘spects landed, click here.
- Every week, MLB Trade Rumors collects the best of independent baseball media. PBD is honored to be featured, and we encourage you to check out the latest installment.
- BtBS dissects former Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Charlie Morton‘s year with the Astros.
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