The Bucs won their second straight game Monday night with a second consecutive great pitching performance, this time courtesy of Erik Bedard. With their 4-0 victory over the Diamondbacks, coupled with the Cincinnati Reds loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Bucs sit only 3.5 games out of first place.
So while some Pirates fans may have been jumping off the bandwagon after two losses to the Reds, as you can see, there’s still plenty to play for the Pirates.
Here’s a quick look at what’s going on with the Bucs.
- Drew Sutton cleared waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. It’s nice to keep Sutton in the organization, but he can’t be called up until September 1 and if he is, the Bucs will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him, which I hope they don’t consider doing.
- The Pirates have filed a complaint with Major League Baseball about the call during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds where Brian Gorman clearly missed the fact that Starling Marte was safe at third base. The move is pretty much only a formality; no discipline likely would be meted out, even if MLB agrees the Pirates have a legitimate gripe.
- A.J. Burnett was named National League Player of the Week after his two strong starts against the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. Burnett is the third Pirates player to win POY since the beginning of July. Andrew McCutchen won the award the first two weeks of July.
- Juan Cruz is working his way back, but his first attempt didn’t go so good as Cruz started Monday for Altoona and only lasted a third of an inning, allowing four hits and a pair of runs.
- Kyle McPherson and Brock Holt were promoted to Triple-A. Good for both guys as hopefully they are one step closer to reaching their goal.
- The Pirates are 40-7 on the season when they outhit their opponents.
- There’s a lot of baseball left to be played and believe me, the Cincinnati Reds will cool off, even when Joey Votto returns. But I wouldn’t be as worried about the Reds as much as I would be worried about the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards have issues in their bullpen, which could be tough to overcome, but they have a healthy Adam Wainwright and he’s the biggest difference maker among the three top teams in the National League Central.