Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from June 26-July 2: a six game homestand where the Pirates took two of three against the Rays (6/27-6/29) before being swept by the Giants (6/30-7/2).
- Andrew McCutchen reached base in 10 straight appearances from Thursday to Saturday, posting a .533/.682/.733 line this week. It capped off a month where he hit .411 with a 1.193 OPS. He was rewarded for his efforts with his fifth career NL Player of the Month award, which is the most in Pirates history. Only Albert Pujols has more among active players (six).
- Trevor Williams had to settle for two no-decisions Tuesday and Sunday, but he recorded a pair of quality starts. He went a combined 13+ innings, striking out 10 and walking one. He allowed four runs on nine hits. Five of his last seven outings have been quality starts.
- Chad Kuhl also took a no-decision Saturday, but he was able to snap a record-tying streak of 12 consecutive starts going five innings or less. He took a no-hitter into the sixth, ending with six innings in the book with two hits, one walk and one run against him.
- Elias Diaz showed why he is still a rookie this week. At the dish, he went 2-12 with no walks or extra-base hits. In the field, he had a costly passed ball and could not corral Daniel Hudson’s wild pitch in the 11th inning of Saturday’s 2-1 loss.
- Speaking of playing like a rookie, that’s what Max Moroff has done this year. While he’s been one of the best AAA hitters, he is hitting just .103 in the majors, including going 1-13 with four strikeouts last week.
- Gerrit Cole was rocked in his start Friday against the Giants. He was finally pulled after 5.1 innings, allowing seven earned runs and 10 hits. San Francisco entered with the worst offense in baseball in terms of wRC+.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
- The Pirates’ four game set against the Phillies got off to a poor start Monday (July 3), losing 4-0. The Phillies entered the series with the third worst team ERA in the NL (4.82).
- The Pirates will make their second trip to Wrigley Field this weekend. The Bucs won only one game on the road against the Cubs in 2016, but they swept them at their park in April.
- Francisco Cervelli is off the concussion disabled list and the Pirates are carrying three catchers again. With Diaz’s bat cooling down, it will be interesting to see how long he stays in the majors. It most likely will depend on how Cervelli feels.