Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from June 19-25: a stretch where the Pirates split a four game series in Milwaukee (6/19-6/22) and took two of three on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals (6/23-6/25).
- Gerrit Cole picked up a pair of wins this past week, going 13 innings with 10 strikeouts. He did allow two solo home runs, but those were the only runs he surrendered. He has a 1.35 ERA in his last three outings after a four game swoon in late May, early June.
- It’s probably safe to say Andrew McCutchen is back. He hit .391 this week (9/23) with two home runs and six walks. He was also the most popular topic of discussion at Pirates Talk Now this week. ESPN’s Aaron Boone talked to me about him, and I wrote that he should still bat sixth. John Perrotto wrote about his trade prospects last Tuesday.
- The good news for Chad Kuhl was he finally got back in the win column June 20. It’s his first win since April 8: his first start of the season. He went five innings, allowing just two runs despite letting nine batters reach base. He struck out six.
- Daniel Hudson allowed two home runs, walked two and did not strikeout a batter in his two innings of work last week. His Win Probability Added (WPA) for the week was -.566. His WPA for the season is -1.29, which is the fifth worst among relievers.
- David Freese went 4-21 this past week with no extra-base hits. He has not recorded an extra-base hit since June 12 or a home run since June 6. He did help his OBP with four walks and getting hit by a pitch, but he has just a .324 slugging in June after a .304 clip in May.
- The bad news for Kuhl is he tied the major league record June 25 after making his 12th consecutive start that failed to go more than five innings. With a 5+, four run performance against the Cardinals Sunday, he ended the week with a 5.40 ERA. He allowed 18 base runners in that stretch.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
- The Tampa Bay Rays come to Pittsburgh Tuesday through Thursday for a three game set. The Rays are second in all of baseball with 121 team home runs. Ivan Nova will start Wednesday. He has allowed 15 home runs in 18 career games against the Rays.
- On the other side of the scale, the San Francisco Giants come to Pittsburgh this weekend. They are last in the league in home runs (64) and wRC+ (79). Trevor Williams and Kuhl are projected to start Saturday and Sunday and have a chance to get on track.
- The All-Star rosters will be announced this Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Reliever Felipe Rivero is a virtual lock. Nova and Josh Harrison also have a good chance to make the team as reserves.