Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from May 29-June 4, a stretch where the Pirates lost two out of three at home to the Diamondbacks (5/29-5/31) before taking two out of three on the road against the Mets (6/2-6/4).
- Trevor Williams turned in a pair of quality starts this week, going six innings Monday against the Diamondbacks and seven innings Sunday against the Mets, only allowing one run in both outings. He struck out six and walked two in that stretch. If his first start against the Dodgers is excluded, Williams has a 2.83 ERA ever since taking over for Jameson Taillon.
- Andrew McCutchen put together his best week of the season, reaching base safely twice in every game besides one (a 1-3 performance Tuesday). Overall, he slashed .381/.500/.714 with a pair of home runs, a double and six walks. He also hit his sixth career walk-off home run Monday, tying him with Willie Stargell and Ralph Kiner for the most in franchise history.
- Juan Nicasio had three scoreless outings, going 3.1 innings and only allowing one base runner. He also struck out five, improving his K/9 ratio to 8.64 while lowering his ERA to 1.44. Nicasio currently ranks 19th among all major league relievers in ERA and 18th in fWAR (0.8).
- Gerrit Cole recorded his third straight poor outing Friday, allowing seven runs in five innings, ballooning his season ERA to 4.27. Cole has now allowed 15 home runs this season, including eight in his last three starts combined. Friday, three of the six fly balls he surrendered went over the wall.
- Adam Frazier did go 2-4 with an RBI Sunday, but it was still a disappointing week for the slumping utlityman. Overall, he had a .190/.217/.238 line in his four starts, with only one double and one walk. That included an 0-7 performance Wednesday where he struck out twice and grounded into two double-plays.
- It appears as though the Alen Hanson era in Pittsburgh is over. Once considered to be the second baseman or shortstop of the future, Hanson was placed on waivers Wednesday after hitting just .193 through h is first 57 plate appearances. Gift Ngoepe was optioned to AAA the same day.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
- Chad Kuhl’s spot in the rotation is due Wednesday in Baltimore. The key matchup that day will be against him and one of the game’s premier home run hitters: Chris Davis. Kuhl’s problems have been well documented, and Davis swinging a hot stick, hitting a pair of homers during a six game hit streak.
- Former Pirate Edinson Volquez is slated to pitch Thursday in the opening game of a four game set with the Marlins. It will be Volquez’s first trip to PNC Park since pitching in the 2014 Wild Card game, and his first outing since no-hitting the Diamondbacks June 3. It’s been a tough year for him overall, so it will be interesting to see if the no-no is a sign that he’s back to being a quality starter or just a fluke in a mediocre campaign.
- Phil Gosselin and Max Moroff have both excelled in AAA this season and struggled in the big leagues. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, but with the departures of Hanson and Ngoepe, it seems a couple spots on the bench are going to be fluid unless someone steps up and claims them. Let’s see if either is given more playing time than the incumbents received in their time in Pittsburgh.