I really hate punching down against enemies that aren’t like, direct enemies in our division. The Pirates owners are using the team as a money-laundering operation/tax shelter and give such little thought to the players they have that they have a deep bench which is a veritable who’s-who of Some Guys™. That stinks for their fans, the gorgeous stadium, and also for baseball as a whole.
In their last meeting in Pittsburgh, the White Sox and the Pirates split the series. The White Sox came into Pittsburgh on a bit of a tailspin after having been swept in four games in Houston, getting outscored, 27-8. A four-run rally in the seventh was what did it for the Pirates, and they took the first of the series, 6-3. Things hadn’t started out that bad; Yasmani Grandal hit a three-run homer at the top of the seventh, giving the White Sox a brief lead after having been scoreless on two hits through the first six. An unfortunate outing by Garrett Crochet gave the Pirates the lead with four runs on zero outs.
The second game of the series fared much better for the White Sox, ending a five-game losing spiral. A two-run double from Grandal broke the tie in the fifth and lifted the team out of the streak, to a 4-3 victory, with Leury García tacked on a home run for good measure. Luis González got his first major league hit, with a double in the second, and then scored on a double from Tim Anderson. The game marked the end of Chicago’s longest losing streak of the season.
How’s it going?
Well, the Pirates are in last place in the AL Central. They also fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein on Monday after entering the week in last in MLB in runs, home runs, slugging, and OPS. They’re 27th in MLB in batting average. Barring any major skid by the Cubs, the Pirate are on their way to third straight last-place finish in the division.
So obviously firing the hitting coach now will help (it kind of but not really worked for the Mets early on this season).
Pittsburgh is 31 1⁄2 games back from first, so their race to the bottom is pretty firm at this point. They’re 7-13 during their last 20 and 20-45 on the road. Against Central opponents they’re 17-43, while 8-7 at interleague play. Bryan Reynolds leads the team in home runs (21), RBIs (77), and hits (138).
Today is going to see Lucas Giolito vs. Bryse Wilson. Giolito is at 9-9 this season over 154 innings with a 3.68 ERA. He’s going 1-3 in his last seven starts with a 3.07 ERA, and against the Pirates he’s 1-0 in his career (the one win being his no-hitter, almost a year ago to the day) over 19 innings with a 2.84 ERA.
Wilson is 2-5 this season over 51 2⁄3 innings with a 4.35 ERA. Wilson joined the Pirates as part of a deal with Atlanta that sent him and Ricky DeVito the Pittsburgh in exchange for Richard Rodriguez (not the movie director). He’s never faced the White Sox as a starter and is 1-3 in his last seven starts, going 33 2⁄3 innings and posting a 3.74 ERA. He relies on five pitches: 4-seam fastball, changeup, sinker, curveball, and slider.
Thursday will be Carlos Rodón vs. Mitch Keller. Rodón is 10-5 this season with a 2.43 ERA over 114 2⁄3 innings. He’s 4-2 in his last seven starts with a 3.25 ERA over 36 innings. In his lone start against Pittsburgh (in 2015) he’s 0-1 over 3 2⁄3 innings with a 17.18 ERA (yikes).
Keller is 4-10 this season with a 6.75 ERA over 72 innings. He’s never faced the White Sox as a starter, and in his last seven starts he’s 1-4 over 29 1⁄3 innings with a 7.06 ERA. He relies on four pitches: 4-seam fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup.
Why we hate them
I hate their ownership for ensuring they won't be competitive for another decade (at least.) Love seeing a good Pirates team.— eboy jimenez (@xbalias) August 31, 2021
Fred Rogers was from Pittsburgh, which is cool. But that also means that King Friday was from Pittsburgh. King Friday is an asshole. Fuck Pittsburgh.— uosɯoɥʇ uᴉʌǝʞ ™️ (@kthomson99) August 29, 2021
Jack Sparrow?— Mailman Jack (@MailmanJack65) August 29, 2021
OK, this is a stretch, but I hate them because they keep getting good, dynamic players like Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen and then trading them away because the team sucks.— Dump Ump (@DumpOnTheUmp) August 29, 2021
I mean this is the alpha and omega. 1992-2012 or whatever it was.— They don't allow you to have bees in here (@rahulastrohl) August 29, 2021
^this^— Cardboard White Sox (@SoxCardboard) August 30, 2021
Honestly love the ballpark, city, and fans....the ownership is shit.
They look adorable in their uniforms, so I hate them— White Sox Truther (@SamR33v3s) August 29, 2021
They traded Cutch, who was literally their best player since Clemente.— Major BS ⚾️ (@BenChiTownKid98) August 29, 2021
Teams don’t reflect the beautiful ballpark.— Father Sean (@sean_janko) August 29, 2021
Doing piracy on a river seems pretty lame. I’m not intimidated. pic.twitter.com/RW89lXHQjF— Matt Stocaí Bána (@OHeirican_Dream) August 29, 2021
Cause they did Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell dirty.— Jon (@jonklemke) August 29, 2021
They traded Andrew McCutchen— Kelly McCarthy (@mcKmarth) August 30, 2021
They lost the wild card game to the cubs back in 2015 or whatever and ive hated them ever since pic.twitter.com/Bma0zurbWb— Michael Ricciotti (@Wh_Sox_Mike24) August 30, 2021
Because they could put the Cubs in last place but they won’t.— Patrick Curran (@IUB1G) August 30, 2021
I hate the Pirates because they make me want to be a fan of them because I am more comfortable watching a team play baseball with no stakes, and the White Sox stress me out now because it matters if they win or lose, and I should probably talk about this in therapy on Tuesday.— Robert Mack-O-wiak (@OwiakRob) August 30, 2021
they have the most beautiful ballpark, one of the most handsome captains in hockey (crosby is a babe), and Cole Tucker and they didn’t give us Frazier.— delia catherine is fully vaxxed (@deestweets23) August 30, 2021
also? they have Primanti Bros. which puts fries in their sandwiches, and I’m upset that it’s one of the best sandwiches ever