Three Stats of The Night: Pirates Get Swept in Two Game Series Against White Sox
|Photo Credit: MLB.com|
The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped both of their games in their series against the Chicago White Sox after losing 6-3 on Wednesday. Here are three statistics that stood out in the loss as the Pirates head to the other side of Chicago to face the Cubs.
Max Kranick's Exit Velocity on the night - 84.3 MPH
The White Sox aren't the easiest of lineups to face, especially when you are a rookie who is already struggling. Cesar Hernandez was batting ninth on Wednesday and he has as many home runs on the season as Bryan Reynolds, who leads the entire Pirates roster in the same category.
Kranick's fastball has been hit hard this year, mainly due to a struggle with command in the strike zone. The overall line wasn't pretty (4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, K) but I believe he was way better than what those particular numbers indicated.
Was he hit hard? Yes, Kranick allowed five batted balls in play with an exit velocity of 95 MPH or higher, not ideal and one of them cost him.
A bad throw from Kevin Newman allowed the potential inning ending double play go to waste and opened the door for the White Sox to tack on two more runs that were charged to Kranick.
In the end, Kranick got the loss and allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings and is a far cry from his debut outing. That being said, the righty was one of the harder hit pitchers in the league going into the night and while he still remains so, the average exit velocity on balls put into play against Kranick on Wednesday was nearly seven MPH slower than his season mark.
Take the good from this start and try and build on it.
Cole Tucker - Two Hits with an Exit Velocity of 97.1 and 99.9
If there is one player that I hope it all clicks for the final month of the season, it's probably going to be Tucker. He's a prime candidate to get DFAd this offseason as the Pirates have a whole slew of players in need of being protected from the Rule 5 draft, so this is probably his last chance to show he deserves a roster spot.
While there is plenty of data to show that we've seen what we need to from Tucker, I can't help but get over the fact he's only had right at 300 plate appearance in the majors in his career. That's like half a season worth.
So many were okay with Mitch Keller getting more looks because he hadn't quite pitched a full season worth of games, so why can't it be the same for Tucker?
Tucker was the only Pirate with multiple hits on the night and was directly responsible for two of the three runs scored by Pittsburgh. He singled in the fifth, scoring Wilmer Difo and getting the Pirates on the board. He later scored on a Jacob Stallings single after reaching second base on a double of his own to lead off the eighth inning.
He doesn't usually make much solid contact but both of his hits were hammered into play. His double that went off the wall and was a few inches from being a home run was a tad under 100 MPH (99.9).
It's now or never for Tucker this month. He needs to perform. While the odds are stacked against him, he did a good job making some noise, literally.
Hoy Jun Park - Hitless Streak Broken at 24
Park was enjoying a great year offensively in Triple-A but could never crack the lineup for the New York Yankees. It didn't take him long to make an impact after coming over in the Clay Holmes trade, hitting his first career major league home run with the Pirates.
But after a three hit game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Park went through a horrible funk of going hitless over his next 24 at bats.
That streak was broken on Wednesday with a single. Due to not having much time in the majors, the hitting drought sunk his average from .293 at the time of the Milwaukee game down to .194 after Wednesday's game that included a hit.
It was also interesting to see Park play third base for the first time this year. Just with the Pirates alone he has played second and third base, shortstop and all three outfield spots.
What were your thoughts overall on the Pirates loss to the White Sox? Let us know in the comment section below, subscribe to the site with the link at the top of the page and follow us on Twitter @SportBlogMurphy and @__Murphy88.