A decade of Pirates baseball: Oh the humanity!

Leave a comment

If you’re a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, you might want to avert your eyes. The rest of you may proceed to check out an amusing look at the best and worst moments of the Pirates’ decade, courtesy of Joe Starkey of the Tribune-Review.

You can probably take a guess at what the ratio of best/worst moments is. Needless to say, it ain’t pretty. Some highlights:

  • April 9, 2001: The opening of PNC Park, one of the best stadiums in the majors, should have been a great night. But the christening took place only hours after the death of Willie Stargell, and of course the Pirates lost, 9-2 to the Reds.
  • June 7, 2007: Pirates pass on Matt Wieters at No. 4 spot in draft, instead selecting relief pitcher Daniel Moskos. The team then shines a spotlight on its own stupidity in a press release that says “(Moskos) was ranked by Baseball America as the fifth-best pitcher available in the draft.”
  • July 10, 2003: Randall Simon arrested for clubbing a racing sausage at Miller Park and is fined $432.10 for disorderly conduct.
  • 2009: Pitcher Ian Snell requests and is granted demotion to minors, saying, “I think the team is better off without me.”

There are a lot more entertaining nuggets in there. Check it out.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”