Tag: Starling Marte

Noah Syndergaard

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Mets 7, Phillies 0: The Noah Syndergaard Show. He shut out the Phillies while pitching into the eighth inning and went 3-for-3 with a homer. And it wasn’t a cheapie, either. It was cranked an estimated 430 feet:


Lucas Duda homered twice, but forget him. First basemen are supposed to hit homers.

Indians 12, Rangers 3: I was on a radio segment yesterday that taped in the morning to be played in the evening. In the morning I was asked about the Texas Rangers hot run of late and as part of that I mentioned that Colby Lewis pitching much better this year than last was key. Bet that sounded good a few hours after Lewis was beat up to the tune of ten runs on eleven hits in two and two-thirds innings. Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall each drove in three. Jason Kipnis had three hits. He’s hitting .342/.412/.537 yet didn’t even make the top five vote-getters at second base in the first round of All-Star balloting.

Rockies 6, Reds 4: Some more lack of respect: Nolan Arenado was fifth among NL third baseman in All-Star voting. Which, sure, I can see Matt Carpenter ahead of him and realize Kris Bryant is the big new star, but David Wright is being thrown on the “bring out your dead” cart from the Holy Grail and he’s a slot up on our man from Colorado here. No worries, all he did was hit a three-run homer here. In his past four games he’s 9-for-16 with three homers, a triple and 10 RBI.

Pirates 5, Marlins 2: Six in a row for the Pirates thanks to a five-run seventh inning. All of those runs came with two outs. Not gonna say it’s going well for Pittsburgh, but Starling Marte worked a bases-loaded walk during that rally. Marte’s career K/BB ratio is *does some frantic tapping on a calculator* “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE48.”  Well, crap. I broke my dang calculator.

White Sox 5, Blue Jays 3: Adam LaRoche singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th to help break a four-game skid. Jose Abreu had three hits with two RBI and scored the winning run. A fortunate win for the Chisox, as David Robertson blew yet another save here on yet another Josh Donaldson homer.

Yankees 4, Royals 2: Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer which pushed him past Lou Gehrig’s American League record for RBI. The Yankees swept the Royals in three, outscoring them 23-4 in the process. I still don’t know if anyone knows what to make of this Yankees team. You got old guys and hurt guys but all of their guys, in terms of talent, are pretty great. It’s like your old dog, maybe. These days he sits around and sleeps a lot. But sometimes you see him bound up and run after a rabbit or something based on muscle memory and habit. At this point I could see them bashing their way into the playoffs or finishing in fourth with half the roster on the DL. Lucky for them no one else seems to want to win the AL East.

Twins 6, Red Sox 4: I’ll outsource this one to blogmate Aaron Gleeman, who wrote about the Twins’ sweeping the Sox and their improbable run to first place and the second-best record in the AL in the early going:

I wrote a lengthy article on my Twins-centric personal blog about how they’ve been winning so far, but the short version is great hitting with runners in scoring position, Glen Perkins being perfect in the closer role, and the starting rotation going from historically inept to merely sort of bad. If you want the long version, there are 1,200 more words here. As a lifelong Twins fan I have no idea how long it’ll continue, but whatever. Beats the hell out of looking ahead to next year’s draft already, no matter what.

Mariners 3, Rays 0: I wrote this game up yesterday. All I know is that King Felix is absolutely amazing. And that maybe Kevin Cash shouldn’t have taken Chris Archer out of the game after 95 pitches given how dominating he was.

Giants 3, Brewers 1: Ryan Vogelsong started poorly this year but has now won three in a row. He’s a microcosm of the Giants’ season I guess. He allowed one run in six innings here and struck out five. Joe Panik hit a two-run homer. The Giants hot steak has been something. Now, to be fair, 11 of their past 14 have come against three of the worst teams in baseball in the Brewers, Rockies and Reds, but still.

Tigers 3, Athletics 2: Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer to break a scoreless tie against his old mates — at least those of them that are left from last year — and six Tigers pitchers combined to six-hit the A’s.

Orioles 5, Astros 4: On another radio show I was on yesterday morning which, I hope anyway, was live, I talked about how Chris Davis needs to step it up to help the O’s. Step it up he did, hitting two homers, both tie-breakers. Jimmy Paredes had two hits and stole home. It was a delayed double steal, which, eh, but a steal of home is a steal of home I suppose.

Nationals 3, Cubs 0: Bryce Harper homered again and Max Scherzer struck out 13 in seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.51. Someone ask Thom Loverro of the Washington Times if that’s good enough.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 3: A ninth inning rally gave the Cards the sweep. Jason Heyward homered to tie it leading off the ninth. Then Peter Bourjos, running home from third on a Jhonny Peralta chopper, slid into catcher Jordan Pacheco’s leg as he was forced out at home. That threw Pacheco off balance, causing his throw down to first to get Peralta to sail over the first baseman’s head which, in turn, allowed Matt Carpenter to come around to score the walkoff win. Crazy:


Padres 5, Angels 4: Justin Upton and Matt Kemp hit RBI singles in the seventh and Will Middlebrooks had a two-run homer to back Andrew Cashner, who tends not to get a ton of run support.

Braves 3, Dodgers 2: Juan Uribe came back against the team he played for just the night before and went 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts. The Braves didn’t need his production, however, as Alex Wood allowed only one run in seven innings. Andrelton Simmons had two hits and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Cameron Maybin homered.

Starling Marte exits game with “severe dizziness”

Starling Marte

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals due to “severe dizziness.” Sean Rodriguez took Marte’s place in left field to begin the top of the fourth inning.

Marte had gone 0-for-2 with two swinging strikeouts against Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. He’s currently batting .269/.322/.500 with seven home runs, 21 RBI, and five stolen bases in 114 plate appearances this season.

The Pirates should provide more information on Marte’s status after the game.

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

cardinals getty

For the second consecutive day, the Cardinals took down the visiting Pirates on an extra-inning walkoff.

On Friday night, it was Matt Adams stroking an opposite-field single that scored Jon Jay in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure a 2-1 victory. And then on Saturday, third baseman Matt Carpenter lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left field that easily plated Pete Kozma in the bottom of the 11th to notch another 2-1 win. Pirates left fielder Starling Marte didn’t even bother trying to throw Kozma out.

Carpenter is batting .366/.434/.634 with 15 RBI and 21 runs scored in 23 games for the Cardinals, who have won five straight and boast the best record in baseball at 17-6. They’ll go for a sweep of the division-rival Pirates on Sunday afternoon behind 23-year-old starter Michael Wacha. Who needs Adam Wainwright?

Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …

Yankees 4, Red Sox 2

White Sox 3, Twins 5

Pirates 1, Cardinals 2 (11 innings)

Brewers 6, Cubs 1

Angels 4, Giants 5

Blue Jays 11, Indians 4

Phillies 0, Marlins 7

Rays 0, Orioles 4

Tigers 2, Royals 1

Reds 8, Braves 4

Mariners 4, Astros 11

Nationals 1, Mets 0

Athletics 7, Rangers 8 (10 innings)

Rockies 2, Padres 4

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 6

Report: The Pirates and Gregory Polanco have reopened extension talks

Gregory Polanco
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The Pirates attempted to discuss a long-term contract with outfielder Gregory Polanco prior to his major league debut last year and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the two sides have reopened extension talks.

Polanco was previously offered a seven-year contract with three club options, a deal which would have maxed out north of $50 million. It’s hard to pass up on guaranteed money, but you can understand why he turned it down, as the deal would have been extremely club-friendly and he stands to make much more in the long-term if he fulfills his promise. New numbers are being discussed this time around, but it’s unclear if there will be a resolution by Opening Day.

Polanco remains under team control through 2020, so there’s not a huge sense of urgency to get this done right away. But the Pirates have been aggressive in locking up their talented outfielders. Andrew McCutchen is signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018 while Starling Marte is signed through 2019 with club options for 2020 and 2021.

Polanco, 23, batted .235/.307/.343 with seven home runs, 33 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 89 games as a rookie last season.

2015 Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

mccutchen hurdle getty

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Big Question: Can the Bucs make a third consecutive trip to the postseason?

In 2013, the Pirates snapped a painful 20-year October drought and advanced through the National League Wild Card Game to the NLDS, where they lost in five games to the division-rival Cardinals.

In 2014, the Pirates made it back to the National League Wild Card Game but fell to the eventual World Series-champion Giants.

Postseason baseball is an expectation now in Pittsburgh, and this 2015 group looks amply equipped to keep the tradition going. Let’s start with the outfield, which might be baseball’s best …

Andrew McCutchen, starting center fielder, has finished top three in the National League MVP voting each of the last three seasons. He posted a career-high and National League-leading 168 OPS+ in 2014 and he doesn’t turn 29 years old until October 10, 2015. A good defender to boot, “Cutch” is probably the second-best overall position player in the major leagues. Starling Marte, the Pirates’ 26-year-old starting left fielder, batted .291/.356/.453 with 13 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 135 games last season. He’s getting better every year, and the Pirates have him under contract through at least 2019 at a very team-friendly rate. Gregory Polanco, right field, was ranked a top 10 prospect by Baseball America before the 2014 season. He struggled in 89 games as a rookie, but well-built 23-year-old has all the tools to become a star.

These three can hit, field, and they’re all in or very near their baseball prime.

In the starting rotation the Pirates also have a couple of building blocks: Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. Cole battled a right lat injury in 2014 that limited him to 138 regular-season innings, but it shouldn’t be a lingering thing and he has looked sharp this spring in the Grapefruit League. The former No. 1 overall pick (2011, out of UCLA) boasts a 3.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 8.4 K/9 through his first 255 1/3 career major league innings. He’s only 24 years old and under club control through 2019. Liriano was the biggest bargain of the offseason, re-signing with the Pirates for three years and $39 million in a free agent market where Ervin Santana scored four years, $55 million. Liriano has delivered a 3.20 ERA and 9.4 K/9 in 55 starts over the last two seasons with Pittsburgh. He’s only 31 years old — the same age as $155 million man Jon Lester.

It’s a strong core, and with a few surprises from other players on the roster the Pirates should be in the mix all year for another Wild Card spot and maybe even the National League Central title.

What else is going on?

  • Francisco Liriano has never pitched more than 200 innings in a season, and neither has Gerrit Cole. Pittsburgh will be hoping that changes in 2015 because the rest of the rotation is a little bit iffy. A.J. Burnett left money on the table to sign with the Bucs this offseason and he had great success in 2012-2013 under Pirates coaching coach Ray Searage — the new go-to reclamation project guru — but the 38-year-old righty posted a rough 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 34 starts last summer with the Phillies. He might be beyond saving. Charlie Morton had a pedestrian 96 ERA+ in 2014 and Vance Worley is due for some serious regression after managing a 2.85 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in his first 110 2/3 innings with the Bucs.
  • Top pitching prospects Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow may be able to provide some help in the second half. Taillon, the No. 29 prospect on Baseball America’s latest Top 100, is on his way back from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. He’s expected to start pitching in minor league games in May. Glasnow, No. 16 on Baseball America’s Top 100, hasn’t appeared in a game above High-A ball but looks to be a fast-riser. Baseball Prospectus recently ranked the Pirates’ farm system eighth overall.
  • Josh Harrison broke out in 2014 just as Pedro Alvarez’s defensive issues at third base began to boil over. Alvarez has been moved into a first-base platoon with Corey Hart and Harrison enters 2015 as the starter at the hot corner. Harrison was a 2014 National League All-Star and even earned MVP votes after batting .315/.347/.490 with 13 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 143 games. The 27-year-old began the 2014 season as a utilityman. It was quite a rise, though his past numbers suggest he is in for a dropoff.
  • Losing catcher Russell Martin to free agency leaves a sting, but the Pirates did pretty well to fill the void in acquiring Francisco Cervelli from the Yankees last November for lefty reliever Justin Wilson. Cervelli, 29, has batted .293/.372/.449 in 223 plate appearances over the last two seasons and is decent defensively. He shouldn’t be expected to carry that kind of batting line over a full starter’s slate, but something remotely close would be great. Cervelli is hitting very well in the Grapefruit League this spring.
  • Jung Ho Kang drew interest from a range of Major League Baseball teams this winter after hitting .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. But it was the Pirates who landed him with a $5,002,015 posting fee and four-year, $11 million major league contract. Kang was a superstar in South Korea, and the usually-frugal Pittsburgh front office surprised a lot of people by nabbing him off the international market. $16 million isn’t a big amount of money for most clubs, but it is for the Pirates. Kang, 27, is expected to open the 2015 season in a utility infield role. If his defense is good enough, he could eventually steal playing time from shortstop Jordy Mercer, who batted .255 with a .305 on-base percentage in 2014.

Prediction: McCutchen, Marte, and Polanco will help lead the Pirates to a second place finish in the National League Central and a third straight appearance in the National League Wild Card Game.