We at the North Shore Nine wrote here in spring training that one of the keys to the 2016 season was if Gregory Polanco would take a step forward in his development. Well, I think he’s answered that already. Polanco belted a three-run shot in the 1st inning to spot the Pirates a 3-0 lead and followed it up with a two-RBI double later in the game to finish with five RBIs as the Pirates ripped the Diamondbacks 12-1.
Shelby Miller‘s rough season continued as the Pirates peppered him for six runs on eight hits in just 5.o innings of work, raising his ERA to an ugly 7.09. Miller was one of the D-Backs big acquisitions in the offseason in a questionable trade of some big prospects including number one pick Dansby Swanson.
Polanco padded his NL lead in doubles with 17 this season and his 1st inning home run was his sixth of the season. There were questions about moving Polanco up to the third spot in the lineup, but he’s been everything the Bucs could have asked for in that position. Jordy Mercer continued his solid, quiet season with two more hits including a two-RBI double off of Miller.
Francisco Liriano didn’t have his best stuff, walking five on the night, but he escaped trouble and ended up only allowing one run on two hits in 5.2 innings for the victory. And once again, Liriano produced with the bat as well. The D-Backs thought it was a no brainer to intentionally walk Chris Stewart with first base open to face Liriano. He made them pay by ripping an RBI single to left field to make it 6-0 Buccos. Frankie lowered his ERA to 4.30 in this one.
The only other thing to note with this game was that Arquimedes Caminero got some time in and literally had no idea where he was throwing the ball. He hit two D-Backs up near the head, one that saw Jean Segura leave the game. The D-Backs responded and hit David Freese while Caminero was ejected for hitting Nick Ahmed in the next inning. Bottom line is Caminero has struggled with control all season and I don’t believe the intent was there at all. Arizona manager Chip Hale said if Caminero doesn’t have the control to not hit people in the head then he shouldn’t be in the Majors. Sadly, I agree with that. I think it’s about time the Pirates close the book on the Caminero comeback story.
The Pirates and D-Backs play game two of this series Wednesday night at 7:05PM.