Welcome to another edition of Pirates Breakdown’s Stock Report! This past week saw the Pittsburgh Pirates play some pretty good baseball as they won five of their six contests and continue their push to end the season with a winning record.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates are not going to make the playoffs this year, ending the season with a winning record would at least be a moral victory given how uneven this season has been. Judging the team’s performance last week, there is a very real chance that they can win at least 82 games this year. They closed out the series in Milwaukee with a win before taking all three from Kansas City and splitting the first two games with the Brewers at PNC Park this weekend. Let’s take a look at who has been impressive in the last week.
Whose Stock is Rising
Trevor Williams continues to pitch well and has without a doubt been one of the biggest surprises this season. He took the mound against the Brewers twice last week, in Milwaukee on September 16th and then again at PNC Park on the 22nd. His final line in both games were almost identical; he tossed six innings in both games, allowed no runs and struck out seven. The only differences were that he allowed two hits and two walks on the 16th and four hits and one walk on the 22nd. With his season ERA currently sitting at 3.04 and a total of 14 wins, Williams has a legitimate chance to end the season with a sub three ERA and earn a 15th victory his next time on the mound
Like Williams, Jameson Taillon is also well on his way to ending 2018 on a strong note. Taillon gave the club another outstanding start on September 18th, as he turned in seven shutout innings against the Royals and allowed four hits and one walk. More impressively, he struck out 11 hitters, a new career high for the right hander. This start also marked the third time in four outings that Taillon has pitched seven innings, so he is showing that he can be counted on to usually work late into a game.
On September 19th, Chris Archer gave his best performance since joining the Pirates. After a somewhat bumpy start since donning black and gold, Archer has been in much more of a rhythm lately, and last Wednesday was the type of start that made the Pirates trade for him this summer. He limited the Royals to just one run, a solo home run, over seven innings and struck out eight, matching is total from his previous start. If the Pirates are able to get these types of performances from Archer, Taillon and Williams next year, they will have the makings for a potent rotation.
Not to leave the offense out, Corey Dickerson had one of the stronger performances of the hitters. He went ten for 21 last week including four games that saw him collect multiple hits. He hit his 12th home run of the season in the team’s loss on the 21st and he drove in four runs in that span. With Dickerson entering his third season of arbitration, it will be interesting to see if the team approaches him about a multiyear extension since he has been a solid contributor this season.