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Tim Benz: Maddon hints at a tense series against Pirates. They deserve it?



There is a growing opinion about the Pirates throughout the National League.

They vomit too much. This is not really a new thing. That reputation has joined the Pirates for a while.

Returning years ago. There was a ball war with Arizona in 2018. And there was one between the Pirates and the Diamondbacks over Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt that were crushed in 2015.

Do not forget the tie-ups of the Cardinals and Pirates that go back to the Lloyd McClendon era.

However, the conversation has restarted after a series of incidents this year.

* The Reds and Pirates had a showdown at PNC Park on April 7, after Chris Archer threw Derek Dietrich down after Dietrich observed one of his many homers against the Pirates this year.

* On May 29, Reds manager David Bell accused the Pirates of throwing their players when Clay Holmes hit Eugenio Suárez.

* About two weeks later, Josh Donaldson of Atlanta lost his mind when his shirt blouse was brushed by a pitch from Joe Musgrove, and another incident of bank clearance occurred.

* Then, on July 4, the Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, "tried" to fight the Pirates' dugout after some throws by Jordan Lyles, including one that hit the nob of Javy Baez's bat.

The catalyst seems to have been Bell's comments about the intention of the Pirates. It can not be a coincidence that Donaldson was so prepared to react to a minor incident so soon after Bell's accusation 13 days earlier.

Then Maddon went crazy without a player even being officially hit by a pitch (although David Bote was hit in the head later in the game, after the ejection).

After the Cubs left Pittsburgh, the Brewers arrived in the city. Nor have they been exempt from incidents with the Buccos over the years. So I asked some of the Brewers what they thought about whether the Pirates' reputation for working high and tight is justified.

"They give a lot to the goal up and in. Yes. Yes," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

In agreement. Is he given too much?

"The problem is not the objective, it is when it can not be executed, that is the problem," Counsell continued. "They are establishing themselves in the strike zone. But if you can not execute it, the collateral damage is pretty obvious. "

Brewers All-Star, Mike Moustakas, was a little less damning.

"Today, pitchers are throwing and climbing much more. It's consistent across the board, "said Moustakas." Four or five times this year I've been hit in the hands or in the arm area. And I've never been hit there before. That's the trend in baseball going up and down with the fast four-seam balls and going down and going out with other things. I do not know if it's just (the Pirates).

"When we were (in Pittsburgh) the last time, (Felipe) Vázquez hit me in the hands up and in. And then he looked at me and apologized. And there are no hard feelings there. That's what baseball is like. "

It does not sound like the Pirates planned to change their mindset.

"You have to throw in to open the outside half," said Pirates wide receiver Jacob Stallings. "We throw in. Everyone knows that.

"I do not know if we do more than other teams, all our pitchers do well in the area, but we do try to throw up for strikes."

After his expulsion, Maddon hinted strongly that reprisals could arise when the two teams meet again to start the second half of Friday's calendar.

"They have their launch philosophy," said Maddon. "I appreciate inside, I do not appreciate the entrance, they just need to be careful. (The Pirates) are a good team, and they're good guys, very good guys, but if (the Pirates) keep throwing like this, these guys are not going to like it. his pitching team. "

In other words, since the Pirates' staff went up and down against the Cubs hitters, then the Cubs pitchers can return the favor this weekend.

When asked if he was waiting for the restart of the series at Wrigley Field after the All-Star break, Maddon said emphatically, "I can not wait." I can not wait. I can not wait."

The Pirates have hit 40 batters in 2019. That's tied with the Giants and Padres for the seventh highest total in baseball this year. The league average is 36. The other four teams in the Central NL are below average.

Maybe both teams will see an increase in their totals by the time the series ends on Sunday.

Tim Benz is a writer of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.


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