Polanco is out for the rest off the season after sustaining a deep bone bruise on his left knee and injuring his shoulder Friday against the Marlins, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Details on the nature of the shoulder injury aren’t yet clear, but the knee bruise alone is enough to rule him out for the year, as it carries a recovery time of at least six weeks. The injury opens up playing time for Adam Frazier, Jordan Luplow and Jose Osuna in the outfield.
Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco won’t return in 2018 after sustaining multiple injuries during Friday’s 5-3 win over the Marlins. According to an official report from the team, Polanco is dealing with a “significant bone bruise” in his left knee and a left shoulder injury, the severity of which has yet to be disclosed as they seek a second opinion. He’ll be sidelined for at least 6-8 weeks to deal with the knee injury alone, which puts his estimated return date well past the end of the regular season.
The incident responsible for Polanco’s injuries occurred during the sixth inning of Friday’s game. The outfielder returned an 86.5-MPH slider into right-center field for a double, but jumped into a slide to avoid the tag from Starlin Castro and hurt his knee and shoulder on the landing. He had to be helped off the field and was later replaced by pinch-runner/outfielder Jordan Luplow in the right field corner.
This is the first major setback Polanco has dealt with all season. He’ll finish the year batting .254/.340/.499 with 23 home runs, an .839 OPS, and a career-high 2.5 fWAR across 534 plate appearances. The silver lining? While he will likely require a lengthy period of rest and rehabilitation before he’s cleared to resume his post in the Pirates’ outfield, there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t be ready to go by the start of spring training in 2019.
In a game played in a steady drizzle, Bell connected off Brett Graves leading off the sixth for his 10th home run, down from 26 last year. Before his home run Friday, Bell had not driven in a run since Aug. 11.
Nova (8-9) gave up three hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked three. He had lost three straight starts since beating San Francisco on Aug. 9 and had missed his previous turn for an undisclosed reason.
Pittsburgh at 71-71 reached .500 for the first time since before play on Aug. 21.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-10) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, dropping to 1-7 with a 9.13 ERA in 11 road starts. He is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 home outings.
Jose Osuna doubled leading off the second and scored on Kevin Newman’s single. The Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when Jacob Stallings had a two-out RBI single and center fielder Lewis Brinson allowed the ball to bounce past him for an error that let Jose Osuna score from first.
Starling Marte hit an RBI double in the seventh off Elieser Hernandez.
Miguel Rojas scored on Nick Kingham’s wild pitch in the eighth for already eliminated Miami, who dropped to 56-68.
Marlins: Manager Don Mattingly said the team hopes RHP Dan Straily (strained left oblique) will make his next scheduled start. Straily left in the fifth inning Friday. … SS JT Riddle (sore left wrist) missed his fifth straight game but took indoor batting practice.
Pirates: RF Gregory Polanco (bone bruise in left knee) will miss the remainder of the season. He was forced from Friday’s game in the sixth inning following an awkward slide into second base on a double.
Marlins: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will make his second start Sunday after giving up three runs in three innings against Toronto in his major league debut Sept. 2.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (12-9, 3.15) is 6-2 with a 0.66 ERA in his last nine starts, allowing just four runs in 54 2/3 innings.
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Standing ovations and upbeat social media posts greeted Chris Archer when the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired the right-handed starter at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Then came an unsteady August — 1-2 with a 6.45 ERA in five starts, none more than five innings.
September started off better, and Archer (4-7, 4.56 ERA) will be looking to improve his Pirates resume Friday when he faces the Miami Marlins in a series opener at PNC Park.
He is coming off a no-decision Saturday in 5-3 Pittsburgh loss to Atlanta that could not be hung on him. Archer gave up two hits in six innings.
“Finally got some good results. It felt good,” Archer said. “It stinks that we lost as a team, but they’re in first place in their division for a reason.”
Archer, who was perfect through the first three innings, did two things that made a difference. He pitched out of the stretch, and he purposely did not question a call by veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli.
“I just went back to the basics,” Archer said. “It was a lot of fun to just look at the target and throw and not have to think about sequencing. That was all (Cervelli).
“The No. 1 thing was trust in Cervelli. I didn’t shake him at all. Literally, I did not shake him one time. I was basically like his little toy. … He said, ‘Papi, just trust me. Trust me, trust me, trust me.’ And it takes time. I looked at his resume, and I was like, ‘You know what? He’s right.'”
Archer will be looking for his second quality start for the Pirates on Friday after he struck out five, walked one needed just 86 pitches against the Braves.
He is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career starts against the Marlins, all while he was with Tampa Bay.
Pittsburgh (69-71) is coming off a three-game series sweep of Cincinnati going into the second half of a homestand against another team that is last in its division.
A second straight sweep would put the Pirates back above .500.
Miami (56-84) is 3-2 since a four-game losing streak and, before a day off Thursday, took two of three from Philadelphia.
The Marlins will send right-hander Dan Straily (5-6, 4.13 ERA) against Archer.
On a team that has struggled for every win and now is taking a long look at prospects — such as right-hander Sandy Alcantara, who pitched seven-plus scoreless innings Wednesday in a 2-1 win over Philadelphia — Straily has come on as a reliable veteran as the season has unfolded.
In his past 12 starts, he has given up three runs or fewer 10 times, with seven quality starts. He is 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA in that stretch.
In Straily’s first 10 starts, he was 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA with two quality starts.
He is coming off a no-decision last Friday when he pitched a season-high eight innings, allowing one run, before relievers Drew Steckenrider and Kyle Barraclough blew a four-run lead in the ninth of a 6-5 loss to Toronto.
“It’s a tough one to take, obviously,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Dan pitched a quality game all day, and to not be able to get that last out is frustrating for everyone.”
In a tough situation during a tough season, Straily defended Steckenrider and Barraclough.
“At the end of the day, those guys are very good back-end relievers,” he said.
Straily is 3-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 11 career appearances against Pittsburgh.
Harrison is out of the lineup for the fifth straight game Wednesday against Cincinnati.
Harrison only appeared off the bench once over that stretch. He’s battled a hamstring issue for much of the season which caused him to sit for eight games out of nine for a stretch in late August, so it’s likely that the issue is persisting, though it’s also possible that Adam Frazier, who starts at second base Wednesday, has simply moved ahead of him on the depth chart.
Harrison is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Reds.
This will mark Harrison’s fourth straight game on the bench. No injury has been announced at this point, though the veteran second baseman has dealt with a balky hamstring for much of the season. Adam Frazier has also been locked in at the dish — hitting .352 across 33 second-half games — leaving the Pirates no reason to push Harrison. Frazier will start at the keystone in this one.