4/14-4/20 Week in Pirates' Shifts

Date: April 14
Pitcher: Charlie Morton (RHP)
Batter: Devin Mesoraco (RHB)
Fielder: Neil Walker (2B)
Situation: Bases Empty, 1 out
Count: 1-2
Pitch Type: 75-MPH Knuckle Curve
Neil Walker and the Bucs shifted perfectly. Spray Chat says Mesoraco tends to pull the baseball. There are no GIF or videos of this play because MLB.tv doesn't have the entire video of this game.

Date: April 14-15
Pitcher: Mark Melancon (RHP)
Batter: Devin Mesoraco (RHB)
Fielder: Neil Walker (2B)
Situation: Runner on 2nd, 2 outs
Count: 3-0
Pitch Type: 91-MPH Cutter
Here's an example of the shift against Mesoraco. Second baseman Walker fielded a high-chopper in the right side of the second base bag. I think it's a combination of shifts and traditional positioning. Since the runner was on second, Walker needed to hold him.

Date: April 15
Pitcher: Jeanmar Gomez (RHP)
Batter: Jay Bruce (LHB)
Fielder: Gaby Sanchez (1B)
Situation: Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs
Count: 0-1
Pitch Type: 89-MPH Sinker
Nothing special on this play, but Pirates used the Bruce shift. Let's take a look at the image below.

Gaby Sanchez played deep. Waker on the outfield grass. You can see Jordy Mercer at the upper left of the image.

ROOT showed Mercer's positioning before the first pitch of this Bruce's at bat. Mercer stood alone on the catcher-second-center line. So, where's Pedro Alvarez? I guess Pedro positioned around the normal spot to prevent a base stealing.

Date: April 20
Pitcher: Jason Grilli (RHP)
Batter: Khris Davis (RHB)
Fielder: Clint Barmes (SS)
Situation: Bases Empty, 2 outs
Count: 0-2
Pitch Type: 95-MPH Four-seam

Final #shifted is... from Sunday's tough loss. Unfortunately, infield shifts didn't work on Ryan Braun's HR and the Easter brawl.
26-year-old slugger Khris Davis pulled a 95-MPH fastball to Mr. Smooth's territory.

Pirates infielders played very deep. Barmes probably can cover both his left side and right side, and Walker has a chance to grab a single to center.

Date: April 20
Pitcher: Jeanmar Gomez (RHP)
Batter: Khris Davis (RHB)
Fielder: -
Situation: Bases Empty, no outs
Count: 0-1
Pitch Type: 86-MPH Slider

Davis crushed Gomez's slider in 14th. You can see the difference in Walker's positioning.

・Just Missed
Date: April 15
Pitcher: Justin Wilson (LHP)
Batter: Joey Votto (LHB)
Fielder: Jordy Mercer (SS)
Situation: Bases Empty, no outs
Count: 2-2
Pitch Type: 94-MPH four-seam

Shifts don't always work. Joey Votto broke the shift with a broken bat single. If this was a BP, Justin Wilson "won" the battle...but a hit is a hit. This is baseball.

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