Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including the center fielder from the Pirates first game in the National League.
Tom Brown, outfielder for the 1885-87 Alleghenys. Back on April 30,1887, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys played their first game in the National League and Brown was batting second that day while playing center field. He played three years for Pittsburgh, the first two while the team was still in the American Association. Back after the 1884 season, the Alleghenys purchased almost the entire Columbus Buckeyes roster, an American Association team that was folding before the 1885 season. Brown was one of ten players purchased that day and they made up most of the 1885 Opening Day roster, transforming the Alleghenys from a bad team to a mediocre one overnight.
Brown was born in Liverpool, England. He debuted in pro ball at 17 years old in 1878, playing in San Francisco, where he remained through the 1882 season. No stats are available from those early years, but Brown went right from San Francisco to Baltimore, where he debuted mid-season during the inaugural season of the American Association with the original Baltimore Orioles. He hit .289 with 23 RBIs and 28 runs scored in 45 games. He became a free agent after the season and signed with Columbus, where he batted .274 with 24 extra-base hits and 69 runs scored in 97 games. Before joining the Alleghenys, Brown had a .690 OPS and 91 runs scored in 107 games in 1884. With the Alleghenys in 1885, Brown hit .307 with 68 RBIs and 81 runs scored in 108 games. In 1886, he hit .285 in 115 games, scoring 106 runs. He struggled with the jump to the NL in 1887, hitting .245 (.591 OPS) in 47 games before being released, which turned out to be a bad decision because some of his best years were still ahead of him. His hitting was getting worse as the season went along and the Alleghenys took on outfielder Ed Beecher to replace him. Once they were satisfied with the work of Beecher, they gave Brown his unconditional release on August 15th. That allowed him to sign right away with any other team, as opposed to the normal ten-day waiting period, where he was still technically with Pittsburgh just in case his services were needed during that time, they still owned his rights. The only catch to his free agency is that all of the National League teams had to pass on him, before he was allowed to sign with an American Association team. As it turned out, that was a moot point, because Brown signed right away with Indianapolis, the team playing the Alleghenys on the day he was released.
Finishing out the 1887 season with Indianapolis, Brown hit just .189 in 36 games. He had a solid season in 1888, batting .248 with 62 runs, 49 RBIs and 46 steals in 107 games for the Boston Beaneaters. His average slipped in 1889, it was still the start of some big years ahead in his career. He hit .232 with 59 walks, 63 steals and 93 runs scored in 90 games. It was the first of three straight seasons in which he scored more runs than games played. In 1890, he jumped with most of his teammates to the Boston Reds of the Player’s League, where he hit .280 in 131 games, with 87 walks, 80 steals, 67 RBIs and 149 runs scored. With the Player’s League done after one season, Brown played the 1891 season with the Boston Reds in the American Association. So during that three-year stretch of 1889-1891, he played for Boston in three different leagues. The 1891 season was a magical one for Brown. He scored 177 runs in 1891, which was a record at the time and still stands as the second highest single-season total in MLB history. He also led the league that year with 106 stolen bases, 21 triples and 189 hits, to go along with career highs of 72 RBIs and 30 doubles.
The American Association ceased operations after the 1891 season and the National League was the only Major League for the 1892 season. Brown joined the Louisville Colonels in 1982 and hit just .227 in 153 games, though he still contributed with 105 runs scored and 78 stolen bases. He set a Major League record with 712 plate appearances and 660 at-bats that year. The plate appearances record stood until 1898, but the at-bats record wasn’t broken until 1921. In 1893, Brown hit .240 with 56 walks, 66 steals (led the league), and 104 runs scored in 122 games. Offense was up all around baseball in 1894 due to the new pitching rules, but Brown only saw a mild increase. He hit .253 with 45 extra-base hits, 66 steals, 60 walks and 123 runs scored in 130 games. Those sound like decent numbers, but the overall production was well below league average for that season.
Brown was traded to the St Louis Browns prior to the 1895 season. He hit .220 with 34 steals and 73 runs scored in 84 games before being released late in the season. He signed with the Washington Senators to finish out the season and remained there until his final big league game in 1898. The move was good for him, as he saw a spike in his average during the 1896-97 seasons. Brown hit 239 in 34 games in 1895 with Washington, then batted .294 with 58 walks, 59 RBIs and 87 runs in 116 games. He had lost a step by that year at 35 years old, but still managed to steal 28 bases. He hit .292 with 52 walks, 45 RBIs, 25 steals and 91 runs scored in 116 games in 1897. His final season lasted just 16 games before playing his last big league game on May 17, 1898. During those final two season in Washington, he managed for parts of both seasons, with his last managerial game coming after his final game as a player. He went to the minors as a player-manager in 1899 and saw sporadic playing/managing time after that point, with his last known pro records coming in 1906.
Brown finished his career with 658 stolen bases. The interesting part about that is that they didn’t count steals during his first four seasons, so the total would have been much higher and put him in elite company as far as career totals. As it stands now, he ranks 13th all-time. Brown scored 1,521 runs during his career while playing just 1,791 games. Despite the success, he also led the league in strikeouts five times from 1890 until 1895. He pitched at least once each year from 1882-86, including three appearances with the Alleghenys. In 12 games (one start) he had a 2-2, 5.29 record in 49.1 innings.
Sam McDowell, pitcher for the 1975 Pirates. He was a great pitcher during his day, who joined the Pirates at the very end of his career. He was a big lefty who led the league in strikeouts five times. He signed with the Pirates on April 2, 1975 and pitched 14 times for the team before being released in late June. That short stint with the Pirates marked the end of his big league career. McDowell went 2-1, 2.86 in 34.2 innings in Pittsburgh. He finished his 15-year career with 141 wins and 2,453 strikeouts. He was a six-time All-Star, who was born in Pittsburgh and attended Central Catholic HS in town. McDowell turns 79 today.
He spent parts/all of five seasons in the minors, but McDowell got to the big leagues before his 19th birthday. He debuted at age 17 in 1960, going 5-6, 3.35 in 104.2 innings, with 100 strikeouts, while pitching for Lakeland of the Class-D Florida State League. He jumped to Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League in 1961, leaping up five levels of the minor league chain in the process. McDowell went 13-10, 4.42 in 175 innings that season, picking up 156 strikeouts. He debuted that September with the Cleveland Indians and made one start in which he threw 6.1 shutout innings. He was back in Salt Lake City for a brief time in 1962, but a majority of his season was spent in Cleveland, where he went 3-7, 6.06 in 87.2 innings, with 70 walks and 70 strikeouts. In 1963, he made 12 minor league starts for Jacksonville of the International League, and he pitched 14 times (12 starts) with the Indians. His big league stats that season show a 3-5, 4.85 record, with 63 strikeouts in 65 innings. The 1964 season was also split between the minors and majors, and McDowell pitched well at each level. With Portland of the Pacific Coast League, he went 8-0, 1.18, with 102 strikeouts in 76 innings. With the Indians, he had an 11-6, 2.70 record in 173.1 innings, with 177 strikeouts.
McDowell’s best season was 1965 when he went 17-11, 2.18 with 325 strikeouts in 273 innings. He led the league in ERA and strikeouts that year, though he also topped the league in walks and wild pitches. He was an All-Star for the first time and he received mild MVP support. In 1966, he went 9-8, 2.87 in 194.1 innings, leading the league with five shutouts and 225 strikeouts. He made his second All-Star appearance that year. The 1967 season was a bit of a down year, with a 13-15, 3.85 record in 236.1 innings. He had 236 strikeouts, but also led the league with 101 earned runs allowed, 123 walks and 18 wild pitches. McDowell rebounded nicely in 1968, going 15-14, 1.81 in 269 innings, leading the league with 110 walks and 283 strikeouts. His ERA was the second best in the league that year. He made his third All-Star appearance, which started a string of four straight All-Star games for him. In 1969, McDowell went 18-14, 2.94 in 285 innings, with a league leading 279 strikeouts. He came close to his 1965 success in 1970 with 20 wins and league leading totals of 305 innings and 304 strikeouts (he also led with 131 walks). McDowell finished third in the Cy Young voting that year and he received mild MVP support.
In 1971, McDowell began to see some drop-off in his performance, though that year was still a decent season for a 60-102 team. He went 13-17, 3.40 in 214.1 innings, with 192 strikeouts. He set a career high with 153 walks. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Gaylord Perry prior to the 1972 season. McDowell went 10-8, 4.33 in 164.1 innings that first season with the Giants. The next year was split between the Giants and New York Yankees. He went 6-10, 4.11 in 135.2 innings, with 18 starts and 16 relief appearances. In the year before he joined the Pirates. McDowell went 1-6, 4.69 in 48 innings over seven starts and six relief outings. The Yankees released him in December, four months before signing with Pittsburgh. He went 141-134, 3.17 in 2,492.1 innings. He ranks 45th all-time in strikeouts and 30th all-time in walks.
Max Butcher, pitcher for the Pirates from 1939 until 1945. During his time with the Pirates, he went 67-60, 3.34 in 1,171.2 innings. He had double-digit wins four times during his time with Pittsburgh, topping out at 17 victories in 1941. Butcher was not the best pitcher away from the Pirates. He went 28-46 during the rest of his ten-year career, seeing time with the 1936-38 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1938-39 Philadelphia Phillies.
Butcher debuted in pro ball in 1931 at 20 years old when he pitched briefly for two low level teams. In 1932, he played for Beckley of the Class-C Middle Atlantic League, where he went 16-12, 3.29 in 235 innings. He moved up two levels to Atlanta of the Southern Association in 1933, posting a 10-13, 4.67 record in 189 innings that season. Butcher spent most of 1934 struggling with Baltimore of the International League, where he had a 4-9, 6.48 record in 107 innings over 31 appearances. He dropped down a level to Galveston of the Texas League in 1935 and had an incredible season, going 24-11, 2.21 in 317 innings. That led to his first big league shot with the 1936 Dodgers. Butcher went 6-6, 3.96 as a rookie, throwing 147.2 innings over 15 starts and 23 relief appearances. The next year he had an 11-15, 4.27 record in 191.2 innings, making 24 starts and 15 relief appearances. In 1938, he was 5-4, 6.56 in 72.2 innings before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in early August. He finished the season strong for a bad team, going 4-8, 2.93 in 12 starts, with 11 complete games. Butcher got off to a rough start in 1939, posting a 2-13, 5.79 record in 105.2 innings for the Phillies.
The Pirates acquired Butcher in an even up deal for aging first baseman Gus Suhr on July 28, 1939. As far as career performance to that point, it was a one-sided deal that favored the Phillies, but it became a one-sided deal in favor of the Pirates by the end. Suhr lasted just 70 games, while Butcher was a solid contributor for the Pirates for seven seasons. He actually pitched very poorly for the 1940 Pirates, so it was lucky that they held on to him. After the trade, he finished off the 1939 season by going 4-4, 3.43 in 86.2 innings. In 1940, Butcher had an 8-9, 6.01 record in 136.1 innings, with 24 starts and 11 relief appearances. That was followed up by a 17-12, 3.05 record in a career high 236 innings. His 19 complete games that season ranked as the fifth highest total in the National League. His record dropped to 5-8 in 1942, but he still had a 2.93 ERA in 150.2 innings. In 1943, Butcher went 10-8, 2.60 in 193.2 innings, with 21 starts and 12 relief appearances. He saw a bit more starting work in 1944 when he went 13-11, 3.12 in 199 innings, with 27 starts and eight relief outings. In his final season in Pittsburgh, Butcher had a 10-8, 3.03 record in 169.1 innings.
His time with the Pirates came to an end when he held out of Spring Training in 1946 because the Pirates tried to cut his salary from $11,000 to $8,000 that season. He was released on March 20th and played for two minor league teams that year, which was his last season in pro ball. His final career record stood at 95-106, 3.75 in 1,787.2 innings over 229 starts and 106 relief appearances. He was a major pitch-to-contact pitcher, finishing with 583 walks and just 485 strikeouts. His high strikeout mark with the Pirates was seven in one contest, which he did once.
Jason Christiansen, pitcher for the 1995-2000 Pirates. He is known now for being the player who was traded even up to the St Louis Cardinals for Jack Wilson, but he spent six seasons with the Pirates before that deal. Christiansen pitched 278 games (all in relief) for the Pirates, posting a 4.13 ERA in 274.2 innings. He was a non-drafted free agent signing in June of 1991 at 21 years old after going undrafted out of two colleges. He debuted in short-season ball and had a 1.84 ERA in 29.1 innings in 1991. The next year was split between Low-A and High-A, with most of his time at the higher level. He combined to go 4-1, 2.83 in 70 innings over 48 appearances. In 1993, Christiansen spent all but two games at High-A, where he went 1-1, 3.15 in 71.1 innings over 57 games. The 1994 season was split fairly evenly between Double-A and Triple-A, with similar results at both levels. He combined on a 2.24 ERA in 72.1 innings over 62 appearances. He made it to the majors at the start of the 1995 season, pitching 63 games during his rookie year in a season slightly shortened due to the 1994 strike. He had a 4.15 ERA in 56.1 innings.
Christiansen stumbled in 1996, posting a 6.70 ERA over 44.1 innings and 33 outings. He actually spent the start of the 1997 season in Double-A, but bounced back in the majors when he got called up in mid-June, posting a 2.94 ERA in 39 games and 33.2 innings pitched. He was even better in 1998, posting a 2.51 ERA in 64.2 innings over 60 outings. He set a high that year in saves, picking up six of his 16 total saves for his career. His stats slipped in 1999, going 2-3, 4.06, with three saves in 37.2 innings and 39 appearances. He struggled even more in 2000 prior to the deal to the Cardinals on July 29th, going 2-8, 4.97 in 38 innings over 44 games. After the trade, he played another five seasons in the majors, mostly spent with the San Francisco Giants, where he had a 4.57 ERA in 126 innings over 187 outings. He finished off 2000 with 5.40 ERA in 21 games with the Cardinals. He was being used as a lefty specialist and he pitched a total of ten innings.
In 2001, Christiansen started the year in St Louis and finished with the Giants after a July 31st trade. He had a 4.66 ERA in 30 games before the deal and a 1.59 ERA in 25 appearances after the trade. In 2002, he was limited to just five innings and six appearances. He missed the rest of the year with Tommy John surgery in late May. He was back in the majors almost exactly one year after his surgery, returning on June 4, 2003 to pitch 40 times over the rest of the season. Christiansen had a 5.19 ERA in 26 innings, with no wins, losses or saves. In 2004, he went 4-3, 4.50 in 36 innings, while making 60 appearances. His final season in the majors was split between the Giants and Los Angeles Angels. He went 6-1, 5.36 in 56 games for the 2005 Giants, followed by a 2.45 ERA in 12 appearances for the Angels. That’s a little misleading because he was an extreme lefty specialist in Los Angeles, facing a total of 20 batters in those 12 games. Christiansen had a career 27-26, 4.30 ecord in 528 games and 433.2 innings.
Ben Shelton, outfielder for 1993 Pirates. Shelton was second round draft pick out of high school by the Pirates in 1987. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League at 17 years old and hit .286 with 15 extra-base hits and seven steals in 38 games. The next year was split between the Appalachian League and full-season A-Ball, as he combined to hit .211 with 23 extra-base hits, 11 steals, 72 walks. He also had 154 strikeouts in 101 games. Shelton played the entire 1989 season back in A-Ball, playing for Augusta of the South Atlantic League. He batted .246 with 28 extra-base hits, 87 walks and 18 steals in 122 games. He also cut his strikeouts down to 132, while batting 63 more times than the previous year. In 1990, he hit .206 in 109 games at High-A, with ten homers and only one stolen base. The 1991 season was split between High-A and Double-A, with much better results at the lower level, where he had a .944 OPS in 65 games, compared to a .686 OPS in 55 games at Double-A.
Shelton spent all of 1992 in Double-A, where he struggled with a .234 average in 115 games, though his 65 walks gave him a .362 OBP and a .724 OPS. He was suspended at the end of the season due to a verbal clash with the coaching staff. He hit .253 in 38 games in Triple-A in 1993 before joining the Pirates on June 16, 1993. The Pirates were down two outfielders when Andy Van Slyke broke his collarbone and Glenn Wilson was designated for assignment. The Pirates added William Pennyfeather and Shelton to the roster at the same time. His stint with the club lasted just over a month, playing his last game on July 25th, before returning to the minors. For the Pirates, he hit .250 in 15 games, with two homers and seven RBIs in 24 at-bats. That ended up being his only big league experience. He was released after the 1993 season and missed 1994 due to off-season knee surgery. He then finished his career in the minors in 1995, playing with the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. Despite that being his final season, he set a career high with 18 homers, while playing just 100 games. He was a pitcher/first baseman in high school, then played strictly at first base during his first four seasons, before adding outfielder to his resume in 1991. With the Pirates, he played six games in left field and two at first base.
Del Lundgren, pitcher for the 1924 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1922 at 22 years old, playing for Salina of the Class-C Southwestern League. He went 9-21, 3.92 in 271 innings that year. He pitched twice for Salina in 1923, then spent the rest of the season with the Flint Vehicles of the Michigan-Ontario League. Despite moving up to Class-B, he had better results, going 18-15, while throwing 266 innings (no ERA available). He was acquired by the Pirates in September of 1923 on a working agreement with Flint. If he didn’t make the Pirates out of Spring Training in 1924, he would have been returned to Flint. He actually worked out with the Pirates at the end of the 1923 season, but didn’t appeared in a game during the final three weeks of the season. While in Pittsburgh, he had a 6.48 ERA in 16.2 innings over seven relief appearances and one start. His lost his lone start on April 27th, giving up four runs in 5.1 innings. He made seven relief outings in May and allowed runs in six of those games. He was sent to the minors after making his last appearance with the Pirates in June during an exhibition game. Pittsburgh sent him to Birmingham, but in early September, he was released outright to a team from Williamsport. Lundgren went on to pitch for the 1926-27 Boston Red Sox and got hit hard, posting a 6.51 ERA in 167.1 innings. He had a 7.55 ERA in 18 appearances in 1926, but saw the majority of his time in 1927 when he went 5-12, 6.27 in 136.1 innings over 17 starts and 13 relief appearances. He went to Nashville of the Southern Association in 1928 and had a 3-14, 6.64 record, but made a remarkable turnaround in 1929 when he had an 18-10, 3.70 record in 243 innings. That was a one-year outlier, as he went 1-6, 7.67 in 61 innings for Minneapolis of the American Association in 1930, which turned out to be his last pro experience. His actual first name is Ebin, but he went by his middle name Delmer, which was often misspelled as Delmar and shortened to Del.
Gil Britton, shortstop for the 1913 Pirates. Britton was signed by the Pirates on August 15, 1913 by scout Howard Earle, who recommended him to manager Fred Clarke. At the time, it was said that he would join the Pirates on September 9th, though he showed up for the first time on September 12th. He was hitting .270 at the time of the purchase and was considered one of the top base runners in the Texas League. He finished with a .283 average in 155 games before heading to Pittsburgh. The report said that he could play third base or shortstop. His entire big league career consisted of three games in late September for those 1913 Pirates. Two of those games were during a September 20th doubleheader against Brooklyn. His other game came three days later and was also against Brooklyn. He went 0-for-12 and committed three errors, going 0-for-4 with one error in each game. When he joined the Pirates, manager Fred Clarke said that he was anxious to see him play and he would probably give Honus Wagner off during game two of the doubleheader to see Britton play, but Wagner ended up getting both games off instead. Wagner had a bit of a leg injury and it opened up a chance for the rookie, who was praised for his defensive player by Clarke, despite the errors.
Britton was from Kansas, and after the team played a game in St Louis on September 27th, he was allowed to go home for the winter, while the Pirates wrapped up their season in Chicago a week later. He signed with the Pirates for 1914 and it was said that he would compete for the starting third base job with veteran Mike Mowrey. Britton nearly made the team as a backup, but he was sold on April 7th to St Joseph of the Western League. He played a total of nine seasons in pro ball (1909-17), debuting at 17 years old and playing his final game right around his 26th birthday. His first two seasons were spent with Abilene of the Class-D Central Kansas League, where he hit .242 in 1909 and .246 the next season. Most of 1911 was spent in the same league with a team from Clay Center, where he hit .347 in 71 games. The rest of the season was spent two levels higher with Houston of the Texas League, where he put up a .283 average in 27 games. He remained in Houston up until his time with the Pirates. Britton hit .253 with 12 doubles and two triples in 143 games in 1912. While some of his minor league stats are incomplete, he has just three homers to his credit in pro ball.
Danny Cox, relief pitcher for the 1992 Pirates. He was drafted in the 13th round of the 1981 draft out of Troy University by the St Louis Cardinals. His debut in pro ball was strong, with a 9-4, 2.06 record in 109 innings, with ten complete games in 13 starts. The next year was spent in A-Ball, where he had a 2.56 ERA in 84.1 innings. The 1983 season was a crazy ride that started in the Florida State League (A-Ball) and ended in the majors, with stops at Double-A and Triple-A along the way. Cox went 10-5, 2.37 in 129.1 innings in the minors and he made 12 starts for the Cardinals, going 3-6, 3.25 in 83 innings. Most of 1984 was spent in the majors, except for six starts in Triple-A. He went 9-11, 4.03 in 156.1 innings, with 27 starts and two relief appearances. That was just a warm-up for his best season. Cox had a 18-9, 2.88 record in 241 innings for the 1985 Cardinals, helping them to the World Series. He picked up a career high 131 strikeouts that season. He made three starts that postseason and allowed four runs over 20 innings of work, but St Louis still lost to the Kansas City Royals.
In 1986, Cox had a nearly identical ERA, but his record suffered along with his team. The Cardinals finished 79-82 that year and he had a 12-13, 2.90 record in 220 innings. He didn’t pitch as well in 1987, but St Louis went back to the World Series. Cox went 11-9, 3.88 in 199.1 innings that year. He did well in the NLCS, with a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings, but the World Series saw him take two losses and post a 7.71 ERA in 11.2 innings. After dealing with an elbow injury during the 1988 season that limited him to a 3.98 ERA in 13 starts, Cox took a 20% pay cut in 1989, though his deal had performances bonuses that could have earned him a total of $800,000 that season. Instead, he ran into trouble with his elbow in an early Spring Training game, then assaulted a cameraman on his way to get the elbow examined. He needed elbow surgery, which cost him the entire 1989 season and limited him to 23 innings of rehab work in the minors in 1990. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent for the 1991 season, and had a 4-6, 4.57 record in 102.1 innings.
Cox began the 1992 season as a starter for the Phillies before being released in early June. He had a 5.40 ERA in 38.1 innings at the time. Just 12 days after being released, he signed with the Pirates and pitched 16 games in relief over the rest of the season. In 24.1 innings, he had a 3.33 ERA, with three wins and three saves. In the NLCS that year, he tossed 1.1 scoreless innings over two appearances. Cox left via free agency after the season and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a solid 1993 season as a reliever, going 7-6, 3.12 in 83.2 innings over 44 appearances. He had tendinitis going into 1994 and was limited to ten appearances, though he had a 1.45 ERA in 18.2 innings. During the 1995 season, Cox posted a 7.40 ERA in 45 innings over 24 games, which turned out to be his final season. In 11 big league seasons, he went 74-75, 3.64 in 1,298 innings, making 174 starts and 104 relief appearances. He had a 3.24 ERA in 58.1 postseason innings. Cox is one of just five players born in England to play in the majors since 1971.
Antonio Bastardo, pitcher for the 2015-17 Pirates. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an international free agent at 19 years old in 2005 out of the Dominican Republic. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 2006 and had a 3.91 ERA in 23 innings, with 27 strikeouts. The next year was spent as a starter in Low-A, where he went 9-0, 1.87 in 91.2 innings over 15 games. He won his only High-A start that season and pitched briefly in the Dominican winter league that off-season. In 2008, he dominated in five starts in High-A, then had a 3.76 ERA in 67 innings in Double-A. In 2009, Bastardo missed a little time with injury, but still ended up pitching in the majors after playing at four different levels in the minors. He actually debuted in June for five starts, then came back in October for a relief appearance. He went 2-3, 6.46 in 23.2 innings. In 2010, he pitched strictly in relief in the majors, putting up a 4.34 ERA in 18.2 innings over 25 appearances. In 2011, he went 6-1, 2.64 in 64 games, with eight saves and 58 innings pitched. Bastardo made 65 appearances and pitched 52 innings in 2012, going 2-5, 4.33 with one save. Despite the higher ERA and lower inning total, he managed to pick up 81 strikeouts. He posted his best ERA in 2013 when he made 48 appearances and threw 42.2 innings. He went 3-2, 2.32 with two saves.
Bastardo saw another dip in his stats in 2014, going 5-7, 3.94 in 64 innings over 67 games. He was acquired by Pittsburgh over the 2014-15 off-season in exchange for pitcher Joely Rodriguez. In 66 appearances for the 2015 Pirates, he went 4-1, 2.98 in 57.1 innings. Bastardo was granted free agency after the season and signed with the New York Mets, where his performance fell off. In 41 appearances, he had a 4.74 ERA in 43.2 innings. He was reacquired by the Pirates in exchange for Jon Niese in July and went on to post a 4.13 ERA over 28 appearances. His 69 appearances that season set a career high. With the 2017 Pirates, Bastardo pitched just nine games and put up a 15.00 ERA in nine innings. He was released in July, which ended his big league career. In nine seasons, he had a 4.01 ERA in 419 appearances and 393 innings, with 470 strikeouts. He had a 4.48 ERA in 90.1 innings over 103 appearances with the Pirates. Between the 2009-11 Phillies and the 2015 Pirates, he made six scoreless appearances in postseason play, though he totaled just 2.2 innings in that time.
Zach Phillips, pitcher for the 2016 Pirates. He was a 23rd round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 2004 out of high school, but he didn’t sign right away. As a draft-and-follow pick, he attended college in 2005 and signed right before the deadline for 2004 picks to sign. Phillips debuted in the majors seven years after being drafted, shortly after the Rangers traded him to the Baltimore Orioles. He debuted in pro ball in short-season ball, posting a 3.93 ERA in 50.1 innings, before getting four innings in Low-A. In 2006 and 2007, he spent the entire year with Clinton of the Low-A Midwest League. Phillips went 5-12, 5.96 in 142 innings in 2006, with 126 strikeouts. The next year saw him improve to 11-7, 2.91 in 151.2 innings, with 157 strikeouts. The 2008 season was spent in High-A, playing in the high-offense California League, where he went 8-9, 5.54 in 144.2 innings. He repeated the level in 2009, but he moved to relief and saw a promotion to Double-A for half of the season. Between the two stops, he had a 1.39 ERA in 77.2 innings over 36 outings. The 2010 season saw him post a 1.08 ERA in Double-A, and a 3.22 ERA in 50.1 innings at Triple-A. Phillips had a 4.43 ERA in 44.2 innings at Triple-A with the Rangers before being dealt to the Orioles. After the deal, he had a 2.63 ERA in 14 games at Triple-A.
Phillips pitched ten games with the 2011 Orioles, allowing one run in eight innings. In 2012, he spent most of the year back in Triple-A, where he went six innings over six games, giving up four runs. He was granted free agency after the season and signed with the Miami Marlins, who got him into three games in 2013. In that third big league cup of coffee, he allowed one run in 1.2 innings. Phillips spent the 2014 season in Japan and the 2015 season in the minors with the Chicago White Sox. He was back with Baltimore in 2016, picking in Triple-A with a 4.45 ERA in 60.2 innings over 49 appearances, when the Pirates acquired him for pitcher Kyle Lobstein on August 31st. Phillips joined the Pirates in September and he made eight relief appearances, allowing two runs in 6.2 innings. It ended up being his last big league time, though he is still actively playing in Mexico. He spent part of 2017 in Triple-A for the St Louis Cardinals, then went to Mexico, where he has played four seasons of summer ball and one year of winter ball. Phillips pitched 27 games in the majors, going 0-1, 3.22 in 22.1 innings.