Archive

ShareThis Page
Felipe Vazquez lone Pirates representative in All-Star Game | TribLIVE.com
Pirates/MLB

Felipe Vazquez lone Pirates representative in All-Star Game

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, July 8, 2018 7:42 p.m.

When Pirates relief pitcher Felipe Vazquez got word about earning the first All-Star Game berth of his career, one of his first thoughts was of his teammates.

“Being there by myself, it’s going to be a little bit tough,” he said.

For the second year in a row, the Pirates will send only one representative to the All-Star Game. The game will be played July 17 in Nationals Park in Washington D.C. Second baseman Josh Harrison went last year.

Vazquez said he wasn’t expecting to get the nod this year, but his recent efforts were hard to ignore.

In his past 10 games (10 23 innings), he has collected six saves, including Sunday when he struck out the side in the ninth inning of a 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s allowed only five hits and two walks while striking out 21 in that time.

For the season, he’s 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 18 saves and 51 strikeouts in 37 13 innings.

He’s come a long way after a blowing four saves in the first two months of the season.

“You struggle for a little bit like we all did and you just have to keep your head up,” he said. “Probably forget about everything. Going back to basics.”

Vazquez said he thought more about earning the berth last year, his first full season as the Pirates’ closer when he collected 21 saves by the end of the season.

“This year I was kind of over it,” he said. “I think my sister (Prescilla, his agent) is going to be more happy. She was excited. ‘I want to go. I want to go.’ Now, I’m actually going, she’s probably buying some stuff so she can go.”

Vazquez mentioned Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson, who’s hitting .308, and catcher Francisco Cervelli, who has nine home runs and 36 RBIs, also are having deserving years.

Cervelli took his second All-Star disappointment in stride. He also thought he had a chance in 2015 when he ended up hitting .295.

“No comment,” he said before commenting. “This is the second time it happened so it doesn’t matter anymore.

“I’m going to vacation with my family. I don’t know the other people’s numbers, but I know mine were good. That’s all that matters. Probably the other guys deserve it more. Maybe one day before I retire.”

Meanwhile, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle broke MLB’s embargo on the All-Star news by mentioning Vazquez’s selection in his postgame news conference. MLB wanted to keep it secret until ESPN’s unveiling on its 7 p.m. show.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” he said. He joined Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, a former teammate with the New York Mets, in breaking the embargo.

When a reporter joked he might face a fine, Hurdle said, “$1,500 is biggest one I ever got. That’s my vomit zone. If it’s over that, I’ll have some explaining to do when I get home.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.


GTRBucs10070918
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli hugs closer Felipe Vazquez after defeating the Phillies Sunday, July 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.