The starting rotation is no longer at a superhuman level. This week saw two starts from Jameson Taillon that weren’t particularly dominant, along with a rocky outing from Chad Kuhl Sunday afternoon in Miami. There were some bright spots, however, as Ivan Nova continued his fantastic run in Black and Gold with a complete game, three-hit shutout of the Marlins Saturday night. Also, Gerrit Cole had a solid outing Monday in Cincinnati despite poor defense raining on his parade, and Tyler Glasnow had his most encouraging performance yet, finally pitching out of the sixth inning and getting his first big league win Tuesday night.
The trip ended on a low for the rotation, however, as Nova proved that he is mortal, allowing four earned runs in the series finale Thursday afternoon in Cincy.
The Pirates starting rotation was not without its faults this week. But it is still clear that these guys are the reason that this team is anywhere close to the .500 mark, and there was never an instance on this road trip where the starting pitching was the glaring weakness in a loss. So while the Bucco starters did not dazzle from start to finish, there were still enough high points for me to give them a decent grade on this report card.