Pittsburgh Pirates Report Card for week of May 15-20
It was a quiet start to the homestand for the Pirates bullpen. Since all three games with Washington were decided by four runs or more, the ‘pen was not in a whole lot of high leverage situations.
The Philly series did not have an auspicious beginning, as the bullpen allowed four earned runs, albeit not helped out by shaky defense from Josh Bell. After Ivan Nova had done most of the Saturday labor, the pen’ was put to work in the series finale. After five solid innings from Chad Kuhl, Wade LeBlanc came on in relief in the sixth inning. LeBlanc did his job, going 1 and 1/3 of shutout ball before giving way to the dominant Juan Nicasio with one out in the seventh. Nicasio did his job and Felipe Rivero did his in the eighth before Tony Watson closed out the 1-0 triumph with his 10th save.
Overall, this was somewhat of a mixed week for the Bucco bullpen. Tuesday and Friday saw some struggles, while Sunday was one of the better late game performances we’ve seen this season. Since this was an up and down homestand for the relievers, I will grade it as such.