Pirates home stand report card for May 26-31

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May 31, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer (10) hits a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eleventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer (10) hits a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eleventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
May 16, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chad Kuhl (39) and catcher Francisco Cervelli (29) react as pitching coach Ray Searage (right) makes his way to the mound during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Pitching 

Chad Kuhl got roughed up Friday night, allowing five earned runs over 4.1 innings of work. After a solid start to the season, Kuhl’s month of May has not been one to remember, and his days in the starting rotation may come to a halt, as Jameson Taillon appears to be coming back sooner rather than later.

Things did not get much better Saturday night. For the second straight start, Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff, and the Mets made him pay for it, hitting three home runs off the former UCLA Bruin. New York scored all four of its runs off of Cole, who only lasted five innings.

If Cole is healthy, any reasonable Pirates fan should expect him to bounce back. But as I wrote on my last report card after the Atlanta series, to be a good baseball team, the Pirates need Cole to pitch like the star he is capable of being.

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Sunday night, we saw some good things from Tyler Glasnow, and some bad. The rookie was efficient, not walking any batters, and was productive for the first three innings. Glasnow hit a wall along the way, however, allowing five runs over the fourth and fifth frames and taking the L. Glasnow has the tools, and it would be swell to see him put it all together for more than two starts in a row.

Trevor Williams continued his surprisingly solid run of outings Monday afternoon, pitching six innings of one-run ball and doing so in under 70 pitches. Williams has proven himself to be capable, and if the Pirates are smart, they will keep him in the rotation if and when Taillon returns.

Ivan Nova was efficient as usual Wednesday, going seven innings and allowing three runs. He faltered late in the game, however, as all three of Arizona’s tallies came after the fifth inning. Nova’s performance didn’t matter a whole lot in the long run, as the Pirates offense could not do anything against young stud Robbie Ray, who pitched his first career complete game shutout.

Kuhl bounced back in the series finale Wednesday afternoon, pitching five innings of two-run ball. After a solid start to the season, Kuhl has been inconsistent in the month of May, and this week showed that.

Overall, the Pirates starting pitching had an up and down week. Williams and Nova were excellent, Cole and Glasnow were bad, and Kuhl was a little bit of both. Despite some inconsistencies, Pittsburgh has a decent starting rotation, and if Taillon’s health continues to progress, it will become even better shortly.

Grade: C

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