Pittsburgh Pirates road trip report card for June 20-25
Monday night, Cole picked up where he left off the past Tuesday when he dominated the Colorado Rockies with seven innings of one-run ball. Cole had the same solid stat line in Milwaukee and even contributed a single late in the game. As we all know, the Bucs need Cole to be at his best, and he has done his job the past two outings.
Chad Kuhl did not have his best stuff Tuesday night, again failing to get through six innings. He was good enough, however, allowing two earned runs over five to accommodate the offensive attack. Kuhl always seems to be unsatisfying. He hasn’t been great, and he hasn’t been terrible, but his outings leave a lot to be desired. The good news is, Kuhl is young and has a lot of upside that he will hopefully fulfill soon.
Wednesday was a bittersweet night for Trevor Williams. On the one hand, the 25-year-old showed that he belongs in the Pirates starting rotation, pitching six great innings and striking out a career-high seven batters. Sadly, his manager spoiled the night, making the curious decision to have Williams start the seventh inning. He promptly allowed two men to reach base, ending his evening. Williams allowed two earned runs over six solid frames of work and deserved to come away with the W.
Nova showed heart in the series finale, as he made it through seven innings despite clearly not having his best stuff. Seven innings may have been one too many, however, as Nova allowed an insurance run to push the Brewer lead to 4-2, which is what the final score would read.
After a rough performance on Fathers Day, Jameson Taillon bounced back Friday night against the Cardinals. JT threw six innings and 104 pitches, allowing just two earned runs, and giving his team a chance to win the ballgame. Taillon’s return from the DL gives this rotation a huge boost, and Frida night was evidence of that.
Cole’s dominant stretch continued the next night. The Pirates ace pitched six innings of one-run ball, propelling his team to a big 7-3 triumph.
Kuhl’s performance Sunday night mirrored the one Tuesday, with slightly worse resultes, as he allowed four runs over five innings. The bullpen was not able to help him out, and the Bucs ended up taking the L this time.
So the Pirates got two solid outings from Cole, another from Williams and Taillon, along with gutty efforts from Nova and Kuhl. Overall, the starting pitching did its job this week. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough, and the starters deserved better from their relievers.
Overall grade: B+