Pittsburgh Pirates home stand report card for June 27-July 2
Trevor William’s solid run of form continued Tuesday night with his best start as a Pirate. Williams pitched seven innings of two-run ball and again showed that he belongs in the starting rotation. He punched out 7 hitters over his 7 innings of work. Unfortunately, he was never in line for the win, as the Bucs were held scoreless until the ninth.
Wednesday, Ivan Nova showed why he is the Pirates ace. Although his stuff was as bad as it’s been all season, Nova still battled through five innings, allowing just two runs. He was not sharp but gave his team a chance to win the game, which they did. Nova’s past two outings have not been stellar. That said, he is a gamer, and he will be just fine. In the series finale, Jameson Taillon proved that he hasn’t lost a step. In 6.1 innings of work, Taillon allowed 0 runs, outpitching a tough foe in Chris Archer. JT has had to deal with much bigger obstacles than big league hitters over the past two months, and it’s wonderful to see him back doing what he does best.
As mentioned above, Gerrit Cole did not have it Friday, allowing seven earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. Cole continues to be inconsistent, and the Bucs need him to be much better than that to make a run at a division championship. Chad Kuhl had arguably the best outing of his young big-league career Saturday evening. Kuhl allowed just one run and two hits thru his six innings of work and certainly deserved better from his teammates. I’m still not sold on Kuhl, but his most recent outing is a good sign.
Sunday was a similar story. Although the offense wasn’t quite as terrible as it was in the first two games of the series, it still wasn’t good enough to do it’s starting pitcher justice. Williams was excellent for six innings, pitching into the seventh, where he faltered. The bullpen could not pick him up, and the Bucs suffered another pathetic L. So to recap, the Pirates got two fantastic outings from Williams and one apiece from Taillon and Kuhl. Nova did enough to win in his outing, while Cole bombed his. Overall, the starting rotation is the least of the Pirates concerns right now, and if not for Cole, they would have pulled out an A for this home stand. Oh so close.