The Pirates starting rotation didn’t have a significant setback. Aside from Jameson Taillon leaving his start early for medical reasons Friday night, every starter pitched at least as far as the sixth inning over this nine-game stretch. The best performance of the home stand belonged to Trevor Williams, who threw seven shutout frames Tuesday night in a romp of the White Sox. While not every performance was spectacular; for example, Ivan Nova allowed six earned runs over 11.2 innings, every Pirates starter this week left the mound having given their team a chance to win.
One ugly inning might have got Nick Kingham sent back to AAA. While the rookie’s stat line from Saturday’s outing against the Padres is fine– three earned runs over six frames– all of those tallies came in the top of the first, and the Bucco bats never recovered. The next day, the Pirates optioned Kingham to Indianapolis to make room for the returning Josh Harrison. While that decision might have been inevitable, Kingham’s rocky first inning didn’t do him any favors.
In my opinion, having Kingham in AAA while Chad Kuhl stays in the rotation and George Kontos stays on the roster is not what’s best for business, but there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing plenty of this kid throughout the rest of 2018 and beyond.