Pittsburgh Pirates home stand report card 7/26 – 8/5

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 12: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Elias Diaz #32 after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 at PNC Park on July 12, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Bullpen – the good

Like the starting rotation with Archer, the ‘pen got better at the deadline with the addition of Kela. Aside from Kela, the Pirates relievers have come into their own over this hot 25-game stretch, and they are becoming a fun unit to watch.

Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick are filthy. Richard Rodriguez is a master at stranding baserunners, and Edgar Santana should thrive as more of a short-inning guy with Kela in the fold.

The ‘pen had to come up big on a few occasions, throwing 5.2 innings in this Friday’s win over the Cardinals, and four innings in last Friday’s win over the Mets. After some rough patches in 2018, the bullpen is coming into its own and should become even more enjoyable as the season rolls on.

Bullpen – the bad

Steven Brault pitched himself back to Triple-A, and Alex McRee happened. Those weren’t good things, and it would be nice to see Huntington add a short-inning reliever, preferably a left-handed one, to stabilize things when starters aren’t able to go seven, six or even five innings.

Overall, the bullpen is arguably the most exciting aspect about this team at the moment. Who’d have ever thought that would be the case?