Pittsburgh Pirates road trip report card for 8/6-8/15

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DENVER, CO - AUGUST 7: Jameson Taillon #50 and manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates embrace after Tallion finished a complete game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 7: Jameson Taillon #50 and manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates embrace after Tallion finished a complete game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 13: Keone Kela #50 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Robinson Chirinos #61 after a 5-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 13, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 13: Keone Kela #50 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Robinson Chirinos #61 after a 5-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 13, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Bullpen – the good

The bullpen stepped up big time in last Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Colorado. Picking up Archer after he could only go five innings which was partly due to food poisoning. Aside from that, the ‘pen collectively didn’t have to preserve a tight lead late, which they obviously had no control over.

Individually, Felipe Vazquez remains dominant, Keone Kela has been solid albeit with limited exposure, and aside from Wednesday’s blip in Minnesota, Edgar Santana has been stellar.

Bullpen – the bad

Much like the starting pitching, Friday night brought out the worst in the bullpen, and, again, it all could have been avoided. To have Casey Saddler on the mound for four innings should never happen, and the Bucs got burned as a result.

The ‘pen struggled in the two games against Minnesota, allowing two big insurance runs Tuesday night and the go-ahead run Wednesday afternoon. Overall, there isn’t a lot negative to say about the bullpen. It’s a talented unit, and this week didn’t change that.

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