Pittsburgh Pirates report card for 5/9-5/19

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 19: Cole Tucker #3 and Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate after defeating the San Diego Padres 6-4 at Petco Park May 19, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 19: Cole Tucker #3 and Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate after defeating the San Diego Padres 6-4 at Petco Park May 19, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – MAY 15: (L-R) Francisco Cervelli #29, pitching coach Ray Searage #54 and Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talk on the mound during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 15, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Starting Pitching

There were some problems with the Pirates’ starting rotation during the road trip.

Chris Archer got shelled in his first start back from the injured list, and his awful start was preceded by poor showings from Nick Kingham and Steven Brault. Worst of all, the rotation lost another starter, as Trevor Williams hit the IL this past weekend.

Despite everything that went wrong, there were enough positives from the rotation to give it a respectable grade.

Jordan Lyles turned in two more ace-like performances, allowing just two runs over 13 innings in starts against the Cardinals and Padres. In Williams’ only full start, he was excellent, throwing seven innings of one-run ball to give the Bucs their first win of the road trip last Friday at Busch Stadium.

After allowing eight earned runs in the first game of the stretch, Joe Musgrove bounced back with probably his best start as a Pirate Tuesday night in Arizona. Musgrove followed that up with a solid outing to end the road trip in San Diego, and after a rough stretch, is looking like a man capable of justifying the Gerrit Cole trade.

At the start of the road trip, the Pirates rotation was a mess. By the time it was over, Brault and Montana DuRapau were leading the team to victory.

While losing Williams is a big blow and Archer’s past two starts have been more than a slight concerned, the Pirates starters are holding their own, and that’s commendable.

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