Pittsburgh Pirates Blown Out By Cincinnati Reds In Night Cap Of Doubleheader


The Pittsburgh Pirates split a day/night doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds on Memorial Day

The Pittsburgh Pirates celebrated Memorial Day by playing a day/night doubleheader at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. After defeating the Reds 8-4 in the first game of the day, the Bucs were defeated 8-1 in the night cap.

With the loss, the Pirates are now 26-26 on the season. This includes being 6-2 against the Reds.

Top prospect Mitch Keller made his highly anticipated debut in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader. Unfortunately, things started out rocky for Keller.

With two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning Keller and the Pirates already found themselves in a 6-0 hole. This came after Keller allowed six hits, including a grand slam, and issuing a pair of walks. After this, Keller would settle in.

He would retire the next nine batters he faced. This led to Keller capping off his night with 4 innings of work in which he pitched much better than his final line would indicate.

In his 4 innings of work Keller allowed 6 runs on seven hits, he walked two, and struck out seven. He retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and flashed a power curveball in the process. Keller also flashed a plus slider at times.

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Keller’s ability to settle down and dominant the Reds for 3 innings was impressive. After this first 10 batters, Keller looked like the top prospect he was touted as entering the start. His stuff remains infinitely times better than Nick Kingham or Steven Brault and he more than deserves another start.

The Pirate rotation remains in dire need of help with Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon on the injured list and Chris Archer struggling. Keller remains the most likely option to provide help to the Pirate rotation.

After Keller’s night ended, Alex McRae was summoned from the bullpen. McRae was promoted earlier the day to provide length out of the Pirate bullpen. In 3 innings of work McRae allowed just a pair of solo home runs, but, most importantly, ate innings and saved the rest of the bullpen. He also picked up his first MLB hit in the process.

Richard Rodriguez, who was the 26th man for the doubleheader, pitched a scoreless bottom of the 8th. Earlier in the day, he got the final out of the 5th inning. It was good to see Rodriguez find success on Monday after his early season struggles saw him get optioned to Triple-A. Hopefully, Rodriguez has figured something out in the minors. If he has, that would be a major shot in the arm to the Pirate bullpen.

Keller’s MLB debut did not go as planned. However, after settling in he looked dominant his final 3 innings of work and did more than enough to earn another start. Those final 3 innings from Keller may have been the most encouraging thing to come out of the team splitting Monday’s doubleheader against the Reds.

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The third game of this four-game series is scheduled for 6:40 on Tuesday night. Jordan Lyles (2.81 ERA, 3.05 FIP) is scheduled to start for the Pirates. The Reds have not yet announced a starting pitcher for the game.