Pittsburgh Pirates home stand report card for 5/30-6/6

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 05: Elias Diaz #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after hitting a two run home run in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park on June 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 05: Elias Diaz #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after hitting a two run home run in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park on June 5, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 31: Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts to a play made by Kevin Newman #27 (not pictured) during the first inning agains the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on May 31, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Following another mediocre home stand for the Pittsburgh Pirates, let’s dish out some grades

Another home stand is in the books. This week, the Pittsburgh Pirates played host to a pair of National League playoff contenders for seven games at PNC Park. Staying true to their identity as a middling club, the Pirates went a ‘meh’ 3-4.

Here is a “report card” analyzing how the Pirates performed in some of the critical facets of baseball. Let’s get into it.

Starting Pitching

As has been a recurring theme since Trevor Williams went down three weeks ago, the starting rotation is hanging by a thread, on the verge of destructing at any moment. While the staff hasn’t been great, it hasn’t fallen apart just yet.

Not surprisingly, there was some ugliness with the starting pitchers on this home stand. Nick Kingham (shocker) and Joe Musgrove (slightly less of a shocker) were both awful against the Brewers, and Sunday’s start against Milwaukee left us with a feeling that the bloom might be starting to come off the Jordan Lyles rose. Despite the rough patches, the Pirates came out of this home stand with encouraging signs from two of their most important starters.

Chris Archer had his two best outings since coming off the injured list. While that’s not a high bar to jump over, Archer showed signs of being the guy the Pirates sold the farm for, and his starts against the Brewers and especially Atlanta showed there’s still some gas in the tank.

Musgrove avenged his poor showing against Milwaukee with a gem Wednesday night against the Braves, becoming the first Pirates starter to pitch into the ninth inning in 2019.

The rotation won’t be whole until Williams comes back, and maybe not even then. Remember, Jameson Taillon is still at least a month away from returning. Still, enough good things happened for the starters to earn a passing grade.

C+. . . .

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