Pittsburgh Pirates: Home stand report card for 6/18 – 6/23
For the first time in more than a month the starting rotation is almost whole again. Trevor Williams returned to the mound Wednesday against the Tigers, and while he got shelled, allowing seven runs on nine hits over five innings, he’s the Pirates best healthy starter, and having him back is a huge boost to the staff.
Although Mitch Keller got sent to Indianapolis this week, his first outing at PNC Park was the best of his three major league starts thus far, and he’ll be back on the big team soon enough.
The Pirates got three good outings in their sweep over San Diego. Joe Musgrove and Chris Archer both did their jobs Friday and Saturday, throwing 12 innings with two Manny Machado solo shots being the only damage to their respective ERA’s.
In the series finale, Steven Brault pitched like a solid number five starter, which is about the best the Pirates can expect for him. He overcame poor home plate umpiring and a first-inning mental lapse by Kevin Newman to put together five respectable frames and keep the Bucs in the ballgame, which they ended up winning in spectacular fashion.
With the Pirates offense clicking, it’s important for the pitchers to do their part in getting this team back into contention. The staff did its part this week, which was much needed after a 2-8 stretch.
Now we’ll see if this can keep up against the mighty Houston Astros.