Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Bell Struggling vs Milwaukee & Other Takeaways From Series Loss

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 29: Jordan Lyles #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on after giving up the solo home run in the fourth inning Eric Thames #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 29, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 29: Jordan Lyles #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on after giving up the solo home run in the fourth inning Eric Thames #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 29, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 28: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 28, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 28: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 28, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The bullpen keeps chugging along

For much of the season the Pirate bullpen has been a mess. The past 17 games this has not been the case. Dating back to the team’s June 11th game against the Atlanta Braves, the Pirate bullpen has been strong.

During this 18 game stretch the Pirate bullpen has allowed 16 earned runs in 62 innings pitched. This is good for a 2.32 ERA. Also, of the 16 earned runs allowed by the bullpen during this stretch 4 of them were surrendered by Geoff Hartlieb who has since been optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

This weekend the bullpen had to do a lot of work. Chris Archer lasted just 4 innings Friday due to hip soreness, and Steven Brault exited after 4 2/3 innings on Sunday. In 10 1/3 innings of work this weekend the bullpen allowed just 1 run. Unfortunately, this run was a crucial one when Kyle Crick served up a lead off home run to Eric Thames in the 8th inning of a tie game on Sunday.

Since June 11th the Pirate bullpen of 2.32 is the second lowest in the National League. Their 2.94 FIP, 25.7% strikeout rate, and 0.15 HR/9 both lead the NL during this stretch.

Next. Pirates Must Finish Strong Before The All-Star Break. dark

Since June 11th the Pirate bullpen has been very good. Getting the bullpen back on track is a necessity if the Pirates are going to get back over .500. As the calendar flips from June to July, the Pirate bullpen is as hot as any in the NL. Hopefully, it is a sign of the ‘pen turning the corner.

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