A Strong Series For The Starting Pitchers
A driving force behind the Pirate sweep was their starting pitchers.
Tuesday night Mitch Keller took the ball and turned in one of his finest performances at the MLB level. He allowed just 1 run on seven hits, two walks, no home runs allowed, and seven strikeouts in 5 innings of work. Throughout the night he had his swing and miss stuff working and was inducing soft contact.
On Wednesday night, it was Dario Agrazal‘s turn.
In his 14th and final start of his rookie season Agrazal had allowed 1 run entering the 7th inning. After allowing a home run to lead off the 7th, he was lifted for Francisco Liriano. Like Keller, Agrazal finished his rookie campaign on a strong note by allowing 2 runs on six hits, no walks and five strikeouts in 6+ innings of work.
Finally, there was Joe Musgrove. Big Joe allowed 3 runs, only 2 of which were earned, in 6 innings of work in his final start of the season. This capped off a season that saw Musgrove pitch a career high 170 1/3 innings in a career high 31 starts. He will finish the season with a 3.83 FIP and a career high 21.9% strikeout rate. Also, for the first time in his MLB career he will eclipse a WAR of 3.
One thing that has always been a constant in baseball, and likely always will, is that pitching wins. In their series sweep of the Cubs the Pirate starting rotation was excellent allowing just 5 earned runs in 17 innings of work. This was a major driving force behind the Bucs sweeping the Cubs this week at PNC Park.