Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading the Season Opening Series in St. Louis

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Starting Rotation

Joe Musgrove kicked things off on Friday night with an outing that was better than his final line. In 5.2 innings of work, he allowed 3 runs on five hits, three walks and he struck out seven. Entering the 6th inning, the only runs he had allowed were a pair of solo home runs. He then exited with two men on and two outs in the 6th, and the final run he was charged with was a runner that scored via a bloop single after Musgrove had left the game. If Friday night’s performance was any sign of things to come from Musgrove this season, the Pirate righty is in store for a good season.

Saturday afternoon Trevor Williams took the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Looking to start a bounce back 2020 campaign, Williams struggled. He was, however, a bit snake bitten by poor luck, too.

Williams allowed 3 earned runs on five hits, a walk, a solo home run, and three strikes. While Williams needs to pitch better, he was also burnt by some softly hit balls sneaking through the infield and finding holes. It was good to see Williams inducing soft contact, though. That is a trademark of Williams when he is pitching well.

Sunday afternoon Mitch Keller turned in the best start of the weekend. Despite not having his best stuff, and dealing with a less than stellar strike zone from Jordan Baker, Keller did what good pitchers do on days like that and he battled.

In 5 innings of work, Keller allowed just two hits, three walks and he struck out a pair. The lone run he allowed came thanks in large part to a defensive snafu by Colin Moran who was making a rare start at first base. In the end, Keller got the job done.

The Verdict

While it was not the best series for the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation, the rotation is also not the reason the team lost the series. Musgrove, Williams and Keller allowed 7 earned runs in 14.1 innings of work. Not great, but not awful. However, they do need to be better.

Grade: C+

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