Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading Series Against the Milwaukee Brewers
By Marty Leap
The Starting Rotation
In the season opener on Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates piggybacked Steven Brault and Chad Kuhl. So, we will lump them both in with the starting pitchers for the series.
Brault pitched just 2 innings due to a rain delay, but he held the Brewers off the board in these 2 innings of work. The story of the night, though, was Kuhl. In his first MLB regular season outing in over two calendar years, Kuhl allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four in 3.2 scoreless innings of work. His fastball was a power pitch and his slider was filthy. He threw a plus curveball, too. If this is any sign of things to come from Kuhl this season, he will have a huge season for the Pirates.
Tuesday night, the Pirates continued to get strong starting pitching. Making his Pirate debut, Derek Holland allowed just a 2-run home run on two hits, three walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Outside of a hanging breaking ball that Keston Hiura crushed for a home run, Holland was excellent.
The 5.2 innings pitched trend continued in game three on Wednesday night. In his second start of the season, Msugrove pitched 5.2 innings, just as he did in his first start of the season. Also mirroring the first start of the season, Musgrove allowed two long balls. These long balls were his ultimate undoing on Wednesday night. The home runs led to all 3 runs the Brewers scored off of him, but he allowed just one other hit and struck out eight.
Overall, it was a good series for Pirate starting pitchers. The Brault/Kuhl piggyback pitched 5.2 scoreless innings and Holland went 5.2 strong in game two. While Musgrove was troubled by the long ball in his start, he gave the Pirates a chance to win. The only thing keeping the starters from getting an A is you would like to see your starters go a bit deeper than they did.