After playing two games in Minneapolis, the Pittsburgh Pirates welcomed the Minnesota Twins for a two-game series that kicked off on Wednesday night
Following Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss against the Minnesota Twins, the Pirates have now lost seven games in a row. These seven consecutive losses have dropped the team’s record on the season to 2-10.
A Much Needed Gem From Trevor Williams
Entering Wednesday night’s game the Pittsburgh Pirates were in desperate need of a strong start from Trevor Williams. With the bullpen ailing, Williams gave the team exactly what they needed.
In his best start in over a calendar year, vintage Williams took the mound. He was controlling his breaking ball and throwing it for strikes. Opposing batters were late on his fastball, and he was inducing soft contact throughout the start.
Facing a potent Twins’ lineup, Williams allowed just 1 run in 7 innings of work. The run he allowed came in the 2nd inning when he barely clipped Jake Cave with a pitch. Cave would then score on a bloop single by Marwin Gonzalez that was originally called foul. Gonzalez’s bloop was one of just three hits allowed by Williams, to go with a walk and five strikeouts.
The start from Williams on Wednesday night was absolutely terrific. If this was Williams getting back on track to the pitcher he was during that solid 65 start stretch from May 2017 – May 2019, that will be a massive shot in the arm for this team. It would also be a good sign for the future of the Pirate starting rotation as Williams will once again solidify himself as a key long term piece of the bullpen.
Pirate Offensive Woes Continue
Early in the season the Pirate offense has been, well, bad. This continued in Wednesday night’s loss.
The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Wednesday’s game 28th in MLB in team batting average and slugging percentage, and dead last in on-base percentage. These numbers will only get worse after scoring just 2 runs in Wednesday night’s loss. In the loss, the Pirates collected just four hits and drew just one walk.
Until the Pirate offense improves, nothing is going to get better for the team and they’re not going to start winning baseball games. Ultimately, it is up to guys such as Kevin Newman, Adam Frazier, Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds, and Gregory Polanco to get over their early season offensive woes and get in gear at the plate.
Josh Bell Coming Around?
The aforementioned Bell showed some signs of potentially breaking out of his slump in the loss. He went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and a home run. The double was a ball he drove the opposite way off the left field wall. This ball was hit with a 101.6 MPH exit velocity.
Then in the 9th inning, Bell drove a ball into the bushes in center field for a 2-run home run to get the Pirates on the board.
It was great to see Bell flash that superhuman opposite field power, as well as the home run he crushed to center field in the loss on Wednesday night. Throughout the game his timing looked the best it has all season. Hopefully, this is the start of Bell turning it around because, right now, he is in a major funk and, as a result, so is the Pirate offense.
The fourth and final game of this series is scheduled for 1:35 on Thursday afternoon. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, JT Brubaker (0.00 ERA, 1.40 FIP) will make his first MLB start. Meanwhile, the Twins will send veteran righty Kenta Maeda (1.64 ERA, 2.54 FIP) to the mound.