Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading the Series Loss Against the Twins
By Marty Leap
Pirate Starting Rotation
To kick off the series on Monday night in Minneapolis, Derek Holland made his second start with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In what has been the case far too often this season for Pirate starting pitchers, Holland pitched better than his final line.
After starting the game with 5 scoreless innings of work, Holland was saddled with 4 runs in the 6th inning. His final line read 4 earned runs allowed on four hits, two walks, no home runs, and five strikeouts. In that 6th inning, however, Holland was hurt by poor center field defense and the mind boggling decision of Derek Shelton to turn to Miguel Del Pozo to protect a lead.
Tuesday afternoon in Minneapolis, Joe Musgrove was shelled. In one of his worst starts as a Pirate, Musgrove allowed 5 runs on six hits, five walks and just two strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work. An all around disaster.
Trevor Williams toed the rubber Wednesday night and turned in the best start of the season for a Pirate starting pitcher. He allowed 1 run on three hits, a walk, no home runs, and five strikeouts in 7 innings of work. The lone run he allowed came after a hit by pitch, a HBP I’m still not sure actually hit Jake Cave, and a bloop single that was originally ruled foul.
Williams had batters late and behind on his fastball and his breaking stuff looked terrific. He induced soft contact throughout the start, and looked like the Williams that put together that terrific 65 start stretch from May 2017 – May 2019.
JT Brubaker made his first career start on Thursday afternoon. In 3 innings of work, he allowed just a 3-run home run to Miguel Sano. Brubaker likely could have gone another inning, which would have improved his grade.
In the series loss against the Twins, the Pittsburgh Pirates had plenty of issues. However, the starting rotation gave them two strong starts and a third that was a bit of a wash for a few reasons. All in all, it was not a bad series for the starting rotation outside of Musgrove’s rough outing.