Pittsburgh Pirates: Derek Holland Struggles in Likely Final Pirate Start


4. Final. 9. 76. 1

Owning a 5-2 record in their last 7 games, the Pittsburgh Pirates traveled to Miller Park on Friday night looking to stay hot as they started a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Friday night’s four-game weekend wrap around series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers with an overall record of 9-19 on the season. However, the Bucs entered the series 4-2 against the Brewers. They also came into the series playing their best baseball of the season, having won 5 of their last 7 games.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to continue their strong play. Instead, the Pirates were blown out by the Brewers 9-1. With the loss, the Bucs now fall to 9-20 on the season.

Derek Holland Struggles

In what was likely his final start for the Pittsburgh Pirates with the trade deadline just three days away, veteran lefty Derek Holland got shelled.

Holland allowed a home run to Jedd Gyorko in the 1st inning, and a two-out three-run blast to Ryan Braun in the 3rd inning. Then in the 4th inning, Holland allowed a two-run home run to Jacob Nottingham. Holland allowed another pair of runs in the 5th inning on his way to allowing 8 runs in 5 innings pitched.

While on the surface this start looks dreadful for Holland, it was a strange outing. He finished his outing with 8 strikeouts, 7 of the 8 came across the first 2.2 innings of work. Also, all 8 of the runs he allowed came with two outs in the inning, with 7 of the 8 coming with two outs and two strikes.

In the 5th inning Holland issued a two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch that should have been called strike three to end the inning. Then in the 6th inning, Jacob Stallings failed to hold onto a foul tip that would have ended the inning. If those two plays go Holland’s way, 4 of the 8 runs he allowed would have come off the board.

It is unknown what is next up for Holland. Pirate general manager Ben Cherington will undoubtedly do all he can to trade Holland before Monday’s trade deadline. While Holland owns a 7.62 ERA this season, Cherington should still be able to find a suitor. Teams always value left-handed pitching, and shopping Holland as a reliever could raise his value as well. Holland also has a career-high 24.6% strikeout rate this season.

Pirate Offense No Shows

Outside of a solo home run from the much maligned JT Riddle of all people, the Pittsburgh Pirates were kept off the board on Friday night. Josh Bell had a pair of singles, Kevin Newman and Jason Martin each drew a walk, Stallings picked up a single, and that was it in terms of Pirate base runners.

Throughout the season the offense has been a major issue for the Pittsburgh Pirates. That continued in the series opener against the Brewers on Friday night. Hopefully, with Miller Park being a good hitters park, the Bucco bats can get going the rest of the series.

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What’s Next

The second game of this four-game set is scheduled for 7:10 on Saturday night. JT Brubaker (4.80 ERA, 4.87 DRA) will make the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Veteran lefty Brett Anderson (3.52 ERA, 4.80 DRA) will toe the rubber for Milwaukee.