Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading the Series Split Against the Reds

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 04: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Gregory Polanco #25 and Bryan Reynolds #10 after the final out of 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds during game two of a doubleheader at PNC Park on September 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 04: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Gregory Polanco #25 and Bryan Reynolds #10 after the final out of 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds during game two of a doubleheader at PNC Park on September 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 04: Steven Brault #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during game one of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 04: Steven Brault #43 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during game one of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Starting Pitchers

During Friday’s double header, Steven Brault started game one for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cody Ponce started game two. In game one, Brault struggled with control but was also hurt by poor defense. A Josh Bell error and two plays that should have been made that were not hurt Brault.

In the end, Brault allwed 4 runs, 3 earned, on six hits, two hits, a home run, and he struck out six. This came across 4.2 innings pitched.

As for Ponce in game two, he lasted just 4 innings. In his 4 innings of work he struck out four, walked just one and allowed just three hits. The problem was that two of the three hits he allowed were home runs. Due to this, he was charged with 3 runs in his 4 innings of work.

Saturday night, the recent struggles of Trevor Williams continued. In 6 innings of work, Williams allowed 5 runs on five hits, three home runs, he issued three walks, and struck out six. He now owns a 5.80 ERA and a 6.28 DRA on the season. After appearing to be on his way to bouncing back, Williams may now be a non-tender candidate this off-season.

Sunday afternoon Chad Kuhl appeared to be battling a blister issue on his finger as he struggled with control. After 3 innings of work and 64 pitches, Kuhl was pulled from the game. In his 3 innings of work, Kuhl allowed 2 runs on just two hits, but one of the two hits was a 2-run home run. While he struck out five, he also walked four.

The Verdict

It was not a good weekend for Pirate starting pitchers. Brault and Ponce both were ok on Friday night, but you would have liked to see both at least go 5 full innings. Williams struggled on Saturday night, and Kuhl battled control in his 3 innings on Sunday. Overall for the seires Pirate starting pitchers allowed 13 earned runs in 17.2 innings of work. Not good!

Grade: D

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