Pittsburgh Pirates: Grading Series Loss at Great American Ballpark

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 15: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds beats the throw at first base for an infield single in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 15, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 15: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds beats the throw at first base for an infield single in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 15, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 14: Sam Howard #54 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds during game one of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park on September 14, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 14: Sam Howard #54 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds during game one of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park on September 14, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Pirate Bullpen

Monday’s doubleheader was not kind to a Pirate bullpen that has pitched very well since mid-August.

Chris Stratton pitched a scoreless 5th inning in game one, but had to work out of a bases loaded jam in order to do so. Sam Howard then pitched 1.2 innings in game two, and allowed a walk off 2-run home run to Tyler Stephenson in the 7th inning.

In game two, Derek Holland replaced Keller and went on to pitch 1.1 innings. Holland allowed a run, but it was a run that scored after he was pulled and Nik Turley allowed a 3-run home run to Moustakas. Geoff Hartlieb then had his first outing of what has been a terrific season, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, while walking four batters without recording an out.

In 5.2 innings pitched on Monday, the Pirate bullpen allowed 8 runs on seven hits, seven walks, two home runs, and nine strikeouts.

Tuesday night the bullpen got back on track. In relief of Musgrove, Blake Cederlind made his MLB debut and fired a 1-2-3 inning. Holland then followed with 2 scoreless, hitless innings. The veteran lefty retired all six batters he faced, while also recording a strikeout.

Wednesday night was another strong night for the bullpen. Howard, Stratton and Turley combined to pitched 2.2 scoreless innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Verdict

For the better part of the month the bullpen has been a strength for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately, the ‘pen had a rough day on Monday. With a better outing from the bullpen, the Bucs likely would have won at least one of the games in Monday’s doubleheader, if not picking up a sweep.

Grade: C+

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