Although today was a sad day with Phil Coyne’s passing, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a game to play against the rivaled Chicago Cubs.
The Pittsburgh Pirates sent out Mitch Keller to combat Zach Davies. Those of you reading this, I know there is a lot to talk about with the offense tonight, but to keep the tradition, we will start out with the pitching.
Boy, where do I start with Keller? Today Mitch Keller looked like the young promising prospect Pittsburgh Pirates fans expected to see. Keller looked confident, poised, composed, and, more importantly, aggressive. Keller worked ahead in the count more times than not, and a huge plus was he looked confident while doing it. Confidence is a pitcher’s best friend, and it showed why tonight.
Something Keller struggled with during his time in the majors was getting swings and misses. Tonight he had 14; I think his pitch mix up and working up in the zone with his fastball paid huge dividends towards this stat. I think we finally saw something click in his head, and it told him to trust his stuff and attack the zone. Keller’s line read, 5IP, 5 Hits, 1ER, 7K’s, 1BB, all on 80 pitches.
At the end of the 5th inning, we saw a moment between Keller and Shelton, and we could see Keller showing raw emotion. He looked visibly teary-eyed, and it seemed like a weight was lifted off his shoulders. Maybe, just maybe, we can finally see his development come together.
A refreshing sight to see tonight was not seeing the bullpen enter the game until the 6th inning. Time and time again, we have seen this bullpen too early, but tonight that was not the case. The first arm to enter the game was the former Cub in Duane Underwood Jr. Despite letting the leadoff batter on in each inning, he looked very solid. His line read 2.0IP, 1HB, 1BB, 3K’s, 0 Hits, and 0ER.
The 8th inning would roll on, and we would see Clay Holmes try and get back on track this game. Much like Underwood Jr, Holmes had the leadoff man get on base. After two strikeouts in a row, he then gives up a bloop shot to Pederson, allowing a run to score. Holmes’s line read 1.0IP, 2 Hits, 1ER, 2K’s, and 0BB’s.
The last pitcher to come on was another struggling arm in Michael Feliz. Feliz gave up a leadoff double, but he then settled down. He struck out the next two and then forced a popup to end the game. His line read 1.0IP, 1 Hit, 2K’s, 0BB’s, and 0ER.
Now, let’s get into the fun stuff of the night; the Pirates were absolutely on fire this evening. Maybe this explosion was due to the high emotions of Phil Coyne passing, maybe it was luck, or just maybe it was a week worth of frustrations getting taken out on the baseball. The crazy part of this game was how bleak it looked in the first inning. Zach Davies pitched just eight pitches in the 1st and looked solid.
The 2nd inning is when all hell broke loose for the Pirates, and we saw patience, discipline, and clutch hitting. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent a total of 12 batters, seven runs, 3BB’s, five knocks, and a million smiles. For me, Colin Moran leads the way today, reaching base four times tonight and get 2RBI’s. You also saw guys like Bryan Reynolds, Phillip Evans, Jacob Stallings, and Adam Frazier all have solid games.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what frustration for a week straight will give you. You will see players play with an attitude and absolutely crush the ball. The Pirates showed up today and won 8-2 and look to win the rubber match tomorrow against Trevor Williams and the Cubs.
- Mitch Keller looked solid, and I hope this is a string of something good for him
- Colin Moran is your best hitter on this team besides an injured Hayes.
- Underwood Jr. will be the most consistent bullpen arm this year.
- I hope this offense saved some power against the now Cub, Trevor Williams.
- Phillip Evans needs to play every day right now.