The Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off their second series against the San Diego Padres in the last two weeks when they traveled to Petco Park on Monday night
Over the weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. This was the team’s first series loss in three weeks after going 4-0-2 in their previous 6 series played. Getting swept also dropped them back below .500 on the season at 12-15.
After splitting a four-game series against one of the preseason World Series favorites in the San Diego Padres last month at PNC Park, the Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off a three-game series at Petco Park on Monday night looking for more success against the Padres.
While Tyler Anderson flirted with a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night it was not enough. The Pirates got terrific pitching on Monday night, but due to an non-existent offense they suffered a 2-0 loss against the Padres. With the loss the Pirates have fallen to 12-16 on the season.
Tyler Anderson continues to turn in strong starts
Through the first six weeks of the 2021 season lefty Tyler Anderson and righty JT Brubaker have battled it out for earning the tab as the Pirates’ best starting pitcher. Monday night Anderson’s strong start to the season continued as he turned in a strong start against the Padres.
The veteran lefty flirted with a no-hitter. He did not allow a hit until the 7th inning. Unfortunately, with the Pirate offense doing nothing at the plate on Monday night Anderson’s strong start was wasted.
For most of the night Anderson kept opposing batters off balance and for much of the night he was literally un-hittable. Anderson allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.
Anderson generated 11 swings and misses on Monday night. He limited hard contact, with the opposing average exit velocity off of Anderson being just 82.3 MPH. Anderson deserved better on Monday night.
In 6 starts this season Anderson has now pitched 33.1 innings. He’s walked 8.2% of batters faced, struck out 23.1% and has allowed 3 home runs, which is a HR/9 rate of 0.81. All of this comes out to a 2.97 ERA and a 3.41 FIP.
Anderson became the first Pirate starting pitcher since Kip Wells on July 1st, 2002, to take a no-hitter into the 7th inning and lose the game. Again, Anderson deserved much better on Monday night.
Bullpen follows Anderson’s lead
After Anderson was lifted Derek Shelton summoned Clay Holmes from the bullpen. Holmes allowed an infield hit, but then got the final out of the 7th inning to close the door on the Padre rally.
David Bednar then made his return to Petco Field in the 8th inning. Bednar picked up a strikeout while retiring all 3 batters he faced. Bednar now owns a 1.69 ERA, 7.3% walk rate and a 29.2% strikeout rate in 10.2 innings pitched this season.
So far this season the bullpen has been the biggest strength of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite losing the game, that continued on Monday night as the Bucco bullpen pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. The Pirate bullpen appears to be developing multiple young quality bullpen arms.
Bad night for the Pirate offense
Any time a team’s starting pitcher carries a no-hitter in the 7th inning and their pitching staff allows just 2 runs and they lose, you know their offense had a bad night. This was the case for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
On their way to getting shutout on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates collected just one extra base hit. This was a 3rd inning double by Bryan Reynolds that missed being a home run by just a few inches.
Overall, the Pirate offense collected just 4 hits on Monday night. Pirate batters also drew just 3 walks and struck out 10 times in the loss against the Padres. All of a sudden the Pirates offense finds themselves in a rut as they have been shutout in back-to-back games and have scored just 8 runs in their last 4 games.
Game two of this three-game series is scheduled for 10:10 PM ET on Tuesday night. Mitch Keller (8.20 ERA, 5.25 FIP) is scheduled to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As of the completion of Monday night’s game San Diego’s starting pitcher is still TBD.