Pittsburgh Pirates: Bullpen Sets the Tone in Blowout Win Against the Marlins

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 04: Chris Stratton #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Jacob Stallings #58 after a 9-2 win over the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on June 4, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 04: Chris Stratton #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Jacob Stallings #58 after a 9-2 win over the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on June 4, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

2. 82. Final. 9. 4

Derek Shelton had to go to the bullpen early on Friday night and the ‘pen responded by being the tone setters in a blowout victory for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Following a woeful 6-20 stretch the Pittsburgh Pirates may be starting to right the ship. Friday night the Pirates defeated the Miami Marlins 9-2, taking a 2-0 series lead in their four-game weekend series against the Marlins at PNC Park.

With this win, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 4-3 in their last 7 games played. While a 4-3 stretch is not exactly something to write home about it is a big turnaround following the 5-20 rut the Pittsburgh Pirates were stuck in. With the win the Pirates are now 22-34 on the season.

This victory was also a feel good win for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Manager Derek Shelton needed to get 7 innings out of his bullpen. Not only did he get 7 innings, he got 7 scoreless innings as the bullpen set the tone in the blowout victory.

Bullpen picks up Mitch Keller

Looking to build upon 5 scoreless innings in his last outing Mitch Keller was toeing the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. Keller pitched a scoreless 1st inning but the wheels would then come off. Keller allowed 2 runs and issued 3 walks in the 2nd inning.

Following the 2nd inning Keller’s night came to an end. After the game the Pirates reported that it was due to Keller ‘heat illness’ and that he is day-to-day. If Keller is unable to make his next start, look for Wil Crowe to return to the starting rotation to replace Keller.

In relief of Keller the Pirates needed three relievers to pitch 7 scoreless innings of relief. Duane Underwood Jr. allowed a hit and struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings of work. This included the righty working around runners on second and third with no one out in the 4th inning to post a zero. This performance led to Underwood Jr. getting the win.

Next up after Underwood Jr. was lefty Chasen Shreve. Shreve pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and recording a strikeout. Chris Stratton then took the ball the rest of the way for the Pirates, recording a pair of strikeouts in 3.2 perfect innings of relief leading to him picking up his 2nd career save.

Overall the Pirate bullpen allowed 3 hits, walked just a single batter and struck out 7 in 7 scoreless innings of work. While the Pirate offense exploded leading to a blowout victory it was the bullpen the set the tone that made this possible.

Ke’Bryan Hayes continues to bud into a superstar

In his second game since coming off the injured list Ke’Bryan Hayes continues to look like a budding superstar in MLB. It did not take long for Hayes to begin to make an impact in the game as he hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning, giving the Pirates a quick 2-0 lead.

The big night from Hayes came after he recorded a pair of hits, hit a triple and made multiple Gold Glove caliber plays at third base in his return to the lineup on Thursday night. In addition to his home run Hayes drew a walk, picked up a run-scoring single and drove in a total of 3 runs.

Hayes is just… different. He commands the same presence in the batter’s box and on the field as Andrew McCutchen once did. This is even different than recent Pirate stars such as Gerrit Cole and Starling Marte. Hayes is on a different level than most players in baseball and is already well on his way to becoming arguably the best third baseman in baseball and one of the game’s young, budding superstars.

Big 6th inning blows the game open

Entering the 6th inning the Pittsburgh Pirates held a 4-2 lead. In the 6th inning the Pirate offense would explode for 5 runs on their way to putting the game on ice.

With one out in the inning Erik González picked up his second hit of the night and went to third on a Ben Gamel double. MLB hit leader Adam Frazier then picked up his second hit of the game driving in González and Hayes singled to pick up his 3rd RBI of the night.

Following a RBI double by Bryan Reynolds, Thursday night’s hero Jacob Stallings hit a missile down the left field line. The missile went for a 2-run single scoring Hayes and Reynolds, making the score 9-2 Pirates.

Following this 6th inning it was clear that the Pirates were on their way to their second win in as many games played thus far in this series.

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What’s next?

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to secure a series victory on Saturday afternoon. Chase De Jong (1.80 ERA, 2.33 FIP) will look to build upon his strong first start with the Pirates, while the Miami Marlins plan to send lefty Trevor Rogers (1.87 ERA, 2.48 FIP) to the mound. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 4:05 PM ET.