Rare poor series for the bullpen
Few things have gone right for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. One thing that has is the Pirate bullpen, which has been among the best in the National League. However, this past weekend the bullpen was arguably the biggest reason the Pirates were swept by the Brewers.
In 10.2 innings pitched this weekend the Pirate bullpen allowed 8 runs on 8 hits, 7 walks, a home run and 14 strikeouts. Saturday afternoon the bullpen pitched well allowing just 1 run in 4.2 innings of work, however, they also allowed an inherited runner to score. Friday night and Sunday afternoon the bullpen can be pinpointed for the loss.
Entering this series Clay Holmes had been one of the best relievers out of the Pirate bullpen this season. Holmes was riding a 14 outing scoreless streak, including having allowed just 1 run in his last 20.1 innings pitched, entering the series.
Holmes pitcher in both Friday and Saturday’s games, allowing 6 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in a combined 1 inning of work. Entering the series Holmes had allowed just 8 earned runs and walked just 9 batters all season. Holmes also allowed an inherited runner to score over the weekend, which is something he has not done much of this season.
It was not just Holmes who experienced uncharacteristic struggles over the weekend. Sam Howard who has been nearly un-hittable this season allowed a solo home run on Sunday. David Bednar, who has also been lights out, allowed a 2-run home run on Sunday after inheriting a 2-1 lead in the 6th inning.