Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-2 for their second win over the Tigers in as many days
Following a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Labor Day the Pittsburgh Pirates were looking to secure a series victory on Tuesday night. The Pirates were able to secure a 3-2 victory giving them a series victory over the Tigers and putting themselves in position to attempt to secure their first series sweep of the season on Wednesday night. Following the victory the Pirates are now 50-89 on the season.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to finish the 2021 season with one of the four worst records in Major League Baseball it is still good to see the team rebound to win back-to-back games following an 0-6 road trip. We have talked about it throughout the season but Derek Shelton and his staff have created a healthy culture in the clubhouse. The team rally to win games while in the situation they are in is another example of this.
Dillon Peters goes 4 strong
Returning from the injured list to make his first start since August 27th lefty Dillon Peters was able to give the Pirates 4 strong innings. In 4 innings pitched Peters held the Tigers to 2 runs on just 3 hits, 3 walks and he struck out 5.
Peters threw 74 pitches in his outing with 55% of them going for strikes. He also generated a healthy 11 swings-and-misses in just 4 innings pitched. The only issue with the outing from Peters is that you would have liked to see him go deeper into the game.
In 4 starts this season Peters has now pitched 18.2 innings, posting a 3.38 ERA, 3.54 FIP, he’s allowed just 17 hits including just a single home run. He’s walked 8.6% of batters faced and has struck out 18.5%. While it has come in a small sample size, Peters is making a strong push to have an Opening Day roster spot in 2022.
Wasted opportunities nearly prove costly
Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates scored 3 runs on Tuesday night they easily could have scored more. Throughout the night the Pirate offense wasted scoring opportunities and it nearly cost them the game.
In the bottom of the 1st inning the Pirates scored a run when Colin Moran hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Ke’Bryan Hayes. Yoshi Tsutsugo walked and Ben Gamel singled in the inning as well, but they failed to push any more runs across.
The Pirates had runners on second and third with just 1 out in the 2nd inning and failed to score. Moran doubled in the bottom of the 3rd but was thrown out at home trying to score on a Kevin Newman single.
Pittsburgh stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the 4th inning, left a pair of runners on in the 5th and 8th innings, and a runner was left on base in the 7th inning as well. That’s a small army of runners left on base.
All told, the Pittsburgh Pirates were just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. This led to the Pirates stranding 14 base runners. Thankfully, this did not come back to bite the Pirates in their victory.
Bullpen slams the door shut
Shelby Miller was the first relieve summoned from the bullpen by Shelton. In the 5th inning Miller allowed a hit and issued a walk but worked around these two base runners to post a zero for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Sam Howard was next up for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like Miller, Howard put a pair of Tiger base runners on base, but also like Miller the lefty managed to work out of it, with the help of a great catch by Gamel in left field, to post a zero.
In the 7th inning the ball was handed to Chad Kuhl who continues to pitch well out of the bullpen. Kuhl issued a walk and struck out a batter while pitching a scoreless 7th inning. David Bednar then worked around a lead off double in the 8th inning to post a zero while also striking a batter out.
Looking to close out the game and protect a 3-2 lead Shelton handed the ball to Chris Stratton in the 9th inning. Stratton allowed a lead off hit, but retired the next three batters he faced including a pair of strikeouts to slam the door shut on the Tigers in a 3-2 Pirate victory.
In 5 innings of work the Pirate bullpen did not allow a run. Pirate reliever limited the Tigers to to 4 hits, 3 walks and they struck out 4.
Big night for Ben Gamel
Since joining the Pittsburgh Pirates veteran outfielder Ben Gamel has been a terrific addition. Tuesday night this continued as he went 3-for-5 at the plate and made the aforementioned excellent play in left field to end the 6th inning.
One of the 3 hits for Gamel proved to be the game winner. With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 6th inning Gamel singled in a pair. This gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the night.
Gamel has been a great addition for the Pittsburgh Pirates both on the field and in the clubhouse. While he could be quality trade bait this offseason, it would likely behoove the Pirates to keep Gamel around to be a key cog when the 2022 season begins.
Wednesday night Mitch Keller (6.23 ERA, 4.54 FIP) will look to build off of a strong start his last time out when he toes the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Detroit Tigers plan to send righty Matt Manning (6.29 ERA, 5.01 FIP) to the mound. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 6:35 PM ET.