Strong starting pitching
Tuesday night Dillon Peters took the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As Noah wrote about over the weekend Peters could prove to be a diamond in the rough find for Ben Cherington and the Pirates.
In the 6-5 Pirate victory Peters pitched 5 scoreless innings. He walked just 1 batter, allowed 5 hits, with only a Joey Voto double going for extra bases, while he struck out 5 batters. 57 of the 80 pitches he threw (72%) were for strikes.
Peters now owns a 2.66 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 7.8% walk rate, 19.6% strikeout rate and a home run rate of 0.38 HR/9 with the Pirates. These results have come in 23.2 innings pitched across 5 starts. While it is a small sample size, it is difficult to envision Peters not cracking the team’s Opening Day roster in 2022.
Mitch Keller toed the rubber for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. Despite a shaky 1st inning, Keller settled in to pitch 5 strong innings in a 5-4 walk-off victory for the Pirates on Roberto Clemente Day.
Keller did not allow a run after the 1st inning, holding a potent Cincinnati lineup to just 4 hits, he walked a pair, struck out 3 and did not allow a home run. After the 1st inning Keller allowed just 4 base runners on a pair of singles, a walk and a HBP.
It was an encouraging start for Keller who quietly has a 3.56 FIP, 0.66 HR/9 and just a 6.6% walk rate in 40.2 innings pitched across 8 starts since returning from the minors on August 1st. While his 5.09 ERA during this stretch is not pretty it is also misleading. Outside of one poor start against the Cardinals in which he allowed 7 earned runs Keller’s ERA since returning from the minors is just 4.10. Nothing great, but definitely a step in the right direction for Keller who, if nothing else, with a strong September will likely guarantee himself one last chance in the Pirate starting rotation when the 2022 season begins.
Wednesday afternoon Connor Overton made the start for the Pirates. Working as an opener, Overton, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays, pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 3 and threw 31 of 42 pitches for strikes.
A team will take their starting pitchers only allowing 2 earned runs in a series any time. While you want to see more than 13 innings out of your starts, when one of the three starters was an opener that does adjust expectations some.