Pittsburgh Pirates Fall to Cubs, Lose 7th in a Row

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

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The Pittsburgh Pirates wasted another strong Mitch Keller start, falling to the Chicago Cubs 3-2 for their 7th consecutive loss

With the end of the 2022 season in sight, the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to limp to the finish line.  Their latest loss came on Thursday night in the first game of a seven-game series, falling to the Chicago Cubs 3-2.

With the loss, the Pirates are now 55-95 on the season. Sitting at 40 games under .500 with 12 games left to play, the 2022 edition of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club is now on pace for an abysmal 103 losses.

Mitch Keller continues to pitch well

There have been very few positives for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022. One of the few positives has been the development of Mitch Keller who turned in yet another strong start on Thursday night.

Things started a bit shaky for Keller. Keller stranded a pair of base runner sin the 1st inning and allowed 2 runs in the 2nd inning. After this, Keller got into a groove that included retiring 10 batters in a row at one point.

In 6 innings pitched Keller threw 96 pitches, allowing 2 runs on just four hits. He walked a pair and struck out seven on 11 swings-and-misses. It has been a big of a long road to get there after struggling in April and early May, but Keller’s ERA on the season is now below 4.00 at 3.99.

With the end of the 2022 season a little over a week away, Keller looks like a pitcher who has solidified their spot in the team’s 2023 starting rotation. In fact, other than Roansy Contreras, Keller will likely enter the 2023 season as the best starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

David Bednar struggles in return from the injured list

After being placed on the injured list in early August, David Bednar returned to the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately, his the struggles that plagued Bednar before he hit the IL continues to plague him.

Bednar’s velocity was down and he was missing his spots. This led to him allowing a run on two hits, a walk and a strikeout in the 7th inning. This run proved very costly as the Pirates fell by just a single run.

Bednar continues to look like a pitcher who has been way overused this season and has nothing left in the tank. It may prove to be in Bednar’s best interest for the Pirates to just shut him down for the season.

Bryan Reynolds stays hot at the plate

There were not many positives for the Pirate offense in Thursday night’s loss. One of these positives was Bryan Reynolds. Reynolds remained hot at the plate and is putting together a strong finish to the season.

The Cubs failed to retire Reynolds in the game. Reynolds went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a pair of walks. Reynolds doubled in the 1st inning, but was stranded, he drove in the first Pirate run of the night his next time up to the plate. After doubling in his third trip to the plate, he was intentionally walked in the 7th inning before drawing a two-out walk in the 9th inning.

Reynolds is now hitting for a .263/.342/.457 slash line with a 9.2% walk rate and a 123 wRC+ this season. He has also hit 24 home runs, which ties his previous career high that he set last season. The fact this is viewed as a “down” season for Reynolds is a testament to the type of player that he is.

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Game two of the series will see Bryse Wilson (6.07 ERA, 5.27 FIP) take the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. For the Chicago Cubs, Javier Assad (3.86 ERA, 4.78 FIP) is slated to start. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 6:35 PM ET.