Two arms that joined the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen just a few hours before first pitch on Saturday helped pitch the team to a bullpen driven victory
Saturday afternoon things did not come easy for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They battled through a rain delay, falling in an early hole, and needing rely heavily on their bullpen. Through all of this, the Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 to improve to 30-27 on the season.
Luis Ortiz started for the Pirates and allowed a solo home run through the first 2 innings. Two pitches into the 3rd inning rain started to fall at PNC Park. With thunderstorms in the area, the tarp was put on the field and the rain delay began.
After an hour long rain delay the two teams returned to the field. Due to the rain delay the Pirates did not have Ortiz return to the mound which immediately put the team's bullpen into a potentially bad spot.
Prior to the start of Saturday's game the Pirates added two relievers to the bullpen from Triple-A Indianapolis. Those two relievers were Angel Perdomo and Yerry De Los Santos. While both arrived in Pittsburgh on short notice, they both would go on to play a huge role in the team's victory.
Perdomo was summoned by Derek Shelton to take over on the mound after the rain delay ended. The lefty inherited a 2-0 count, but went on to retire all seven batters he faced. In 2.1 perfect innings of relief Perdomo struck out three, impressing in his Pirate debut.
De Los Santos followed Perdomo with one out and no one on base in the 5th inning. Despite issuing a walk, De Los Santos was able to get the final two outs of the 5th inning while recording a strikeout.
Perdomo and De Los Santos doing what they did, especially on short notice and after rain delay deserves a big tip of the cap. For the second day in a row the Pirate bullpen got unexpected contributions from lesser used bullpen arms, and for the second day in a row this helped the Pirates defeat the Cardinals.
The Pirate bullpen now has the second lowest ERA among National League bullpens. So, the bullpen pitching well in Saturday's victory should not be a surprise. However, Perdomo and De Los Santos were not two relievers people would have expected to be part of this.
If Perdomo and De Los Santos can both settle into reliable roles out of the Pirate bullpen it will only further help the Pirates continue to contend in the National League Central. The Pirate bullpen has a very reliable group of five to build around, Perdomo and De Los Santos becoming reliable arms as well could truly make the Pirate bullpen one of the best in the NL.