Poor starting pitching
It is very difficult to win baseball games when you get poor starting pitching performance. This was a major issue for the Pirates in their series against the Braves. Even in Monday's series-opening victory, they still got a poor start from Osvaldo Bido.
After retiring the first 10 batters he faced, the wheels completely fell off for Bido with one out in the 4th inning. Bido wound up allowing 4 runs on four hits and a home run in the 4th inning, quickly bringing his day to an end.
In game two, the struggles of Mitch Keller continued. While he pitched better than his past few starts, Keller still lasted just 5 innings. Not what you want from your "ace," especially when your bullpen was already taxed. Keller allowed 3 runs in his 5 innings but was very lucky it wasn't worse as he allowed nine hits and hit a batter.
The struggles of Quinn Priester continued in game three of the series on Wednesday night. Priester allowed 4 runs on nine hits, a walk, two wild pitches, and four strikeouts in 4 innings pitched. Like Keller, Priester was lucky things were not worse.
In the 1st inning, Atlanta loaded the bases with just one out, but Priester was able to wiggle out of it with a Sean Murphy double play ball. The double play ball was hit at 107.8 MPH, this was one of 11 balls the Braves put in play against Priester with an exit velocity of at least 90 MPH. Priester continues to allow entirely too much hard contact to find success in the majors.
After impressing in his Pirate debut in Milwaukee this past weekend, Bailey Falter struggled in Wednesday's series finale. Falter pitched just 4 innings, allowing 4 runs on eight hits, two walks, two home runs, and three strikeouts.