Pittsburgh Pirates: Mitch Keller Shelled as Struggles Continue in Blowout Loss

That's two losses in a row for the Pirates

Aug 3, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23)
Aug 3, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23) / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
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Mitch Keller and the bullpen were shelled as the Pittsburgh Pirates were blown out by the Milwaukee Brewers in a 14-1 loss

Thursday night the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to their house of horrors in Milwaukee. Things quickly went south for the Bucs in a 14-1 loss against the Brewers. Following their second consecutive loss, the Pirates are now 48-60 on the season.

From the get go Milwaukee hitters attacked Pirate pitchers. Seven of their 16 hits came on the first pitch of the at-bat. It was just the 6th time this season that a bad Milwaukee offense scored double digit runs.

Pirates grab an early lead

Making his Pirate debut, Alfonso Rivas started at first base and bat lead off. Rivas drew a walk to start the game and this was followed by a Bryan Reynolds single. Then with one out in the inning, Rivas scored on a Jack Suwinski ground out. That was it for the Pirate offense.

Mitch Keller continues to struggle

Through the first 3+ months of the season Mitch Keller was just about as good as any starting pitcher in the National League. Well, in recent starts Keller has started to struggle mightily. Those struggles continued on Thursday night.

After being given a 1-0 lead after the top of the 1st inning Keller immediately gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. This was just the beginning of the struggles for Keller who allowed 8 runs on nine hits, a home run, three walks, and five strikeouts in 5 innings pitched.

This start ballooned Keller's ERA on the season to 4.35. In his last four starts, Keller has allowed 24 earned runs in 21.2 innings pitched. That gives Keller 10.19 ERA across these four starts.Hopefully, this is nothing more than a bump in the road for Keller and not a sign of issues or injuries.

Pirate bullpen hit hard

After Keller's day ended lefty Jose Hernandez was called upon to pitch the 6th inning. Hernandez got the first two outs of the inning, but then allowed a 3-run home run to Sal Frelick. This home run made the score 11-1 Brewers and raised Hernandez's ERA on the season to 4.41.

Dauri Moreta was next up and he also got rocked. Moreta pitched the 7th inning, allowing 3 runs on three hits, two walks, and no strikeouts. Moreta's ERA has now risen to 4.10 in 48.1 innings pitched this season.

Colin Holderman was able to settle things some. He allowed a hit and issued a walk in the 8th inning, but was still able to post a zero. Unfortuately, at this point the score was 14-1 Brewers.

Next up

Quinn Priester (9.19 ERA, 7.23 FIP) still in search of his first strong MLB start will toe the rubber for the Pirates on Friday night. Colin Rea (4.76 ERA, 4.84 FIP) is set to start for Milwaukee. First pitch American Family Field is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET.