Pittsburgh Pirates: More Bullpen Struggles, Other Takeaways From Third Straight Sweep

Recapping the Pirates being swept in a three-game series at PNC Park against the Cubs

Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3)
Jun 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae (3) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Bullpen woes continue

Through the first two months of the season the Pirate bullpen was one of the best in the National League. Early in June, there started to be some cracks in the dam but they held it together enough to help the team get off to a 34-30 start.

Well, the past two weeks the Pirate bullpen has been terrible. Albeit, injuries to Colin Holderman and Jose Hernandez have been factors. No matter the cause, the Cub series was another poor one for a struggling Pirate bullpen.

In their 8-0 loss in game one Ryan Borucki made his Pirate debut. The lefty only recorded one out while allowing two hits and a pair of runs. Yohan Ramirez pitched 1.1 innings. While the 3 runs Ramirez allowed were unearned, he allowed two hits, walked a pair, hit a batter, and failed to strand the runners he inherited.

In game two, Dauri Moreta allowed 2 runs, including a solo home run, in the 8th inning. This took the score from 2-0 Cubs to 4-0 and put the game away. Moreta's overall numbers this season are still strong, espcially for a guy in his first full MLB season, but right now he looks like a young pitcher who has been overused early in the season and is in need of some rest.

One positive for the bullpen was the continued good work of Carmen Mlodzinski. Making his third MLB appearance the righty struck a batter out in a hitless, scoreless 7th inning in game two. Mlodzinski has been fearless on the mound in his three MLB appearances, stayed in attack mode at all times, and has flashed really good stuff. Watching his progression the rest of the season will be an intriguing story to follow.

In Wednesday afternoon's finale the bullpen continue to suck. The now rarely used David Bednar pitched a soreless 9th inning, but outside of that it was ugly.

Roansy Contreras pitched 1.1 innings allowing a home run as he continues to look lost on the mound. Angel Perdomo got two outs in the 8th inning before issuing back-to-back walks to load the bases annd being pulled for Yerry De Los Santos. While De Los Santos got the final out of the 8th it was not before allowing a 2-run single to make the score 8-3 Cubs.