Starting pitching stays strong
Everyone knows the old saying that in baseball you're only as good as your next day's starting pitcher. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, this has meant success in the last two weeks. This success would carry over into their series sweep of the Rockies. Yes, the Pirate offense exploded in this series but it was the starting pitching that set the tone by stifling the Rockie offense.
Shelton saw his starting pitcher go 6 innings in all three games of this series. With this, the Pirates are now up to nine straight games in which their starting pitcher has gone at least 6 innings. When you combine that with how well the Pirate bullpen has pitched this season, that's a recipe for winning baseball games.
Rich Hill started game one and turned in his best start as a Pirate, limiting the Rockies to 1 run in his 6 innings pitched. Vince Velasquez overcame a poor 1st inning in game two by pitching 5 scoreless to allow 3 runs while striking out 7 in 6 innings pitched. Johan Oviedo took the ball in game three and continued his strong start to the season by allowing a run on just 3 hits in 6 innings pitched.
The Pirate starting pitching depth has already taken some hits this season with injuries to JT Brubaker and Mike Burrows. Thankfully, the five guys in their starting rotation are starting to settle into a groove. How long they can remain in this groove will likely go a long way to determine how long this strong stretch of baseball can continue.