Pittsburgh Pirates: Starting Pitching Steps Up & More Takeaways From Series Victory Over the Mets

New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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Great series for starting pitching

The Pirate starting rotation has not always been consistent this season. Between injuries and young starters still trying to find their way in the majors, there have been some real clunker starts. However, they have largely avoided poor stretches. Also, when the team has needed the rotation to step up, for the most part, the starting rotation has responded.

In game one of the series on Friday night the Pirates were in need of one of those types of starts.

After very dissapointedly dropping two of three to Oakland, the Bucs need a put a foot down kind of start on Friday to help set the tone. This is exactly the start they got from Rich Hill. After allowing a run in the 2nd inning and a solo home run in the 3rd inning, Hill was nails the rest of the night.

Hill pitched a season high 7 innings, holding the Mets to 2 runs on seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. This included Hill showing some great athleticism to start an inning ending double play in the 4th inning, which came after a Pirate 5 spot in the bottom of the 3rd broke the game open. It was Hill, once again, putting a foot down.

While the Pirates lost on Saturday afternoon, it was not due to starting pitcher Johan Oviedo. Even though the 1st inning has been a bugaboo for Oviedo this season, he posted a zero to start the game and this was the start of yet another strong outing for the young righty.

Oviedo was charged with 2 runs on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. The second run Oviedo was charged with was an inherited runner that Dauri Moreta failed to strand who scored after Oviedo's day ended.

Sunday afternoon, the Pirate ace did what he does and shoved. Looking for a bounce back outing after scuffling some his previous three, Mitch Keller turned in just that. Firing 7 masterful innings, it was one of the best starts of the season for Keller.

The lone run Keller allowed in his 7 innings of work was a solo home run. He allowed just two hits, walked a pair and struck out seven. Keller allowed just two hits that were hard hit (exit velocity of 95+ MPH), had filthy movement on his pitches, and kept Met batters uncomfortable in the box all afternoon.

Keller did what aces do. He came out with a series victory on the line and dominated, helping to propel his team to victory. Keller is well on his way to being a first time All-Star this season.