Pittsburgh Pirates: Takeaways From Home Opening Series Victory Against the White Sox
By Marty Leap
The bullpen (for the most part) pitches well again
Through the first two series of the season the biggest positive surprise for the Pittsburgh Pirates was the performance of their bullpen. For the most part, the bullpen pitched well again in their series victory over the White Sox.
On Friday, Dauri Moreta pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief of Hill. Wil Crowe pitched the final 3 innings of the game to pick up the rare 3 inning saved. Crowe allowed runs in the 9th inning, but it was a result of Crowe pounding the strike zone while with a 13-7 lead with just three outs left to get. Had the game been closer, Crowe likely would have pitched that situation much differently.
Without the bullpen, the Pirates would not have defeated the White Sox to secure a series victory on Sunday. Moreta got a strikeout to end the 7th inning with two outs, a runner on base, and the Pirates leading 1-0. Colin Holderman pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning and David Bednar then slammed the door shut with a strikeout in a scoreless 9th inning.
Saturday night was the lone game the bullpen took some lumps in the series. Chase De Jong allowed a run in 2.2 innings, but the run he allowed came due to a defensive blunder by Andrew McCutchen on which he misread a base runner.
Rob Zastryzny and Duane Underwood Jr. combined to allow 5 runs in 1.2 innings pitched, but young lefty Jose Hernandez picked them up with 2 scoreless innings to close out the game.