Pirates Morning Report: One Win Away From Miraculous

Final Score: Pirates 4 Orioles 0

Why The Pirates Won: Mitch Keller pitched another excellent game. He gave up no runs on 4 hits, no walks, while striking out 13 batters. He went 7 innings throwing 93 pitches with 70 of them for strikes. The bullpen finished the job, but Holderman made it interesting again. For the game, the Pirate’s pitchers struck out 17 Orioles. Even though the offense scored 4 runs they were still pretty putrid getting 7 singles along with 4 walks. I like the fact they put McCutchen in the leadoff spot, even though he did not do much after starting the game with a single and scoring the first run. Anybody is better than Hayes leading off. Hell, even bring the Turtle back. Just kidding, but I do miss him, the master of the 6 pitch strikeout and not swinging at one pitch.

Key Moment Of The Game: The top of the third the Pirates were leading 1-0 when Bryan Reynolds led off the inning by striking out, but was able to get to first base on a bizarre wild pitch that went toward the Oriole dugout. One out later Jack Suwinski walked. Ke’Bryan Hayes got a weak grounder through the right side of the infield to score Reynolds to make the score 2-0, moving Suwinski to third. Tucupita Marcano, for some unknown reason decided to bunt, moving Hayes, big whoop, to second base. Ji Hwan Bae got a ground ball just past a diving 1st baseman, bringing home the 3rd and 4th runs. This was a nice cushion for the Pirate pitchers to work with for the rest of the game. Things were much easier to deal with when the Orioles made some mild threats in the 8th and 9th.

Next Game: Tomorrow night, Tigers, in Detroit. The Pirates are off today and need a split in Detroit to have that 2-3 road trip that I called miraculous, with the way they are playing. Hope they continue to let McCutchen leadoff. The mystery to me is why they are not starting Rodolfo Castro. He seems to be in the doghouse, since the start of the year. From not starting opening day to not starting since he hit the 2 run homer to give the Pirates their only other win in the last 2 weeks. The excuse is he doesn’t do as well batting right handed, along with the fact that his defense has not been great, and I agree completely. But he is way better than Andujar, Owings and Palacios, who combined are hitting .130. When he does not play it means one of them is. It’s just hard to understand the Pirates thinking on that one. Maybe it is some kind of attitude problem or a minor injury that they are not disclosing. Anyway, a much-needed win to send the Pirates to 22-19.

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