Pirates Morning Report: Taking The Ace Out

Final Score: Pirates 3 Diamondbacks 4

Why The Pirates Lost: The Pirate bats put together one good inning and it was not enough. The 3 run bottom of the 3rd saw the Pirates get 2 hits and 2 walks to score their 3 runs. Over the next 6 innings, the Pirates got 3 hits and one walk and failed to score. Mitch Keller was not as sharp as he was the last 2 games but pitched well giving up 2 runs on 3hits and striking out 8 in 6 innings of work. After 2 were out in the top of the 6th, Keller hit a batter then gave up 2 infield hits, but a double steal by the Diamondbacks enabled them to score their 2nd run of the game. The Pirates did not score in the bottom of the 6th and the score was 3-2 Pirates going into the 7th inning.

Key Moment Of The Game: The Pirates did not let Keller come out for the 7th inning. He had only thrown 84 pitches. It was a bit of bad luck that the Diamondbacks had scored the run in the previous inning. This guy is supposed to be your ace. They made the excuse that he did not look good pitching out of the stretch. Well, he wouldn’t have been pitching out of the stretch to start the 7th inning beard breath. No problem with the bullpen being up and warming as he started the inning. If he gave up a hit or walked a batter, then you could always take him out. He had given up a home run in the 1st, but then retired the next 16 batters in a row. He had hit a batter but did not walk anyone. You’re taking out “The Man”. Next time, why don’t you just pinch hit for Bryan Reynolds late in the game with runners in scoring position. It makes about as much sense. Or better yet, send up a pitcher to bat for Austin Hedges. Wait a minute, that does make sense. This loss is squarely on Derek Shelton’s shoulders and the Pirates fall to 24-21 right into 2nd place.

The Next Game: This afternoon, Diamondbacks in Pittsburgh. Thanks to “The Shadow” this turns out to be the rubber match. Roansy Contreras takes the mound and should build on a pretty good last outing. The Pirates will be facing Merril Kelly, the third pitcher in 4 games with an ERA under 3. If recent history is any indication, then this is just what the doctor ordered for those Pirate bats.

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