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Mitch Keller Shows Flashes; Pirates Fall Flat in 6-2 Loss Against Cardinals

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Mitch Keller showed some eye-popping stuff, the offense continued to stay cold, and the Pirates fell 6-2 in game two against the Cardinals.

The Pirates started off extremely patient in the first inning of work and even loaded the bases twice. Unfortunately for Pirates fans, they only managed one run off of Yoshi Tsutusgo’s sacrifice fly, scoring Daniel Vogelbach. The patience was key in the inning, though, as the Pirates forced Miles Mikolas to throw 41 pitches just in the first inning.

Keller didn’t get off to the best start missing fastballs up in the zone and hanging some breaking balls. Nolan Arenado got the Cardinals on the board with a one-out double down the third baseline to knot the game at one. We should note that Ke’Bryan Hayes made a tremendous play to throw a runner out at home to preserve the tie.

Keller’s day continued through four innings of work, and although he gave up four runs and walked two, Keller looked improved in several facets. His velocity peaked around 98, averaged around 96, and induced 9 WHIFFS. It wasn’t his best outing, but there was improvement.

Roansy Contreras made his season debut in the fifth inning, and he looked like a 22-year-old kid with limited experience. He showed an impressive curveball averaging 2720 RPMs, and induced three out of his seven WHIFFS in his 1.2 innings. Contreras allowed two earned runs, two walks, and no strikeouts.

The Pirates sent out three more arms after Contreras. Heath Hembree, Anthony Banda, and David Bednar combined for 2.0 innings pitched, two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and three punchouts.

The Pirates didn’t produce much of anything on the offensive side of things. Tsutsugo got the two lone RBIs, but there were some promising things from a few batters.

Hayes reached base three out of four times, with exit velocities over 100 MPH and one reaching 110. Tsutsugo stayed hot, batting 2-4, and Diego Castillo got his first major league hit pinch-hitting for Josh Van Meter.

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