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Pirates Avoid Sweep, Shutout Phillies 6-0 as Kranick Delivers Strong Start

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Max Kranick delivered a beautiful five innings, the Pirates avoided the sweep, and we saw David Bednar return in a 6-0 shutout win against the Phillies Sunday afternoon.

The 2021 season is rapidly approaching the end, and this start loomed large for Kranick. In the city with the Liberty Bell, Kranick would answer said bell and deliver a very strong five innings of shutout ball.

Against this Philly lineup, Kranick held a potent offense to four hits. One of the bugaboos for Kranick has been his control, and although he walked three, Kranick seemed to have the zone figured out today.

The bullpen continued the pitching dominance and the Pirates won this game in shutout fashion. The entire bullpen held the Phillies to just two base runners.

The Pirates offense started with a bang. Batting lead off, Cole Tucker hammered a first-pitch home run to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

The game was filled with pitching duels and a failure to convert with runners in scoring position; that is until Ke’Bryan Hayes delivered a huge pinch-hit double (his 20th), scoring two runs making it a 3-0 game in the 7th inning.

Yoshi Tsutsugo in the 8th and a balk in the 9th gave the Pirates insurance runs they didn’t need, giving the Pirates a 6-0 lead that would be the final score.

Pirates Takeaways

TO THE MAX!: Kranick pitched a career-high 90 pitches Sunday afternoon and delivered his best start since his MLB debut. There were maybe a few times where Kranick left a hanging slider over the plate, but for the most part, he hit his spots and made a “meaningless game,” meaningful.

OH, MOMMA!: David Bednar returned from the IL today and was inserted into the game in the 7th inning. Bednar’s curveball looked sharp; his fastball sat around 95, topped at 97, and he seemed to be back in form.

Walk it Out: Combined with a wild Phillies pitching performance and good patience at the plate, the Pirates bats drew 11 walks and constantly forced the Philadelphia pitching staff to pitch from the stretch.

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