The Pirates bats might have gone to sleep after their offensive explosion in game one of their doubleheader versus Milwaukee. After the Pirates lineup combined for 19 hits and 14 runs in game one, game two’s lineup was easily handled by Brewer’s top pitching prospect Aaron Ashby.
At one point, the Brew Crew’s pitching retired 10-straight before Polanco’s 5th inning walk. By then, the Pirates had combined for just three hits combined. One each from Ke’Bryan Hayes, Rodolfo Castro, and Kevin Newman.
The Pirates will finish their series with the Brewers tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Neither side has named a starter.
Mitch Keller came into this game struggling mightily on the season. He’s left way too many pitches up in the zone throughout the season and this start was crucial for his furthered development.
Keller was walking a tight rope the entire game, thanks to a tremendous double play turned by Castro and a frozen rope to home plate by Bryan Reynolds; Keller kept the Brewers scoreless through three innings pitched.
Here is the video of Reynolds throw home.
STOP RUNNING ON REYNOLDS pic.twitter.com/EziSUV1wRr
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 15, 2021
Even though Keller gave up two runs in the 4th inning, he looked better than he has. Past Mitch Keller would’ve crumbled and given up a serious crooked number. Keller would’ve only allowed one run if it wasn’t for Lorenzo Cain beating out a double play. So I would say that was a big(ish) moment for Keller in a relatively terrible season.
Keller’s day was finished after getting an out in the 5th inning. His line read 4.1 IP, 9 hits, 2 ER’s, 1 BB, and 3 K’s. Strike conversion percentage was at a solid 66%, and at the end of the day, it could’ve been worse.
Chris Stratton continued to struggle prior to this appearance; his last 14.2 innings of work, he has allowed 19 hits, 10 ER’s, and 13 BB’s. Tonight against the Brewers, Stratton allowed 2 hits, 3 ER’s, and 1 BB in 1.0 innings of pitched. Two of the three runs he gave up came off of this mammoth shot From Rowdy Tellez
Someone let us know when this ball lands 💥
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) August 15, 2021
Stat of the Day
Mitch Keller’s numbers in August during his career have not been flattering. In seven career games (32.0 Innings pitched) in August, Keller has allowed a slash line of .360/.411/.647. Opponents have a 1.058 OPS, and he has allowed a total of seven homeruns (most in any other month).
Moments that Mattered
- Keller getting out of trouble in the 2nd after a nice double play turned by Castro.
- Rodolfo Castro continues to hit the ball hard; his 2nd inning single was his third ball today that went over 100 MPH in exit velocity.
- Bryan Reynolds throws an absolute strike to the plate in the third inning to keep it 0-0
Mitch had the itch to pitch: Keller was not afraid to go after the batters in tonight’s game, which was something fans have been clamoring for this year. He didn’t seem to miss his spots a ton, and there were a few occasions where he challenged batters up in the zone with a 96 MPH fastball. Curveball didn’t have the dip I was used to, but he did use it effectively for the most part.
It’s time to give Reynolds some awards: After FanGraphs live leaderboard revealed Reynolds leading the NL hitters in WAR, it was the bow on the box of a tremendous bounce-back season. After Reynold’s frozen rope to home, it further affirmed his Gold Glove status in the race. MVP, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove talks are not out of the realm of possibility.
Anthony Banda could be solid: Even though he’s only pitched in four games, and walks are a bit of an issue early on for him, he’s only given up a hit, and with how few and far between lefty relievers are, Banda could prove to be a solid option.