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Pirates Takeaways: Starting Struggles Continue for Bryse Wilson



Pirates Wilson Fletcher

PITTSBURGH — Bryse Wilson’s first three games of the season came while starting for the Pirates and it’s safe to say the right-hander struggled. In those three starts, Wilson gave up eight earned runs in 11.1 innings, walked six and struck out eight.

One of the biggest problems for Wilson in those starts was allowing early runs to the opposition. All eight of those earned runs against Wilson came in either the first or second inning.

This prompted Derek Shelton to use Wilson in a different role. Wilson made his next two appearances out of the bullpen, in relief of lefty Dillon Peters, who was used as a multi-inning opener. The move paid off for Wilson, who wasn’t charged with an earned run over 7.2 innings. He allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out 10.

Tuesday’s loss to the Dodgers was Wilson’s first appearance at the beginning of the game since Apr. 21 and his struggles in that role continued. Wilson was tagged with six earned runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings. Two of those six runs came in the first inning. Wilson walked one and struck out four.

When asked why Wilson started the game instead of coming in the game in relief, manager Derek Shelton said, “We’ve gone back and forth with different things and we said we’d be flexible in how we’d do it.”

The Pirates decided to give him a another start, but the decision didn’t pay off and put the Bucs in an insurmountable early hole.

It was tough on Wilson to face a lineup as potent as the one the Dodgers have, and he knew that it would be.

“There’s no free outs in their lineup,” Wilson said. “With a team in general like that, it’s tough to face for sure.”

It remains to be seen how Wilson will be used moving forward, but Shelton stated how results matter, even if just one game. “Results always matter and they always play into decisions, and the other thing is sometimes availability, sometimes lineup.”

The Pirates will continue to work on flexibility for roles for a number of their pitchers, not just Wilson, moving forward.

Allowed Loud Contact, A Lot

This Dodgers offense looked much more as advertised on Tuesday as opposed to Monday when they managed just a single run. Not only did they hit Wilson around, but they hit him hard. Of the 10 balls in play against Wilson, eight registered an exit velocity of at least 90 mph with another reading 88.6 mph.

Wilson said he felt like the Dodgers had a strong scouting report against him, and had his number from the first inning. “I didn’t execute some pitches their in the first inning and I think after that they just put really good swings on really good pitches.”

Anthony Banda came in the game and proceeded to let up back-to-back doubles with exit velocities both over 102 mph. The Dodgers finally got to Beau Sulser the second time through the lineup against him, and he allowed some loud extra-base hits too.

Glad To See The Calendar Flip

After Bryan Reynolds got off to a surprisingly slow start to begin the season, he’s looked much more like himself in the month of May. After his first inning double, Reynolds has recorded 10 hits in 29 at-bats (.345) in the month of May. In now eight games this month, Reynolds has three doubles, two homers, three walks and only four strikeouts. 

Gamel Getting It Done

After reaching base twice via walks in this one, Ben Gamel has now reached base multiple times in six out of his last seven games for the Pirates. In his previous six games, Gamel was 12 for 25 (.480) and posted a 1.300 OPS. He showcased his power with three doubles, a triple and a homer and drove in six runs.

In a game in which the Pirates could manage only three hits, Gamel utilized another element of his game at drew a pair of walks against Tony Gonsolin. He was the only Pirates player to reach base twice against the Dodgers starter.

Dodgers Got A Good One In Gonsolin

Coming into Tuesday’s contest, opponents were batting just .188 with a .540 OPS against Gonsolin, The Pirates, perhaps expectedly, struggled against the right-hander, recording only one hit against him.

What makes Gonsolin so tough?

“I think it was the curveball, because I think he was really inconsistent with the fastball and his split … but then he started to land the curveball,” Shelton said.

Even on a night where Gonsolin didn’t have his best stuff, he proved extremely effective against the Pirates.

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