First Pitch

First Pitch: The Bullpen Gets a Boost in Time For the Playoffs

First Pitch: The Bullpen Gets a Boost in Time For the Playoffs

Jason Grilli returned to the closer role tonight. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen has been lights out all year. Lately that same bullpen has been without two of the top performers this season. I'm not talking about the struggles from Mark Melancon, since Melancon is still a dominant pitcher, and the blown saves this week were hardly anything to worry about. I'm talking about Jason Grilli and Justin Wilson.

Grilli returned at the start of the month, but has been limited until recently. In three of his first four outings back he struggled to make it out of the inning. In his last two outings he did much better, pitching shutout innings each time. Tonight he returned to the closer role. After giving up a leadoff single he got a ground ball for a double play, followed by a ground ball to shortstop for the final out. That grounder was very similar to the one Melancon got with two outs on Friday night, only this time it was Clint Barmes making the throw to en...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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