PITTSBURGH — The Pirates will go for their fifth series win of the season Thursday afternoon, as they’ll play the rubber match of their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.
The Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak during the second half of Wednesday’s doubleheader and did it by getting back to the patient offense that propelled them to their hot start of 2018.
I wrote on Wednesday that the got their hot start thanks to drawing walks and not striking out, and that was the plan on Wednesday as the Pirates scored 18 runs in 18 innings.
ON THE HILL
Ivan Nova will take the mound to try to keep the starting rotation rolling along. The rotation has quietly settled into a pretty good place over the last two turns, with an unusual exception.
April 25, Kuhl: 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 Ks
April 25, Taillon: 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 3 Ks
April 22, Williams: 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 Ks
April 21, Brault: 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks
April 20, Nova: 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 Ks
April 19, Taillon: 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Ks
April 18, Kuhl: 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks
April 17, Williams: 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Ks
April 16, Brault: 6 IP, 5 ER, 1 K
April 15, Nova: 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Ks
Of the last 10 starting outing, seven of them have been for three runs or fewer, a fantastic sign for a rotation with three second-year pitchers in Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams.
But it’s not been a great stretch for Jameson Taillon, the team’s would-be ace, who owns two of the three sub-par starts. Matt Gajtka took a look at what’s been ailing the Pirates’ young star.
Gm 25: ☠ (13-11) vs. 🐅 (10-12)
P 🇩🇴 (4.20 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (3.47)
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) April 26, 2018
Here's how we line up for the rubber match vs. the Pirates: pic.twitter.com/uGSKbJ1zzg
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 26, 2018
Nice enough to make Tim Williams jealous. It’s sunny, with a high of 62 degrees and just enough of a breeze to lift the flags from right field to left. It’s also weather day at the ballpark, meaning that several hundred elementary school kids were on hand to get a weather lesson from WPXI’s Stephen Cropper pregame and will take in the game from the right field grandstand.