The Pittsburgh Pirates homestand did not start off on the right foot.
Mitch Keller who has been one of the Pirates most consistent starters didn’t look right from the get go. His velocity was significantly down and the Boston Red Sox knocked him around. Keller managed to only last two innings while giving up five runs of which four were earned. The Pirates ended up pulling him after the second inning due to right shoulder fatigue.
The game didn’t really have much action after the first two innings. Chase De Jong threw four innings of shut out ball in relief of Keller which saved the bullpen a lot. Austin Brice followed De Jong’s four hitless innings with two of his own and then Manny Banuelos threw a hitless ninth while collecting three strikeouts.
The offense that had only one hit through seven innings against Nick Pivetta. They finally broke through in the eighth against the Red Sox bullpen. That bullpen arm being former Pirates LHP Austin Davis.
With one out, Jason Delay kicked things of with a single to center. Tucupita Marcano then walked on four pitches, before Kevin Newman dropped a ball into LF to load the bases. This brought up Bryan Reynolds who was coming off a huge game on Sunday where he collected five RBI’s. In this at bat Reynolds struck out looking on a pitch that he wasn’t very happy with. Frustrated with the third called strike, Reynolds lashed out and ended up being quickly tossed by the home plate umpire. Ben Gamel would then step to the plate and lace a 2-2 pitch to RF for a bases clearing double bringing the five run deficit to a 5-3 game. Kevin Padlo — fresh off a promotion — would then be replaced by Josh Vanmeter who flied out to center on the first pitch he saw.
That was unfortunately all the offense the Pirates could muster and they went down quietly 5-3.
The bigger storyline is with regards to Keller’s health. He had turned things around and was quickly becoming the most consistent starter of the staff. If Keller is to miss any significant time then things may quickly turn grim as the depth beyond Roansy Contreras isn’t very strong.
To finish on a high note as he did Tuesday night, Manny Banuelos has been a very strong addition to the bullpen. He didn’t fare well in his first appearance lasting only a third of an inning while giving up five earned runs. Since then he’s given up only one earned run through 13 IP while also only allowing two of nine inherited runners to score.
Red Sox @ Pirates
Time: 7:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (3-2, 3.78)
Red Sox Starter: Rich Hill (4-5, 4.75)
Contreras Notes: Roansy Contreras makes his long awaited return to the majors for his 10th MLB start on the season after checking all his boxes in Triple-A. During his recent stay in Indianapolis, Contreras made a total of four starts giving up six earned runs across 14.0 IP. In those 14.0 IP he struckout 22 batters while only walking two. Sitting at 84.1 IP on the season between MLB and the minors, Roansy has already surpassed his 2021 innings total of 61.0 IP — 75.0 IP if you count his fall league innings — between stops in Altoona, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.
UPDATE: Contreras and Heineman return
UPDATE #2: Injury updates
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 17, 2022
1. Tommy Pham LF
2. Rafael Devers 3B
3. Xander Bogaerts SS
4. Alex Verdugo RF
5. JD Martinez DH
6. Eric Hosmer 1B
7. Christian Arroyo 2B
8. Reese McGuire C
9 Kiké Hernández CF
SP. Rich Hill