Pirates Discussion: Almost, But Not Enough

On Sunday afternoon, Mitch Keller went with a completely different mix of pitches, and it worked in his favor.

In his previous start, Keller threw six shutout innings against the New York Mets. He added another seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals last night. Keller hasn’t given up a run since a Kolten Wong two-run homerun in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in another six inning start on August 30th.

Keller threw 91 pitches, with 57 of them going for strikes. He had been going sinker-slider heavy for a good portion of the season. Against the Cardinals, his four seam fastball and curveball lead the way. He used his curveball 28 times (31%) with the four seam closely behind at 27 pitches (30%). The sinker wasn’t too far behind at 27 (25%) with the slider only thrown 11 times (12%).

Keller ended the night allowing two hits and three walks, while striking out six across his seven innings.

The Pittsburgh Pirates offense provided enough to put Keller in line for his sixth victory. The bullpen wasn’t able to hold the lead.

Oneil Cruz didn’t have a hit in the game, but he gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when his ground out scored Greg Allen.

Jack Suwinski led off the seventh inning with his 16th homer of the season — and second in back-to-back games — to extend the lead to 2-0.

Duane Underwood Jr. pitched the 8th inning and didn’t allow a run, holding the Cardinals to only one hit on 18 pitches.

Chase De Jong  was picked to close out the game, and joined in the long line of relievers who can’t manage to actually close out a game. After a double to begin the inning, former Bucco Corey Dickerson hit an RBI double and cut the lead to 2-1. That brought up Albert Pujols, and as you’d expect he hit a two-run homer to take the lead. It was his 18th of the season and 697th of his career (hopefully he hits three before the end of the month so the Pirates aren’t the 700th highlight reel forever). After De Jong got the first out of the inning, he then gave up a home run to Tyler O’Neill to make it 4-2.

The Pirates didn’t really threaten in the bottom of the ninth, aside from Greg Allen hitting his 2nd homer of the season to conclude the game at 4-3.

Pirates @ Reds

Time: 6:40 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Bryse Wilson (2-8, 6.11)

Reds Starter: Mike Minor (4-10, 5.70)

Wilson Notes: Bryse Wilson’s previous appearance was in relief of Duane Underwood Jr. in game one of a double header. He ended up throwing six innings against the Mets in relief giving up four earned runs that were scored all in the same inning. This will be his 17th start in 2022 which will set a career high in starts surpassing 2021’s total of 16.

UPDATE: Castillo up, Park down

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AdministrativeSky236

Cal on base two more times!

Wilbur Miller

They REALLY need to leave him out there most of the remaining games and see what kind of case he can make for himself.

bscat

fulltime DH

robertkasperski

robertkasperski

Save!! Whew!!!! Still nervous…..

1979andCounting

6 blown saves in 9 tries……and Shelton keeps going back for more. I recall Shelton’s wife saying in a live interview that her husband is like a dog with a bone, just will keep banging his head into the wall, convinced something will work. I’m paraphrasing but not much….but she was saying he was extremely stubborn. Not a great quality for a MLB mgs.

TNBucs

Wow–she summarizes one of my biggest concerns with Shelton. I’m sure she meant it as a compliment, but I agree that it’s not a characteristic you want in a manager. It explains a lot, though.

I just don’t see how a front office that claims to be analytically driven and a manager who stubbornly does what he thinks is best is a good pairing.

robertkasperski

Looking at the current crew in the pen, not a whole lot to choose from currently that instills confidence in them. Probably the top 3 choices on the roster besides Crowe are on the IL now. Maybe Manny but I would not be confident with him either.

TNBucs

The disaster that our pen has been has shifted some of my concern about our leadership from Shelton to Cherington. And because Cherington is being “held accountable” by a hockey guy who was hired mainly to increase revenues as opposed to overseeing a winning team, I have little hope that there will be a change anytime soon. So I’ll just hope that somehow Cherington can achieve what is supposedly one of the easier parts of roster-building so that we’ll have a competent pen in ’23.

jon6er

Yeah not having a whole lot to choose from is a problem but if you are going to watch one guy implode without at least trying the next guy you’re making the situation worse. If a manager is going to watch a guy he just brought in give a couple screaming line drive hits followed by a couple of walks and then doesn’t think he should try the next guy he shouldn’t be managing. Meet DS!

robertkasperski

He did try the next guy in DeJong and he imploded as well. We shall see who gets the call when a 9th inning guy is needed in both games today. He will have to use 2 different guys.

jon6er

I was actually referring to guys during the same game and not the closing debacle. I have no problem with Chase but it wasn’t meant to be.

TNBucs

I guess Shelton is just going to fully lean into his overuse of Crowe. Hope it works tonight…

PirateRican21

forkball

I feel for Crowe. I think he thought he was only pitching one inning…

robertkasperski

Happy Crowe Day Y’all !!!!

![]comment image)_

bucsws2014

Guess we won’t be seeing Crowe in either game tomorrow. Maybe not Wednesday either.

1979andCounting

Time to start closing with Stephenson.

docdon385

Okay so Newman’s not a great hitter but he can really…….huh, what is it he’s good at it again?

PirateRican21


Effing Newman!

Last edited 22 days ago by PirateRican21
AdministrativeSky236

We just need some guys to go take next year’s starting roles for themselves! I’d love for castro to be that guy. Maybe even gives us some sneaky MIF trade bait…

Anthony

Next year it’s prob one bone with Castro AND Castillo, can’t see how they both make the 25-man.

bscat

Castro = starter @ 2B. . . Castillo = back-up infielder

AdministrativeSky236

True! I probably shouldnt count anything before the guys come up and perform lol, in theory we should be able to fill both mif positions and a utility guy with above average to plus players… one would think

PirateRican21

Wilson’s landing is one you do not teach!

Last edited 22 days ago by PirateRican21
PirateRican21

Diego lefty killer Castillo.

skliesen

That’s two absolutely majestic HR’s for Castro this week. He gives a whole new meaning to the high hard one.

PirateRican21

Castro, Castro!

NMR

1979andCounting

Seeing some great D first few innings!! Allen (2), Key with hand/eye recovery, Chavis digging one out.

PirateRican21

Minor smells like next year bargain/dumpster dive lefty starter……wasn’t a fan of neither the Anderson or Q acquisition and they worked out, so….

1979andCounting

Yeah I think Minor wants far away from G.A. ballpark.

bucsws2014

He’s a little worse at GABP, but he pretty much stinks everywhere this year. Looking at some splits, I’m wondering if his sequencing sucks or he’s tipping. Even when he’s ahead 1-2, batters are doing very well.

PirateRican21

Go through the more change ups Quintana plan.

AdministrativeSky236

Cal gets on base like 7 times in 2 games then sits for 2… i guess because of LHP? But man was hot idk why you sit him

Anthony

Most likely bc they play two today, thought about that with Cruz as well.

Wilbur Miller

I always feel like Dumbo’s decisions are totally divorced from what’s happening on the field.

joesolo6181

I admit it I had given up on Keller. It was one good start and then one bad start but now it seems that he has either learned how to pitch or figured out the game mentally. HE always seemed to have the physical tools to achieve success. I was wrong to give up on him and I am every happy and excited for him and the team going forward. I even think his last outing reduced his ERA under 4.00.

Shultzie31

Same here. A pleasant surprise at this point

Catch_22

4.01

john_fluharty

Is Keller becoming a smart pitcher? He seems to adjust his game plan depending on his opponent.

PirateRican21

Which is not easy to do, having both 4-2 seamer working.

Catch_22

He seemingly went from pitching scared sh*tless, to one of the more cerebral pitchers I’ve seen. It’s to the point where he’s almost toying with hitters.

NMR

Success breeds confidence!

Marin puts the gameplan together, Mitch executes. They found the mix that works, and these are the results you see.

skliesen

A plan is only as good as it’s executed. I love how they are mixing up his approach from game to game, but I love how Keller is commanding his pitches even more.

1979andCounting

Well, that would be a nice story and my thought too. But Mitch spoke during the telecast last week with Brownie…….that he is basically winging things on the fly. If one pitch isn’t working like it optimally should, he and the catcher just go to what’s working that particular game. I actually like this Plan B better than forcing something that isn’t there. Let’s slow down on Marin……

Catch_22

The real Mitch Keller has stood up.

JoeNastasi

Man I really wish they would’ve extended him last year

skliesen

Can we all agree BC needs to prioritize bullpen with whatever minuscule budget he’s given to spend this winter?

Mtgj

Yes, Yes, yes, YES, please yes. God yes.

Catch_22

When you’re pitching Chase DeJong in the 9th to save games, you have a major problem with quality of arms.

1979andCounting

DeJong has had maybe 2 or 3 poor outings out of his 34 appearances. He could even be called dominant with his sub 1.82 era, and sub 1.00 whip. Every reliever, even All-Stars and HOFer gets hit on occasion…….Chapman, Hader, Kimbrel, Jansen, Holmes, Bednar…….I mean no one is immune to blowing a save. DeJong earned the chance, he was successful a week ago in getting the save.

b mcferren

trade prospects for relievers? I’m for it

Wilbur Miller

+++++

b mcferren

2023 bullpen is already here

Bednar
Yerry
De Jong
Tanaj
Bolten
Crowe
Oviedo
Banuelos
Holderman
Samiego
Flowers
Ortiz
Cederlind

Last edited 22 days ago by b mcferren
skliesen

Not even close to good enough.

bscat

Mears?

Mtgj

I think Oviedo to the bullpen could really help, he seems like a really good bullpen guy, I also think they should sign a veteran with closer experience to be the closer and allow bednar to pitch in more high leverage situations in the 7th or 8th innings.

PirateRican21

The key is signing starters that could push guys like Ortiz, Bolton, Bido to the pen instead instead of more 5th starters! These three have at least one pitch that should shine in the pen, but struggle with either platoon splits and or long exposure!

b mcferren

i think the bullpen dudes are just tired (specifically Crowe and De Jong)

all that stupid dewey “starter” nonsense that took place in the beginning of the season has taken a tool on these guys

I approve of their efforts this season and I support them in 2023

john_fluharty

Agreed, and I’m concerned that Crowe will have a down year after being overworked this year.

PirateRican21

Down year……?
😃

Last edited 22 days ago by PirateRican21
john_fluharty

It can be worse lol

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