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
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 12, 2022
Four games in three days against the Buccos!
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 12, 2022