On a cool afternoon in September the Pirates took the field for what would be their last home game of the year. The only things riding on the outcome were a possible series victory over the Cubs or the potential of moving one step closer to the 1st Overall Pick in the MLB July Amateur Draft. All of the end of the season awards had been announced by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the BBWAA earlier in the day, in spite of the fact that there are three games remaining in the season; with Jacob Stallings taking home the Clemente (Team MVP) and Steve Brault being selected for the Blass (Best Pitcher). Stallings also received the Tanner (Media Cooperation) award.
For the Pirates, Chad Kuhl would place his foot on the rubber in his final start of the year. In a season returning from injury Kuhl, that has had its ups and downs, he ended on a high note; taking a no hitter into the 6th and ending with seven shut out innings. And for the first time in what seems like forever, the Pirates bats collectively woke up and backed their pitcher’s play. On the game they tallied 14 hits, four of them for home runs; leaving only John Ryan Murphy behind without a hit.
As the game entered the eighth inning, the bullpen came up huge for the second game in a row; not allowing a single base runner and extending the scoreless innings streak for Pirates relievers to six and a third. For Pittsburgh this was one of their more complete games of year as they shut out the Cubs 7-0; taking the series 3 games to one.
The Pirates are back at it again tomorrow, this time in Cleveland at 7:10 PM EST, for the first of three to finish out the year. Mitch Keller (1-1, 3.24 ERA) is on the bump for the Buccos as they take on “Cookie” Carrasco (3-4, 2.90 ERA) and the Indians.
News and Notes:
- Jared Oliva got his first Major League hit on a single off starter Alec Mills in the bottom of the second. He added another in the 4th, but was called out when he couldn’t avoid a JT Riddle ground ball.
- Adam Frazier continues one of his patented hot streaks by going 2 for 5 and launching his second home run in as many days over the Clemente Wall.
- Moran was obviously mad the he was not named MVP as he hit his team leading 9th homer of the season in a 3 for 3 day at the plate.
- Geoff Hartlieb and Blake Cederlind both bounced back nicely with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings.