Long before today’s contest began in Chicago, this game was going to carry more importance than a third game of the season typically would.
Mitch Keller was scheduled to take the mound for the first time this season and after an uninspiring Spring seeing anything positive to take away from his outing would have been nice for reassuring a fan base desperate to see any sign of like from the young pitcher.
He did not provide much of that today. It’s simple to say that control was an issue but reality is being terrified to throw his pitches in the zone is, was and will be his problem.
Michael Perez at one point in the first stopped setting up outside or inside instead having Mitch’s target middle middle to force him back in the zone. It worked to a degree, forcing him to get in the zone a bit more but creating fat pitches. Well worth it if the message gets through.
News & Notes
– The bullpen remains a strong suit for the Pirates even if Duane Underwood will get saddled with the loss today,
– David Bednar in game 3 got a visual confirmation of how the club sees him as he took the mound in the bottom of the 8th with a one run deficit. Back end is absolutely in his future, maybe very back.
– Poor base running has been a theme this season and a player like Anthony Alford can Ill afford to be culprit number one. This team is going to survive on OBA, that number matters much less if you run yourself out of bases.
– Dereck Shelton has shown in the early going that he is going to leave the lineup alone largely and for continuity’s sake it’s a smart play.