Pirates Fall As Keller Gets Tagged By The Padres

Following an effective and efficient outing by Mitch Keller on Saturday, Pirates Fans were looking for much of the same from the young right-handed starter this afternoon. Unfortunately these hopes were quickly washed away by a flood of hard contact from the San Diego Padres from the words play ball. After five hits, that included a single, three doubles and a Manny Machado two run homer, Keller and the Pirates quickly found themselves down 4-0. In top of the second things only got worse as a double, a walk, a wild pitch and a single equaled two more San Diego runs. After all was said and done Keller’s day ended with a line of 7 earned runs on 7 hits, 3 walks and 1 strike out on 81 pitches across 3.1 innings.

With the bats, Pittsburgh experienced some success, but couldn’t seem to string enough hits together to get back into the game; even as the Pirates mostly reliable bullpen kept the Friars from completely blowing things open.

In the end, the result was a series split as the Pirates fell to the Padres on a chilly afternoon at PNC Park 8-3.

News and Notes:

  • Just when I thought it could be time to stop being concerned about Keller, a rough outing like this gets the wheels turning again. For example this game pitching in the zone did not seem to be a problem, at least in the beginning, as 51 of his 83 pitches went for strikes. The real issue seemed to be sequencing and execution of the curve, slider and fastball.
  • Anthony Alford got his first hit of the season on a pinch hit 68.7 MPH single, in his 20th at bat of the season. I don’t mean to be a complete downer, but this realistically doesn’t change my opinion of what the Pirates should do with Alford when Ke’Bryan Hayes returns from injury.
  • Colin Moran continued his strong start to the season with a 2 for 4 day. He is really seeing the ball well and is taking it to all parts of the park.
  • I can’t help but continue to worry about Kevin Newman. By in large his defense has been above average, but at the plate, most balls are smacked directly in the ground; causing him to use his speed to try to leg out infield singles or beat a double play.
  • If the Padres left fielder, Tucupita Marcano , didn’t drop a Bryan Reynolds’ line drive the game could very easily have been 8-1.

Tomorrow the Pirates travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brew Crew for a three game weekend series. For Pittsburgh, JT Brubaker (1-0, 1.93 ERA) will take the mound against Adrian Houser (1-1, 1.80 ERA), to begin a nine game road trip.

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at InsidethePirates.com, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

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