Over the course of five starts Tyler Anderson has performed as advertised, and possibly a little over expectations at times; which is kind of a welcomed consistency every five starts in a somewhat inexperienced and/or unpredictable rotation, outside of the calm hand of JT Brubaker. He won’t blow you away with velocity or dazzle you with knee bending air benders, but the command and control often speaks for itself out of the pause and hitch delivery from this crafty lefty; who allowed only one run, after a questionable call by the umpire, on three hits, while striking out five and walking two on 90 pitches across six innings.
For the Royals a formidable foe, Jakob Janis, kept the Pirates bats in check outside of a nicely directed RBI single off the bat of Colin Moran and a bloop, go ahead single from pinch hitter Wilmer Difo; giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
From there, and actually from the half inning before then, Pittsburgh’s bullpen did exactly what they have done pretty much all year; as Duane Underwood Jr., Sam Howard and Richard Rodriguez allowed only one hit, struck out three and walked none to preserve a 2-1 victory over the Royals in the quick two game, middle of the week series.
News and Notes:
- Your Pittsburgh Pirates are now 12-11 on the season, after starting the year 1-6. They now have their longest winning streak of the season, three games, and are firmly planted in the second spot in a struggling NL Central.
- Colin Moran has a 3 for 4 night after going into a slight slump over the past week. He currently leads the team in RBIs (17) and OPS (.854), while playing a solid first base.
- Derek Shelton needs to get Phillip Evans a breather. Over his past 7 games he is batting just .148 and if I am being honest, just looks overmatched at the plate recently. Unfortunately the Pirates outfield options are limited at this time, and with the Ke’Bryan Hayes injury last longer than expected, he and Erik Gonzalez have been forced into regular duty rather than the intended utility roles.
- It is worth mentioning again that this Pirates bullpen has pretty much been lights out. Lead by pretty much everyone, but also highlighted by RichRod with his 0.00 ERA, .19 WHIP, 4 Saves and 10 Ks in 10.1 innings.
- Duane Underwood Jr. earns his first win as a Pirate, and has been nothing short of impressive in the majority of his 9 appearances.
The Pirates and Royals are back at it again tomorrow inside the friendly confines of PNC Park tomorrow at 635 PM EST. For Pittsburgh, Mitch Keller (1-2, 7.16 ERA) takes the mound looking for two strong starts in a row, against Mike Minor (2–1, 4.64 ERA) for Kansas City.