Maturation is a funny thing in baseball. Some people seem born that way, others struggle to come to grips with the fact they aren’t flawless. Mitch Keller has probably had just about every description of failure to launch you can come up with in his young career.
Today, he took a step forward.
After walking the lead off batter in the first he limited the damage to one run, and it certainly could have been worse. In fact, you could say it should have been kept scoreless. Will Craig fielded a groundball and instead of taking the tag play at home he chose to take the force at second. I could argue this either way, at the end of the day, it was the less risky play and kept things from getting out of control.
The Pirates had chances against Alex Wood today, but only Ka’ai Tom was able to make it count with a sac fly to tie the score in the 4th with the bases loaded and nobody out.
In the top of the ninth with the Bucs trailing 1, David Bednar was summoned to keep it right there. He would walk the leadoff batter and surrender a bomb of a 2 run shot off the bat of Mike Yastrzemski to make it 4-1.
Tyler Rogers was called on to close the game for the Giants and he did so with little trouble after hitting Ka’ai Tom to lead off the inning.
The Pirates travel to St. Louis for their next contest on Tuesday night as JT Brubaker takes on John Gant at 7:45
News & Notes
- Mitch Keller had a noticeable jump in his velocity today, hitting 97 regularly which creates a bit more play for his 91MPH changeup. Good signs from him the past two games, looks like he might be starting to put some things together. While he velo is up, his 4-seam fastball didn’t have much movement to it, which might explain the improved control with the pitch. That said a 97 without movement is something a whole bunch of MLB hitters will get to, might need to go back to the lab just a bit on that.
- Jacob Stallings was removed from the game after taking a foul ball off his knee. Seemed precautionary, but you never know with things like this.
- Adam Frazier collected 2 more hits today, 51 on the year currently and also recorded his league leading 16th multi-hit game on the campaign.
- Clay Holmes came into trouble that Keller left behind today and did well to work his way out of what could become a big inning. He provided 2 scoreless innings today.
- Duane Underwood Jr. pitched a scoreless 8th, but it came with some loud contact. His off-speed stuff is a struggle right now, he’s lost the handle on something with his breaking stuff.