Pirates (18-27) Lose to Braves, Mitch Keller Can’t Slow Atlanta Offense

The Braves lineup is built to deliver haymakers until they connect enough and you submit. Leading the league in homeruns and each and every one of them is damn proud of it. Love ’em or hate ’em, the Braves are exactly what baseball has been geared toward, explosive offense that doesn’t fear the strikeout.

I like watching them play, the lineup is a murderers row when they’re all swinging it and just about everyone not playing centerfield this weekend would lead our Pirates in dingers.

I have been watching the Braves build this team for half a decade now, not because I like the Braves, as much as I loved the approach they took to get here.

Let’s just take a quick look here. After losing the 2013 NLDS to the Dodgers, the Braves embarked on a rebuild. They held onto anchor 1B Freddie Freeman, and went to work.
for 4 straight years they finished under .500 while they amassed talent and finally in 2018 the emergence of Ronald Acuña Jr. that season’s Rookie of the year.

They acquired Acuña in the International Free Agent Market in 2014, Ozzie Albies in 2013, William Contreras in 2015.
They traded Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier to Arizona for Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson the 2015 number 1 overall pick and drafted Austin Riley in the first round back in 2015.

Most of the pitching staff was drafted or acquired as a prospect with the notable exception of the free agents they added like Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly.

A slow build, and the only thing they spent money on for a few years there was Freddie Freeman. It’s the right way to build, and they’re poised with young talent to keep it together. They’re to be admired, even if you can’t stomach watching your team get their brains beat in against them.

So, on to today’s game right?

Mitch Keller just didn’t look sharp tonight, giving up 5 runs in five innings and seemingly backsliding on the slider he had worked so hard to introduce last outing.

Didn’t seem to be the same old same old this time out though, he didn’t look overwhelmed or frustrated per se but he also gave up some hard contact and the slider looked like it was hanging all day.

Bucs lose 6-1 to Atlanta with a chance to split the series tomorrow.
JT Brubaker vs Max Fried at 1:20PM in Atlanta.

News & Notes

  • Braves starter Bryse Wilson only surrendered one run and it came off the bat of Michael Perez on a solo shot.
  • The Bucs had 7 hits today, they just can’t string them together to save their lives.
  • Bryan Reynolds and Adam Frazier are providing consistency. When the team wins or threatens to win, they get contributions from Jacob Stallings, Gregory Polanco, or even Kevin Newman. It’s nice to have that consistency, but without another 2 guys to stretch this lineup out a bit, that’s the formula and nothing will bring it but time.
  • Trevor Cahill was placed on the 10-day IL today retroactive and Kyle Crick was activated from his stint.
  • Something I’ve noticed with Derek Shelton, when he gets a player called up or brought in from another organization he seems to use them very sparingly for a couple days. The notable exception being Will Craig who has played everyday since his call up.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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