Conviction. Command. Stuff.
Three things that make the engine go for Mitch Keller, three things that have rarely lined up for him at the same time. This afternoon, he had everything working.
The slider was on a better plane, the fastball had a deceptive but controllable tail, and more than anything, he wasn’t afraid of contact, he just pounded the zone all day and as with my notes on JT Brubaker’s performance earlier in the day, opponent noted.
Adam Frazier got the party started on the first pitch of this one, connecting to take Gomber out of the park.
The Pirates would add another in the 3rd and this one was a gift from old friend Elias Diaz.
Another add on in the 4th as Ka’ai Tom celebrates returning from the IL and his birthday.
After 5 strong from Keller the Pirates turned to Sam Howard to face his former club and he delivered a shut down 6th.
To lead off the 6th, Jacob Stallings hit his first major league triple. and Will Craig drove him in with a bloop single to right to make it 4-0.
Bednar was called upon to get the last three outs up 4-0 seeking the second shutout of the day. He would struggle, walking the first two batters he faced. A mound visit ensued and facing Elias Diaz he came back throwing strikes and he got the K. Now Hampson, strike one 97 MPH, wicked curve, and another which created a weak liner that Kevin Newman played on a hop, probably could have caught it and doubled the runner off but it was close.
2 outs and Tapia was up and Bednar got him to line out to Reynolds. Game. 4-0
More important than any one outing or plate appearance was the collective effort. Offense came from all over the lineup in both games.
As I’ve noted several times, the Rockies are bad, but you have to beat who you play.
Back at it tomorrow at 1:05 No probable pitchers have been announced but as I said in game one’s recap it’s likely to be Chad Kuhl for the Pirates.
News & Notes
- Who says you can’t come home again? Elias Diaz on ball four wildly threw a ball to third that scored the Pirates 2nd run of the game.
- Mitch Keller had a good outing, looked in command the entire outing until with two outs in the 5th he walked Elias Diaz and gave up a long double to Matt Adams. He regrouped and got Tapia to ground out and preserve the shutout. Nice step forward for him today, he needs to break this silly every other game thing and build on this outing.
- Ka’ai Tom hit a line drive homerun with 109 MPH exit velocity 411 feet as a nice birthday present to himself.
- For the Curve today Oneil Cruz hit a double. Take a look at how much shorter his swing is. That’s what they’ve been working on with him and he’s finally starting to embrace it.