Pirates (23-38) Swept by Dodgers 6-3, Keller Struggles Again

Win, lose, or draw, the biggest story to come out of this game was written by the 3rd inning. Mitch Keller has started 27 games in MLB, and for at least a moment let’s do away with the silly good game/bad game pattern thing and look at the overall picture. He came into today with a career 6.14 ERA and that got worse today as he allowed 4 runs in 2.2 IP.

In a season that doesn’t matter record wise anyway, it makes sense to give a player like Keller time to figure things out, but if I’m honest that time has come and gone.

Out of every pitcher the Pirates have started on the mound this season Mitch has by far the most upside, but upside and production are two different things. The argument that he has learned all he can in AAA has been made, hell I’ve made it, but at some point you have to wonder if they’re doing more damage than good.

One thing is for sure, he’s not giving the team a chance to win on most of his trips to the mound. At some point what he was supposed to do this year has to be balanced by what he is actually doing.

One option is to move him to the bullpen, but I hesitate to take that approach, why take a problem from the beginning of on game every five days and introduce it to the middle of 2 or 3 a week?

Again, the Pirates scratched and clawed their way back into this one and actually recovered from the 4-1 deficit to make it 4-3 powered by a two run shot by Bryan Reynolds.

Duane Underwood Jr. and Kyle Crick each surrendered a run to make it 6-3 and the heavens opened. Crick was obviously not pleased that the umpire refused to call it and started slow walking everything on the mound, not that I blame him, can’t imagine it was easy to get a grip, even if he was using whatever Gerrit left in the locker room.

Games like this on a getaway day for a West Coast team often get called, and that’s exactly what happened today. 7,1 innings in the books, game over. 6-3 Dodgers.

Tomorrow the Pirates start a fresh series in Milwaukee and they’ll send Chase De Jong to the mound to face Brandon Woodruff

News & Notes

  • Mookie Betts has been slumping, but a Mitch Keller fastball as center cut as center cut gets is gonna get hammered, and did in the first to hand the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first.
  • That’s now 12 straight losses to the Dodgers for the Pirates.
  • If Miguel Yajure were healthy rather than being shut down through June, the calls for Mitch Keller being demoted might merit more thought. As it stands it would only warrant more starts for Trevor Cahill. At some point they’re going to have to decide what’s best for the player. Is it here or in AAA? That’s not an easy call, and you or me being sick of watching him struggle unfortunately won’t be where they find their answer. Today had a different feel. Just my gut, but I feel like they make the call to send him down.
  • With his third inning double Adam Frazier extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
  • Bryan Reynolds continues his hot power streak with a two run shot that matches his jersey number at 10.
  • I have to say, every game, National, local, out of town broadcasters are awful according to my social media feeds. So stop listening. You understand the game right? So you don’t need them, volume down, listen to some tunes. Or, realize that they are little more than background noise and move past it. For instance, you know why they talked a bunch about Mookie Betts? Because he’s a sick sick ballplayer. And the next time Sean Casey is anti Pittsburgh will be the first. Silly.
  • So far no update on Moran. He was held out of the game today but was seen in the dugout with no cast or brace. Best I can do here is, maybe, a good sign.
  • Since his return to the lineup, Phillip Evans has gone 3 for 8. Certainly a welcome sign that he’s on a good path.
  • No matter what the Pirates do with Mitch Keller, the bullpen can’t continue to eat this many innings. Having players like Duane Underwood come in and eat 3-4 innings when a starter blows up has worked, but if they’re going to stick with Keller that role needs to go to someone like Trevor Cahill. If Cahill is going to remain on this club, hey, make him useful, it’s not like he’s going to turn into a 8th inning set up guy.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

2 thoughts on “Pirates (23-38) Swept by Dodgers 6-3, Keller Struggles Again

  1. Right now Pittsburgh is dead last in average runs scored a game yet I can’t help but feel they are in most games offensively but-for the starting pitching. You’re right that they can’t keep relying on middle relief at this point to solve the top of rotation woes. I don’t know what the answer is about running Keller out there but maybe AAA isn’t the worst answer at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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