Pirates (29-43) Ride Perfect Debut from Max Kranick to Take 3 of 4 from Red Birds

When you work your way through the arduous journey to become an MLB player, you have to imagine that you picture a complete game, or a walk off hit, you know, something attainable. Max Kranick quite literally couldn’t have done better in his debut for the Bucs today, tossing 5 innings of perfect baseball aided by this insane play Ke’Bryan Hayes.

Take nothing away from Max here, he did a terrific job and was efficient as it gets, throwing 50 pitches in five innings to shut down the Cardinals 15 up and 15 down.

Now, I’ve already seen several mentions that Derek Shelton is a moron for pulling him from the game, but a perfect game or no, starters just don’t come back from an hour and four minute rain delay. He’s not been consistent or smart with all his moves, but this one he comes off clean. If anything, the rain delay saved him from having to make a very unpopular move later should Kranick have kept it going.

Now, pitching is half the story, the bats came to play too.

Frazier, Hayes and Reynolds combined for 7 hits while Ben Gamel and Gregory Polanco popped solo shots to extend the lead.

Duane Underwood replaced Kranick and gave up 2 runs in 3 innings pitched. He looked great or the first two, and struggled in the 8th but wiggled out of it.

Not to act like it took some extra vision to see it but Ben Gamel is far superior to Tom. I see zero reason to play him again. He delivered twice and got robbed once of even more results. Notably from the 8 hole, so it’s not like he was being protected by Reynolds or something.

News & Notes

  • Max Kranick made his debut at the plate before he took the mound today as the Pirates batted around in the first inning. He also receives his first MLB win for his efforts.
  • Adam Frazier just continues to collect hits, 3 more today. He’s a machine at this point and his mechanics make it hard to see it slow down much.
  • The Pirates plan to use a 6 man rotation through the All Star Break and it would seem Kranick has punched his ticket to be part of it.
  • Speaking of the All Star game, Adam Frazier finished 2nd in voting for second base. Shockingly Bryan Reynolds didn’t finish in the top 20 for outfielders. Fortunately fans only make part of the equation, it’s hard to believe with the numbers Bryan has been putting up he won’t get an invite. He’s having a much better season than no fewer than 14 of the names in the top 20 for voting.
  • One of the Pirates runs was a direct result of a Yadier Molina passed ball. The Cardinals didn’t look like the Cardinals in this series, and I’m fine with it.
  • The Pirates are now 6-3 in their last 9. Not a bad rebound from losing 10 in a row not long ago.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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