7-6-21 By Craig W. Toth @BucsBasement on Twitter
Coming into last night’s game Chad Kuhl was looking to bounce back from a poor start, in which his reoccurring blisters had caused a lack of command; resulting in a walk, a wild pitch and a hit batsmen all in the same inning, after pretty much cruising through the Colorado lineup through the first four.
From the beginning it was clear that Kuhl was not fazed by this momentary blip, as he meticulously made his way six innings; allowing a solo home run, while striking out seven and walking none. For Kuhl it has battle, one that he is currently winning, to get his ERA down from 6.41 pre-injury, to where it currently stands at 4.73; obviously not idea, but there has been a lot of progress.
With the bats, it ended up become more of a waiting game, as well as some missed opportunities, for the Pirates, as the majority of time was filled by dinks and dunks, walks and a long fly ball by newly acquired John Nogowski that sailed just left of the fouls pole, and in to the rotunda.
Eventually, this persistence and patience worked out for Pittsburgh as they worked their way to three free passes in the final frame to walk it off against the Braves by a score of 2 to 1.
News and Notes
- Not only was Kuhl in control, but so was the Pirates bullpen (Chris Stratton, David Bednar and Richard Rodriguez), as they allowed only one hit over the final three innings.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes seems to be breaking out of his slump, hopefully, as he slapped two doubles on the night; to go with his late inning homer and 6th inning single from Hayes on the previous night. Maybe giving him the day “off” on Sunday was just what he needed to reset and recharge.
- The Pirates have won three straight after dropping the previous six. This type of up and down play is to be expected from a young, rebuilding team. My only real hope for the remainder of the season is that the lows don’t last as long, and don’t bottom out as much as they have over the past week.
- Ben Gamel is currently on a hot streak; slashing .346/.414/.885 with 4 homers in his last 7 games, which simply means he needs to be in the lineup everyday. What it doesn’t mean, is that he needs to be extended. Gamel has one more year of arbitration left, and could be had for a small price, to bridge the gap between the current state of the Pirates outfield and the prospects that should be on their way from Altoona, and the IL in Travis Swaggerty’s case. I also don’t see much of a trade market for a guy who has accumulated 1.9 WAR in his career, unless he continues to explode over the next 17 games or so; but even then I still don’t see it happening, and if it does the return would more than likely be extremely minimal.
- Bryan Reynold’s manufactured both RBIs on the night, without recording a hit. Not that this is important, I just found it interesting.
- Prior to the start of the game Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-IL with a bilateral adductor strain and Phillip Evans went to the 7-Day while in the concussion protocol. This resulted in Cole Tucker and Rodolfo Castro being elevated to the Big League Club, as what Derek Shelton described as “depth pieces”.
The Pirates look to sweep the Braves-not something I honestly saw happening, but I’m here for it-in just a few hours at 12:35 PM EST from PNC Park.
For Pittsburgh, Wil Crowe (1-5, 6.26 ERA) is set to take the mound against Drew Smyly (6-3, 4.42 ERA) for Atlanta.