8-8-21 – By Gary Morgan @garymo2007 on Twitter
Before this contest the Pirates made a flurry of roster moves. Some expected, some a bit more surprising.
First, Erik Gonzalez and Colin Moran were ready to come off the IL. To make room for Colin, Phillip Evans was optioned to AAA Indianapolis. The Pirates chose to not make room for Erik Gonzalez, he was designated for assignment.
To replace Ben Gamel who was placed on the 10 day IL, the Pirates selected the contract of Anthony Alford who had been playing really well in AAA for quite some time.
The Pirates also released Dustin Fowler.
Alford rewarded the Pirates immediately with a 3 for 4 night and I guess we’ll just ignore being picked off second base following his double in his first at bat.
Bryan Reynolds was 3 for 4 in this one finishing a double short of the cycle.
But my friends, that’s where the good news largely ends.
OK, Mitch Keller wasn’t completely awful. He gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, but he showed some things we haven’t seen from him nearly enough. First, his fastball was firmer and placed better than we’ve seen this season. His breaking stuff was hitting his spots with more frequency.
This Reds lineup is just too good to win with me using words like “better” or “more frequent”. There is just too much danger to miss as often as really any Pirates pitcher typically does.
Still I liked the push back from Keller. He didn’t seem to panic when trouble came instead he minimized the damage believe it or not from the score.
Most of the runs were scored on Chasen Shreve and Chris Stratton, two guys who are supposed to represent 2/3 of the reliable Pirates bullpen contingent. They weren’t last night.
One more game in the series as the Pirates send Bryse Wilson to the mound against Tyler Mahle at 1:10 EST
News & Notes
- The Pirates had two guys picked off in this ballgame. There is the reality that they aren’t good enough, and then there is being picked off, once while seemingly sleeping at first base by Hoy Park.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes looked more comfortable at the plate last night, and hopefully this is a trend, not much could impact this lineup more.
- Rodolfo Castro and Hoy Park made up the middle infield tonight and both men are making it hard to take them out of the lineup.