Early Inning Pitching Struggles Sink Pirates (5-3)

4/8/23- By Craig W. Toth – @BucsBasement on Twitter

Our guy Vinny did not have the revenge game, he may have imagined against the Chicago White Sox today.

Through the first two innings. he allowed one run; while hitting most of his spots. Early on he generated whiffs, and was in command of most counts.

Then at some point during the top of the third, things started to feel a little bit off; eventually resulting in Shelton coming out to see if he could give it a go for the rest of the inning, after walking two straight batters.

A wild pitch, a single and a walk later it was 5 to 1.

Obviously Pirates Fans could pile onto the Velasquez hate train, but in the bigger picture it makes sense to look at the overall burden being transferred to the bullpen for the second day in a row.

When your starters take care of 6 and 2/3 of the 18 innings over 2 games, it will naturally put stress on the bullpen.

Yesterday, things worked out because the offense out-slugged their opponent; yet, how often can that honesty happen.

As I was watching the game today, I had the feeling that the Pirates would start to string together hit after to get back into the game; but giving up 20 runs in two games usually doesn’t turn out in your favor.

Yeah, they won 13-9 in the first game, but could you honestly think 10 plus runs is in the cards everyday?

Evidently not, as Chicago South eventually outscored our Pirates 11 to 5.

News & Notes

  • White Sox Starter Mike Clevinger didn’t seem to dominate Pittsburgh’s lineup as much as it might appear; still a 5.1IP/4ER/2BB/1K line would be enough to earn the win.
  • Rodolfo Castro may have found his groove by striking a double and taking a free pass, while not striking out. Hopefully he is getting back on track.
  • Not only did Andrew McCutchen homer for the first time this season, but he also brought he early season slash line up to .375/.515/.583. Yeah, he is definitely feeding off of the emotions of being back home.
  • Bryan Reynolds has at least one hit in every game to begin the year. Now hitting .424 with a 1.432 OPS, one might wonder if he is ever going to slow down.
  • With Hill getting pounded over in the first game of the series, and Velasquez possibly dealing with an injury-or general ineffectiveness, Oviedo’s start on Sunday might hold more importance than it otherwise would have.
  • Down in Indianapolis, Top Pitching Prospect Mikes Burrows exited the game in the second inning with an apparent injury, which delivers a hit to the Pirates perceived pitching depth in the upper levels.

Tomorrow the Pirates and White Sox meet in the rubber match at PNC, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:35 PM. Johan Oviedo (0-0, 7.31 ERA) toes the rubber against Michael Kopech (0-1, 13.50 ERA) as Pittsburgh looks to keep themselves as surprising first week players in the NL Central.

Published by Craig W. Toth

Former Contributing Author at InsidethePirates.com, Co-Host of the Bucs in the Basement Podcast and life-long/diehard Pittsburgh Pirates Fan!

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