Keller Charms Diamondbacks Through Six, But Pirates Still Lose: (24-21)

5/20/23 – By Craig W. Toth – @BucsBasement on Twitter

Extend Mitch Keller.

It’s fairly simple at this point. As a Major League Baseball Team, you need a solid five man rotation, with the top three being the type of guys that can carry you through a 7-game series-if needed; or at minimum, in the new 3-game Wild Card setup.

Keller is one.

At the moment the rest are either question marks, one year rentals or Minor League Prospects.

The Pirates need answers. And more importantly, they need one that will be here beyond 2025.

During his outing today, Mitch gave up his first run in the past 16 innings of work; on a pitch that Ketel Marte had to reach out for, off the plate.

Following this mistake, Keller would retire 16 Diamondbacks in a row before hitting Josh Rojas with a pitch; which would ultimately result in Arizona’s second run after a couple of infield singles, with a double steal mixed in.

When Mitch left the game, he was in-line for his 6th win of the season thanks to a clutch, bases clearing triple-on a slightly misjudged, but smoked ball-back in the bottom of the 3rd.

Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t stick for very long as Pavin Smith got his revenge for letting Hayes’ hit get over his head by smacking a double-run homer off of Pittsburgh reliever Robert Stephenson in the top of the 7th.

And, that in essence was the ballgame, as the Diamondbacks beat your Pirates 4-3.

News & Notes

  • Mitch Keller was down right filthy at times; striking out 8 and walking none on 84 pitches, across 6 innings at PNC.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his 3rd extra base hit in two games, after having the same amount over his past 20 games.
  • Hayes is now batting .240 with a .656 OPS and one homer. He hits the ball hard, but often right at fielders. Just out of curiosity I wondered what his spray chart looks like this season; and I thought you might too.
  • Carlos Santana has provided defensive stability at first base thus far this season; as evidenced by his 3 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). Although his 0 OAA (Outs Above Average) is behind teammate Connor Joe, who is a +1. Also, he is hitting a meager .192 AVG and .599 OPS over his 15 games.
  • Over the first month of the season the Pirates led all of Major League Baseball with 39 stolen bases on 48 attempts. Through the first few weeks of May they 9 stolen bases on 17 attempts. I have no problem with the Pirates being aggressive on the base paths; but, they can’t keep getting caught almost as often as they try.

The Pirates and Diamondbacks are set to face each other in a rubber-match tomorrow-Sunday-afternoon at PNC Park.

First pitch is set for 1:35 PM EST, with Roansy Contreras (3-4/4.40 ERA/1.44) scheduled to take the bump against Arizona’s Merrill Kelly (4-3/2.92 ERA/1.09 WHIP).

Published by Craig W. Toth

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

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