Many baseball pundits suggest that starting pitching is the key for a team to be successful over the course of an MLB season. That is even more important when your offense is struggling to score runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates needed a great start from Mitch Keller on Tuesday night and that is exactly what they received. Keller, along with the bullpen, kept the San Diego Padres in check for nine innings to pick up a 2-1 victory.
There have been two sides to Keller each time he takes the mound. The one side has him look like a top of the rotation starter, while the other looks like he need some fine tuning in the minor leagues. Keller was stellar on this night as he worked 5.2 innings allowing two hits while striking out five and walking two batters.
The Pirates offense has been in a slump recently, and while they didn’t break out of it, they did just enough to secure the win. In the third Bryan Reynolds would bring home Adam Frazier with an RBI double to left center. The winning run would cross the plate in the sixth on an Eric Hosmer fielding error. That error would allow Erik Gonzalez to score from second.
Sam Howard finished off the sixth before handing the ball over to David Bednar. Bednar allowed one run on two hits in the seventh. An Austin Nola single to center would plate Wil Myers for the lone San Diego run of the night. The eighth inning belonged to Kyle Crick, who struck out two and walked a batter, before Richard Rodriguez picked up his fifth save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.
This was a much-needed win for Pittsburgh, who entered the night losing five straight. Hopefully Keller is able to put up more nights like this as he appears to be in the Pirates long term rotation plans. These two teams will wrap up this three-game series tonight at 8:10pm. J.T. Brubaker will be on the bump for Pittsburgh, while the Padres will counter with Yu Darvish.
Record vs. Padres: 3-3
Record vs. N.L. West: 3-3
Record on the Road: 8-9
Overall Record: 13-16
Let’s Go Bucs!