After a couple disappointing appearances on the mound, Mitch Keller rebounded with a solid performance on Friday night at PNC Park. Unfortunately, his offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, as the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Philadelphia Phillies by a 2-1 score.
Keller fell to 9-7 on the season with the loss, but he held his own on the mound and looked more like an All-Star pitcher than he has in a while. He gave up two runs on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings. He was bested by his mound opponent Zack Wheeler, who held the Bucs’ bats in check for most of the evening. The Phillies’ starter improved to 8-5 on the season, giving up one run on three hits with one walk and eleven strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Kyle Schwarber hit his 27th homerun of the season, a two-run bomb to center field, in the top of the third to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth on a Ji Man Choi double to right field, scoring Bryan Reynolds. Unfortunately, the Pirates couldn’t find a way to score a second run despite a few chances. In particular, they had runners on first and second base with one out, by Reynolds grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Tonight’s loss was reminiscent of so many this season in that the main culprit was the disappearance of the offense. Keller looked good on the mound and the bullpen kept the game close. But you are not going to win many games in this league if you only score one run.
The Pirates will look to even this weekend’s series when they take the field in game two on Saturday evening. Quinn Priester will take the mound for Pittsburgh against Aaron Nola for Philadelphia.
Record vs. Phillies: 0-1
Record vs. N.L. East: 5-6
Record at Home: 23-27
Overall Record: 45-58
Let’s Go Bucs!