Today’s Game: Well, so much for the “Mitch Keller takes a step forward” narrative. He was rocked for a homer and three doubles in the first inning, giving up a four-spot while burning 30 pitches and fortunate in getting two outs on at ‘em ball liners. Chris Paddack spun a 1-2-3 inning. After getting two outs in the second, a single, double, two walks and wild pitch followed; a caught stealing limited the damage to two more tallies. Colin Moran and Eric Gonzalez opened with two-baggers to get a run back, then Paddack walked the bases full with one away. Shelty let Keller bat instead of…well, Kells K’ed and Adam Frazier rolled out softly, and it was 6-1. The bottom of the Padre order only managed a walk in the third, which was a runner better than Pittsburgh could do. A couple of more singles and sac fly in the fourth brought Clay Holmes to the bump and he shut the gate. Paddack cruised through the Pirates order. Clay posted another zippo in the fifth. Tony Alford singled (no, not a typo) and Fraze doubled; with two outs, San Diego gifted the Pirates a couple of runs when Tucupita Marcano dropped Bryan Reynolds fly, making it a 7-3 game.
|Captain Redbeard’s off to a good start – photo Pirates 2021|
Luis Oviedo claimed the bump in the sixth. Two walks, a double steal and sac fly plated another Padre. Tim Hill relieved Paddack and tossed a 1-2-3 frame. Ovie spun a clean, 10-pitch seventh. Craig Stammen toed the rubber and Wilmer Difo greeted him with a knock but no more noise was forthcoming. Michael Feliz worked a quiet eighth; the Pirates got a two-out rap from Gregory Polanco. David Bednar was sent out for the ninth and stranded a leadoff double. Stammen closed the book.
Dunno if Mitch needs his teddy bear or a boot in the butt, but whether it’s TLC or a challenge, he sure needs something to get him confident and on track.
- Colin Moran had two hits today, bringing his BA to .311.
- The Pirates bench went 3-for-3 pinch hitting (Wilmer Difo, Tony Alford, Michael Perez). Alford’s hit was his first of 2021, breaking an 0-for-19 opening stretch. Perez also collected his first knock of the campaign, snapping an 0-for-11 streak.
- PNC Park hosted 4,023 fans on a blustery, mid-40′s day.
- The Prates split the San Diego series and finished their first homestand of the year at 4-3.
Tomorrow’s Game: The Pirates embark on their campaign as Midwest road warriors, starting with a three-gamer at Milwaukee. The match starts at 8:10 and will be carried by ATT&T SportsNet & 93.7 The Fan. JT Brubaker takes on Adrian Houser.
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