The Pirates lost to the Braves at Truist Field on Saturday by a score of 6-1, in a game where they were down literally from the first pitch Mitch Keller threw.
Everyone knows that I lean towards optimism when it comes to the Bucs. After Friday night’s drubbing, there’s nowhere to go but up, right?
Well ... Adam Frazier singled but tried—and failed—to make it a double at the top of the first. Kevin Newman grounded out. Bryan Reynolds singled, then Gregory Polanco grounded out. Just the first inning, nothing to get nervous about.
Then Keller was on the mound and threw his first pitch, which Ronald Acuna Jr. promptly deposited over the left center wall. Freddie Freeman singled, Austin Riley singled to bring him home, and just like that the Braves were up two-zip.
It wasn’t the Home Run Derby like Friday night, but there were enough. One was hit by Michael Perez off Bryse Wilson in the top of the third inning, which kept the game from being a shutout, so there was that at least. The Bucs scattered seven hits over the course of the game, with Reynolds and Wilmer Difo accounting for four of them. For the Braves, Ozzie Albies also got two hits. Both of them were homers. Of course.
Okay, let me find some good here. Other than the game-starting TOOTBLAN, Frazier continued his hitting streak. Reynolds appears to be coming back to form at the plate. Thanks for the home run, Michael. Welcome home, Sam Howard, although I’m sure you would have preferred not dishing up Albies’s second dinger in front of your family and friends.
As for Keller, I was not among those screaming to have him taken out in the second. Like it or not, Derek Shelton is committed to keeping him a starter, and he has to get starter’s innings. If you’re going to play the numbers game, sooner or later the numbers have to go your way.
They just didn’t on Saturday.