The Pittsburgh Pirates have now lost four straight games after tonight’s 7-3 defeat against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers, who are now 60-42, lead the National League Central by seven games over Cincinnati.
Pirates’ starter Max Kranick pitched okay in his fourth career start. Yes, he allowed a career-high ten hits. And yes, he did allow six earned runs, also a career-high. Overall though, I liked what I saw. Kranick threw strikes. He attacked hitters and got threw five innings while striking out three. Yes, the Brewers made hard contact throughout the night. That said, with the Pirates’ offensive output, they never had a real chance at winning this game. Kranick did his best against a team that will more than likely win the division. Overall, he went five innings while allowing six earned runs on ten hits. He threw just 73 pitches.
Offensively, only one Pirate did anything worth mentioning in tonight’s game. His name is Rodolfo Castro. The 22-year-old rookie who has never played above AAA homered twice tonight. He now has five major league bombs on the season. Funnily enough, he also has just five total hits on the season. Over 23 plate appearances, Castro is hitting .238/.304/.952. How crazy has the start of Casto’s career been?
Rodolfo Castro is the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to have each of his first 5 career hits go for HR.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 29, 2021
He's the first Pirates player to have 5 straight hits go for HR at any point in his career since Willie Stargell in 1965. pic.twitter.com/8JorH73ScJ
That crazy. And just for good measure, here are some clips of his home runs tonight.
Rodolfo Castro - Pittsburgh Pirates (4) pic.twitter.com/lELVDhbi4R— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) July 29, 2021
Rodolfo Castro. Dingers only. pic.twitter.com/XWOIx8Zl1z— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 29, 2021
On the night, Ke’Bryan Hayes was the only other Pirate with multiple hits. He went 2-3 with a walk. The Pirates had six hits total. As far as the bullpen is concerned, Pittsburgh was solid as a unit. Chasen Shreve went two innings allowing one run. He struck out three. Kyle Keller and David Bednar each went one scoreless inning while striking out two apiece.
At this time, it is not easy being a fan of the Pirates. The team is 38-63. Although players from the major league roster are being traded for minor league value, we as fans still have to endure the current major league team. To make that easier, it is nice watching young talent such as Castro blast home runs. Even if it doesn’t translate into wins, we as fans still have something to watch and look forward to. As the season draws to a close, the wins will come far and few between. That said though, that’s how it’s been all season. Let’s enjoy whatever entertainment this team gives us.
Tomorrow, the Pirates will attempt to avoid the sweep. Chad Kuhl (3-5, 4.38 ERA) will oppose Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.29 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05.