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Pirates fall to White Sox 4-2

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Derek Shelton made a questionable pitching change. It did not work. Sound familiar?

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Although his final line did not look great (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 1 BB), Bryse Wilson pitched pretty decently tonight. Over his first five innings, Wilson allowed just two runs on two solo homers to Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal. Other than those two blemishes, Wilson was efficient and showed the ability to string together outs.

In the sixth, with the scored tied at two, things took a turn. Abreu led things off with an infield single to third which could have easily been an out. Wilmer Difo’s throw was high so Abreu reached safely (it could have been an error, to be honest). Eloy Jimenez then blooped a soft single into right field allowing Abreu to get to third. At just 69 pitches thrown, that was all for Wilson in this game. Derek Shelton pulled the plug on him and brought in Chasen Shreve.

Time and time again this season, Shelton has had a short leash with his starting pitcher. Time and time again, this strategy has not worked. I’m not here to say that Wilson would have necessarily gotten out of the jam, but he at least deserved the chance. To put it politely, Shreve did not reward Shelton for his decision. He walked the first two batters he faced which forced in one run. He would also eventually allow a sacrifice fly giving the White Sox a 4-2 lead. They would win by that score.

With the bats, the Pittsburgh Pirates were as sleepy as they've been all season. Firing hitting coach Rick Eckstein has not quite paid dividends yet (that was a joke). In total, the Pirates were able to muster just five hits on the night including zero of the extra-base variety. Ben Gamel and Difo each went 1-3 with a single and walk. They were the two best performers offensively.

Tomorrow, this series will conclude as Mitch Keller (4-10, 6.75 ERA) takes the mound against Carlos Rodon (10-5, 2.43 ERA). One of these pitchers is not like the other. First pitch is at 8:10 PM ET.