A solid performance by Mitch Keller and Pirates bats coming to life were key in the Pirates’ 8-2 bombing of the Mets, 8-2.
Keller pitched six scoreless innings, with five hits, two walks and two strikeouts, getting (for him) a rare win in PNC. I’m in agreement with my colleagues that Keller’s outings this year have been a bright spot in what’s been a dismal Pirates season. Even when he’s Bad Mitch, there’s not the sense that he can’t dig himself out like there was last year, when you could visibly see him deflate if he got in trouble.
And then there was the run support. Kevin Newman and Jack Suwinski singled in the second inning, and Michael Chavis’s sac fly got the Pirates on the board first. In the third inning, Bryan Reynolds walked, then there was this:
Then the Pirates played small ball. Oneil Cruz doubled in the fifth inning, and a B-Rey single brought him home. But the inning that sealed the deal was the eighth. Mets reliever Bryce Montes de Oca walked Ke’Bryan Hayes, who then stole second, and Kevin Newman singled him home. Jason Delay did the same for Newman. But what got everyone excited and filled up Twitter was Oneil Cruz, who deposited a ball into the Allegheny:
ONEIL CRUZ HIT THIS BALL INTO THE ALLEGHENY pic.twitter.com/W4og6C92Rj— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 7, 2022
And that was it. The Mets got on the board courtesy of a two-run homer by Brandon Nimmo in the seventh off Robert Stephenson, but that was the sum total of their offense. Nimmo’s homer was the only extra-base hit. Every Pirate got on base, even Ben Gamel, who didn’t get a hit but walked. The foundations for the Pirates of the Future are being laid, and that could be seen in this game. So let’s enjoy this.