We begin our reminiscing of some of the best moments from the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates with a look at the team’s ace, Mitch Keller, and his notable performance on Mother’s Day.
In an abysmal month of May, the Pirates picked up a 4-0 shutout win over the eventual AL East champion Baltimore Orioles and Keller played a big role in it. He picked up a career-high 13 strikeouts in the game while allowing four hits and no walks.
His 13 strikeouts was the most by a Pirates pitcher since Jose DeLeón fanned 14 in 1985 against the New York Mets.
Colin Holderman and David Bednar followed Keller with back-to-back two-hit, two-strikeouts innings to claim the win.
The offense came early for the Pirates. After Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds reached on a single and double, respectively, Carlos Santana grounded into a force out that scored a run.
Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled home a run in the top of the third, and Ji Hwan Bae added the final two a few hitters later with a single to right.
This game needed to go on the list simply for Keller’s notable performance. He started the year hot and this increased his stock around the league.
It might’ve even been the catalyst for early Cy Young chants for the Pirates’ ace.
Sure, the O’s didn’t have all the young star power they do now, but for Keller to mow down an eventual division champion, that’s pretty impressive.
Hopefully, this becomes a recurring theme for Keller next season.