Pirates Postgame Commentary: September 6 vs Reds
By COMON Network Team
Final Score – Pittsburgh Pirates (13-26) 3 def. Cincinnati Reds (18-23) 2
WP: Richard Rodriguez (1-2) LP: Raisel Iglesias (2-3) SV: N/A
The Pirates earned a split with a walk-off win at PNC Park Sunday, defeating the Reds 3-2 on an Erik Gonzalez sac fly in the bottom of the ninth, a two-run frame.
Nick Castellanos provided the only offense for the Reds with a two-run homer in the third inning. Bryan Reynolds cut the lead in half in the third with a single that plated Adam Frazier. In the ninth, Josh Bell singled, then Ke’Bryan Hayes singled. Cole Tucker singled to plate Bell and tie the game then the sac fly won the game.
After an off day Monday, the Pirates welcome in the White Sox for the first of two Tuesday night at 7:05. The bright side? Lucas Giolito is not scheduled to start a game in the short set.
COMON Network Team Commentary
- The bullpen has been a ridiculously bright spot for the Pirates really since August 20. Don’t believe me? This was going into yesterday:
- Today the Bucs’ bullpen allowed one hit over six innings of work. Geoff Hartlieb was great. Sam Howard, Chris Stratton, Nik Turley and Richard Rodriguez all tossed a scoreless, hitless frame. The pen deserved this win today. That’s not to say Chad Kuhl was horrible. He was alright. The Bucs need more length from their starters and four walks and the homer in three innings with a hair over 50% strikes won’t give you that. Kuhl is better than he pitched today. But no complaints for the pitchers today.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes continued to impress me today. Two smoked shots in his first two times up, one a double play ball and the second a base hit. Both were 108 mph EV shots or higher. He goes 2-for-4 today and his one-week batting average sits at .389 and that includes a hit in the ninth in a huge spot with a guy on in a one-run game.
- Two-hit days for Adam Frazier, who looks to be hitting his stride a bit and another two knocks for Erik Gonzalez plus the walk-off sac fly. Even Josh Bell came up with a hit when the squad really needed a leadoff baserunner.
Player of the Game – The Pirates Bullpen… I know. Unconventional.
- Antone allows one. Tejay Antone started for the Reds on Sunday and allowed just one run in five innings against the Pirates. Five hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts for Antone. Not overpowering and didn’t even qualify for a quality start, but the Pirates couldn’t get to him. Why? Maybe it was just one of those days. The problem is, the Pirates seem to have a lot of those days.
- Hartlieb finding himself. Pirates’ beat writer and friend of the program, Alex Stumpf called Geoff Hartlieb a “fringe guy” and I thought that was very accurate. Coming into the season, he was just another bullpen arm for the Buccos. However, he has turned into one of the most dependable guys in it. Two scoreless innings in relief of Chad Kuhl brought his ERA down to 1.96 and hasn’t allowed a run since August 23 in Milwaukee. In five appearances since then, he’s been great. As with a lot of variables in 2020, he won’t turn the season around himself, but could solidify his spot in the pen for 2021.
- Yanno what? The whole bullpen effort deserves credit for Sunday’s performance. After Chad Kuhl went only three innings, the bullpen stepped in and went six scoreless. But even more impressive than that — only one hit allowed in that time frame. Hartlieb went two, allowing said hit then Howard, Stratton, Turley and Rodriguez all went one inning allowing no hits. Thank them for this victory. Pirates 3, Reds 2.
Player of the Game – The Pirates Bullpen
- The Pirates’ ninth inning rally wouldn’t have been possible without Ke’Bryan Hayes, capping another solid day for the rookie. I don’t know if Hayes is the guy to lead the Pirates into the next decade, but I do know that he should never be a healthy scratch at any point the rest of the season
- A benefit to Chad Kuhl’s early departure was that it gave Geoff Hartlieb another chance to impress. With two scoreless innings today, Hartlieb’s ERA is now below two. Don’t be shocked at all of this guy is the full-time closer in the near future. He has the stuff, and he’s starting to have the results as well.
- With every win, the Pirates are further away from having a chance to draft Kumar Rocker Remember that. Today’s win still felt good nonetheless.
Player of the Game: Geoff Hartlieb (PIT)