The Pirates saved themselves from being swept yesterday in an unlikely fashion. The Reds jumped ahead by 4 runs before a single out was recorded and the Pirates starting pitcher lasted only one inning. The Reds managed to give the game away. While the Pirates won this battle, the victory might be a factor in their losing the war.
On the path to victory, the Pirates used 5 relievers to cover 10 innings. Their bullpen has now thrown 206 inning on the year. For comparison, the Reds bullpen has only thrown 161.1 innings. At this rate, the Pirates relievers will be used to cover more than 585 innings by the end of the year. Since 2008, only one team (2012 Rockies) has relied that heavily on their bullpen in one season. As of now, turning to the pen has been a good move for the Pirates, as their relievers lead all of baseball in ERA and WHIP. But how long can an overworked bullpen be expected to perform at such a high level? The Reds may have lost, but they didn't do the Pirates bullpen any favors.
Other Reasons to Smile
- Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart are hitting. Cozart and Frazier each had two hits. Over the last two weeks: Cozart (.383/.408/.532) - Frazier (.324/.455/.441)
- J.J. Hoover pitched well, striking out the only two batters he faced. He's only allowed 1 run in 5 appearances over the last two weeks, striking out 6 batters in 5 IP.
- Mat Latos was good again. On the season, he's allowed 2 runs or fewer in 7 of his 12 starts.