After beginning the month with a series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, it’s been all downhill since.
The Pittsburgh Pirates followed that series sweep with a 2-8 road trip, only to return home for a 2-7 homestand.
The Pirates scored a grand total of four runs in the three game series against the Atlanta Braves. In game three, after giving up a two-run home run in the second inning, it appeared as Mitch Keller was getting into a groove. With two on and two outs in the fourth inning, Keller induced what should have been a 68 MPH inning-ending groundball. Unfortunately Josh VanMeter made the first of his two errors by misreading the hop as the ball went between his legs. That broke open the floodgates.
Keller wound up not retiring another batter and leaving in the fourth still with two outs. The Braves offense ended up scoring five unearned runs in the inning all charged to Keller, who gave up seven runs in total with only two earned. Manny Banuelos, Duane Underwood Jr., and Eric Stout combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball while not allowing a hit, but walking four batters. Banuelos recorded three strikeouts in his 1.1 IP.
It was quiet on both sides till Colin Holderman took over for the eighth inning. He faced five hitters in total without retiring a single batter. After giving up two runs, he left with an apparent shoulder injury for Cam Vieaux, who promptly gave up a grand slam to Matt Olson on the second pitch he threw. Holderman was charged with five earned runs, while Vieaux would give up one more run before he finished off the eighth inning with the Pirates losing 14-0.
The Pirates avoided the shutout when Kevin Newman hit his first homerun since September 6th of last season in the ninth inning. Tucupita Marcano would add a run on a sac-fly later in the inning before the game ended 14-2.
Kevin Newman hit his first home run since 9/6/21
— Danny Demilio (@Demilio22) August 24, 2022
The day after Max Fried threw eight innings of one-run baseball, Braves Wednesday start Kyle Wright threw seven shutout innings.
Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.