Pittsburgh came into this game losing the last six games in a row. Rookie, Trevor Williams was coming off of a horrible start where he gave up eight runs in three innings. Tonight, he displayed some big league composure and pitched his way to his third MLB victory.
Williams looked like he was going to struggle as he gave up a 4 hits (one home run) and a walk while having just three outs recorded. After that, he retired every batter and leaving the game after five quality innings. His final line would be those four hits and a walk along with four strikeouts. He would throw 77 pitches, 48 being for strikes. It was a great bounce back outing for Williams who also helped preserve the bullpen after heavy usage from yesterday’s game.
The offense built upon from yesterday’s start and recorded nine hits. The Diamondbacks provided a bit of help making a couple of costly errors in the game, but Pittsburgh persevered outscoring the opposing team finally. Josh Bell once again looked like a professional hitter as he hit his sixth double on the year while also drawing his 14th walk. The other Josh, Josh Harrison, went two for four today bringing his season average to .297. and his wRC+ to a 123. For as much as we stated the days of Harrison being an everyday player are over it appears we were certainly wrong.
The return of Adam Frazier and David Freese have helped solidify this lineup as well as the defense. Both collected a hit today while also playing productive defense. Most importantly, there were no replacement players in today’s lineup.
The bullpen looked solid though they did allow the Diamondbacks to close the gap by allowing two solo homers. Juan Nicasio pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball. He was then relieved by Felipe Rivero. Rivero through 1.2 innings and gave up a solo shot to Paul Goldschmidt in the 8th. Tony Watson closed out the game earning his eighth save of the season but also allowing a solo shot to Nick Ahmed.
Rivero looked very impressive once again. Tonight he topped out with a 101.6 MPH fastball and hit over 100 a total of five times. Rivero is holding a case of being the most dominant lefty relieve in baseball. In the 20.2 innings he’s pitched on the season, he now has a 0.87 ERA, which includes the run he gave today.He holds a 59% ground ball rate, 27% strikeout rate, and 5.4 % walk rate. What is impressive on Hurdle’s part is the fact that he looks to be using Rivero for the highest leverage moments in the game.