OOTP: Mitch Keller Takes the Mound as Pirates Look to Split Series With Cubs

The following is part of our simulation of the 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates season, using Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP). We simulate the season each day, as it was originally scheduled, and with no input from any of us, all to give you a Pirates team to follow this year. You can follow the simulation by inning and make it seem like a game, or you can skip to the end and find out what happens.

The Pirates made a few roster moves prior to today’s game, shoring up their bullpen after three games in the last two days. Richard Rodriguez and Edgar Santana were both sent down to Indianapolis. The Pirates recalled Blake Weiman and purchased the contract of James Marvel.

The Pirates and Cubs conclude their four game series today at PNC Park. Here is the lineup for the Cubs:

Here’s the lineup for the Pirates. There are a few substitutions today, with Gregory Polanco and Kevin Newman both getting a day off.

1st Inning

Jason Heyward led things off with a solo home run down the right field line. Keller struck out Schwarber for the first out. Baez singled to left-center. Keller struck out Rizzo on a 96 MPH fastball. Kris Bryant hit a double on an 0-2 slider, allowing Baez to score from first. Keller struck out Caratini to end the inning.

Jarrod Dyson flew out to center. Adam Frazier popped out to third base. Josh Bell flew out to left field to end the quick inning.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

2nd Inning

David Bote started the inning by reaching on a bunt single. Almora flew out for the first out of the inning. Quintana laid a bunt down, but Hayes charged in on it and made a throw to second for the lead runner. Heyward hit a soft liner to second to end the inning.

Quintana struck out Reynolds, Hayes, and Heredia for another quick inning.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

3rd Inning

Keller walked Schwarber on a 3-2 fastball that was inside. Baez followed with another walk. Keller struck out Rizzo for the first out. Rain begins to fall as Kris Bryant takes a first pitch strike from Keller. Bryant struck out, and Caratini lined out to first.

JT Riddle grounded out to second base. Luke Maile lined out to center. Keller grounded out to short.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

4th Inning

The rain picked up at the start of the fourth inning and led to a 31 minute delay. Keller returned from the delay and got three straight groundouts to shortstop.

Dyson flew out to left for the first out. Frazier singled on a liner to left for the first Pirates hit. Bell grounds out on a slow bouncer to short, allowing Frazier to move to second. Reynolds looked at strike three for the final out.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

5th Inning

Keller struck out Heyward to lead off the inning. Schwarber followed with a solo homer to left field. Baez singled up the middle. Keller struck out Rizzo on a high fastball. Bryant singled to center, with Baez moving to third. James Marvel entered the game in relief and got Caratini to fly out to right to end the inning.

Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the inning with a single. Heredia was hit with a 3-1 fastball, giving him first base. Riddle flew out to left. Maile struck out swinging. Kevin Newman entered the game with two outs and runners on first and second, replacing Marvel as a pinch hitter. Newman hit a triple to the gap in right-center, bringing the Pirates to within one run. Dyson grounds out to end the inning.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2

6th Inning

Blake Weiman comes on in relief of Marvel to face the bottom of the Cubs’ order. He struck out Bote, got Almora to line out to right, and struck out Quintana.

Frazier grounded out to second. Bell flew out to left-center. Reynolds struck out to end the inning.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2

7th Inning

Weiman returns to the mound in the seventh. Heyward lined out to Adam Frazier on a lunging stop. Weiman strikes out Schwarber looking and gets Baez to pop out to shallow right field.

Hayes draws a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the seventh. He moves to second base on a groundout by Heredia. Riddle popped out to shallow right field. Jeremy Jeffress comes on in relief of Quintana, and got Luke Maile to ground out to second.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2

8th Inning

The Pirates stick with Weiman, who gets Rizzo to ground into the shift for a 4-3 putout. Kyle Crick comes on to face Kris Bryant, and strikes him out on a high fastball. Caratini flew out to right for the final out.

Colin Moran entered as a pinch hitter for Crick and drew a walk on a 3-2 sinker that went low. Dyson strikes out looking. Frazier singles on a liner to center, with Moran moving to second. Brandon Morrow comes in to face Josh Bell and strikes him out with a cutter. Reynolds strikes out on a 3-2 fastball for the third out.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2

9th Inning

Dovydas Neverauskas enters in the ninth for the Pirates. Bote flies out to right, Almora strikes out on a fastball, and Jason Kipnis struck out while pinch hitting for Jeffress.

Right-handed pitcher Trevor Megill comes in for the Cubs in the ninth inning, with Craig Kimbrel needing the day off. Gregory Polanco enters as a pinch hitter for Ke’Bryan Hayes. Polanco struck out. Guillermo Heredia is hit with a pitch, taking first base. JT Riddle hits a line drive over the second baseman and it reaches the right-center field wall. Heredia tries to score from first and makes it with no throw. Riddle got a double on the hit, but moved to third on the throw to the plate. Luke Maile hits a walkoff single between short and third base for the win.




Adam Frazier has a ten game hitting streak, which currently leads the National League.



The Pirates take on the Orioles this weekend in Baltimore. Here are the probable starters and game times:

Friday, 7:05 PM EST – Trevor Williams (0-1, 5.19) vs Keyvius Sampson (0-1, 5.40)

Saturday, 4:05 PM EST – Chris Stratton (1-0, 2.31) vs Kyle Lloyd (2-0, 1.80)

Sunday, 1:05 PM EST – Chris Archer (1-1, 3.06) vs Alex Cobb (1-2, 7.53)

We’ll have our first OOTP Prospect Watch tonight, covering the 2020 Prospects and the 2025 results each night.