The Pirates got an encouraging start from Max Kranick and four good innings from the bullpen as they shut out the Phillies, 6-0. The pitchers even got some support, as somebody finally let the hitters know that the Phillies’ bullpen sucks. Cole Tucker provided the most, getting on base four times.
Kranick didn’t dominate; he gave up four hits and three walks, throwing 90 pitches over five innings. He did, though, avoid the severe problems he’s had so far when he’s faced hitters for the second time in a game. He even got four batters into the Phillies’ lineup a third time.
Kranick made pitches when he had to, in some cases against tough hitters. He fanned J.T. Realmuto to end the third inning with runners at the corners. In the fifth, he fanned Jean Segura after a one-out double by Odubel Herrera, then got Realmuto on a grounder after intentionally walking Bryce Harper.
Tucker gave the Pirates a quick lead that had to do for a long time. He led off the game with his first home run for the Bucs this year. That was all the Pirates got off Hans Crouse, who was making his first major league appearance. Crouse walked four, but the Pirates left runners in scoring position in all three of Crouse’s innings.
The Phillies’ bullpen threw three scoreless innings beginning in the fourth, but in the seventh the Pirates loaded the bases with one out. They did it on three of the 11 walks that the Phillies offered up in the game. Ke’Bryan Hayes, hitting for Ben Gamel against lefty Jose Alvarado, doubled down the right field line to drive in two. Even though there was only one out, Colin Moran tried to score from first and was thrown out by . . . a lot.
The Pirates made it 5-0 in the eighth on a bases-loaded single by Yoshi Tsutsugo. In the ninth, Hayes led off with a single and came around on an unusual trifecta: a passed ball, wild pitch and balk.
The bullpen breezed through, allowing just two singles over four innings. Chasen Shreve threw the sixth and David Bednar made his return in the seventh. The Pirates showed off their stellar roster construction by having Mitch Keller pinch whiff for Bednar. Then Nick Mears fanned three in the eighth and Chris Stratton two in the ninth.