Geoff Hartlieb and Nick Burdi relied on the decline of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen, and climbed the mound Tuesday night and offered hope in an 8-6 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.
Both pitchers registered first while helping the Pirates bounce back from a 6-2 deficit they faced in the seventh inning. Hartlieb won with two scoreless innings and Burdi saved after a ninth 1-2-3 (thanks to a double game that ended the game).
“Yes, it’s good for him,” manager Derek Shelton said of Burdi, who suffered severe nerve damage last season and spent most of 2019 recovering from surgery. “Every time you can get the last three outs of a game, and you learn how to get the last three outs of a game, it’s an important step forward.”
Hartlieb was summoned from Altoona, the Pirates’ satellite camp, earlier in the day after relievers Clay Holmes and Kyle Crick were included on the injured list.
“It’s not the easiest situation,” Shelton said, “when you drive in a car and you get to the heart of that game and you go out in the eighth inning (for your second inning) and do what he did.
“First major league victory. I mean, I experienced it a couple of days ago. It is a great experience. It’s fun to be able to congratulate a guy on his first major league victory. ”
None of this would have been possible without a timely demonstration of power by second baseman Adam Frazier, who broke a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning with a two-run homer in the right-field stands.
It was a welcome sight for a team that had been struggling collectively at the plate after a 1-3 start to the sea season.
“First ball I have driven all year. It felt pretty good, ”said Frazier, who entered the game with two hits (singles) in 16 at-bats.
Hopefully we can all start picking it up soon. We were pushing a little too hard, each of us. You forget how to do something, so you’re trying to do it instead of letting the pitcher get close to you and be the aggressor. ”
The game also featured the firsts of Cole Tucker, who started in right field, and Bryan Reynolds, who had been unsuccessful (0 for 13) in the first four games. Tucker singled in the seventh run and doubled before Frazier’s explosion. Reynolds was 2-for-4 with a single in a second of two runs.
“Yes, he was sweating, but he was still confident that he would take another hit at some point,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds ‘biggest play, however, may have been throwing Ryan Braun at the plate in the eighth inning for a double play and one of the Pirates’ two assists in the outfield. Guillermo Heredia got the other, shooting Orlando Arcia at third base. On both plays, the Pirates logged outs on slippery pickups from third baseman Phillip Evans and catcher John Ryan Murphy.
“Those two plays stand out to me because they keep us in that ball game,” said Frazier, “and they allow us to be there in the end.”
Starting pitcher Derek Holland also recorded an assist, eliminating Avisail Garcia at first base in the second inning. But his best effort was to allow the Brewers only two hits. He left with a 2-2 draw after Keston Huira’s home run in the sixth.
“Really good effort,” said Shelton of Holland, who struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. “Honestly, she made a poor pitch.”
Jerry DiPaola is a writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or by Twitter.
Pirates / MLB | sports