Archer Receives Standing Ovation In Pirates 7-6 Win Over Cardinals

New Pirate Chris Archer received a warm welcome from the crowd despite allowing seven hits, four runs

Shelby Cassesse
August 03, 2018 - 10:34 pm
Chris Archer

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Pitchers don't often get standing ovations from the crowd when they're pulled in the fifth inning after giving up four runs in a no-decision, but the crowd of 26,773 at PNC Park stood and clapped for Chris Archer after his debut in a Pirates uniform.

Archer pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, five runs, striking out six and walking three in the Pirates 7-6 with over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. It wasn't his best, but Archer appreciated the reaction from the crowd. 

"The fans were incredible. I've never pitched in an atmosphere like that. I've been in the big leagues almost six years, and it was unbelievable. Do I wish I could have done a little bit better? Yeah, but all things considered, how hectic everything's been, for us to pull out a victory on my first game was unbelievable."

Archer's debut was rocky from the start. His first two pitches were balls, and on the third pitch, Matt Carpenter sent a home run into the right center stands. From there, Archer had runners on base in each inning and got out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the 2nd inning by striking out the final two batters. He said Francisco Cervelli helped him pitch through a lot of traffic on the bases. 

"Number one, (Cervelli) back there just staying positive, him understanding everything that's going on and him having an understanding of the team, just telling me to trust my stuff. Obviously, I don't want to have the leadoff batter reach base every inning, but we were able to limit some damage there and keep the team in the game."

Other Pirates pitchers have had shaky debuts and gone on to have strong seasons. J.A. Happ had a similar line to Archer on his first start in Pittsburgh, allowing four runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Manager Clint Hurdle took into account the emotional toll being traded can take on a starter's performance. 

"I think you saw a glimpse of everything. I have no idea what that man had to compartmentalize and work through. Adrenaline, emotion, all of it. At the end of the day, he went out and he competed, and that's the thing he's always done, and he gave us everything he had." 

Archer is not scheduled to pitch again until the Pirates are on the road in Colorado, but until then, he will work to get back into a routine. 

"I had a little bit of a layoff in between starts, a lot of travel, a lot of emotions, so pitching in five days in Colorado will be a lot more normal."