Kuhl Bounces Back from Bad Outing

Pirates starter changes speed as Bucs score double digits again.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 17, 2018 - 5:49 pm
Chad Kuhl

93.7 the Fan

Fighting through illness during his last start, Chad Kuhl got a lot of offensive support going four and two-thirds, giving up three runs in a 13-5 Pirates win over Minnesota Saturday.

Kuhl gave up eight runs in just over 2 innings against Baltimore in his last outing, which had jumped his Spring ERA to 14.85.

“Today he didn’t have fastball control, but he mixed it up with the other pitches and that’s the way it should be,” said catcher Francisco Cervelli.  “Every day is not going to be the same.”

Manager Clint Hurdle said he likes the overall effort and is pleased with the focus and direction along with good angle to the plate by Kuhl.  This all as the 25-year-old righty was “change-up heavy” during the game, trying to add that more often in the regular season.

“Now it’s at the point where the consistency is there,” Kuhl said.  “It’s one of those things where slider has always been my pitch, I’ve always had the consistency, always had the trust.  Curveball came along, just building that trust.  The change-up, I don’t want to say it was a coin flip, but it was one of those things where I didn’t have the full confidence in it.  I knew it was a good pitch when it worked, but when it didn’t, it was up.  Just building it to where I can throw it anytime, anywhere just like my fastball, my slider, my curveball.”

“It can be an important weapon and there’s been games where he’s pitched with his fastball and one of his breaking balls and done well,” Hurdle said.  “The change-up has an opportunity, as we talked about navigating your way through a lineup three times, I think the pitches will have to work together.  There is going to have to be some separation off the fastball and the slider because the man throws hard.  And the change-up can provide that.”

Bucco Notes

After five homers Friday against Atlanta, the Pirates hit three more Saturday against the Twins.  Sean Rodriguez hit his team-leading fourth, Jordan Luplow his third and Francisco Cervelli now has homers in back-to-back starts. 

Jose Osuna also ran his team-leading RBI total up to 12, as for the second game in a row, every Pirates starting regular had a hit.

Since signing with the Pirates in late February as a free agent, lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist has appeared in three games, going three innings with no runs, three hits, no walks and 7 strikeouts.  In other words, 7 of the 9 outs by Siegrist have been strikeouts.