Musgrove Beyond Efficient in Bucs Debut

Righty Throws Seven Scoreless as Pirates Win

Josh Rowntree
May 25, 2018 - 10:52 pm
Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove in locker room after debut

Josh Rowntree

Categories: 

In his team debut, Pirates righty Joe Musgrove got plenty of run support in Pittsburgh’s 8-1 win over the Cardinals. The only thing was, it really wasn’t necessary.

On top of picking up his first career hit and scoring a run, Musgrove went seven scoreless innings on the mound, striking out seven batters and surrendering just five hits. He left the game after throwing just 67 pitches, 50 for strikes. 

“He just pounded the strike zone,” Pirates manager Clint hurdle said. "He was relentless in pounding the strike zone. I’m not going to overcook this thing. He pitched fantastic."

Musgrove, acquired from Houston in the Gerrit Cole trade, had been in the disabled list for the entire season due to a right shoulder muscle strain. 

“It’s exactly how I wanted to come out of the shoot,” Musgrove said. "I had plenty of time to get myself fresh. I was able to miss some of those cold games at the beginning of the year, so I guess I’m fresh.”

Musgrove, who earned the win in Game 5 of last season’s World Series, may bring a shot of big game experience to the Pirates rotation.

“I don’t think that will ever leave me,” Musgrove said. “I’ll always carry that with me. The experience I gained out there has allowed me to come to a situation like this where there’s a lot of outside noise going on about expectations.”

Musgrove acknowledged that he thought he could have continued into the 8th inning and, possibly, gone for a complete game. 

But, with the shoulder issues throughout the year, Hurdle opted to play it safe and pinch hit with a pair of runners on base and no outs.

“I told them I still had more in the tank and was ready to go back out,” Musgrove said. "I think I did what I needed to do for the night. I’ll take the win."

“Risk versus reward,” Hurdle said. "I think you need to factor that in at some point in time. I think there was more in the tank. We talked about it, but with an opportunity to add on runs, that wasn't a priority.”

While the probable pitchers have not been released by the Pirates beyond Sunday, Musgrove’s next turn in the rotation would be Wednesday against the Cubs at PNC Park. 

“I’m tired, but I expected that,” Musgrove added.”It was a lot of intensity and adrenaline out there. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but I don’t see anything that’s creeping up right now."