The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the major shocking stories in baseball this season. Mitch Keller has been at the center of Pittsburgh’s turnaround. Now, Keller has done something a pitcher in the Pirates organization hasn’t since 1920.
Pittsburgh defeated the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, 4-0. In the win, Keller threw seven innings of scoreless baseball, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out 13. He became the first Pirates pitcher to record 13 Ks with no walks and no runs allowed in an inning since the Live-Ball era, which dates back to 1920, via ESPN Stats & Info.
Back in 2018, Keller ranked as the top prospect in the Pirates’ organization, via MLB Pipeline. He was considered the 16th best prospect in all of baseball. However, his call up to the big leagues didn’t initially go to plan.
Keller made his debut in 2019, pitching in 11 games. He held a horrid 7.13 ERA, although his 65/16 K/BB ratio pointed towards some promise. After suffering an injury in 2020, Keller returned to pitch 23 games in 2021. However, he once again struggled to a 6.17 ERA.
Last season, Keller began to turn things around. He lowered his ERA to 3.91 while continuing his strikeout streak with a 138/60 K/BB ratio. Now, the right-hander has seemed to put everything together.
Through his nine starts this season, Mitch Keller holds an impressive 5-1 record with a 2.38 ERA and a 69/14 K/BB ratio. Keller leads the Pirates in ERA, strikeouts and batting average against (.208).
If the Pirates – who currently have a 22-19 record – want to continue winning, they’ll need Keller to continue his resurgence. His start against the Orioles was another sign that Keller is ready to become Pittsburgh’s ace.
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