Against the Tigers, Mitch Keller throws six strong innings

Mitch Keller’s theme for this year has been “change”. Keller began incorporating a sinker into his arsenal last month, and it is gradually becoming his primary pitch. Keller fired a career-high 42 sinkers in the Pirates’ 3-1 defeat to the Tigers at PNC Park on Wednesday. Keller worked six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. Keller is still in the early stages of his experiment, but his early results with the sinker in his bag have been positive.

“I don’t think I have a complete feel for that pitch yet,” Keller said, “but it’s just such a fantastic pitch with so much movement that it just gives me the confidence to attack the zone with it, even if I’m missing the arm side or missing down with it.”

Keller has thrown the ball well since adopting the sinker on May 18, with the proviso that correlation does not imply causation. Keller has a 2.65 ERA in his last four starts, striking out 18 hitters in 17 innings. Aside from the sinker, Keller’s performance has been aided by other variables. Keller described his two outings out of the bullpen against the Cubs and Rockies as a “reset,” but the sinker has immediately shown its worth. Coach Oscar Marin feels that the numbers are remarkable. When making adjustments to the squad, Marin will consider performance indicators.


Written by Eren Kilic

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