The Pittsburgh Pirates‘ best relievers will certainly be rested for Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Trailing 4-3 in the 7th inning facing the middle of the Tigers lineup, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle opted for inconsistent middle reliever Jose Contreras rather than one of his superior relievers. Hurdle does not believe in using his best relievers to keep games close when behind – opting primarily to use pitchers like Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli when leading – and it cost him once again.
The Pirates will look to split this short two-game set in Detroit, Tuesday, as Jeanmar Gomez takes the hill. With his last start shortened by a rain delay, Gomez continued his streak of never pitching more than five innings in a start. He may not help limit the bullpen’s innings, but he has been effective. The Pirates bullpen has been very effective with a 3.76 ERA, but they have pitched the second most innings in baseball. Gomez’s future in the rotation is limited with the impending returns of Charlie Morton and Jeff Karstens, and he will likely shift to the bullpen.
The Tigers will send Rick Porcello to the hill. Porcello has a 6.28 ERA, but that is inflated by a nine-run outing against the Atlanta Braves where Porcello failed to get out of the first inning. The Pirates struggled against Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander to the tune of 13 strikeouts, but they will now get to face Detroit’s weakest starter. If Porcello continues to struggle, the Tigers could turn to Drew Smyly in the next few weeks.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.