Not only did he pitch well, but he had his best game of the season. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. The bullpen took over and kept the Tigers scoreless for four more innings as the Bucs were able to walk away with a 1-0 victory.
Gomez started the year in the bullpen and joined the rotation on the first of May. The Pirates have been bringing him along slowly keeping a close eye on his pitch count. On Tuesday, he had just 73 pitches under his belt when manager Clint Hurdle pulled him from the game. It was the first time that he had pitched into the sixth innings in his six starts this season.
The Pirates pitching staff as a whole has been quite impressive so far this season. After Monday night’s game, they have the second-best ERA in the majors and are also second in WHIP. This is all considering that two of the five pitchers that started the year in the rotation had to be replaced.
If the Pirates can continue pitching this way, they will be contenders for the National League Central division title. Of course, there is a lot of season still to be played and the Pirates have had hot starts go to waste over the last two seasons, but something feels different in 2013. I think Pittsburgh has better veteran leadership this year and they will ensure that things don’t spiral out of control.