After getting outscored 19-8 and outhit 32-17 in the first two games of the series, it looked like this was going to real long weekend vs. the Marlins at PNC Park.
However, that’s why sports are hard to predict because the last two games, the Pirates looked like a totally different team.
Yesterday, Clint Hurdle’s team showed heart by overcoming three Marlins leads to earn a 7-6 win.
Today, it was all about Ivan Nova and Felipe Rivero.
The Pirates 2017 ace went 6 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, no walks and struck out four hitters.
Nova (6-4) continued his string of giving Hurdle innings. In all twelve of his starts this season, Nova has been able to go at least six innings. This was the second time this season that Nova blanked the Marlins. Back on April 29th, Nova pitched a complete game 3 hit shutout.
Nova vs. Marlins in 2017: 2 starts, 15 innings, 4 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts.
**RIVERO 2 FOR 2 AS CLOSER-
–For the second straight game, Hurdle asked Felipe Rivero to go 4 outs to earn a save. This is a new philosophy for the Pirates manager and is likely a combination of lack of trust in Daniel Hudson and Tony Watson and more so the pure domination that Rivero has displayed this season.
Rivero is looking like the second coming of Aroldis Chapman and is quite possibly the most dominant closer in baseball.
The way in which Rivero is closing games is something Pirate fans aren’t used to watching from their closer.
Rivero is completely different from guys like Kent Tekulve, Mike Williams, Mark Melancon, Jose Mesa, Matt Capps and Stan Belinda. The closest player that I can remember that would compare to Rivero is Joel Hanrahan, who was able to bring the heat but even he wasn’t in the league of Rivero.
Years from now, we might look back and say that getting Rivero from the Nationals was the best trade of the Huntington era.
**NEWS AND NOTES
–Since Francisco Cervelli went on the disabled list, Elias Diaz is 7 for 14 with 4 RBI. It’s early but sure looks like the Pirates have found their catcher of the future.
–Indianapolis starter Steven Brault has an ERA of 1.09 over his last seven starts.
–Altoona prospect Kevin Kramer has been placed on the disabled list with a fractured right hand. In 53 games this season, Kramer was hitting .297 with 6 HR and 27 RBI.
–Per Brian Peloza of Pirate Prospects, Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to make his first Triple A start of the season on Wednesday.