Keller (1-5) earned the win during Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Cubs, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Keller lost his spot in the rotation but was used as the piggyback to opener Wil Crowe and was able to find success in the form of a win. The 26-year-old pitched well during the third and fifth innings, but he struggled in the fourth and was lucky to surrender just one run despite putting four runners on. Manager Derek Shelton is yet to tab a starter for Tuesday's game against Colorado and Keller should be considered a candidate to toe the rubber.
Keller is considered an option out of the bullpen for Wednesday's game against the Cubs, the game which would have been his next turn in the rotation, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Keller generated buzz over the winter due to reports of increased velocity. Those reports were accurate, as his fastball has averaged 96.2 mph this season after coming in at 93.9 mph last year, but the increased heat has had no effect on his results. He's struggled to a 6.61 ERA and 1.53 WHIP through seven starts while striking out a career-low 17.6 percent of opposing batters. The Pirates haven't listed a starter for Wednesday's game, but it could be Roansy Contreras, who would be on turn for the outing after pitching Friday for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Keller fell to 0-5 on the season after allowing five runs in 4.2 innings Friday against the Reds. He struck out just two batters while walking two and allowing five hits. Keller generated some sleeper buzz over the winter after increasing his velocity, but the results have unfortunately been more of the same. He's now allowed at least four runs while failing to finish five innings in five of his first seven starts. He managed just a pair of scoreless innings this time around before allowing two runs in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth. It's hard to see things suddenly changing in his next trip to the mound, when he'll carry his 6.61 ERA and 1.53 WHIP to Wrigley Field.
Keller allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three across 4.1 innings in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds. He did not factor into the decision. Keller was handed a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but he immediately allowed two runs in the bottom of the frame. He also had a disastrous fourth inning that was capped by a three-run homer by Brandon Drury. As a result of his struggles, Keller was unable to work deep enough into the game to qualify for a win. While he's shown glimpses of improvement, Keller has allowed four or more earned runs in four of his six starts this season. The end result has been a 6.11 ERA and 1.54 WHIP with a 24:10 K:BB across his first 28 innings of the campaign.
Keller (0-4) allowed a run on five hits and no walks while striking out five in six innings to take the loss against the Padres on Sunday. Keller posted his first quality start of the season during Sunday's outing, but he didn't get much help from the Pirates' offense and was forced to settle for his fourth loss in his first five starts in 2022. The right-hander now has a 5.32 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 23.2 innings this year. Although Keller was unable to enter the win column Sunday, it was encouraging to see him generate some success while throwing 85 pitches in the pitching duel. He tentatively lines up to start in one of the Pirates' two games during a twin bill in Cincinnati on Saturday.
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