MILWAUKEE -- Something seems askew about the starting pitcher for the Pirates' parent club getting clobbered while the top pitching prospect is crushing his competition a level down, right?
Mitch Keller struck out 13 batters in five innings Friday night for Class AAA Indianapolis in a 3-1 loss in Toledo, Ohio. All 12 of his outs through four innings came via Ks. He held the Mud Hens scoreless on one hit and three walks, throwing 92 pitches, 59 of them for strikes. He'd face 19 total batters, four over the minimum.
Keller became the first Indianapolis pitcher with as many as 13 strikeouts in a game since Ian Snell's 17 in a seven-inning start, also against Toledo, on June 28, 2009.
Meanwhile, up here at Miller Park, journeyman Rookie Davis ... oh, you watched it.
If it's any consolation, Davis is virtually certain to be returned to Indianapolis -- possibly designated for assignment -- and this rotation spot's next turn matches with Keller's, so he's equally certain to be up for the series next week in Atlanta.
For fullest, fairest context, in Keller's big-league debut May 27 in Cincinnati, he showed -- and later confessed to having -- significant nerves in spotting the Reds six runs in the first inning before settling for the three scoreless innings that followed. He was optioned back to Indianapolis the next day.
In 11 starts with Indianapolis, he has a 3.10 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 25 walks in 58 innings.