Donovan Hand's first major league start probably couldn't have gone much better. Despite starting just four minor league games since 2009, Hand pitched 4.2 innings against the Atlanta Braves, holding them to two hits and no runs.
Hand made that start one week ago. He pitched an inning out of the bullpen three days ago because...I don't know. I guess the Brewers didn't know he would be starting again at that point? They were running low on bullpen arms? That's just kind of how this season is. The rotation is messed up, and it probably will be for the rest of the season. Maybe next season, too. Who knows.
The Pirates got pretty lucky. Francisco Liriano. After three of his last four seasons saw a 5+ ERA, Liriano seems to finally have rediscovered the form that allowed him to place third in AL ROY voting way back in 2006. In his first season with the Pirates, he has a 10.04 K/9 and has really been limiting opponent's power, leading to a 2.30 ERA and 2.51 FIP.
Six of Liriano's nine starts this season have seen him allow 0-1 runs. Four of his five starts thus far in June have been quality starts.
Liriano has faced four Brewers batters at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:
In the bullpen: