The Pirates experienced something they have only felt scarcely in 2020, coming off a win. Derek Holland took the mound following a bounce back relief appearance and his disaster of a start last time out.
It was hard to head into this game feeling too optimistic, I mean how many times have the Bucs scored a bunch of runs two games in a row, let alone won.
The Pirates finally clinched a series victory, the last team in baseball to do so. In the long run, this means little, it’s one victory out of the six they’ve notched, but part of development is seeing the work pay off and for some of the bats that’s exactly what is starting to happen.
Jacob Stallings has been seeing it much better in recent action his 2 for 3 performance today with a home run caps a week of solid contact and near miss drives to the outfield. With Jake’s defense, his offense only needs to be passable but he is becoming someone you’d prefer not face with runners on the base paths.
Bryan Reynolds importantly built on the success he found yesterday, collecting another two hits. Showing the swing change is going to stick and in general looking more comfortable with every at bat.
Gregory Polanco had his best day of the season thus far, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a home run. He too seems to have made some changes to his stance, not leaning nearly as much toward the plate which makes him less inclined to try to reach the outside stuff. This is one game, I hardly think it’s a turning point, but every trend starts somewhere.
Colin Moran continued to find his way back to being a threat. Going 3 for 4 and in general looking like a menace at the plate.
Not everything is perfect of course, Josh Bell went 0-5 today again and unlike some of his brothers he is not taking to the swing change. If anything he looks messier than ever. Sure he makes solid contact sometimes but Josh could check swing one to the base of the wall, he’s got that kind of power.
Derek Holland was very solid today. He fought through five innings only giving up one run. Exactly what you’d hope for from a pitcher like him. Being that the trade deadline is next week, this is a good development. Not a fun subject coming off the first back to back win of the season, but he could be part of what makes this club better in the future, staying here he might give them 4 more wins if everything goes right.
Dovydas Neverauskas came in with a six run lead after Bashlor provided an inning of scoreless ball. He promptly gave up a three run shot. We railed on the Pirates for continuing to toss Del Pozo out there, the time has come for Neverauskas. Not that this will be a hard campaign to start, it might be like getting a DNC fundraiser off the ground in Hollywood.
If this were a normal season we’d be nearing the end of April, and it would be easier to understand how two good games like this back to back could create seismic shifts in batting average. That’s what happens, early on 60 at bats leave room for fluctuation. For instance, Polanco raised his average 45 points today. If you’re judging the worth of a player based on their average this early, be prepared to eat crow, good or bad.