It’s early in the season, but the Pirates have been nothing short of a rollercoaster through the club’s first eight games of the season. One day, the offense is stagnate and the pitching is awful. The next, they look unbeatable, but that’s the nature of the beautiful 162 game season that Major League Baseball plays and everything can be taken with a grain of salt, to an extent.
That statement reigns true tonight after the Pirates defeated the Nationals 6-4 on Saturday night, taking the series lead 2-1 and moving to 3-2 in the club’s first home stand of the season.
We saw great things from unfamiliar faces in the lineup, particularly outfielder Jake Marisnick picking up an RBI triple to score catcher Andrew Knapp, something I definitely did not have on my Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 bingo card.
The usual suspects did well also, as Ke’Bryan Hayes and Michael Chavis combined for five of the team’s 10 hits from the leadoff and three spot in the lineup, and when I thought about what I took away from this game, I thought to myself, Michael Chavis is damn good as baseball and deserve ample playing time.
To begin the season, Chavis has mainly been used against lefties, but today he showcased why he should remain a lineup staple, reaching base three times with two singles and a beautiful display of base running for a triple that ultimately meant a ton for the ninth inning and the Pirates securing the victory.
Of course other players like Hoy Park, Kevin Newman(who is dealing with a minor groin injury), and Diego Castillo need ample opportunities to prove themselves as well, but Chavis should be in the lineup everyday if he continues to play this way, period.
As far as pitching for Pittsburgh in this matchup, I loved what I saw from Bryse Wilson, especially working out of a bases loaded jam early in the game and only allowing two runs over 4.1 IP and he was followed up very nicely by Dillon Peters and David Bednar, who combined for 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit after a Juan Soto solo shot in the fifth inning.
Chris Stratton came on the finish things in the ninth and made things interesting, allowing two runs, albeit with a four run cushion, but Stratton is one of the better arms in the pen and could be a viable trade piece come July, so we want his stock to be as high as it can be.
Overall, it’s nice to see the Buccos compete and look like a viable MLB team. No one is going to try and convince you that this team is a contender, but if they can compete night-in and night-out, things should look promising with the likes of Oneil Cruz and other young prospects on the way very soon.
The Pirates finish up their four-game set against the Nationals tomorrow with Jose Quintana facing Patrick Corbin as the Pirates look for their first series win of the season.