4-17-22 – Ethan Smith – @ethansmith103098
Since 2019, the Pittsburgh Pirates are second in all of MLB with 27 comebacks victories after trailing by three or more runs and they had to do just that on Easter Sunday to pick up their fifth win of the season by way of a 5-3 victory against the Washington Nationals.
For all intents and purposes, this game was fairly stale for the Pirates in the early going as the offense could find no rhythm against starter Patrick Corbin, who had five scoreless innings to kick off his start before being removed and credited with 2 ER in the sixth inning.
The Pirates offense wasn’t expected to do much in this game seeing as arguably their two best hitters in Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes were on a rest day, leaving the lineup to look undesirable from the start, but once the sixth inning came along, things changed for the better for Pittsburgh.
Once again the middle of the order has continued to be on fire for Pittsburgh, with Michael Chavis continuing his hot start(.500 AVG, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1.571 OPS) by picking up two hits and a RBI to his credit while also scoring a run.
Ben Gamel had himself a game as well offensively after showcasing some flashy defense Saturday night, also going 2/4 with an RBI. Yoshi Tsutsugo walked twice in this one along with a hit while Daniel Vogelbach also walked and scored twice.
The offense late was the biggest story here as starter Jose Quintana put the Pirates in a hole early on, giving up all three runs the Pirates surrendered in the second inning to Robles and Adams. Although his start wasn’t great by any means, the veteran hunkered down and pitched a solid four innings while only allowing five hits and picking up two strikeouts as well. Quintana walked three in this one, so watching his command moving forward is something I took away from this start.
Pittsburgh played a sound series against Washington largely due to their decision making and stellar defensive play from the likes of Hayes, Gamel and Chavis(the latter had a beautiful relay to save a run). Anytime you can win four of six in your own ballpark, its a good thing and hey, the Pittsburgh Pirates are over .500 at 5-4. Take the little victories, the team needs them.
The Pirates depart from Pittsburgh for a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers and a four-game set against the Chicago Cubs.
Zach Thompson is slated to face off against Eric Lauer tomorrow, while JT Brubaker and Mitch Keller will finish the series in Milwaukee against Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.