4/17/23- By Michael Castrignano – @412DoublePlay on Twitter
Pirates came out swinging against the Rockies, jumping all over the former NL ERA leader Kyle Freeland for 9 runs (7 earned) over his 2.2 innings of work.
Rich Hill had some hard contact early but managed to keep the Rockies in check, posting another quality start with a final line of 6 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts (105 pitches/67 strikes) and generating 11 swings and misses on the day. Certainly, his best performance of the season.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana combined to go 8-for-20 with 3 runs and 9 RBI to lead the top of the lineup while every starter reached base for the Bucs.
News & Notes
- Hill’s 105 pitch performance was the most pitches he had thrown in a start since May 23, 2016 when he was a member of the Oakland A’s and threw 107 in the game.
- Pirates combined to hit 11 batted balls with exit velocity of 100+ MPH.
- Cutch’s home run was the 290th of his career and 206th with the Pirates
- Big 2nd inning started by Connor Joe walk and ending with a Connor Joe fly-out plated 6 runs! It was the most runs plated by the Pirates in a single inning since an October 1, 2021 game against the Reds, in which they scored 8 runs in the 8th inning and eventually won 9-2.
- Mark Mathias, who was called up last week to replace injured Oneil Cruz on the roster, had a career day, with 4 hits in 5 at-bats while also making an EXCELLENT snag to start an inning-ending double play in the 7th inning.
- Hayes continues to do things only he can do as he makes extraordinary plays look ordinary.
- Jack Suwinski replaced Reynolds and hit a 461-foot BOMB in the 9th inning to right field – with the caveat that it was off a position player. Still was cool to see.
- In more somber news, it was mentioned in the broadcast that former all-star catcher Don Leppert passed away at age 91. His playing time with the Bucs was brief but he was a major league coach for them from 1968-1976, serving as First Base Coach during the 1971 World Series-winning season.
- The Pirates have game two tomorrow night with Velasquez on the mound. First pitch is at 8:40pm. Let’s Go Bucs!