Pirates Stay Sharp, Muscle Past Tough Reds Pitching Performance; Win 4-2 (14-7)

4-21-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

How many times do you hear it’s all about the pitching? You know, like, you’re only as good as your next day’s starter.

It’s cliche for sure but 11 straight games the rotation has provided a quality start. By definition, that’s 3 runs or fewer, and 6 innings at a minimum.

The bullpen, has largely made that hold up too, sure it’s shakier than you want some nights but in the end, they’re more good than not.

The bats, we’ll they are just on fire. I mean folks right this second three or four Dodgers nerds are pouring over data trying to plan for their upcoming 3 game set to somehow stop Connor Joe.

I’m kidding, but maybe not.

What can you say, beside, um…are they actually, like good? Were we all crazy? Well, not you folks who always start at 162-0 and work your way backward. Yinz got the right idea.

Seriously though, how real is it?

I suspect we’ll have to wait and see truthfully, but let’s take note of a few things that make it ok to believe at least a little.

They worked through a devastating loss of Cruz, and all the other big name injuries too, and they just keep playing ball.

The pitching struggled early and the bats came to the rescue, now the pitching makes every run they score count.

More than all that, look, we can at least say now that Cherington seems to have an eye for how pieces fit together right? Hard to argue this team has a really nice chemistry, and even if it’s just the 2023 team, the carryover of the culture being built here is starting to look good.

Honestly folks, stop questioning if it’s ok to believe, of course it is. This is a good baseball team.

That’s five wins in a row now, and they did it death by a thousand cuts style.

Defense is part of Joe’s game too.

In the 5th inning, Mitch Keller found himself in trouble. He surrendered the 2 run lead he’d been holding while he shoved for the first 4 frames. He righted the ship, got a bit unlucky too, but no boo-boo face, came right back out there the next inning and pushed through allowing the offense an opportunity to retake the lead.

Agin small ball was the way along with a helpful error. Marhias to tht point had knocked in all three runs.

In the next inning with two outs, Cutch worked a walk. Vets love showing kids why you never think 2 outs means a rally has no shot, so Carlos did this…

Stephenson, Holderman and Bednar slammed the door shut.

They’ve got a winning recipe people, and here’s why they’re winning, they have a recipe versatile enough to change ingredients and still get a great result.

Early in this game, I’ll just say it, Musgrove is the last Pirates Starter I’ve seen look that dominant. Keller is for real. Having 6 or 7 pitches, that’s real too. And that’s like, real special. If they aren’t thinking extension, they should be.

Just another well played ballgame.

News & Notes

  • Mitch Keller allowed 2 runs through 6 innings tonight which makes 11 straight quality starts by this rotation. This is now
  • Connor Joe, is on a heater. 3-3 tonight. Nobody knows what to do with him he’s covering the whole zone and patient at the same time.
  • Mark Mathias had another nice night, responsible for knocking in 3 runs.
  • Robert Stephenson seems to be the choice for the 7th, emerging to at least split the role with Underwood. It’s clear Shelton trusts him.
  • Hayes had his first error since August of last year. I could see it getting changed though, it hit Santana’s glove, he should have had it.
  • The 1992 Pirates started 15-6, your 2023 Pirates are now 14-7, the best start to a season since.
  • Colin Holderman and David Bednar have been incredible, and Bednar’s 7th save puts him in the league lead
  • Keller’s 4th consecutive Quality Start
  • Ethan Smith who covers games for our site, is 6-0 on his scheduled days. Well, I’m undefeated too, 3-0. Game on.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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