4/22/23- By Craig W. Toth – @BucsBasement on Twitter
Things feel different this year-at least early on-because they are different. It obviously starts with the record, aided by the current 6-game winning streak; but for the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates it seems to go beyond that.
The chemistry in the clubhouse is unmatched at the moment, the starters are giving the team a chance to compete day in and day out, players are coming up with clutch hits, fundamentals and defense are on point, the bullpen is starting to gel, and most importantly the Pirates are finding different ways to win each and every game.
Even in contests Pittsburgh has been behind, you never doubt their ability to come back; and, once they are up, you can imagine the Jolly Roger raising up the flagpole.
After Pirates Starter Rich Hill didn’t come back out to start the 6th, wheels probably began to turn, in an attempt to figure out just how Derek Shelton would deploy the bullpen in order to get the final 12 outs of the game.
David Bednar and Colin Holderman had pitched on Thursday and Friday, so they were more than likely unavailable. Stephenson went the night before, so he might have be an option. Dauri Moreta was a little wild his last time out, so it could be tough to go to him in such a close game.
Instead he turned to Yohan Ramirez and Duane Underwood, Jr.; with the later being a reliever that many have said they would not deploy in late inning and/or high pressure situations.
To their credit, the duo struck out five, walked one and only allowed two hits; ultimately sealing the Pirates 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
News & Notes
- Jack Suwinski drove in what ended up being the game winning run in the bottom of the 4th, with a double.
- Rich Hill pitched long enough to be the pitcher of record, but just shy of extending the Pirates Quality Start Streak to 12. During his last outing in Colorado, Dick Mountain threw 105 pitches. The start before he tossed 95. So, when he got up to 96 gain, there was no way he was going 6. On the day he posted a line of 5IP/6H/1ER/3BB/7K.
- Bryan Reynolds broke an 0 for 12 hitless streak with back to back doubles in the the 5th and 8th.
- Luis Cessa had a fairly solid start after giving up 16 runs in a little over 6 innings in his previous two; finishing with 4.2IP/6H/2ER/0BB/4K.
- Derek Shelton has received an extension. At the moment, the exact terms of the agreement between the field manager and the Pirates are not known; however, he clearly is no longer the lame duck we perceived him to be at the beginning of the season.
- Contrary to the earliest reporting on Pirates Top Catching Prospect Endy Rodriguez, that he was “OK” after being removed from the Indianapolis Indians contest on Friday night, Endy was placed on the 7-Day IL with a right forearm strain earlier today. After conversations by a slew of Pirates Beat Reporters with Manager Derek Shelton, it was discussed that he would meet with doctors in Pittsburgh at some point this week.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes is just so fun to watch at the hot corner. It’s almost like you can’t blink, or you will miss him doing something special.
The Pirates and Reds are back at it tomorrow afternoon-1:35 PM to be exact-to close out their 4-game weekend series; as Pittsburgh goes for their second sweep in a row, and third on the season.
For your Buccos, Vince Velasquez (2-2/5.12 ERA/1.50 WHIP) will toe the rubber against Hunter Greene (0-0/4.24 ERA/1.53 WHIP) for the Redlegs.