5-19-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
The Pirates broke out the bats in Detroit on Wednesday.
It felt good, but one breakout does not an offensive turnaround make. You know what I mean. You’ve seen enough of those mirage games where a bunch of scrubs for some reason catch fire and boat race a team they shouldn’t beat. The series finale in Detroit could have been just that.
The scene sure seemed set didn’t it? For the second game in a row the Pirates were slated to face one of the best pitchers in baseball, at least as far as the early returns on 2023 would have you believe. And two games back to back, this team just did damn near whatever they wanted at the plate.
Everyone, even the Hedges types.
But really, what’s happened here is they got contributions from guys this team, indeed this franchise simply has to have. Bryan Reynolds for two days straight has shown the timing is coming back to him, finally culminating in a big shot to left field with just the right everything. Sure, the damage was done up 8-1 already, but needed man, needed.
Ke’Bryan Hayes has just about every metric you’d want if you were trying to forecast a successful hitter, in fact, read what my man Michael wrote this morning about it when you get a chance.
Ke’ was on it tonight, and finally got rewarded for the hard contact multiple times. Going 3 for 5 with a couple doubles and 3 RBI.
Early on, opportunities weren’t squandered.
I mean Josh Palacios 3 for 4 with 3 RBI.
By the 8th, the Danger Noodles were on to using position players to pitch and it got silly quickly.
13-3 after 8… and Colin Holderman came on for the unfair, man we have to face this guy even when the closer is off, kind of outing.
While all this was going on, Johan Oviedo was strong. Debuted a new 2-seam fastball, and using his slider to backdoor lefties instead of trying to slip every one of them under their hands. He had a few bouts of wildness, but Oscar Marin was quick to come out, settle and instruct his youngster. Seemed to get him right back on track.
His final line was great, but you wouldn’t say he was dominant. Very much so encouraging, just not quite beyond the feeling he’ll have a few more hurdles yet.
They defended too, Marcano either forgot what position he was playing or this was just incredible.
Bucs win big, and in front of a big crowd at PNC Park tonight.
This game had every excuse to be a setback, instead, the Pirates have started something we haven’t seen in May.
…A winning steak.
Welcome back to first place.
News & Notes
- Bryan Reynolds hit his first homerun since April 7th tonight. A 3 run shot good for his 6th of the season.
- Johan Oviedo introduced a new 2-seam fastball tonight, and used it effectively. He also sprinkled in a backdoor slider that played off the 2-seam beautifully. Could be a game changer, still have command issues he must overcome. 6 innings of 2 hit, 1 run ball is good no matter how long you’ve been playing.
- Zac Gallen has walked 12 batters this season including tonight. Of those 12, 3 in the opener against the Dodgers, and a whopping 4 tonight to the Pirates. Gallen suffered just his 2nd loss of the season.
- Duane Underwood Junior tossed 0.1 innings, walking 2, surrendering a hit allowed 2 to score pitching with an 11-1 lead. He exited the game after being seen by a trainer with right forearm tightness. Could be taking a trip to the IL I’d imagine.
- Pirates have now won 3 of 4
- Andrew McCutchen was 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored serving as the leadoff man tonight.
- Jack Suwinski 2 for 4 with a walk and a couple RBI, tagged a lefty too.
- Rodolfo Castro pinch hit tonight against a right handed pitcher (albeit a position player) and he took the at bat right handed. Significant and probably explains why he has been sitting. They are not anxious to try this circus trick in games yet. Hard to do when you aren’t used to seeing the ball break away from you. Something to watch but we might have seen Castro drop switch hitting.
- Ji Hwan Bae was 3 for 4 tonight, talk about a player in need of finding something at the plate, he’s been really scuffling.
- Derek Shelton mentioned after the game the approach at the plate has been better. What I’d like to hear them follow up on would be, how does it get that out of whack?
2 thoughts on “Pirates Strangle Snakes in 13-3 Blowout Series Opener: (24-20)”
6 innings 2 hits 1 ER and 7Ks is pretty dominant. The only fault I can find is his pitch count was higher than you’d like it to be. I thought he would give Bednar some work tonight, if I’m not mistaken he’s only pitched 3 innings this month.
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I never felt it. He was good but there was a whole lot of we didn’t know he threw that tonight too.