The Pittsburgh Pirates came into the day with eleven straight quality starts. That streak unfortunately came to an end, but that isn’t because Pirates starter Rich Hill had a tough day.
Hill managed to throw five innings while striking out seven Cincinnati Reds hitters. He would give up only one earned run — I question if it should be earned — bringing his ERA down to 4.85 on the season. Rich Hill kept the hitters off-balance all game doing Rich Hill things. Using his various pitches and arm angles, while dialing it all the way up to 89 MPH.
The Pirates offense didn’t exactly carry over from their Colorado outburst into this series, but the offense has been coming through enough to support the quality pitching they’ve been receiving.
Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple, and on the next pitch, slumping star Bryan Reynolds hit a long flyball for a sacrifice fly and the game’s first run.
It was mostly quiet from then on, till the fourth inning with one out when Carlos Santana and Jack Suwinski hit back-to-back doubles to push the Pirates lead to 2-0.
In the top of the fifth, the Reds had a runner on first with one out. Stuart Fairchild hit a single to center field that Ji-Hwan Bae let get under his glove, and allowed Jonathan India to end up scoring from first. Hill got the next two batters to ground out leaving the game at 2-1.
The Pirates bullpen took over in the sixth inning, and handled the Reds offense with relative ease.
Recent call-up Yohan Ramirez was first to enter after Hill, for his second appearance of the season. Yohan labored a bit, throwing 42 pitches in total, but he’d get through two scoreless innings allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out four total. He was pairing a sweeper along with a sinker that got up to 96.8 MPH.
Duane Underwood Jr. got the ball for the final two innings, and sat down all six batters he faced. It took him only 22 pitches, striking out one, while inducing three groundouts to one flyout.
The Pirates are now on a six game winning streak, looking to finish off the Reds on Sunday with a four game sweep for back-to-back sweeps.
-It doesn’t really need to be mentioned, but it also needs to be mentioned that Ke’Bryan Hayes is good. The fact we get to watch him day in and day out at third base making plays as smooth as he does is fun.
-Bryan Reynolds finally broke out of his slump, and finished the day going 2-for-3 with two doubles and the RBI on his first inning sacrifice fly.
-Lastly, cause I’ve personally been a little hard on him, Tucupita Marcano has looked much better at the plate. He had a single and double in the game that both registered over 100 MPH. He’s been putting better swings on the ball and making solid contact. I hope to see it continue. Ryan Palencer wrote about him this week.
-Fun Fact: With Hill’s ERA dropping to 4.85, that leaves Vince Velasquez as the only pitcher currently with an ERA north of 5.00 — 5.12 to be exact — and hopefully he joins the sub-5 club tomorrow.
Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.
Should not be an earned run. Bae with an error letting the ball get under his glove. He also should have thrown to second to keep the runner at first and the DP in order. That sequence not only gave up a run, but possibly cost Hill a chance to go 6…..Rookie mistakes. I’ve said this before, Bae plays at a frenetic pace. He needs to play with more control in the field and at the plate. Castro also needs to show more plate discipline. They need to watch Joe closely. The dude manufactures quality ABs. Learning on the fly and still winning….that’s cool.
I love your comment about Hayes. So true. I can’t get enough of watching him play third base. It’s awesome to watch.
Yeah, yeah, I know they are a work in progress and there is still a long way to go, and if you were to ask me to put real money on them finishing above or below .500 I know which way I would bet, but still. Good teams beat bad teams! They took the Rockies to the woodshed and now have, at the least won the series against the Reds, with the possibility of a sweep, and that says something.Things won’t be as easy with the Dodgers and Tampa Bay on the horizon, but beat the teams below you.