The month of June didn’t seem bad at quick glance. The Pirates went 11-15, which wasn’t ideal if you want a winning team. It was an improvement over their 8-18 month of May. However, the month of June could have been worse.
Their first win, on June 2nd, came as a result of a six run seventh inning. They won 7-5 against the Cardinals, after going down 5-0 after three innings. They beat the Cardinals the next two nights in pretty standard fashion, but scored a lot of their runs later in the game to support good pitching.
They went down 3-0 against Oakland after three innings on June 5th. They scored one in the fifth, and three in the sixth to come back. After exchanging runs in the 8th, the Pirates won 5-4.
Their win against the Marlins on June 23rd, snapping a ten game winning streak, came as a result of a three run ninth inning. Prior to that, the Marlins were setting up for the 1-0 save.
They were winning 2-1 this past Wednesday against the Padres heading into the seventh inning. The Pirates added five runs to put the game out of reach. The next night, they were down 4-1 heading into the sixth. They added a run in the sixth, and three more in the seventh, winning the game 5-4.
Their game against Milwaukee on the final day of the month capped off things in fitting fashion. The Brewers went up 4-0 in the third, and were up 7-4 after seven innings. The Pirates added a run in the eighth, then won on a walk off homer from Carlos Santana.
Over half of the wins last month came as a result of the offense battling back from a losing situation in the sixth inning or later. This isn’t a sustainable method for long-term winning. However, it’s notable that the Pirates dealt with so many injuries to their best performers during this time, while going through their worst losing streak, and struggling in a lot of the games they won. Starting pitcher depth has been a concern, which is why it’s encouraging that the Pirates offense has been able to rebound so many times late in games. The fact that they battled back so many times — from the start of June to the finish, and now into July — is a great sign for what this team could do when the impact talent returns and the rotation gets stronger.
The impact talent is starting to return today, with Bryan Reynolds batting second in the Pirates’ lineup.
PIRATES (39-43) VS MILWAUKEE
Game Time: 1:35 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Rich Hill, LHP (7-7, 4.45)
Brewers Starter: Colin Rea, RHP (4-4, 4.57)
One more for Bucco Luau Weekend🤙
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 2, 2023
One more in Pittsburgh!
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2023
DAILY PIRATES NEWS
The Pirates activated Bryan Reynolds today, and placed Ji Hwan Bae on the injured list.
I wrote about how Derek Shelton has a difficult job, trying to win with so many part-time players. That seems to be changing with the return of Reynolds.
We’ve been including the minor league reports in the P2Live article. That changes today. You can find everything on the farm system in the Prospect Watch each day at noon.
More Recent Pirates Features
6/30: Williams: Tathata and the Present Day Grades of the Pirates Position Players
6/29: Jared Triolo Has Positive Recovery From Negative Start to the Year
6/29: This May Be Exactly What This Team Needed
6/28: The Key To Success For Nick Gonzales
6/28: Williams: The Pains of Part-Time Players Getting Too Much Playing Time
6/28: Gallery: Pirates Unveil City Connect Jerseys
Check back at the end of the game for the recap, or, join the discussion in the comments if you’re following Live.
Final Score: Brewers 6, Pirates 3
Player of the Game: Nick Gonzales, 2B (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI)
Recap: For a moment, it looked like the Pirates were going to pull the reverse of what I outlined above — getting out to an early lead rather than going down early. In the second inning, Nick Gonzales hit a two run home run to center field. It was the second homer for Gonzales of his career, with both going to the bushes in center field at PNC Park.
Rich Hill battled through five innings, giving up three runs. Those runs came from a three run homer in the third inning against William Contreras. It was a tough break for Hill, who hit a batter and walked another right before the home run. The Brewers took the lead, and today would not be a day where the Pirates offense would make a comeback.
They had a chance in the fifth inning, down by a run. Jared Triolo was on second with one out. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen couldn’t bring him in. The offense was quiet for a few innings after that.
A throwing error by Ryan Borucki in the eighth inning brought in two more runs for the Brewers. That proved costly, as the Pirates were able to get one run in the bottom of the eighth after the second double of the day from Josh Palacios. After the home run from Gonzales, the Pirates offense struggled to do much of anything — minus the first-to-home hustle from Carlos Santana on the Palacios double.
The Brewers, meanwhile, added another run in the ninth inning. Jared Triolo had a rough finish to the game on the field, picking up a fielding error, and missing two hard hit balls. One of them went for an RBI double, giving Milwaukee a three run lead that they wouldn’t give up.
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.