Final Score: Pirates 1 Braves 2
How The 2023 Pirates Did: They did not have a great game, but they were the only positives. Cruz hit a home run, with Reynolds, Castro, Marcano, and Chavis getting one hit each. Reynolds did look lousy in his other at bats, especially in the bottom of the 9th against Jansen when he took a 92-mph fast ball right down the middle and then was called out on a perfect pitch that painted the outside corner. The story of the night was the strong pitching performance of Roansy Contreras. He could have had a little better command as he walked 3. He struck out 5 but threw only 89 pitches, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings. I was shocked that the Pirates let him come out for the 7th inning. Then I almost had a stroke when Dwayne Underwood Junior, had a 1,2,3 inning. All Pirate fans should say a little prayer for Roansy, that his arm stays healthy, because this guy is the real deal. Even though the Pirates are trying to limit his work, it is no guarantee, that he won’t avoid arm trouble. Look at the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg. The one thing about Contreras is that he looks so loose out there, and his motion seems so effortless. Cue Dionne Warick and let her rip.
Key Moment of The Game: In the top of the 5th, after a leadoff single, Michael Harris II hit a cheap home run to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. Yes, I will call it cheap, just because it ruined a great performance by Contreras. I can write like the Pirate broadcast booth every once in a while. Plus, who cares if he is the 2nd and Dwayne Underwood is a Junior, enough of all this nonsense. Just like in the song The Cheap Seats by Alabama, the game was close so we will count it as a win.
Next Game: Tonight, Braves in Pittsburgh. Since I started covering what I consider to be the 2023 Pirates, the most that have started is 6. Some games only 5 have been in the starting lineup. Even though I am a little bit on the fence about him, I still think that Jason Delay has done enough to be at least the backup catcher to the hopefully upright Roberto Perez next year. It would be wonderful to see a starting lineup that had 7 or 8 of the 2023 Pirates. This is what a Pirate fan looks forward to, forget about winning.