Final Score: Pirates 6 Cubs 0
How The 2023 Pirates Did: In what could be called the most surprising performance of the year, Johan Oviedo pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, giving up only 3 hits, striking out 7, and SHOCKINGLY did not walk a batter. This from a man who was averaging a walk per inning over his first 14 innings of work. I didn’t even care if the bullpen blew the 6 run lead, I was so stunned with that performance. Hopefully, Oviedo find something, and this was no fluke. If he can get control of the stuff he has, he could be a top of the rotation starter. The rest of the 2023 Pirates did quite well racking up 6 runs, with some clutch hitting. They definitely made the most of their 7 hits and 2 walks. Rudolfo Castro came out of his funk getting 2 hits.
The Key Moment of The Game: In the bottom of the 5th, when it looked like the Pirates would only pick up a couple of runs on the Ji Hwan Bae double, Jack Suwinski had a big pinch hit 3 run home run with 2 outs, to put up the big crooked number. With this bullpen, I think everyone let out a big sigh of relief. It was a big plus, that relaxed everyone especially the bullpen, in this case Zack Thompson, who shut out the Cubs the rest of the way.
Next Game: This afternoon, Cubs in Pittsburgh. The Pirates continue to play the rejects, this time putting in Gamel, Newman, and Allen to start the game. I am still waiting to see that dream team take the field, the 2023 Pirates. I would love just to get a taste of what 2023 can be like. The Pirates will be pitching another potential young stud, in Luis Ortz. In 10.2 innings he has allowed only 1 earned run, 4 hits, 5 walks, while striking out 10. Please Lord, keep these arms healthy.