Final Score: Pirates 5 Reds 4
Why The Pirates Won: It was a strikeout-walk festival with the Pirates coming out ahead on both counts. The Reds struck out 15 times to “only” 11 for the Pirates. The Pirates walked 9 times, outwalking the Reds by 3. When a ball was put in play it was a shocker. Many have been maligning the Pirate bullpen, but they shined yesterday by allowing no runs on 2 hits, over the last 4 and 1/3rds innings. Mitch Keller’s start was just ok, as he had trouble with his control giving up 4 of the 6 Pirate walks. Oneil Cruz looked great at the plate walking 2 times and crushing a home run in the top of the 3rd. The Pirates only had 6 hits, but it is hard to get hits when the ball is hardly ever over the plate. Even with the pitch clock the game took 3 hours. The manufactured go-ahead run was a pleasure to watch. Ji Hwan Bae, who had a great game, walked to lead off the eighth inning. He then stole second and moved over to third on an excuse me sacrifice bunt by none other than Austin (Will I get a hit in April), Hedges. Oneil Cruz hit a deep sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. The bullpen with a little hiccup in each inning shut down the Reds and the opening day victory was ours.
Key moment Of The Game: Even though it was early, getting out of the bases loaded no out jam in the first inning with only 1 run scoring set the tone for the day. A walk sandwiched between two cheap hits loaded the bases. Then double play with a nice scoop by Santana. It is wonder what a real first baseman can do, isn’t it.? A pop out ended the inning and it just felt like this would be the Pirate’s day.
Next Game: Tomorrow Reds in Cincinnati. The line up had some interesting twists to it yesterday with Bae starting over Castro and Cruz leading off. The Pirate management looked like geniuses yesterday. I can’t wait to see what the Saturday line up will be, but for different reasons than I did in 22. In 2022 it would always be my belly laugh for the day. I just checked and see that Rich Hill is going to loosen up his creaky old bones on Saturday. Well, that at least gets my lips quivering.