Final Score: Pirates 4 Reds 3
Why The Pirates Won: Jet Lag did not set in until about 7:15 PM last night. The Pirates took a big first inning where Connor Jo hit a 3 run homer and Jack Suwinski hit a solo shot to take a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning, and they held on for a 4-3 victory over the Reds to go 13-7 for the season. The rest of the way they managed only 1 hit with a couple of walks, striking out 10 times. Roansy Contreras seemed back to his old form pitching 6 and 2/3rds innings, giving up 1 run, 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 8. It was his best performance of the year. The bullpen survived the 8th inning and Bednar pitched a clean 9th to pick up the save. It is easy to be critical of this win, but it is a lot better than being shut out by the Rockies, like the Phillies, at home, were last night. Yes, that’s correct, the Rockies.
The Key Moment Of The Game: The top of the 8th the Pirates still held a nice 4-1 lead and Colin Holderman came into pitch. Things began to unravel quickly. Jose Barrero got a swinging bunt single and Holderman threw the ball away allowing him to get to 2nd base. Then a wild pitch moved him to third. Jonathan India singled to right to drive in Barrero to make it 4-2. T. J. Friedl took a 3-2 pitch into right field for another single putting runners at 1st and 2nd. The Reds did a double steal, that the runners got such a big jump, a throw could not be made. Spencer Speer hit a sacrifice fly to score the 3rd run and move the runner to 3rd with only one out. Jake Fraley hit a hard low liner, but right at Ke’Bryan Hayes, who made a nice scoop of the ball, held the runner at 3rd, and threw out Fraley for the big 2nd out. Holderman struck out Tyler Stephenson on 3 pitches to end the inning. Whew!!!
Next Game: Tonight, Red in Pittsburgh. Mitch Keller will start for the Pirates and Graham Ashcraft for the Reds. Ashcraft has gotten off to a great start this season, pitching 6 innings every start and never allowing more than 2 runs. Will the Pirates light up another hot pitcher like they did in Colorado. Let’s hope they get a good night’s sleep. It would have been a heartbreaking loss for the Pirates if the Reds would have come back and won the game. In that first inning, I thought Greg Brown may pass out, he got so excited. I would not be surprised to see him hooked up to some monitors tonight. He said how the Pirates are surprising everybody with their good start. Well, not everybody, oh thy great Pirate shill. The season has a long way to go and there is going to be ups and downs for this team. As the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building said as he went by each floor, so far so good.