Final Score: Pirates 2 Reds 0
Why The Pirates Won: Vince (Will I Be Able To Keep This Up) Velasquez pitched the strongest game of the year, going 7 innings, giving up no runs, just 2 hits, walking 2 in a row and striking out 10. I will gladly be wrong about Velasquez, if he can keep this up for the remainder of the season. The A team of Holderman and Bednar finished up the shutout. Holderman has been extremely effective as the set up man, but he always makes it interesting. The Pirates were only able to muster 2 runs on 6 hits, and 1 walk. Suwinski got a big 2 out double in the bottom of the 8th to drive in a nice insurance run. The bottom of the 8th also featured a stolen base by Carlos Santana that helped make scoring the 2nd run very easy. I wrote the Pirates needed to bury the Reds and they did with great pitching that literally got better as the series went on. The Reds scored 3, 2, 1, and finally 0 runs to end the series. The 4 game sweep enabled the Pirates to improve to 16-7, and don’t look now, but are in first place.
The Key Moment Of The Game: After getting the first 7 batters out, all of a sudden it seemed like Velasquez could not find the plate and he walked 2 batters in a row. There was a conference on the mound, and it seemed to get Velasquez back on track and he never looked back. This was the first time that Velasquez has had back to back quality starts since 2018. It was a beautiful thing.
Next Game: Tomorrow night, Dodgers in Pittsburgh. Johan Oviedo will open against the Dodgers going against Noah Syndergaard. With the sweep of the Reds, the Pirates need to win only 1 of the next 3 to make this a successful home stand. Of course, I will take 2 out of 3 or another Pirate sweep. This should be one great series.