Can you believe it?! I might be the most optimistic Pirates fan out there, and I'm not sure that I can believe that the Pirates are 11-11 through their first 22 games of the season.
It seems as if everything is in sync for the Buccos right now as the bats are red hot and the bullpen has been on point as of late.
We are not even one month into the season and the Pirates have been bitten by the injury bug. Ke'Bryan Hayes, after his impressive opening day performance against the Chicago Cubs where in his first AB of the season he took Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks deep to left field, was bitten just one day later, going down with a wrist injury when he swung the bat in the second game of the three-game set against the Cubbies.
With Hayes out, the team looked out of sorts and the offense was nonexistent. They got shellacked in all three games against the Cincinnati Reds and the bats fell silent yet again during the home opener against the Chicago Cubs.
However, after the home opener, the bats started to rejuvenate, and the Pirates put up 15 total runs against Chicago in games two and three of the Pirates’ three-game series against the Cubs. After that series, they took on the San Diego Padres, where they split the four-game set, and after the team started off 1-6 in their first seven games, the team went 4-3 in their first homestand of the season.
Things only began to trend upwards for the Bucs as they took two out of three games against the Brewers, Tigers, and Twins going 6-3 which is the first time the team has won three straight road series since September 2015.
Let's take a look at who has been the key to the Pirates’ success as of late.
Phillip Evans (UTIL) .243 Avg 18 H 4 HR 6 RBI
Even though Evans' average has dipped over the past week or so, don't let that distract you from the fact that this man was hitting the cover off of the ball the first two weeks in the season and has been a reliable bat over the rest of the month of April. He also threw a 1-2-3 inning against the Cincinnati Reds on April 6.
Bryan Reynolds (LF) .304 Avg 24 H 6 2B 2 HR 11 RBI
You thought that the .189 average that Reynolds was sporting in the 2020 season wasn't a fluke? Well, think again, as Reynolds has started off the year red hot and continues to hit the ball well for the Pirates. He has been one of the key sources of offense for the Pirates at the start of the season.
Adam Frazier (2B) .310 Avg 26 H 6 2B 2 3B 10 RBI
Another player that has been tearing it up as of late has been Adam Frazier, going 3-for-5 with one RBI in the series finale against the Twins. After going just 3-for-22 in his first six games, Fraz found his stride, picking up 23 hits in the past couple of weeks and solidifying himself as the leadoff hitter on this team.
The pen has been the backbone of the team's success this season as they have put up some impressive numbers. Even without a solidified closer, pitchers such as Richard Rodriguez, Sam Howard, and Mars, Pennsylvania native David Bednar have had a solid start to the young season.
Since April 10, the Bucco bullpen has led the NL with a 1.80 ERA which just shows you how important the bullpen has meant to the Pirates over this hot streak.
All I can say is that this team is really fun to watch as of late, and with Ke'Bryan Hayes hopefully returning soon, this team is exceeding expectations and will continue to do so as long as the bats continue to stay hot.