Today was a glimpse of the future, hopefully.
Roansy Contreras pitched a beautiful five innings, striking out seven, and Tucapita Marcano tied the MLB record for most assists in an inning as the Pirates got their first road shutout of the year, downing the Phillies 5-0 at Citizens Bank Park.
For a pleasant change, the Pirates got on the board in the first inning, with Oneil Cruz tripling and Ke’Bryan Hayes bringing him home. Roansy started strong, and the Pirates defense was just as strong despite a blip error by Michael Chavis that allowed Alec Bohm to get on base, and some of us may have taken inordinate pleasure in Bryce Harper striking out swinging.
Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard looked off from the start, a far cry from his days with the Mets when he was legitimately scary. But another nice change is that the Pirates got three triples, all off Syndergaard—and every one of them crossed the plate. Anyone who hangs out with the Commentariat knows the number of lobster GIFS posted during an average Pirates game. The only Pirate who didn’t get a hit today was Greg Allen, but he had a couple of timely sac bunts to boost his RBI total.
After the debacles that were the last two games, it was fun to watch the Pirates today, to watch the kids making the plays. Marcano was downright brilliant-looking at times at second base today. And there’s been a definite improvement in Oneil Cruz’s defense as well (hoping that doesn’t jinx him). It was small ball, but it was good small ball that resulted in a (sadly these days) rare RAISE IT.
The rumor’s going around that Jack Suwinski is coming up, and newly acquired pitcher Robert Stephenson will be on the mound in Milwaukee tomorrow in place of JT Brubaker, who’s on paternity leave. Let’s see what happens.