Ladies and Gents, your Pittsburgh Pirates just keep humming along. Following a Friday rainout, the Buccos took on the Washington Nationals on a Saturday double-header and swept both contests, taking the first game 6-3 and the nightcap by a whopping 16-1 margin.
In game one, Miguel Andujar made his season debut and immediately contributed, driving in Pittsburgh’s first run with a single in the second inning that scored Connor Joe. He then followed that up with a two-run homer in the sixth that was the difference in the game for the Bucs. It put them up 4-2 before the Nats got one back and Pittsburgh added some cushion in the eighth. Andujar finished his debut with a 2-for-3 line, a homer, a run and three RBIs.
Miguel Andujar puts the Pirates in front! pic.twitter.com/vucJPyHAnr— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 29, 2023
Speaking of Connor Joe (and we’ll have more on him with a Sunday feature today), he also went deep, hitting a solo shot in the fourth that put the Bucs up 2-0 at the time.
You already know it's... CONNOR JOE! pic.twitter.com/hoBhWQUxTj— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 29, 2023
On the mound, veteran Rich Hill had another good start, going sixth and a third while scattering eight hits, giving up three runs, two earned, with no walks and five strikeouts. David Bednar worked a perfect final inning for his ninth save of the year.
In the nightcap, Pittsburgh bats went bananas, going off for 16 runs, with Jack Suwisnki, Carlos Sanatana and Andujar again all having monster games. Suwinski hit a grand slam in the sixth, finishing the night 3-for-6 with a homer, a double and five RBIs, while Santana finished 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBIs, while Andujar hit his second homer of the day, finishing 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Jumping Jack Suwinski Grand Slam 12-0 #Pirates in 6th pic.twitter.com/KTcwTITULP— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) April 30, 2023
MIGUEL ANDÚJAR RAKES pic.twitter.com/BGz1H3tp5y— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 30, 2023
In addition, 33-year-old Drew Maggi got his first Major League hit, going 2-for-2 with a double, run and RBI.
While the bats were cooking, so was Vince Velasquez on the mound. He pitched shutout ball over six innings, giving up just five hits while striking out five and walking none.
The Bucs are firing on all cylinders at the moment, with both the hitting, pitching in addition to aggressive base running all coming together for a 20-8 record, which is the best in the National League and the second best in baseball.
Is this sustainable all year? I’m not sure, but it sure as hell is fun right now. Enjoy it!