The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Atlanta Braves by a score of 8-2 on Thursday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 22-18 on the season after taking three out of four from the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates finished off their four game series with the Braves by picking up an 8-2 victory on Thursday night.
Thursday night’s victory was a great all-around game for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs got strong pitching, they scored early and often on offense, and played outstanding defense in this game. Here are the Pittsburgh Pirates three stars and stiffs from Thursday night’s victory.
First baseman John Jaso – After making the stiffs list last night, John Jaso bounced back in a big way. Jaso went 3-for-4 with a walk, a triple, two runs scored, and a RBI on Thursday night. Also, unlike Wednesday night, Jaso did not commit any errors or have any defensive gaffes at first base.
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Jaso helped to set the table in the first inning when the Pirates struck for a pair of runs, and would play a big role in the offense throughout the rest of the night. After his performance tonight John Jaso is now slashing .301/.369/.459/.838 with a 127 wRC+.
When Pirate General Manager Neal Huntington signed John Jaso to be his first baseman many people were critical of the move, I was not one of them. And John Jaso’s play this season is showing why I have been on his bandwagon since day one.
Right fielder Gregory Polanco – There is no other way to put it, Gregory Polanco is blossoming into a superstar. Polanco went 2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, two runs scored, and two RBI in the Pirate victory on Thursday night.
Polanco’s home run was one of the most impressive I have ever seen at PNC Park. In the second inning, he drove a breaking ball on the outside edge of the strike zone over the 410 sign in the left field notch for his fourth home run of the season. Right-handed hitters do not hit home runs over the notch let alone left-handed hitters.
Polanco’s triple was impressive as well, as he turned on an Eric O’Flaherty pitch on the inside corner to drive it off the Clemente Wall. Prior to this season Gregory Polanco had really struggled with left-handed pitching, but that is no longer the case.
Finally, Gregory Polanco also showed off his defensive skills in this game. Chase d’Arnaud hit a ball into the right-center field gap tonight that Polanco got to, caught off, and then held d’Arnaud to a single on. This may not sound like much, but for most hitters that hit was going to be a double. Especially from a speedster like d’Arnaud. Simply put, there is nothing Gregory Polanco does not excel at on a baseball field. He is truly turning into a walking toolshed.
Relief pitcher Wilfredo Boscan – Right-handed pitcher Wilfredo Boscan was recalled from AAA Indianapolis earlier today. Then tonight Boscan made his Major League debut, and he was excellent.
Boscan pitched two innings he allowed just one hit, did not walk a batter, he struck out two batters, and he threw 23 of 28 pitches for strikes. With how poor the Pirate middle relief has been this season Boscan has a chance to win a job in the Bucco bullpen if he pitches well. So far so good on that front for Boscan.
For the first time this season, the Pirates have no stiffs. Yay! Jeff Locke pitched seven strong innings tonight, the bullpen did not falter, and the only starters without a hit were Jung Ho Kang and Chris Stewart. However, Kang was hit by pitch, scored a run, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and played a strong defensive third base. Chris Stewart also got hit by a pitch and scored a run. So despite being held hitless, both still contributed to victory.
It is now time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to turn their attention toward the Colorado Rockies. The Pirates and Rockies start a three game series at PNC Park on Friday night. So far this season the Pirates are 3-0 against Colorado, so hopefully that success continues this weekend.