3 Takeaways From Pittsburgh Pirates 4 Game Sweep Of The Reds

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 07: Jason Martin #51 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Starling Marte #6 and JB Shuck #17 after the final out in a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 07: Jason Martin #51 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with Starling Marte #6 and JB Shuck #17 after the final out in a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 07: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI double to right field in the fifth inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 07: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI double to right field in the fifth inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Welcome back clean up hitter Josh Bell

Entering this series Pirate first baseman Josh Bell was off to a sluggish start. In the team’s first four games of the season he was just 2-for-16 with two walks and zero extra base hits. Against the Reds, Bell’s bat came to life.

Against the Reds Bell was 7-for-15 with a walk, three doubles, and his first two home runs of the 2019 season. This included the 474-foot mammoth blast that Bell launched in Sunday afternoon’s 7-5 victory. This home run is the second longest home run hit in the Major so far this season.

Bell putting it all together and getting hot at the plate should not be a surprise. His average exit velocity of 94.7 miles per hour is 6 MPH higher than the MLB average. So, Bell was making quality contact during the season’s first four games, the hits were just not dropping in.

Getting a version of Bell that is a combination of the 25+ home run hitter he was in 2017 with the high on-base percentage hitter he was in 2016 and 2018 would be a bigger boost for the Pirate lineup than any offseason addition could have been. This past weekend we saw signs of Bell becoming that hitter. Hopefully, this weekend was a sign of things to come from the Pirates’ clean up hitter.