Pittsburgh Pirates: Pinch Hitters Come Through& Other Takeaways From Sweep Of Padres

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 23: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is mobbed by teammates after drawing a bases loaded walk off walk in the eleventh inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on June 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 23: Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is mobbed by teammates after drawing a bases loaded walk off walk in the eleventh inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on June 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 23: Jacob Stallings #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two run RBI single to left field in the eleventh inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on June 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 23: Jacob Stallings #58 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two run RBI single to left field in the eleventh inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on June 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Pinch hitting continues to be a strength for the Pirates

No team in baseball has been better in pinch hitting situations this season than the Pittsburgh Pirates. This does not come as much of a surprise as the team’s outfield logjam has led to one or two good outfield bats being on the bench each night. When he does not start, Colin Moran has become one of the best pinch hitters in baseball. Then there’s Jose Osuna who leads all of Major League Baseball in pinch hit home runs this season.

Melky Cabrera is 6-for-14 with four walks and three doubles as a pinch hitter this season. The aforementioned Osuna has hit a MLB best 3 pinch hit home runs this season, including a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 5th inning of Saturday’s victory. At the time of the home run, the Pirates were trialing 1-0.

On Sunday, pinch hitting may have been the biggest reason the Pirates won. Jason Martin picked up a pinch hit single to start the bottom of the 5th inning and came around to score a run. In the 9th inning with the Pirates trailing 7-4, Adam Frazier doubled to put runners on second and third with no one out to get a game-tying 3-run rallying going. Then in the 11th inning, Jacob Stallings had a game-tying pinch hit single. Stallings would come around to score the winning run later in the inning.

On the season, Pirate pinch hitters are 38-for-111. Their pinch hitters have walked 12 times, hit six home runs, eight doubles, and a triple. Against the Padres, Pirate pinch hitters were 5-for-7 with a home run, a double, a sacrifice fly, and 5 RBI.

Having a strong bench is a requirement for National League clubs. This is due to the need to be able to successfully pinch hit in the NL. So far this season, no team has been better at pinch hitting than the Pirates.