Diary of a long-suffering Pirates fan: Back on top again. Pirates tied for best record in Baseball

Fun Fact: Marlins and Nationals are not the best teams in baseball
Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

In my post yesterday, I detailed how the Pirates lost yesterday’s game in the 2nd inning when they first squandered a bases-loaded and nobody-out situation in the top of the inning and then allowed the Nationals to score four runs in the bottom of the inning through some shoddy glove work and poor pitching.

The Pirates seemed to have learned a lesson from yesterday’s game.  So, today, instead of waiting until the second inning, the Pirates decided to win the game in the first inning.  Only this time, they didn’t squander a bases loaded and nobody out situation.  On the contrary, the Pirates loaded the bases in the first and proceeded to score four runs.  Rowdy Tellez delivered the biggest hit knocking in two runs with a two-strike seeing eye single that made the score 3-0.  The following hitter, Henry Davis, then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the fourth Pirates run.

As a long-suffering Pirates fan, when you tune in and see a score of 4 to nothing in the first inning, there is a presumption that it is the Pirates with the "nothing," and the opposition with the "4." At which point, you're wondering if there is anything good on Netflix. So, this is another example of how the 2024 version of the Pirates looks different

The Pirates would not surrender that first inning lead.  Martin Perez was effective in limiting the Nationals to just 2 runs in 6.2 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Pirates through the course of the game added on three insurance runs.   The biggest blow was a Connor Joe two run homer in the 5th inning, which made the score 7 to 1.  The Nationals would score some late inning runs, but to no avail.  The Pirates and their closing duo of Chapman and Bednar were able to lock down a 7-4 victory.

The victory gives the Pirates a 6-1 record, which is tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball.

The Pirates continued with some positive trends in this game which have led to the great start of the season.

They drew seven walks in this game as they continue to lead the league in this category and continue on a pace to break the MLB records for most walks in a season.

They also collected 11 hits in this victory, which continues their trend of double-digit hits in their victories.  In their only loss, the Pirates had only four hits.

And the Pirates stranded another 10 runners on base.  They remain on pace to break the 1941 St. Louis Browns records of stranding the most runners.  When you score 7 runs a game, and are winning ball games as a result, stranding runners doesn’t seem like such a big deal. It seems to be a by-product of all the scoring your team is doing.  However, it is interesting to note that the 1941 St. Louis Browns finished that 1941 season with a losing record.  They averaged 4.9 runs per game while giving up an average of 5.3 runs per game.  As such, the 1,334 runners that those Browns stranded on the bases that year probably made a big difference in their win/loss percentage.  Here’s hoping that the Pirates figure out a way to get a few more of those stranded runners home and don’t make this LOB stat a significant issue the way it was for that 1941 St. Louis Browns team.

On another note, less you know of any Pirates fans who may be getting a little too excited about this start (present company excluded), I would be remiss if I did not point out that the Marlins and Nationals, the two teams the Pirates have played and defeated, have a combined record of 2 wins and 12 losses to begin this season.  Not exactly juggernauts these two teams.

But the next team the Pirates play—the Orioles—are.

In the meantime, enjoy another day of your Pirates being in first place.  I hope you are celebrating the occasion responsibly. And enjoy today's home opener.