Pittsburgh Pirates Blowout Nationals, Sweep Doubleheader, First National League Team to 20 Wins

Apr 29, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes
Apr 29, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After blowing out the Washington Nationals to sweep Saturday's doubleheader, the Pittsburgh Pirates are the first National League team to 20 wins

The Pittsburgh Pirates just keep on winning baseball games. After blasting the Washington Nationals 16-1 to sweep Saturday's doubleheader, the Pirates are now 20-8. This makes the Bucs the first National League team to reach 20 wins this season.

We have said it so many times, no one knows how long this will last. However, as Greg Brown said on TV after the game, each day is truly like Christmas. You never know what fun present is waiting for you.

Right now your Pittsburgh Pirates are the best team in the National League. For however long this lasts, enjoy it. You deserve. We all deserve it.

Pirate offense explodes, scores early and often

It took until the 8th inning for the Pirate offense to be retired in order. This was a group that cmae out swinging early and often on Saturday night. The Pirates scored a run in the 1st and 2nd inning, they scored twice in the 3rd inning, and then played 4 runs in the 4th, putting this game away early.

Jack Suwinski helped to lead the way for the Pirate offense. Suwinski had three hits, including a double and a grand slam. This was part of a 5 RBI night for Suwinski. Ke'Bryan Hayes had two hits, drew a walk, and scored three runs. Bryan Reynolds went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and three runs scored. Andrew McCutchen drove in a run, Carlos Santana had a trio of hits while driving in 3 runs, and Rodolfo Castro had a hit and a walk.

It was truly a group effort from the Pirate offense.

Vince Velasquez continues to cruise

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Vince Velasquez a lot of people, myslef included, had a hard time seeing him in the team's starting rotation. Well, so far this season, he has proven all of the doubters wrong.

Velasquez pitched 6 innings on Saturday night. He did not allow a run, while giving up five hits, not walking a batter, striking out five, and generating 11 swings-and-misses. Velasquez is now up to 18 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.

On the season Velasquez now owns a 3.06 ERA and a 3.78 FIP. He has been an absolute god send for the Pirates through six starts, and is a big reason why the team is off to such a strong start. Hopefully, this is a season of Velasquez fidning something and not just a flash in the pan hot stretch.

Drew Maggi finaly gets his first career hit

With the conclusion of Saturday's games Drew Maggi will be optioned to Double-A Altoona. The feel good story of this early MLB season, Maggi made sure he was not going to return to the minors without a MLB hit.

Pinch-hitting for Hayes, Maggi ripped a single to center field in the top of the 7th inning. Maggi's hit came with Jason Delay on third base, also giving him his first career RBI. Maggi's hit, which came after 13 seasons in the minors, made the score 13-0 Pirates. Baseball jsut works out that way some times.

In the top of the 9th inning Maggi added to the fun by ripping a double down the left field line. His second career hit and first career extra base hit put runners on second and third for the Bucs. Had the game not been 13-0, it would have been his second career RBI. Maggi later scored his first career run on a 3-run home run by Miguel Andújar, the 2nd home run of the day and the season for Andújar made the score 16-0 Pirates.

Cody Bolton makes his MLB debut

In the 7th inning, righty Cody Bolton toed the rubber for the Pirates to make his MLB debut. Botlon made quick work of the Nats, retiring them in order while recording a strikeout. This was just the start for Bolton.

Bolton took the mound again for the 8th inning. He allowed a hit, but retired the other three baters he faced. It was an imrpessive debut for Bolton. At one time he was one of the top pitching prospects in the Pirate farm system. While injuries and COVID derailed that some, he could still have a big future in the Pirate bullpen.

Next Up

Weather permitting, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking for a series sweep of the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon. Johan Oviedo (3.03 ERA, 3.72 FIP) is set to start for the Pirates. As for the Nats, taletned young righty Josiah Gray (2.93 ERA, 4.72 FIP) is scheduled to start. First pitch from Nationals Park is scheduled for 1:35 PM ET.