The Pittsburgh Pirates ended their 2023 season on a high note by defeating the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon
The 2023 season is now in the books for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a season that started with great promise, was then absolutely miserable in May and June, but ends with the team seemingly trending in the right direction.
Following a 3-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon, the Pirates finish the season with a 76-86 record. This is a 14 game improvement over the 62-100 record the Pirates had in the 2022 season.
The 14 game improvement for the Pirates is the biggest improvement in wins from one season to the next since they jumped from 79 wins in 2012 to 93 wins in 2013. If the Pirates can make another jump next season, they could be in position to compete for a postseason berth.
Pirate offense breaks through in the 8th inning
Sunday afternoon's season finale at PNC Park was a pitching battle. With this, entering the bottom of the 8th inning the game was scoreless. But in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Pirate offense broke through for the lone runs of the game.
Connor Joe doubled with one out and Jared Triolo drew a walk. Miguel Andújar then hit a double of his own, scoring Joe and giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Jack Suwinski then hit the third Pirate double of the inning, making the score 3-0 Pirates.
Pirates pitching notches a shutout
Andre Jackson started for the Bucs and finished his season on a high note. In 4 scoreless innings pitched Jackson allowed a hit, walked a batter, and struck out a pair. Jackson will finish the season with a 4.38 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched with the Pirates, putting himself in position to compete for a bullpen/swing-man role in 2024.
Osvaldo Bido pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out a pair. Former Marlin farmhand Kyle Nicolas struck out a pair in a scoreless 7th inning and Dauri Moreta struck out the side in a 1-2-3 8th inning.
After the Pirates plated 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning the stage was set for The Renegade one last time in 2023. David Bednar retired the Marlins in order to close out the 3-0 Pirate victory. With the save, Bednar will finish the season tied for the National League lead in saves with 39.
Important offseason ahead
Now the Pirate prepare to embark on a vital offseason. 2024 will be year 5 for Ben Cherington as the team's general manager. The team took a huge step forward this season, and now they need to do it again in 2024.
There are building blocks there, but as we will get into more on the site in the coming days/weeks those building blocks will not be all they need. Cherington needs to find a first baseman this offseason, as well as at least two starting pitchers. Adding a pair of proven quality relievers would go a long way as well.
There is no more time for patience, no more time for rebuilding and waiting. 2024 will be the time to win for the Pirates. In order to do that, Cherington and his staff need to put together a strong offseason.