Pittsburgh Pirates: Strong Defense, Big Night From Joshua Palacios Leads to 5-1 Victory

Sep 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Bailey Falter (44)
Sep 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Bailey Falter (44) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Joshua Palacios did a little bit of everything, the Pittsburgh Pirates played strong defense, and got strong pitching a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals

In a game that saw a bit of everything, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Washington Nationals by a score of 5-1 on Tuesday night. Securing a victory in game two of the series, the Bucs even the series at a victory each and imrpove to 67-78 overall on the season.

The Pirates played very strong defense in the victory. This defense contributed in a big way to a strong night of pitching. Also, in a move you do not see very often the Nationals issued four intentional walks in the game.

Strong start from Bailey Falter

Bailey Falter started for the Pirates on Tuesday night and turned in arguably his best start with the Bucs since being acquired in August. For just the second time since joining the Bucs, Falter went 6 innings while containing the Nats.

Even though he allowed more hard contact than you would like to see, Falter battled and kept getting outs. He also benefitted greatly from some terrific defense by the Pirates. This included Ke'Bryan Hayes starting a very smooth double play on a ball that may not have been an out for many third basemen let alone a double play.

There was also this top notch running grab by Bryan Reynolds.

This grab proved to be vital as the next three Washington batters would record base hits leading to a run. If not for the grab by Reynolds, the Nats almost assuredly would have scored more than just 1 run in the 4th inning.

As the game went on Falter started to settle into a groove. He retired the final seven batters he faced and started to generate more swing-and-miss as the night went on. Falter allowed 1 run on four hits, a walk, no home runs allowed, and four strikeouts. The lefty threw 44 of 67 pitches for strikes, while generating 8 swings-and-misses.

Joshua Palacios gets the Bucs on the board

Will he ever be a full-time starter in the majors? Probably not. At least not on a good club. However, Joshua Palacios could become a strong fourth outfielder on a club. He continued to flash that potential on Tuesday night.

He got the Bucs on the board with a 2-run home run in the 2nd inning, giving him 8 on the season. Palacios also had a base hit and drew a walk in the game. He also made a nice running grab in right field, as well as throwing out a runner at the plate in the 7th inning.

Pirates waste additional scoring opportunities... until the 5th inning

After jumping out to an early lead the Pirates wasted multiple opportunities to extend their lead. Miguel Andújar grounded out to leave the bases loaded in the 3rd inning, and then Connor Joe flew out to leave the bases loaded in the 4th.

Despite leading 2-1 entering the 5th inning the Pirates had left nine runners on base. In the 5th inning, the offense finally scored again.

Endy Rodriguez doubled to start the inning, went to third base on a single by Palacios, and came around to score on a base knock by Andújar. With the bases loaded and one out, Reynolds grounded out to bring in a run making the score 4-1. Jack Suwinski then struck out looking to end the inning.

Bullpen shuts the door

With the help of Palacios gunning down a runner at the plate, and a tip of the cap to Endy Rodriguez for a great job on the play to come get the ball and tag the runner, Carmen Mlodzinski pitched a scoreless 7th inning. Colin Holderman pitched a scoreless 8th and Ryan Borucki fired a 1-2-3 9th to slam the door shut.

Next up

It appears that Quinn Priester (9.10 ERA, 6.82 FIP) who joined the Taxi Squad prior to Tuesday's game will start game three for the Pirates on Wednesday. As of this writing, the Nationals had yet to announce a starter for the game. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 6:35 PM ET.

Next. HAyes Umps. Ke'Bryan Hayes Has Had Enough of Terrible Umpires. dark