Plenty of career firsts during the Pirates 2024 opening series

Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh Pirates v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The buzz is officially back, the Bucco fever is here. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 4-0 after sweeping the Miami Marlins to start the 2024 season. The Bucs won all 4 games in different ways which showed the potential of this team. The team has depth, and other parts to pick up when another part may be struggling. For instance, in the series finale, the team's bullpen and hitting showed up while the starting pitcher, Bailey Falter, struggled.

A big part of this weekend was some of the new talent that has arrived on the Pirates roster. Because of this, there were plenty of career firsts that happened during the opening series. This mainly was on the pitching side of things which makes sense as the team's biggest transition over the last year or so has been through the pitching staff.

The main pitcher of note of course is Jared Jones. Jones had a dominant showing in his first career start. Obviously, he recorded his first Big League strikeout along with his first career Win. He also added his first career 10-strikeout game to his resume. Of course, if a pitcher reaches double digits in strikeouts it is a pretty good day for them, let alone a rookie pitcher.

Another fun part of the opening series was how well the Pirates bullpen performed.

This past weekend I touched on Ryder Ryan picking up his first career Win. Also, Jose Hernandez and Josh Fleming recorded their first Major League saves. However, another pitcher did this as well in the final game of the series. Hunter Stratton is a right-handed reliever who the Pirates let go into free agency before bringing him back in December. Stratton earned his first career save in the final game of the Marlins series:

Stratton made his debut last September with the Pirates and did quite well. He pitched in 8 games down the stretch and only allowed 3 runs across 12 innings of work (2.25 ERA). So it was a little surprising that the Pirates let Stratton test the free-agent waters, but it was great to see the team bring him back after a solid September. So far this year he has been just as good as he has yet to give up a run in 2.1 innings and has 4 strikeouts already.