Three Takeaways From a Gritty Series Win Over Baltimore

What have we learned about this team after a feel good home-opening weekend?
Edward Olivares walks it off on Sunday Afternoon vs. the Orioles
Edward Olivares walks it off on Sunday Afternoon vs. the Orioles / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Pirates walked off the reigning AL East champion Baltimore Orioles for the second time in two days. To secure a series win over such a talented ballclub, in come-from-behind fashion no less, is an encouraging way for the Pirates to end their first home series of 2024. But what can this series teach us about Pittsburgh moving forward?

The Pirates On-Base Approach Keeps Games Close

Through eight innings on Sunday, the Orioles looked handily in control of the series finale. Dean Kremer allowed just one run on five hits and no walks while striking out six across seven innings while Keegan Akin turned in a three-up three-down 8th. However, the Pirates strung together two hits and a walk to load the bases against Yennier Cano in the 9th, setting up the walk-off fielder's choice from Edward Olivares.

The Pirates continued their patient at-bats as noted by Ethan Fisher during this series and still rank in the top 4 teams in terms of pitches per plate appearance according to Baseball Reference. Not only that, but the Bucs rank in the top six teams in runs/game, OBP, and OPS through the first 10 games of the season, trailing the likes of the Dodgers, Braves, and Rangers. This willingness to stay patient in the box especially when trailing in the late innings has helped the offense stay within striking distance and salvage two wins over a highly-touted Orioles club. Maintaining this approach across a 162-game season will lead to fun Pirates' baseball to watch if nothing else.