April 16, 2024

Pittsburgh Pirates, ‘just having fun,’ off to 5-0 start

WASHINGTON — Let folks downplay the best way the Pittsburgh Pirates have begun 2024.

Manager Derek Shelton is thrilled that his membership is 5-0 for the primary time in 41 years — and has scored at the least a half-dozen runs every day trip this deep right into a season for the primary time in at the least 124 years.

“There’s significance to getting off to a good start,” Shelton stated Monday evening after the Pirates beat the host Washington Nationals 8-4 to observe up a four-game sequence sweep on the Miami Marlins. “You come out of spring training and all the things you talk about that you kind of want to implement — and we’ve talked a lot about what our intent should be and how it should be — [and] we’ve kind of executed that in the first five games.”

Pittsburgh is coming off a 76-86 report a 12 months in the past and a fourth-place end within the NL Central. The workforce hasn’t ended up with a profitable report since 2018 and hasn’t gained a recreation within the postseason since 2013.

So this kind of early success, as little as it’d ordinarily imply within the marathon of a 162-game main league schedule, would possibly truly carry some weight.

“I was just nervous to not mess it up,” left-handed starter Marco Gonzales stated with a chuckle after his first outing with the Pirates, a no-decision through which he allowed only one run in 5 innings. “I’m just glad to get mine out of the way and keep it rolling. I don’t think anybody in here is really keeping track right now. We’re just having fun. That’s the best part about this.”

Heading into Wednesday’s recreation at Washington after Pittsburgh’s first day off arrives Tuesday, the Pirates have outscored the opposition 39-21 to date, which averages out to roughly 8-4.

And there are contributions from all through the lineup. On Monday, for instance, Michael A. Taylor contributed three hits, whereas Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen, Alika Williams and Henry Davis every offered a pair.

Davis, a former No. 1 general choose, seems to be up with the massive membership to keep, however there are different prospects at Triple-A Indianapolis who additionally might be a part of the social gathering later this season, together with pitcher Paul Skenes, final season’s No. 1 general choose, and infielder Nick Gonzales, who was hitting .400 via Sunday.

Pittsburgh went forward 3-1, all of the sudden discovered itself tied 3-all within the seventh, after which responded straight away, placing up three runs within the eighth and one other two within the ninth.

“We’re doing a lot of things really well. … We are doing a lot of different things right,” stated Connor Joe, whose double drove house the go-ahead run within the eighth.

“Everyone’s aware that it’s still early, right? We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but the vibes are good. Everyone’s pulling for each other. Everyone’s building on the pressure that we’re putting on pitchers, right?” Joe stated. “That’s kind of carrying over to the next guy and the next guy. Just grinding out at-bats. We’re playing some gritty baseball right now and that’s contagious.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.