The Pittsburgh Pirates

Welcome to Takeaways & Throwaways. Shortly after every Pittsburgh Pirates game, come to Pirates Breakdown to see our flash recap format. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the game, without making you read the same boring recap you can see anywhere else.

FINAL: Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Atlanta Braves 5


  • Josh Bell flashed a bit of the considerable plate patience that was the hallmark of his 2016 debut. He also collected his first RBI of the season. It has been a slow start for Bell. Even when he is aggressive on good pitches – as he was in the seventh – he has been bitten by hard outs. He drew two walks on the day, including a pivotal walk in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Despite some rocky base running and a miscue in the tenth, Adam Frazier put in another good day at the plate, including a nice piece of hitting in the eighth inning, going the opposite way off of hard-throwing right hander Arodys Vizacino.
  • We got a glimpse of what we all thought this Pittsburgh Pirates offense could be in the late-innings rallies. The team was able to string base runners together, albeit aided by a HBP on Josh Harrison. Starling Marte added a single in the eighth, part of a 4-for-5 day.  More on him in a moment.
  • Trevor Williams entered the eighth inning and pitched two very effective innings of relief, striking out three – including the previously unsolvable Freeman – and needing just 24 pitches to do it.
  • And of course, Marte ended things with a powerful shot to near-dead center in the tenth inning.


  • Gerrit Cole did not look sharp to begin his day, allowing two runs in the first. As was the case during his first start, Cole was very hittable, mostly offering straight heat with little movement. Cole settled in from there, but allowed a home run to Freddie Freeman in the fifth inning. Cole has been reticent to use his slider this season, but when he did, it was working.
  • Antonio Bastardo had another rough outing, giving up a second home run to Freeman which pushed the Braves’ lead to 4-2. Going into the season, Bastardo was one of the many left-handers in the bullpen, and many pointed to his arm as one of the reasons to keep four southpaws. He simply has not lived up to that to this point.
  • Base running continues to be an issue for the Pittsburgh Pirates, despite new coaching personnel and a new strategy. Not much else to say on that topic other than that.
  • Andrew McCutchen had two strikeouts as part of an 0-for-4 day. His first-pitch swing in the 8th, after the Pirates got a run in to cut the lead to 4-3, perhaps hurt more as the resulting double play killed the would-be rally. The pitch was hittable, but McCutchen is a good enough hitter that he can waste a decent pitch in order to get something he can really drive.

Line Of the Day

Can it be anyone other than Starling Marte? The Pittsburgh Pirates’ centerfielder went 4-for-5, with two RBI and two runs scored. The walk-off blast in the tenth was also his first of the 2017 campaign.


W- Felipe Rivero (1-0, 1.80 ERA)     L- Jose Ramirez (0-1, 4.15 ERA)

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Up Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates will continue their home stand with a 7:05 first pitch against the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow night. The game will be highlighted as also serving as Tyler Glasnow‘s first start of the 2017 season.

Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)