Pittsburgh Pirates record 7th consecutive victory to the match franchise’s best NL East start in three decades

Pittsburg Pirates mark their record best start in thirty decades with this season's performance.

Pittsburgh Pirates record 7th consecutive victory to the match franchise’s best NL East start in three decades

Pittsburgh Pirates celebrating their win. [Pic Credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune]

If any team has been in scintillating form this season and has impressed everyone (apart from the Rays), then it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are currently on a seven-game winning run, their longest streak in MLB history since 2018. Could this be the year where they reach the postseason again?

Their shutout victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday helped them climb to the top of the National League Central standings. Their record of 16-7 is the best they have had to start a season since 1992, three decades ago.

Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez threw seven scoreless innings and picked up 10 strikeouts to his name. He allowed two hits and two walks but was pretty dominant on the mound. This was his second-most strikeouts in a game. His personal best of 12 strikeouts came while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies against the San Francisco Giants in 2018.

Having convincingly swept the Colorado Rockies, the Pirates would then take all four games of the series against the Reds. Their next assignment will be taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-match showdown at PNC Park. A victory in that series could mark them as a team to look out for this season.

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Will the Pirates be a major threat this season?

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[Pitcher Mitch Keller in action against the Reds. Pic Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been disappointing for a few seasons now. They have finished bottom of the National League Central standings for the past four seasons. They have lost more than 100 games in both of the last two seasons. Such a track record has visibly marked them as underdogs. Can the underdogs bite back this season, though?

The Pirates last made it to the postseason in 2015. They lost the Wild Card game to the Chicago Cubs back then. They last won a playoff series in 2013 when they defeated the Reds in the NL Wild Card game. The Pirates would miss out on the chance of playing in the National League Championship Series as they lost the division series 3-2 to the St Louis Cardinals.

This positive start has raised the optimism of the Pirates fan for the season. Their offence this season has been significantly better than previous years. Their top four batters are all batting with an average of more than .227. With 27 home-runs, the team has scored 111 runs through 191 hits. As for the pitching, they have allowed 83 runs in 190 hits. They have managed to pick up 202 strikeouts at an combined team ERA of 3.63. Such a collective team force can surely see the Pirates do better this year.

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