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Pirates Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Enjoying Benefit of the Doubt

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Pittsburgh Pirates designated hitter Andrew McCutchen celebrates his double during the seventh inning of an opening-day baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, April 1, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Pittsburgh Pirates played another week of .500 baseball, dropping a series to the San Francisco Giants after their pitching collapsed spectacularly in consecutive games before salvaging Memorial Day Weekend with a series win against the Atlanta Braves, one of the best teams in baseball over the past half decade.

While most national outlets demoted Pittsburgh in the standings because of their scuffling results, they continued to say nothing but good things about the club even in spite of their struggles. The national media even talking about the Pirates is a phenomenon seldom seen over the past three decades… and when they do, it’s hardly ever for a positive reason. With a trio of excellent starting pitchers leading the charge, though, it seems like people are ready to give Pittsburgh their laurels, even if the results aren’t there yet.

Here’s what they had to say.

  • MLB.com demoted the Pirates one spot to No. 21, although they praised Mitch Keller for his recent surge, pointing out his 1.30 ERA this month despite taking a backseat as Paul Skenes and Jared Jones absorb the spotlight.
  • CBS Sports dropped the Pirates three spots to No. 23, for some reason invoking their dropoff following a 9-2 start to the season: a topic that was all the rage a month ago.
  • The Pirates fell one spot in Bleacher Report’s rankings, although the outlet issued nothing but compliments beyond that. As one might expect, Jones’ and Skenes’ success came up once again.
  • theScore held the Pirates at No. 21, praising Nick Gonzales, Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen for their performances at the plate beyond paying due diligence to Skenes.

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