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Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Takeaways From the End of Another Disappointing April Series



Jared Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t won a series in three weeks and have lost 13 of their last 18.

Why is this taking place?

There are always multiple reasons but most of it boils down to a simple one.

Here are three takeaways from the Pirates’ 3-2 loss to the Giants at Oracle Park Sunday.


The Pirates are losing because they aren’t scoring. That sounds like— and is— a bland analysis but it’s the truth. The team didn’t score at all in the series opener Friday night and only scored twice in the series finale. Things were better in the middle game Saturday night with the Pirates scoring four runs but three of them happened in the 10th inning. Going by the traditional 27 innings of a three game set, the Pirates only scored two runs. Total.


“We gotta to flip the narrative,” manager Derek Shelton told reporters after the game. “We gotta create more opportunities early in the game. We just didn’t have a lot of baserunners.”

As frustrating as this stretch is for the Pirates and their fans, there are still 143 games left, which is something Rowdy Tellez wants himself and his teammates to keep in mind.

“It’s a long season,” Tellez said. “You go through ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Obviously, you want to ride the hot streaks and ride those peaks and get out of those valleys as fast as you can. But, sometimes you run into some good pitching and you just don’t feel good in the box. I don’t think any of us would say we’re at our best right now. So, I think as we keep going and we get going, more guys in position to score and let our guys when we’re feeling good, we’re all going to be better. I think it’s just little by little, game by game.”


Jones hasn’t done much wrong in his brief MLB career. In his first five starts, he looked great at best, good at worst. Start No. 6 wasn’t a calamity— three earned runs over five innings— but it also wasn’t what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Jones. The 22-year-old struck out seven or more batters in each of his first five games, something only four pitchers had done since 1893. He only struck out three Sunday.

Perhaps Jones’ only major recurring problem has been the long ball.

Jones has given up home runs in four of his first six starts and more than one home run in three of the six. Sunday, he gave up back-to-back jacks to Thairo Estrada and Mike Yastrzemski in the third inning, where he allowed his only three runs.

Jones said he “didn’t feel comfortable” early in the game, but kept battling due to a major key.

“Just not crumbling,” he said. “Staying in there, keeping the same mindset of attacking guys and mix it in a little more. Using the fastball, slider for the majority of the back half of my outing. Just mixing the changeup and curveball was pretty key for today.”


Rowdy Tellez came into a baseball game played April 28 with one extra base hit on the season.

That stat pretty much sums up how the first season of his Pirates tenure has been.

But Tellez had a good day at the plate Sunday, ending 2-for-3 with a two doubles, a walk and a run scored.

Was this an anomaly or the start of brighter days ahead? Tellez feels it’s the latter.

“Yeah, I think some of the balls just aren’t falling my way,” he said, “but, it happens. It’s 27 games. so, it’s a long season. So, I think it’ll get better. But, it feels good to find some barrels and be able to run around. So, it’s nice.”

For Shelton, Tellez’s day featured “good swings and good at bats.”

“He had the left-on-left walk and then the two doubles that he squared up, and I think the good thing was to see him be in the middle of the field,” he said. “He hit the first one to left-center and then the second one there to right-center, so it’s good to see him back in the middle of the field. It looks like there is more confidence in the takes, which a couple of hits, a couple good at-bats will do that.”

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