For the first time since July 5-11, the Pirates had a winning week, taking two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks and splitting a four game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates have now won or split three straight series after dropping the previous five in a row.
In last week’s edition, a pair of pitchers, Mitch Keller and Steven Brault found themselves as two of the three stars. While a few pitchers, JT Brubaker, Bryse Wilson, Chris Stratton, David Bednar and more had strong performances this week, three position players get the honors from a successful week of Pirates’ baseball.
Third Star: Colin Moran – .400/.444/.560 10 for 25, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 7 games
Moran has been a Cardinal killer all year, batting .357 with a .936 OPS against them in 16 games, and the success continued against St. Louis in the four game series at PNC Park.
In Thursday’s epic come from behind win over the Cardinals, Moran collected four hits, including this bomb to put the Pirates’ within striking distance:
The man Moran! pic.twitter.com/TA8ogksxUA
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 27, 2021
When healthy this year, Moran has anchored the Pirates’ cleanup spot in the lineup and the team will be counting on him to continue to produce from there in the final few weeks of the season.
Second Star: Michael Chavis – .364/.364/.591 8 for 22, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 6 games
After being acquired at the trade deadline from the Red Sox, Chavis was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and made his Pirates’ debut on Monday night. Though he went hitless in that game, it wasn’t much longer before Chavis flashed what he is capable of.
In his second game in Pittsburgh, Chavis blasted a 429-foot homerun to left field.
Michael Chavis szn 🥶 pic.twitter.com/D4caWBISi4
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 25, 2021
Though Chavis left Saturday’s game with an elbow injury, he showed a lot of versatility playing second base, first base and right field. If healthy, the Pirates will give him looks in different positions to see what they have going into next year.
First Star: Yoshi Tsutsugo – .400/.500/1.500 4 for 10, 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R, 7 games (3 starts)
What else can be said about this guy? Despite only starting in three games and having just 14 plate appearances, Tsutsugo is this week’s first start after doing what he’s done ever since he has been a Pirate. He hit, hit for power and came off the bench in the clutch.
Oh yeah, he also hit a three-run walk off homer against St. Louis on Sunday afternoon.
Go, Tsutsu, Go. pic.twitter.com/7W5SvrhkGv
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 29, 2021
In 13 games with the Pirates, Tsutsugo has a 251 wRC+. With two games at the White Sox this week, Tsutsugo has an easier path to starting the two games, whether as a DH or at first base.
In addition the White Sox, the Pirates have a four game series with the Cubs at Wrigley Field to end the week.
Check back next Monday’s for the Pirates’ three top performers from their Chicago road trip.