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Bednar, Pirates Fall To Tigers 5-3

It has been great start to the 2024 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates…well, for almost everyone.  David Bednar, who was one of the best closers in all of Major League Baseball last year, has limped out of the gate this year.  His latest founder was another blown save on Tuesday afternoon, resulting in a 5-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park.

Bednar gave up four runs on three hits and a walk while recording just one out in the ninth inning.  He has already blown three saves this season, matching his total from a year ago, while seeing his ERA balloon to 12.46 on the young campaign.

It was such a shame for Tuesday afternoon’s game to end the way it did…largely in part, because of the stellar performance put forth by starter Martin Perez.  The Bucs’ starter lasted 8 innings, giving up one run on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.  Topping out at an even 100 pitches, Perez saw his ERA dip to 1.89 as he preserved a two-run lead heading into the final inning.

Unfortunately, Bednar’s early-season struggles continued this afternoon.  Today’s result surely has the Bucs’ closer, coaches, and fans wondering what is next for him and the team going forward.

Despite a masterful performance, Perez did give up an early run as the Tigers took the lead in the first inning.  Spencer Torkelson’s single scored Matt Vierling to make it 1-0.  A solo homerun by Edward Olivares in the bottom of the second tied the game, and a RBI single by Ke’Bryan Hayes in the third scored Bryan Reynolds to make it 2-1.  Olivares’s second homerun of the game, and third of the season, came in the sixth inning, giving the Bucs an insurance run at 3-1.

It remained a two-run lead until the ninth inning, when the Tigers rallied for four runs.  A single by Gio Urshela scored two runs, and singles by Kerry Carpenter and Jake Rogers scored two more runs, making it 5-3.  Despite tallying two hits in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Pirates couldn’t put together a valiant comeback, and the hometown fans went home in a bit of disbelief.

Despite the strong start to the season and a solid home stand, there is certainly room for worry for Pirates’ fans.  The offense has been solid, the starting pitching has held its own as well, and the bullpen has been lights out…with one exception.  It will be interesting to see what develops going forward with the closer role, beginning with the team’s series-opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.  Jared Jones will look to continue his impressive start to the season as he takes the mound for Pittsburgh.

Record vs. Tigers: 1-1

Record vs. American League: 3-2

Record at Home: 3-2

Overall Record: 9-3

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor