The Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 season officially came to an end on Wednesday afternoon. It was not a great season by any means, but they were able to end it on a high note with a 5-3 victory over the division champion St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Tommy Edman hit an RBI single to shallow left, and then came in to score when Diego Castillo committed an error on a ball put in play by Corey Dickerson. The Cardinals added a third run in the third with a Nolan Arenado single to right center that plated Edman.
All three of those runs came with Johan Oviedo on the bump, thought only two were earned. Oviedo pitched four innings giving up five hits and striking out one batter. His mound opponent Matthew Liberatore threw five innings, allowing five runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
The run scoring started for Pittsburgh in the third when Rodolfo Castro plated Ji Hwan Bae with a single to left center. The Pirates then scored four runs in the fourth to put themselves ahead for good. It began when Miguel Andujar scored on a wild pitch. Castillo would then tie the game when he doubled to left center. He would then come in to score on a Bae ground out to first. The final run of the season came via a Kevin Newman RBI single to left center.
Both bullpens were solid covering the final innings of the game. Pittsburgh used four men out of the pen to cover the last five innings. Junior Fernandez gave up a walk over an inning, while Manny Banuelos struck out three, walked one, and gave up a hit in 1.2 innings. Nick Mears pitched 1.1 innings giving up a hit and striking out a batter. The final out of the season came with Yohan Ramirez on the bump. For St. Louis they would use Jordan Hicks and Jake Woodford to pitch three innings. They combined to strike out two and allow three hits.
Cautiously optimistic is the word I am using when looking ahead to the 2023 season. There is young talent in the starting rotation and lineup that fans should be excited about. The key for this team taking a leap forward next year is those young players playing better more consistently, while the front office signs veteran players to fill key spots in the rotation, bullpen, and lineup to help guide the young Bucs.
Record vs. Cardinals: 6-13
Record vs. N.L. Central: 35-41
Record at Home: 34-47
Overall Record: 62-100
Let’s Go Bucs!