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Pirates Finally Get The Prince That Was Promised

PNC Park, while being one of the most beautiful sports venues in America, is a tough place to get excited these days. The Pirates haven’t been good in who knows how long, but Saturday evening, the Pittsburgh fans finally had something to be excited for, and it’s only the start. 


Number one overall pick Paul Skenes finally made his debut for the Pirates on a cloudy day in the Steel City. When he took the mound to get the day started? The sun came out. Hopefully some foreshadowing of what Skenes will do for the organization. Many years of cloudy days, itching for the sun to finally break through. 


Pirates Fans Exist? 


If you’re not from Pittsburgh, it’d be easy to assume the Pirates don’t have many fans. Anytime you see a game on TV, the crowd looks virtually empty. But that’s not the case. Pittsburgh could be a pretty good baseball city if Bob Nutting and Company would just put out a product worth watching. Something that has certainly started to happen more over the past few years, but still needs some work. 


But on this cloudy May 11th, Pirates fans packed out PNC Park, and for good reason. Skenes was finally set to make his debut, the quickest debut by a number-one overall pick in 30 years. 57 days quicker than the Nationals saw Stephen Strasburg for his captivating MLB debut. 


Skenes Didn’t Disappoint


Skenes looked a little nervous at times out there, his command got a little bit wonky at times but he still had a good first start. He struck out Mike Tauchman, the first MLB hitter he saw before going on to strike out seven batters on the day. Skenes pitched four innings and gave up six hits, two walks, and three earned runs. It should have been one earned run, but the Pirates relief pitchers Kyle Nicolas and Josh Fleming went ahead and walked in four runs before Fleming allowed another to tie the game. It was 6-1 when Skenes exited. 



Skenes got into the first jam of his pro career in the second inning when he had the bases loaded with one man out. After a brief pep talk from Yasmani Grandal, Skenes got a strikeout and a groundout on a nice play from Nick Gonzales to get out of it unscathed. The Pirates even found a way to get back-to-back home runs from Connor Joe and Oneil Cruz, with Michael A Taylor adding one in the fourth that Greg Brown called out right beforehand on the broadcast. 



While Skenes may have some stuff to clean up in future starts, being nervous for your first career start in the big leagues is acceptable. He shook it off for the most part and went on to have a good day, even if the bullpen went on to ruin it for him. 


Building Blocks


While it might currently look bleak, the Pirates certainly have something in the combo of Skenes and Jared Jones. In his short capacity with the Pirates, Jones has found a way to show shades of Spencer Strider. If those two pan out and you have Mitch Keller, that’s three guys that could go toe to toe with any lineup in the future. If the Pirates can find out how to get the bats going, the Pirates could be cooking in Pittsburgh. Will they? Probably not. But we can hope.



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