The 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates have been eliminated from playoff contention. Nonetheless, they’ve proven they’re an up-and-coming team to everyone around the majors. Pittsburgh completed its most significant comeback in their franchise’s history on Saturday night. At one point, the Pirates trailed 9-0. They eventually returned with a noteworthy effort in a 13-12 victory. Cincinnati has an 80-77 record, sitting two and a half games back from the final Wild Card spot. While Pittsburgh lost 4-2 on Sunday night, they still defeated Cincinnati in two of the three games played. The Pirates hold a 74-82 record. While the playoffs won’t be in their sight, the Pirates can continue to play great and build upon next season. We must examine how the Pittsburgh Pirates mounted their biggest comeback in franchise history.
Pittsburgh’s Successful Comeback Story
Cincinnati was up 9-0 by the end of the third inning. They scored three runs in the first inning, five in the second, and one in the third. In the next half inning, First baseman Alfonso Rivas got Pittsburgh on the board by hitting an RBI single into left field. The Pirates would get another run at the top of the sixth inning when they rallied five runs home. Second baseman Ji-hwan Bae started that rally by hitting an RBI single into right field. Then, right fielder Joshua Palacios hit the ball down the right-field line to get an RBI single. After that, left fielder Bryan Reynolds bashed a three-run home run to make it a 9-6 ballgame.
Rivas tied the game up in the top of the seventh inning by knocking a three-run double. Jack Suwinski scored the Pirates’ go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning by hitting an RBI single into right field. Rivas once again would score another run by hitting his second RBI single, giving Pittsburgh an 11-9 lead. Ji-hwan Bae hit a two-run double in the eighth to extend the Pirates lead. Cincinnati scored three runs between the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings. Still, more would be needed to defeat the divisional rival Pirates at home as Pittsburgh mounted its biggest comeback in franchise history.
The Reds and Another NL Contender Are in Danger
Cincinnati now falls to 80-77. The Reds are now two and a half games back from the final Wild Card spot, which the Chicago Cubs currently hold. If the Pirates win again on the road against Cincinnati, that last Wild Card spot could be out of the Reds’ grasp. Pittsburgh has another opportunity to take another National League team out of postseason contention this season.
In the final series of the 2023 regular season, the Pirates will face the Miami Marlins at home. Miami is one game behind the Cubs in the Wild Card picture. If Pittsburgh can put the Reds away and the Marlins, too, the Pirates will be a serious candidate in my book to do some damage next year. What do you think about the Pittsburgh Pirates’ historic comeback? This proves that this Pirates team is heading in the right direction. They have the chance to make some noise in the following MLB season.
Main Photo Credits: Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK