Thesurged into first place in the National League Central after Thursday’s victory over the , and the clubhouse isn’t short on confidence.
“We’ll keep proving it, but we’re a good team … ” left-handertold after the win. “We’re here to stay.
“We’ve got a really good starting lineup, a really good bench. We’ve got a really good starting rotation, a really good bullpen. We’re a force. It’s fun to be a part of.”
Brault, 26, pitched 2 1/3 innings in the 5-4 victory, striking out three Padres without allowing a run.
With the win, the Pirates are now 1/2 game up on the, riding a 9-2 stretch over the past 11 games. It’s crowded at the top of the NL Central though, as the sit two games back while the are barely behind at 2 1/2 games back.
Pittsburgh’s bats have impressed in 2018, particularly in the wake of trading awayover the winter. The Pirates have the second-best offense in the Senior Circuit, by .
Somewhat remarkably, the team is pulling it off with one of their best hitters,, on the disabled list. is headed to the DL as well, while highly-touted prospect is slated ahead of Friday’s contest.
Even further, the Pirates’ bullpen – led by– ranks as the best relief corps in the NL by .
Working against the Pirates, though, is the fact that their run differential indicates some regression. Byentering Thursday, the Pirates should be closer to a 23-19 record, as opposed to the 25-17 record they owned heading into the game against the Padres. After Thursday’s game, the Pirates had a plus-32 run-differential – good enough for second-best in the division behind the Cubs’ plus-51.
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