PITTSBURGH – it was one game. Not every night is so exciting, so crisp or sharp. Mistakes are made. Losses will be borne. But one gloomy Monday, the pirates not only shone, but took the next step in challenging their next potential candidate.
In his long-awaited debut of the season, in a game the Pirates won 12-1 over Cubs, Oneil Cruz was a potential star. The numbers – two hits, two races, four RBIs – were fantastic, yes, but they were only half the joy. He ran hard. He hit the ball hard. Ta everything ball hard. The leap was content, and if this game signals what’s to come, the future looks very fun.
“When you start to see these kids get up – we’ve made some challenging moves – but when you see them coming up and putting them together, it makes you smile a little,” said manager Derek Shelton.
All of Cruz’s tools were out the night he was at the peak of the walk. He has proven to be a statcast superstar and in his first game of the season, he has already set records here. With a third-round pass from Willson Contreras, Cruz threw the ball over a diamond 96.7 miles per hour. This is the most difficult ball thrown this season at any goal pass and the hardest ball since the statistics were first recorded in 2015.
“The way it hangs in the air is a little different,” said Michael Chavis, the throwing front player. “It simply came to our notice then [with] the type who throws, the man who throws very hard, it hangs a little more, driving or whatever you call it. It’s almost the same thing where I thought it was going down, and it just hung.
His second round meeting also took place. Cruz recorded a sprint speed of 30.7 feet per second. when he reached the error, 29.9 ft / sec. from the first to the third, then limiting it to a speed of 31.5 feet per second. scoring on the sacrificial fly. 30 ft / sec for context. considered an elite. Even for all the numbers, an eye examination would have been enough.
When the power of the hand and the speed of the sprint weren’t enough, Cruz’s double-cleaned exit speed was 112.9 miles per hour, the most pirate ball hit this season. He’s almost alone violating Statcast, and well, he wouldn’t mind.
“Whatever breaks breaks,” said Mike Gonzalez, an Interpreter for the Cruz team in the Dominican Republic.
“The guy is unreal,” thought Bligh Madris, the pitcher, before the game, where Buc’s newcomer became Palaust, the first MLB player. “He has tools that come once in 100 years. He’s special, to put it mildly. He can do things with a bat. he can.
Cruz’s performance in his Major League debut should not be lost in the excitement of Cruz’s evening. Not only did Madris get the first three hits of his career, but the first two RBIs and the first stolen base. Shelton described Madrid’s rise to the majors as an “organizational victory,” referring to many people in the baseball operations department who have invested time and energy in the development of Madrid.
“There are a lot of people who have helped me get there and build me up as a player,” Madris said. “I’m really grateful for all these people.”
If this organization continues to collect some wins, the destination that wins the baseball – the winning baseball – will get closer and closer.
At the moment, the Pirates are still building, evolving, but the pieces are starting to accumulate. Cruz is arguably the most powerful player in baseball; Ke’Bryan Hayes is one of baseball’s best defenders; Bryan Reynolds is the reigning All-Star who is heating up; David Bednar is on his way to becoming an All-Star in his own right; Jack Suwinski leads all the newcomers in the home runs; and there is all the talent that grows both here and on the farm.
It was only one night. Not every night is so exciting, so crisp or sharp. Mistakes are made. Losses will be borne. But this Monday night, the pirates came a little closer to achieving their final, idealized form. The future is coming and the future seems to be the place to be.
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