It’s definitely not because they are particularly good, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are third in the NL Central division.
Yes, that’s right: there are two teams worse than the Pirates in their division: the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.
At 31-45 and with a -100 run differential, it’s clear the Pirates still have a long way to go and aren’t close to contending.
However, they have been hitting home runs.
Heading into Friday’s action, Pittsburgh has hit 84 home runs, good for 13th in MLB (among 30 teams).
That’s actually sneaky solid for a team that wasn’t expected to be above-average in just about any category.
They have also hit those home runs in bunches: for example, they had a few players exploding in June.
“Michael Perez has 3 home runs tonight for the Pirates. Bryan Reynolds hit 3 yesterday. Jack Suwinski hit 3 on June 19th. The Pirates are the first team in MLB history to have 3 different players with a 3-HR game in the same month,” ESPN Stats & Info tweeted late on Thursday.
Michael Perez has 3 home runs tonight for the Pirates.
Bryan Reynolds hit 3 yesterday.
Jack Suwinski hit 3 on June 19th.
The Pirates are the first team in MLB history to have 3 different players with a 3-HR game in the same month. pic.twitter.com/Me8avDpZ5p
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 1, 2022
Three Noteworthy Performances
Achieving a three-homer day is harder than it seems for a hitter.
And it’s not just about figuring out a single pitcher: most of the time, by the moment they get their third or fourth at-bat, they are facing a bullpen arm.
It requires obvious strentgh, focus, and an inspired night.
Three different Pirates did it in June, and that’s actually quite impressive.
We all know about Reynolds’ abilities: he is their best player, at least right now.
Perez’s was perhaps the most surprising, since he hasn’t shown enough as an MLB hitter during his career.
But Suwinski has been a really nice surprise for the Bucs.
He has 13 home runs and a .465 slugging percentage, and though he is a flawed hitter, he can definitely hit the ball hard.
The Pirates, little by little, are starting to make headlines.
Watch out in the future.