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Pirates’ Paul Skenes Positively Delivers

MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Paul Skenes
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Paul Skenes positively delivers on the hype that has been built up around him. Since his call-up on May 11, the Pittsburgh Pirates star pitcher has shown everyone why he was the No. 1 overall pick last year.

Dominant in the Minors

Much to the dismay of Pirates fans, Skenes did not make the big-league team out of Spring Training. Instead, he was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis. However, in seven starts and 27.1 innings pitched, he dominated the competition. He had 45 strikeouts along with a 0.99 ERA. His fastball consistently hit the triple-digit mark. He also showed a very effective slider as a second pitch while mixing in a changeup, curveball, and “splinker” (a sinker-splitter hybrid), adding additional weapons to his arsenal.

First MLB Start

In his first MLB start against the Chicago Cubs, Skenes struck out the first two hitters he faced. Mike Tauchman went down on a 100 mph four-seam fastball while Seiya Suzuki fell victim to a surprising slider. Manager Derek Shelton pulled him after a little over four innings and 84 pitches. Skenes allowed three runs on six hits (one homer) and two walks with seven strikeouts.

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First Win

A week later, Skenes faced the Cubs again. He was dominant and overpowering, striking out the first seven batters he faced. Skenes finished the game with 11 strikeouts on 100 pitches. Furthermore, he showed poise and confidence when he got into trouble. That helped him get out of some shaky innings.

Since his Arrival

Since being called up from Triple-A, Skenes is 4-0 with a 2.29 ERA. He has an extraordinary 53 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. The thrill around the city and on social media since his promotion has been evident. He certainly has stimulated a Pirates fanbase that has had little to cheer for in about 10 years.

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It seems Skenes has made others around MLB notice and appreciate him, too. He was pulled in the seventh inning in his start against the St. Louis Cardinals. As he walked back to the dugout, local fans stood up to give him a round of applause for his performance, an unusual occurrence for visiting players.

Already a Star

In a little over a month, Paul Skenes is already a star. Very few rookies earn this much fanfare after such a short period of time. Skenes will be a Rookie of the Year candidate and could even be an All-Star. He certainly has become one of the most important players in the entire Pirates organization. This team needs an identity and, hopefully, he brings recognition back to the city of Pittsburgh for baseball. He’s exciting to watch and fans are responding positively to his performance. It’s going to be interesting to watch Skenes grow throughout his career.


Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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