Hitting, pitching finally in sync

This was a terrific win for the Bucs, whose timely hitting checked in before their terrific pitching checked out.

In the post-game clubhouse, there were so many exhales of relief, it briefly felt like a wind tunnel.

It takes more than one breakout game to get well. Too much of the lineup is still well below the Mendoza Line. But at least a trio found its way onto the Interstate: Clint Barmes (.146), Rod Barajas (.108) and Yamaico Navarro (.100) lifted their averages out of beginning with an “.0”

Speaking of that threesome … Neal Huntington had almost as good a night as did Barmes. Those three were among the GM’s offseason acquisitions. Add Casey McGehee, and four newcomers contributed a collective 6-for-13 to arguably the Pirates’ best win yet of the young season.

Considering the offensive vacuum that has drawn so much negative national attention, it’s remarkable that the Bucs could be one day away from reaching .500. They could reach that plateau in Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Rockies.

How consistently amazing has the Pirates’ pitching been? They have now gone the season’s first 16 games yet to allow more than five runs. Modern baseball’s toughest pitching staff — the 1968 Bob Gibson Cardinals, whose domination had a lot to do with causing the pitching mound to be lowered — yielded 48 runs in its first 16 games; the Bucs have also allowed 48.

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