How Sweep The Sound: Blue Jays easily discard first-place Pittsburgh Pirates

Toronto Blue Jays v Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Heading into the early-season set against the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates, virtually nothing was guaranteed in favor of the Jays. To start off the year, the Pirates are one of the very hottest teams in the league and have either been extraordinarily lucky or reaching their contention window much sooner than anticipated.

Fortunately for the boys in blue, it was the former. This version of the Pirates is exactly what the league had expected them to be. In three games, the Jays made easy work of the Buccos, sweeping the three-game series and outscoring the opposition 22-3 along the way.

Blue Jays easily pull off sweep of first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

This sweep saw the Jays put together every aspect of their team from top-to-bottom to pull off the sweep of a first-place team. On Friday, Chris Bassitt stole the show, going seven shutout innings with five strikeouts and just four hits allowed. George Springer hit a massive home run off of Rich Hill as well, which was great to see from the outfielder who has been off to a surprisingly slow start this year.

On Saturday, José Berríos was the hero on the mound, going 6.1 innings with two earned runs and seven strikeouts. On offense, it was a mixture of Daulton Varsho, Kevin Kiermaier and - of all people - Brandon Belt, who carried the way. Belt went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two runs driven in, which was a much needed breakthrough for him at the plate.

Then there's Sunday's matchup, which saw the Blue Jays have an offensive explosion. Homers from Whit Merrifield, Varsho and Kiermaier were only a few of the highlights. Belt once again had an excellent showing at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. The hero of the game, though, was likely left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who went 6.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts. His turnaround on the mound has been incredible to see after he struggled so mightily in his first season with the Jays in 2022.

Baseball can be such a funny thing, but it's why we love this game. Prior to this series, the Pirates were on top of the world, leading the NL Central without a care in the world. On the flip side of that, the Blue Jays were down in the dumps after an embarrassing four-game sweep from the division rival Red Sox.

Just like that, the Jays are back to flying high. Next up on the schedule is the fourth-place Phillies who currently sit at 16-19 on the year with a run differential of -29.