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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:26 pm 
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The offense is adequate if the Pirates want to be average. If the Pirates want to win a World Series (or even one playoff series) they need a massive upgrade externally.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:34 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
The offense is adequate if the Pirates want to be average. If the Pirates want to win a World Series (or even one playoff series) they need a massive upgrade externally.


For this year, yeah probably. Don't think that guy is out there though, a bench bat can't really be considered a massive upgrade and there are no RF/1B available who would be a massive upgrade.

Overall I think the young guys will just continue to progress and the offense will improve naturally, although probably not substantially this year since that's a tiny window.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:24 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Try the sOPS+, which would show how we fare relative to the rest of the league in that particular split.

Basically, we produce 14% better at PNC than the average team would. And our abilities are perceived as putrid.

BA is indicative of very little.


at pnc the giants have a sops+ mark of 162, 62% above the league average, the phillies have a 144 mark, 44% above the league average, the a's have a 28 mark, 72% below the league average - so what does the bucs 114 mark at pnc, 14% above the league average, really tell you?


Last edited by tprothro on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:29 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Right, it undoubtedly helps the pitchers, but the fact is this team is 19 games above .500 and is outstanding at home.

The offense is better than most that come through PNC.

Again, when adjusting ALL teams for park factors and taking the pitcher spot out (since we can't fix the offense via the pitcher), this offense is 11th in baseball. Not just the National League....all of MLB.

What's the panic? People freak out about the lack of runs, but the run total is artificially suppressed.

It's not nearly as anemic as it's made out.

Edit: Sorry, it's 12th after this last series.....one spot behind the Cincinnati Reds.


You seem to be stuck on the PNC PARK factor having an effect on this Pirate team scoring runs. And, that very well be that might be the case, but I'm talking about driving in runners who are in scoring position. That stat doesn't lie, and the Pirates are sadly very dismal in that category.

Knocking the ball over the fence is great (we have Pedro to do that), but I want to see the Pirates score MORE runs by scoring those runners who are on base and who are in scoring position.

PS: The "power" bats on this Pirate team bat from the left side (Pedro, Jones, Snider) except for Sanchez. That's beneficial to playing in a ball park like PNC. And, I don't consider Sanchez a "power" bat at this point. Jones and Snider haven't done their job either so far this season as far as providing the power and home run production this team needs.

I don't consider Cutch a "power" bat although he does have power and hits his share of Home Runs. And, when Cutch is in his groove, he's driving the ball and hitting the ball over the fence to Right Center Field.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:37 am 
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Don't have an RBI guy with Walker hurt/struggling.

Let the blowback start.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:57 am 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Don't have an RBI guy with Walker hurt/struggling.

Let the blowback start.

ZM


I'll agree with that ZM. A healthy and in the groove Neil Walker is crucial to this Pirate offense. I heard there was some talk about him batting from the left side all of the time. I'm not sure if that was Neil Walker's suggestion or if it was a coaching staff's idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:10 am 
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They're hitting .250 as a team, .271 in high leverage situations, and .252 with men on base. What exactly are we expecting here? To outperform our numbers? That's kind of a tall order.

I would also say that it's somewhat relevant that 7 of Martin's 8 homers have come on the road and 6 of Sanchez's 7 have as well. Mercer is 3 of 4 but that's SSS, Tabta's 2 of 2 is as well, and Marte is 5 of 9 which isn't overly drastic.

I'm not looking for righties to be a power bat, but you can't tell me that Sanchez and Martin having a closer home/road split wouldn't have eased peoples' minds about the firepower.

And, if PNC has nothing to do with it.....relax. We're in for a monster 2nd half as the numbers normalize.

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Last edited by StarlingArcher on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:15 am 
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Agreed, I am not concerned with homers.

During that four game losing streak I said this so often to my wife, she began to think it was a Yoga mantra!

"Man on 3rd One Out......Man on 3rd One Out.......Man on 3rd One Out."

Too many balls hit right to the drawn in in fielder, pop ups and called strike threes.

if they get one hit in two of those situations, we're looking at the first place and still hot Pirates with 58-35 record!

Situational hitting, not homers is the recent problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:44 am 
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The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:08 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Or, it's a massive pitcher's park and we have good pitchers which is why the pitching seems good (i.e. we don't have a Kevin Correia type).

Again, if you adjust ONLY our runs scored at home to reflect playing at Coors instead of PNC, we're 2nd in the MLB in runs scored per game. Is the offense any better? Is the pitching any worse?

It's all relative.

PNC gives up 55 HRs per 100 HRs at a neutral ballpark (meaning it doesn't favor pitchers or hitters). It gives up 20 less home runs than the 2nd most unfriendly home run ballpark.

So getting a guy who hits home runs at one park doesn't mean he's going to be able to come to PNC and do the same. It's just a tough park to score runs in because it takes the home run mostly out of the equation.

Edit for links:

Park Factors http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor

Offensive Runs Created http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=np&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=17,d



I did seem to notice that the Bucs hit a ton of flies to the left field warning track against Oakland. Balls that would have been homers in most parks.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:16 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.



They have certainly been godawful at that.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:36 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.

I'm sorry, is that a problem? Is this supposed to be indicative of something? What conclusions are we supposed to draw from this? Because to me, stats like this indicate very little in the way of valuable information.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:39 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


The tricky part of sac flies is you can't produce them if you strike out with runs on base which seems to be the specialty of this team.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:55 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


Must resist.
Must resist.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:27 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


Must resist.
Must resist.


Look. I understand it's better to get a HIT or WALK when a guy's on third with less than two outs, but we've seen the Pirates strand a small village at third base over the past few weeks in that situation. Too many strikeouts, GIDPs, and pop ups.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Willton wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


I'm sorry, is that a problem? Is this supposed to be indicative of something? What conclusions are we supposed to draw from this? Because to me, stats like this indicate very little in the way of valuable information.


Not scoring runs from third base with less than 2 outs a problem? Yeah, I'd say that's a problem. I'd go so far as to say that an offensively challenged team blowing those opportunities are a pretty big problem.

Ok . . . I understand that any post using the word "sacrifice," "RBI" or which hints at "productive outs" will elicit a visceral reaction from some similar to a leech when salt is poured on it. I get it. I'm familiar with the mantra. Outs are bad. RBIs are merely creatures of opportunity. Let me try to put it in other terms which may fully point out why JC's observation is not only relevant but indicative of a problem.

Here's how NL Central teams have fared with a runner on third and less than two outs. Opportunities/Runs Scored/Percentage:

1. Reds 227/121 (53%)
2. Cardinals 197/99 (50%)
3. Brewers 201/96 (48%)
4. Cubs 143/67 (47%)
5. Pirates 179/72 (40%)

YIKES.

That piqued my interest so I decided to invest more of my lunch hour by looking at the remainder of the NL:

Braves 179/90 (50%)
Nats 169/87 (51%)
Phillies 171/85 (50%)
Mets 155/79 (51%)
Marlins 157/67 (43%)
D'Backs 195/102 (52%)
Dodgers 200/98 (49%)
Rockies 169/81 (48%)
Padres 194/103 (53%)
Giants 180/86 (48%)

DOUBLE YIKES.

By my count, there are 6 teams that have a decided advantage over the Pirates in scoring opportunities with a runner on third and less than 2 outs. There are 2 teams that are the essential equivalents (Braves and Giants). There are 6 teams that have had decidedly fewer opportunities.

Yet, despite being middle of the pack for opportunities, only the Cubs and the Marlins have failed to score as many runs as the Pirates in those situations. And, both the Cubs and the Marlins have higher percentages of scoring runs in those situations. The Pirates are dead last - and by a significant margin - than their NL brethren. Roughing it "by eye" only, it appears that most teams are in the 50% range. If the Pirates could improve to simply "average," that would increase their run total in those situations from 72 to 90. An increase of 18 runs.

Call me crazy but 18 more runs is a significant number - particularly when the pitching has been so damn good. An additional 18 runs would account for 5% more run production this year. Yes, you always have the argument of when those runs would have scored and whether it would actually translate into more actual wins. (That would fit with my consistent "situational" analysis theme) However, my point is simple. If the Bucs could simply get to being average when they have a runner on third and less than 2 outs, they'd generate significantly more offense. Whether it is accomplished by a base hit or by other meaningful contact at the plate, this is an area in which the Bucs have been comparatively pathetic.

And . . . I posit . . . the lack of any sacrifice flies since mid-June is entirely consistent with these struggles.

And . . . for my last point . . . this pretty much supports my position on why reliance on Run Expectancy Tables for dictating specific strategy in a particular game is folly. If you looked at Run Expectancy with a runner on third and less than 2 outs for the NL as a whole, you'd get a markedly divergent number from what the Pirates have accomplished in similar situations this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:58 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Must resist.
Must resist.


Look. I understand it's better to get a HIT or WALK when a guy's on third with less than two outs, but we've seen the Pirates strand a small village at third base over the past few weeks in that situation. Too many strikeouts, GIDPs, and pop ups.


You get no argument from me on your initial point. My comments are directed towards the responses that I anticipated that your post would generate. Indeed, I've invested a ton of time on this Board arguing what I perceive to be the benefits of making contact and having a better approach to a plate appearance in these situations.

Terms such as sacrifice flies, productive outs and RBIs are known to cause reactions in some similar to holy water poured on a possessed soul.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:07 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates haven't hit a sacrifice fly since June 14th. JUNE 14TH. Also, they have only 12 sac flies on the season, lowest in the majors.


Must resist.
Must resist.


Look. I understand it's better to get a HIT or WALK when a guy's on third with less than two outs, but we've seen the Pirates strand a small village at third base over the past few weeks in that situation. Too many strikeouts, GIDPs, and pop ups.


I'll dive right in :D ...productive outs, hitting with runs in scoring position, scoring runs with runners in scoring position (RBI's), Sacrifice Fly balls resulting in runs being scored...all things the Pirates DO NOT DO often enough. A bad offense in my opinion with hitters like Jones, Sanchez, Tabata, Snider, McKenry, Inge, Harrison and Barmes as the biggest culprits. Those guys need to step it up or changes should be made. I should throw Walker in the mix too because he's not producing but I'm not going to...at this point...mainly because of his injuries/setbacks so far this season.

That's 8 or 9 position players who are not, IMHO, doing the job...the job being setting the table AND driving in runs.

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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:11 pm 
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StarlingArcher's info on ballpark effect is very interesting and I'll look at the links when I have more time.

But there's no way anyone could convince me that our offense doesn't suck, or that we don't suck in situational hitting.

Hitting a sac fly should be a relatively simple thing. Not something you could do every time, but most of the time. Yet we can't do it.

About a week ago, when StarlingArcher started bringing up this ballpark stuff, I looked at where we are in runs scored compared to the rest of MLB. We were 25th at home, and 25th on the road.

If it was just the ballpark, wouldn't we be doing better on the road?

I do notice our guys hitting deep drives to the left fielder that would be gone in other places. Kinda makes you wish they hadn't built it like that. But they did and we need to deal with it.

We need as many lefty hitters as we can get.


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 Post subject: Re: Offense Weak Links
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:32 pm 
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buccosfan77 wrote:
I don't know what stat anyone is pulling for on offense but to me the only team stat on offense that matters is runs scored. Home or away this bucco team is near the bottom in runs scores in the NL. Has been for years and it's a huge contributor to 20 years of losing. Its the only stat consistent. Look it up. Doesn't matter if it was 3rivers or PNC. Time to anti up and put an offense on the field to help the pitching staff. This is a franchise with a deep system now. Fill the pieces. There are gaping holes.

The Pirates are currently four games ahead of the Reds. How many gaping holes do the Reds have?

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