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 Post subject: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:14 pm 
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The most runs the Pirates recently scored were on August 22nd and August 23rd against the Brewers in Milwaukee...8 runs and 10 runs. Those were the two games out of three the Pirates won.

After that the Pirates lost two games scoring only 3 runs and 2 runs. They then won one game scoring 5 runs. They then won 3 more games in a row but only scored 3 runs, 2 runs, and 3 runs. The Pirates then lost today scoring only 2 runs.

That's 20 runs over the course of 7 games, or 2.85 runs per game. That's NOT good enough. That's terrible actually. The starting pitchers are now doing their job. The Bullpen has also been decent recently...BUT the run support has been terrible.

The Offense better wake up and soon or this season is over.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:35 pm 
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PS: The Pirates have won 6 games out of the last 12. I'm not sure, but I do believe that's playing .500 ball with good starting pitching going down the drain (Liriano).

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:41 pm 
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Sorry, that's 7 out of the last 12 games. that's including the two games they lost out of three against the Braves...those two games the Pirates lost against the Braves the Pirates only scored three runs each of those games.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Considering this is still the #1 offense in baseball, I don't think I'll be blaming them anytime soon for perceived 2014 season shortcomings.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=np&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

Pitching is also still 7th worst, despite the recent defense-fueled success.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Here we go again with stats and although I really appreciate your knowledge and posts StarlingArcher, is 2.85 runs per game good? I can't believe you would think so.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:49 pm 
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I think a full season is more indicative of how good or bad a facet of the game is than a small sample. It's a game of ebbs and flows, the offense has carried the pitching all year. If the team misses the playoffs, the offense will be well down on the list of culprits.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Even with injuries and slumps this team is sporting a 4.3-3.9 RS/RA differential this month.

Even if you want to choose arbitrary end points such as 'last X games' it's still 3.9-3.4 the last 12.

It doesn't seem fair to worry every bad stretch a team has. Losses, even due to stagnant offense, are common in baseball and the Pirates are in the midst of a tough portion of their schedule.

That said, this upcoming road trip... Cards can bring the lumber and the Cubs have called up some kids with pop. Roster expansions can't come soon enough.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:44 pm 
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All I know is the Pirates better start scoring more runs per game. We seem to be getting our pitching on track again. It would be a shame that their efforts are wasted because we can't score enough runs to win these games.

And like you said NS...the games aren't going to get any easier moving forward. The Cards and Cubs are scoring runs...we better do the same thing if we want to stay in this race.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:21 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Even with injuries and slumps this team is sporting a 4.3-3.9 RS/RA differential this month.

Even if you want to choose arbitrary end points such as 'last X games' it's still 3.9-3.4 the last 12.

It doesn't seem fair to worry every bad stretch a team has. Losses, even due to stagnant offense, are common in baseball and the Pirates are in the midst of a tough portion of their schedule.

That said, this upcoming road trip... Cards can bring the lumber and the Cubs have called up some kids with pop. Roster expansions can't come soon enough.

The Cardinals are 11th in the league in runs scored. They might be able to bring the lumber, but they've done little to show that they know what to do with it once they get it up to the plate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:53 pm 
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11th in runs scored but they have fewer games where they score 3 or less.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:57 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
The Cardinals are 11th in the league in runs scored. They might be able to bring the lumber, but they've done little to show that they know what to do with it once they get it up to the plate.


I'm not petty enough to outright say that you jinxed the Bucs, but I am snarky enough to mention the idea. :D

2014 Pirates fans motto: Want to cry, so I have to laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:41 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
The Cardinals are 11th in the league in runs scored. They might be able to bring the lumber, but they've done little to show that they know what to do with it once they get it up to the plate.


I'm not petty enough to outright say that you jinxed the Bucs, but I am snarky enough to mention the idea. :D

2014 Pirates fans motto: Want to cry, so I have to laugh.

Dammit, should have said the sucked. I gotta get with the program.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:28 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
11th in runs scored but they have fewer games where they score 3 or less.

Going into today's games, the Cards have scored 3 or less 61 times. The Pirates have scored 3 or less 67 times.

On the other hand, the Cards have allowed 5 or more runs 51 times, the Pirates 57 times.

Not much difference. The real difference is this: When the Cardinals DO score three or less, they win more often than the Pirates do, and the reason that they win more often is because they have better pitching.

It's not the hitting, or the hitting in the clutch. It's all about pitching.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:23 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
11th in runs scored but they have fewer games where they score 3 or less.

Going into today's games, the Cards have scored 3 or less 61 times. The Pirates have scored 3 or less 67 times.

On the other hand, the Cards have allowed 5 or more runs 51 times, the Pirates 57 times.

Not much difference. The real difference is this: When the Cardinals DO score three or less, they win more often than the Pirates do, and the reason that they win more often is because they have better pitching.

It's not the hitting, or the hitting in the clutch. It's all about pitching.


You'll get no debate from me on the issue of whether the Pirates' pitching staff has been a disappointment this year. It has.

My debate is with the notion that the Pirates are one of the best offensive teams in baseball. I get that - cumulatively - the Pirates have strong numbers when you look at the "old-time" stats such as RBI, OBP and RS. They also have - cumulatively - strong numbers when you look at "new age" stats such as OPS, wRC+, etc.

Yet, the fact remains that this team - despite the gaudy statistics - doesn't "out hit" other teams as frequently as you would expect given cumulative numbers. We've already looked at the fact that the "offensively superior" Pirates have scored less than 4 runs in six more games than the "offensively challenged" Cardinals. Let's look at what happens when the pitching staff performs on average or slightly worse than average.

When the pitching staff allows 4 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 3-9
Brewers 8-14
Cardinals 6-5

If the NL average runs scored per game is 4 runs (it is just slightly below that: .397), wouldn't you think that the allegedly best offensive team in the NL would post a better than .250 winning percentage in those games? In those games, the pitching staff has performed decently. Not great. Not bad. Average. But it can hardly be argued that the pitching staff didn't give the offense a chance to win the game. Yet, the Pirates have lost 9 of those 12 games.

Yet . . . the Cardinals . . . when its staff gives up 4 runs . . . is 6-5. Despite being 11th overall in runs scored and below average in wRC+? Why? They have fewer peaks and valleys. They are more consistent. I'm really surprised by the Brewers' numbers. Would've expected better than that.

When the pitching staff allows 5 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 6-14
Cardinals 4-9
Brewers 6-7

Here the Pirates' offense has done OK. Pitching staff gives up 5 runs and they have still won 30% of those games - essentially on par with the Cardinals. However, if you look at cumulative stats, the Cardinals supposedly possess the weaker offense. Again, if the Pirates' offense is superior to that of the Cardinals, isn't it logical to expect the Pirates' offense to outscore other teams at a higher rate than a supposedly inferior offense like the Cardinals?

When the pitching staff allows 6 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 5-9
Cardinals 5-12
Brewers 2-6

Here the Pirates' offense has outpaced its NL Central competition. They have actually outscored their competition when the pitching staff gives up 6 runs in 35% of games. That's better than both the Cardinals and the Brewers. Allowing 6 runs is going to result in losing frequently. Yet, the Pirates' offense has bailed out its pitchers in 5 of those 14 games. While I don't have time (or necessarily the desire) to look up how that compares league wide, I'm betting good money that it is better than league average.

With a "superior" offense, you'd certainly expect to see the Pirates at .500 or better when the pitching staff performs at a average level and gives up four runs. With a "superior" offense, you'd expect to see the Pirates closer to .400-.425 when the pitching staff gives up five runs.

Combining those two outcomes (pitching staff gives up 4 or 5 runs), the Pirates have a 9-23 record. That's a .281 winning percentage. To compare, the "offensively challenged" Cardinals have a 10-14 record (.417 winning percentage) and the Brewers have a 14-21 record (.400 winning percentage). If the "offensively superior" Pirates could win at the same rate in those games as the "offensively inferior" Cardinals, the Pirates would have 4 more wins and would be in first place. If they won at a .400 rate, they'd have three more wins (rounding down) and would be in first place.

No . . . I'm not placing all of the blame on the offense for the fact that they sit in third place and chasing the Brewers by 2 games and the Cardinals by 3 games. The starting pitching has been questionable and the relief pitching has been abyssmal at some key moments in games. I'm not claiming that the offense is horrific. Simply pointing out that, if you look behind the cumulative stats and look at run distributions, perhaps the offense isn't as good as the stats might suggest it to be.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:32 pm 
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To be fair . . . I should point out that the Cardinals are only 12-11 when their pitching staff has given up 3 runs in a game. That should be a huge point of contention with Cardinals' fans. That's a lot of blown opportunities to win games and the offense has let them down.

The Pirates are 15-8 when its pitching staff has given up 3 runs. The Brewers are 15-9 when its pitching staff has given up 3 runs.

The point, however, remains. If the Pirates' offense is truly the best in baseball or even just the best in the NL, you'd expect them to be scoring runs more consistently and/or have a better winning percentage when the pitching staff gives the offense a chance to win the game.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:25 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
11th in runs scored but they have fewer games where they score 3 or less.

Going into today's games, the Cards have scored 3 or less 61 times. The Pirates have scored 3 or less 67 times.

On the other hand, the Cards have allowed 5 or more runs 51 times, the Pirates 57 times.

Not much difference. The real difference is this: When the Cardinals DO score three or less, they win more often than the Pirates do, and the reason that they win more often is because they have better pitching.

It's not the hitting, or the hitting in the clutch. It's all about pitching.


You'll get no debate from me on the issue of whether the Pirates' pitching staff has been a disappointment this year. It has.

My debate is with the notion that the Pirates are one of the best offensive teams in baseball. I get that - cumulatively - the Pirates have strong numbers when you look at the "old-time" stats such as RBI, OBP and RS. They also have - cumulatively - strong numbers when you look at "new age" stats such as OPS, wRC+, etc.

Yet, the fact remains that this team - despite the gaudy statistics - doesn't "out hit" other teams as frequently as you would expect given cumulative numbers. We've already looked at the fact that the "offensively superior" Pirates have scored less than 4 runs in six more games than the "offensively challenged" Cardinals. Let's look at what happens when the pitching staff performs on average or slightly worse than average.

Pretty hard to out-hit opponents when your pitchers are bleeding runs.

Quote:
When the pitching staff allows 4 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 3-9
Brewers 8-14
Cardinals 6-5

If the NL average runs scored per game is 4 runs (it is just slightly below that: .397), wouldn't you think that the allegedly best offensive team in the NL would post a better than .250 winning percentage in those games? In those games, the pitching staff has performed decently. Not great. Not bad. Average. But it can hardly be argued that the pitching staff didn't give the offense a chance to win the game. Yet, the Pirates have lost 9 of those 12 games.

Are you seriously suggesting that a 12 game segment overrides the evidence provided by the entire season? Or perhaps you're suggesting that the Brewer also suck offensively?

Quote:
Yet . . . the Cardinals . . . when its staff gives up 4 runs . . . is 6-5. Despite being 11th overall in runs scored and below average in wRC+? Why? They have fewer peaks and valleys. They are more consistent. I'm really surprised by the Brewers' numbers. Would've expected better than that.

You're surprised by the Brewers number because they are the result of sample size noise, same as the Pirates, and same as the Cardinals.

Quote:
When the pitching staff allows 5 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 6-14
Cardinals 4-9
Brewers 6-7

Here the Pirates' offense has done OK. Pitching staff gives up 5 runs and they have still won 30% of those games - essentially on par with the Cardinals. However, if you look at cumulative stats, the Cardinals supposedly possess the weaker offense. Again, if the Pirates' offense is superior to that of the Cardinals, isn't it logical to expect the Pirates' offense to outscore other teams at a higher rate than a supposedly inferior offense like the Cardinals?

When the pitching staff allows 6 runs, look at these records:
Pirates 5-9
Cardinals 5-12
Brewers 2-6

Here the Pirates' offense has outpaced its NL Central competition. They have actually outscored their competition when the pitching staff gives up 6 runs in 35% of games. That's better than both the Cardinals and the Brewers. Allowing 6 runs is going to result in losing frequently. Yet, the Pirates' offense has bailed out its pitchers in 5 of those 14 games. While I don't have time (or necessarily the desire) to look up how that compares league wide, I'm betting good money that it is better than league average.

With a "superior" offense, you'd certainly expect to see the Pirates at .500 or better when the pitching staff performs at a average level and gives up four runs. With a "superior" offense, you'd expect to see the Pirates closer to .400-.425 when the pitching staff gives up five runs.

Combining those two outcomes (pitching staff gives up 4 or 5 runs), the Pirates have a 9-23 record. That's a .281 winning percentage. To compare, the "offensively challenged" Cardinals have a 10-14 record (.417 winning percentage) and the Brewers have a 14-21 record (.400 winning percentage). If the "offensively superior" Pirates could win at the same rate in those games as the "offensively inferior" Cardinals, the Pirates would have 4 more wins and would be in first place. If they won at a .400 rate, they'd have three more wins (rounding down) and would be in first place.

No . . . I'm not placing all of the blame on the offense for the fact that they sit in third place and chasing the Brewers by 2 games and the Cardinals by 3 games. The starting pitching has been questionable and the relief pitching has been abyssmal at some key moments in games. I'm not claiming that the offense is horrific. Simply pointing out that, if you look behind the cumulative stats and look at run distributions, perhaps the offense isn't as good as the stats might suggest it to be.

Look at these stats.

Number of games allowing 3 or less runs:

Pirates - 67
Brewers - 69
Cardinals - 75

Win percentage in games where pitchers allowed 3 or less runs.

Pirates - .806
Brewers - .797
Cardinals - .733

The Pirates are the worst at holding teams to three or less runs. Good thing that they have the best winning percentage in those situations, and it MUCH better than the Cards.

Number of games allowing 5 or more runs:

Pirates - 58
Cardinals - 51
Brewers - 46

Win percentage in games allowing 5 or more runs:

Pirates - .241
Brewers - .217
Cardinals - .196

Well what do you know? The Pirates perform better than their Central Division rivals when their pitchers pitch well, and they also perform better when their pitchers suck, as long as you don't go looking for the exceptions caused by small sample size. The problem is, they get less above average games from their pitchers, and more below average games.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:46 pm 
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You keep trying to convince me that the Pirates' pitching hasn't been great. There's no need to do that. I agree with you. I've never claimed that the Pirates pitching is elite. Not once. Ever. I've also never argued that the Pirates' pitching staff is better than the Cardinals. Never even insinuated it. One need only look at the Cardinals' pitching staff throwing 18 shut-outs this year . . . .

My only contention and it has remained consistent . . . I vehemently disagree with any suggestion that the Pirates have an elite offense or the best offense in baseball.

I focused on games in which the Pirates have given up 4 or 5 runs because those are games in which it can be argued that the pitching staff put the Pirates in the position to win. With 4 runs allowed to opponents, I'd expect an elite offense to win at a .500 or better clip.

As for the notion that it is hard to win games when the pitching staff is "bleeding runs," I agree with that notion. The Pirates have lost 50 of the 67 games when the Pirates have scored 3 or fewer runs.

In 17 of those games, the Pirates allowed 6 or more runs. Those are games where a lack of offense didn't "cause" the loss.
In 11 of those games, the Pirates allowed 5 runs. Again, those aren't really games where you blame the offense for the loss.
In 22 of those games, the Pirates allowed 4 or fewer runs. Those aren't games where the pitching staff was "bleeding runs." I don't think that it is unfair to hang the primary blame on the offense for not scoring enough. Here are the scores:

3-2
4-2
3-2
4-1
4-0
3-2
4-1
2-1
1-0
4-3
4-3
4-2
3-2
1-0
3-2
2-0
3-2
2-1
4-3
4-3
3-2
3-2

It is interesting to note these little statistical trinkets:
Games that the Pirates have allowed 3 runs or fewer (better than league average): 67 (54-13)
Games that the Pirates have allowed 4 runs (league average): 12 (3-9)
Games that the Pirates have allowed 5 runs or more (worse than league average): 58 (14-44)
Percentage of games that the Pirates' pitchers have provided "league average" or better outings: 57.6% (57-22)
Percentage of games that the Pirates' pitchers have provided worse than league average outings: 42.4% (14-44)

Games that the Pirates have scored 3 runs or fewer (worse than league average): 67 (17-50)
Games that the Pirates have scored 4 runs (league average): 17 (11-6)
Games that the Pirates have scored 5 runs or more (better than league average): 53 (43-10)
Percentage of games that the Pirates' offense has produced worse than "league average" run production: 48.9% (17-50)
Percentage of games that the Pirates' offense has produced "league average" or better than run production: 51.1% (54-16)

Those numbers show that, based upon game distributions, the pitchers have actually supplied "league average" or better run prevention (79 games) in more games than the offense has generated "league average" or better in run production (70 games). That's not what one would necessarily expect when looking at cumulative stats and based upon the notion that the pitching staff is a below average and the offense is the best in all of baseball.

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Last edited by No. 9 on Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:56 pm 
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There aren't many elite pitching staffs period. Heard yesterday the bucs are the only rotation with current starters to post era's under 4.00. Not elite. Consistent.

They've lost a couple tough luck games and hopefully they'll pull through it.

Really missing the potential in Pedro's bat right now.

I fucking hate the cardinals.


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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:35 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
You keep trying to convince me that the Pirates' pitching hasn't been great.


No, I keep showing you that the offense isn't the problem. The offense has done well. Run prevention has not.

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 Post subject: Re: The Offense Is Getting Shut Down...AGAIN!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:47 pm 
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buccosfan77 wrote:
They've lost a couple tough luck games and hopefully they'll pull through it.

I fucking hate the cardinals.


Yesterday's game was particularly painful.
John Jay's play in CF on Marte's shot prevented the Bucs from scoring at least 4, instead of 2.
Garritt Cole gives up a single to Lance Lynn. He then issues a one-out walk ahead of Holliday and it leads to a 2 run inning for the Cardinals.
The Cards try to gift wrap one of those runs back with a brain dead effort by Adams at first base but JayHay gets nailed at the plate. SABRists everywhere were tweeting TOOTBLAN but I thought it was a good aggressive play at the time. Hats off to Kozma.
After Cutch's monster shot puts the Bucs up by 2 in the 7th, Cole can't get through the bottom of the Cardinals' order to get the game to Melancon and Watson.
Then, after putting 2 on with no outs, the Bucs chose not to play "small ball" and end up stranding runners. With Snider having a gimpy hamstring, he was a prime DP candidate. I would have been awfully tempted to send up Barmes or Tabata with the instruction to lay one down and hope that JayHay drives in at least one.
Tough loss to swallow but, starting with Lynn's hit leading to 2 runs, it just had one of those "feels" to it. Caught myself thinking otherwise when Cutch went deep but . . . damn.

Try as I might, I just can't hate the Cardinals. Its an incredible baseball town and they seem to have some type of intangible that carries them to victory. I'm envious of that.

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