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_Sir_Charles_
06-04-2011, 04:30 PM
After seeing the Pirates take the Phillies to the 12th inning last night and get the W 2-1, it reminded me that I'd been meaning to post this. So here goes...

I know I've said it before (and have gotten laughed at for it), but I seriously feel that we're seeing the beginnings of a changing of the guard for the Central. For years it was the Reds & Pirates battling it out for the cellar. Well, we all saw what the Reds did last year and that they have the looks to being in it for the long haul. But at what point do we need to take the Pirates seriously?

They've gotten some serious pitching this year. A fact that's surprised me to say the least.

Charlie Morton against us this year is 2-0 with 2 complete games and 1 run allowed. Against the league, he's 5-2 with a 2.51 era (4th in the NL). Fans in the game threads were routinely mocking the pirates and blasting the reds for not making minced meat out of these Pirates. A few examples...


5.54 career ERA. 1.57 career WHIP. 5.84 K's/9 (career).

He's the definition of chopped liver.


The Reds just got shut out by Charlie Morton. Ouch.


Well, at least this is happening against one of the great pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Oh wait, Charlie Morton is atrocious.


My God it's the Pirates.


The only thing that makes this easier to take is that The Pirates swept The Reds last year in April and we ended up just fine.

But good grief, it's The Pirates.


They redefine mediocre -- pitching staff is pedestrian, bullpen is marginal, and most of their everyday 9 would be bench guys elsewhere. I'd stake every dime I own on them finishing with 90+ in the L column.


The Pirates make the Nats look like the AL All Star team

There is also Kevin Corriea. Another guy that fans in the GT's were blasting as if he were garbage. Well, lookie now. Corriea is leading the NL in wins with an 8-4 record, 3.40 era (17th in NL).

Next is Paul Maholm. Maholm is the definition of snakebit this season. He's 2-7 with a 3.66 era (25th in NL). He's gotten the lowest run support of any pitcher in the bigs this season. I had started to post this thread a few days ago and got sidetracked. That slight delay has altered Maholm's numbers pretty drastically. He was at 3.18 prior to his last game (5ip / 6 runs) and the Bucs actually scored some runs that game too. He was leading the bigs in smallest run support by nearly a full run per game. Simply put, he's pitched MUCH better than his 2-7 record indicates.

Jeff Karstens is their #4. I gotta say, he's a pretty solid #4 right now. 3-4 with a 3.30 era (15th in NL). 42 k's, 11 bb's. I'd take that any day out of my rotation's #4 guy. Karstens was the starter last night against Philly btw. 7 ip, 1 run, 0 bb. Then the pen slammed the door the rest of the way.

Rounding out their rotation is James McDonald. His first 3 games of the season were flat out atrocious (0-2 with a 10.13 era). But since then...3-1 with an era around 2.50.

That's a VERY solid rotation IMO. Add to that their bullpen with Daniel McCutchen (25 ip / 1.40 era), Joel Hanrahan (25 ip / 1.40 era / 14 saves), and a steadily improving Evan Meek (12 ip / 3.75 era....4 of his 5 earned runs this season came in the first 3 games of the season...nails since). From where I stand, pitching looks to be a huge positive for this club.

Now let's look at the hitting. Heading into this season, I really thought the offense would be the strong point for the Pirates. They had a solid young core who produced very well last season and in the minors.

Andrew McCutchen (12 hr & .286 in '09 / 16 hr & .286 in '10)
Neil Walker (12 hr's & .296 average in '10)
Jose Tabata (.299 average in '10)
Garrett Jones (21 hr's in both '09 & '10, .290 average in '09)
Pedro Alvarez (16 hr in under 400 ab's, .260 average)

That to me looks to be a VERY solid core of offensive talent. Unfortunately, they've stuggled rather mightily this season.

McCutchen 9 hr's, .263 average
Walker 7 hr's, .269 average
Tabata 3 hr's, .240 average
Jones 6 hr's, .228 average
Alvarez 2 hr's, .208 average

I picked them to finish either 3rd or 4th in the division prior to the season depending upon how poorly the Cards played & how injuries effected them. When their offense starts to come around...these Pirates may very well be a team to look out for. I know many here will laugh. But I personally think that this laughter will be coming because these are the Pirates and many fans here are stuck with the idea in their heads that the Pirates are bad...because they're the Pirates. This is NOT the Pittsburgh team we've seen in the past. Again, at what point do we need to take them more seriously?

HokieRed
06-04-2011, 05:38 PM
Good post, Sir Charles. I agree they're much improved. That foursome of lefthanders they can bat in the middle of the lineup is especially a problem for us and our righties. I also wish RZers would forego denigrating remarks about other teams, but that's just MHO.

traderumor
06-05-2011, 09:10 AM
Again, at what point do we need to take them more seriously?When they put up a winning season. Because they have pitched about as well as they can pitch with that staff, expect a second half fade into another losing season. They have a small margin for error, and I think the domination of the Reds may be biasing the opinion. I pointed out early after losing 3 of 4 that the lefty hitters would pose a matchup problem for us. I would say they are better right now than the Cubs and Astros on any given night, probably the Mets, but then is that really saying much?

GAC
06-05-2011, 10:46 AM
Good post Charles. There's no doubt their pitching is what is carrying them so far in the early stages of this season. Been quite impressive. Correia was a nice pickup from SD.

This still is a team that is struggling to consistently play .500 ball. And the only reason they are sniffing .500 is because a few of these guys, when one looks at their career numbers, are pitching over their heads. Can this staff sustain that performance, or will they regress to norms? Who knows. But their offense, overall, is one of the worst in MLB this year, and puts a lot of pressure on their staff. So in the long run, I think they're still looking at a 4th place finish, and still in the range of 85-90 losses when it's all said and done.

The good news is - they aren't as atrocious as Houston. LOL

mdccclxix
06-05-2011, 02:47 PM
It's good to see some of the return on their recent firesales have paid off somewhat.

_Sir_Charles_
06-05-2011, 04:37 PM
When they put up a winning season. Because they have pitched about as well as they can pitch with that staff, expect a second half fade into another losing season. They have a small margin for error, and I think the domination of the Reds may be biasing the opinion. I pointed out early after losing 3 of 4 that the lefty hitters would pose a matchup problem for us. I would say they are better right now than the Cubs and Astros on any given night, probably the Mets, but then is that really saying much?

I completely agree that their pitching is going about as well as they can and that they'll regress, but not as much as some might think. But that being said, their offense is seriously underperforming. I expect them to take a pretty hefty step forward. Overall, I don't see them losing any ground on their current pace.

westofyou
06-05-2011, 04:47 PM
Wow, so many call outs on statements.

Seems kinda like you're setting yourself up for some payback, I'd be prepared.

kaldaniels
06-05-2011, 04:54 PM
Wow, so many call outs on statements.

Seems kinda like you're setting yourself up for some payback, I'd be prepared.

:laugh::laugh::laugh: :lol::lol::lol:

I've never seen so many callouts at once. You hunt down posts like that and put up the username with it...it's just become personal to an extent. I hope SirCharles, that you realize that. I'm no saint in that department myself, but when I have done it on rare occasions I know I'm bound to really tick someone off. I hope you considered that.

nate
06-05-2011, 06:07 PM
To be honest, I'd trade the Reds pitching staff for the Pirates this season.

The Reds have amongst the league's worst pitching this year. The Pirates are at least middle of the pack.

jojo
06-05-2011, 10:02 PM
To be honest, I'd trade the Reds pitching staff for the Pirates this season.

The Reds have amongst the league's worst pitching this year. The Pirates are at least middle of the pack.

If the reds had Seattles rotation, the reds might be 20 games over .500....

757690
06-05-2011, 10:20 PM
To be honest, I'd trade the Reds pitching staff for the Pirates this season.

The Reds have amongst the league's worst pitching this year. The Pirates are at least middle of the pack.

The Pirates have been healthy. That's the biggest difference between the Reds and nearly every other team's pitching staff. But yeah, they have been much better than I expected.

757690
06-05-2011, 10:22 PM
If the reds had Seattles rotation, the reds might be 20 games over .500....

I really like the Mariners this year. I think they have a better chance than the Pirates of being above .500 at the end of the year. In fact, I wouldn't be completely surprised to see them in the playoffs.

CTA513
06-06-2011, 12:34 AM
If the reds had Seattles rotation, the reds might be 20 games over .500....

Would it come with Seattles park?

MikeThierry
06-06-2011, 12:37 AM
I think adding Clint Hurdle as their manager was a great thing as well. He has proven in the past with the Rockies that he can manage a young team well.

As far as the Mariners go, I love their starting pitching but when Brendan Ryan is one of the best hitters on the team, there are problems. I don't think they will be able to sustain their hot streak with the lack of offense they have.

jojo
06-06-2011, 07:48 AM
Would it come with Seattles park?

Why would it need too?

757690
06-06-2011, 08:06 AM
I think adding Clint Hurdle as their manager was a great thing as well. He has proven in the past with the Rockies that he can manage a young team well.

As far as the Mariners go, I love their starting pitching but when Brendan Ryan is one of the best hitters on the team, there are problems. I don't think they will be able to sustain their hot streak with the lack of offense they have.

That's exactly why I like them.

Ichiro won't hit .261 all season. Figgens won't OPS under .500 all season. The team is not hitting outside of Smoak, and they are winning. Imagine them when they start to warm up offensively.

_Sir_Charles_
06-06-2011, 09:27 AM
Wow, so many call outs on statements.

Seems kinda like you're setting yourself up for some payback, I'd be prepared.


:laugh::laugh::laugh: :lol::lol::lol:

I've never seen so many callouts at once. You hunt down posts like that and put up the username with it...it's just become personal to an extent. I hope SirCharles, that you realize that. I'm no saint in that department myself, but when I have done it on rare occasions I know I'm bound to really tick someone off. I hope you considered that.

Wow, I never even thought about it in those terms. I wasn't attempting to "call out" anybody. Just pointing out the fact that many here look at the Pirates in the same way we've looked at the pirates for the past 10-20 years. I'm certainly not trying to say it's some specific people. I was only posting examples. Certainly nothing personal.

I'd edit it and remove the names, but it's apparently too late. Well, if I get blasted for it...I guess I deserve it.

The Operator
06-06-2011, 09:35 AM
I'm certainly not trying to say it's some specific people. I was only posting examples. Certainly nothing personal.Too late pal, my honor has been offended. I demand satisfaction... I challenge you to a duel! :D

YouTube - ‪Satisfacción‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miWQF5fpo3A&feature=related)

nate
06-06-2011, 10:08 AM
If the reds had Seattles rotation, the reds might be 20 games over .500....

There's an idea!

nate
06-06-2011, 10:09 AM
The Pirates have been healthy. That's the biggest difference between the Reds and nearly every other team's pitching staff. But yeah, they have been much better than I expected.

I think my point was more that if the Reds simply had average starting pitching, they'd be as many games ahead of the division as they are behind.

I'm not sure it's the injuries as much as the lack of at least one (more) good starter. To me, Cueto was the only "known" going into the season: an average to good starter. Everyone else, dice or raw eggs.

11larkin11
06-06-2011, 10:22 AM
Jonathan Mayo confirms that the Pirates will be taking Gerrit Cole #1 overall tonight.