Originally Posted by Kc61
Here's my theory. Problem is the huge fall off after Choo, Votto and Bruce in offensive performance.
With two outs, pitch around the big three. Face a weaker hitter. That guy will likely fail and usually does.
So, today, Choo gets on. Pirates immediately use this strategy. Pitch to Ludwick, Phillips, Frazier. Pitch around Votto and Bruce.
It's easiest with two outs. Just never allow one of the big three to hit with two outs men on. Pitch to the others and usually succeed.
Votto and Bruce back to back can help impair this strategy, but of course it leaves the order below cleanup quite weak. Phillips also impaired this strategy when he was hitting so well with men on base earlier.
It's not a two out problem. There are just too many hitters having below average or worse seasons.
Yes, the offense just isn't very deep. Too many rest stops for the pitcher. It was even worse when the lightest hitters were in the 2 spot.
But then, the Pirates just failed, too.