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Thread: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    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...

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg View Post
    5.54 career ERA. 1.57 career WHIP. 5.84 K's/9 (career).

    He's the definition of chopped liver.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Operator View Post
    The Reds just got shut out by Charlie Morton. Ouch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitz Dorsey View Post
    Well, at least this is happening against one of the great pitchers in Major League Baseball.

    Oh wait, Charlie Morton is atrocious.
    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    My God it's the Pirates.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Operator View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reds/Flyers Fan View Post
    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?
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 06-04-2011 at 03:38 PM.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    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.

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    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?
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    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
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    It's good to see some of the return on their recent firesales have paid off somewhat.
    Unofficial Johnny Cueto Cy Young Campaign President For Reds Fans by a Reds Fan
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    MORTAL COMBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    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.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Wow, so many call outs on statements.

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

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Wow, so many call outs on statements.

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


    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.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    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.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    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....
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    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.
    Last edited by 757690; 06-05-2011 at 09:23 PM.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    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.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Member CTA513's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    If the reds had Seattles rotation, the reds might be 20 games over .500....
    Would it come with Seattles park?

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    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.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates...

    Quote Originally Posted by CTA513 View Post
    Would it come with Seattles park?
    Why would it need too?
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner


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