Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pathetic Offense Blows the Series

Mar 1, 2013; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald (53) throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the bottom of the first inning of a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Pirates got three solid starts from their pitchers and wasted two of them. Burnett was hit hard in the 1st inning of his game but that was basically it. He gave up 3 hits including the 2-run blast from Anthony Rizzo in the first fram, but in the next 5 innings only gave up 1 run, 3 hits and 1 walk. Burnett also struck out ten in his opening day debut.

Wandy was terrific in his first start. He pitched 6.2 innings allowing just 2 hits and issued 3 free passes. Wandy and the rest of the Pirates’ pitching staff blanked the Cubs, Grilli had his first save of the season, and the Pirates got the win.

Today, James McDonald displayed the type of starts he’s capable of. He went 7 innings, giving up only 2 hits, 2 walks, and allowing a single run. JMac fanned 4 in the process but the Pirates could never help him out and get him off the hook. The fine pitching continued when Mark Melancon came in to pitch a perfect 8th. However, Jared Hughes gave up a 2-out, 2-run homerun to Nate Schierholtz to make it 3-0.

April 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz (19) receives a high five from first baseman Anthony Rizzo (right) after Schierholtz scored a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Chicago Cubs won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, the Pirates pitching staff was terrific in their opening series. They gave up just 6 runs on 11 hits. They also held Chicago to a .114 BA. For a 3 game series that’s usually good enough for at least taking the series, but not for the atrocious Pittsburgh Pirates. They fell to the Cubs 2 out of 3 times, despite Marmol’s best attempts at blowing the saves.

Here’s how today’s game went:

In the 3rd and final game of the series, the Pirates were down 1-0 in the 7th when McCutchen lead off with a base-reaching error. He then proceeded to swipe second in an attempt to get into scoring position. A Gaby Sanchez strikeout, a Pedro Alvarez infield fly, and Neil Walker getting caught looking squandered McCutchen’s heroic attempt. By the way, Cutch also stole third in the process. With a man on second and no outs, how does a team manage to not get the ball pass the pitchers mound? O wait, it’s the Bucs…and it gets worse.

As mentioned before, the Cubs increased their lead to 3 after a 9th inning jack coming off the bat of right fielder Nate Schierholtz. For some unexplainable reason, Sveum decided to put Marmol back out there for a save opportunity. Marmol rewarded his trust with a giving up 3 hits and a walk while producing zero outs. With men on first and third and nobody out Pittsburgh did what every fan knew they would do, they blew it. Alvarez had one of his custom K’s in a clutch scenario and Neil Walker grounded into a game ending double play.

March 14, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) works out prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates had no right to win this game and no right to take the series. They had 1 hit until the 9th inning and were held to 4 on the day. For the series, the Pirates had 12 hits, 19 total base runners, 5 runs, and a pathetic .118 batting average. That is not getting the job done. It’s horrible to see the Pirates not picking up and supporting their pitchers. Having the toughest schedule in the MLB to start the season the Pirates desperately needed to win the series against the hapless Cubs but because of an anemic offense was not able to. Hopefully, the bats will heat up when they go out west for the next 2 series.  Pittsburgh plays the first of a three game set against tomorrow against Zach Greinke and the LA Dodgers.

Topics: Pittsburgh Pirates

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  • Campbell Sproul

    Wow, scathing. I like it.

    • Tyler

      haha just cant stand lack of execution, especially when all you need to do is put the ball in play. Dont get me wrong, I think the Pirates can turn this around, they started slow last year also but this series doesnt boost the confidence of an already skeptical fan base. 9 times out of 10 I still want Walker up in that kind of situation

    • Campbell Sproul

      Oh yea, Walker up, first and third with one out? The game was over in my mind, but in the Pirates favor. Even guys as good as Walker hit into DPs sometimes. I think we need to remember that it’s just opening weekend, weather was weird, and it takes a bit to get fully in the swing of things. Lots more series left.

    • Tyler

      absolutely, bats were cold to start the season last year as well. not a big deal in the grand scheme just wouldve been nice to grab that series

    • Campbell Sproul

      I get that. I figured you do too, but the bridge jumpers that I’ve found already just need to step away a bit, get some perspective.

    • $5822868

      .I have the perspective of being lifetime Buc fan. Until they decide to open purse and acquire another bat to compliment McCutchen they’re not going to be relevant.

    • Campbell Sproul

      I’m in the same boat, I know how bad things can be. The offense is obviously lacking early this year, but it has shown the potential to score in bunches. What the Pirates need is for the team to be more consistent all around.

    • $5822868

      Don’t know what you’ve been watching, but let me reiterate until they find another bat the Bucs aren’t getting into the post-season. If you can’t score more runs than your opponent it wouldn’t matter if Cy Young was on the mound.

    • Campbell Sproul

      Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying. I would certainly hope for another bat as well, but I don’t see where it’s going to come from right now. We did have 3 guys post at least 25 bombs last year, so the home run hitting power is there. It’s just a case of getting more base knocks, as far as I can see.

    • Campbell Sproul

      Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying. I would certainly hope for another bat as well, but I don’t see where it’s going to come from right now. We did have 3 guys post at least 25 bombs last year, so the home run hitting power is there. It’s just a case of getting more base knocks, as far as I can see.

    • http://twitter.com/rumbunter rumbunter

      It finally happened today in two glorious innings….and Cy Young was definently not on the mound

    • $5822868

      they did this last year. until they do it in august and september it doesn’t mean much.

  • $5822868

    The Bucs offense is no more pathetic than its been the past twenty seasons.

    • Tyler

      haha no I’m actually under the impression that this is the best hitting lineup of the last two decades, the article was just about how horrendous they were in their opening series. Hopefully it’ll pick up

    • $5822868

      McCutchen is the offense. There isn’t another reliable bat to be found. Just like the past two seasons when teams pitch carefully to him the Bucs start descent.towards nonrelevancy.
      s