The doors were pulled shut and the Pittsburgh Pirates had a closed door meeting this morning. The team has lost ten of their last 13 games. The Bucs are 2-5 in their last seven games. The team started off the season 6-3 and went 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
The team faces the end of a 20 games in 20 day stretch as they finish up the series with the Cincinnati Reds before heading out to St. Louis to face the Cardinals. Next week the team will head to Baltimore to take on the O’s in Camden Yards where the club has been beat around recently by the high powered Orioles offense.
In the pregame presser we just listened to on 93.7 The Fan, Hurdle sounded calm, but subdued. It’s hard to tell what the closed door meeting agenda concentrated on, but one can only imagine the team is a bit frustrated. The defense hasn’t been what it was last season and the pitching, lately the bullpen has pitched nothing like it did last season. The one thing the club said this offseason it wanted to improve was the offense. In stretches, the offense has been good–lots of homers, but the strikeouts especially from Starling Marte in the leadoff spot are a cause for concern. Marte is striking out at a 32 percent clip which is simply unacceptable.
The team isn’t seeing a lot of pitches and runs have “been difficult to come by in the past dozen” games Hurdle said. Andrew McCutchen is the one player who is seeing a lot of pitches, battling pitchers with a great approach and has been on a home run tear in the past three games.
Russell Martin is out of the lineup today and Clint Hurdle said he just wants to keep the Bucs catcher fresh. Martin will be appealing his one game suspension. Hurdle said the team backs Martin’s conviction to appeal the suspension which of course came from the Easter Sunday brawl.