13 Road Wins Cement Bucs In MLB Basement



Somewhere between the time you are trying to decide whether to buy that game worn D.J. Carrasco jersey at PirateFest and the start of 2011 spring training, one thing will discussed at length.

The 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t play well on the road.

We’ve heard the Bucs are trying hard to determine why that might be, and we have had that backed up by Neal Huntington on his soon to be award-winning radio show.  So until the crack detectives of the Pirates solve the case, you are left with us.  Yeh.  You got us.

We figured it out.

We just couldn’t wait.

Proudly, we proclaim that solving such mysteries isn’t to hard.  We have officially scratched off the list one hot rumor.  It’s not the hotel.  Despite what you might believe, Bob Nutting doesn’t make the team sleep under bridges, share rooms, or pack tents for the nearest campgrounds.

We tried to put together an Excel spreadsheet on the number of fans in attendance during Pirates losses.  It might contribute in some small way, but it’s certainly not the sole reason.  The Bucs are playing in some very full ballparks this season during their losses, but the Pirates have also taken victories in front of very large crowds.  We witnessed it first hand in Chicago.

So after pouring over this mystery for too long, we have come to a hypothesis.  Is that the right word?

(I never was very good at Chemistry despite taking it for so many years.  I will never regret it though.  The image of that dead rat when we came back from holiday break was just too awesome.  The black rat had attacked and feasted on the white rat–hmmm…very similar to how the Bucs get destroyed in road games.  It was crazy…and my teacher had no answer for the situaton way back then, much like Pirates fans have no way to explain this trend of playing ‘ok’ ball at PNC Park and being so damn awful on the road.)

The hypothesis:  It’s the talent.  That’s it.  The players that are carrying this team are very young.  It’s still new to them.

Just take a look at when the most road victories occured this season.   The month of April.

Long before Alvarez, Tabata, and Walker were between the lines.  The on the field product was more veteran based, not by much, but enough.

Octavio Dotel saved eight of those victories. Evan Meek had one save.   The bullpen was crucial.  It always is.  If the Pirates plan on winning a few road games the rest of the way Joel Hanrahan and Meek will need to be the leaders.  They have contributed in these road victories, and they will again, well if their arms don’t fall off that is.

Hell look at last night, if the pen would have came through with even a mediocre performance it would have,  ahh…never mind.

The players that are familar with the ML road routine, need to produce better.  That’s obvious.

It might also be a good idea to leave the wives and girlfriends at home for a while as well, because obviously that shit isn’t working. (This is in reference to Neal Huntington saying it was important to drop the ax on Kerrigan and Varsho on Sunday because some wives were going on the trip to San Diego and well…you get the point.  It woulda been messy telling them Monday.)

Heh, it’s my hypothesis.  Don’t act like your a Chemistry teacher and hand me a shitty grade.  It’s my belief.  Keep your eyes on your own paper.

After 112 games, the fourth block of 28 games this season, the road record is glaring.  But let’s look at those road victories:

In the second game of the season, the Pirates beat Dan Haren and the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3.

Three days later on April 13, the Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5.

On April 27, the Pirates started a three game winning streak with wins over Milwaukee 7-3 and 6-5.  The first game of a four-game series in LA was also won by Pittsburgh 2-0.

The Bucs won five games on the road in April.  Yeh, that sucks, but it would be the largest monthly road win total of the season.

The Bucs road woes trended downward as they had just four wins in the month of May.

On May 14 and 15, RumBunter invaded Wrigley and the Bucs jumped on the Cubs winning 10-6 and 4-3.

Zach Duke and the Pirates then knocked off Roy Halladay and the Phillies on May 18.

The only other road win in May was a 2-1 squeeker against the Reds on May 27.

It was worse in June.  After being swept by the Nats, Tigers, Rangers, and the Oakland Athletics, the Bucs headed to Wrigley and were able to win two games by close scores of 2-0 and 2-1.

Two wins in June.  The entire month of June produced two road victories.

July sucked too.  The Astros and Brewers were awful hosts and swept the Bucs.   The gorgeous mountains of Colorado must have felt like home as the Buc scored two victories over the Rockies 6-2 and 4-2.

So combining the months of June and July, the Pirates won four games away from PNC Park.  FOUR!

The Bucs are still looking for a road victory in August.

5 wins in April+4 wins in May+4 wins in June and July = 13 road wins for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Looking ahead, the Bucs will face tough odds in the final game against San Diego today before heading to Houston to wrap up the road trip.

*Surely the Bucs can win a game in Texas this season?  They have been swept by the Astros (six losses) and the Rangers (three losses.)

*The Pirates return to Milwaukee on August 27 and then head to Wrigley (whew.)

*A trip to the top of the NL Central Reds and then to New York comes up in September.

*To conclude the season, the Bucs will head to St. Louis and Florida.