8th Time Must Be Charm and Some Insane Pittsburgh Pirates Notes


Sep 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6) hits a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates play a big game tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Bucs must win.  It’s crucial.

It’s the eighth time the Pirates have tried to win five consecutive games.  That still amazes me.    We wrote about the importance of tonights game last night as we watched the Brewers fall apart and eventually lose in 13 innings.  The Pirates Need To Win Fifth Straight For First Time in 2014

The Pirates are 72-52 since May 2, good for second in the NL and third in MLB.

The Bucs have received an incredible amount of offense from so many players.   Proof?  Andrew McCutchen has only driven in one teammate this month.  Yeh, we know about the three solo homers, but talk about depth.  What is this team going to do when Cutch gets hot?  What are the opposing pitchers going to do might be a better question.

Starling Marte has been so damn hot.  It’s not luck either.   #MartePartay leads Major League Baseball in BABIP.  That happens when you hit the ball as hard as Marte does.  He had a monster BABIP last season too–guess what?  Good hitters do that.    We asked this question in a recent article…check it out.  Can Starling Marte and Josh Harrison Maintain Awesomeness?  Give you a hint, the answer is YES! YES!

Just how hot is @StarlingMart (the best twitter handle on the planet) ?   Marte has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.  Thats good for a .389 mark with four doubles, four bombs and nine ribeyes.  Since August 5, Marte is first in the big leagues with a 1.047OPS.  Marte is first in slugging too over that period with a .621.

Aug 29, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison (5) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. The Pirates won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

More insanity:  Since the All-Star break, Starling Marte ranks second among NL players with at least 150 PA with a .356 batting average.  Josh Harrison is third at .344.  Over the same period, Marte has a 1.043 OPS and Harrison has a .941.  That’s good for first and fourth in the NL respectively.

Russell Martin brings a nine game hitting streak into tonights big game and is hitting .345 (57-for-165) in his 50 games played at PNC Park this season, having reached base safely in 47 of the 50 contests and producing a .471 on-base percentage.

And finally, Josh Harrison is first in the National League batting title.

We could tell you how solid the pitching has been, but our mouths hurt from smiling after writing about all that offense, all that run production, all those victories.

It’s all insane.