The Pittsburgh Pirates Amazing Past 30 Games
By Tom Smith
Sep 22, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrates a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Pirates amazing, fist-bumping past 30 games have put the team on the doorstep of Major League Baseball’s Postseason for the second consecutive year. PNC Park has fueled the run, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have seen a marked improvement in pitching, defense and of course their potent offense. The club is also winning on the road after struggling to do so all season. Perhaps, the allure of October baseball changed the Pittsburgh Pirates focus on finishing strong in 2014, something that didn’t happen in the magical 2013 season.
In the last 30 games, the Pirates offense has scored 120 runs. In the last 30 games, the Pirates pitching and defense has allowed just 64 runs. It all adds up to champagne being stored outside the Pirates clubouse in Atlanta tonight.
The Pirates over the past 30 days have pitched as well as they have all season piling up ground ball after groundball. The bullpen is back. The staff has increased their punchouts–the fifth highest strikeout percentage in baseball over the last month. Check it out. [click to embiggen from MLB.com]
Pirates pitching past 30 games.
It’s rather easy to see who the offensive stars have been during the Pirates amazing past 30 games. As you might expect, Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen are near the top of the chart: [click to embiggen from MLB.com]
Pirates offense the past 30 games.
Good times for the Bucs make Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen very happy.
Aug 31, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (L) and third baseman Josh Harrison (R) dance after Harrison hit a lead-off solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
On September 1st, we wrote about the Pirates making one run losses a depressing habit at that time, ten of the last sixteen games the Pittsburgh Pirates had played, had been one run games. That article looked at the insane trend the Pirates were being involved in during a tough stretch of games.
The Pirates were swept by the Cardinals to start September. In that series, the Pirates lost 1-0, 6-4, and 5-4. Three games totaled eight runs for the Bucs and twelve for the Cards.
Since that sweep, the Bucs have played sixteen games. The Pirates have won the last two one-run games, but of the other thirteen games played only one was by decided by a single run–a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has lost just three games in the past sixteen, two of them by a single run and one when the Cubs defeated them 6-4 after some poor pitching from Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton and Justin Wilson.
What stands out is that the Pirates haven’t been blown out since an 11-3 thumping by the Atlanta Braves. That was on August 20, thirty games ago. Seems like an eternity ago. Talk about turning it up a notch when they needed it most.
From the Pirates Painful One Run Loss Stretch article that you didn’t bother clicking over too:
Sep 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) reacts after being hit with a cream pie after defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Take a look at some results starting with that dreadful series at Nationals Park. You will notice that the Bucs have won just three of the ten run games they have played in the sixteen game stretch.
The Pirates won two games against the Reds by two runs and then lost when going for the sweep by one run.
The Pirates baseball club lost the opener against the Cardinals by a 2-1 score and then took the next two games by a total of five runs.
The ball club crushed the Brewers by 13 runs in the first two games and then lost when going for the sweep by one run.
The Bucs didn’t show up in the first two games against Atlanta. The Braves crushed the Bucs, 7-3 and 11-3, and then the Pirates pulled out a dramatic one run win in the series finale.
In excruciating fashion, the ball club lost all three games in Washington DC by one run to the Nats.