Pittsburgh Pirates finding more success away from PNC Park

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 pitching statistics – Away

[table id=11 /]

First off, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I just now picked my jaw up off of the floor after seeing that Antonio Bastardo has not allowed a run, earned or otherwise, on the road this year, with batters hitting just .185 against him.

Ok now that you’ve recovered from that shock, let’s look at the rest of the club. A couple of things jump out. First, Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole are absolute road warriors, with beastly ERAs and K/9 numbers. Cole’s 10.05 strikeouts per nine leaps off the page, smacks you in the face, and basically tells you to enjoy the fact that he’s not a free agent until 2020. Liriano’s numbers are very encouraging coming off of the richest contract in Pirates free agent history. Looking up and down the rest of the staff, we see that A.J. Burnett, Mark Melancon, and Arquimedes Caminero have been solid-to-rock solid. Melancon’s road stats in particular should serve as yet another piece of evidence to squelch the idea that the Pirates must look elsewhere for a closer.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jeff Locke‘s struggles seem to follow him when he packs his bags. In fact, Locke is a much better pitcher at home than on the road, as batters hit him .110 points higher than at PNC. One surprise on this table is Jared Hughes. Of the 10 runs Hughes has let slip in 2015, seven of those came on the road, where batters hit him at a .340 clip, leading to his ugly road ERA of 4.61. Hughes is a much better pitcher at PNC, boasting a 10.0 k/bb ratio (a metric that dips to 3.0 on the road) and much more control (1 walk as opposed to 4 freebies on the road)

For the Pittsburgh Pirates to make a serious run at the Cardinals for the NL Central this year, they will have to continue to scratch and claw to do better on the road. More roadtrips like the recent west coast swing would be a welcomed sight for a traditionally poor road team. With road trips coming up against the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers looming before the all-star break, we may get a better sense of the team’s performance on the road before the midsummer classic.

Next: Complete Day 1 Analysis of the 2015 MLB Draft