Jul 6, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez (left, center) is mobbed by right fielder Gregory Polanco (25), second baseman Neil Walker (18) and shortstop Jordy Mercer (10) after Alvarez hit a game winning RBI single against the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates have really found their strides at the halfway point. Through 82 games, the club has the second best record in all of baseball – albeit still while chasing the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates have done this in a myriad of ways. At times they look like an offensive powerhouse; other times they struggle to put runs on the board while relying on good pitching.
More than anything, baseball is a game of numbers and statistics. It is unique in that regard. Pop quiz – can you tell me who rushed for the most yards in a single season in football? Can you tell me the single season record for goals scored in hockey? Probably not. But if I asked any sports fan worth his or her salt who the last baseball player to hit .400 was, chances are good they would know. If I asked them for the longest hitting streak ever, I’m willing to bet that at least half would know the answer to be 56. A more recent example would be the Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds chase of the late 90s/early 2000s. Casual baseball fans would know that the number 61 was a hallowed one until the PED-infused game of the time rendered it moot.
There are some eye-popping statistics among these 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates. In this piece, I will highlight what I believe to be the Top Five statistical story lines of the first half. These will not be ‘leaderboard’ type numbers, but rather a mix of stats on both the player and team level that tell the story of the Bucs so far.
Let’s get started with some surprises in the run-producing department.
Next: Surprising Run Producers