Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: Stacking Losses
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.
Is it a slump? Or something far more sinister?
Pittsburgh Pirates fans are waking up today with a bad taste in their mouths and dread in their stomachs. Fresh off of being swept by the lowly Milwaukee Brewers, the team heads to St. Louis for a three-gamer against the Cardinals. After the ineptitude of the last few days, the Pirates are 6.5 back of the Cards for the theoretically possible NL Central crown.
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The reasons for the Pirates four game mini-slide are many. Subpar performances from Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano on the mound coupled with slumps from key cogs in the batting order have conspired for some losses that are tough to swallow. Imagine my horror upon seeing the performance of the Pirates offense over the last seven days. Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and Francisco Cervelli combined to go 13-for-98 over the last week for a .132 average. Newly minted August Player-of-the-month Andrew McCutchen cannot do it alone (he just had a very Cutch-like week going 6-for-17).
So is it the starting pitching that’s slumping or is it the offense? Is it even possible that it can be both? I sure think so. As good as the Pirates offense has looked at times, having back to back starters give up five earned runs and not even get into the fifth inning can put any offense behind the eight-ball.
The NL Central will be decided this weekend
In the last series against the Cardinals, I had put forth the thought that the Pirates could not win the NL Central during that series, but they could definitely lose it. That is even more true this time around, although the sun is quickly setting on their division hopes. We’ll save the nuts and bolts for our preview coming later today, but the Pirates did not do themselves any favors by laying a dud in Milwaukee. The onus will now fall on J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton, and Cole to right the ship and shift some of the burden away from the Pirate offense. Clint Hurdle lined his rotation up so that Cole would appear against the Cards. We will see if he was right to do so.
Pirates talk around the web
Let’s do something a little different today. Last night I put out this question on Twitter following the 5-3 loss:
Curiously enough, not many people were worried.
I found this very interesting. While I wasn’t expecting chaos in the streets and pandemonium, I had expected the frustration of the Brewers sweep to color the answers. Kudos to Pittsburgh Pirates fans for not losing their heads, though many have resigned the division to be a lost cause.
After this four-game losing streak, it’s hard not to agree that it probably is.