Pittsburgh Pirates: Home Stand report card for week of 5/11-5/20

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 19: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates heads to the dugout before the start of the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on May 19, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 19: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates heads to the dugout before the start of the game against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on May 19, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 18: Austin Meadows #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the field in his Major League debut against the San Diego Padres at PNC Park on May 18, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Offense

The Good

Currently, the main storyline of the Pirates offense, and probably of the team in general is the debut/early success of prized prospect Austin Meadows. Through three games, Meadows is 5-11, highlighted by his first Big League home run that should have jump started a come-from-behind win Sunday afternoon. We shouldn’t make too much of 11 at-bats, but if Meadows continues to rake, he could create an interesting dilemma regarding the crowed Pirates outfield long term.

Aside from Meadows, the offense averaged 4.5 runs per game over this home stand. For a team that’s averaging 4.9 runs overall, that’s slightly below the standard.

The bad

There were a few lousy hitting performances this past week, such as Derek Holland throwing 6.1 shutout frames in last Sunday’s series finale with the Giants, but the stretch I’d like the highlight is the last three games of the Padres series.

Friday night, the Bucs left 13 men on base and lost the game. Saturday, Clayton Richard pitched into the eighth inning and took just 84 tosses to do so, and the Pirates lost the game. Sunday, the bats didn’t get going until the sixth inning, and although it wasn’t because of the offense, the Pirates lost the game.

Friday and Saturday, in particular, were ugly offensive performances and if the Pirates can’t hit, the won’t reach their ceiling in 2018.

. . . C. Overall Grade

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