Pittsburgh Pirates: Being Swept By Detroit Showcases Current Roster Issue
The Pittsburgh Pirates were swept in a two-game series to the Detroit Tigers with two games show what is wrong with the current team roster
The Pittsburgh Pirates took two tough losses against the Detroit Tigers. Although it was only a two-game series, the two losses really took the wind out of the sails after sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers and then taking two-of-three from the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the two losses perfectly encapsulate what is currently wrong with the Pirates.
Overall, the Pirate pitching was good enough to win these two games. The bullpen allowed just 3 earned runs in 8.2 innings. Mitch Keller had a phenomenal start, going 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, a single earned run, and striking out 7. Of the 8 total earned runs surrendered, José Quintana was responsible for half of them. He had his worst start of the year, contributing to the loss on Tuesday.
But the offense seemed not to wake up. The Pittsburgh Pirates had just 10 hits and 4 runs scored. Time and time again this season we’ve seen the Pirates lose close, low-scoring games because the offense doesn’t show up. Look at the current roster, and you’ll see what I mean.
Since May 1st, the team is slashing just .219/.295/.373 with a .297 wOBA and 90 wRC+. They are one of six total teams to have a wOBA under .300. They rank 26th in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+. Meanwhile, on the pitching side of things, they have a 3.88 ERA and FIP and a 1.34 WHIP.
They’re tied for the 14th best team ERA with the Philadelphia Phillies and have the 12th best FIP. Heck, they’re a lot better than the numbers suggest. Of the 126 earned runs they have surrendered, nearly 20% of those are from just three guys: Bryse Wilson, Beau Sulser, and Josh VanMeter. Their ERA goes from 3.88 to 3.46 if you subtract those three players. That would sandwich them between the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers for the 7th best ERA in baseball. Heck, VanMeter alone is responsible for nearly 5% of all of the earned runs given up since May 1st.
The Pirate pitching has been great of late. They’ve gone out and given this team a chance to win most of the time throughout the last month-plus. But this miserable offense has cost the Pirates multiple games.
The only guy who has really done his job consistently is Ke’Bryan Hayes, who is batting .285/.374/.387 while having a .342 wOBA and 120 wRC+. Those are pretty good numbers, especially paired with his Gold Glove defense. The Pirates’ offense has shown some faint signs of life. They finally got Travis Swaggerty to the majors, Jack Suwinski leads National League rookies in home runs, and Cal Mitchell is starting to heat up, but that’s clearly not enough. Until the Pirates get Oneil Cruz, Mason Martin, and Ji-Hwan Bae up here, the team will have to work with what they have.