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 Post subject: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:50 am 
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Going back to the winning streak, the 2-2 run, and the losing streak, this team is playing ball that would lead to 104.8 wins (round up or down how you prefer) while averaging 4.47 runs.

They weren't as good as the 9 game streak or as bad as this streak.

When the pitching gives way, then we can freak out. A's are about as terrible a matchup as we could get for a home series (or, really, an away series since their park is equivalently hellacious for hitters).

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:18 am 
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Ummm. Don't think they've been all that bad. In an offensive funk, OK, but they've also had a lot of winning balls get caught. Giving up 2 runs a game while losing nights does not come off a "bad" to me.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:16 am 
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I agree, however they need a couple guys to pick it up...and adding another solid bat to the lineup wouldn't hurt. Walker, when he returns, along with Jones/Sanchez have to pick it up. SS is what it is, and so is RF. you hope one of the options at those positions hit a little for you. You know you need another bat when Russell Martin is hitting 4th or 5th. I love what he has done for the team, but he should not be hitting in those spots in the lineup.


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:28 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Walker, when he returns, along with Jones/Sanchez have to pick it up.


It feels like Walker has been given a free pass because...
A) He's from Pittsburgh
B) He's home grown talent
C) 1st round draft pick

Walker isn't the problem for the Pirates. The problem for the Pirates is they have waaaay too many players like Walker (very average).

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:41 am 
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Fact is this offense isn't good. They're below average. 14th in the league in scoring. Nope. Well below average. The pitching. Real good. Best in the league but they'll regress. Luck has been in play for the pitching simply because of the shotty defense. One of the worst defenses in the league in errors. Those errors will eventually catch up and lead to more unearned runs that will require this offense to pick it up.

I'm not singing the blues because of this 4 game skid. I've been preaching this all year. This offense is pathetic and I'm not going to be quick to fall for the Jekyll and Hyde act. The offense had a lot to do with the help of a 9 game win streak but that help is short lived when the offense is ranked 14th in the NL in the only stat that matters.


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:59 am 
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IA Pirate wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Walker, when he returns, along with Jones/Sanchez have to pick it up.


It feels like Walker has been given a free pass because...
A) He's from Pittsburgh
B) He's home grown talent
C) 1st round draft pick

Walker isn't the problem for the Pirates. The problem for the Pirates is they have waaaay too many players like Walker (very average).


Neil is second on the team in OBP (and is above his career average this year despite the low BA) and his offensive numbers are pretty close to Martin's right now. The biggest problem with Neil is he needs to stay on the field. He's a few XBH away from getting his SLG up to his career numbers. He's also T6 in the NL for WAR among 2B with 150 PA. I'd certainly rather have him over a Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, or Darwin Barney (god is he awful) type.

I don't think Neil is really a problem at all. He should end up somewhere in the 2-3 WAR range and if he can keep his OBP high and get a few more XBH he'll be at his career numbers. A roster of Cutch, Marte, and Pedro filled in with 5 Neils would make me confident.


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:00 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
Walker, when he returns, along with Jones/Sanchez have to pick it up.


It feels like Walker has been given a free pass because...
A) He's from Pittsburgh
B) He's home grown talent
C) 1st round draft pick

Walker isn't the problem for the Pirates. The problem for the Pirates is they have waaaay too many players like Walker (very average).

I've maintained for two seasons now that if Pedro and Walker, in some order, are your 2nd and 3rd best bats in the lineup, then you're going to struggle to score runs. While Cutch is a fine fine player, we don't have an elite bat in the order, which is why I would be willing to trade almost whatever it took to get Stanton. That's not going to happen, so we're left hoping that one very young player, Marte, or an injury prone player, Tabata, can pick up the slack. And the odds would be against us.

We still strikeout too much. I know that Ks aren't seen as big a negative as they once were, but the tradeoff between Ks and more productive ABs is supposed to come if you you're hitting more 2Bs and HRs, and working the count longer and getting more walks. We're third in the National League in strikeouts, but 10th in walks, 4th in doubles (which both surprised me and encourages me a bit) and 7th in homeruns. But the two teams who have struck out more in NL are the Braves -- 1st in HRs, 1st in walks and 12th in doubles -- and the Mets -- who are just plain poor, yet are just two HRs and a double off our pace, and they're third in walks.

It seems to me, however anecdotally, that NL pitchers have a better book on the Buccos hitters than our guys have on the pitchers we face. I don't know if this comes down to coaching, or ability, or even the ebb and flow of a 162 game season.


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:00 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Ummm. Don't think they've been all that bad. In an offensive funk, OK, but they've also had a lot of winning balls get caught. Giving up 2 runs a game while losing nights does not come off a "bad" to me.

ZM


This.

Too lazy to find it, but [in another thread] someone said that they didn't think this team (offense) was 'playoff worthy'.

In actuality, it seems that, based and contingent on the quality of the pitching, they might be.

Yes, this team lives by the long ball and Cutch is hitting more 'hard outs' and this and that, but the offense isn't completely inept. It isn't great, if barely good, but it can get the job done. And it could still use another bat via trade call-up.

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:04 pm 
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val wrote:
It seems to me, however anecdotally, that NL pitchers have a better book on the Buccos hitters than our guys have on the pitchers we face. I don't know if this comes down to coaching, or ability, or even the ebb and flow of a 162 game season.


Also this.

There is still time to see and/or for things to change, but, at least for the past two years, as the season progresses the Bucs' bats do go quieter. Along with fatigue, teams updating their 'books' on the Bucs (especially their key players like Cutch, 'Dro, etc.) could be a large factor.

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:09 pm 
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Look, I think everyone agrees that having another competent bat or two (or three) would really help. But, to say that Cutch is NOT an elite hitter strikes me as being way to critical. He is a plus .300 hitter with all the peripheral stats you could want. The biggest deal I see right now is:

1. Teams have shifted on him, taking away more than a few balls in play
2. Hard hit fly balls are falling at the warning track - especially in PNC. But, that seems to be the case for everyone not named Pedro.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:13 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Look, I think everyone agrees that having another competent bat or two (or three) would really help. But, to say that Cutch is NOT an elite hitter strikes me as being way to critical. He is a plus .300 hitter with all the peripheral stats you could want. The biggest deal I see right now is:

1. Teams have shifted on him, taking away more than a few balls in play
2. Hard hit fly balls are falling at the warning track - especially in PNC. But, that seems to be the case for everyone not named Pedro.

ZM

That poses an interesting question, to me at least. Who do you consider to be the 20 best hitters in the Majors, however you want to define hitting, and regardless of position and age (though potential 100 game suspensions do count)? Is McCutchen on that list?


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:44 pm 
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val wrote:
ZelieMike wrote:
Look, I think everyone agrees that having another competent bat or two (or three) would really help. But, to say that Cutch is NOT an elite hitter strikes me as being way to critical. He is a plus .300 hitter with all the peripheral stats you could want. The biggest deal I see right now is:

1. Teams have shifted on him, taking away more than a few balls in play
2. Hard hit fly balls are falling at the warning track - especially in PNC. But, that seems to be the case for everyone not named Pedro.

ZM

That poses an interesting question, to me at least. Who do you consider to be the 20 best hitters in the Majors, however you want to define hitting, and regardless of position and age (though potential 100 game suspensions do count)? Is McCutchen on that list?


He's absolutely on that list. This year, he has a career low K% and, despite the lower power numbers, he's still getting on base at a prodigious rate. We WILL see a power surge from Cutch at some point this season. Can't wait for that.


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 Post subject: Re: This recent stretch of games....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:55 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Look, I think everyone agrees that having another competent bat or two (or three) would really help. But, to say that Cutch is NOT an elite hitter strikes me as being way to critical. He is a plus .300 hitter with all the peripheral stats you could want. The biggest deal I see right now is:

1. Teams have shifted on him, taking away more than a few balls in play
2. Hard hit fly balls are falling at the warning track - especially in PNC. But, that seems to be the case for everyone not named Pedro.

ZM



Cutch's biggest issue is the lack of protection he receives in the lineup. He sees little to hit because Jones isnt consistent enough to scare anyone. I liked yesterday's lineup with Pedro behind him. That hasnt always worked because Pedro's inconsistencies but if he can keep up what he has done the past month then I think it will greatly benefit Cutch.


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