Comments on: First Pitch: Pitching Has Been the Problem http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:48:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 By: William Pearce http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20481 Sat, 22 Sep 2012 21:25:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20481 You are 100% correct.. And our people keep going…lol The 40% of visiting gate also helps.. Pirates are a very good road draw..everyone wants to see the hometown team win so wait until Pirate visits. Now MLB should step in on this circus but they won’t because of $$$$ SOOO I NEVER GO ANYMORE.. it is a JOKE:-)

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By: John Lease http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20428 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 20:57:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20428 It sure was sold that way, it was the only way the Pirates would be competitive. Hey, at least they were competitive for parts of 2 seasons in a row. 10 years later…

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20417 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:51:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20417 I don’t really have much to say on that right now. I’ve been thinking about it since it came out last night, and I’ll probably write something about it tonight. Just want to think about it, rather than reacting to it.

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20416 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:50:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20416 I think it was easy to get caught up in the moment in July and early August. The team looked great, and there was an easy schedule ahead. We were thinking “90 wins” instead of “Can they break .500?”.

Hindsight definitely changes those things. Earlier in the summer James McDonald had great numbers, and a few bad starts after the break. Fast forward a bit and he’s been one of the worst starters in the rotation in the second half. At first you think it’s just a few bad starts, and you trust the bigger sample to be true. In McDonald’s case, that would be his first half. But as the struggles continue, it becomes more and more concerning, and you start to realize that it’s probably not just a few bad starts.

Andrew McCutchen struggled throughout August, which really hurt the team.
A.J. Burnett also had a stretch of poor starts in August. He’s been better in September, but now he’s not getting run support.

Those were the three players I highlighted in my “they’re legit contenders” post. For one month they didn’t have a guy playing like an MVP candidate anymore. Burnett didn’t look like a Cy Young candidate in August, and while his numbers are good in September, they don’t compare to his earlier numbers (when he actually pitched deep in to games). James McDonald turned a few bad starts in to every bad start except against the Cardinals.

It’s hard to put a reason on these problems. Is it conditioning and tiring down the stretch? Is it the pressure of a first real playoff race? Is it the pressure of having to carry a team? Whatever the case, the team looked like contenders after July, but they definitely can’t contend with their top three guys struggling during the final two months of the season, or even just for one month out of the season.

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By: F Lang http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20415 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:31:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20415 Another thing that continues to plague us is poor obps from the 1 and 2 slots in the order. I think that is the most important thing to address this offseason. Sub .300 obps at the top of the order are far from acceptable…and with Robbie Gossman traded we lose a good future option for the one or two whole. Maybe if Marte’s continues to improve and Holt is for real we can fix it internally. …but Marte may never be a .50+ obp guy.

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By: F Lang http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20414 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:26:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20414 I would love to see our avg with risp since aug 1. Has to be well lower than the rest of the season.

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By: heyheywhattyasay http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20413 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:16:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20413 Also, how much damage control do you think the team needs to do because of the Kyle Stark e-mail that now has gone national (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pirates—hells-angels—–navy-seals–minor-league-training-methods-become-mlb-joke–.html)? By damage control, I mean do you think Stark will be let go?

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By: heyheywhattyasay http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20412 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:05:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20412 Tim – I’m wondering how good this team really is. It seems like you might’ve misjudged the overall quality of ths team earler in the year just like I did.
Back on 8/1 on 1st Pitch (http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-the-pirates-had-the-right-deadline-strategy/) in response to the Pirates making understated moves at the deadlne, you wrote ‘I believe the Pirates are legit contenders. Look at the record, but more importantly, look at the team. They’ve got an MVP favorite in Andrew McCutchen. Pedro Alvarez is on pace for over 30 homers this year. Neil Walker is starting to come around with the bat. They just added top prospect Starling Marte for a spark at the top of the lineup. Garrett Jones currently has an OPS better than Hunter Pence. On the pitching side they have A.J. Burnett and James McDonald looking like top of the rotation starters (with the exception of a few recent starts from McDonald). Their pitching staff has been one of the best groups in the majors.
This isn’t a fluke team. A fluke team doesn’t include MVP favorites and Cy Young candidates. And because I think this team is legit, I don’t think it’s necessary to make a big splash. Sure, it helps the team, but that help might be unnecessary, in exchange for weakening your team in the future.’
But after five weeks of bad baseball, on 9/11 your tone was different (http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-is-collapse-the-correct-term/) ‘They’re a .500 team…They don’t look like a contender right now. They don’t look like they’re collapsing. They look like they’re regressing to a .500 club.’
Clearly this team isn’t a contender. But you and I both felt six weeks ago that the Pirates were going to make the playoffs. So did the Pirates as they announced the sale of playoff tickets.
Your post (http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-the-dismal-tide.html) on 9/17 was perhaps more negative regarding the overall state of the club.
But what is the problem? Why is this team only a .500 team? You’ve wondered about players who struggle in Pittsburgh suddenly blossoming elsewhere (http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-why-do-bad-pirates-hitters-become-all-stars-elsewhere.html) and noted that it was an important issue for the team to talk about. You posted about how Barmes and Barajas really aren’t hurting the club as bad as many would expect (http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html). The Pirates inability to cut down on stolen bases was rejected as a core issue in this post (http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-stolen-bases-are-a-problem-but-not-the-big-problem.html).
You’ve lobbied (ineffectively unfortunately!) for more playing time for McKenry. Other than that, what would you have done differently this year? Is there anything Huntintons or Hurdle couldve changed in terms of personnel? You’ve noted a couple of times that Hurdle has mismanaged games. But are there bigger picture issues you would’ve addressed?

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By: leanroastbeef http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20411 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:28:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20411 Tim – great post as always. I look forward every day to readng this and reading the daily history from John. I noticed the ‘tab’ up on top for the blog section is gone. Is there some other way to access that information on the site? Has it moved to the main page and I’m somehow missing it?

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By: duckwoes http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-pitching-has-been-the-problem.html#comment-20410 Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:20:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=42184#comment-20410 I love PNC Park and I am certain it is one of the best ballparks in the land but part of me wishes it had never been built and the team would have re-located after the 1995 season. This would have been a most painful event and hindsight is 20/20 but I feel it would have saved me a great deal of anguish and emotional capital. I sometimes feel like I am rooting for the Washington Generals vs the Harlem Globetrotters. An exercise in futility!!!

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