First Pitch: There Is No Escape

I was watching the game tonight around the seventh inning, thinking about how Kevin Correia was dealing on the mound. I’ve been critical of Correia this year, but the last two months he’s been the least of the problems for the Pirates. In fact, he’s been their best starter during that time.

Correia struck out a lot of batters tonight, which reminded me that he’s had a few games in the second half with good strikeout totals. One of the things I liked about Correia in San Diego was that he put up decent strikeout rates. His ratios with the Pirates have made him the right-handed version of Zach Duke. I went to Baseball-Reference to check on those strikeout numbers and see if he was showing some improvement. He did have a few big strikeout games spread out throughout the schedule, but nothing significant to show a change from his overall numbers. Also, considering his two big strikeout games recently came against the Astros and Cubs, they have to be taken with a grain of salt. You know, because teams are supposed to dominate the Astros and Cubs, which the Pirates haven’t seemed to understand this month.

While looking up the numbers, Clint Barmes booted a grounder and Correia followed that with a three run homer. If there’s anything we can say about this team in August and September, it’s that when the other team is ahead, the game is pretty much over. This doesn’t look like the same team that battled back in any situation during the early parts of the summer. So that was it for me. MLB.tv and the constant annoying Bob’s Discount Furniture commercials were off for the night. I was taking a break from the Pirates, if only for a few hours until I had to write again.

The first thing I did was search for a review of the latest episode of “Louie”. I don’t know why, but after I finish watching a show, I always look for recaps to see what other people thought of the show. In this case, I clicked the first recap I saw of Thursday’s episode, and there in the first paragraph it greeted me:

When I’m asked what FX’s Louie is about, my response usually goes something along these lines: “It’s about this middle-aged comedian who gets in awkward situations and generally comes out on the wrong end of his misadventures.” As those of you who watch the show know, Louie is a well-intentioned, tough-luck kind of guy who keeps digging through the shovelfuls of crap that are heaped upon him. He’s got a winning percentage roughly in the same neighborhood as the Pittsburgh Pirates (pre-Andrew McCutcheon).

There is no escape from this team. You can’t even read a recap of your favorite show without hearing about how bad they are, and hearing about a player who doesn’t exist (but if he did, would hopefully be as good as Andrew McCutchen). That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Tomorrow I’ll dig in to some unanswered question, such as why the Pirates constantly get shut down by 4-A pitchers, or what they can do to fix their inconsistent offense.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost to the Astros 4-1.

**Pirates Notebook: Correia Racking Up the Strikeouts; McPherson Remains in Rotation.

**From Last Night: The Day Huntington and Stark Lost Their Jobs?

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

    Tim, I will write your article for you. Why do the Pirates consistenly get shut down by 4A pitchers? A: They stink. How can they fix their inconsistent to non-existent offense? For one, maybe they could take a quality over quantity approach to free-agency for a change. I know they will never be in the market for a Pujols, but they should have been able to get a good professional hitter with an adequate glove for what Barmes and Barajas cost. They could also at least attempt to not bat guys in the 7-8 spots that have a lower average than the pitcher or if that is what is happening, maybe give another player a legitimate shot at earning the position. Other than that and some of these young guys starting to produce consistently and maturing I’m at a loss. One thing is for sure at least, with monumental collapses like the Pirates go through, there isn’t a lack of bad things to write about lol.

    • salempirate

      Must say I agree with your thoughts on free agency. The Pirates need to make better use of their money. My hope is that NH’s contract is not renewed and he takes all of his flunkies with him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Pearce/100001552434410 William Pearce

      Some try to put a good spin on this team.. After drafting high for 20 years we get this??? After building a new stadium we get this.. They have quit.. lost as to what they are doing… 26 STOOGES… SAD

  • http://twitter.com/jlease717 John Lease

    Good thing Barmes was in there to make sure the game went south. I hope that Karstens starts over Locke for the rest of the season. 74-77, they still haven’t won as many games as 75 yet since Lloyd.

    • salempirate

      I’m certain that even as bad as the Pirates currently are that reaching 75 wins is attainable. Gotta remember that they’re saying they’re just a hot streak away. They may even notch back-to-back wins down the stretch.

      • http://twitter.com/jlease717 John Lease

        They made it! Now, if they can win ONE more, it’ll be a new high this century. Next roadmap is 1999(the previous most epic collapsing September). That team won 78. A winning season will require a 7-3 record in their final 10. Managed to win one against a 100 loss team, awesome job. Both Barmes and Barajas had 2 hit each, so there you go.