PITTSBURGH — In two games against the Cincinnati Reds, the Pirates have gone 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position and have left 19 men on base. Wednesday, they lost their second straight game, 6-2 and again, as they had the night before, had several opportunities to push thought against the Reds’ pitching, but were unable to.

The trend is a disturbing one for a couple of reasons. Even though it’s very early in the 2017 season, it was something the Pirates struggled with all the way through 2016, as well. They finished that year one of the worst teams in the league as far as leaving men on base. Statistical theory dictates that hitting with runners in scoring position is largely a factor of having a good offense, not the other way around.

But with this trend now going beyond one ...

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