Pirates Offensive Woes in May Continue With Loss to Detroit

Much of what lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates originally getting out to a division lead and twelve games above .500 involved a disciplined approach at the plate. Their hitters didn’t strike out a lot, while also walking a bunch.

In the month of May, it’s been quite the opposite. Detroit Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen came into the day with 19 K’s across 28 IP. He had a total of four strikeouts while throwing 14 IP in his last two starts combined. Against the Pirates on Tuesday night, Lorenzen threw six shutout innings, allowing five hits, two walks, and he struck out seven batters.

The Pirates starting rotation was handling opposing offenses for a while. Lately, anyone not named Mitch Keller has been struggling considerably, especially with striking out batters. Luis Ortiz left fans with big expectations after his abbreviated debut in 2022.

Since being called upon this season, he has struggled to mimic what initially grabbed fans attention. His slider and changeup have been missing bats, but he has leaned on a four-seam fastball that doesn’t.

After striking out only one batter in his 2023 season debut over five innings, he managed to strike out three Tigers’ hitters in three innings tonight. Unfortunately, that also came with seven hits, four walks, and four runs, with three of those being earned. His own error on a pick-off caused the unearned run.

One bright spot was the Pirates bullpen. Yohan Ramirez relieved Ortiz in the fourth inning after the first two batters reached. Ramirez ended up throwing 2.1 innings, allowing two hits, while striking out four batters. Duane Underwood Jr. covered the final 2.2 innings without allowing a run, giving up only a hit and one walk.

The offensive side of things included only five hits, including a double by Carlos Santana. They walked two times, versus 11 strikeouts.

The short two-game series concludes with the Pirates facing thriving lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. Maybe veteran Rich Hill can play stopper for a day in the Wednesday matinee. The Pirates then have off on Thursday.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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Super bummed to see Ortiz take a step back.

Has anyone figured out if they’re actually making him throw a sinker now?


Interesting, would certainly explain a lot about his “4seam” fastball movement lol


It was painful watching him struggle like that. He’s lost quite of bit of sizzle on his heater.


I know that joe and castro are both supposed to be lefty mashers and joe especially was probably overplayed for a bit, but if its guys like palacios getting time then I would rather give those guys some RH opportunities


Tucupita Marcano will reach 172 Days in MLB today, thereby earning his first year of MLB Service. Jack Suwinski is 5 days away from reaching 172 days, Oneil Cruz is 14 days away, and Rodolfo Castro reached 172 earlier in May.


Let’s get Mitchell up in place of Palacios now


Is it just me – BC signed Owings, Mathias, and Palacios, and suddenly the Pirates “rebuild” in April turned out to be the remake of the previous 3 seasons of AAAA duds sprinkled through the lineup. I do not think that Shelton actually makes the lineup – I think his job is to write in the names that BC provides. IMO, one of the reasons BC jumped quickly to extend Shelton before reality hit.


or Joe


Might as well give him a run as the next hot hand

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