Thursday, May 27, 2010
New and Notes From last night's loss
Time to take a break from looking at each position to bitch a little bit. Why are the Reds better than the Pirates? It's not because of talent. It could be because of coaching, but quite frankly, it's because the Reds do the little things necessary to win ball games while the Pirates continue to fail at them. It's called good fundamental baseball and the Pirates never seem to play it.
What have the Reds done that the Pirates haven't? They catch the ball, they throw strikes, they hit behind the runner when called for, they can lay down bunts, they control the running game, they throw to the right base- Should I continue?
Is Bronson Arroyo that good that the Pirates have scored one run off him in the last 14 2/3 innings? Of course not, but he pounds the strike zone and hits his spots. Pirates starters aren't getting ahead of batters on a consistent basis and miss location more times than not.
The Pirates defense has also cost them more than one game this season. The Pirates have also made mistakes both on the base paths and controlling the running game. These mistakes have also cost the team on more than one occasion. The outfielders always throw home, even when there is no play, allowing runners to advance; also costing the team more than once.
All of this and that isn't even what upsets me the most. Why do the others teams pitchers have so much success swinging the bat against us. I have added up all the numbers and the pitcher is hitting .250 against us. The Pirates have seven offensive players hitting under .250. They also have Andy Laroche at .256 and Lastings Milledge at .258. So nine of their 13 bats are hitting under .260 and the opposing pitchers are hitting .250 against us.
On the other side of that, Pirates pitchers a a combined 4 for 80 on the season. If your scoring at home, they are hitting .050 as a unit. Brian Burres has two of the four hits, so the rest of the staff has two freaking hits all season. That's a big problem. I'm not asking for them to win batting titles, but they have to be able to handle the bat.
Also, what Pirates pitcher can lay down a successful sacrifice bunt? Most of the time the other teams pitcher bunts, he either gets the job done or somehow winds up on base with a bunt hit. When a Pirates squares to bunt, it's likely a double play or they lead runner is thrown out. This is not acceptable.
Who's to blame? John Russell? Hitting coach Don Long? You would think Russell has these guys working on things, but maybe they don't. As far as long goes, his guys just don't hit. maybe it's time for an experienced hitting coach that can get through to these guys. When the opposing pitchers are hitting better than nine of your offensive guys, there is a huge problem.
Add all of the little things together. If the Pirates would just do the little things right on a consistent basis, they would likely be over the .500 mark at the moment. Good teams do the little things necessary to win ball games. i don't know why this message isn't hammered into these guys on a daily basis.