It’s no secret that it has been a rough start offensively for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
To say that the Bucs are a bad offensive ball club right now would be insulting to bad offensive teams throughout the history of the game. In fact only one team since 1900 has gotten off to such a slow starts with the bats.
That puts the Pirates in some rare company for futility.
The Pirates have managed to collect only 42 hits (4.6 per game) through their first nine games of the season so far. That amounts to the second worst start to a season since 1900. Only the 2003 Detroit Tigers have gotten off to a worse start, as that team managed to collect only 38 hits through nine games.
That Tigers team managed to lose 119 games, so let’s hope that these Pirates aren’t headed down that path.
The Bucs return home for 10 games beginning Friday night, and the hits may be equally as tough to get as they face upcoming three-game series’ against the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals before beginning a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves.
That 2003 Tigers team got eight hits against the Chicago White Sox in their 10th game of the season, which means the Bucs will have to get more than four hits Friday night against Reds’ starter Mike Leake to avoid matching their mark for futility.
You would think that wouldn’t be too tough as the current Pirates are a combined 45-for-158 (.285) against Leake in his career. Only Travis Snider (0-for-2) hasn’t had a hit off of Leake and the likes of Josh Harrison, Michael McKenry, Neil Walker, Gaby Sanchez, Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones have all homered off of him in the past.
Hopefully Leake is just what the doctor ordered to heat the Pirates bats up.