Pittsburgh Pirates first half grades for pitching staff

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One reason that the Pittsburgh Pirates sit with a major league best 53-32 record has been the performance of their pitching staff.

Despite injuries and only one man still standing (Jeff Locke) from the five starters who opened up the season, the starting staff has been nothing short of sensational. They haven’t had a tendency to pitch deep into games, but they have been able to carry an offense that has underperformed for most of the season.

Jul 4, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at PNC Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

But while the Bucs’ starters have only thrown 459 innings (28th fewest total in MLB), that has been by design as the Pirates have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball.

The Pirates rank first in all of baseball with a 3.16 team ERA, which has been helped significantly by a pen that has comprised a 2.92 ERA on the season.

In addition to that, the Bucs rank first in the majors with a .228 batting average against, shutouts (12) and saves (33).

Perhaps the most impressive part of how well the Pirates have performed as a staff could be the fact that they have done so by using 23 different pitchers through just 85 games.

With that being said, let’s take a look at how each Pirates pitcher has graded out throughout the first half of the season.

Note: Stats are through game played July 5 vs. Cubs

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