Pittsburgh Pirates: Approach Must Change For Pirates Young Hitters


To say it’s been a tough go of things to start the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates offense would be the understatement of the century.

Sure the opposition’s starting pitching that they’ve had to face through seven games has been outstanding, but the results must be better.

After being one-hit by the San Francisco Giants yesterday, the Bucs fourth consecutive defeat, the Pirates are hitting a paltry .178 as a team, have scored only 11 runs on the season and have only 11 of their 39 total hits have gone for extra bases.

In addition, the Bucs hitters have struck out 58 times already and have found a way to waste some very good starting pitching in the process.

However none of that is their biggest problem.

The biggest concern right now is the approach at the plate for pretty much the entire team. That’s evident by the fact that the Bucs have managed to draw only two walks in the past four games and have earned a major-league low seven free passes on the season.

When you’re struggling as an offense and have a hard time putting three or four hits together in an inning, you have to find other ways to score runs.

The base on balls is a weapon, but the Bucs aren’t using it.

Quite simply they need more base runners. They need to make pitchers work harder. They need to battle more with the bat in their hands.

Seeing more pitches is the key.

If the approach changes and the Bucs start to make pitchers work more, things should turn around. Drawing walks mean batters are hitting with runners on base and that could lead to finally scoring some runs.

Not only that, with the quality of starting pitching the Bucs have to see in April, you want to make these guys throw a ton of pitches. Elevated pitch counts means getting to the bullpen earlier and more often.

It really doesn’t matter what nine names Pirates manager Clint Hurdle writes on the lineup card on a daily basis, if the approach at the plate doesn’t change, the offense is going to continue to have its struggles.

Heading into tonight against the Giants Barry Zito, it would be nice for the Pirates hitters to hear two simple words four or five times on the evening.

Ball Four.

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