The Pittsburgh Pirates were finally mathematically eliminated from the postseason on Saturday, and its clear pitching is the main culprit behind the terrible season.
Though nobody who watches baseball expected to see the Pittsburgh Pirates in the postseason, the team was mathematically eliminated on Saturday, and as has been the case all season, pitching is to blame. James Marvel only lasted four innings but still managed to give up seven runs on nine hits in a nightmare display of pitching. The bullpen wasn’t any better with four separate pitchers entering the game after Marvel and each looking completely overwhelmed. Even for a team that has been as bad as the Pirates, this was a shocking display of ineptitude.
In the last two games against the Cubs, the Pirates have given up a whopping 31 runs. Yes, Chicago has a talented lineup with elite hitting talent throughout the order but at some point, the Pirates have to start giving up less than double-digit runs if they ever want a chance to beat a team of Chicago’s caliber. To understand how inept the pitchers have been lately, take this quote from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
"Those five allowed four home runs, bringing the Cubs’ two-day total to nine. Over the past two games, Pirates pitchers have been charged with 31 earned runs — or as many as the first-place Cardinals have allowed in all of September (before Saturday)."
This is not to say that the Pirates have no talent. Bryan Reynolds has been a nice surprise, while Kevin Newman has proven himself as a huge part of the team’s future. Even among the pitchers, Joe Musgrove has shown he should be considered a cornerstone moving forward. The problem, however, is that outside of a few guys here and there, the roster just lacks top-end talent. Throw Clint Hurdle’s poor managing of the club and it’s easy to see why the Pirates have had such a disastrous season.
When the season began, the Pirates were viewed as a team that had the potential to make some noise. Obviously, that has not worked out, and pitching is the main reason behind the team’s constant losing. Let’s just hope the offseason brings some major reinforcements.