Monday, April 11, 2011

Off-day Post: 5 Early Season Trends

We're through 3 series and 10 games of the 2011 season, and some trends are becoming apparent with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Whether these trends will continue is anyone's guess, but let's take a look at what has happened so far (good and bad). Yes, I realize the sample size is very small.

  1. The Pirates are good on the road and bad at home.

    We saw this trend in Spring Training where the Pirates were 5-11 at home and were (slightly) better on the road at 7-10 and it appears to be continuing in the Regular Season. So far the Pirates are 4-2 on the road and 1-3 at home. This is the exact opposite of last year where the Pirates were nearly .500 at home (40-41) but only won 17 games on the road.
  2. The Pirates strike out a lot.

    This has been going on for a while, but it has been really apparent this year and it's not just the usual suspects. Currently, the Pirates lead the majors with 78 strikeouts, 6 more than next team, the Brewers. On the team, Neil Walker leads the way with 15, while closely behind him is Pedro with 14. Ryan Doumit is next with 8, followed by Lyle Overbay and Garrett Jones--who had the most last year--with 7. Needless to say, this situation must be rectified quickly.
  3. The Pirates' pitchers walk a lot of batters.

    The Pirates currently lead the league in BBs allowed with 46, 8 more than the Angels and Mets. They are currently 22nd in the league with a WHIP of 1.40. This has only burned the Pirates in a few games so far, but it's only a matter of time unless this gets under control.
  4. The Pirates are drawing a lot of walks.

    This is a pleasant surprise as the Pirates are currently tied for 5th in BBs drawn with 34, 10 less than league-leading Washington. This is great, because more baserunners is always good, and also because it feels like more of these walks are coming from the leadoff batter in the inning, which in turn generates more runs. Jose Tabata is a big reason for this, as he leads the team in BBs with 7. Which leads to the next trend--
  5. Jose Tabata is playing like an All-Star.

    Jose really started to come on late in the season last year, and it has carried over to this year. He currently leads the team in many different stats including batting average, OBP, Slugging %, hits, walks, homers (tied), and total bases (tied). He is the only player on the team with an OPS of 1 or more. Of the rest of the young core, Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen are performing well, while Pedro Alvarez is in a slump.
So there you have it. It remains to be seen whether these trends will continue in the future. 

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