Buccos are .500, time to get over it.

| May 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

And by get over it, I mean by getting to 1 game over .500. By winning tonight against the Dodgers.

I know what a big deal .500 is to this franchise and its fans. But it is May 9.  Sure, it beats the heck out of many previous years’ records on May 8, but we shouldn’t be too excited about being .500 this early in the year.  Heck, I think the best thing about being .500 is that you’re 5 wins away from being 5 games over .500.  And 10 from being 10 games over.  And so on.  .500 isn’t going to get you in the playoffs.  It doesn’t really keep you in the playoff race even.  But it means you are within reach of being in the race.

But the thing I find most interesting about this team being .500 right now is that I would have thought that being .500 would mean we are having a lot of good years out of our guys.  But offensively, almost every single player is performing below expectations.  The starting pitching, of course, has been outstanding.  Charlie Morton looks like he has All Star written on him, if not Cy Young worthy stuff right now.  James McDonald is really picking it up lately, Kevin Correia has been as solid of a rock as you can have leading the rotation.  And Paul Maholm has been better than his record indicates.

But Evan Meek has been a non-factor this year before getting hurt.

Pedro Alvarez is hitting .212 on the season and has exactly one more home run this year than I do.

Jose Tabata has a .184 batting average in the last 30 days.

Our cleanup hitter has 4 home runs on the season.

Andrew McCutchen is hitting .228 on the season, and only .219 for the last month.

Our starting shortstop is hitting .211 on the season with no HR’s and no SB’s.

Our big offensive free agent acquisition this year, Lyle Overbay, is hitting .228 with as many home runs (2) as game costing errors at first base.

Yet this team, somehow, is .500 today.

So I’m going to look at this .500 mark as a low point.  Because our pitching is what it is, and that is pretty good this year.  Once Ross Ohlendorf gets healthy, or someone else steps up, we have a pretty good 1 thru 5 – no offense intended for one of my favorite Pirates, Jeff Karstens, who is just plain tough and will battle with the best of them.

But once this team starts to hit – and it has to hit, right? – then we’re going to be a whole lot better than we’ve been so far.  And “so far” is .500 baseball.

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Joe Rozsa is an e-commerce strategist and a lifelong Pittsburgh Pirates fan, is married and has two daughters. He schedules work travel around Pirates road trips, so he gets to take in many Pirates games from many different places. Joe launched this site as a way to turn his passion for the Pirates into something hopefully useful and entertaining to fellow PIrates fans. Go Buccos!

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