Let’s have a brief chat about how bad the Pirates offense has been

I have something to show you. You’re probably going to want to cover up the computer screen or make the browser smaller, so that nobody sees you looking at this at work. It’s bad. Real bad. The kind of thing kids shouldn’t be allowed to look at on the internet. It’s the Pirates’ offense through six games. 

Rk Pos G PA AB H ▾ 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG TB
1 CF Andrew McCutchen 6 25 22 9 2 0 0 2 3 .409 .480 .500 11
2 LF Alex Presley* 6 23 22 7 0 0 0 0 4 .318 .318 .318 7
3 CI Casey McGehee 4 13 13 5 2 1 0 0 1 .385 .385 .692 9
4 RF Jose Tabata 5 22 21 4 0 0 0 0 3 .190 .227 .190 4
5 1B Garrett Jones* 5 11 11 2 1 0 0 0 2 .182 .182 .273 3
6 SS Clint Barmes 6 21 19 2 0 0 1 0 7 .105 .150 .263 5
7 C Michael McKenry 3 7 6 2 0 0 1 1 2 .333 .429 .833 5
8 C Rod Barajas 5 14 14 1 1 0 0 0 4 .071 .071 .143 2
9 2B Neil Walker# 6 19 18 1 0 0 0 1 2 .056 .105 .056 1
10 3B Pedro Alvarez* 4 13 13 1 0 0 1 0 7 .077 .077 .308 4
11 1B Matt Hague 4 8 8 1 0 0 0 0 2 .125 .125 .125 1
12 RF Nate McLouth* 5 7 6 1 0 0 0 1 2 .167 .286 .167 1
13 IF Josh Harrison 3 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .400 .500 2
14 P Kevin Correia 1 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1
15 LF Yamaico Navarro 4 6 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .000 .333 .000 0
16 P Erik Bedard* 2 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 0
17 P Jeff Karstens 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 0
18 P James McDonald* 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 0
19 P Joel Hanrahan 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
20 P Juan Cruz 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21 P Tony Watson* 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
22 P Evan Meek 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23 P Chris Resop 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 P Jared Hughes 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 P Jason Grilli 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 6 205 191 38 7 1 3 7 47 .199 .241 .293 56
Rank in 16 NL teams 15 16 13 10 14 16 10 15 16 15 16

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/13/2012.

This is so bad. Andrew McCutchen and Alex Presley have almost half of the club’s hits, and if you throw part-timer Casey McGehee in, three players do have more than half of the team’s hits. There’s almost no power to speak of, there’s almost no plate patience to speak of, and there are strikeouts everywhere. 

There is good news, though. It’s impossible to imagine a big league team hitting this badly over the course of 162 games. The Pirates are on pace for 297 runs this year in an era where less than 600 runs is terrible. Their OPS+ of 56 through this point in the year is the equivalent of a whole team hitting the way Pedro Alvarez hit in 2011. It’s not possible for a whole team to hit this badly for a long stretch of time. 

The bad news is that I’m not sure it’s time for an uptick quite yet. The Bucs will face Matt Cain at the Giants’ home opener this afternoon and even though Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong aren’t exactly difficult draws, AT&T Park isn’t the most hitter-friendly place in the world. Maybe a trip to Arizona will turn things around or maybe a return home against the Cardinals’ mostly lackluster pitching staff will do it. I won’t promise that they’ll get a lot better because there are obviously some huge flaws in this team’s ability to hit baseballs, but it can’t be this bad indefinitely. Things will definitely start looking up sooner or later. Hopefully the pitching will be as good then as it has been through these first six games.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.

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