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Thread: Almost Mid-season Assessment

      
  1. #1
    buccoman's Avatar
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    Default Almost Mid-season Assessment

    It's still baffling to think of how improved the team is, and especially the starting pitching . Karstens gives up 2 in seven innings tonight, and it's ho hum,; we expect that. Baffling, because the FO actually DFA'd this guy. Doesn't it make you wonder how much luck is involved in assembling a successful ML baseball team?

    The other bit of luck, or call it what you want, is that with the exception of Ohlendorf, the starting rotation has remained in-tact all season so far, and when Lincoln starts on Saturday it'll be the first guy outside of the 5 to start a game all year. How many starters did the Pirates use by mid-season last year? This year only 7 guys will have made a start at mid-season. Amazing.

    And why is the defense so much better? Basically the same guys? What changed?

    The offense is actually worse, isn't it? But they battle, and hang in games because of the starting pitching.

    Is everything at mid-season really just about Hurdle? That's really the only thing that's changed , isn't it? I am baffled.....

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    Default Re: Almost Mid-season Assessment

    I am enjoying it so far. Two games out right now. Who would have thought. I just wish I was able to watch more of the games.

    Luck plays a big part too...

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    jnn123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Almost Mid-season Assessment

    Do we not have the "Quote selected text" button anymore on this board? That makes this a lot more work.

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    It's still baffling to think of how improved the team is, and especially the starting pitching . Karstens gives up 2 in seven innings tonight, and it's ho hum,; we expect that. Baffling, because the FO actually DFA'd this guy. Doesn't it make you wonder how much luck is involved in assembling a successful ML baseball team?
    Honestly I'm confused by Karstens. People point to all kinds of different things, but I watch him pitch and he looks exactly the same. Velocity's the same, pitch mix is the same, strikeouts are the same, walks are the same, homers are the same. It's really just fewer balls finding holes and the HRs (and he gives up a TON of them) have come almost exclusively with no one on. Has he made some change I'm missing? Is it the defense? Is he just lucky? The .246 BABIP coming into tonight says he's definitely been fortunate.

    The other bit of luck, or call it what you want, is that with the exception of Ohlendorf, the starting rotation has remained in-tact all season so far, and when Lincoln starts on Saturday it'll be the first guy outside of the 5 to start a game all year. How many starters did the Pirates use by mid-season last year? This year only 7 guys will have made a start at mid-season. Amazing.
    Starters through the first 81 last year: Duke, Maholm, Morton, McCutchen, Karstens, Ohlendorf, Jakubauskas, Burres, Eveland, Lincoln. I think that's 10. This year's number will be 6, as the game Lincoln starts will be either 82 or 83.

    And why is the defense so much better? Basically the same guys? What changed?
    The biggest improvement has come from Andrew McCutchen and Ronny Cedeno. Both guys had all the tools, but nothing even close to matching performance. Cedeno was extremely inconsistent and McCutchen just seemed kind of lost at times. A lot of bad jumps and wrong routes that I noticed last year. I really haven't seen any of it from either of them this year, aside from a couple of the really early games from Cedeno. Cutch looks like a monster defender this season, and Cedeno has been extremely steady. Those are the two most important positions (aside from catcher), so major improvements there are all you really need.

    Another thing that you can't underrate is the small upgrades everywhere. Tabata playing the whole season instead of Milledge, Aki not being here for the first few months, no Delwyn Youngs on the team, a more experienced Walker (though he hasn't really been particularly strong), and not as much Doumit behind the plate. All of that adds up and can make a big difference.

    The offense is actually worse, isn't it? But they battle, and hang in games because of the starting pitching.
    They're at 3.8 runs per game so far this season. Not good, but it's up from 3.62 last year. That translates to roughly 30 runs over a full season. That would have taken them from 29th to 26th last season. A modest improvement I guess.

    Is everything at mid-season really just about Hurdle? That's really the only thing that's changed , isn't it? I am baffled.....
    I think it's all starting pitching and defense really. I don't know how much credit you give the manager or other coaches or just the players. Hard to divide that really. I think Searage definitely deserves his share of the credit. The areas that they hoped Hurdle would help was with the sort of motivational aspects and with the offense. He definitely hasn't done anything notable for the offense. The motivational/mental contribution is really difficult to quantify.

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    Default Re: Almost Mid-season Assessment

    Not having Kerrrigan is also pretty huge, IMO.

    I believe that Kerrigan had the pitchers over-thinking everything and always messing with their mechanics.

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    Default Re: Almost Mid-season Assessment

    Even USA Today has an article on the Bucs. We're starting to get noticed....in a good way.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...-winning_n.htm

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Almost Mid-season Assessment

    I'm in neutral with my feet up and a smile on my face. If I start to think about 2 over .500 and 2 out one week from the all-star game I'll become analytical. If I become analytical I'll probably revert to suicidal. Been there for 18 years. Didn't like it.

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