Hurdle's Questionable Decisions in Game 5

by Dunio | Oct 10, 2013 - 2:09 AM
One key difference in the Pirates success this season was manager Clint Hurdle's willingness to implement sabermetrics into his game strategy. For instance, for most of the second half of the season, Neil Walker didn't start often against left handed pitchers because statistics showed Walker struggled mightily when he batted right handed against them. Even defensively, the Pirates improved drastically by implementing alignment shifts based on opposing players tendencies to hit to specific areas of the field.

In the NLDS, however, Hurdle failed to adjust the lineup at all despite statistics that supported change. For instance, Starling Marte and Neil Walker were a combined 1-38 for the NLDS and posted a batting average of .026 at the top of the Pirates lineup. Neil Walker failed to collect a single hit in the series.

Reserve outfielder Jose Tabata had a career .375 batting average against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright coming into the series. Albeit a small sample size, utility infielder Jordy Mercer was 2-3 with a HR (and added another pinch hit in game 5) in his career vs Wainwright. Despite the success, neither player was given an opportunity to ignite the Pirates punchless offense.

Pedro Alvarez was the Pirates best hitter in the post season. He batted .300 with 3 HR and 6 RBI with a slugging % of .800. Alvarez was slated in the 6th spot of the lineup as Justin Morneau remained a fixture in the cleanup role, even though he failed to produce an RBI in 6 post season games. Morneau technically didn't deserve to be rooted in the 4th spot as he only produced 3 RBI in 25 regular season games with the Pirates.

Furthermore, Hurdle announced before game 5 that Pirates ace Francisco Liriano was available to be used in a relief role. Hurdle pulled Gerrit Cole after throwing 5 innings (75 pitches) and allowing 2 runs. Rather than inserting his best pitcher (Liriano) in the winner-take-all game, he threw a blend of 5 relievers who gave up 4 runs and put the game out of reach.

It was a great season and the Pirates rekindled their relationship with the fan base, but the team will need better in-game managerial decisions to advance further in the coming seasons. Hats off to a fun season, but it feels like they could still be playing into mid October.
    17 Replies | 1,777 Views

NLDS Game 5 Preview

by Gretch326 | Oct 08, 2013 - 3:15 PM
Game Five. Do or die.

The Pirateís rookie Gerrit Cole will take on the Cardinalís Adam Wainwright. Wainwright pitched Game One of the NLDS against AJ Burnett and won 9-1. Gerrit Cole pitched Game Two of the NLDS and led the Pirates to a 7-1 victory. Wednesdayís game pits the future Pirates ace against the Cardinals ace, in what should be the best pitching matchup this series. The NLDS winner will go on to face the Dodgers.

Eliminate the Cardinals or be eliminated #DeckTheCards

Wainwright vs. Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates Career statistics vs. Adam Wainwright
Pedro Alvarez-L 19 4 1 0 1 6 2 7 0.211 0.286 0.421 0.707
Clint Barmes-R
... [Read More]
    4 Replies | 788 Views

NLDS Game 4: Cardinals at Pirates

by Gretch326 | Oct 07, 2013 - 10:52 AM
Today the Pirates have the chance to clinch the NLDS against the Cardinals. On the mound itís a battle of righties: Charlie Morton against rookie Michael Wacha. Does #GroundChuck #ElectricStuff have what it takes to clinch, or will the rookie prevail? Lets break it down.

Ground Chuck vs. Rookie

St. Louis Cardinals Career statistics vs. Charlie Morton
Matt Adams-L 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Carlos Beltran-S 15 6 1 0 0 4 5
... [Read More]
    4 Replies | 1,095 Views

Reds vs Pirates: WC Game Preview

by Gretch326 | Sep 30, 2013 - 12:27 PM
Itís the first playoff baseball game EVER at PNC Park. The first playoff game since 1992. The Pirates are calling for a blackout at PNC Park. After their 2 wins against Cincinnati this weekend and clinching a home playoff game, ticket prices tripled overnight. The postseason logo was painted on the field at the ball park. The city of Pittsburgh has Bucco Fever.
Tuesday at 8:07pm Johnny Cueto and the Reds will come to town to face Francisco Liriano and our Pirates. Itís a pitching battle of Dominican vs Dominican.
Johnny Cueto >>
Date>> IP>
... [Read More]
    7 Replies | 1,823 Views

The Steelers Are Just That Bad

by BnGBlitz | Sep 30, 2013 - 8:44 AM
If you are like me and never miss a snap of Steelers football, then you know. The only way you DON'T know is if you are somehow blind to the fact that the product being put on the field that resembles the Pittsburgh Steelers is (to put it mildly) bad. Not just "Oh well, we will get them next week bad...", I'm talking "How in the world are we even going to win 4 games this season?!" bad. Yeah...the Steelers are that bad this year. Is it a shocker? To me, yes it is, but not a complete blindside hit. I predicted big things for this team...after all, they have a top tier QB, a solid defense, and some youth being infused into a lineup that has big game experience. That typically lends itself to at least SOME success. However, when the QB can barely count to 2 before nearly having his head taken off, the defense lacks any playmaking ability, and the youth that is infused just isn't enough to turn the tide...what does that give you? An 0-4 record...thats what.

The Steelers are a team that prides itself on a few things, and one of those things is defense. Lets be honest, even though the Steelers have had mediocre offenses in the past, the calling card of the black n' gold has always been the defense. Huge timely plays, not letting the opposing runners even breath, and a relentless pressure on the QB that forced turnovers. Boy, those were the days weren't they? Now we have the pleasure of watching a defense that not only gives up valuable yards on the ground up the gut, gives up valuable yards in the passing game, but hasn't created ONE turnover in the first 4 games of the season. Not ONE! The defense can't even put pressure on the QB and don't think for a second that the inability to get "home" isn't playing a huge role in the failures the defense is experiencing. When your best defender, Troy Polamalu, is playing the line of scrimmage on nearly every down, a team would be silly not to take advantage of that down the middle of the field. The defense simply isn't doing their job to help the Steelers win games.

Now, thats not to say... [Read More]
    5 Replies | 2,214 Views

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