Monday, July 11, 2011

Pirates Week in Review: July 4-July 10

This is going to be a hopefully new weekly post that I thought would be a nice addition to the site. This is going to be a Pirates weekly review where I go over the results for the past seven days and link up the box scores and the recap for each of the games. I also use the lovely FanGraphs and Baseball Reference to give you the box scores and the weekly stats for the team. I will try to have this up either late Sunday night or early Monday mornings, but you know how these things go.

Here is the Bucs weekly recap for this past week:

The Pirates had another winning week with a 4-2 week against two of the worst teams in the National League. They missed a chance to sweep the Astros on Wedneday before an off day and then took two games from the Cubs, losing the middle game of the series.

Monday, July 4 - Pittsburgh 5, Houston 3
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Tuesday, July 5 - Pittsburgh 5, Houston 1
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Wednesday, July 6 - Houston 8, Pittsburgh 2
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Friday, July 8 - Pittsburgh 7, Chicago 4
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Saturday, July 9 - Chicago 6, Pittsburgh 3
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Sunday, July 10 - Pittsburgh 9, Chicago 1
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Here are the hitting statistics for the week for the Pirates:

Alex Presley continued his torrid pace since coming up for the Pirates the week before. He gathered a team-high 10 hits and hit a ridiculous .435 from the lead off spot in the order. I think it is safe to say that when Jose Tabata comes back from being on the DL that Presely will find himself a spot in right field full time. Neil Walker put up nearly the exact same stats as Presley, which caught me off guard. While Neil had a couple of multi hit games it just didn't seem like he has the production of Presley, but he did. What helped Walker out more than anything from Neil is that he only struck out 4.3% of his at bats during the week, something he has struggled with during parts of the year. Both Presley and Walker had wRC+ of over 200, which is great, although it is a small sample size. Andrew McCutchen didn't have a great week only hitting .222, but his slugging percentage of .611 was through the roof despite only six hits in the week. As bad of a week it seemed to have been for Lyle Overbay he hit .364 and collected the third most hits of the week on the team. Chase d'Arnaud did not have a great week either, hitting .200 in 26 at bats, not drawing a single walk from the two spot.

Now for the pitchers:

Paul Maholm was nothing less than outstanding in his two starts this week. He pitched a team-high 13.2 innings and picked up two wins while holding an ERA at 1.32. Maholm walked under two men per nine innings which was a huge help although his low BABIP number should normalize (hasn't yet this season) to bring him more to earth on his numbers. Kevin Correia had a tough week with a 12.27 ERA in his only start. He only lasted 3.2 innings against the Cubs and more half the balls in play found a hole. Jeff Karstens didn't walk a batter in his start and gave up only one run and James McDonald struggled again with 3.18 BB/9 in only 5.2 innings or work in a no decision.

Here are the hitting stats for the teams in baseball:

The Pirates actually had a really nice offensive week. They scored 31 runs in six games and finished third in the league with a .306 batting average. The Pirates were also had a bunch of extra base hits which contributed to the fourth highest wOBA (.360) during the week. As successful as the Pirates were they did not draw many walks, which in my opinion they had been much better this year, and only walked in 7.3% of their at bats (middle of the league). All told the Pirates earned a 2.0 combined offensive WAR for the week which was good for fourth best, so you can't really complain about the offense.

Now the pitchers:

The Bucs staff finished ninth in terms of ERA, although their xFIP of 2.89 would indicate the the Pirates were given a little bit of bad luck on the mound, something that we should probably begin to see more. What might have been the most beneficial to the Pirates over the week was the leagues best BB/9 stat of 1.50 while striking out 7.83 batters per nine innings, good for sixth in the league. The Pirates also kept he ball in the ball park with a 4.5% HR/FB rate and only gave up 0.33 home runs per nine innings of play. One might think that for such a good week the Pirates had an unusually low BABIP, but they would be wrong. The Pirates were actually hit a little more than they have been for the season with a third of the balls put in play getting down (.333).

Here is a look at the NL Central after the week, and going into the All-Star break.

5CHC3755.40212.043.0L 14.15.0-0.938-54-16-712-2414-145-1020-2617-295-311-1727-3910-1621-3116-243-77-1312-18
6HOU3062.32619.078.0L 43.95.0-1.235-57-55-1714-247-104-1114-3316-291-310-1617-4713-1513-4017-221-93-176-24
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/11/2011.

2011 Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Representatives
Relief Pitcher - Joel Hanrahan
Starting Pitcher - Kevin Correia (Replacing Cole Hamels)
Outfielder - Andrew McCutchen (Replacing Ryan Braun)

Congratulations to the Pirtes All-Star representatives.

Next Week's Slate:

Monday, July 11 - MLB All-Star Home Run Derby - 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 12 - 2011 MLB All-Star Game - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, July 15 - Pittsburgh (Maholm) at Houston (Myers) - 8:05 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 - Pittsburgh (Karstens) at Houston (Norris) - 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 - Pittsburgh (Correia) at Houston (TBA) - 2:05 p.m.

Let me know what you think of the new feature and if you would like to see anything else in the weekly features the rest of the season. See everyone after the break and check back tomorrow for a [hopeful] podcast about the mid season Pirates.

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