Monday, August 29, 2011

Pirates Week in Review: August 22-August 28

This is going to be a 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:

First off, sorry for the lack of Week in Review last week. I was on the road for work and wasn't able to get anything done, but never fear, I am back this week with what you need.

The Pirates had an OK week, but it could have been much better. Due to the double header on Monday the Pirates played eight games in the week and managed to go 3-5, although they could have easily went 4-4 or 5-3. The Pirates started the week with a nice split with the Brewers before only picking up one win in a four game set with the Cardinals.

Monday, August 22 - Milwaukee 8, Pittsburgh 1
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Monday, August 22 - Pittsburgh 9, Milwaukee 2
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Tuesday, August 23 - Milwaukee 11, Pittsburgh 4
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Wednesday, August 24 - Pittsburgh 2, Milwaukee 0
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Thursday, August 25 - St Louis 8, Pittsburgh 4
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Friday, August 26 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Saturday, August 27 - Pittsburgh 7, St. Louis 0
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Sunday, August 28 - St. Louis 7, Pittsburgh 4
[Box Score] [TRBB Recap]

Now for the hitters:

Josh Harrison came out of nowhere and had the best week of his major league career. The kid played in all eight games and collected a share of the team lead in hits with 11 while holding a .407/.414/.741 line and also having a .479 OBA. Just an outstanding week that, to be honest, I had no idea that Josh Harrison could do. Harrison also picked up a walk (!), only his second of the season, so that deserves at least a parade. Jose Tabata has been nothing less than outstanding since coming off the DL. In eight games last week Tabata went .324/.378/.441 with 11 hits. He walked on almost 18% of his plate appearances and of his 11 hits four of those went for extra bases and he scored a team-high five runs. Garrett Jones also had a nice week and stayed hot with a .292/.379/.458 line and only struck out in a little over 10% of his at bats. He drove in five runs and had three extra base hits in seven hits. Ryan Doumit and Alex Presley both had weeks that were below the line as neither hit over .200. Presley came off the DL and only played in four games but struggled hitting .167 with a .171 wOBA. Doumit was even worse with a .150 average and a .193 wOBA while having a wRC+ of 14.

For the pitchers:

The pitching staff took a beating over the eight days, granted they were facing two of the best offenses in the league over the last week. Jeff Karstens failed to pick up a win even though he had one good start and one start that he would soon ligke to forget. Brad Lincoln, far and away, was the best arm for the Pirates rotation as he went up against Zack Greinke and Chris Carpenter and worked 12 nearly scoreless innings only walking 1.5 batters per nine innings and confusing hitters. Jason Grilli was outstanding out of the pen in two games where he worked almost three innings. His 12.27 K/9 was among the best on the team and he stranded every runner that reached en route to not giving up a run. Tony Watson had a forgettable game against the Cardinals when he gave up a three run bomb to Matt Holliday and coupled with Chris Resop's tough trio of outings (7.03 xFIP, 50% LOB, .500 BABIP) really hurt the pen.

How the Pirates stacked up in the league hitting:

The team hitting wasn't as bad as the weeks prior as they hit for a .254/.305/.392 line which isn't good, but as you have seen in these before it could be a lot worse. Something that stood out to me about the week was that the Pirates significantly cut down on the strikeouts this week. They struck out just south of 16% of their plate appearances, which was sixth lowest in the entire league. Playing one more game than most teams the Pirates finished the week scoring 35 runs, seventh most in the league, despite a terrible ISO (.138) and a below average WRC+ of 87.

How the pitchers stacked up against the rest of the league:

The staff as a while continued to struggle with almost a five ERA through the eight games, going 3-5 on the week. The Pirates were stung big time by walking a lot of batters (3.78 BB/9) and they weren't leaving a lot of those batters on base (65.9%)

What the NL Central Standings look like after the week:

1MIL8154.600---W 34.54.074-6116-1141-2118-136-950-1631-386-628-1566-3815-1626-3255-228-2
2STL7064.52210.5W 14.74.471-6314-1132-2916-178-735-3135-336-1118-2053-4717-1721-2849-364-6
3CIN6766.50413.0W 44.74.371-6211-1533-2717-126-1237-3030-368-524-2852-5115-1530-3037-367-3
4PIT6271.46618.0L 13.94.261-7212-1931-3111-148-731-3731-346-716-1942-5620-1529-3833-334-6
5CHC5777.42523.5L 44.04.956-7813-1725-3614-145-1032-3725-407-321-2343-5614-2128-4729-303-7
6HOU4490.32836.5W 13.85.051-837-1821-3912-224-1123-4221-484-1017-2327-6717-2320-5124-394-6
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/29/2011.

This Week's Slate:

Monday, August 29 - Pittsburgh (Ohlendorf) at Houston (Rodriguez) - 8:05 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30 - Pittsburgh (Morton) at Houston (Sosa) - 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday, August 31 - Pittsburgh (McDonald) at Houston (Happ) - 8:05 p.m.
Thursday, September 1 - Los Angeles (Billingsley) at Pittsburgh (Lincoln) - 4:05 p.m.
Friday, September 2 - Pittsburgh (Karstens) at Chicago (Dempster) - 2:20 p.m.
Saturday, September 3 - Pittsburgh (Ohlendorf) at Chicago (Coleman) - 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, September 4 - Pittsburgh (Morton) at Chicago (Wells) - 2:20 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.

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