Saturday, October 01, 2011

#223: Pirates Post-Mortem 2011

---SSL Broadcast #61---

While the beginning of the Pittsburgh Pirates season was unlike anything fans were used to, the end of the season was all too familiar.

Despite my bold prediction before the season even started that the Pirates would finish in the top 10 offense in batting average after the All-Star Break, nothing could have been further from the truth.

The Pirates were tied for second-worst in the National League (with defending champion San Francisco) at .241. The pitching didn't help matters after the break, either, tied for the worst WHIP (walks/hits per inning pitched) in all of baseball after the break (with the Minnesota Twins) at 1.53. And the ERA suffered for it, being 2nd worst in the National League at 4.78. The only worse ERA in the NL was Colorado, but they also play at a higher elevation, humidor or no.

Now, the questions for 2012 include: Who will the Pirates keep with an overflow in the outfield? Specifically, what will become of Garrett Jones. Is there any reason to keep Ryan Ludwick around? Any chance that Derrek Lee will stay (many reports have said absolutely not)? What about Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm, or Ross Ohlendorff? Who, if anyone, will be ready to come to the major leagues next season?

And, perhaps the biggest question of all: Was last season a complete fluke, or was the early season success a glimpse of what's to come? It should come as no surprise that I suspect the latter.

Tim Neverett of the Pirates Baseball Network joins me on the first segment of the program with some final thoughts regarding the 2011 Buccos.

Also on the show:

- Penguins still unbeaten in preseason.

- Steelers fortunate to escape Indy with a win, tall task awaits in Houston.

- Pitt finally plays well, but only after the schedule pits them against fellow Big East teams.

- Mike sucks at making picks (1-5 overall), but that won't stop him from trying. He'll even try to predict the Major League Baseball playoffs.



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