Shh, don’t wake them

Don’t look now but the past week has been a great week for the Pirates, winning five out of seven from the Cubs and Phillies. The offense still hasn’t been great, scoring 22 runs (3.14/game) but the pitching has really stepped up, allowing only 23 runs (3.29/g) with twelve of those coming in Saturday’s loss.

Small Sample Size fun: Pedro Alvarez has a seven game hitting streak (.333), has homered in back to back games (2) and has consecutive multi-hit games. Tim at Buccofans.com had a nice article last week about Brad Lincoln in his first four starts at a level compared to the rest of his starts there. Tonight is Brad’s sixth major league start and it comes in his hometown of Houston.

Let’s hope they can keep it up versus the hapless Astros!

Thank you, Chicago

Just when everything looked as hopeless as it has ever looked this season, the Pirates got a chance to go to the well versus the only team they’ve found any success against this year: The Cubs.

Ended: Six game losing streak. 17 game road losing streak. A Pirates starting pitcher recorded an out in the 8th inning for the first time this year.

Continued: Domination versus the Cubs (8-2). Losing a second baseman to a concussion from a collision with the right fielder in consecutive series.

Milledge has to call off Crosby for that ball. I like how he’s hitting but the mental errors are killing me and costing the team runs every game. I was very surprised to see Delwyn Young brought in to play second; it seemed like the perfect time to get Andy LaRoche into a game at 2B to get his feet wet.

Just a reminder: If you don’t already follow me on twitter @TheRealDavidK, I have an account that I use just to post updates to the blog: @643Putout.

Taschner signs, TV schedule

Per MLBTraderumors.com, the Dodgers signed Jack Taschner to a minor league deal.

For anyone outside of Pittsburgh who doesn’t have Extra Innings or MLB.tv, the Pirates/Cubs games will be on WGN tomorrow and Wednesday.

Tough, tough loss yesterday. As Pat from WHYGAVS said, “How after 17 1/2 losing seasons can you STILL BE INVENTING WAYS TO LOSE?!?”

More whenever I find something worth writing about.

Another sweep

Thanks to Vlad Guerrero’s walk-off single last night the Pirates were swept for the eighth time this season. Things looked good early when they went up 4-0 in the first, but as the game continued you could feel it slipping away. I’m out of anger at this point. The team is 25-47. They’ve won seven series and lost fifteen (with two pushes). After winning the season opening three-game home stand against the Dodgers they’ve lost or pushed the next five. The only winning road trip was a 3-2 set against Chicago and Philly. They are 7-2 against the Cubs, 2-1 vs. the Indians and 16-44 against everyone else. Is there any hope to find anywhere?

Season: Record: 25-47, Expected record: 20-52 (+5 games), Runs/game: 3.32
Opening Day to May 24: Record: 19-26, Expected: 12-33 (+7), Runs/game: 3.42
Since Walker recalled (May 25): Record: 6-21, Expected: 8-19 (-2), Runs/game: 3.15
Since Tabata recalled (Jun 9): Record: 2-12, Expected: 4-10(-2), Runs/game: 3.57
Since Alvarez recalled (Jun 16): Record: 2-6, Expected: 2-6 (even), Runs/game: 3.88

Call it amazing but the team scored more runs per game with Iwamura in the lineup than they have since Walker started playing every day. The offense has improved since Tabata and Pedro arrived, but the sample sizes are pretty small and even then not up to league average (4.42). Maybe I’ll revisit this in a month and see what’s changed.

In the mean time I’ll be cheering for the USA as they take on the hated Ghana-reans tomorrow. USA! USA! USA!

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