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Pirates-Cards, rotation woes, 2011 Bucs

Posted By Jim Keller On Sep 24 2010 @ 11:25 am In Pittsburgh Pirates | 1 Comment

The Skinny: The Bumbling Bucs  won a season-high five games after taking the first two against St. Louis, but that streak came to an end with Thursday’s 9-2 thumping.

Pittsburgh is 53-99, but have won 11 of the last 16 games at PNC Park.   Still, the Bumbling Bucs are just one win away from their first 100-loss season since 2001 and is on pace for 106 losses, which would be the most since Arizona lost 111 in 2004. The Pirates lost 112 games in 1952 when the schedule called for only 154 games.   The Bumbling Bucs need to win the last 10 games to avoid losing 100 games.

The Bumbling Bucs are 15-59 (.202) on the road, the sixth lowest mark since 1901 and lowest since 1945.

The Good: LHP Paul Maholm snapped a career-high tying streak of eight winless starts by yielding just two runs and seven hits in seven frames.   He didn’t walk  a batter in the 5-2 triumph.   He was 0-6, 7.88 ERA during the winless skid. …

Is their hope for Morton
Is there hope for Morton

RHP Charlie Morton won his second game of the season in 15 starts and first since May 5 in Wednesday’s 11-6 win.   He allowed two runs and four hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings to lower his ERA to 8.11.   At one time, it looked like Morton would challenge Roy Halladay’s all-time record of highest ERA in a season with 10 or more starts (10.64). …

Former two-time Bumbling Buc Jose Bautista drilled his 50th home run of the season – most in the major leagues this season and more than the Pirates’ top three home run hitters combined.

The Bad: The handwriting is on the wall for several members of the Bumbling Bucs.   Don’t

Looks like Milledge will be looking for a fourth team
Looks like Milledge will be looking for a fourth team

look for the following players to return next season: 3B Andy LaRoche, OF Lastings Milledge, 1B Jeff Clement, C-RF Ryan Doumit – all in the Opening Day lineup – along with RHP Jeff Karstens, LHP Zach Duke and IF-OF Delwyn Young.

Karstens and Duke will be big non-tender decisons for the Pirates.   Duke is due over $4 million but the 2009 All-Star has regressed despite a subpar defense.  The question is who and how much will it cost for replacements.   RHP Brad Lincoln is the only in-house option.

Pittsburgh is showcasing Doumit for a trade because they seem committed to Chris Snyder (he of low-.200 average and three dropped balls at plate that allowed runs) and don’t want to pay $11 million for two catchers.

Arbitration eligible SS Ronny Cedeno will probably return.   His defensive specs are good and he hits just enough.

The Ugly: The Bumbling Bucs rotation came back to earth in Thursday’s 9-2 shellacking.  LHP Brian Burres was tagged for four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings.   In the previous 16 games, Pittsburgh starters had posted a 3.59 ERA.

Pittsburgh starters have won a major-league low 31 games this season.   Baltimore starters are next with 37 wins.   This decade, the fewest wins by a starting staff in the NL is 33, by the 2008 Pirates and 2003 Reds.

More starting rotation stats:

allowed 5+ runs 47 times – second in the majors

lasted five innings or less 56 times – second in majors

lasted three innings or less 13 times – tops in majors

5.37 ERA – worst in majors

498 strikeouts – lowest in majors

281 walks – 26th most in majors

80 losses – most in majors, 11 more than any other club

.298 average against – highest in the majors

1 complete game – tied with Cubs for fewest in majors

Could Owens break camp with Bucs next spring
Could Owens break camp with Bucs next spring

Next: The Pirates close out their home portion of the 2010 schedule with three games against the Houston Astros.

Prior to the game on Friday, the Pirates will present their annual Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year awards.
LHP Rudy Owens has been named the Pitcher-of-the-Year and OF Alex Presley has been named the Player-of-the-Year.  Owens, who also won the award in 2009, went 12-6 with a 2.46 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 26 starts with Eastern League-champion Altoona this season, leading the circuit in ERA and ranking third in K’s while also being named to the league’s mid- and post-season All-Star teams.

Presley hit a combined .320 with 28 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs and 85 RBI in 136 games with Altoona and Class AAA Indianapolis.   He led all Bumbling Bucco minor leaguers with 166 hits (15th in all of minor league baseball) and tied for eighth among all minor leaguers in triples.

Audio with Tim Williams at Pirates Prospects about champion Altoona Cur [1]

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[1] Audio with Tim Williams at Pirates Prospects about champion Altoona Cur: http://www.piratesprospects.com/2010/09/altoona-curve-audio-on-espn-1430-916.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BuccoFanscom+%28Pirates+Prospects%29

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