Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Souhan: Long-suffering Pirates fans get reason to party, but players eye more

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 13, 2013 - 12:24 AM

The key to the Pirates’ improvement, though, is the same as the key to improvement for every struggling franchise: pitching.

Last year, the Pirates finished 79-83. Their team on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) was .699. Their team ERA was 3.86. This year, the Pirates are 85-61. Their team OPS is .708. Their team ERA is 3.29.

So while Hurdle speaks of an improved competitive spirit and Pirates GM Neal Huntington has traded for bats such as Morneau and Marlon Byrd to bolster a shallow lineup, it’s the improved rotation that has made the Pirates contenders.

Liriano has reached a career-best 16 victories, and the Pirates have six starters — Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Jeff Locke, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton and Wandy Rodriguez — with ERAs between 2.92 and 3.59, as well as five key relievers with ERAs of 2.62 or better.

What worries the Pirates is that their pitching depth and late-season trades might not matter much if they fail to win the division and are forced into a one-game wild-card playoff.

“We are committed to doing big things,” Walker said.

In terms of Pirates history, they already have.

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Pittsburgh Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: MIN2013083020552587 ORG XMIT: MIN1308302057460267

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - WP: B. Morris 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 7
Atlanta 0 Postponed
Philadelphia 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
NY Yankees 0
Tampa Bay 0 Postponed
Baltimore 0
Cleveland 0 Postponed
Detroit 0
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 11
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake 7
Seattle - LP: B. Beavan 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 5
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Estrada 1
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 1 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 2
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: L. Harrell 2
Toronto - WP: A. Loup 9 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 3
NY Mets - WP: J. Mejia 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. Arroyo 0
Oakland - WP: J. Johnson 10 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: Y. Herrera 9
Colorado - WP: J. Nicasio 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 2
Los Angeles - LP: B. League 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 3
New York 109 FINAL
Brooklyn 98
Denver 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 117
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close