Trivia time. What was the last year the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to win at least one game when they had more than two games in their first home stand?
Fifty-two years ago — 1955. The team went on to win just 39% of their games that year.
Somebody tell me when was the last time every single team in the Pirates system was rained out on the same day? I suppose this will become more and more prevalent with farm systems playing closer to their mother teams.
Ian Snell takes the mound Monday against Anthony Reyes in St. Louis on seven days rest. The closest I could find to a seven day layoff for Snell was his first outing after the break last year where he had seven.
Snell faced the 38-53 Washington Nationals July 15th and threw 114 pitches in 5 innings of work allowing six hits, four of them for extra bases, and four earned runs while pitching behind in the count all night long [link]. But the Pirates went on to win.
In Snell’s four career starts versus the Cardinals, the Pirates are 1-3 despite the fact Snell has averaged just three runs and 5.5 hits over 6 innings of work.
Anthony Reyes is making his second start coming off a horrendous start against the Astros, so that is one encouraging sign as poorly as we saw the Astros play.
Reyes is also pitching on eight days rest but that’s not unusual for him. In 2006 he pitched five games on four days rest and six games with seven or more days rest.
Since Reyes is a Jekyll and Hyde pitcher, you never know what you will get from him. In his only start last year against the Pirates he threw a four-hit shutout at St. Louis.
The Cardinals are hitting .296 as a team against right-hand pitching the last 5 games, but just .182 versus righties at Busch this year. The Pirates are hitting right-hand pitching at a .202 clip the last five games but scoring 3.7 runs per game away from PNC.
So flip a coin on this one. The Pirates go in as underdogs but are 8-1-1 on the sport book as an underdog their last ten, and the last six games against the Cardinals have all been decided by three runs or less.
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Jim Tracy has to be smiling seeing the last two games get rained out knowing they will have to be made up later in the year.
But how about this whirlwind schedule now – four games in the next 60 hours, a West Coast plane ride, and three games in 36 hours. Wow.
You know the year isn’t going right when your leadoff batter is leading the team in qualified at bat OPS at only .825, he is also the only player with a batting average on balls in play over .300, and your backup catcher has more runs created than your starting catcher and as many as your cleanup hitter.
This will be a surprising stat to those who don’t follow Bucco Blog: take a wild guess who leads all pitchers on the Pirates staff on getting ground balls hit off them?
Shawn Chacon, who also has an amazing 95% strand rate.
And how about Jonah Bayliss with a startling high 79% of balls in play hit off him converted to an out.
You have to like the Pirates bullpen so far until you look at Salomon Torres who has allowed one in every four fly balls hit off him to go yard.
The Pirates batting average with runners on base? .195, despite having the 7th best ISO (power index; SLG-BA) in the NL and one of the lowest ground ball rates.
Will it really be in the 70’s at game time tomorrow? Oh baby!