Bucs pitchers need more help

I seem to recall a movie a few years ago titled, “Death By Chocolate,” or some such mixed metaphor. I don’t know what it was about, but I’m pretty sure if the Pirates don’t sweeten their situational hitting, they could fall on their sword.

In other words, there is something to the notion of having too much of a good thing. Also — live by the sword, die by the sword. The Bucs’ first-half pitching has been so phenomenal — starting or relief, you name it — they have to fight the temptation to continue depending on it.

Hope GM Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle put up a good fight: One, it isn’t reasonable to expect the staff to remain on its records-busting course down the hot stretch; two, even if the pitchers pulled it off, would it be enough?

Just look at the last nine games into the All-Star Game break: The Bucs did not give up more than four runs in any of them, yet could win only four of the nine games.

It’s mind-boggling that the Pirates are within a game of the NL Central lead, despite hitting more than a hundred points lower with men in scoring position than the Cardinals (.230 to .337).

I watched Sunday night’s Cards-Cubs game, naturally curious whether a St. Louis loss would send the Bucs into the break tied for the division lead. It was both impressive and disconcerting to watch the Cardinals produce wave after wave of clutch hits to quickly respond every time the Cubs came back in the game.

We haven’t seen the Pirates show anything like that yet. They’ll need it. Of their remaining 69 games, 20 percent will be against the Cardinals. Pitching alone is not going to take them.

Do you hold out faith that the guys in-house become more productive at crunch-time? Or do you get some significant new guys in house? Do you read them the (Alexis) Rios Act?

1 Comment

That woeful RISP stat may well turn turn out to be the Achille’s heel, indeed. 0-6 tonight (Fraiday, 7/19) again…

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