Thats right you heard me the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching has been surprisingly good as they have four shut outs already this season doubling the number they had all last year.Ross Olendorf ,who the Pirates got as part of the Xavier Nady and Domaso Marte to the Yankees Deal , pitched a gem against the hottest team in baseball. He went seven innings allowing only 3 hits as the Pirates ended the Florida Marlins 7 game winning streak with a 8-0 victory.
The Pirates also had two shut outs against Atlanta over the weekend winning 3-0 and 10-0 before losing the series finale 11-1 on Sunday. Although expectations for the Pirates aren’t all that high this year and they are currently 7-6 their pitching looks better than their 5.10 era they put up last season. The difference has been that they are getting ahead of hitters early and are staying aggressive in the zone. They are also starting to provide run support for their starters. In their 7 wins they have scored 51 runs, but in their 6 loses they have only 9.
They key for the Pirates is to have their starters go deep. If they are forced to use their weak bull-pen early in games it will spell disaster. They also need to be more patient at the plate. Their hitting is good enough against most teams #4 or #5 starters, however against better pitching they are swinging at some bad pitches.
The Pirates are an improved team this year and are playing with some confidence. For a team that hasn’t had a winning season sense 1992 confidence can do a lot. Will they have a winning season this year? It’s possible but I wouldn’t bet money on it.