The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League Central were in first place until June 15 against the Chicago Cubs. At 34-33, they were in first place in the NL Central.
The Pirates then lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, dropping to 34-35 and five games out of first place. They went on a season-high 10-game losing streak and have yet to get back to .500. They finished the first half with a 41-49 record (.456 winning percentage). They are in fourth place, 8.5 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds (50-41).
Second baseman Bae Ji-hwan was placed on the disabled list with an ankle injury and first baseman Choi Ji-man returned for the final series of the first half against the Arizona Diamondbacks with an Achilles tendon injury. It was his return after nearly three months on the disabled list on April 14. He hit a home run in his first three games back, giving a green light to a team lacking long balls.
A key reason why Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to sustain its early momentum and has fallen into two extended losing streaks – one of seven games and the other of 10 – is its hitting, especially its power. Pittsburgh has only two hitters with double-digit home runs. They are center fielder Zack Swirinski (19) and veteran Andrew McCutchen (10), who went on the disabled list with a sore elbow at the end of the first half.
No matter how strong your pitching staff is, you can’t win in the major leagues without offense. The offense needs to stabilize to be competitive in the pennant race. The team is tied for 26th with the Colorado Rockies with 81 home runs. They’re a whopping 88 away from the Atlanta Braves.토스카지노
There are eight teams in the low 80s in home runs. Among them are the Miami Marlins (53) and the Cleveland Indians (39), both of whom are in contention for a postseason berth. The Marlins are led offensively by Luis Arajuez, who is batting a career-high .383. Despite being a shifty hitter, Arajuez ranks second in MLB with eight extra-base hits. The Giants were last in team home runs last year (29th), but they have survived with the rifle.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league in team home runs. At 4.37, they rank 19th in MLB. They are not postseason competitive in the pitching department. They are last in the division in run differential at -46. Only the last-place St. Louis Cardinals are better at -33. That’s how weak Pittsburgh’s offense is.
However, it’s also hard to be a seller at the trade deadline. The NL Central is too good to give up. It has the lowest first-half division winning percentage (.549) in the NL.
The key for Pittsburgh will be to see how much Choi, with his long bat, can help the team in the second half.