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2011 MLB season in review: Pittsburgh Pirates

I cannot believe that the Pittsburgh Pirates finished third in their division or that they ended up with a 72-90 record. Sure, it is yet another losing season, but this team feels like it was on the rise in 2011. In fact, before an 8-22 August it looked like they just might wind up right around .500 for the year. In the end, they went 39-41 against the other five teams in their division, and 8-7 in inter-league play. If they can add to what they did this year maybe they can finally break the 19 year season losing streak. The 72 wins does give them their most wins in one season in seven years.

The 2011 edition of the Pirates scored 610 runs on 1,325 hits. That hit total was third worst in the National League, and the team batting average was .244 or 12th best in their league. The Pirates hit 105 home runs, and 277 doubles and 35 triples so the speed is there, but they need some more power. The were also able to steal 108 bases proving that they have some speed to work with. They did draw 489 walks, but struck out the third most times in the senior circuit.

The pitching staff gave up 712 runs on 1,513 hits. That was the most hits given up by a NL team, and the staff ERA was 4.04 not terrible but sixth worst in their league. Tow of their starting five pitchers did reach double digit wins, but the backed them up with almost as many loses. They were last in heir league in strike outs with 1,031 and they issued 535 walks. Beyond their closer, the bullpen also seems in need of an upgrade.

From these numbers it feels pretty safe to say that the Pirates are a team in need of some big time pitching help. We pretty much know that they will not be finding that help on the free agent market, but maybe they can develop some talent of their own, and keep them in town for awhile. Since they still drew under two million fans for the year, they have a lot of work to do in restoring the faith within their own fan base.

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Ummm... They finished 4th (just barely) not 3rd.

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