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Postgame: Pitching problems


MIAMI — It was an awful three-game series for the starting rotation. Paul Maholm (3 2/3 innings), Charlie Morton (five) and James McDonald (three) combined for a 15.43 ERA against the Marlins.

“We don’t have enough quality in our pitches in the last three games,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “They’re missing location. James threw a high fastball over home plate with the bases loaded. How did the guys get on base? By walks. We’re missing zones. We’re not getting the balls where (the catcher is) set up. We’re missing mid-thigh and up, over the plate in the strike zone.”

»»» A lot of Florida’s hot hitting in the series came from the bottom of the order — pitchers or, as was the case tonight, the guys hitting sixth, seventh and eighth.

“Where we’re getting hurt … you’d like to think that doesn’t happen,” Hurdle said. “But if you pay attention to every game from this point on, you’ll see the bottom of the order can hurt people. Those guys are down there for a reason, but also a swinging bat’s a dangerous bat. When pitches are not located where they’re supposed to be, guys hit ‘em.”

»»» Right-hander Kevin Hart (shoulder) came over from Bradenton to work out with the Pirates for the entire series in Miami. After the game, he dressed, packed and flew to … Pittsburgh. “I’m going to work there for a few days,” he said.


With so much uneven play lately, I kind of have the feeling there could be a change or two — a callup, a trade, something — in the next few days.



  1. yinzer says:

    The season is young and it is not time to overreact, but interest in a shortstop hitting .170 while we have several in the system that can actually field a ball consistently and still put up sub .200 hitting numbers (sorry Cedeno you aren’t one of them). These types of pick-ups or even interest is what makes even the few of us loyal fans that are left shake our heads at management.

    As much as I ranted a couple days ago on Maholm, you can also go off on most of the regular starting line-up for lack of concentration or inconsistencies in the field that pave the way to some of these massive run scoring innings. Do we simply give in and proclaim this is the result of having so many young players in the starting line-up?

    Perhaps the change you are anticipating might include Sidney Crosby back in the batting cage at PNC park? He may not be able to pitch, hit, or field any better (or worse) but his leadership skills would have a positive effect in the clubhouse.

  2. Chuck H. says:

    Pitching is not the only problem the Bucs have. They have many problems, one of which is defense, especially the corner outfielders. I have seen on replays of games,
    where hits would fall in front of Tabata or Jones which I thought, with a little more hustle, would have been outs instead of run scoring hits. Another is the shortstop position-Cedeno isn’t the best at going to his right for ground balls, or hitting consistantly, with men on base, in fact, none of the Pirates is good at this, much needed
    ability. I hope they can get it going before they are hopelessly in the cellar, and doomed to another losing season.

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