SOUTH HILLS – So many things are trending up for the Pirates.
They have rare position-player depth. The lineup has hit well since the All-Star break. The bullpen has been outstanding. The Pirates entered Sunday 30 games above .500 for the first time since 1992. They are on pace to win the most regular season games in franchise history since 1909. Yes, the 1909 World Series-winning club. This is a historic season that you are hopefully appreciating if you are a Pirates fan.
The Pirates’ run-prevention strategies, from groundballs, to shifts, to framing, to trusting their staff can rebuild reclamation project pitchers, has helped make this an excellent regular season team (though with the misfortune of residing in the NL Central.)
But you might remember Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane famously lamenting that “his @$#! doesn’t work” in the playoffs, particularly because of the small sample-size nature of the playoffs.
Bean’s on-base strategies gave the A’s an advantage over the long course of a regular season, over 162 games their true talent played out, but there are a number of peaks and lulls throughout a season. You cannot afford a lull in a playoff series.
Will Neal Huntington’s #$&% work in the playoffs? Continue reading Monday Mop-Up Duty: Can the Pirates’ $@!* work in the playoffs?