17-3 tonight. Forget having a winning season--it might be 17 more years before the Pirates win another game. The run differential thing has been much discussed elsewhere, but it's worth pointing out again here:
Kansas City -19
The Pirates have been so much worse than other merely bad teams that it hardly makes sense to compare them. This might actually be the worst clump of ten or so games in the entire 17-year losing streak. Nothing is working. The starting rotation is in complete shambles. The bullpen has been awful lately. And the offense is no help. Here's an exercise: name the five Pirates who have played the best so far. I've got Andrew McCutchen, who's hit a mere .286/.353/.377. Andy LaRoche has excellent offensive numbers but has already missed several games. Evan Meek has been terrific. As a group, the bench players have been fine. Anyone else? Javier Lopez? Paul Maholm? Garrett Jones? Ross Ohlendorf, in his one start? Is there anyone I've failed to mention who hasn't been a complete disaster?
It's pretty clear that the Pirates are very bad, much worse than I suspected, but they're not this bad, and there will be times in the coming months that don't feel nearly this awful. But in the meantime, I'm not sure why anyone should bother to watch after the fourth inning or so.