1.) The Pirates have won the first game of a series 14 times this season. They have gone on to win 13 of those series.
2.) The Pirates were 2-13 in interleague play last year. They now stand at 6-5 with today's game against the Red Sox and three next week at Toronto remaining on the schedule. They haven't won an interleague game on the road since June 17, 2009 when Ian Snell beat Francisco Liriano in the Metrodome 8-2. Since that time they have lost 13 in a row, including three this year in Cleveland. Another item to check off the list.
3.) The PIrates have a terrible road record in interleague play, but they are now 56-53 at home.
4.) Jeff Karstens gave up three solo home runs last night and has now given up 13 homers in his 13 starts this year. They have all been solo shots. His other HR-against was a 2-run shot in relief in extra innings against the Braves.
5.) Joel Hanrahan now has converted 24 straight save opportunities, 22 this year. Last night he got his three outs (and gave up a double) by throwing 22 straight fastballs and then a slider to strike out Adrian Gonzalez. The second longest active streak is 19 by Jose Valverde.
6.) In their last five starts, once through the rotation, Pirates starters have gone 2, 4.2, 6, 5.1, and 6.2 innnings for a total of 24.2 innings. The bullpen has gone the other 20.1 innings and given up 1 run, 14 hits and 5 walks and recorded 11 strikeouts. That works out to a WHIP of 0.934 and an ERA of 0.44.
OBP 2B 3B HR OPS OPS+ PA BB K
Player A .311 13 1 6 .675 90 281 28 54
Player B .324 13 1 8 .716 102 318 30 61
I think the general perception of these two players is radically different. Their performance certainly isn't the same, but a hot week by Player A and the offensive performance would be.
Player C .300 2 3 1 .675 90 114 5 28
This one is probably relatively easy. A guy perfectly suited to his role in my opinion, though his K rates is a bit of a concern.
OBP SLG 2B 3B HR OPS OPS+ PA BB K
Player D .295 .317 7 0 0 .613 74 132 5 24
Player E .295 .317 2 0 0 .612 73 62 1 5
I found it surprising that these two players had identical ratio stats. Player C has had twice as many PAs, but both have 5:1 K:BB ratios. Not good.
Player F .339 .382 2 0 1 .721 104 62 4 11
Small sample size, but the exact same number of plate appearances as Player E.
Player A: Lyle Overbay
Player B: Neil Walker
Player C: Xavier Paul
Player D: Matt Diaz
Player E: Josh Harrison
Player F: Steve Pearce
I'm not drawing any big conclusions from these comparisons, I just found them interesting. But here are a couple thoughts:
Obviously Overbay and Diaz have been disappointments. For me the disappointment with Overbay has as much to do with his defense as his offense. Diaz has exhibited zero power, but has an OBP/OPS of .357/.690 in June, so maybe patience, as Clint Hurdle has mentioned at times, is the answer.
If it comes down to a choice between Harrison and Chase d'Arnaud for a roster spot when guys are coming back from the DL, I think d'Arnaud has answered that question rather emphatically in his first two games.
Pearce (and his righthanded bat) has missed another golden opportunity to get playing time with at bats available at 3rd, 1st and right. It will be interesting to see how soon he can get back and how many more chances he ultimately gets.