The improvement from last year into this year is remarkable. Although the hitting has left a lot to be desired, the record as a whole can be largely attributed to the bullpen and rotations who have all performed way above expectations. After the jump, looking at the high and low points of this years pitching staff and comparing it to last year.
With ERAs of 3.52 and 4.08 respectfully, these two statistically were our best starters. Considering McDonald wasn’t acquired until the trade deadline and Ohlendors record was 1-11, the rotation struggled mightily last year.
Maholm: 5.11 Duke: 5.67 Morton: 7.61 Karstens: 4.93
Meek earned the all-star bid last year and finished the season with a 2.14 ERA. He was easily the most reliable arm out of the bullpen. Chris Resop also performed well once acquired. Joel Hanrahan will be discussed below.
D. McCutchen: 67IP, 6.16ERA, Sean Gallagher: 34.1IP, 6.07ERA
Top Performers: Everyone
With the exception of James McDonald, every Pirates starter has an ERA under 4. 2011 Pirate Starters Wins: 30. 2010: 31 (As far as I can tell). Granted, wins have a lot to do with the run production received, however it still requires the starter to go deep into the game to get the chance to win. The rotation has bounced back in a way no one expected this year
With 100 strikeouts in 70 innings last year, improvement would have been difficult. But Hanrahan was also in a different role, mostly pairing with Meek as a set up man to get to Dotel. The man has been nothing short of spectacular this year though. With 22 saves already 2 weeks before the all star break, he has performed remarkably enough to have Jon Heyman from SI call him the best reliever in the NL so far. I’m not a big believer in Saves, but this is remarkable: 2010 Pirate Saves: 31; 2011: 23
Tomorrow: Pirates @ Blue Jays: RetroBlog