Pirates Pitching, 92 IP, 3.72 ERA, 63 K, 31 BB. Even considering Zach Duke's miserable start last night, Pirates hurlers have been better than expected. It's obviously still very early, but Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell have struck out 23 batters and walked just three in 25 innings. And despite all the flak I give him, B.P. Chacon has actually pitched very well. The Pirates' bullpen ERA is just 2.32, although Jim Tracy's strange bullpen choices - he uses Salomon Torres and Matt Capps in high-leverage situations, and then seemingly chooses who soaks up the other innings by picking names out of a hat - have ensured that many of the runs the bullpen has allowed have come in key situations.
Jose Bautista, .282/.300/.462. His on-base percentage has left something to be desired so far, but he's shown real power, with five extra-base hits, and his defense has been better than expected. Also, Jose Castillo has done absolutely nothing with the stick, so Bautista probably now has some small measure of job security.
Chris Duffy, .282/.364/.462. Duffy's OPS was below .700 as recently as two days ago, and a lot of the improvement in his numbers since then comes from a meaningless homer off a clearly exhausted Russ Ortiz, but still, I'll take the .825 OPS.
Pirates Hitters, .230/.290/.371. That line speaks for itself, but even if it didn't, well, three of the last four starters the Bucs have faced have been Randy Keisler, Braden Looper and Ortiz. The Bucs scored a total of seven runs off them, including three on the aforementioned homer against Ortiz after he'd thoroughly dominated them for eight-plus innings. It's early, and the Pirates' offense isn't nearly this bad, but the Bucs' recent run of awful hitting should clear up any confusion about whether this team can really hit or not. Even with the addition of Adam LaRoche, the answer is no. They can't. Speaking of LaRoche:
Pirates Fans who've been suggesting that the Bucs should bench or deal LaRoche and install Brad Eldred at first. You aren't having the best week. I kid, but It's been ten games. LaRoche is a historically slow starter who had a .686 career April OPS heading into this season. Give this some time.
Wayback Wasdin, 3 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 K, 2 BB. If a squad is allowing Wasdin to flub its chances in winnable games on consecutive days, it's either because the team has been decimated by injuries or because nobody's steering the ship. The Pirates haven't been decimated by injuries, so Tracy and Dave Littlefield need to get their hands back on the wheel. Wasdin probably shouldn't be on the team in the first place, and he certainly shouldn't be pitching in close games. Hopefully, Tracy has figured that out.