Thursday, September 22, 2011

Behind Enemy Lines: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have taken a massive nosedive since the All-Star Break. Entering the break Pittsburgh was just one game out of first place, now their 22 games off the pace after posting a dismal 22-43 record since then.

As the Pirates steer their proverbial ship toward their 19th consecutive losing season, the Reds still have ambitions to avoid such a disaster. For Cincinnati to finish the year with a winning record they must win each of their six remaining games -- which means a sweep in the Steel City this weekend is a must.

The 3-game series gets underway Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM ET.

Here's the full breakdown on those Buccos:

Season record: 69-87 (T-4th in NL Central/22 GB)
Season record vs Reds: 8-4
Home record: 34-44
Last 10 games: 3-7
Manager: Clint Hurdle (1st season, 69-87)
2011 payroll: $45.63 million (27th in MLB)
Home park: PNC Park (2001-Present)
Established: 1882 (under the name "Alleghenys")

Notable MLB statistical ranks:
Runs - 27th (577)
HR - T-25th (103)
AVG - T-25th (.243)
Steals - 15th (101)
ERA - 17th (3.96)
Saves - T-10th (41)
QS - 21st (78)
WHIP - T-25th (1.40)
Errors - 25th (109)

Team leaders:
AVG - Neil Walker (.270)
HR - Andrew McCutchen (23)
RBI - Andrew McCutchen (88)
OPS - Andrew McCutchen (.823)
Wins - Kevin Correia (12)
ERA - Jeff Karstens (3.38)
WHIP - Jeff Karstens (1.21)
Saves - Joel Hanrahan (39)

Other notables:
-The Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992 (18 seasons). That mark of futility is the longest of any professional sports team in North America....ever.
-Over the course of its long and rich history, the franchise has won five World Series titles and nine National League Pennants -- the last of both coming in 1979.
-Believe it or not, the club did not play any of their games in Pittsburgh until 1908 -- instead playing from 1882-1907 in a city just north of Pittsburgh called Allegheny City. The city was annexed by Pittsburgh in the months prior to the 1908 season.
-The franchise has produced 38 Baseball Hall of Famers who have been affiliated with the team in someway. They've also retired 10 numbers in their history with the most famous arguably being, the one worn by Roberto Clemente (#21).
-9890-9790 overall record in 129 seasons.

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