Recent 40 Game Rolling Average of Pirates Runs Per Game

That is a clunky title. Not sure what else to call it – maybe Scrambled Eggs…

Since we are just past the 25% mark on the season, I’m interested to know about fluctuations in runs per game over a 40 game stretch. I pulled all the data from for each game going back to 2007 to see how much variation there was in a rolling 40 game average of runs scored per game. I also looked at each quarter of the season (as divided into 40 game, 41 game, 40 game and 41 game pieces of pie).

The high and low tides can be described pretty accurately by roster moves in most years. The exception is 2007 where the tale is told more by who got hot and when since there were no hitters of any substance added during the season. 2008 and 2009 saw mini-fire sales mid-season that caused a second half drop in production. 2010 was the opposite of the previous two seasons. A handful of players who weren’t performing well were replaced by younger guys who came in and did a better job. 2011 saw the smallest amount of variation. The major changes were the acquisitions of Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick in July. But Lee missed most of August with injuries and Ludwick didn’t hit too much. Combine that with a slump in September from McCutchen and you have a bleak stretch run.

The moral of the story is that something needs to change to make this offense click. Will the Pirates rely on the current 40 man roster and hope someone (or two or three) gets red hot? Or will they make a trade? I don’t believe this offense is going anywhere without the addition of a bat.


Average – 4.47 for 12th in the NL

Best 40 game average – 6.00 runs per game from 8/1 to 9/10

Worst 40 game average – 3.67 runs per game from 6/13 to 7/31

1st quarter – 3.75 runs per game

2nd quarter – 4.44 runs per game

3rd quarter – 5.23 runs per game

4th quarter – 4.46 runs per game

There were no transactions of any consequence during this season. Adam LaRoche hit .133 in April to torpedo the offense. July saw only LaRoche and Xavier Nady hit above .260. Freddy Sanchez hit .374 and LaRoche .348 in August to provide the boost.


Average – 4.54 for 9th in the NL

Best 40 game average – 5.25 runs per game from 4/20 to 6/2

Worst 40 game average – 3.38 runs per game from 7/29 to 9/11

1st quarter – 4.85 runs per game

2nd quarter – 4.88 runs per game

3rd quarter – 4.48 runs per game

4th quarter – 3.95 runs per game

Nady and Jason Bay were traded at the end of July. That’s all she wrote.


Average – 3.95 for 15th in the NL

Best 40 game average – 4.73 runs per game from 5/16 to 6/28

Worst 40 game average – 3.30 runs per game from 8/12 to 9/25

1st quarter – 4.60 runs per game

2nd quarter – 4.20 runs per game

3rd quarter – 3.65 runs per game

4th quarter – 3.35 runs per game

Nate McLouth was traded June 3 and LaRoche was jettisoned on July 22. Sanchez was dealt July 29.  The addition of Garrett Jones on July 1 (followed by his monster month) and Andrew McCutchen (MLB debut on 6/4) couldn’t stop the slide.

Average – 3.62 for 16th in the NL

Best 40 game average – 4.38 runs per game from 8/19 to 10/1

Worst 40 game average – 2.85 runs per game from 5/20 to 7/2

1st quarter – 3.53 runs per game

2nd quarter – 2.88 runs per game

3rd quarter – 3.83 runs per game

4th quarter – 4.27 runs per game

Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez make their debuts within three weeks of each other in May and June. Those three coming on board essentially (or completely) ended the starting tenures of Ryan Church, Aki Iwamura and Andy LaRoche, each of whom was pulling the offense down.


Average – 3.77 for 14th in the NL

Best 40 game average – 4.25 runs per game from 5/30 to 7/17

Worst 40 game average – 3.40 runs per game from 8/9 to 9/14

1st quarter – 3.63 runs per game

2nd quarter – 3.90 runs per game

3rd quarter – 3.85 runs per game

4th quarter – 3.68 runs per game

Ryan Ludwick and Derrek Lee were acquired in late July to bolster the offense. But Lee got hurt and missed most of August. Cutch, Ludwick, Ronny Cedeno and Alvarez all hit less than .200 in September. Plus Jerry Meals.

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  • ecbucs

    Inteesting post, thanks for doing this. 15, 16 and 14th last three years. Looking like last year was the outlier:)

    • RandyLinville

      Glad you enjoyed. This is something I’ll likely revisit when we hit the 80-81 game mark before the All-Star break.