Back in mid-May I examined the thought that the Pirates had faced a slew of former, future or current top flight starters. That was one theory as to why the offense was struggling. That notion was thought was entirely incorrect. The only reason the Pirates offense is struggling is because the offense isn’t any good. The starting pitching the Pirates had faced to that point was slightly better than average. But, that difference was magnified when those hurlers toed the rubber against the Buccos. So, how does it look now at the close of the second month of the season? More of the same. Baseball-reference.com supplied the data. I pulled out the three game set of data against Detroit to keep it all in the National League.
Independent of starts against the Pirates, the average NL starter posted a 4.01 ERA. That is up from 3.87 (which I had noted in the comments section which is now missing from that original post?!?). Starters opposing the Pirates have a 3.64 aggregate ERA (up from 3.42 in mid-May). If the starts against the Pirates are taken out, the ERA for the starters chucking against Pittsburgh rises to 3.74 (up from 3.52 in mid-May). In games started against the Pirates, the starting pitchers compiled an ERA of 2.94 (in mid-May it was 2.82).
So, the difference in ERA between an average starter and the group of hurlers pitching against anyone other than Pittsburgh is 0.27 (4.01 minus 3.74). The difference between the ERA of the starters who have opposed Pittsburgh when they face anyone else compared to when they face the Pirates is 0.80 (3.74 minus 2.94).
I’ve said it plenty of times and will write it here again: this offense is terrible. The offense and only the offense are to blame for the poorness of the offense. Well, the offense and the failings of the front office are too blame. It’s not the starting pitching opposing the Pirates. It’s not the weather. It’s not having a low BABIP due to bad luck. This offense is on pace to be historically dreadful.
|Average NL Starter||3.94||2.9||7.2||2.51||1.293|
|Average NL Starter minus starts made vs. Pittsburgh||4.01||2.9||7.1||2.43||1.310|
|Starters Opposing Pittsburgh 2012 total stats||3.64||2.8||7.5||2.72||1.257|
|Starters Opposing Pittsburgh minus stats against Pittsburgh||3.74||2.8||7.4||2.60||1.285|
|Starters Opposing Pittsburgh in games against Pittsburgh only||2.94||2.1||8.4||4.07||1.048|