The Pirates are above .500 and that is a good thing. But I still think they are in big trouble. Let me point to one thing that I think is a real problem. The Pirates cannot sweep anyone. They fail over and over to put their foot on the throat of lesser teams and finish them off. And this is not just about getting dominated by David Price and being unable to sweep one of the worst teams in baseball. It happens over and over and over again.
In fact, by my count, the Pirates have only one sweep all year and that is against the Nationals. They failed to do it against the Rays, the Blue Jays, the Reds, the Cubs, and many many more. They just cannot sweep. Why can be a bit of harder thing to figure out. Is our pitching just not strong enough? Is our bullpen too weak? Do we lack timely hitting? Who knows!
But I do think it has been enough time to say that the inability to sweep is a real problem. We are not able to dominate lesser teams. This was not a problem last year. Playoff teams are able to sweep lesser teams. Even with their 5th starter on the mound, they polish off the guys that are no good.
Ultimately that means I think the Pirates are about where they should be. At .500. I expect them to hover here for the rest of the season. They are not going to be able to put distance between themselves and that number because they cannot sweep teams, and they are going to lose series to the better teams. This makes them a middle of the pack team.
All this to say that unless they can come up with a trade that addresses and fixes this problem, then I hope they are sellers at at the trade deadline. I don't want to lose good prospects to continue to tread water. And the fact that we are in the Wild Card race is more a commentary on how awful the National League is overall than a commentary on the Pirates being any good.
Slightly early gamethread: Taillon faces Arrieta
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