Pirates’s season not what fans expected so far

Piratess season not what fans expected so far

Nick Pouch, Staff Writer

For the Pittsburgh Pirates it has been an eventful first couple of months filled with highs, lows, and injuries.


To start, this season was expected to be a big improvement from last year and was going to be led by a stellar bullpen. In reality, the bullpen is not helping the Bucs, but hurting them.


Recently the bullpen has been improving but in the first month of the season, it was costing them games.


Even though the batting was not strong at in the start of the season, when the hitters did give the Bucs a comfortable lead, it did not stay comfortable for long. The bullpen would come in and either blow the lead or even give the opposing team a comfortable lead.


Most of these big blow-ups came from Antonio Bastardo, who has a 16.20 ERA. Bastardo is now on the disabled list, but it is questionable whether he is injured or if the Pirates are giving him a rest from this dreadful season he is having.


The bullpen has been improving throughout the month of May, so maybe the worst part of the season will become the best as was predicted.


Another bad part of the season has been the injuries.


Third baseman David Freese, right fielder Gregory Polanco, and utility man Adam Frazier are some of the names that have crowded the DL this year.


All three had been performing well before going on the DL. Fortunately, they have done well coming off it as well.


The Pirates also have lost Starling Marte for using performance-enhancing drugs. Marte was suspended for 80 games on April 18, 2017, and will not be able to play in the post-season, should the Pirates make it.


This can severely hurts the chances of a playoff run, since Marte has been the team’s top hitter top hitter in recent years. If players like Frazier and Freese do not end up back on the disabled list and keep hitting like they did all season, Marte’s absence will not affect the season.


Another loss is that Jung Ho-Kang has been out for the whole season and will likely miss into the near future following his third DUI arrest in South Korea. Kang’s absence has not been felt to severely with players like Freese at third and rookie first basemen Josh Bell doing well hitting for power at the plate.


One of the hardest players to lose, however, is starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Taillon was lucky to catch the cancer early and his prognosis is good.


Taillon has been back to practicing with the team, but fans are just happy to see him recovering.


Taillon also was part of the Pirates’ strongest units, the starting rotation.


During 2016, the starting pitching was a letdown, but this is completely opposite this year.


Gerrit Cole is pitching like an ace, Tyler Glasnow has been improving, and Chad Kuhl is giving what is expected. Overall, the starters are doing better than anticipated.


Hitting, however, has been up and down all season.


Bell has been performing well by becoming a power guy, hitting home runs recently.


Andrew McCutchen, however, is still struggling at the plate and striking out way too often.


People like Freese and Frazier have been pleasantly surprising this year, consistently getting on base.


The ups and downs in batting coincide with the ups and down of the season.


Considering the NL Central is struggling, if the Pirates play the rest of the season like they are doing in May, they could turn it around and clinch a post-season berth.