After winning five in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off of being swept in a four-game series for the second time in three weeks, this time at the hands of the Washington Nationals.
It won’t get any easier as beginning Friday night, as the Bucs start a three-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers, a place that hasn’t been very king to them in the past.
So far this season, road games in general haven’t been kind to the Bucs, especially their up-and-down offense.
The Pirates have a 10-5 record on the season at PNC Park, but are just 7-10 on the road, mostly large in part due to an offense that hasn’t produced very well away from home.
Home vs. Road Splits
Against the Nationals, the Pirates hit a combined .212/.252/.341 in the series and were outscored 27-10 by the Nats in the four games. They only drew seven walks in the four games compared to striking out 32 times.
That’s been a trend for the Bucs this season.
At PNC Park the offense has been nothing short of great posting a .281/.360/.427 line. They rank first in the National League in batting average and OBP and second in slugging while at home.
They also have scored the most runs (84) have the third most hits (143), hit the most doubles (30), drawn the fourth most walks (62) and struck out the fewest times (98).
The road is a much different story as the Pirates offense has mustered just a .231 (8th) / .288 (12th) /.387 (9th) line.
They’ve only scored 66 runs (10th), walked just 43 times (12th) and struck out 146 times (3rd).
There’s a few that stick out, most notably the bottom of the order where Colin Moran and Jordy Mercer are completely different hitters at PNC Park than they are on the road. The duo combines for a 1.942 OPS at PNC Park, but just a .924 combined mark on the road.
|Player||Home avg/OPS||Road avg/OPS|
What does all of this mean?
As of now it’s nothing to panic over, just something worth watching for the next month.
One month of baseball is still a really small sample size and the big thing is the Pirates have faced better pitching staffs on the road than at home this season, most notably in the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.
However a big hit here and there and the Bucs could be over a .500 team on the road at this point which is all they are really looking for.
With an up and down team that has run extremely hot or extremely cold on the season, it would be nice to start to see the bats get going again on the road.
There’s still opportunity to salvage something out of this current nine-game road trip.