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When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for Chris Archer, he was supposed to stabilize their pitching staff and put the team over the top. Instead, he’s been the weak link in the rotation. The former All-Star had another poor performance and never really looked all that comfortable against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Archer allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Despite putting up a couple zeroes in the first two innings, Archer allowed plenty of traffic and wiggled off the hook a couple times. Once the third inning hit, however, the Brewers did their damage. A couple home runs and some bad luck made the score 6-0 and just like that, Archer had another poor start.
After Archer’s first two starts, people made the excuse that he was simply adjusting to his new team and surroundings. That may be the case, but at a certain point, you need to see results. The Pirates didn’t trade for Archer to simply add name value to their team, they traded for him so he could pitch meaningful and important innings. So far, Archer has yet to see the sixth inning during his time with the Pirates.
I am not ready to quit on Archer or declare the trade a failure, but I am certainly really unhappy with what I’ve seen so far. Archer to his credit hasn’t made excuses and he is more frustrated than anyone. He is an elite level pitcher that is going through a tough time. Every player goes through slumps, however, it’s more noticeable when it’s a starting pitcher. Much less a starting pitcher you just traded for to put your team over the top.
Following the trade deadline, the Pirates seemed poised to compete for a playoff spot, now, that dream is dead. The Pirates are simply playing for pride. The team began August with such high hopes and are entering September back under .500. The 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates will forever be known as a streaky team.
The team has likely never been more talented than a .500 ball club, which is why the team never found consistency. They’ve lost 15 of 20 and won 11 in a row. When you see both prolonged winning and losing streaks, you know you have yourself an inconsistent and mediocre team.
When the team was on, they looked like a legitimate playoff team, capable of beating anybody. When they were off, they looked like a team competing for the first spot in next year’s draft. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, the Pirates were never as good as they looked at their best and they were never as bad as they looked at their worst. The 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates are simply a mediocre baseball team. When the final out of 2018 is recorded, I expect the Pittsburgh Pirates will be exactly what most predicted them to be, slightly below average.
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