Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How the Bucs Did It

Great Pittsburgh Tribune article, by way of the Society for American Baseball Research Facebook page, on how the Pirates went from perennial loser to playoff contender. I don't know about you, but I figured it was beefing up the lineup so it was no longer Andrew McCutchen and the Seven Dwarfs*, getting creative with low-budget bullpen options, and getting lucky with some starting pitching reclamation projects. (I'm lookin' at you, A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano.) The article points to more 21st-century moves: employing infielder shifts on defense and changing pitchers' repertoires to induce more ground balls (hit to those shifted infielders). And, of course, selling it to players and management. Great example of the marriage between traditional baseball skills and modern analysis.

*I was wrong about that, anyway. They're 10th in the NL in scoring this year, the same as last year.

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