Pittsburgh Pirates Midseason Recap

Story posted September 2, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

As one of the few teams that truly look out of the race at the midseason point, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had next to go right this season. Through their first 33 games, the Pirates have only 10 wins and a .303 winning percentage, both last in the MLB.

On the field, the Pirates rank near the bottom in almost all offensive categories, ranking fourth worst in offense and hitting, and worst in pitching through the first half. Their best offensive player from a year ago, Josh Bell, went from hitting .277 with 37 home runs to hitting just .205 with four home runs and a negative WAR. Bryan Reynolds was a breakout rookie a year ago, finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, but this year, he has a .184 batting average and is another Pirates starter with a negative WAR. Even the Pirates’ team leader in batting average, Erik González, is only hitting .265, which is tied for 77th in the MLB.

The Pirates best pitcher from a season ago, Joe Musgrove, has yet to record a win this season, making only three starts due to injury. Eight different pitchers have made starts this season for the Pirates with varying results. In the bullpen, the Pirates have gotten solid production from both Geoff Hartlieb and Sam Howard, who each have an ERA under three.

Having no real enticing pieces to offer other teams, the Pirates made no moves at the trade deadline despite being 10 games out of the division lead. Their remaining schedule sees two more series against both the Cubs and Cardinals, which sit at first and second in the NL Central, and two more series against the Reds, which have struggled but still have starpower. They also play the last-place Royals and first-place Indians of the AL Central.

If there’s anything positive to glean from this Pirates’ season, it’s that the team has largely avoided the COVID-19 pandemic and have only had to deal with five postponements this year due to the Cardinals’ and Reds’ cases. It’s not much, but it shows that the Pirates are following protocol.

All in all, the main hope for the second half is for players with bright futures to turn a corner in the final stretch. All playoff hopes look done at this point, but if they can show some signs of life, it should be an interesting offseason.


Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.