Bucs set to open six-game homestand
After opening the second half of the season with six games on the road, the Pirates return home to face the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs. They went 3-3 on their roadtrip to Milwaukee and Colorado. Despite a 22-26 road record, the Bucs enter Friday with a record of 51-40, and sit a half game out of first place. They have done an unreal job at PNC Park in 2012, and have the best home winning percentage in the majors (.674). Here’s a look at how they’ve fared in their previous homestands this season:
1. April 5th – 7th vs. Philadelphia
2. April 20th – 25th vs. St. Louis & Colorado
3. May 4th – 13th vs. Cincinnati, Washington, & Houston
4. May 21st – 30th vs. New York, Chicago, Cincinnati
5. June 8th – 10th vs. Kansas City
6. June 19th – 24th vs. Minnesota & Detroit
Totals = 29 wins, 14 losses
As you can see, the Pirates have yet to have a losing homestand in 2012. They went 3-3 during the April 20th to April 25th homestand, but have won all of the others. The 6-3 homestand at the end of May was a big point of the season; the Bucs are 31-16 since May 25th. They closed out the first half with a bang, as they swept the Astros and took two of three from the Giants.
The pitching staff has thrived at PNC this year. The ballpark has always been pitcher-friendly, but this year’s staff is taking it to a new level. On the road, the pitching staff has an ERA of 4.68; at home, they have a 2.39 ERA. They’ve surrendered 55 home runs on the road, but just 26 at home. Opponents on the road have a batting average of .272; at home, opponents batting average is just .214.
Here’s how the five starting pitchers have done at PNC this season:
The rotation will go in that order (KC – A.J. – Karstens – Bedard – JMac) this homestand.
They will face these offenses this week:
– Marlins .242 avg, .311 OBP, .388 SLG. 85 HR, 352 runs scored.
– Cubs .249 avg, .302 OBP, .388 SLG; 77 HR, 342 runs scored.
The Pirates rank 23rd in attendance, and have the second-lowest among National League teams. They’ve drawn 1,069,946 fans so far, about 25,000 per game. Some big crowds are expected, especially for this weekend’s series. The Bucs are 13-3 since #PackPNC surfaced on Twitter before the Royals series. Hopefully PNC is packed all week, and the team needs our support. They head on a nine-game roadtrip after this homestand, so get down to the ballpark and cheer on the Buccos. It’s the last few series before the trade deadline, so the Pirates could have some new faces when they return home in August.