Pittsburgh Pirates Need Offense to Avoid Another Second-Half Collapse

By Andy Schmidt
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates may finally finish above the .500 mark in a season for the first time in over two decades. The team is 35-23 going into Tuesday’s play, and that has all come without the team hitting the ball anywhere near what they need to for that record.

The Pirates have been great during the first half of the season in each of the last two seasons as well and if they want to avoid another second-half collapse, some things are going to need to change.

The first thing revolves around Pedro Alvarez. He has had another very slow start and even though he leads the team with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs, he is hitting just .201. It is working, but this is a team that doesn’t have a single everyday player hitting above .300. Starling Marte is hitting .291 while Andrew McCutchen is batting .284, and those averages need to come up. The pitching staff can’t do everything and hope to hang on in the heat of the summer.

I believe that the Pirates will make a move or two to improve their team at the trade deadline as I think the Pirates can help themselves with better hitting. Neil Walker just returned recently, and his .261 average should continue to climb. McCutchen is the leader on offense and while he has 28 RBIs and 14 stolen bases, it could be time for him to take it to another level.

Pittsburgh can’t afford another second-half collapse, and it will be up to the offense to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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