5 Reasons Why Pittsburgh Pirates Won’t Win World Series In 2013
5 Reasons Why the Pittsburgh Pirates Won't Win the 2013 World Series
The Pittsburgh Pirates have qualified for their first postseason series in over two decades, and the buzz is taking over the Steel City. While this is certainly more than enough reason for Pirates fans to be excited, they shouldn’t get overly worked up. Pittsburgh’s MLB team is not going to win the World Series this year.
Even though the Pirates got their first postseason win since 1992 in a 6-2 home victory over the Cincinnati Reds last night, there are still major concerns with this team. These concerns are serious enough to point to the fact that the Pirates will be eventually eliminated short of winning it all.
The regular season is over. There is no time to upgrade the roster or hope that things will get ironed out as the games go by. They are in the playoffs now and it’s win or go home. The Pirates are what they are for now.
Winning a World Series isn’t an easy thing to do. Every year, 30 teams set out to do it and only one team succeeds. 20 of the 30 teams don’t even qualify for the tournament. If you make it in, you have to win 11 games over three different opponents, or 12 games over four different opponents if you’re a Wild Card entrant.
There are five major reasons why the Pirates won’t be hoisting a championship trophy for the first time since the 1970s this October. Perhaps the Pirates will do so in future Octobers, but not in 2013.
5. Inconsistent Offense
The Pirates scored 80 fewer runs in the second half of the season than they did in the first half of the season. Pittsburgh had twice as many stolen bases in June as they did in September. There aren't a lot of World Series champions with offenses that can't be counted on.
4. Cracking Under Pressure
The Pirates were in first place in the NL Central and contention for the top spot in the NL playoff bracket on September 16. Pittsburgh then immediately lost three out of four and five out of eight to lose their division lead, and nearly had to play the Wild Card game on the road. Cracking under pressure won't help you win a World Series.
3. Lack of Depth at catcher
Behind Russell Martin, there is John Buck and Tony Sanchez. Buck and Sanchez combined for 31 games for the Pirates and have seven RBIs between them. Pittsburgh needs Martin to play every game in this postseason to have a shot.
2. Questions about Jason Grilli
Closer Jason Grilli was cruising along before he strained the flexor tendon in his right throwing arm. The injury caused him to miss over a month of baseball. Before the appearance that sent him to the DL, he had an ERA of 1.94. Since he came back, that ERA at one point rose to 2.98. Grilli has had a few solid appearances since that high-water mark, but uncertainty still looms.
1. Bad NLCS Matchup
After the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals and advance to the NLCS, they will have either the Braves or Dodgers awaiting them. Pittsburgh lost the season series to both teams and struggled offensively vs. both teams. The Pirates hit a mere .217 against the Braves' pitching and in six games against the Dodgers, they scored only 14 runs. No matter who wins that NLDS, Pittsburgh will have an unfavorable matchup.