Pirates hope to see improvements next season on the road
The Pirates are in Miami for the final four games of the season –a scary territory considering the Bucs are just 16-61 away from PNC Park this season.
How is it a team who finished 40-41 –nearly .500– could play so horrendous on the road?
“We’ve looked at youth,” manager John Russell said. “We’ve looked at travel. We’ve looked at change in lifestyle, change in food. It’s pretty much the same. We’ve played some really bad games on the road; I’m not going to lie. But we’ve also played some very good games on the road that we’ve either lost late or couldn’t quite finish off. I think that has something to do with a young team — learning how to win those games on the road. We’re very close a lot of times.”
To realize just how bad the Pirates have been on the road this season consider this: they have only five road wins since the All-Star break. They have also had a 14-game losing streak and a 17-game losing streak away from PNC Park this season. The Pirates have been outscored by their opponents by 204 runs.
The Pirates must win at least one of the four remaining games in order to avoid becoming the first team in major league history with fewer than 17 games in an 81-away game schedule.
“We play great ball at home and we can’t on the road. There’s no excuse for that,” Garrett Jones said. “It could be just coincidence. Or at home, maybe, when we have a crowd behind us, it gives us that little extra push. It’s tough to say.”
Thankfully, the Pirates will avoid the worst Pirates road record in franchise history –The Pittsburgh Allegheny’s in 1890 who went 9-88 on the road.
“We’ve got to find a way to play better baseball on the road and put ourselves in position to win more games,” General Manager Neal Huntington said.
The Pirates can only hope to see improvements next season from the Bucs and figure out what went wrong.
“I’m sure there will be 10,000 studies on it and everybody’s opinion will come out,” Russell said. “Until you turn it around, it really doesn’t matter what you say about it. Until we start winning more games on the road, it’s always going to be a question. Once we do start winning games on the road, they’ll say it was a great learning experience for us. It’s kind of a catch-22. The best way to change things is win.”