Pirates swing up to the base: Previous rough Aprils haunts the team once again

Brianna McKee, Copy Editor

Off to a rough start, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to step up their game to be successful throughout their upcoming season.

Upon the first half of April, the team has been losing their strengths. They’ve experienced seven losses to their one win. Just like in previous years, April has been an unsuccessful month for the Pirates.

However, the team is advancing quickly and they have had many successful seasons in the past with the same conditions.

“I think the Pirates are as well equipped to make a deep post-season run as they’ve been since the early 1990’s,” Dan Zangrilli, a Pirates pre-game and post-game radio show hosted on 93.7 The Fan, said.

The beginning games of April have had bad pitches and quiet bats. Even if just one of these elements improves, this doesn’t mean the Pirates are out of the woods yet.

“All three facets of the game need to be in sync with one another,” Zangrilli said. “You can’t hit well and pitch poorly, or vice versa.”

Without all three fundamental pieces working together as a team, the Pirates might notice major consequences.

“On a consistent basis, the team needs to play sound, fundamental baseball every single night, which is tough to do. The teams that do that in a more consistent fashion than their opponents obviously win more games and get into the post-season,” Zangrilli said.

April losses have haunted the Pirates throughout their past.  An issue may be the fact that the team is simply not ready for the start of the season.

Just days before their opening game at PNC Park against the Detroit Tigers, center fielder Andrew McCutchen was having slight problems with his knee.  After taking time out of one game, his knee is beginning to show signs of improvement. However, there may be more to his lack of effort than previously thought.

“It’s been a little different for me this year. Battling a few things, just trying to get myself back to par. That’s how it’s been for a while. It’s frustrating. I want to be out there with nothing hindering me and performing like I know I can. Right now, I’m not there,” McCutchen told Travis Sawchik, a journalist for Trib Total Media, on Friday, April 11.

“Over a 162-game Major League Baseball season there will be peaks and valleys.  I’m sure the Pirates will hit their stride – especially offensively, as that’s what plagued them on their road trip – and find themselves in a competitive spot for the large portion of the year,” Zangrilli said.

Although their streak for bad Aprils has been consistent, as Zangrilli said, there are ups and downs to every season. The Pirates just need to get through the worst of it.