Before starting a series with the Tampa Bay Rays on May 2, the Pittsburgh Pirates were perhaps the hottest team in the National League and had a 20-8 record.
Fast forward to today, and they are now dangerously close to .500 ball: 21-17.
They have lost two straight entering the day, but nine of their last ten games: they are officially in a collective slump.
We didn’t really expect the Pirates to be 20-8 to begin with.
However, after watching some of their players blossom into legitimate contributors, we also didn’t expect him to lose nine out of ten games.
The regression monster is hitting them hard and in the jaw.
Their recent skid is validated not just by their win-loss record, but also by run differential.
Run differential, last 9 games before today:
0 WSH TOR
-1 CHC HOU KC
-2 NYY SF MIN
-19 NYM MIA
-42 PIT 🏴☠️ pic.twitter.com/RslJFqh1jE
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 10, 2023
In the last nine games before Wednesday, the Pirates are dead last with a -42 run differential.
The next-worst team, the Cincinnati Reds, are much better than them at -21.
Johan Oviedo has really struggled in his last two outings, and Jack Suwinski has gone ice-cold at the plate.
Andrew McCutchen had been banged up before homering in Wednesday’s loss to the Colorado Rockies, and Oneil Cruz is still injured and won’t be back for a while.
The Pirates were not as good as their 20-8 record before the Rays series indicated.
However, they are also not as bad as their 1-9 in the last 10 games may suggest.
As it usually happens, the truth lies somewhere in between.
With Cruz’s impending return, some really talented prospects in the farm, and an improving player development staff, there might be hope for them to make the playoffs or compete this year.
The best is yet to come for them, though, regardless of how they perform in 2023.NEXT: Rich Hill Continues To Make Age-Related History