Success in baseball generally comes from solid pitching. This is especially the case for the Pirates this season.

When the Pirates hold opponents to four runs or fewer they are 7-2. When they give up five runs or more they are 1-9.The Pirates team ERA is 4.24, which is good for 19th in Major League Baseball.

They aren’t striking many batters out (118) and are walking too many (73).

These statistics may not matter if the defense was one of good quality. Too bad the Pirates are nowhere near “good quality.”  They have the third most errors in the MLB (17). Their fielding percentage is sitting around 98 percent, which is 28th in baseball.

Kevin Correia has been the best and most consistent Pirates pitchers. He is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA.

Paul Maholm is 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in a year that he desperately needs to show more consistency. This isn’t the start he was looking for. Charlie Morton was great in his first three starts but struggled in his last start against the Florida Marlins. He is 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA, but has more walks (15) than strikeouts (12).

Ross Ohlendorf is injured but didn’t show too much anyway. James McDonald has struggled from start number one. He is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA. He has already given up 21 earned runs in four starts.

The bullpen has been a downfall for the most part. Only Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop and Daniel McCutchen have been consistent. Michael Crotta hasn’t been too bad, either.

The Pirates need to do a better job at holding teams down early in games. Once a young team gets down early they tend to press and be more aggressive. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, and lately it has been the latter.

If the Pirates want get to back to .500, the pitching must show up during this upcoming home stand. They play the Nationals and the Giants for a combined six games at PNC Park starting Friday.

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