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Photo Credit: Road Runner Holding Co. LLC (AP)

As we all know, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished last year with a dismal record.  At a season-ending mark of 57-105, it seems as though not much went right for the 2010 club.  For the most part, that is correct, when you consider that they were one of the worst offenses in terms of scoring runs and their pitching staff accumulated one of the highest ERA’s in Major League Baseball.
But what is even more shocking is just how bad the Pirates were at specific areas last season.  The most alarming of these is the fact that our Buccos were 40-41 at PNC Park last year.  Only one game under the lucrative .500 mark that all Pirates’ fans have been hoping for every season, the Pirates played well enough in Pittsburgh last season to dignify them a respectable team for half of the season.
Of course, that also means that for what little respectability the Buccos earned last season at home, they lost that much more respect as a road team.  For those mathematically illiterate fans out there, this means that the Pirates finished 2010 with a 17-64 record.  This made the Buccos just the third team to win fewer than 20 road games in a 162-game season. I think we’d all agree this is a pretty big problem, and has been for a number of years.
Pirates’ management has addressed this issue numerous times over the past several years, with minimal effect on the team’s performance.  Manager Clint Hurdle, however, plans to make a few changes when he addresses the team about its woes away from PNC Park.
“We’ve got some plans that we’ve just barely scratched the surface of.” Hurdle said.  “More talk will ramp up the last two weeks of Spring Training when we cut the club size.  We are going to approach things differently in some areas.”
Hurdle spoke about routine being a huge factor that the staff will address with players closer to the start of the season.  Certainly, one would believe that maintaining a schedule on the road similar to the one they are used to while at home should aid in preparation and, ultimately, performance.
The Pirates will certainly be tested on the road early in 2011, as they open up the regular season on a six game road trip against the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, two divisional foes whose ballparks are two of the toughest at which to accumulate victories.
Have a comment about the Pirates’ road woes or about Clint Hurdle’s comments?  Send us an email at comments@fansfromthestands.com or fansfromthestands@yahoo.com
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!
***Thanks To Pirates.com For Contributions To This Article***