|Information from coolstandings.|
The Pirates entered the 2011 season with low expectations after one of their worst seasons in recent memory and a series of low-end market moves over the off season did not help their case. Coolstandings projected their expected winning percentage to be only .379 at the start of the season. Their expectations did not catch up with their actual performance until the end of May, which is when the Pirates only started getting hot.
The Buccos flirted with .500 at points throughout the season, but they seemed like they were there to stay once they crossed the mark on June 24th. Their performance peaked on the 19th of July when they were seven games over .500 and coolstandings projected they would finish the season with a record of 86.5 wins and 75.5 losses, a winning percentage of .534. Their hot streak fell apart approximately one month after it began on July 29th when they started their free fall, fell below .500 on August 2nd and never reached the surface since.
Further analysis shows the Pirates were above .500 a total of only 45 games this season, which means they were .500 or worse in the other 103 games thus far (117 if you include the remainder of the season). The 10 game losing streak in July and August was not completely to blame either considering they were below .500 a total of 62 times before the streak began.
Maybe the Pirates lost this season because of injuries, inexperienced pitchers, inept offense, some combination of the three or they were simply outplayed by their opponents. Whatever it was, 2011 was much more exciting than 2010. Seriously, look at this graph.
I don't expect them to acquire any big names like Albert Pujols and they may not even be able to retain Derrek Lee or Ryan Ludwick, but I am looking forward to whatever moves management will make over this winter. Acquiring Clint Hurdle was their best move by far in 2011. Now they just need an experienced team leader to guide them to a victory.
After all, it would be nice to see the Buccos win a season before the world ends in 2012. (lol)