{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Pirates wrap up stretch packed with lefties

Pirates wrap up stretch packed with lefties

|
Pirates wrap up stretch packed with lefties
PHOENIX -- With Monday night's tussle against Arizona's Joe Saunders, the Pirates finally came to the end of the lefty line. For the next week, at least, they will be returning to a diet of right-handers.

We are always being told by surveys that the share of left-handers in the human population never varies far from 10 percent. You can't convince the Bucs of that. If it seems that the Bucs have been facing southpaws every other day, you're absolutely right.

Through Tuesday night's meeting with Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy, the Pirates have literally been going right-left-right, etc., since Opening Day. The pattern actually reverts to Spring Training, when they opposed left-handed starters in half of their Grapefruit League games.

"It is unusual," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "Not many years ago, you'd go a week, 10 days without seeing a single lefty."

Hurdle was going on experience, but the game's demographics support his perception.

Through Monday, of the 81 National League starters with qualifying stats (an inning pitched for each of their team's games) 25 were lefty, a percentage of 31.

In 2005, that percentage was 25 (17 of 68), and in 2000, it was about the same (17 of 65, 26 percent).

Seeing a string of right-handers going forward won't have any great team-wide benefit as the Pirates try for some offensive momentum, Hurdle said. But the continuity could jolt a player who had been regularly benched with a left-hander on the mound.

"In [Pedro] Alvarez's case, it could be an opportunity to get rolling," Hurdle said.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español