For the past two years Ryan Doumit has been asking for his ticket to be punched out of Pittsburgh.
A majority of fans would have gladly done it for him.
Behind the plate his fielding stats have been dismal. His arm, even worse. With a bat in his hands, he’s averaged 12 home runs and a .250 batting average. When Chris Snyder was brought in at the trade deadline, Doumit backfired. He was outspokenly against the acquisition and his numbers declined more so.
Despite the past, 2011 is a new year. Instead of making his way out of Pittsburgh, Doumit has embraced a platoon role with Snyder. It’s been beneficial to himself and the Buccos.
His grand slam in the 3rd inning gave the Pirates a 7-0 lead en route to a 7-4 victory. Their 11th road win of the year.
After tallying just 17 road wins in all of 2010…
Hold on, let me repeat that, 17 measly road wins a year ago, Pittsburgh now leads the majors away from its home park.
The Bucs have won five road series, one more that 2010. They haven’t come against slouches, either. The Pirates took two out of three from the Cardinals (currently 17-14 and leading the NL Central), three out of four from the Reds (Central champs from a year ago and now in 2nd place in the division), and some more two out of threes from the Cubs, Rockies and Padres.
In this span, the pitching has continued to dominate with Kevin Correia winning all five of his road starts.
There’s no doubt this resurgence is surprising. The Pirates are just six road wins away from matching their total from a year ago. They can accomplish this in the second month of the season. The offense has been relatively dormant averaging 4.2 runs per game outside of PNC Park. At home, however, only 2.6 runs are coming across the plate. That has equated to a 3-9 record at home.
With a home stand of seven games coming up between the Astros and Dodgers, the Bucs not only have to improve on their home series, but also in an attempt to move up in the Central.
They’re two games out.
Coming to town are two struggling teams. Each are sub-.500 and at least 4.5 games out of their respective divisions. The road wins need to turnover to the home battles for this team to remain competitive. There is no better time than now.