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Pirates' Offense Needs To Be More Than Just Andrew McCutchen

Sports Illustrated's Joe Lemire argues, sensibly, that in order to succeed, the Pirates will need an offense that isn't purely Andrew McCutchen-based.

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McCutchen drove in all three Pittsburgh runs in its win on Sunday, but the club will need more contributions up and down the lineup in order to hang tough in the NL Central. During the 15-game hot streak, second baseman Neil Walker (.340 average, .882 OPS), catcher Rod Barajas (.343 average, .909 OPS) and first baseman/right fielder Garrett Jones (.300 average, 3 HRs) have shown signs that their bats may be waking up -- offensive production the Pirates sorely need.

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Sunday's game was straight out of the first few weeks of the Pirates' season: score a couple runs (well, three, in this case) thanks to McCutchen, then hope to ride a good pitching performance to the finish. Daniel Dudley has called Sunday's game a microcosm of the Pirates' season, and in a way, he's exactly right. The most encouraging thing about the Pirates' recent play, though, is that, as Lemire mentions, the Pirates are beginning to get offense from other sources as well. It's probably eventually going to become clear that the Bucs' bullpen isn't as good as it's looked so far this season, so if they're going to keep this up, it's especially important that their bats turn it on.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.