STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Pirates relievers have been through the fire this season. Where does the spark ignite? At first pitch, perhaps?
For the season, the team's relief unit as a whole ranks 21st out of the 30 MLB clubs with a 59.1 percent F-Strike rate, or percentage of first pitches in a plate appearance that are thrown for a strike, be it via the called or swinging varieties, and foul balls.
At first glance, this may not seem like that big of a deal. Several of the team's relief pitchers certainly have the stuff to get back into counts.