Pirates remain optimistic despite basement status

Tuesday, May 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Pittsburgh-AP) -- Pirates players say they're not worried yet about a season that hasn't had a picture-perfect start.

Despite a new ballpark and a new manager, the team has slid to the bottom of the Central division and are five-and-a-half games out of first.

John Vander Wal says the difference between this year and last is that the team is doing what it takes to win. He says that's different from last year when some players weren't prepared to play.

Vander Wal is having a great year hitting three-fifty-six with four home runs and 14 R-B-Is.

He is the exception to the rule, though. The Pirates are dead last in team batting average and second-to-worst in runs scored.

They've only had two hits in their last 27 at-bats with runners in scoring positions.