Let's kick of 2010 with a positive line of thinking (yikes; not getting my first post of the year in until January 4th -- sorry about that, holiday, family, friends, travel, lack of news, and such all contributed to my MIA status the last ten days, but that's all over now and it's time to get back on track). Despite all of the negativity that surrounded the Pirates and their 2009 season and despite all of the questions people have about Neal Huntington's ability to build a bullpen, the Pirates actually allowed 116 runs less in 2009 than they did in 2008.
Their total of 768 runs allowed was still about 40 runs north of average and it was only good for 11th in the National League, but it's certainly much better than the 884 (worst in the NL by 59) runs that they allowed in 2008. The fact of the matter is that the Pirates got better at something in 2009, and though we've all made some generalities about how that happened (better defense, some Joe Kerrigan, a VanBenschotenectomy), I think it's worth a deeper look. After the jump of course.