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Pirates' offense should improve

Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates likely will struggle to score runs this season.

However, I'm not overly concerned about their listless start to the season.

They've scored seven runs in three games, and managed just one run in their fourth (through six innings).

Three of the four starters they've faced have been pretty darn good pitchers -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw. All three have won Cy Young Awards.

That the Pirates managed to get a win in Lee's start is remarkable.

While the Bucs are looking at a 2-2 start, fans should be grateful it's not 0-4.

And the hitting should get better when the opponents' starting pitchers fall below Cy Young levels.


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So much for Byron the great backup

I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…