Analysis

Pirates Pregame: McDonald Still Searching for Consistency

Pirates Pregame: McDonald Still Searching for Consistency

James McDonald makes his third start of the 2013 season tonight with the St. Louis Cardinals visiting PNC Park, and one has to wonder which McDonald will be on the mound tonight for the Pirates.

James McDonald will make his third start of the season tonight. Photo Credit: David Hague

Will it be the James McDonald that was perhaps the best pitcher on the Pittsburgh staff during the first half of 2012? Or will it be the James McDonald that went through a full-on meltdown in the second half of 2012? So far in 2013 McDonald has been decent but nowhere close to his form from this time last season.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said McDonald has had one bad inning out of the 12 he has appeared in this season and finding that consistency will be key for him going forward.

"We know James is still working through some consistency challenges and dependability challenges," Hurdle said. "He understands it. He gets it. Nobody wants to be more dependable that he does. How does he find it ...

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Analysis

Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for PiratesProspects.com. He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, FoxSports.com). Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports

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