First Pitch

First Pitch: The Pirates Aren’t Perfect, But They Are Legit Contenders

First Pitch: The Pirates Aren’t Perfect, But They Are Legit Contenders

At this point in the season, a lot has been established in baseball. That ranges from the players, to the teams, and even to the fans. For example, for a surprisingly large group of Pirates fans, we've established that the Pirates can't lose 3-4 games in a row without hearing the word "collapse". I'd extend that beyond four losses in a row, but the Pirates haven't lost more than four games in a row all season.

As for the players, we know that Andrew McCutchen is a leading candidate for the NL MVP award. Pedro Alvarez has put up some of the best power numbers in the National League. Russell Martin has been a huge boost on the defensive side of the ball, and has also provided some offensive value. Starling Marte is turning into an impact player in his first full season in the majors. Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett are pitching like aces. Mark Melancon is one of the best relievers in the league this year.

When it comes to the team we know that the Pirates are largely winning via...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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