Francisco Liriano Dominates Nationals in 4-2 Pirates Win
Jul24

Francisco Liriano Dominates Nationals in 4-2 Pirates Win

Francisco Liriano and the Pirates defense went out and did what playoff-caliber run preventers do. They frustrated and flummoxed the Washington Nationals over Liriano’s 7.2 shutout innings on the way to a 4-2 victory. As the games against fellow contending teams become more important, we may see more pitchers’ duels like Tuesday’s face-off between Liriano and Stephen Strasburg. And it was a pitchers’ duel in...

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Gerrit Cole Rolls Through Nationals in 5-1 Pirates Victory
Jul23

Gerrit Cole Rolls Through Nationals in 5-1 Pirates Victory

Gerrit Cole stepped into Tuesday’s start as the worst-performing pitcher in the Pirates rotation. Actually, let’s call it “worst-performing” because it’s really only his ERA (3.89, still better than NL-average) and strikeout rate (5.4 K/9) that were lagging behind the rest of the Pirates’ run-prevention machine of a rotation. Well the young phenom smothered his three-game losing streak with great...

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Grilli Placed on DL, Inge Designated for Assignment, Walker and Black Join Pirates
Jul23

Grilli Placed on DL, Inge Designated for Assignment, Walker and Black Join Pirates

The Pirates placed closer Jason Grilli on the 15-day disabled list after he left Monday’s game from suffering a right forearm strain. The team recalled Neil Walker (right side soreness) from the DL on Tuesday to start at second base. Brandon Inge was designated for assignment Tuesday. The veteran infielder did not produce for the Pirates after joining the team this offseason, posting only a .204 on-base percentage and .442 OPS,...

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Locke, Pirates Eke Out 3-2 Win Over Reds to Avoid Sweep
Jul21

Locke, Pirates Eke Out 3-2 Win Over Reds to Avoid Sweep

Jeff Locke does not suck. I wrote two months ago that Locke would not continue to dominate as he dominated the early part of the season. What he has done in those two months surprised me: he kept pitching to prevent runs. Locke’s winning performance in the Pirates’ 3-2 Sunday victory in Cincinnati was indicative of the type of pitcher he is becoming. His control remains rough as he walked 4 of 22 batters and allowed his...

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Pirates Strand More Runners in 5-3 Loss to Reds
Jul20

Pirates Strand More Runners in 5-3 Loss to Reds

Losing in Cincinnati does not harm Pittsburgh’s playoff chances as much as one might think. The Reds and Pirates are still on a collision course for the NL Wild Card Playoff (43% chance this is the Coin Flip Game matchup), and even after a loss the Bucs are still 8.5 games ahead of being out of the postseason picture. However, the dropping Friday night’s game 5-3 showed one of the Pirates’ major weaknesses and hurt...

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