First Pitch: Can Home Field Advantage Be an Advantage Again?
Oct06

First Pitch: Can Home Field Advantage Be an Advantage Again?

We don’t know if the “Cue-to” chants from the Wild Card game actually made a difference in the way Johnny Cueto pitched. What we do know is that Johnny Cueto entered the game with a dominant track record against the Pirates. The chants started, and immediately he dropped the ball off the mound, then gave up a solo homer. By the end of the fourth inning, he was out of the game. It’s hard to completely chalk that...

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First Pitch: Now the Pirates Have the Advantage Against St. Louis
Oct05

First Pitch: Now the Pirates Have the Advantage Against St. Louis

Prior to the NLDS against the Cardinals, I wrote that St. Louis didn’t have an advantage over the Pittsburgh Pirates. That wasn’t me saying the opposite — that the Pirates had an advantage. It just pointed out that the two teams were pretty even, despite the feeling that the Pirates were underdogs in the series. There were predictions that favored the Pirates prior to the series. A lot of those predictions relied on...

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First Pitch: Gerrit Cole Making the Key Start in This Series
Oct04

First Pitch: Gerrit Cole Making the Key Start in This Series

Gerrit Cole is a future ace. In the last month he has been pitching like a current ace. And tomorrow he is going to need to be an ace. An ace is a stopper. An ace is a guy who you throw out for must-win games. Tomorrow is about as must-win as you can get this season. The Pirates are down 1-0 in a best of five series. It’s not a surprise that they lost to Adam Wainwright. If you were looking at the matchups coming into the...

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First Pitch: The Cardinals Have No Advantage Over the Pirates
Oct03

First Pitch: The Cardinals Have No Advantage Over the Pirates

Each time the Pirates have played the Cardinals this year, the popular opinion has been that the Cardinals will be nearly unbeatable. Granted, a lot of the matchups between the two teams were preceded by the Pirates losing against bad opponents, which led to questions about how they could beat a good opponent. The Cardinals were the number one seed in the National League, so viewing them as a difficult opponent is totally natural. But...

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First Pitch: Pirates Advance to Face the Cardinals in the NLDS
Oct02

First Pitch: Pirates Advance to Face the Cardinals in the NLDS

Not much to say, other than linking to all of the coverage tonight. I’m heading to St. Louis tomorrow, and James Santelli will be joining me on Thursday for coverage of the series against the St. Louis Cardinals. James and Nate will have left-over coverage of the Wild Card game tomorrow, plus we’ll have a look ahead at the Cardinals. For now, here is the Wild Card content. **The Pirates Bought a Wild Card Win Against the...

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First Pitch: Pirates Showing a Lot of Confidence in Liriano
Oct01

First Pitch: Pirates Showing a Lot of Confidence in Liriano

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a chance to load up on plenty of relievers for the one game Wild Card matchup. Instead, they went the opposite route. Based on comments by Clint Hurdle today, the team will carry 16 position players and nine pitchers. The pitchers include Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and the seven regular relievers from the 2013 season. With the exception of Cole, the Pirates are managing this game just like any other game, from a...

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