First Pitch: 2013 is Just the Beginning for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Oct10

First Pitch: 2013 is Just the Beginning for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Tonight Gerrit Cole pitched Game 5 of the NLDS. He wasn’t on the Opening Day roster. He joined the team mid-season. He didn’t look like an ace until the final month of the year. Next year the Pirates have Gerrit Cole for a full season, and hopefully at the level he’s been pitching over the last season. Starling Marte had a 4.6 WAR in his first full season in the majors. Andrew McCutchen had a 3.5 WAR in his first...

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First Pitch: Pirates and Cardinals Showing They’re Evenly Matched
Oct09

First Pitch: Pirates and Cardinals Showing They’re Evenly Matched

Can you get a series more evenly matched than this one? In game one the Cardinals blew away the Pirates, winning 9-1. The Pirates responded with their own blowout in game two, winning 7-1. Game three was a little closer, with the Pirates edging out the Cardinals 5-3. Game four was another close game, this time featuring the Cardinals getting the edge and winning 2-1. When you dig into the numbers, there are some things that are...

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First Pitch: How the Pirates Could Advance to the NLCS Today
Oct07

First Pitch: How the Pirates Could Advance to the NLCS Today

Back on September 8th, the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the St. Louis Cardinals in a matchup that saw Charlie Morton go up against Michael Wacha. The results weren’t good for the Pirates. Morton went 1.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits. It was one of the few bad starts he had in August and September combined. The Pirates were shut down by Wacha, who threw seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks. The Cardinals...

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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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