First Pitch: The Week the Pirates Clinch the Playoffs?
Sep16

First Pitch: The Week the Pirates Clinch the Playoffs?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have 13 games remaining this year. The easiest part of their remaining schedule will take place over the next four games, with a four game homestand against the San Diego Padres. After that they finished with six of nine games against the Cincinnati Reds, with a three game road series against the Chicago Cubs sandwiched in between. Last week I wrote about how this would be a tight race, and how the Pirates could...

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First Pitch: And Now There’s No Doubt About Cole in the Playoffs
Sep15

First Pitch: And Now There’s No Doubt About Cole in the Playoffs

The last two nights I’ve been writing about the playoff rotation and how that has been shaping up. The main focus in the comments was on Gerrit Cole. I didn’t have Cole as one of my top four starters for the playoffs, putting him behind Charlie Morton and a healthy Wandy Rodriguez. Last night I wrote about the difference between the Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg and the Pirates potentially shutting down Cole....

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First Pitch: When Washington Shut Down Strasburg and How it Relates to Cole
Sep14

First Pitch: When Washington Shut Down Strasburg and How it Relates to Cole

Last night I wrote about the state of the rotation leading into the playoffs. My playoff rotation would include Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton, and Wandy Rodriguez. When I mentioned Gerrit Cole, I noted that he’s been great lately, but that my main issue with him is innings. I also said that the Pirates might want to use Cole as a reliever if they have four other starters who are capable. I thought that was...

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First Pitch: The State of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Rotation
Sep13

First Pitch: The State of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Rotation

For most of the season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been carried by strong pitching, especially out of the starting rotation. Almost all of their starters have performed well this year, including most of the depth options that have come up to fill in for injuries. Now we’re approaching the end of the season, and the Pirates have their best starters in the mix. The Pirates are also pretty much a lock to make the playoffs. The only...

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First Pitch: The Texas Sweep Puts the Pirates in a Good Position
Sep12

First Pitch: The Texas Sweep Puts the Pirates in a Good Position

Things looked pretty bleak for the Pittsburgh Pirates coming out of the weekend. They had lost four in a row for only the fourth time this season, including a three game sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals. There was the upcoming eight game home stretch to look forward to, but first there was the Texas Rangers, on the road. If you were thinking sweep after watching the Cardinals series, then you probably weren’t alone. But I...

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First Pitch: When Will the Pirates Be Recognized as a Good Team?
Sep11

First Pitch: When Will the Pirates Be Recognized as a Good Team?

The Pirates came into this series against the Texas Rangers fresh off a four game losing streak. They were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, and fell 1.5 games out of first place. Naturally, they would have been lucky to win one game against the Texas Rangers. The six games against the Reds at the end of the season would also be difficult. They would need to pad the win column against the Cubs and Padres, except...

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