First Pitch: The Pirates Continue to Bunt Away Their Best Chances
Aug19

First Pitch: The Pirates Continue to Bunt Away Their Best Chances

In the eighth inning of tonight’s game, Starling Marte led off with a bunt single. The score was tied 2-2, and if the Pirates scored a run they would be able to turn to Mark Melancon for the save in the top of the ninth. The Diamondbacks kept left-hander Wade Miley in to face Jordy Mercer, with Andrew McCutchen on deck and Russell Martin in the hole. Predictably, the Pirates bunted Starling Marte over to second, which led to an...

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First Pitch: The Five Stages of Jeff Locke Regression Grief
Aug18

First Pitch: The Five Stages of Jeff Locke Regression Grief

All season on this site we had been talking about how Jeff Locke was due for regression. The left-hander had an ERA around 3.00, and eventually that dropped as low as 2.01 on June 19th. That would have made him one of the best starters in the majors. His advanced metrics suggested a different story. Locke’s FIP bounced around a lot in the first half of the season, but from the start of June he has been consistently in the...

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First Pitch: A Precautionary Tale About Living in Fear of a Collapse
Aug17

First Pitch: A Precautionary Tale About Living in Fear of a Collapse

I sat on the couch, staring intently at the TV. There are situations in sports when there is almost no hope available, yet for some reason you cling to the impossible. I was trying to find one small ounce of hope. The playoffs are when magical things happen. A comeback was unlikely, but I couldn’t give up hope. “Yes!” My roommate on the couch next to me gave a small cheer and a fist pump, as if he even needed to...

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First Pitch: What Could Be the Solution to the RISP Problem?
Aug16

First Pitch: What Could Be the Solution to the RISP Problem?

We’ve talked a lot this week about the issue of hitting with runners in scoring position. I’ve made my thoughts known on the matter. I don’t put much stock in RISP numbers. They’re small sample sizes, and as the samples get bigger, players will see their numbers fall in line with their overall numbers. So the fact that the Pirates have so many players under-performing their overall numbers this year, and even...

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First Pitch: Why Do Some Big Name Players Clear Waivers?
Aug15

First Pitch: Why Do Some Big Name Players Clear Waivers?

Today we learned that several players around the league cleared waivers. First we heard about Justin Morneau, who the Pirates were linked to prior to the deadline. Next, Ken Rosenthal reported five more players who cleared waivers, highlighted by Dan Haren and Erik Bedard. Cleared waivers, can be traded to any team: #Nationals’ Haren, #Astros’ Bedard, #WhiteSox’s Lindstrom, #Cubs’ Guerrier, #Mariners’ Ryan. 1/2 — Ken Rosenthal...

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First Pitch: The RISP Problems For the Pirates Are a Fluke
Aug14

First Pitch: The RISP Problems For the Pirates Are a Fluke

Two nights ago I wrote about how the Pirates aren’t perfect, but they are legit contenders. The main flaw with the team this year has been the offense, and one of the problems has been their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. As I also mentioned in that article, RISP numbers are not something you should build analysis on, as explained in this article by Matt Snyder. But let’s entertain this idea for a...

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