McKenry Has a Career Night at the Plate, But Also Tweaks Knee
Jul28

McKenry Has a Career Night at the Plate, But Also Tweaks Knee

The Pirates had some unlikely heroes step up in tonight’s 7-4 win over the Miami Marlins. The offense was led by Michael McKenry. That’s the same Michael McKenry who Pirates fans have wanted demoted in favor of Tony Sanchez for most of the last two months. It’s the same McKenry that had just three hits from May 30th to July 20th.¬†Tonight McKenry had four hits, which is a career high. He brought in two of the runs. In...

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Locke’s Control and a Weak Bench Are Two Concerns From Tonight’s Loss
Jul27

Locke’s Control and a Weak Bench Are Two Concerns From Tonight’s Loss

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost their second game in a row, falling 2-0 to the Miami Marlins tonight. Thus begins The Collapsening 3.0.3. Or 3.0.4. It’s hard to keep track. There were two things that stood out in tonight’s loss, which have both been problems as of late. Jeff Locke Struggled With His Control The big story with Jeff Locke this year is the debate over whether he will maintain his high ERA, or see a regression....

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Harper’s Walkoff Homer Lifts Nationals 9-7 over Pirates
Jul25

Harper’s Walkoff Homer Lifts Nationals 9-7 over Pirates

Thursday’s sweep attempt of the Washington Nationals was one of the wildest games of the season. The Nationals (49-53) walked off winners 9-7 on Bryce Harper’s two-run homer, but that was a mere punctuation on the craziness before. From Mike Winters’ erratic strike zone to the Pirates’ (60-40) three-error blunder-splosion, to the ejections of both managers, to Josh Harrison’s big home run, to the...

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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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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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