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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Pirates Strand More Runners in 5-3 Loss to Reds
Jul20

Pirates Strand More Runners in 5-3 Loss to Reds

Losing in Cincinnati does not harm Pittsburgh’s playoff chances as much as one might think. The Reds and Pirates are still on a collision course for the NL Wild Card Playoff (43% chance this is the Coin Flip Game matchup), and even after a loss the Bucs are still 8.5 games ahead of being out of the postseason picture. However, the dropping Friday night’s game 5-3 showed one of the Pirates’ major weaknesses and hurt...

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Cole’s Rough 1st Inning, Missed Hitting Opportunities Sink Sweep Chance
Jul15

Cole’s Rough 1st Inning, Missed Hitting Opportunities Sink Sweep Chance

All you need to take away from the Pirates’ 4-2 loss to the New York Mets in their final game before the All-Star Break is up in that headline. Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole allowed four hits and three runs in the 1st inning. Eric Young and David Wright knocked two fastballs for ground-ball singles, followed by Marlon Byrd mashing Cole’s slider for an RBI ground-rule double to left. Cole walked Josh Satin to load the...

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