Pirates Notebook: Hurdle Not Too Worried About Reliever Innings

The performance of the bullpen has played a role in the the Pirates’ winning ways, especially given the many close games they have won. Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranked 2nd in the National League in ERA, 3rd in strikeout percentage and 4th in FIP. That success has not come without a cost, though, or at least a mortgage. Mark Melancon (0.96 ERA, 1.74 FIP) has pitched the 10th-most innings in the NL, while Justin Wilson...

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Walker’s Homer Breaks Stalemate, Pirates Beat Tigers 1-0

Before we get to the game’s pivotal moment, I should praise the work of Clint Hurdle to counteract my usual desire to bury him. Eyebrows were raised when Hurdle removed Jeanmar Gomez with 73 pitches. Gomez had retired the last eight Detroit Tigers hitters, and looked primed to keep working through the bottom of the order. But Hurdle knew Gomez’s season high is 79 pitches, and opted for Justin Wilson, whose only hiccups in...

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Pirates Notebook: Pitchers Working on Historic Run of Run Prevention

One moment in particular struck me about the Pirates’ 5-4 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. If Wandy Rodriguez had been able to retire Norichika Aoki or Jean Segura or Ryan Braun in the 5th inning, the Bucs would have exited Miller Park having given up only five total runs in the three-game series. You can play the “if, and, but” game all day long, certainly, and the Brewers have a very good top of the lineup for a reason....

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Pirates Beat Brewers 5-2 with Four Homers, Another Locke-Down

Forgive me for the obvious pun, I couldn’t resist. The Pirates took a bite out of Mike Fiers early and often by hitting three home runs, more than enough for Jeff Locke and the bullpen to finish off a 5-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Powering up against Fiers (and later against a reliever) supplied the Bucs’ 9th win in the last 56 games in Milwaukee. Pedro Alvarez and Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez both hit...

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Pirates Attack Edwin Jackson Early In 4-2 Win, Sweep Cubs

Only Mother Nature could stop the Pirates’ offensive barrage on Edwin Jackson. In the first two innings, the Bucs smacked six hits and brought in four runs on the opposing starting pitcher, en route to a 4-2 Thursday afternoon victory and sweep over the Chicago Cubs. While Jackson struck out six batters, he also left plenty of pitches down the middle for the Pirates to smack. Then it began to rain. Jackson and mound opponent...

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Francisco Liriano Digs Up A Gem In 1-0 Pirates Win

Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Changeup. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Slider. Changeup. Slider. Slider. Fastball! Slider. Those were the pitches Francisco Liriano threw to get Cubs batters to swing and miss en route to nine strikeouts in the Pirates’ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Liriano gave up only one hit in his seven innings of work. Those 19 whiffs demonstrated...

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