Pirates Notebook: Pitching Staff Continues to Shine

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Pittsburgh’s pitching staff continues to shine this season. Entering game action, the staff ERA of 3.33 ranked No. 3 in the Majors, second in the National League trailing only the Washington Nationals (2.90). The bullpen’s 2.47 ERA is the best in the N.L. “Very impressive pitching all night tonight on the mound,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. Right-hander A.J. Burnett made his...

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Pirates Notebook: Options to Spark Offense Could Be Internal

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Pirates entered game action on Wednesday just three games under .500 and four games back in the National League Central Division. What’s kept the club afloat this season has been off the mound. The pitching continues to be solid from the starters to the relievers. However, the bats have been a different story. The Pirates .218 team average is ranked last in the National League....

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Pirates Notebook: James McDonald Having a Breakout Season

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Right-hander James McDonald continues to impress this 2012 season, posting numbers worthy of arguably a nomination for a breakout player in the National League. Over McDonald’s last six starts, he’s whiffed 52 batters over 41.2 innings since his eight strikeout performance on April 25. During that span, McDonald leads the Majors in the strikeout department, which included a career-high 11 against...

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Pirates Notebook: Bucs Continue to Battle Through Close Games

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Pirates have been battling through close games for most of the 2012 season. The largest margin they have lost by was in a 12-3 contest against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 2. There have been 19 one-run games this season, which is tied with Washington for the most in the Majors. On Monday, the Pirates faced the New York Mets at PNC Park. Their first two runs came off lefty starter Johan Santana...

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Pirates Notebook: Why are Teams Pitching to McCutchen?

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen is having a huge month of May. Even after going 0-for-3 on Sunday, McCutchen is hitting for a .396 average (21-for-53) with a double, triple, seven home runs, 13 RBI, 12 runs scored and a .900 slugging percentage in his first 16 games this month. “I don’t know,” McCutchen said with a laugh on why club’s are still pitching to him, after blasting two two-run homers against Detroit on Saturday....

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Pirates Notebook: McCutchen’s Power is Just Fine

A month into the 2012 season, all eyes were on Andrew McCutchen and the fact that he had not yet gone deep for a home run. Game after game, McCutchen continued to pick up hits, doubles, swiping bases, but his lack of long ball power started to raise some concern outside the clubhouse. “As far as power, power comes and power goes,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said in early May. “I’m encouraged that Andrew is not out...

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