Pirates Notebook: No Quitting in the Bucs During Rough Stretch

The Pirates are going through a rough stretch. After getting shutout 11-0 to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Manager Clint Hurdle said “it is our worst patch of play probably during the season.” While the starting staff and bullpen has been struggling, the offense hasn’t been able to click consistently either. The club has lost five of their seven games. During that stretch, the starters have combined to post a 6.75 ERA (30...

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Pirates Notebook: Karstens Tinkering with Curve; McDonald Gets Bumped in Rotation

Jeff Karstens has been working on some adjustments over his last several starts. Since returning from the disabled list due  to a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss over two months, Karstens has posted a 3.79 ERA after his four earned run outing on Monday against Los Angeles. “I don’t think I’ve pitched terribly, but I also don’t think I’ve pitched well enough to win,” Karstens said. “There’s a fine line...

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Pirates Notebook: Barmes Has Biggest Swing of His Season

This Pittsburgh Pirates team battles, and never gives up. Even when things look like they’re starting to turn for the worse, they’ve been able to prevail and beat the odds. It proved to be true on Sunday afternoon, in perhaps the wildest first four innings played this 2012 season. “We’re pretty good,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re not perfect. We’ll confuse you. We’ll probably anger you from time to...

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Pirates Notebook: Burnett Shows Two Sides; Velocity Returns for Grilli

When the Pirates have had struggles or been battling through a losing streak, A.J. Burnett was the stopper for Pittsburgh. Burnett entered game action having won four straight decisions and 13 of his last 14. When the team needed a pick me up, the veteran right-hander was the stopper for the club. Burnett looked to become the Pirates first 15 game winner since Todd Ritchie in 1999. But Padres’ starter Jason Marquis was near...

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Pirates Notebook: McDonald Struggling in 2nd Half; Bucs Going With 6-Man Rotation

James McDonald has struggled the second half of the season. The McDonald that Pittsburgh saw in the first half of the season was impressive. He entered the break with just a 2.37 ERA and looked to be the club’s ace of the staff. His evolution drew so much attention that some were surprised he wasn’t chosen to pitch in the All-Star game for the National League. But the version that has been on the bump since the break has...

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Pirates Notebook: Locke Shines in 2012 Debut, But His Role is Undecided

Jeff Locke was impressive in his 2012 debut for the Pirates on Thursday at PNC Park. The left-hander, who was recalled on Wednesday, was promoted to serve the club with length from the bullpen — a role that he’s never been called upon to do in his professional career. But the 24-year-old looked nothing like a rookie on the mound in Pittsburgh. “I think there’s nerves anytime you pitch at any level. If you’re not...

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