• First Pitch: Death to Small Ball

    The Pirates had an interesting situation in the fifth inning today. And by "interesting situation" I mean an extremely frustrating series of managing that has become common for Clint Hurdle. To lead off the inning, Jeff Locke stepped to the plate. He laced a single down the third base line, giving the...

  • Exploring the Arsenal – Chris Rusin

    Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of...

  • First Pitch: Indianapolis is Finished, Are the Pirates Finished Too?

    The Indianapolis Indians were eliminated from the International League playoffs tonight, ending their season. That also wraps up the minor league season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The major league season has a little less than a month to go. But do the Pirates have anything left to play for? I've got to...

  • Exploring the Arsenal – Jeff Samardzija

    Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of...

  • Exploring the Arsenal – Travis Wood

    Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of...

  • Pirates Have Six in MLB.com’s Updated Top 100 Prospects

    MLB.com has updated their top 100 prospects list, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have six players making the rankings. Gerrit Cole leads the group, coming in at number eight. That's a three spot improvement for Cole, who was ranked 11th coming in to the year. Jameson Taillon was next on the list, coming...

  • Simplicity Has Been Key for Garrett Jones This Season

    Photo by Mark Olson All eyes have been on Andrew McCutchen's MVP season this year with Pittsburgh. And he's worthy of it. The center fielder has put up impressive numbers this season, but because of all the attention on McCutchen, perhaps another Pirates player that's been having a career season has been overlooked. Garrett...

  • Ideas From the Fringe (Part 2) – The Wild Card Starter

    Yesterday, I took a look at an idea that will probably never happen -- lineup optimization by wOBA.  Today, I wanted to explore another out-of-the-box idea dealing with the Wild Card play-in game and the starting pitcher. The new wrinkle this year with a 1 game play-in game to determine which team...

  • First Pitch: The Expectations Have Changed

    Remember when all we talked about over the off-season was whether the Pirates would improve on their win total from 2011 season? Here we are on September 6th, and they've matched that win total. They're a lock for improvement from the 2011 record. Yet Pirates fans aren't talking about the improvement. Remember...

  • Ideas From the Fringe – Lineup Optimization

    Oftentimes, things are divided between "old school" and "new school" when it comes to baseball strategies.  This is one of those times. The Pirates are managed by Clint Hurdle who is a folksy-speaking, cliche-spewing, dirt-in-the-uniform guy.  He has control of the clubhouse and, along with his staff, have the Pittsburgh Pirates playing...

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