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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First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager’s office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt. No, that’s not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates’ minor-league system in shambles despite six straight Top-11 picks, but at least a couple of those prospects worked out. Three productive players in the Pittsburgh lineup were all amateurs picked up by Littlefield: Andrew...

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First Pitch: Runs Tough to Come By in Burnett Starts

A.J. Burnett has pitched like a staff ace so far in 2013 but does not have the record to show for it. Granted, wins and losses are not good statistics to judge a pitcher’s performance but what is troubling has less to do with Burnett and more to do with the Pirates offense. Burnett has been great at the top of the Pittsburgh rotation and the Pirate offense has shown the ability to score runs, yet somehow the two have not found a...

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Pirates Lose 4-2: Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Burnett Still Good at Baseball

Seeing the Houston Astros again must make the Pirates nostalgic for last year, when Andrew McCutchen and A.J. Burnett strapped the team to their back in the first half and carried them to first place on their own will. So it was again for the Pirates (25-18) in a 4-2 loss Saturday night at PNC Park. McCutchen hit two doubles and scored the two Pittsburgh runs while Burnett struck out seven hitters and allowed only one run on his...

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Pirates Notebook: Burnett Takes Mound As NL Strikeout Leader

A.J. Burnett will start Saturday night with the most strikeouts (72) in the National League and 25,000 bobbleheads with his face in the PNC Park stands. While he trails MLB leader Yu Darvish (86 strikeouts), Burnett faces a Houston offense that has struck out the most times in baseball this season. Burnett’s strikeout rate has jumped to a career-best 31.6%, but manager Clint Hurdle wants to make sure his staff ace is not only...

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