Pirates Notebook: McCutchen, Walker Power Bucs to Strong First Half Finish

PITTSBURGH, PA — When Andrew McCutchen steps to the plate, more often than not, he does something special. In the final game before the All-Star break, McCutchen put on a display of why he’s worthy of National League MVP conversations. After Neil Walker doubled off San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum with one-out in the first inning, McCutchen took a 3-2 pitch from the right-hander that he launched for his 17th home run of...

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Pirates Notebook: Perhaps This Year IS Different

PITTSBURGH, PA — Drew Sutton hasn’t been wearing Black and Yellow for very long, but he had quite the moment on Tuesday night. After Joel Hanrahan blew just his third save of the season to the Houston Astros on a two out, two-strike RBI double, the game went to the bottom of the ninth inning tied at seven. The club had already rallied back from a four-run deficit in the game and tied the game up in the seventh inning. So...

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Pirates Notebook: Tabata Getting Closer to Being Demoted

If Jose Tabata doesn’t get his act together, the outfielder could face a demotion to Triple-A. After Tabata made several throwing errors in right field in the Pirates 8-3 loss to Philadelphia on Monday, the outfielder saw himself get bumped down to seventh in the lineup, and on Thursday was benched. Tabata has been very inconsistent this season. Coming out of spring training it was expected that Tabata and Alex Presley would...

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With Guidance From Veterans, McDonald Evolving into Ace

After James McDonald tossed his first career complete game his last trip to the mound on Thursday at PNC Park, he explained what was the biggest key for him in his impressive 2012 season. The reason? Guidance from veterans Rod Barajas and A.J. Burnett. “Those guys influence me in a lot of ways,” McDonald explained. “Now, I expect seven innings every time. Before I didn’t even think about that. Just that mentality...

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Pirates Notebook: Burnett Finding Joy in Baseball Again

PITTSBURGH, PA — Not since Dock Ellis in 1974 has a Pittsburgh starting pitcher won more than six straight starts (Ellis won eight). But on Friday night in front of a sell out crowd at PNC Park, A.J. Burnett put himself in with pretty good company by winning his seventh straight in the Pirates 4-1 victory over Detroit. “As long as we are winning out there, it’s all good,” Burnett said. “It’s not about me out...

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