First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?
Jul20

First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?

Over the winter there was a lot of talk about how the Pittsburgh Pirates were adding a lot of high beta players. The term first came up when David Todd described Francisco Liriano as a high beta player, pointing out that there were many possible outcomes for his 2013 season, ranging from very bad to very good. I wrote about how the Pirates had a roster full of those players, and how the 2013 season would depend on the success/failure...

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Jordy Mercer Breaks Slide with Walkoff Single in 3-2 Win Over Mets
Jul13

Jordy Mercer Breaks Slide with Walkoff Single in 3-2 Win Over Mets

Jordy Mercer was struggling at the plate through July when he came up in the 11th inning with two runners on. The Pirates’ now-second baseman stepped inĀ 4-for-31 over the month with no extra-base hits. No time like walkoff time to stop a skid in front of 39,036 fans, PNC Park’s largest crowd since Opening Day. Mercer knew that Andrew McCutchen would score from second base if his hit found outfield grass, and he grounded a...

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Pirates Offense Goes Flat Again in 4-1 Loss to Cubs
Jul06

Pirates Offense Goes Flat Again in 4-1 Loss to Cubs

Pedro Alvarez hit a home run for the Pirates, his 22nd of the year, but Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs for the Cubs, his 11th and 12th, to raise the “W” flag in Chicago 4-1. The goal for Charlie Morton is to give up as few hard-hits as possible. In his successful 2011 season, Morton had the lowest home run rate for any pitcher in the NL: 6 home runs in 172 innings. Those two home runs allowed to Soriano, widely known as...

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Why a Four-Man Pirates Rotation Could Work
Jun25

Why a Four-Man Pirates Rotation Could Work

The Pirates’ rotation situation will probably work itself out. The discussion about Gerrit Cole potentially returning to Triple-A so the Pirates will have six starters available is just this week’s version of Pittsburgh’s least exciting game show: What Should The Pirates Do With Their Rotation? In previous episodes, the correct answer was: Someone Gets Hurt. Wandy Rodriguez and Jeanmar Gomez leave a game after one...

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Pirates Beat Angels in 10-9 Thriller: What We Learned
Jun24

Pirates Beat Angels in 10-9 Thriller: What We Learned

It would be difficult to describe all the important events of the Pirates’ 10-9 extra-innings victory to sweep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Frankly, any such description would not do justice to the most exciting game of the 2013 season. Instead of trying to re-tell all that happened, let’s treat this win like I try to treat every game: a chance to learn more about this Pirates team that is so fascinating, so...

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