First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas over the off-season, looking at each player for values other than offense. So far on the season, both players have put up some horrible offensive numbers. Yet each is getting playing time. Barmes is getting playing time because of his defense. His 17.5 UZR/150 leads all qualified major league shortstops. Barajas is getting time mostly for his ability to work well with the...

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Pirates Notebook: Bucs Snap Skid; Is McDonald’s Spot Safe?

The Pittsburgh Pirates took the field in Chicago on Saturday afternoon just one game over .500 and three games back of St. Louis for the second spot in the Wild Card race. Looking to snap their seven-game skid and turn things around, the club needed the offense to spark and the pitching to hold the club in the game, while making solid defensive plays. The Pirates were able to put it all together and end their losing streak by beating...

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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: Bucs Playing With Confidence, Finishing the First Half Strong

PITTSBURGH, PA — Today marked the halfway point of the season. If the first half is any indicator for what is in store in the second part of the season, Pittsburgh Pirate fans and the city better buckle up, because it’s going to be a fun team to watch. The club entered game action on the Fourth of July tied for first place in the National League Central with the Cincinnati Reds. After clawing back from a four-run deficit...

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Barmes Getting His Swing Back After Working With Hurdle

Clint Barmes had the worst start to 2012 in his professional career, which has spanned over parts of eight seasons in the Majors. Every time Barmes stepped to the plate, he was aware of his batting average, which was well below the Mendoza line. He heard boo’s from his home crowd after every at-bat. After hitting for just a .170 clip, Barmes and Manager Clint Hurdle decided to take a step back from the game to work on his swing....

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