First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded
Aug07

First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded

One of the big areas of need for the Pirates leading up to the deadline was the bench. For a long stretch the Pirates had a weak hitting bench, with Michael McKenry, Brandon Inge, Clint Barmes, and Travis Snider all struggling to hit. The only other hitter on the bench was either Gaby Sanchez, who can’t hit right-handers, or Garrett Jones, who can’t hit left-handers, depending on who was playing that day in the platoon....

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Pirates Playoff Roster Projection: Choosing a Champion
Aug05

Pirates Playoff Roster Projection: Choosing a Champion

This is not a jinx. On this day last year, the Pirates’ playoff odds were hovering around 50 percent. Their chances to make the postseason this year are above 98 percent. Starting to think about what the 25-man playoff roster will look like is not counting chickens before they hatch. These are the same conversations the Bucs’ front office people are having. Two points of order: the Wild Card Playoff acts as a separate...

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Pirates Notebook: When Will the Bucs Play the Best 25?
Jul09

Pirates Notebook: When Will the Bucs Play the Best 25?

The Pirates look to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid a third straight series loss Tuesday night as they face the Oakland Athletics. Manager Clint Hurdle appears to be fielding his optimal lineup as second baseman Neil Walker was placed on the disabled list right before the game. Brandon Inge is not in the starting lineup after starting two straight games at second base. The veteran infielder has the Major League’s...

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Pirates Strand 10 Runners in Third Straight Loss, End Locke’s Unbeaten Streak
Jul08

Pirates Strand 10 Runners in Third Straight Loss, End Locke’s Unbeaten Streak

Two Pirates line drives to the outfield found Oakland gloves, stranding four of the 10 runners the Pirates left on base in a 2-1 loss Monday night. The Bucs collected nine hits to the Athletics’ three, but went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position to drop their third-straight game. “I can control being ready to hit, to swing the bat,” said Andrew McCutchen, who was 1-for-4 and was robbed of a potential go-ahead...

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Pirates Notebook: “New” Rotation Key to 8-Game Win Streak
Jun30

Pirates Notebook: “New” Rotation Key to 8-Game Win Streak

For more than half of last season, from June to August, the Pirates used a rotation that included A.J. Burnett, Kevin Correia, Erik Bedard, James McDonald, Brad Lincoln, Jeff Karstens and Wandy Rodriguez. None of them are on the team’s current active roster. Instead, Pittsburgh has gone 13-4 in its last 17 games with a “new” staff of Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton and...

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