McDonald Hit Hard in Pirates Loss to Cardinals

Alternate title: “Good hitters gonna hit” — James McDonald, 4/15/2013 Today’s Pirates Pregame asked the question: Which James McDonald would we see today? It did not take long to get the answer. McDonald was hit early, hit hard and hit often before being pulled after retiring just five St. Louis Cardinals. In that time, the Cardinals scored eight runs (thought it’s worth noting that only three of them...

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Pirates Complete a Huge Comeback Victory Against the Reds

There were many moments in Pittsburgh’s improbable come-from-behind 10-7 win against Cincinnati on Sunday that could be pointed to as turning points. Michael McKenry’s first home run, Starling Marte’s home run, McKenry’s second home run, Travis Snider’s near home run — all possible moments when the momentum shifted to the Pirates side. From my seat, however, Pittsburgh took control of the game...

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Analysis: Teams Should Shift Their Infield More Against Garrett Jones

The Pirates did not need much help to hit into outs over the first week of the season, they were doing a good job all by themselves. Cubs manager Dale Sveum decided to make life a little more difficult for one of the Bucs’ best hitters, Garrett Jones. On Opening Day, Sveum shifted his infield to have three of his infielders on the right side. Jones hit into the shift in his first three at-bats, only reaching on a first-inning...

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Pirates Pregame: Irwin’s Debut, Inge Update, Phillips Returns for Reds

Phil Irwin will make his major league debut today for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the club announced this morning. Irwin won 29 games in five seasons of minor league competition, and while wins and losses are not necessarily a good barometer for the developmental process in the minors, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Irwin’s presence made his teammates better which translated to success on the field. “There comes a point in...

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Bullpen Strong Again in Pirates 3-1 Win Against Reds

The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen one again showed why it has been one of the strongest units in Major League Baseball this season on Saturday. The only fireworks came after the game (and during the ninth inning from the inaugural game at Highmark Stadium — home of the Pittsburgh RiverHounds soccer team), as the bullpen combined to pitch the final four innings and allowed just three hits during that span in the Pirates’ 3-1...

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