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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Stopper Liriano Pitches Seven Scoreless in 5-2 Pirates Win
Aug03

Stopper Liriano Pitches Seven Scoreless in 5-2 Pirates Win

When the Pirates need to stop a losing streak, they send out their stopper. Francisco Liriano has become the stopper. He and the Pirates are now 12-4 in his starts after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Saturday night, and by doing so stopped a two-game losing streak from turning into a losing skid. Winter’s best free agent signing pitched seven shutout innings, struck out six batters and allowed only two Rockies hits, and...

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First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons
Jul11

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

Last night I wrote about how the problem with the Pirates offense this year has been that three positions in the lineup struggle against left-handed pitching. Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and the right-field duo of Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have all struggled against lefties this year. Platoons are very underrated. Or should I say the left-handed side of the platoon is underrated. Just look at a lot of the comments about Gaby...

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Pirates Notebook: All Quiet with Trade Deadline Three Weeks Away
Jul10

Pirates Notebook: All Quiet with Trade Deadline Three Weeks Away

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is three weeks away, approaching quickly but not so fast that teams need to act hastily when making moves. The Pirates could have acquired outfielders Shane Victorino or Carlos Quentin at last year’s deadline, but would have had to trade current left fielder Starling Marte in either deal, according to manager Clint Hurdle. He also said spending money on those players’ salaries...

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Pirates’ Bullpen Pitches 12 Shutout Innings for Sweep of Brewers

What a way to close out the Pirates’ most successful first half in four decades. The Pirates’ 2-1 win and home sweep of Milwaukee (32-48) featured 14 innings, five Brewers infielders, two chances for a walkoff walk and only one player left on the bench for either team. Helped by a two-hour rain delay, the game ended six and a half hours after it began with last Pittsburgh (51-30) position player Russell Martin driving in...

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