Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Stays in Rotation, But For How Long?
Aug17

Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Stays in Rotation, But For How Long?

All three times this year Gerrit Cole has pitched on at least a week of rest, he has gotten a quality start. In his nine other starts, he has only four quality starts. Small sample size, certainly. We do not yet know if Cole is a better pitcher given more rest, and he will even tell you his breaking ball did not feel as sharp Friday night against the Diamondbacks (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) when he took the mound after a full week...

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Pirates Beat Arizona 6-2 to Expand Playoff Cushion, Match 2011 Win Total
Aug16

Pirates Beat Arizona 6-2 to Expand Playoff Cushion, Match 2011 Win Total

Gerrit Cole’s quality start and the Pirates lineup’s nine hits provided an important 6-2 series-opening win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The victory was Pittsburgh’s 72nd of the season, matching the win total of the 2011 Pirates that collapsed over the season’s final two months. These Pirates are not the 2011 Pirates, even though panicky fans cling to the team (which went from first place in July to 90 total...

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Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Says “There’s Nothing Better” Than Watching Martin
Aug16

Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Says “There’s Nothing Better” Than Watching Martin

Tony Sanchez calls Russell Martin one of the league’s best catchers, and he is right to boast. Martin leads all MLB catchers in assists (73), runners caught stealing (23) and is fourth in caught stealing percentage (43 percent), plus he has started 87 of 120 games at catcher for the Pirates’ pitching staff that has baseball’s best ERA. Sanchez arrived in Pittsburgh on July 29 carrying his own pedigree as a former No....

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Pirates Notebook: Neil Walker Has Been a Hit in August
Aug15

Pirates Notebook: Neil Walker Has Been a Hit in August

While the Pirates’ overall offense is slowly accelerating this month (11th in the NL in runs, 6th in OPS), Neil Walker has shifted gears entirely. Pittsburgh’s second baseman has been one of the league’s most productive players in August, hitting¬†.362 with an .893 OPS. Only Arizona’s hot-hitting Aaron Hill (.391 BA, 1.146 OPS) is performing better than Walker this month among NL second basemen. Walker has built...

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First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?
Aug13

First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?

There has been a lot of talk from various Pirates writers about having the “best 25″ in Pittsburgh. You could make a strong argument that the Pirates didn’t always have the best 25 players on the active roster this year. In some cases the upgrades were minor, such as upgrading the last two spots on the bench by getting rid of John McDonald and Brandon Inge. In other cases, the upgrades were more substantial. I feel...

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