Pirates Notebook: You Learn Something New Every Start
Sep16

Pirates Notebook: You Learn Something New Every Start

The lasting image of Gerrit Cole’s first major league start wasn’t when he drove in a run, but a pitch he threw to the first batter he faced. With two strikes and Gregor Blanco at bat, Cole reared back and delivered a fastball with the high heat Pirates fans had been waiting for ever since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011. Blanco swung right through it, and Cole owned his first career strikeout. It’s now been...

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First Pitch: And Now There’s No Doubt About Cole in the Playoffs
Sep15

First Pitch: And Now There’s No Doubt About Cole in the Playoffs

The last two nights I’ve been writing about the playoff rotation and how that has been shaping up. The main focus in the comments was on Gerrit Cole. I didn’t have Cole as one of my top four starters for the playoffs, putting him behind Charlie Morton and a healthy Wandy Rodriguez. Last night I wrote about the difference between the Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg and the Pirates potentially shutting down Cole....

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Byrd, Tabata Homer to Lead Bucs Over Cubs, 2-1
Sep14

Byrd, Tabata Homer to Lead Bucs Over Cubs, 2-1

Five innings into Saturday’s contest, the Pirates couldn’t seem to solve Chicago starter Scott Baker. After six, the Pirates still hadn’t solved him. But Jose Tabata hit a solo home run in the sixth off Baker to tie the game, and Marlon Byrd went deep to right-center field off reliever James Russell in the seventh to put Pittsburgh on top, 2-1. The score held, as Tony Watson pitched a perfect eighth inning while Mark...

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First Pitch: When Washington Shut Down Strasburg and How it Relates to Cole
Sep14

First Pitch: When Washington Shut Down Strasburg and How it Relates to Cole

Last night I wrote about the state of the rotation leading into the playoffs. My playoff rotation would include Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton, and Wandy Rodriguez. When I mentioned Gerrit Cole, I noted that he’s been great lately, but that my main issue with him is innings. I also said that the Pirates might want to use Cole as a reliever if they have four other starters who are capable. I thought that was...

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First Pitch: The State of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Rotation
Sep13

First Pitch: The State of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Rotation

For most of the season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been carried by strong pitching, especially out of the starting rotation. Almost all of their starters have performed well this year, including most of the depth options that have come up to fill in for injuries. Now we’re approaching the end of the season, and the Pirates have their best starters in the mix. The Pirates are also pretty much a lock to make the playoffs. The only...

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