First Pitch: A Look at the Short-Term and Long-Term Pitching Moves

I was asked this morning on Twitter how the pitching staff would look on July 1st. The recent starts by Jeff Locke, the eventual returns of Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton, and the possibility of Gerrit Cole arriving mid-season make that an impossible question to answer. That’s especially true when you consider that anything could happen between now and then. Pitchers could get injured, they could stop performing well, or...

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Pirates Keep Rolling with 6-4 Win Over Phillies

The Pirates’ offense jumped on starter Cliff Lee and the Phillies’ relievers for 14 hits for a 6-4 win Thursday afternoon. Add in the fact that manager Clint Hurdle made far more of the right moves than his counterpart Charlie Manuel, and the Bucs wrapped a key four-game series win. This is not a game the Pirates would have won last April. They didn’t even reach 14 hits in a game last year until June 27. Posting 10...

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Pirates Win Thanks to an Improved McDonald and Strong Lineup Construction

Tonight wasn’t the type of game you’d normally expect the Pirates to win. It’s not the type of matchup you’d expect any team to win. On one side you had the best team in baseball, with a pitcher who entered the game with 20.1 shutout innings to start the season. On the other side you had a team that has been very inconsistent this year, with a pitcher who has had low velocity to start the year and was hit hard...

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First Pitch: All of the Warning Signs are There For a James McDonald Injury

After the first start of the year from James McDonald, I got a question. “What is up with his velocity? Is he injured?” McDonald’s velocity was down in the first game of the year. He ranged from about 87-92 MPH, but averaged 89 MPH with his fastball. Looking at this chart from FanGraphs, it was the first time in the last three seasons that he’s averaged below 90 MPH in a game. He’s only averaged 90 once....

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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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