Pirates Notebook: Should McDonald Skip A Start in the Rotation?

The second half of the season for James McDonald continues to be a struggle. McDonald has had just two solid starts for the Pirates since the All-Star break. Those outings were a two-hit, six-inning shutout against the Cardinals on August 17th, and a two-hit, seven-inning shutout against St. Louis once again on August 28th. In McDonald’s other 10 starts, the right-hander has allowed 48 runs over 48.0 frames, good for a 9.00 ERA....

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Pirates Notebook: McDonald Showing Progress; Rotation Set for Cincinnati

It’s been a frustrating second half of the season for James McDonald. But there have been signs that the right-hander is bouncing back to his first half form. McDonald had to battle on Saturday at PNC Park against Chicago. The only clean inning he threw was the first. But he was able to stay away from the big innings, which had caused him trouble in some recent outings prior. “That was big,” McDonald said. “For...

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Pirates Notebook: Home Runs Hurt McDonald; Holt Gets First Major League Start

Miller Park is a hitter friendly ballpark, and the ball was flying out of it on Sunday afternoon. There were a total of eight home runs combined between the two teams, four of them from the Milwaukee Brewers chased James McDonald from the game in just the third inning. McDonald was impressive his last trip to the mound, in which has been a very inconsistent second half for the right-hander. McDonald allowed just two runs over seven...

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Pirates Notebook: Alvarez Locked in at the Plate; McDonald Needs to Seek Greatness

When Pedro Alvarez is locked in at the plate, watch out. That was no more evident than on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Alvarez had a four hit night, but it was two huge swings of the bat that dropped jaws. “I shared with him after his last at-bat where he struck out, I said, ‘Look. All you got to do is hit two homers, get four hits, and they’ll clap for you when you strike out around here’,” Manager Clint Hurdle joked. With Andrew...

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Pirates Notebook: First Inning Runs off Bucs Unfortunate Trend

  The Pittsburgh Pirates first inning woes continued on Wednesday after James McDonald allowed San Diego to plate three runs in the opening frame. The first inning struggle has been somewhat of a trend for the Bucs as of late. In each of the opening frames against the Padres over the three game set, the starters have allowed at least two runs to touch home plate. Over their last five games, the club has allowed the opposing team...

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