The Pitching Staff is Good, But Not This Good

One of the big concerns I’ve had with the makeup of the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates has been the starting pitching.  The rotation has been the strong point of the team this year.  Pirates’ starters have the 8th best ERA in the league, at a combined 3.58.  Four of their five starters have ERAs of 3.80 or better.  The leaders are Jeff Karstens, with a 2.55 ERA, and Paul Maholm, with a 3.08 ERA.  Since the end of April, three...

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Game 82 Recap: Jones, McCutchen Boost Bucs Late

The Pirates appeared to be wasting yet another strong effort from the starting corps – this time from James McDonald. But back-to-back solo homers in the eighth from Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen propelled the Pirates to a 5-3 win. The Pirates jumped on Livan Hernandez for two first inning runs. Alex Presley singled to start the game. Chase D’Arnaud’s grounder forced him at second base. D’Arnaud swiped...

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Game 77 Recap: Errors Cost Bucs Shot at Sweep

Andrew Miller and the Red Sox bullpen held the Pirates offense to five singles and two runs. The Pirates were betrayed by some spotty defense and some walks. Three unearned runs were scored on four errors. Three of the four Boston runs were scored by players who had drawn a free pass. Boston avoided a sweep by taking the final game 4-2. The errors started in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled to start the inning against James...

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Should the Pirates Make a Move?

At the beginning of this month, I talked about how the Pirates weren’t winning against good teams, and were just beating up on bad teams.  I mentioned that with a June schedule which included the Philadelphia Phillies (34-22 at the time), Arizona Diamondbacks (31-25), Cleveland Indians (33-20), Boston Red Sox (30-26), and Toronto Blue Jays (28-28), the Pirates were unlikely to escape the month of June with a winning record....

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Pirates winning games, not necessarily making progress

On June 8, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates faced off against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park. Paul Maholm was on the hill for the Bucs. Zach Duke, who was making his first appearance against his former mates, would take the ball for the D-Backs. The Pirates scraped across a run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Andrew McCutchen. That 1-0 lead held up until the eighth, when Steven Drew lined a game-tying single through the...

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