Pirates Lose Another Extra-Inning Game in Atlanta

In the 6th inning on Tuesday night, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had a decision to make. Starting pitcher Jeff Locke had just made his 103rd pitch, and it was lined by Atlanta Braves’ second baseman Dan Uggla into left for a two-out single. With right-handed-hitting B.J. Upton up to bat and Locke about to tie his career high for most pitches in one game, Hurdle dipped into the bullpen for righty Ryan Reid to maintain the...

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Projecting NL All-Star Rosters: Grilli, Burnett Could Be Only Pirates

There is only one month left in the fan voting for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field. Today, MLB released updated ballot results for the National League. The full results can be found here, but below are the current vote leaders at each position. Starting Lineup Catcher: Buster Posey, Giants First Base: Joey Votto, Reds Second Base: Brandon Phillips, Reds Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies Third Base: Pablo...

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Pirates Ride Jones’ River Shot, Superb Bullpen To 5-4 Comeback Win

When PNC Park was built in 2001 along the North Shore of the Allegheny River, the Pirates erected a sign on the right-field wall to track how many home runs the Bucs would hit into the river on the fly. Twelve years later: 1. After the Pirates (35-22) missed chances to score all weekend long, Garrett Jones left. No doubt. Jones ripped a slider from Cincinnati Reds’ set-up man Jonathan Broxton inside and above the right-field...

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First Pitch: Thoughts on the Bullpen, Mercer, Taillon, Cole, and the Reds

Thursday is podcast recording day, which means I spent most of my time today writing articles for the site, recording tomorrow’s show, and editing that show. Therefore, rather than a formal article, we’re going to do a Thursday thoughts article again. **Put me down as someone who isn’t concerned with the bullpen usage. If we’re talking about the middle relievers, there’s plenty of depth in Indianapolis....

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Pirates Notebook: Hurdle Not Too Worried About Reliever Innings

The performance of the bullpen has played a role in the the Pirates’ winning ways, especially given the many close games they have won. Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranked 2nd in the National League in ERA, 3rd in strikeout percentage and 4th in FIP. That success has not come without a cost, though, or at least a mortgage. Mark Melancon (0.96 ERA, 1.74 FIP) has pitched the 10th-most innings in the NL, while Justin Wilson...

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