Game 96 Recap: Weak Bats, Shaky Defense Prove Costly

Cincinnati took advantage of two errors by Chase D’Arnaud and Johnny Cueto was effective again as the Reds managed to take the last game in a three game set. Jeff Karstens was on the losing side despite pitching well once again. The Reds scored their first run of the series in the first and it was gift wrapped. Chase D’Arnaud’s throwing error allowed Chris Heisey to reach second base. Edgar Renteria bunted him to...

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Game 91 Recap: Bucs in First After Karstens Shutout

If there is a little extra bounce in the step of Pirates fans everywhere and a little extra swagger in the gaits of Bucco players, I don’t think anyone will hold it against us or them. The Pirates are in first place. It’s mid-July. Jeff Karstens threw a complete game shutout and was backed by a two run triple from Andrew McCutchen. Combine that with losses by the Cardinals (thanks Brandon Phillips!) and the Brewers and you...

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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 86 Recap: Karstens Wins Again

Pittsburgh is four games over .500 this late in the year since 1992. I don’t care what happens the rest of the way. This is a triumph. This is better than I expected. Granted, my expectations were low. I thought a twelve game improvement versus 2010 would be a good bump up. It would be nice to think this team will contend this year. I don’t pretend to be optimistic that Pittsburgh will be playing meaningful contests come...

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Game 80 Recap: Karstens Continues to Impress

Jeff Karstens was efficient and effective over seven innings and the Pirates used a balanced, powerful (seven extra base hits) attack to beat the Blue Jays 6-2 in the rubber game of the inter-league matchup. Pittsburgh jumped out early on Brett Cecil, who was making his first start since April. Alex Presley tripled leading off the game and then scored on a ground ball out from Andrew McCutchen. Cecil wouldn’t allow another hit...

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