Pirates Beat Mariners 9-4 on Power of Marte, Inge
Jun26

Pirates Beat Mariners 9-4 on Power of Marte, Inge

When we have watched Brandon Inge struggle to reach base so mightily this season, it’s difficult to see that this is the same hitter who has averaged 15 home runs over the last seven seasons. If Inge has a third defining quality beyond solid infield defense and clubhouse leadership, it is his sneaky good ¬†power. Brandon Inge reminded everyone by crushing Joe Saunders’ belt-high fastball over the left-field bullpen at...

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Why a Four-Man Pirates Rotation Could Work
Jun25

Why a Four-Man Pirates Rotation Could Work

The Pirates’ rotation situation will probably work itself out. The discussion about Gerrit Cole potentially returning to Triple-A so the Pirates will have six starters available is just this week’s version of Pittsburgh’s least exciting game show: What Should The Pirates Do With Their Rotation? In previous episodes, the correct answer was: Someone Gets Hurt. Wandy Rodriguez and Jeanmar Gomez leave a game after one...

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Jeff Locke Shines But Reds Win 2-1 in 13 Innings
Jun20

Jeff Locke Shines But Reds Win 2-1 in 13 Innings

Having secured its prey, the black snake squeezes it to death before eating it. The body is coiled around the prey, tightening until respiration stops and suffocation occurs. — Encyclopedia Britannica Jeff Locke is a black snake. You watched him on the mound Wednesday night in the Pirates’ 2-1 loss at Cincinnati. He pitched seven scoreless innings despite allowing runners into scoring position in three of the first four...

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First Pitch: Locke’s Anti-Regression, Cumpton a Bonus, and Jamestown

I didn’t have one specific thing I wanted to write about, but a few notes I was thinking about. So I went with more of a notes column, with three different topics below. **About a month ago we were talking about Jeff Locke being a regression candidate going forward. That sparked the usual responses of “what if Locke is the exception and outperforms his FIP all year?” Well, he isn’t the exception. Locke has been...

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Pirates Locke Down and Shut Out Dodgers 3-0

Did you see this coming? Did you see Jeff Locke having the National League’s 5th-best ERA in mid-June? If you’re surprised, that’s because Locke’s performance sneaks up on you. The Pirates have needed nine starters to fill four spots because of injuries, poor pitching or in Gerrit Cole’s case, delaying a service time clock. Meanwhile, Locke stands on the mound every fifth day and personifies consistency....

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