Game 43 Recap: McDonald Earns Win in Bucs Sweep

James McDonald chucked it well. The Pirates beat Johnny Cueto for a change. It added up to a two game sweep in Cincinnati. The Reds drew first blood. In the second inning the Pirates loaded the bases but were unable to cash in against Cueto. Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the second with a homer to give the Reds an early lead. They wouldn’t hold onto it. Pittsburgh put together a two out rally in the fifth to take the lead for...

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Game 35 Recap: Bucs Move Over .500!

Some clutch pitching and timely hitting mixed with some defense that was questioned to help the Pirates move one game over .500. Starter Jeff Karstens and four relievers combined to limit Los Angeles to just a single run. Jose Tabata’s sliding catch of a drive from Juan Uribe in the eighth tunred into an inning ending double play and some fireworks. The Pirates then connected on three doubles in the home half of the eighth to...

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Game 34 Recap: Doumit’s Dinger Lifts Bucs Late

The Pirates blew another late lead, but a three run homer from Ryan Doumit in the bottom of the eighth brought the Pirates back from the brink. James McDonald pitched very well. Instead of a win, he gets a no decision. The Pirates had a couple of chances to break the game open off J.A. Happ early on but failed to do much damage. Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out in the first. Steve Pearce lofted a sac fly for one run but Doumit...

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The Second Best Bullpen in the Majors

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered the off-season with a similar situation to their 2009/2010 off-season, as it pertained to the bullpen. ¬†They didn’t have an established closer, they only had one or two strong internal options, and they were looking to add a few players in the month of January to boost the pen. ¬†Looking back at my preview of the bullpen in early January, we see the parallels, and the state the bullpen was in at the...

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Game 29 Recap: Early Runs Aid McDonald’s Strong Effort

The Cincinnati Reds have been plagued by giving up first inning runs. Tonight their former ace, Aaron Harang now pitching for San Diego, was troubled by the same problem. Harang gave up a pair of two run bombs in the first inning as the Padres fell into an early hole from which they couldn’t escape. The two worst offenses in the National League did battle. With those early runs, the Pirates got all the scoring they would need....

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