Pirates Play Game of the Year in Liriano’s Debut, Beat Mets 11-2

If the Pirates make a run for the playoffs, a real run in which they are keeping pace with the Reds and the Cardinals, look back at this game. Look back at Saturday’s 11-2 win over the New York Mets and see the where it all started to come together. The hitters set season highs in hits and runs, and the pitchers set a season high in strikeouts. If the Pirates make a run for the playoffs, it will be because Francisco Liriano is...

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First Pitch: Who Wants to Hit a Left-Hander?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a problem. The team has four spots on the field which could require a platoon, due to the fact that they have so many players who can’t hit left-handers. The obvious player is Garrett Jones, who is established as a platoon player at this point. In his career, Jones has an .851 OPS against right-handers, and a .590 OPS against left-handers. The Pirates acquired Gaby Sanchez last year, aimed at...

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First Pitch: Should Travis Snider Be Starting Against Left-Handers?

It’s a question I get often: Why isn’t Travis Snider starting against left-handers? Sometimes it’s straight up. Sometimes it’s wondering if he’s really done enough to establish a trend in the majors. Sometimes it’s just complaining that Brandon Inge is in the lineup. Snider is off to a good start this year. After tonight’s game he has a .288/.366/.397 line on the year. Coming in to the night...

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Pirates Notebook: First-Pitch Strikes Key for Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez returned from injury Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates and promptly mowed down the hottest team in baseball. Rodriguez was sharp from the beginning and allowed just one hit in seven innings and combined with Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzarro to face the minimum of 27 batters in the Pirates’ 6-0 win against the Braves at PNC Park. Of the 21 batters Rodriguez faced, he either threw a first-pitch strike or got the...

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Pirates Pregame: Marte Gets the Day Off

Starling Marte’s 10-game hit streak came to an emphatic end last night, with the 22-year old Pirates outfielder striking out five times in Pittsburgh’s 6-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park. Marte is not in the lineup today against the Braves with manager Clint Hurdle electing to go with Jose Tabata in left field and at the top of the lineup. Hurdle said he spoke with Marte about the tough night at the plate and...

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