First Pitch: This Year is Different Because of the Depth

After recording the podcast today, I was talking with James and Tom about depth. We were specifically talking about the Dodgers, and how despite their mega payroll, they don’t really have a good team. They’ve had a lot of injuries, but who do they have behind those big salaries? Hanley Ramirez goes down, and Justin Sellers is their shortstop. It’s not like Dee Gordon was doing any better. They’ve lost a lot of...

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First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

In 2010 the Altoona Curve had a group of pitchers that went on to be called “The Altoona Four” out of convenience. I say convenience because the group led Altoona to an Eastern League title in 2010, but they also led the Lynchburg Hillcats to a Carolina League title in 2009. So they could have easily been “The Lynchburg Four”, which isn’t really as catchy. Then, in 2011, only two of them moved up to...

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First Pitch: Thursday Thoughts on Liriano, Martin, Wilson, Milwaukee, Sanchez

Thursday is podcast recording day. Today it was also “Go see Luis Heredia at Pirate City” day (article coming tomorrow), and “Ten Articles Will Go Up on the Site Today” day, and “Your friends want to go to trivia at 9 PM and the Pirates are already destroying the Brewers so you can watch on your phone on the way” day. So we’re doing the Thursday night “thoughts” article again....

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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: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

After today’s game, Clint Hurdle announced that he would only be using Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon when the team is ahead. Hurdle didn’t use either reliever in the ninth inning, instead turning to Tony Watson for a second inning in a game that was tied 4-4. Watson gave up the eventual winning run, and the Pirates lost 5-4 with their two best relievers on the bench. I can understand not wanting to over-use your top...

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