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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Pirates Keep Rolling with 6-4 Win Over Phillies

The Pirates’ offense jumped on starter Cliff Lee and the Phillies’ relievers for 14 hits for a 6-4 win Thursday afternoon. Add in the fact that manager Clint Hurdle made far more of the right moves than his counterpart Charlie Manuel, and the Bucs wrapped a key four-game series win. This is not a game the Pirates would have won last April. They didn’t even reach 14 hits in a game last year until June 27. Posting 10...

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A Lot Being Asked of Pirates’ Bullpen

Consistency has been a problem for the Pirates this season. The offense needed more than a week to find its stride and the starting pitching (outside of A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez) has been hit and miss. One aspect of Pittsburgh’s club that actually has been consistent has been the strong work put in by the bullpen. Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, Jeanmar Gomez and a few others have...

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Pirates Beat Braves 4-2 to Complete Successful Homestand

The Pittsburgh Pirates getting out to a 10-8 record to start 2013 would be far less impressive if half of those games were against, say, the Marlins, Padres and Astros. Strength of schedule plays a larger part in early-season stats and records than many of us want to recognize. Yes, the Texas Rangers are 12-6, but they have played 12 games against the Mariners, Cubs and Astros. So the Pirates capping off a 7-2 homestand is made even...

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Bullpen Strong Again in Pirates 3-1 Win Against Reds

The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen one again showed why it has been one of the strongest units in Major League Baseball this season on Saturday. The only fireworks came after the game (and during the ninth inning from theĀ inauguralĀ game at Highmark Stadium — home of the Pittsburgh RiverHounds soccer team), as the bullpen combined to pitch the final four innings and allowed just three hits during that span in the Pirates’ 3-1...

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