First Pitch: Thoughts on the Bullpen, Mercer, Taillon, Cole, and the Reds

Thursday is podcast recording day, which means I spent most of my time today writing articles for the site, recording tomorrow’s show, and editing that show. Therefore, rather than a formal article, we’re going to do a Thursday thoughts article again. **Put me down as someone who isn’t concerned with the bullpen usage. If we’re talking about the middle relievers, there’s plenty of depth in Indianapolis....

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Pirates Notebook: Hurdle Not Too Worried About Reliever Innings

The performance of the bullpen has played a role in the the Pirates’ winning ways, especially given the many close games they have won. Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranked 2nd in the National League in ERA, 3rd in strikeout percentage and 4th in FIP. That success has not come without a cost, though, or at least a mortgage. Mark Melancon (0.96 ERA, 1.74 FIP) has pitched the 10th-most innings in the NL, while Justin Wilson...

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Walker’s Homer Breaks Stalemate, Pirates Beat Tigers 1-0

Before we get to the game’s pivotal moment, I should praise the work of Clint Hurdle to counteract my usual desire to bury him. Eyebrows were raised when Hurdle removed Jeanmar Gomez with 73 pitches. Gomez had retired the last eight Detroit Tigers hitters, and looked primed to keep working through the bottom of the order. But Hurdle knew Gomez’s season high is 79 pitches, and opted for Justin Wilson, whose only hiccups in...

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First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager’s office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt. No, that’s not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates’ minor-league system in shambles despite six straight Top-11 picks, but at least a couple of those prospects worked out. Three productive players in the Pittsburgh lineup were all amateurs picked up by Littlefield: Andrew...

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First Pitch: Runs Tough to Come By in Burnett Starts

A.J. Burnett has pitched like a staff ace so far in 2013 but does not have the record to show for it. Granted, wins and losses are not good statistics to judge a pitcher’s performance but what is troubling has less to do with Burnett and more to do with the Pirates offense. Burnett has been great at the top of the Pittsburgh rotation and the Pirate offense has shown the ability to score runs, yet somehow the two have not found a...

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