Jones, Liriano Rebound in 5-0 Victory as Pirates Tie for NL Central Lead
Aug30

Jones, Liriano Rebound in 5-0 Victory as Pirates Tie for NL Central Lead

As he has done so many times before in stretches when the Pirates struggle, Francisco Liriano delivered a masterful start to propel Pittsburgh to a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Liriano (15-6) pitched eight dominant, shutout innings and allowed just two hits while walking two as the Pirates (78-56) pulled into a tie atop the NL Central with the Cardinals (78-56) in front of a sellout crowd of 38,026, the 16th sellout of...

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First Pitch: The Reason the Pirates Could Be Successful For Many Years
Aug20

First Pitch: The Reason the Pirates Could Be Successful For Many Years

Baseball teams pay ridiculous prices for pitching. The Texas Rangers just traded a top 50 prospect and three Grade B pitching prospects a month ago for two months of Matt Garza. Zack Greinke got $147 M over six years over the off-season. Anibal Sanchez got $80 M for five years, while Edwin Jackson got $52 M for four years. Even a 36-year-old starter like Ryan Dempster landed $13 M a year on the free agent market. The Pirates have...

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Pirates Beat Arizona 6-2 to Expand Playoff Cushion, Match 2011 Win Total
Aug16

Pirates Beat Arizona 6-2 to Expand Playoff Cushion, Match 2011 Win Total

Gerrit Cole’s quality start and the Pirates lineup’s nine hits provided an important 6-2 series-opening win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The victory was Pittsburgh’s 72nd of the season, matching the win total of the 2011 Pirates that collapsed over the season’s final two months. These Pirates are not the 2011 Pirates, even though panicky fans cling to the team (which went from first place in July to 90 total...

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First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?
Aug13

First Pitch: Do the Pirates Finally Have the Best 25 Men in Pittsburgh?

There has been a lot of talk from various Pirates writers about having the “best 25″ in Pittsburgh. You could make a strong argument that the Pirates didn’t always have the best 25 players on the active roster this year. In some cases the upgrades were minor, such as upgrading the last two spots on the bench by getting rid of John McDonald and Brandon Inge. In other cases, the upgrades were more substantial. I feel...

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First Pitch: Is the “Proven Closer” Era Over?
Aug10

First Pitch: Is the “Proven Closer” Era Over?

This morning Mike Petriello of ESPN Insider wrote an article about how the closer myth is dying. Petriello pointed out that a lot of top teams this year have gone the cheap route with their closers. Atlanta and Los Angeles are using closers brought up through the farm system. Boston, Detroit, and Oakland are using free agent relievers who weren’t signed as closers, although Boston definitely tried to add “Proven...

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