First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons
Jul11

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

Last night I wrote about how the problem with the Pirates offense this year has been that three positions in the lineup struggle against left-handed pitching. Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and the right-field duo of Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have all struggled against lefties this year. Platoons are very underrated. Or should I say the left-handed side of the platoon is underrated. Just look at a lot of the comments about Gaby...

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Pirates Place Neil Walker on Disabled List, Recall Josh Harrison
Jul09

Pirates Place Neil Walker on Disabled List, Recall Josh Harrison

Second baseman Neil Walker has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right side soreness. The Pirates have recalled Josh Harrison, who is in the ballpark with the team after coming from Columbus. Walker injured himself in Saturday’s game in Chicago and has not played since. He took some swings and said he was feeling a little better Monday, but now will not return to the field until after the All-Star Break. The setback...

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Pirates Notebook: A’s Speak Highly of Inge, Alvarez Not in Derby
Jul08

Pirates Notebook: A’s Speak Highly of Inge, Alvarez Not in Derby

The Oakland Athletics start a three-game series against the Pirates tonight at PNC Park, arriving 9-0 against the Bucs and the only Major League team that is undefeated against one opponent. They swept the Pirates in their only Pittsburgh series in 2002 and also pulled off home sweeps in 2004 and 2010. This interleague series also reunites the A’s with former third baseman Brandon Inge, who hit for a .675 OPS with Oakland last...

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Pirates Playoff Odds Fall to 86 Percent After Two Series Losses
Jul08

Pirates Playoff Odds Fall to 86 Percent After Two Series Losses

Even though a 2-4 week is not a precursor to COLLAPSE 3.0: THE COLLAPSENING, every loss affects the Pirates’ chances of making the playoffs. With the team projected to win 91 games, every additional win or loss has a distinct effect on the playoff odds. The Pirates have a 86% chance to make the playoffs, a drop of five percentage points from last week. On this day last year, the team had a 36% chance of reaching the postseason....

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Pirates’ Defensive Shifts: The Hidden Secret Behind Baseball’s Best Team
Jul04

Pirates’ Defensive Shifts: The Hidden Secret Behind Baseball’s Best Team

It’s Saturday in Pittsburgh, a hot but tolerable 76-degree evening with a late sunset. Tonight, a full PNC Park will watch Dan Fox beat Rickie Weeks at baseball. Dan Fox is 45 years old, tall but hardly wiry, bald and framed by Oakley glasses. His former internet baseball column was named after physicist Erwin Schrödinger and his Xbox gamertag is inspired by a work of John Milton. Rickie Weeks is 30, shorter than average height...

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