Pirates Notebook: First-Pitch Strikes Key for Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez returned from injury Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates and promptly mowed down the hottest team in baseball. Rodriguez was sharp from the¬†beginning and allowed just one hit in seven innings and combined with Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzarro to face the minimum of 27 batters in the Pirates’ 6-0 win against the Braves at PNC Park. Of the 21 batters Rodriguez faced, he either threw a first-pitch strike or got the...

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Pirates Notebook: Top of the Lineup Heating Up

Wins are for the most part an antiquated statistic in baseball, but sometimes a win can carry a bit of significance. A.J. Burnett got his first one of the 2013 campaign Wednesday night at PNC Park, but that was not what people will remember about the game. Burnett not only got strikeout No. 2,000 for his career, he flirted with perfection and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a two-out double to Carlos...

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A.J. Burnett: Anatomy of a One-Hitter

So many events have to go right for a no-hitter to happen. We sometimes lose sight of that, living in this Golden Age of 23 no-hitters in the last six years. Even with no-hitters becoming almost as common an occurrence as Clint Barmes home runs, they still require a potent combination of talent and good fortune to come true (you know, like a Clint Barmes home run). When looking at A.J. Burnett taking a perfect game into the 6th inning...

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Bucs’ Bats Finally Show Signs of Life in Win at Arizona

It took more than a week, but the Pittsburgh Pirates finally showed something resembling consistency on offense in the Bucs’ 6-5 win on Wednesday against Arizona at Chase Field. The Pirates posted a season-high in runs scored and broke into double-digits in the hit column for the first time in 2013 with 11 hits against the Diamondbacks. This was not an offensive explosion by any means, but with the way the team came limping into...

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Pirates Notebook: Platooning Alvarez? Hurdle Says “No Way”

It was a great privilege to cover the Pirates this past weekend at Dodger Stadium. The team’s offense still has to make some drastic improvements to consistently score runs, and before I left Chavez Ravine, I asked some of the players and coaches how that will happen. No Platoon for Pedro Any Time Soon It is Clint Hurdle’s decision whether Pedro Alvarez will platoon in the ¬†immediate future, but the manager made it clear...

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