Game 97 Recap: Four Run First Lifts Birds

St. Louis hit a pair of two run homers in the first inning and held on to win the opener of the weekend series 6-4. Paul Maholm was touched by both Albert Pujols and David Freese in the first. Two Pirate rallies were stunted by base running errors. Pujols’ dinger came with John Jay aboard after a triple and one out. With two out Lance Berkman double and scored on Freese’s blast. Pittsburgh put together four straight two...

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Game 95 Recap: McDonald, Bullpen Shutout Reds

The Pirates and Reds played another tight game. James McDonald and Mike Leake were both effective. The Pirates managed a single run. The Reds managed none. The Pirates remain in first place. I’m happy. The lone run of the game scored early. Josh Harrison singled with one out in the first. Neil Walker followed with a ground rule double deep to left center. Andrew McCutchen’s grounder scored Harrison. That was it. The Reds...

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Game 92 Recap: Astros Rally to Push Bucs Out of First

Pittsburgh rallied for three runs in the sixth inning. But aggressive base running and a costly error helped Houston score three times in the eighth to win it. In the process, the Pirates fell out of first place. The Astros drew first blood against Paul Maholm. Carlos Lee led off the second inning with a double. Jason Michaels singled him to third. A passed ball by Michael McKenry allowed Lee to score the first run of the game....

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Game 90 Recap: Maholm, McCutchen Lead Bucs Into Break

Paul Maholm pitched into the eighth and allowed just one run while Andrew McCutchen paced the offense with a three run homer and a total of five runs driven in. The Pirates cruise into the All-Star break with a 47-43 record. Ramon Ortiz scuffled all day and it started in the first inning. Alex Presley singled and went to third on a double from Neil Walker. McCutchen’s first RBI came in the form of a sac fly and it was 1-0...

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The Pitching Staff is Good, But Not This Good

One of the big concerns I’ve had with the makeup of the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates has been the starting pitching.  The rotation has been the strong point of the team this year.  Pirates’ starters have the 8th best ERA in the league, at a combined 3.58.  Four of their five starters have ERAs of 3.80 or better.  The leaders are Jeff Karstens, with a 2.55 ERA, and Paul Maholm, with a 3.08 ERA.  Since the end of April, three...

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