McDonald Hit Hard in Pirates Loss to Cardinals

Alternate title: “Good hitters gonna hit” — James McDonald, 4/15/2013 Today’s Pirates Pregame asked the question: Which James McDonald would we see today? It did not take long to get the answer. McDonald was hit early, hit hard and hit often before being pulled after retiring just five St. Louis Cardinals. In that time, the Cardinals scored eight runs (thought it’s worth noting that only three of them...

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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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Pirates Win 5-3, Wandy Rodriguez Suffers Hamstring Tightness

The Pirates finally got a few runs to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. Andrew McCutchen and Travis Snider both drove in two runs to break Pittsburgh’s four-game losing skid Monday night. The good news of a victory was mitigated, though, by the third-inning exit of Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez. The left-hander felt tightness in his left hamstring and was removed from the game after doing some stretches and trying to get...

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First Pitch: When Should the Pirates Consider Pedro Alvarez a Platoon Player?

Back in early February, when Brandon Inge was signed, I raised the question of whether Pedro Alvarez should be a platoon player. Not much has happened between that article and now, other than eight regular season at-bats against left-handers. In those at-bats, Alvarez has gone 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts today against left-handers. I’m not suggesting the Pirates should suddenly platoon...

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Pirates Shut Down by Kershaw, Shut Out 1-0

Carved. Sliced. Diced. Slashed. Controlled. Mastered. Dominated. Dismantled. You can use any verb you would like to describe what Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw did to the Pirates in a 1-0 L.A. victory Saturday night. But one works best. He Kershawed them. “That was the same as I remember him,” Pirates second baseman Neil Walker said. “That guy has been good as anybody over the last four years.” The...

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