First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded
Aug07

First Pitch: The Bench Has (Almost) Been Fully Upgraded

One of the big areas of need for the Pirates leading up to the deadline was the bench. For a long stretch the Pirates had a weak hitting bench, with Michael McKenry, Brandon Inge, Clint Barmes, and Travis Snider all struggling to hit. The only other hitter on the bench was either Gaby Sanchez, who can’t hit right-handers, or Garrett Jones, who can’t hit left-handers, depending on who was playing that day in the platoon....

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Pirates Playoff Roster Projection: Choosing a Champion
Aug05

Pirates Playoff Roster Projection: Choosing a Champion

This is not a jinx. On this day last year, the Pirates’ playoff odds were hovering around 50 percent. Their chances to make the postseason this year are above 98 percent. Starting to think about what the 25-man playoff roster will look like is not counting chickens before they hatch. These are the same conversations the Bucs’ front office people are having. Two points of order: the Wild Card Playoff acts as a separate...

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Pirates Notebook: Jared Hughes Rides Again
Aug02

Pirates Notebook: Jared Hughes Rides Again

Clint Hurdle had only one hope left. He tossed aside the morning paper, headline splashed “PIRATES LOSE 13-0,” and hopped into his pickup truck. He took the fast lane, following the signs for Indianapolis. “Well, the man did say he wanted to get away from it all,” he thought. Clint’s truck climbed up the dirt road, and he spotted the tall man chopping wood. He didn’t want to have to ask him to pitch...

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Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Acknowledges “Long Road” to Majors
Aug01

Pirates Notebook: Tony Sanchez Acknowledges “Long Road” to Majors

It was not his Major League debut, but it might have been better. Tony Sanchez made his first Pirates start at catcher in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it was a whirlwind. His favorite catcher of the last decade, St. Louis’ Yadier Molina, wished him good luck in the bullpen. He jumped out of the dugout to cheers and 40,000 sets of eyeballs. “Nerve-racking. Overwhelming,”...

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Pirates Notebook: Doubleheader Presents Important Opportunity for NL Central
Jul30

Pirates Notebook: Doubleheader Presents Important Opportunity for NL Central

Fans packed the sidewalk in front of PNC Park’s home plate rotunda, backed up all the way onto Mazeroski Way trying to enter the ballpark for the most important day in Pittsburgh baseball since 1992. And yes, it will be more important than Wednesday or Thursday or any single day the Pirates play at PNC Park until October. Getting two games against the St. Louis Cardinals and the opportunity to jump into the driver’s seat...

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