Travis Snider’s Grand Slam Lifts Pirates to 5-4 Win

On a night that was hot, then rainy, then blustery, Travis Snider’s swing was the real force of nature. Snider didn’t start against right-hander Matt Garza, but the Cubs bullpen arrived for the 6th inning and he took some cuts in the batting cage to get ready to pinch-hit. The situation: bases loaded in the 6th inning, down 3-1 and facing former teammate Shawn Camp. “He tends to get a lot of guys to chase outside the...

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Rodriguez Works Out of Trouble, Beats Brewers

There was a moment in Wednesday’s game between the Pirates and Brewers at PNC Park when it seemed like Milwaukee was poised to break through against Pittsburgh starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy opened the fourth inning with a triple that Jose Tabata appeared to have trouble making a clean play on. Neither team had been hitting much to that point and the Brewers looked ready to tilt the momentum...

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First Pitch: Wandy Rodriguez Will Most Likely Land the Pirates a Draft Pick

When the Wandy Rodriguez trade first went down, I wasn’t a big fan of the deal. Rodriguez had been struggling with the Astros in the two months leading up to the trade, and had seen his strikeouts dropping in each of the last few seasons. Simply put, he wasn’t the same pitcher he was a few years ago, and there were some Matt Morris concerns with his 2012 struggles. So far with the Pirates, Rodriguez is showing that he can...

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Pirates Notebook: Four Things We Have Learned About Pirates Pitchers

We took a look on Monday at five Pirates hitters and which stats have a large enough 2013 sample size for us to see year-to-year changes. Now it’s time for the pitchers. Remember a couple important caveats. First,¬†batting statistics tend to be more reliable than pitching statistics, especially in small samples. Second, early-season pitcher performance can often be skewed by which teams the pitcher has faced. I’ve talked...

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Projection Systems See Pirates Finishing Just Over .500

FanGraphs unveiled two new features Thursday, depth charts and projected standings. Supreme Overlord of FanGraphs (unofficial title) Dave Cameron explains how they work and how to use them. The key takeaway is that the standings use a combination of ZIPS and Steamer projection systems, along with the depth charts, to suss out season records for all 30 teams. One purpose we can use the projected standings for is looking at the...

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