Game 66 Recap: Karstens Lifts Bucs Up to .500

The Pirates moved back up to .500 with a nail biting, 1-0 victory over Houston. Jeff Karstens played the hero by tossing 6-2/3 innings of shutout baseball, dropping his ERA to less than 3.00. The offense was still problematic, but four relievers combined to keep Houston off the scoreboard. Bud Norris was also strong for Houston. The lone score came in the second. Neil Walker singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Garrett...

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Game 60 Recap: .500!

Both teams blew chances. Both teams had the lead. But when it was over, Andrew McCutchen’s walk off homer in the 12th provided the last, final run and a Bucco victory. The win evened the Pirates record at 30-30. Former Pirate Zach Duke returned to PNC for the first time since being traded last off-season. He and Paul Maholm both pitched effectively. Maholm was sharper but was victimized again by poor run support and a blown save...

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Exploring the Arsenal: A Preview of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Probable Starting Pitchers

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each series, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitchers expected to oppose the Pirates. The charts below show the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2011. These charts are from the catcher’s point of view. For a general guide to pitch types for a right-handed pitcher, please check out this image created by Sons of Sam...

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Pirates Acquire Cesar Valdez to Complete Duke Trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right handed pitcher Cesar Valdez from the Arizona Diamondbacks as the player to be named later in the Zach Duke trade.  Valdez has spent the last two seasons as a starter in AAA for Arizona, combining for a 5.34 ERA in 193.2 innings, along with a 7.1 K/9 and a 3.7 BB/9 ratio. He did spend some time in the majors in 2010, with a 7.65 ERA in 20 innings, along with a 5.9 K/9 and a 4.5 BB/9 ratio.  He...

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Non-Tender Deadline Preview

The non-tender deadline is tonight, Thursday night, at midnight.  Teams must decide whether to tender their arbitration eligible players contracts, or non-tender them and allow them to become free agents.  This can lead to some potential trades, as one team’s non-tender candidate can be another team’s treasure.  The Pirates shouldn’t have any big surprises with their internal decisions, but don’t be surprised...

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