Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates had an offense that was ranked in the lower half of the league. Despite this, they won 94 games in large part due to their pitching. They saw a ton of injuries to their starting staff throughout the season, but still maintained strong pitching thanks to their depth.

Heading into this season, most of that pitching was returning. The Pirates were getting Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton for full seasons. They had two question marks at the back of the rotation, with Wandy Rodriguez returning from an injury, and Edinson Volquez being a reclamation project. The Volquez signing was controversial, because the Pirates had passed on A.J. Burnett, letting him sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Prior to tonight's game, the Pirates ranked 27th...

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