of the Pittsurgh Pirates of the Cincinnati Reds during the game at PNC Park on May 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Game 26: Reds 7 Pirates 1

I have very little to say about this game: we tend to characterize the games like the ones the Pirates played in St. Louis over the weekend as “hard to watch,” but they were compelling baseball games from an objective standpoint. There was no compelling reason to watch this game once the Reds got up […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 3: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on May 3, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Back home

One of the starkest truths of the 2013 and 2014 Pirates was this: they were much better at PNC Park than they were away from it. One of the unavoidable truths of the 2015 Pirates is this: they need to be better this week than they were last week. The Reds have cooled off considerably […]

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The problem with 12-13

One year ago today, the Pirates were 12-19. That was the NL’s third worst record through May 4th, and it put the Bucs behind the Brewers by 8 1/2 games in the NL Central. The Pirates finished the season from that point on at 76-55, erasing the deficit with the Brewers, nearly catching the Cardinals, […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 3: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fails to catch a fly ball against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on May 3, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Game 25: Cardinals 3 Pirates 2

Ugh. Let’s talk about this tomorrow. Or never again. Either tomorrow or never again. One or the other. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 2: Peter Bourjos #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals scores the game-tying run against the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth inningat Busch Stadium on May 2, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Pirates try to salvage a game in St. Louis

Do we have to talk about yesterday’s game? One of my least favorite 2014 memories was the carbon-copy back-to-back walkoff losses the Pirates had in St. Louis in the early summer, one on a Matt Adams walkoff homer and one on a Kolten Wong walkoff homer. We’re barely into the 2015 season at all and […]

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 22: Francisco Liriano #47 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a fifth inning pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 22, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Back at it

There’s not much to say right now; the Pirates’ first big road test of 2015 against their likely biggest NL Central rivals has not started well. In four games, they lost pretty decisively twice to the Cubs and once in the sort of incredibly avoidable and frustrating loss that’s more or less defined their rivalry with […]

Game 23: Cardinals 2 Pirates 1

Before the game, I wrote this: Last year, the Pirates were 8-11 against the Cardinals. They lost six of those games by one run (two of those were walkoffs), and another one on a walkoff two-run home run. The Pirates lost the NL Central by two games last year. There are plenty of things that happen […]

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 25:  Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on April 25, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

And now, the Cardinals

The Pirates’ April was pretty up-and-down, but 12-10 isn’t a bad month (it is, in fact, much better than their last April). They’ll have to play better than that at some point, though, and a weekend series against the Cardinals seems like a good place to start. The Cubs looked pretty good against the Pirates […]

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 29: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a two-RBI triple against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning on April 29, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Game 22: Pirates 8 Cubs 1

In the second inning, things started to look ugly for the Pirates. Gerrit Cole walked Kris Bryant to start the inning, then Bryant moved to second when Pedro Alvarez missed the pickoff throw from Cole. Miguel Montero hit a ground ball down the first base line, and it bounced off of Alvarez and into right […]

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 24, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Gerrit Cole looks to help Pirates avoid sweep

The situation, such as it is: the Pirates have played awful, uninspiring baseball two straight nights at Wrigley Field, which is unfortunate because the Cubs now appear to be a legitimate NL Central rival. They aren’t hitting well, they aren’t pitching well, they aren’t fielding well at all. This is the exact sort of game in […]

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: Addison Russell #22 of the Chicago Cubs hits an hits an RBI double in the 2nd inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on April 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Game 21: Cubs 6 Pirates 2

It’s amazing how quickly two ugly losses can make you forget about a five-game winning streak. The Pirates played bad, bad baseball against the Cubs tonight; they threw the ball around, they ran the bases poorly, they hit poorly against a bad pitcher, they pitched poorly, they got thumped. In short, it was hard to watch. […]

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 13: Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the second inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 13, 2014 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

The waiting game

The worst part of the 2014 Pittsburgh Pirate season was the interminable stretch in the late spring/early summer in which it was clear that the Pirates were playing somewhere below what they were ultimately capable of and unclear if they were going to be able to get their shit together quickly enough to make another […]

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 27: Jason Hammel #39 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning on April 27, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Game 20: Cubs 4 Pirates 0

Sometimes, there’s just not much to say about a baseball game. The Pirates only seriously threatened to score once last night, in the fifth inning. The problem is one that I think Pirate fans are probably familiar with; when the offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders, there’s always the risk that they’re going to tumble […]

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 26:  Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates flips his bat after hitting a two RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Pirates defeated the Diamondbacks 8-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

This is where the season really starts

When I look at the first three weeks of the 2015 Major League Baseball season, this is what I see for the Pittsburgh Pirates: opportunity. If I had to describe the Pirates first 19 games this year, the word I would probably use is fine. The offense has had its share of fits and starts, the […]

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 26:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores a fifth inning run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Pirates defeated the Diamondbacks 8-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Game 19: Pirates 8 Diamondbacks 0

Last Tuesday, the Pirates lost to the Cubs with a second straight bullpen meltdown. They were 6-8 with five wins against the Brewers, who have managed to become an MLB punchline faster than any team in recent memory. Since then, they’ve torn off five straight wins against the Cubs and Diamondbacks. This weekend, they swept […]

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