What did Edinson Volquez do differently in 2014, and what hasn’t changed?

Edinson Volquez had a better year in 2014 than he did in 2013. This seems like an obvious statement to make — Volquez had the worst ERA among qualified pitchers in baseball last year, putting up a 5.71 ERA with the Padres and Dodgers. Given that the Padres and Dodgers both pitch in pitcher’s parks, that number […]


Game 162: Reds 4 Pirates 1

To put it bluntly, this game was every stupid thing that I was afraid it was going to be. Gerrit Cole was phenomenal for the Pirates; he got into a little trouble in the first inning in part due to a Brandon Phillips bloop single, escaped the jam with only one run allowed, and then […]

End of the road

The last day: bullpens, microcosms, and going for the division

I spent most of yesterday’s game sitting out in the sun on campus, checking my phone obsessively every ten minutes or so to see how the Pirates and Reds were progressing. The approximate roller coaster of emotions was like this: OH MY GOD LIRIANO SCORED HIS FIRST RUN EVER AND I DIDN’T EVEN PUT MY […]

Game 160: Pirates 3 Reds 1

This is a weird kind of end-season baseball purgatory. I want the Pirates to win the NL Central, maybe a little bit more than I’d be willing to admit to myself. If the Pirates end this season as anything short of National League Champions, the reality is that I will remember this season differently if they […]

rolling dice

Alea iacta est

The second that Vance Worley steps on the mound at Great American Ballpark tonight, I’m going to start worrying. The Pirates are in a bit of a bind this weekend, in that they’re lined up to have their two best pitchers pitching with the division on the line, that they’ll probably need those two pitchers […]

Rocco DeMaro asks MLB players if a hot dog is a sandwich

I don’t even know how else to describe this article by Rocco DeMaro at Baseball Prospectus other than to say that it’s delightful:

[Rocco DeMaro]: So does the shape of the bread matter? The type of bread?

[Tony Sanchez]: No. Bread is bread.

[RD]: So is a wrap a sandwich?

TS: No! Heck no. Absolutely not! A wrap is a poor excuse for a sandwich. But godblessit, a sub is a sandwich. And the bread… I’m so rattled right now.

Personally? I started out where Craig Breslow did (the bread of the sandwich must have the intent to close on all sides) because presumably all of us molecular biology types think similarly, but then once I started thinking about subs, well, obviously subs are sandwiches and I’m not sure that there’s any intent for a sub to close on all sides. So does that mean that a hamburger is a sandwich but a meatball sub isn’t? Because I’m not really sure that a hamburger is a sandwich. I mean, it’s a hamburger. And here I thought it was mainly marinara sauce that made the two different.

Oh dear. I have work to do today.

FanGraphs on Vance Worley and pitching inside

One of my favorite parts about the Pirates making themselves relevant these last two years is that my favorite writers and analysts pay MUCH more attention to the Bucs than they used to. There were two good FanGraphs pieces about the Bucs earlier this week and I’d like to link them here in case you […]

Wrecking Ball

Game 159: Pirates 10 Braves 1

Well, that was emphatic. The Pirates needed a win today to keep their hopes of winning the NL Central alive, and so they went out and bludgeoned the Braves with a 10-1 win to pull within one game of the Cardinals as the 2014 MLB season heads into its final weekend. Really, the explosion of […]


It’s Hangover Day, but these games are not quite meaningless

The Pirates have a wild card spot locked up and last night’s celebration was all kinds of fun, but the reality is that there’s still a little bit of work left to be done in the 2014 regular season. At the bare minimum, the Pirates need to win enough games from here on out to […]

some assembly required

Assembling a Pirate rotation for the stretch run and beyond

The Pirates have clinched a playoff spot, and with the Cardinals’ loss to the Cubs last night, they’ve also kept a small amount of hope alive that they can win the National League Central (FanGraphs has them with a 25% chance, but my hopes fall much more in line with BP’s ~10% shot). This actually […]