A brief accounting of the last few Pirate games (and also: COLE VS. FERNANDEZ)

The last few days for the Pirates have been relatively non-eventful from the perspective of a team in their situation. They were thoroughly out-dueled by Yu Darvish in his 2016 return on Saturday evening, Francisco Liriano turned in what is an alarmingly characteristic start on Sunday afternoon, and the Pirates smacked the hell out of […]

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 27: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 27, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

Game 47: Pirates 9 Rangers 1

I said before the game that I thought the Pirates could get to Cole Hamels, but I don’t think that I thought they’d tee off on him the way they did in the fifth inning. They entered the inning with a 1-0 lead thanks to an early Staring Marte homer, and exited the inning with […]

A real test in Texas

After blasting through the Braves, Rockies, and Diamondbacks over an ten-game homestand, I suspect that the Pirates will face much stiffer competition in Arlington against the Rangers this weekend. The Rangers have a similar record to the Pirates (they’re 27-20), and the rotation has turned so that the Pirates will be starting Jon Niese and […]


Game 46: Pirates 8 Diamondbacks 3

For the second start in a row, Gerrit Cole didn’t really pitch his best game against an inferior opponent. After giving up ten hits and a walk without a strikeout in seven one-run innings against the Rockies last week, he walked three Diamondbacks and giving up seven hits in five laborious innings, but he only […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 25:  David Freese #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two run home run in the fifth inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on May 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Game 45: Pirates 5 Diamondbacks 4

I think that this particular subgenre of baseball wins is one of my favorites: not the comeback win, but the matter-of-time win. The Diamondbacks gave Rubby de la Rosa a 3-0 lead in the second inning, but the Pirates had runners on base in the first, second, and third without scoring. When Sean Rodriguez hit […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three-run home run in the first inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Gregory Polanco is here

One of the big mistakes that we, as baseball fans, make (and I’m including myself in this group with a bullet) is assuming that all players develop along a similar pattern. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco all came up through the minors as five-tool centerfielders with gap power and very high ceilings, […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Game 44: Pirates 12 Diamondbacks 1

It is, first of all, always nice to see the Pirates sprint out to a big lead against someone and keep it after those two scares against the Rockies and Braves earlier this year. Francisco Liriano’s control was not at its best today, with five walks in 5 2/3 innings, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t do […]

Francisco Liriano has some serious home/road splits this year

Francisco Liriano has always had a home/road split as a Pirate. This isn’t necessarily surprising; PNC Park is a very friendly park to left-handed pitchers because it’s very unfriendly to right-handed hitters and Liriano fits into it almost like a hand in a glove, with his ground-ball oriented approach and the way he dominates left-handed […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 23:  Wilfredo Boscan #69 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the game against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park on May 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Game 43: Pirates 6 Rockies 3

There is nothing that makes you contemplate your connection to the world quite like an eye injury does. I’m speaking from experience here; when I was 11 I was hit hard in the eyebrow with a line drive and had no idea how bad the injury was until I got to the hospital (I was […]

The gauntlet

Yesterday’s rainout had a pretty unfortunate side-effect for the Pirates; their only scheduled off-day between May 13th and June 12th was today, and they will instead play a make-up game against the Rockies at 12:35 (they had another scheduled off-day in this stretch on June 9th, which will also be filled by a makeup game […]

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 10:  Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon #18 of Canada pitches against USA during the World Baseball Classic First Round Group D game at Chase Field on March 10, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. USA defeated Canada 9-4  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A few thoughts on the impending pitching arrivals

With the Pirates slicing a bit into the Cubs’ NL Central lead this week as we approach the annual “Pirates are good by” date (it’s May 21st, but I think they may have started a few days early this year), all of everyone’s focus has shifted to the Pirates’ passel of Triple-A pitching and when […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 19:  Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 19, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Game 40: Pirates 8 Braves 2

This is how the Pirates/Braves series was supposed to go. Jeff Locke gave the Pirates a nice and easy seven innings, with the Pirate lineup put a perpetually puzzled look on the face of Mike Foltynewicz over his three innings of work. Combined, that let the Pirates sprint out to a 5-0 lead and stay […]

Start the Jeff Locke watch (again)

With Jameson Taillon mowing down hitters in Triple-A while starting in tandem with Jeff Locke, June fast approaching, and an obvious date on the calendar for the Pirates to bring a minor league pitcher up (their makeup game against the Rockies has been scheduled in Denver on June 9th between home games against the Mets […]

Let’s see someone pitch well against this awful Brave offense

As much as I’ve enjoyed the Pirate offense scoring a bunch of runs while the Brave defense flails around PNC Park like the 2001 Pirates, I’d love to see Pirate starter actually succeed against the nominal worst offense in baseball. It’d be doubly nice to see that pitcher be Francisco Liriano, who’s struggled quite a […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 7: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI single against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 7, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

These are your Pittsburgh Pirates

In the aftermath of Francisco Cervelli’s extension yesterday, a lot of people all noticed the same thing at the same time. Going around the horn, the Pirates’ contract status looks like this: C- Francisco Cervelli, signed through 2019 1B – John Jaso, signed through 2017 2B – Josh Harrison, signed (including options) through 2020 3B […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 17:  Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hugs Mark Melancon #35 after defeating the Atlanta Braves 12-9 at PNC Park on May 17, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Game 38: Pirates 12 Braves 9

It was only about three weeks ago that the Pirates raced out to an 7-0 lead against the Rockies, ROOT Sports flashed a graphic saying that the Pirates hadn’t blown an 7-0 lead since the John Quincy Adams administration, and then the Pirates blew that lead and needed 12 innings to somehow eek out a […]

The Juan Nicasio project continues against the Braves

I will admit that the Juan Nicasio project has, to this point, gone better than I thought it might after his first few starts this year. He obviously hasn’t dominated the way that he did in spring training, but he’s more or less kept the Pirates in games and turned in an occasional very good […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 16:  Matt Joyce #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park on May 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Game 37: Pirates 8 Braves 5

After seeing so much of the Cubs lately, it’s nice to be on the other end of a game in which one team could do no right and the other easily loped to victory. The Braves kicked the ball around in the first inning, and the Pirates scored three times because of it. Jon Niese’s […]

LAKELAND, FL- MARCH 01:  Alen Hanson #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides in safe on a RBI single in the seventh inning against Bryan Holaday #50 of the Detroit Tigers during the game at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2016 in Lakeland, Florida.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Alen Hanson arrives (and the Pirates play the Braves)

The Pirates put Starling Marte on the paternity leave list this afternoon and called up Alen Hanson to fill his roster spot. Hanson has spent the last week or so starting in left field for Indianapolis, and obviously both Marte and the Pirates knew that this situation was approaching, so my presumption is that they’ve […]