NL Wild Card Game: Giants 8 Pirates 0

Let’s start with this: From when I got down to Pittsburgh around 5 PM until the first pitch was amazing. There were a handful of moments from 2001-2007 at PNC Park where I’d look at my dad or my friend or whoever I was at the game with and say, “THIS! This is it! This […]

blackout shirts

The 2014 National League Wild Card Game: There’s not much left to say

Now that it’s time to write a game preview for this game, I sort of feel talked out. I’ve said my piece about Edinson Volquez and about the Pirate offense and about the historical precedent between the Pirates and Giants and the nature of these one-game playoffs. I haven’t talked about the Giants much, but most […]

Candlestick Park

Bob Robertson and the Giants: Tonight, everyone matters

When the Pirates and Giants play into tonight’s Wild Card Game, it’ll be their first playoff meeting since the 1971 NLCS. The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates were a fearsome offensive baseball team. They lead the National League with 788 runs scored and 154 home runs. Their .274 batting average was the second in the NL, their .330 […]


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 […]