CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 9: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run in the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 9, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Some assorted thoughts about Jung Ho Kang (Game 138: Pirates 5 Reds 4)

On the day that Josh Harrison got injured, Jung Ho Kang actually started for the Pirates. He went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, and his OPS dropped to .697. What he’s done since then, though, is pretty remarkable and beyond what anyone expected of him when the Pirates signed him over the winter. After last night’s game-breaking […]

JA Happ looks to lead Pirates to a series win in Cincinnati

For much of the afternoon, it looked like the Pirates were going to have a chance to make up another game on the Cardinals tonight. Then, the Cardinals came back with a late rally to steal a win from the Cubs, and so the Pirates will play to maintain the status quo tonight. The good […]

of the Cincinnati Reds during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 8, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Game 137: Pirates 7 Reds 3

See, now this is how Pirates/Reds games are supposed to go. A five-run rally, a monster home from Jung Ho Kang, a dominant start from Francisco Liriano, and an easy win. The runs against Raisel Iglesias are nice to see, but it’s a strong start from Liriano that’s probably the most important thing from this win. The Pirates […]

The continuing quest to beat bad NL Central teams on the road

Look: the Pirates just thumped the Unequivocally-Best-In-Baseball-Cardinals 20-8 over three days in St. Louis. The Reds are bad. There’s no reason to keep on losing to teams like this, at home, on the road, on Pluto, wherever. Actually, hold on, here’s a reason: Jeff Locke starts for the Pirates today, Travis Snider makes his first […]

Game 135: Pirates 7 Cardinals 1

I said before this series started on Friday that there would be no moral victories for the Pirates this weekend, but that was probably an overly dramatic statement. The Pirates did not sweep the Cardinals, of course, and that means that they’re 5 1/2 games out with 27 to play and only three left against […]

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 01:  Gerrit Cole #45  of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 1, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Getting Gerrit Cole back on track

With yesterday afternoon’s loss, the Pirates’ main task in the season’s final 28 games is to get Gerrit Cole back on track and to ensure that he’s lined up to pitch the Wild Card Game. Cole’s more or less on line already if they keep him pitching every fifth day, so what’s left is straighten […]

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 03: Francisco Cervelli #29 of the Pittsburgh Pirates tags out Elian Herrera #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning at Miller Park on September 3, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images)

Game 132: Brewers 5 Pirates 3

Here is a partial list of what from last night’s game drives me crazy: Seeing Jung Ho Kang sit every third day without fail because someone worse than him has to get playing time. Pretending like Kang’s in a slump now because he’s hitting worse now that he isn’t playing every day. Seeing Andrew McCutchen […]

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 02: Tyler Thornburg #37 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with Jonathan Lucroy #20 after the 9-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on September 02, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Tyler Thornburg; Jonathan Lucroy

Game 131: Brewers 9 Pirates 4

Editor’s note: sorry for all these late recaps lately, I’ve got a super-busy fall in front of me as I’m trying to finally finish up grad school.  Look: I can’t explain why the Pirates are so bad against the bottom of NL Central this year. This team spent August tearing through the Mets, Dodgers, and […]

If the Pirates only get to lose one game per series from here on out …

The Pirates lost last night, which I guess is fine so long as they don’t do that again in this series against the Brewers. Jeff Locke starts for the Pirates, while Zach Davies makes his big league debut for the Brewers. The Pirate lineup tonight is the same lineup they were mostly using before everyone […]

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 01: Gerrit Cole #45 of Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 01, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Gerrit Cole

Game 130: Brewers 7 Pirates 4

There is a weird level of acceptance that comes from understanding on September 1st that your favorite baseball team is good enough to win 100 games and also that they will probably end up in a one-game playoff against a dominating starting pitcher. If the Pirates can’t catch the Cardinals (which they can, but is […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 29:  Aramis Ramirez #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three run home run in the first inning during the game against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park on August 29, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Charlie Morton looks to lead the Pirates to a sweep of the Rockies

For much of the first half of baseball’s season, I tend to obsess over what the Pirates’ wins and losses look like. Are the Pirates winning close games against bad teams and getting blown out by good ones? Are they blowing leads late in games they could otherwise win? Are their wins blowouts and their […]

The Rockies come to town

The drill for this series is much the same as the last: the Pirates are playing bad teams at a point in the season where wins are at a premium. There is no reason for the Pirates to not win two or three games against the Rockies at PNC Park this weekend, and if they’re […]

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 27:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the fourth inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Game 126 : Pirates 2 Marlins 1

This whole Marlin series was nothing spectacular — just a nice study in the way things should be for the Pirates. Gerrit Cole turned in his second strong start in a row after a spell of less-than-spectacular ones, pitching into the eighth inning and getting a ton of weak ground balls from the Marlins, holding […]

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 26:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 26, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Game 125: Pirates 7 Marlins 2

The Pirates haven’t had quite as much trouble with lefties as they did early in the season, but it was a bit of a relief to watch them jump all over Chris Narveson one night after being shut down by Brad Hand. The Pirates hung six on Narveson in a hurry in the second inning in […]

Jeff Locke faces off against Chris Narveso

With JA Happ pitching well and AJ Burnett throwing sim games conspicuously scheduled for the same day as one of his starts, Jeff Locke has to know that his starting job is (once again) on the line as we head towards the final month of the 2015 season. He hasn’t completed the sixth inning in a […]