CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning on September 25, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

A (mostly meaningless) double-header

It’s hard to imagine a more distressing visual than this: the Cardinals clinch the division at PNC Park in an afternoon game in front of a partially empty stadium caused by a game scheduled on 16 hours notice. I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again right now: I don’t think this actually matters, […]

of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the St Louis Cardinals during the game at PNC Park on September 28, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In which we accept Jake Arrieta in the Wild Card Game as an inevitability

I said this before last night’s game, but I’ll repeat it here briefly: the reason that the Pittsburgh Pirates will not win the NL Central this year doesn’t lie solely on last night’s loss, because if I asked you to pick through the season and name a dozen losses that stick out in your mind […]

This is game one of one

You as a Pirate fan likely have a lot on your mind. Can the Pirates win tonight? Can they somehow win tomorrow with Charlie Morton scheduled to start? If they do sweep the Cards to tie the division, can they actually beat the Reds enough to give that meaning? What if the Pirates and Cards […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 12: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores on a two RBI single against Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning during the game at PNC Park on July 12, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

These are the stakes

There is no team in baseball that fully understands the stakes of a division title vs. the Wild Card Game quite like the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2013, the Pirates won 94 games and opened the post-season with a rousing 6-2 defeat of the Reds in the Wild Card Game. It was incredible — an emotional […]

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes a catch for an out against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field on September 26, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Tick tock tick tock

If you would’ve told me a week ago that the Pirates were about to reel off eight straight wins against the Dodgers, Rockies, and Cubs, I would’ve hoped that doing so would’ve prevented tonight’s Sunday Night Baseball game against Jake Arrieta from being a must-win for the Pirates. That’s not really the case, though: either […]

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Treading water

Pedro Alvarez’s time as a Pirate is likely drawing to an end, so it’s nice that he gave us an ultimate Pedro Alvarez Game before his departure. In the fifth inning, Alvarez and Jeff Locke botched a pretty simply looking Corey Dickerson ground ball resulting in a “single.” Cristhian Adams tripled in the next at-bat […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 18: Pedro Florimon #23 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by teammate Gregory Polanco #25 after hitting the game winning RBI in the 15th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at PNC Park on August 18, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Guest post: The other guys

I don’t normally solicit outside articles, but when longtime reader/Twitter friend Charles Star explained the premise for this post to me and asked if it could run on WHYGAVS, it was too good to turn down. You may be familiar with Charles’ work at The Classical. You should definitely follow him on twitter

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 22:  Outfielders Andrew McCutchen #22, Starling Marte #6 and Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate their victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 22, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Pirates defeated the Rockies 6-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

One day at a time

There is a special moment of baseball fan hell that only exists at this point in September and it goes a little something like this: OK, good, the Pirates put up three in the first two and will probably do what needs to be done tonight. Let’s hit the scoreboard. Nationals are getting crushed, nice. […]

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 21:  Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes a bite of an apple on the dugout bench as the Pirates defeated the Colorado Rockies 9-3 at Coors Field on September 21, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Trying to take care of business in Denver

One of my favorite post-game quotes of the season came from Rockies’ rookie starter Jon Gray last night: “They were really aggressive … I didn’t expect that to happen. I tried to expand from there. I didn’t get much movement. I know it’s not going to break as much. Fastball’s not going to have as much […]

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates jumps to high five teammates as they celebrate after the game with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  The Pirates Won 4-3.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Ten days

One of the themes of this entire season for the Pittsburgh Pirates for me has been trying to determine what makes a season a successful one. With 13 games to go, the 2015 Pirates have 89 wins. They are more or less assured of a wild card spot (their magic number to clinch a playoff […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after scoring on a RBI double in the sixth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 16, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Frustrating losses, Charlie Morton, and series splits

I suppose if you want to have a charitable view of the universe today, you could say that the Pirates’ loss last night was the karmic counterpart of their win in the first game of Tuesday’s double-header: Jake Arrieta pitched a gem, the Pirates tied the game because the Cubs’ made some dumb/bad plays, and the […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after striking out against  the Chicago Cubs during game two of the doubleheader at PNC Park on September 15, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The WHYGAVS Daily: September 16th

I am in the depths of paper/thesis writing right now and it’s consuming much of my time/thought processes. That makes it tough to clear my head several times a day to sit down and write about baseball. Let’s try something new: instead of doing a preview post and a recap post each night, I’m going […]

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)

Pretend like the playoffs start today

It has been a long time since the Pirates and Cubs have played meaningful baseball in September. The Cubs are not the team the Pirates are chasing right now, and they don’t have much of a shot at winning this year’s NL Central, but this is a big series for the Pirates. Today, in fact, […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEM BER 13:  Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off single in the eleventh inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on September 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

A late recap of a Sunday afternoon comeback: Game 142: Pirates 7 Brewers 6

Here is a stat you might not expect: The Pirates went 9-10 against the Brewers this year. That’s not great, obviously, given the Brewers’ standing in the division and the Pirates’ standing in the division and the fact that 12-7 instead of 9-12 would have the Pirates in first place in the NL Central right now, […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEM BER 10:  Jean Segura #9 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with teammates after scoring on a RBI single in the thirteenth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 10, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Game 136: Brewers 6 Pirates 4

If you recall, it was not even two weeks ago when I wrote that the Pirates might have a chance at overtaking the Cardinals in the NL Central if they lost one game per series in August and finished 23-10. They have played ten games since then. They have lost four times to the Brewers. […]

AJ Burnett returns against the Brewers

Tonight is a pretty notable game for the Pirates for two reasons: one is that it’s AJ Burnett’s first start since a disastrous outing against the Reds on July 30th that forced the Pirates to go out and trade for JA Happ (which was maybe not the worst thing in the world, all things considered). […]

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 […]

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