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One question that I’ve been struggling with since almost the beginning of this 2015 season is a pretty straightforward one. How do you define success for the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates? Would a division title be a success? Would a trip to the NLCS be a success? Would it take a World Series? From an emotional standpoint, my […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 12: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals acknowledges the dugout after hitting an RBI triple against the Pittsburgh Pirates as umpire Adam Hamari #78 signals Molina safe in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on August 12, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Game 111: Cardinals 4 Pirates 2

Two days, two winnable games lost in St. Louis by the Pirates. I think that this one is mostly chalked up to awful defense, with Pedro Alvarez missing a third inning scoop that lead to the Cardinals’ first two runs, and Gregory Polanco completely whiffing on a sixth inning Yadier Molina single, turning it into […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates stands in the dugout in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds during the game at PNC Park on June 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The trials of Gerrit

There is no way to put this other than bluntly: the Pirates need a huge start from Gerrit Cole tonight. Their rotation is in trouble, their division chances are shrinking, and they haven’t won in St. Louis in over a year. They need their ace to take the mound, put his foot down, and make […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 11: Stephen Piscotty #55 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on August 11, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Game 110: Cardinals 4 Pirates 3

Wins don’t come easily for the Pirates at Busch Stadium, and so it’s hard to feel any way but frustrated after the Pirates dropped the first game of this three-game set there in what felt like an avoidable fashion on Tuesday night. The short version is that the Pirates took a 3-1 lead on the […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 09: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts while rounding first base after hitting a three run home run in the 7th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at PNC Park on August 9, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Game 109: Pirates 13 Dodgers 6

Where on earth do I even start with this one? Charlie Morton struggled quite a bit early on in this game, and through most of his five innings I was thinking that he just had to keep it close enough to give the Pirate offense a chance to take over. I can’t take credit for […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07:  Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by teammate Gregory Polanco #25 following his walk off game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at PNC Park on August 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Game 107: Pirates 5 Dodgers 4

I guess when Gregory Polanco homered off of Clatyon Kershaw on the first pitch that Kershaw threw tonight, we all should’ve known it was going to be a strange came. Kershaw came into the game with a 37-inning scoreless streak and it was over before the ESPN crew for this game could even comment on […]

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 8:  Pitcher Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers prepares to pitch in the ninth inning against Philadelphia Phillies on July 8, 2015 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout to defeat the Phillies 5-0. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Cole vs. Kershaw

Gerrit Cole and Clayton Kershaw pitch tonight. What else is there to say about this game? Kershaw hasn’t allowed a run in a long time. Cole is awesome. If you’re out of Pittsburgh, you’ll be able to find this game on ESPN. That’s how big it is. First pitch is at 7:05. Someone will probably […]

poses for a portrait on photo day on February 26, 2015 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.

Tyler Glasnow and the difference between talented and ready

It rained all afternoon in Chapel Hill, and as the clocked ticked closer to seven o’ clock, I was sending text messages to my friends. You know that I don’t care how hard it’s raining, I’m going out to DBAP tonight unless they cancel the game early, right? I was worried that the weather would […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 05: Starling Marte #6, Andrew McCutchen #22, and Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate their 7-5 win against the Chicago Cubs during the game at PNC Park on August 5, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Game 106: Pirates 7 Cubs 5

If the Pirates are going to keep winning games at a quick pace in the last part of this 2015 season, I suspect that quite a few of the wins will resemble this one. The Pirates were able to build a nice lead early on against Dan Haren, thanks to homers from Gregory Polanco and […]

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 31: Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 31, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Jeff Locke looks to lead Pirates to split with Cubs

Sorry for going MIA yesterday: I had my committee meeting early and a softball game right after work that ended up being a 15-inning epic that will live on in the lore of the Carrboro Co-Rec Slowpitch Softball League forever. I wouldn’t have much to add to last night’s game that wasn’t obvious: JA Happ […]

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 29: Francisco Liriano #47 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on July 29, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Lester and Liriano

Sorry for the late post today; I have a meeting with my thesis committee tomorrow morning, I’m moving this weekend, and I have to make time for Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow, too, so it’s a pretty busy week for me. At this point a Pirates/Cubs series is pretty straightforward: the Pirates are awfully comfortable […]

of the Cincinnati Reds against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on August 2, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Game 104: Pirates 3 Reds 0

Let’s begin with baseball. Charlie Morton was excellent today, which is really important news for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to AJ Burnett’s recent struggles, Morton had easily been the Pirates’ worst pitcher. His last seven starts were disastrous: 37 innings, 45 hits, 30 runs, 26 strikeouts, 16 walks, 6 homers, 6 HBPs, and a .935 […]

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 21:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 21, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Gerrit Cole looks to finally solve his Reds problem

Gerrit Cole’s excellent 2015 has come with three starts in which he didn’t pitch at least six innings. All three have come against the Cincinnati Reds, including the 4 2/3 inning shelling at the hands of the Reds back in June that might be his only legitimately bad start all season. Like much of the […]

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 31: Joakim Soria #38 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 31, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates defeated the Reds 5-4. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Trade deadline round-up with some interspersed links

This morning, @WalkoffHBPRyan asked me and a few other Pirate bloggers on Twitter why the general response to the Pirates’ deadline day moves was more or less lukewarm: I tend to tackle all acquisitions by the Pirates at this point from the angle that they’re a good front office and that they don’t acquire players […]

Stop losing to the Reds, part ten

I have plans this evening that directly abut the trade deadline, so I’m writing this post early. I have no idea if the Pirates have traded for anyone, or if the Reds have gotten rid of anyone, or if nothing at all has happened. The posts underneath this one could say anything. Regardless of what […]

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 10: Michael Morse #38 of the Miami Marlins hits an rbi double scoring Christian Yelich #21 against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the fourth inning at AT&T Park on May 10, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Pirates trade Jose Tabata to Dodgers for Mike Morse

Just when you thought that the Pirates had done nothing at the trade deadline, suddenly a mini-avalanche of small moves happens. The first one is one that we probably could’ve anticipated earlier in the trade season: the Pirates swapped DFA’d players with the Dodgers by trading Jose Tabata for Mike Morse.

PITTSBURGH - JULY 19:  Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington talks to reporters prior to the game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 19, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A brief trade deadline preview (or not so brief, I am bad at brief)

We’ve got about six hours until this afternoon’s trade deadline, and I think the safest bet might be that the Pirates are done. They’ve already addressed their infield/bench depth situation with Aramis Ramirez, they’ve made one trade that upgrades their bullpen with Joakim Soria, and they’ve made a third move that might do the same […]

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