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 […]

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15:  Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Game 36: Pirates 2 Cubs 1

I’m certain that I wrote something similar at this point almost exactly a year ago, but when a season starts like this one, there comes a point at which you stop worrying about the standings and the number of games behind you, are start worrying solely about your own business and hope that something that’s […]

I don’t care what day it is, it’s time for a little urgency

It’s May 13th, sure, but the Pirates are seven games behind a Cub team loaded with talent that was off to an all-time great start before losing both ends of a double-header on Wednesday. The Pirates can’t erase seven games this weekend, but they can cut into that lead a little bit (or a lot! […]

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning of the game at Great American Ball Park on May 11, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates defeated the Reds 5-4. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Game 33: Pirates 5 Reds 4 (or, desperately looking for meaning in May)

I will admit that last week’s ugly sweep at the hands of the Cubs has made it awfully difficult for me to figure out how to process May baseball in 2016. Even after losing a double-header to the Padres yesterday, the Cubs are massive favorites in the NL Central: Baseball Prospectus has them at 93.3% […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 3:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates can't make a catch alongside Gregory Polanco #25 on a ball hit by Kris Bryant #17 (not pictured) during the fourth inning on May 3, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Gravity of the Situation: Game 28: Cubs 6 Pirates 2

Here is The Real Deal At Least As Far As I See It: There comes a point where being good ceases to be sufficient. I don’t know honestly how to draw that line and if we were to phrase it as a question (When does being good cease being good enough?) I don’t even know […]

At some point this year Jake Arrieta will probably lose a game

After laying an egg last night, the Pirates get to face the beard-in-human-form that’s haunted their dreams since last October tonight. This is about as unpleasant as a matchup gets; lose on Monday with your ace on the mound, then send Jon Niese out to face Jake Arrieta in the second game of a series. […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 02:  John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates flips his bat as he walks back to the dugout after striking out in the seventh inning during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on May 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Game 26: Cubs 7 Pirates 2

The danger of big divisional games in early May is that it is almost impossible to watch the Pirates squander opportunities and make dumb/bad plays in the field with Gerrit Cole operating at less than top capacity, and not think about the futility of winning 98 games with a certain wild card game awaiting you, […]

DENVER, CO - APRIL 26:  at Coors Field on April 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Pirates defeated Rockies 9-4. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The value of May baseball

This week, the Cubs come to PNC Park for a three-game series. After the series ends, the Pirates will travel to St. Louis for three games, then go to Cincinnati for three, then to Wrigley Field for three more. It’s only May 2nd and the Pirates are off to a solid 15-10 start, so it’s […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 1:  Adam Duvall #23 of the Cincinnati Reds scores in front of Chris Stewart #19 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning on May 1, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Game 25: Reds 6 Pirates 5

It is tempting and not incorrect to say that not all baseball teams can win all games and that even teams like the Pirates lose to teams like the Reds from time to time. That doesn’t make this loss any less frustrating. The Reds had to scratch Raisel Iglesias on Saturday and give a start […]

Keeping pace

The Pirates, you are certainly aware, have won five in a row and seven of eight, to run their record to 14-9, which is a very good record after 23 games (“on-pace for” stats are dumb and entirely unhelpful in April but the Pirates are on a 98-99 win pace, which means that we can […]