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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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! […]

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% […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Game 23: Pirates 4 Reds 1

After a week of playing a sport that only vaguely resembled baseball in Arizona and Colorado this week, the Pirates’ fifth straight win looked a lot more to my eye like the Pirates of 2013-2015. Juan Nicasio threw seven brilliant shutout innings, striking out eight and holding the Reds to just three hits. The Pirates […]

Don’t look past the Reds

The Pirates are, despite their pitching woes, playing relatively good baseball right now; they won five times in six games against the Diamondbacks and Rockies, and their 13-9 record is slowly climbing up the National League standings. They’re going to open May with two huge series against the Cubs (at home) and in St. Louis. […]

Game 22: Pirates 9 Rockies 8

The good news, if i you can call it that, is that the Pirates just played a game on Sunday in which they had a big lead, their bullpen blew said big lead, and the offense bailed everyone out, and so we already know how to feel about last night’s way-too-close-for-comfort 9-8 win over the […]

Jon Niese looks to keep the Pirates rolling

Inside of a week the Pirates have gone from a horrible ball of stress and frustration to a vaunted offense bludgeoned their way towards the upper part of the National League. This is possible because it’s only April, of course, but it’s a welcome change from the week that preceded it. Jon Niese takes the […]

Game 21: Pirates 9 Rockies 4

I suppose this goes without saying, but when I type something like perhaps a struggling lefty and Coors Field are what Andrew McCutchen needs to get jump-started, I don’t actually expect the result to be that Andrew McCutchen goes out and lights the Rockies up for three home runs. McCutchen did exactly that, though, launching […]

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