Found July 28, 2012 on
The Sports Jags:
The Pirates’ role players have been back in April mode for most of the second half but when the Pirates needed them last night against the Astros, they all came up huge to help the Buccos pull off a 6-5 comeback win that makes three in a row and 8 of 10 for the Bucs.
Things really didn’t look good when the Astros broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh when Jared Hughes gave up an earned run for the first time since he hit puberty, but the Bucco Bats put together one hell of a ninth. After Pedro Alvarez struck out to lead off the last at bats, the Bucs loaded the bases with a single and back-to-back walks, bringing the new kid on the block, Starling Marte to the plate for his biggest appearances since his debut homer. A double-play ball would’ve ended the game but Starling got under a pitch and sent a sac fly to score Jordy Mercer from third and advance Drew Sutton from second. On the very next pitch, Xavier Cedeno put a breaking ball in the dirt and Sutton scored on the wild pitch.
Joel Hanrahan took care of the rest in Hammer Time, after he put the usual runner in scoring position of course, but he shut it down to pick up his MLB-LEADING 31st SAVE.
Last night was all about the timely hitting though. The Pirates were down 3-0 in the fourth but Alex Presley, who’s been straight sucking, got the Bucs on the board by homering to right. And after the Astros took a 4-1 lead into the fifth, Michael McKenry and Josh Harrison, who have been super quiet as of late, came up big. Fort hit a 2-run homer in the fifth and J-Hay tied the game with a sac fly in the seventh. Then Starling came up big when it mattered even though he went 0 for 4, and Sutton finally did something again by scoring the game-winning run.
It would have sucked to be the team that the Astros snapped their losing streak to but the comeback pushed Houston’s suckfest to 11 games…sad really. The win also pushed the Buccos to 15 games over .500 for the first time this year, but they’re still 2 games behind the Reds in the NL Central. Wandy will try to keep them on pace when he makes the first start of his career not in an Astros uniform. He’s pretty familiar with the Astros lineup and he knows what Minute Maid Park is all about so he should be just fine.
Hoist the colors.
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Starling Marte – One Pitch and Gone!(Photo: deadspin.com)
Welcome to the Majors, Starling Marte! The Pittsburgh Pirates organization and its fans have been anxiously awaiting the Major League arrival of their prospect who hails from the Dominican Republic. Starling Marte wasted little time in showing his talents. While making his debut against the Houston Astros, Marte led off...
Photo by Mark Olson
James McDonald struggled in his first two starts after the All-Star break. He allowed 10 earned runs over 9.2 innings with nine walks to just four strikeouts. McDonald’s last trip to the bump at PNC Park on Tuesday against Chicago was a step forward. Although he allowed five earned runs over six frames, he saw his curve back and racked up six strikeouts. The...
Starling Marte was impressive in his Major League debut.
Manager Clint Hurdle always gives the same message to rookies when they first arrive to the big leagues — respect everything and fear nothing.
The message must have resonated with the 23-year-old Startling Marte in his Major League debut on Thursday in Houston. Because that’s exactly what he did.
The outfielder stepped...
Jeff Luhnow is at it again. The Houston Astros general manager has flipped starting third baseman Chris Johnson to the playoff-hungry Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two fringe-B-level prospects.
The approach being utilized by Houston is an excellent one. The organization does not have highly-sought-after commodities to trade (Carlos Lee, Brandon Lyon, Wandy Rodriguez, Johnson...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the mid-season update.
1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-4, 4.85) – DNP
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (5-7, 4.37) – DNP
3. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia (.319) - 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI
4. Josh Bell, RF, West...
Only two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date and they played with the team nearly 100 years apart from each other. In his Jolly Roger Rewind, John Fredland covers an important doubleheader from the last World Series champs in team history.
Enrique Wilson (1973) Infielder for the 2000-01 Pirates. He was originally signed by the Twins in 1992 as an amateur free agent...
There was a good significant amount of buzz among Pirates fans coming into tonight’s game because of Starling Marte‘s major league debut, and I’m sure everyone’s eyes were on the rookie as he stepped in to the box for his first MLB at bat at 8:05.
He didn’t disappoint. Instead of watching the first pitch like most leadoff hitters (and certainly most hitters making their...
Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. Click here for a general guide to pitch types and classifications...
Let's start out with some self-promotion: Pittsburgh Magazine has put their Ultimate Fan Guide together for the Pirates and Steelers and Penguins and I helped out some with the Pirates/PNC Park section. You should check it out. You've probably seen this by now, but in light of the Wandy Rodriguez trade the Pirates will move Kevin Correia to the bullpen. Correia is not happy...
Pittsburgh Pirates Live Game Chat
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The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired third baseman Chris Johnson from the Houston Astros on Sunday for infield/outfield prospect Bobby Borchering and outfield prospect Marc Krauss. The deal marked the fifth trade of an Astros major-leaguer this month. "I know that's strange to say because it seems like everybody's getting traded over here, but I was pretty surprised...
On the bus home tonight, a thought popped into my head. It flitted in and out pretty quickly, but it was definitely there. "What if Starling Marte homers in his first at-bat?"I didn't really have an answer, and I pushed the thought out pretty quickly. I always ask that when a player makes a debut, because it's such a cool thing to have a player homer in his first...
#Pirates not currently optimistic about their search for a hitter. Few available, prices high. Plenty of time for that to change.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2012
This shouldn't be a surprise; some teams are treating the current trade market like nothing has changed even though compensation picks for traded players have been eliminated and others have realized...
Earlier in the year I noted that the Pirates low BABIP wasn’t driving their poor offense. The conclusion being that both OBP and SLG proved to be more valuable in scoring runs. Really, nothing all that enlightening. But at the time there had been a lot of chatter about how unlucky the Pirates had been and I thought it was worthwhile to take a look at BABIP more closely.