Found June 22, 2012 on The Fantasy Fix:
So you are probably too late to pick up James McDonald, but what about Travis Blackley? On a night when some of this year's top breakout pitchers were solid once again, Blackley made a statement to join that list. The Oakland lefty gave up one run in eight innings against the Dodgers. Blackley is going to be one of the top pick-ups in fantasy baseball this week now that he has given up three runs in 14 innings during his past two starts. After going a few years without a win, Blackley won back-to-back starts. McDonald, who is living up to his potential with the Pirates, was great again with a complete game while allowing one run. Kyle Lohse, another surprise among the top pitchers in the NL this year, gave up just one run in seven innings. Vance Worley gave up just two runs in seven innings, but took the loss. Gio Gonzalez continued his stellar season with two runs in six innings. McDonald, Lohse, Worley, and Gonzalez would be a pretty good fantasy rotation and o...

McDonald’s first career complete game gives Pirates series win over Twins

The Pirates put together a beautiful game tonight on all sides.  From James McDonald’s complete game to the 3 Pirates homers, the pitching remained one of the best in baseball while the offense came alive.  In fact, the Pirates have scored the 4th most amount of runs in Major League Baseball this month. JMac pitched [...]

Athletics sweep Dodgers on walk-off

Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for his first career game-ending shot, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Thursday for a sweep. Cespedes connected with no outs off Josh Lindblom (2-1), sending a drive just inside the left-field foul pole. Oakland has won eight of nine after holding the NL's best team to eight total hits in...

Dugout Digest - James McDonald is awesome

I'm not sure if there's a bigger surprise of a player in baseball this year than Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald. After defeating the Twins last night, McDonald's ERA sits at 2.19, with a .195 batting average, 0.95 WHIP, and an 83:24 strikeout to walk ratio in 90 1/3 innings. His ERA is fourth in the National League, his strikeout to walk ratio is 15th...

Taking care of business…in style

The Pirates did what they were supposed to do, cruising behind their ace to a big win over a bad Twins team. They did so in extremely impressive fashion, however, and won their second straight series (and seventh out of eight). The victory gets the Bucs back to three over .500, within two of the division, and within one of the wild card. James McDonald was phenomenal yet again. Remember...

Pirates 9, Twins 1

James McDonald pitched his first career complete game, Garrett Jones hit one of Pittsburgh's three home runs and the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games, 9-1 over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night. McDonald (6-3) continued his breakthrough season by allowing one run, six hits and no walks with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.19. He has allowed one run or...

J-Mac goes the distance in 9-1 trouncing of Twins

Final: Pirates 9, Twins 1 WP: James McDonald (6-3, 2.19 ERA) LP: Liam Hendriks (0-4, 7.39 ERA) This game really could not have gone any better. Going into this one, you had to like the Pirates’ chances as you had our ace going up against someone named Liam Hendriks. Hendriks hails from Australia, but his ERA is anything but “down under.” (Terrible attempt at a joke, I know…let’s...

Game 68: Pirates 9 Twins 1

On some nights, everything just goes right. Before this one even started, it was easy to look at the matchup and say that between James McDonald starting for the Bucs and Liam Hendricks going for the Twins that it should be a good night for the Pirates. That McDonald would give them (yet another) solid start and that the recently revitalized offense would be able to throw some runs...

The Pirates and Contextual Improvements

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 36-32, two games back in their division and one game behind the Mets or Giants for the second wild card spot. The last time the Pirates were playing this well was July 25, 2011, after James McDonald pitched very well on a road game against the Braves. The next night, the Pirates lost the infamous 19-inning contest and were never the same again. They won...

Beating the bad ones

I'm going to go more into this in the morning, but the path to the Pirates being a respectable team this year might not be any more complicated than just beating bad baseball teams. That's easier said than done, of course, particularly if the team in question might be considered a bad baseball team, too, but the point is that if the Pirates are going to do something surprising...

Twins seek series win versus Pittsburgh

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer After generating plenty of offense during a three-game winning streak, the Pittsburgh Pirates were held in check by the Minnesota Twins in their latest contest. The Pirates have a good chance to bounce back and regain their offensive punch Thursday night against a struggling Twins rookie starter in the decisive series finale at PNC Park. Pittsburgh...
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