Found August 03, 2012 on
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The Pirates take on the Cincinnati Reds this weekend in what could be the biggest series of the year. The two teams meet two more times this year — in Cincinnati in early September, and in Pittsburgh in late September — but considering the current standings, this is a key weekend for the Pirates to stay in the race.
Cincinnati has a 3.5 game lead over the Pirates. Best case scenario, the Pirates get a sweep and finish the weekend half a game out of first place. Worst case, they get swept and finish 6.5 game back. A 2-1 series win allows them to pick up one game, while a 2-1 series loss puts them another game back.
The Pirates might be catching the Reds at the right time. Cincinnati will be without Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Deven Mesoraco this weekend. And yeah, they’ve been winning without those guys, but they’ve also been playing the worst teams in the majors. The Reds also won’t be throwing Johnny Cueto. Meanwhile, the Pirates will be throwing their top three starters: Wandy Rodriguez on Friday, James McDonald on Saturday, and A.J. Burnett now moving up to Sunday.
A series win on the road in Cincinnati could provide a big boost for the Pirates. They follow that with an 11 game homestand, which is right in the middle of 20 games in a row without a day off. Beating the Reds to start that stretch could provide a huge boost, with the Pirates carrying momentum back home for the bulk of that 20 game stretch.
Links and Notes
**Prospect Watch: Tabata Has Four Hits; Nick Evans, Andrew Lambo Start Rehab.
**Indians Hold A Hit-O-Rama.
**How Did the Trade Deadline Impact the 2013 Payroll?
**After The Trade Deadline: Updated Top 20 Prospects.
**Andrew McCutchen Named NL Player of the Month for July.
**Minor Moves: Barrett Barnes to the DL, Pirates Sign Erik Turgeon.
**The High Asking Prices For Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino.
**How Do August Waiver Trades Work?
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
@mbandi Right, because J-Mac buzzing someone is going to make them see the error of their ways. That has a good track record.
— Ed Giles (@InClementeWthr) August 4, 2012
It is an argument that has been had numerous times. Should you retaliate if your opposition drills your best player?
Friday night, Andrew McCutchen faced off against Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman with two outs...
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Is there any single play in baseball more exciting than an inside-the-park home run? Most likely not. The only other occurence I can think of that may rival it is a play at home plate. Well, the video clip above has BOTH.
Last night, the Reds won their second in a row against the Padres.
Bronson Arroyo had a little trouble on the mound, but he manned his way through 6.0 innings to give the bullpen a break last night. He allowed 4 runs (earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks. Then came the parade of once and future closers: Sean Marshall pitched the seventh, Jonathan Broxton pitched the eighth, and Aroldis...
Seth Mejias-Brean, the Hitting Machine
Charlotte 8 Louisville 1
Bats (43-70), Last place International League West, 26.0 GB
-Todd Redmond (L 7-8, 3.44) lost after two unearned runs scored in his five innings. Will Ohman, Nick Christiani, and J.J. Hoover each tossed scoreless inning.
-CF Denis Phipps went 2-4, with a double and a solo home run (8). SS Didi Gregorius...
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, 3.94) - DNP
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (5-7, 4.09) - DNP
3. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia (.316) - 3-for-4, 3B, BB
4. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (...
Back in early July, I did an in-depth look at the two Dominican Summer League teams of the Pittsburgh Pirates, with early season notes on the players to watch. We now take a look at how some of those players have performed over the month of July, as well as a couple new names to watch.
Maximo Rivera has seen his numbers drop off slightly over the last month, but this is still a...
It was only a matter of time until some intrepid Pittsburgh Pirates fan decided to create a parody television opening to celebrate the team's season.
The show of choice?...."The Brady Bunch":
NEW YORK (AP) -- Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has been suspended for three games and fined by Major League Baseball for making contact with an umpire during an argument.
The commissioner's office announced the penalty Wednesday. Unless he appeals, Mesoraco will begin serving his suspension Wednesday night against San Diego.
The rookie was ejected for arguing balls and...
CINCINNATI The absurdity of a meaningful Cincinnati Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates series in August manifested itself by who is missing in the Great American Ball Park press box this weekend.
Three beat writers who are regularly assigned to the Reds aren't covering any of the three games this weekend between the Reds and Pirates in a land dispute over first place in the National League...
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and Johnny Cueto overcame a pair of rare long balls to pitch into the eighth inning Thursday and lead the surging Cincinnati Reds to their 13th win in 14 games, 9-4 over the San Diego Padres.
Scott Rolen had three hits, Frazier had three RBIs and Jay Bruce drove in two runs, helping push the Reds to 23 games over .500 (64-41) for...
It might be a little too early in the season to hype any series as a big one. However, the fact of the matter is that the Pirates will be playing their biggest series in 14 years when they travel to Cincinnati to meet the Reds in a three-game set beginning on Friday night at Great American Ball Park. The Pirates are in second place in the National League Central and trail the...
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Over the course of the last week the Pirates have won five games, but I've been saying ad nauseum that they haven't really played that well. Part of the reason for that is that they've been winning close games while leaving tons of runners on base and most of their wins have felt like they more stumbled into them than beat their opponents. Last night bucked the trend...
It was a banner month for the Redlegs in July. They ripped off a 10-game winning streak, reclaimed the top spot in the division and boasted the best record in the majors as of 11:59 PM ET on the 31st. If you discount the injury sustained to Joey Votto, you might even say the month was one of the best ever for the franchise.
With that in mind, here are 12 fast facts about the...
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...