Found June 29, 2013 on
Taking Bad Schotz:
I am 21-year-old college student, and I was six months old the last time the Pirates had a winning season. So technically I was alive last time the Pirates had a winning season, but for argument’s sake I have never seen a winning season. I have witnessed the likes of Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Jason Bay, Kris Benson, Aramis Ramirez, and plenty of others come and go while showing some signs of promise before being shipped out for prospects that never panned out. I’ve seen the team collapse, whether it was at the end or within the first quarter of the season. To say the least I have had a very disappointing life as a baseball fan. 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However, the past few years have been brighter and some prospects have finally started to pan out. Namely, Andrew McCutchen, who is arguably the best center fielder in baseball. The 2011 and 2012 seasons were both the most exciting and disappointing baseball seasons I have experienced. 2011 was the first year we showed signs of life in a long time before fading down the stretch in the second half. Last season, 2012, may have been the biggest tease I have ever experienced in sports. The Pirates were in first place for most of the year, and on my last day interning for the team they were 16 games over .500. They were in good shape to make the playoffs and were almost assuredly going to snap the 20 straight seasons of losing baseball, but they had an enormous collapse as Cutch couldn’t keep up his torrid .350 average and the team ultimately finished under .500 again. “Luckily” the long history of losing prepared me. But there’s hope. This year’s team is just as exciting as last year’s, if not more. Currently the Pirates stand at 49-30 and have the best record in all of Major League Baseball. This comes with a grain of salt because the in-division Cardinals (1 GB) and Reds (4.5 GB) continue to put more pressure on them. With that being said, this team seems fit to keep it up and go the distance. McCutchen has been very good this year, but isn’t forced to have to completely carry the team like he did last year, which is a positive sign. In the past month, Pedro Alvarez seems to have figured it out while hitting over .300 and bringing his home run total to 19 well before the All-Star break. Starling Marte has far exceeded expectations and while he has fallen off a bit recently, his 2-homer game the other night could be a sign that he is coming back around. The Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez platoon seems to be strong enough production, and Russell Martin has been a huge addition behind the plate for limiting steals and providing some needed offense. Overall while the lineup could use a potential boost at the trade deadline in right field or at shortstop, this lineup has shown it is strong enough to put up numbers and win games. Photo Credit: Peter Diana/Post-Gazette Even with a better lineup than the past, the pitching has been the reason that the Pirates are where they are. Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon could be the best 8th and 9th inning combo in baseball, and are both pitching the best they have in their lives. Grilli has only one blown save on the year in 27 attempts. Another surprise this year has been the emergence of Jeff Locke, the kid can flat-out pitch. He is 7-1 with a 2.06 ERA, and has been nothing short of dominant in his recent trips to the mound. AJ Burnett and Wandy Rodriquez were solid up until their current stints on the DL, but should be back soon enough. Jenemar Gomez has been a welcome boost that may not last, but was needed as James McDonald has been plain awful this year and is on the DL. The most promising young arm to date has been Gerrit Cole. The rookie has been outstanding in his 4-0 start, he even posted a 2-RBI hit in his first ever at-bat. He is the type of pitcher that has the potential to be dominant for years and has shown flashes of brilliance so far. He already reached 101 MPH this season, and if the Pirates are smart they will bite the bullet in regards to possible future money, and keep Cole in the majors for the rest of the season. Overall the pitching for the Pirates has been phenomenal, and if it can keep up the Pirates will surely be in contention all year. Even with all that was just pointed out about how good the Pirates have been so far this season, I must tread carefully. The Pirates, this team even, have burned me before. While this team does look a lot different from even last year’s team, until a winning season happens the doubt of a collapse will always be in the back of the mind of any Pirates fan due to over 20 years of failure. I hope those doubts can finally be silenced this year with not only a winning season, but with potentially a playoff appearance or hopefully a division title. This young team genuinely seems to have the best chance of any Pirates team in the past two decades. Even if they do collapse, I’m going to enjoy their success as much as possible because there are few sights as beautiful as watching Starling Marte flying around the bases, Cutch making an amazing catch in center field, or Pedro Alvarez bombing one over the 21-foot Clemente Wall into the Allegheny River. -Childs
BEST OF MAXIM
EAT SOME DIRT
Your browser does not support iframes. The Pittsburgh Pirates mascot fell over a railing and landed headfirst onto the field during the ninth inning Sunday's game at PNC Park. The Pirate Parrot was sitting in the front row of the stands in left field at ground level and leaned over the railing to try to snag a foul grounder by Pirates batter Josh Harrison when he suffered...
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. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Episode 11 of The Pirates Prospects Podcast can be downloaded or streamed below. This episode includes analysis from Tom Bragg (@TomBraggSports), James Santelli (@JamesSantelli) and myself (@timwilliamsP2) on the Pirates. Highlights of the show include:
**The show has new intro music! It’s ‘Let’s Get it Started’ by Oh No Not Stereo. Courtesy of BeatPick.com
**We talk about...
Russell Martin hits game-winning RBI single in the 14th inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates break out the brooms and sweep the Milwaukee Brewers in a 2-1 victory on Sunday.
With their victory over the Brewers, the Pirates move to 51-30 on the season and take a 2 game lead over the NL Central in the hunt for October.
Despite the Pirates success, some people are still hesitant...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed their 30th round pick from this year’s amateur draft, left-handed pitcher Will Kendall out of Auburn. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Kendall was a junior this season, coming off Tommy John Surgery, which cut short an impressive sophomore season. He was 4-0, 1.88 in six starts and three relief appearances when the injury occurred last year...
Luis Heredia will get his second start of the season tonight, trying to build off the five shutout innings he threw in his debut. Bradenton was rained out last night. They will make it up today as part of a doubleheader. Altoona will also play a doubleheader today. Jamestown had their game suspended in the third inning. They will finish the game the next time they meet up against...
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed top draft pick Austin Meadows on Friday.
The 18-year-old outfielder from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., was the ninth overall pick. He gets a signing bonus of $3,029,600, which is the slot value assigned to the pick.
''It's overwhelming,'' Meadows said. ''I've been playing baseball since I was a 3 years old...
Nearly half way through the Major League Baseball season, the Pittsburg Pirates 49-30 record is the best in the league.
Take that in for a second. The Pittsburg Pirates, who haven’t been relevant for the past two decades, have the best record in baseball right now.
The Pirates started off last season strong as well, but ended the season losing 35 of their last 15 games and ended...
Starling Marte was just a few feet short of hitting for the cycle. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pirates needed to come back from an early deficit to grab their seventh-straight win. Once they did, the Bucs tacked on another. Then another. Then another. Then one more. Now they have the best record in Major League Baseball.
The Bucs’ half of the 2nd inning had everything: six...
Vin Mazzaro threw five perfect innings in relief. (Photo by: David Hague)
What a way to close out the Pirates’ most successful first half in four decades.
The Pirates’ 2-1 win and home sweep of Milwaukee (32-48) featured 14 innings, five Brewers infielders, two chances for a walkoff walk and only one player left on the bench for either team.
Helped by a two-hour rain delay, the...
As the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to roll, the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in another slide.
Alone atop the NL Central, the Pirates look to extend their longest winning streak in nine seasons to eight games while trying to hand the Brewers a fourth consecutive defeat Saturday night.
Pittsburgh (49-30) won six straight to conclude a 7-2 trip, then used a seven-run second...
Brewers (32-46) at Pirates (49-30)
7:15 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The first place Pittsburgh Pirates go for eight in a row tonight against the last place Milwaukee Brewers. PNC Park should be sold out for the fifth straight game (it’s Fireworks Night, after all) and it should be a great atmosphere on the North Shore.
Tonight’s game is on FOX, but only...
Pinch-hitter Russell Martin singled home the winning run in the 14th inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates earned their ninth straight victory, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Sunday.
The Pirates extended their longest winning streak since 2004, when they took 10 in a row. Pittsburgh reached the midpoint of its season with the best record in the majors at 51-30.
Gaby Sanchez led...
The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing so well that they have to feel they can earn a rare win over Kyle Lohse.
Lohse is 9-2 in his career against the Pirates, who will try for their ninth straight victory Sunday and a three-game home sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Pittsburgh (50-30) owns baseball's best record thanks to its longest win streak since a 10-game run June 26-July...
The West Virginia Power took the four series in Lakewood today, with a comeback win, giving them three wins against the BlueClaws in this set and they have now beat them in 13 of 16 meetings this year. Down 4-2 going into the ninth inning, the Power drew three straight walks to start the frame. After a sacrifice fly made it 4-3, Ashley Ponce hit what looked to be a game-ending double...