Found July 04, 2013 on
Football Extra Points:
As of July 4, 2013 (9:20 am EST) the Pittsburgh Pirates have crossed the halfway point of the season and display a record of 83 – 52. One of the hottest teams in baseball Pittsburgh went 15 – 5 in their last 20 games and currently hold a 2 game lead atop the NL Central. In a blog I wrote last week I asked what makes this season different from past seasons, which saw the Pirates battle for top position early on to the eventual collapses late in the year as things went from great to painful. I decided to reach out to one of Pittsburgh’s most renowned sports-media personalities and get to the heart of the magic taking place in PNC Park and beyond, and whether this magic amounts to anything more than smoke and mirrors. Stan Savaran has covered sports in the Steel City since 1979, in newspaper, radio, and television he has offered his unique and thoughtful insight to all things Pittsburgh. He was the logical choice for answers to my questions regarding the hot Pittsburgh Pirates and speculation as to where they will sit at the close of 2013. Q - Do you think baseball requires more patience than other sports for grooming young athletes? A - I don't think baseball necessarily requires more practice time than other sports. But there are two things that make it more difficult to hone skills. In this part of the country, of course, the game is seasonal. And to be a better hitter, you have to face pitching. Live pitching, not machines at batting cages. A basketball player can practice year round...outside or inside. Practice his shooting skills, dribbling, etc alone. Of course nothing is better than like competition. But a pitcher can throw to a catcher all he wants, but how does he know how good he is unless he can get a batter out? You need one to find that out! Q - Would you say the casual fan is impatient? A - I think ALL fans are impatient. I think the diehard, long-term fans UNDERSTAND what a team goes through, but he's no more tolerant than the guy who watches once a week. Q - Are fan frustrations justified after 20 seasons in the red? A - Fans are more than justified to not only be frustrated about the Pirates, they have every right to be downright, red in the face, MAD. It's not just financial issues that have held this franchise back, an unwillingness to spend the necessary moneys to win. It's that they have been downright incompetent. For 2 decades now. Yes, that anger is justified. Q - Over the last few seasons the Pirates dwindled after a hot start, some say it was lack of experience playing late in the year that affected the athletes, do the Pirates have the correct tools to finally play deep in the season? A - This team will not fold. They might fade slightly...NO team can continue playing as they have, but they will not fold. The reason? Their pitching is their strength...as is their pitching depth both in starting and relieving. The main reason they collapsed last year was because their pitching collapsed. For the above stated reasons, that won't happen in 2013. Q - Could this be the year they end the 20-year slump? A - I feel VERY confident that not only will they break the 20 year losing streak, but they will also make the playoffs for the first time since 1992. Don't know if they'll advance in them, but they will make the post-season. Q - Are there any AAA stars we may see to close out 2013? A - In addition to Gerrit Cole who is already here...we might get another look at Tony Sanchez and Duke Welker, and our first look at OF Andrew Lambo, but I think that will be the extent of it. John Thomas MenesiniFootball Extra Points@TVsCHACHI
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Jose Tabata has been activated from the DL. Photo Credit: David Hague
A few roster updates this afternoon:
**The Pirates have activated Jose Tabata from the disabled list. To make room they have optioned Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A.
**Phil Irwin had ulnar nerve transposition surgery on his right-elbow today. He is expected to miss approximately two months of action.
BLACK AND YELLOW
In honor of the long weekend it looks like Brandon Inge tossed in some real freaky contacts. Get weird, folks. via Mocksession.com [Mocksession] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Tweet The Pittsburgh Pirates (53-32) are currently 21 games above .500 thanks to a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs this afternoon. Pittsburgh is getting contributions from everyone right now, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Jeff Locke, Jason Grilli, Russell Martin, and Neil Walker to name a few. You can add starting pitcher [...]
After we heard about the two high profile signings from yesterday, shortstop Adrian Valerio and outfielder Edinson Lantigua, the Pirates also announced the signings of seven more players today. These players are all slightly older players, eligible to sign prior to this July 2nd signing period. They are shortstop Luis Perez, second baseman Raul Siri, lefty pitcher Christian Mota...
The Pittsburgh Pirates got a boost yesterday when they activated Jose Tabata from the disabled list. The 24-year old outfielder has been on the DL since the end of May. He was battling a strained oblique, but Tabata has proven himself ready to return.
According to Steven Petrella of MLB.com, the Pirates optioned Brandon Cumpton to make room for Tabata on the 25-man roster...
This game turned on a quick sequence in that went like this: Andrew McCutchen single, Gaby Sanchez single on the next pitch, Russell Martin RBI single two pitches later, Pedro Alvarez three-run homer two pitches after that. That turned a frustrating 1-0 Phillies lead into a 4-1 PIrate lead. That gave the second half of the game a very different tone.
Specifically, it was the...
For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Pirates 6, Mets2 1 in 10 innings
Starting Pitcher: Jandy Vasquez, RHP (5.56) – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Ramses...
Pittsburgh Pirates rookie starter Gerrit Cole, after registering wins in each of his first four career starts, was handed his first career loss on Thursday as the Pirates fell to the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-4.
Coming into Thursday’s contest, Cole boasted a 4-0 record and 3.70 ERA over 24 1/3 innings in four starts. Despite the loss, Cole was solid in his effort, working...
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...
Jeff Locke ran his personal winning streak to eight games, Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates hung on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Wednesday night.
Locke (8-1) was scored upon for the first time in four home starts but extended his unbeaten streak to 16 outings. Locke, who hasn't lost since his first start of the season, allowed two earned...
Phillies (40-45) at Pirates (52-31)
1:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
This is going to be another awesome day at the ballpark – PNC will be packed again as Pittsburgh celebrates the Fourth of July and the first place Pirates. The Bucs will look to take the series against the Phils and maintain the best record in baseball. It doesn’t get much better than...
It may be a holiday for most people, but there are still seven games on the minor league schedule today. Only Bradenton has the day off. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable Pitchers Chart. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page, for all Pirates minor league transactions. A full recap of yesterday’s...
Jon Sandfort has started the season with seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out nine.
The Pirates have had a strategy over the last few years in the draft. Take hard to sign prep pitchers in the middle rounds of the draft, give them over-slot bonuses, and hope they develop into solid starters. With any luck, you’ll see one or two pitchers take that...
After last night's loss, the Phillies send the struggling yet well rested Cole Hamels to the mound to face Pittsburgh's top prospect Gerrit Cole. We all know of Hamels' woes right now. I am not a W/L guy and don't even feel it's something that should show up in a...