Found April 04, 2013 on
AJ Burnett pitched well and lost in the first game of 2013. Wandy Rodriguez pitched well in the second game and won. The most important pitcher in the rotation for the season's first two months is not Burnett, nor is it Rodriguez. It's today's starter, James McDonald. McDonald had a Jeckyll and Hyde 2012 season with an All-Star worthy first half and a brutal second half. He wasn't all that impressive this spring, and his spring ended with a shelling at the hands of a minor league lineup. Spring results are meaningless (remember how bad Tom Gorzelanny was in the spring of 2007 before his breakout year?), but McDonald is hugely important while the Pirates wait on Liriano, Cole, and Karstens. If McDonald pitches well, the Pirates will get good starts more often than not in the early season. If he doesn't, they won't. I really think it might be that simple.
McDonald's opponent is Travis Wood, who is not very good. The first pitch today is at 12:35 becaus...
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Can James McDonald be more like the first half pitcher from 2012? (Photo by Mark Olson)
Last night James McDonald got off to a great start for the 2013 season. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up one run on two hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. McDonald didn’t always look as good as the stat line. In the early innings he looked a bit shaky, but the Cubs didn’t...
On Opening Day the Pittsburgh Pirates offense could not get anything to go right, spoiling a 10-strikeout performance by starting pitcher A.J. Burnett. Wednesday the team got another stellar performance from its starting pitcher and this time the bats did just enough to push Pittsburgh to their first win of the season.
Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits in 5 2/3 innings and got...
Final: Pirates 3, Cubs 0 (box)
WP: Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
LP: Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60 ERA)
SV: Jason Grilli (1, 0.00 ERA)
MVP: Wandy Rodriguez (.248 WPA)
Wandy Rodriguez picked up right where he left off this spring as he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits. He struck out six batters and walked just one. Tony Watson helped get out of a bases loaded jam...
Now say that with your best Eddie Murphy from Beverly Hills Cop voice and the title is actually pretty funny. Anyway...
After the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros opened the season on Sunday the bulk of the league had Opening Day on Monday--April Fool's Day. So when a bunch of overgrown boys took to the field yesterday there was bound to be a gag or too pulled.
RAISE IT! The Bucs are on the board in 2013 thanks to a stellar pitching display by Wandy Rodriguez and the bullpen. They shut out the Cubs, allowed just two hits, and hey – the Bucs actually put up a few runs of their own!
Rodriguez was truly excellent, which was awesome to see in his first start of the year. One reason the Pirates may be better than last year is the fact that...
The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t complete a ninth-inning comeback in their 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs and it there was a sense of déjà vu to the game.
Russell Martin went 0 for 10 at the plate in the Pirates’ first three games. Photo credit: David Hague
Much like in the Opening Day loss, the Pirates got a strong outing from its starting pitcher.
James McDonald allowed just...
Wandy Rodriguez did everything we expected of him and more, not allowing so much as a run to the Chicago Cubs, and the Pirates scored 3 runs to back him as they defeated the Cubs, 3-0, in another chilly game at PNC Park. The Cubs only managed 2 baserunners (1 walk, 1 hit) against Wandy…
Chicago Cubs (1-1, T-1st in NL Central) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (1-1, T-1st in NL Central)
Game Time: 12:35 ET (Tickets)
CHC – Travis Wood (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
PIT – James McDonald (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
James McDonald makes his first start after posting a 4.19 ERA in five spring training starts. Last season against the Cubs, McDonald was 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts...
Wandy Rodriguez allowed just two hits over 6 2-3 innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Chicago Cubs 3-0 on Wednesday night for their first win of the year.
Andrew McCutchen smacked an RBI double for the Pirates. Starling Marte and Gaby Sanchez also drove in a run, more than enough for Rodriguez on a frigid night.
Jason Grilli, promoted to the closer's role in the offseason...
Chicago Cubs (1-0, 1st in NL Central) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (0-1, T-4th in NL Central)
Game Time: 7:05 ET (Tickets)
CHC – Edwin Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
PIT – Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Historically, Wandy Rodriguez gets out of the gate fast. He has a career 2.95 ERA in the month of April. He also went 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts against the Cubs...
The list of things that I don't really understand in baseball is infinite, but somewhere near the top of it is this: the veteran pitcher who's out on the mound and not quite pitching like himself, but still has things so completely under control that you never really doubt him. That was Wandy Rodriguez on Wednesday night against the Cubs. Rodriguez is mostly a ground ball...
Cubs (1-1) at Pirates (1-1)
12:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
TV: ROOT, WGN
It’s a matinee rubber match today at PNC, as the Bucs and Cubs square off on getaway day. ROOT Sports didn’t pick up several of these games in the past, but it appears that they’re broadcasting everything they can this year. The game is also on WGN, so out of town folks may be able to...
Cubs (1-0) at Pirates (0-1)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Bucs look to break into the win column tonight as they take on the Cubs in the first night game of the season. Attendance will certainly be down quite a bit compared to Monday, but the team is trying its best to attract fans by maintaining this annual tradition:
Coming down to PNC tonight? Remember...
One of the things that I hate the most about April baseball is this sentence: "I know it's early, but ..." followed by a complaint about whatever pre-season concern they had. The Pirates offense has looked terrible in three games against the Cubs this week and it's been a little depressing to see, but they were also three games played in a freezing cold Pittsburgh...