Happy Blackout Day

If for some crazy reason you aren’t fired up yet, I’ve got you covered right here. First, some scenes from last year… Intros: Seconds before first pitch: “The Greatest 90 Seconds in PNC Park History” The last out: (And here’s the full game if you have a couple hours to kill) It will be tough to top what happened in this game one year ago. The combination of the end...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
3 hours ago  |  Discuss

NL Wild Card Game breakdown: Giants vs. Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates host the San Francisco Giants Wednesday night in the National League Wild Card Game (8:07 p.m. ET, ESPN). The winner moves on to face the top-seeded Washington Nationals in an NL Division Series, starting Friday. Edinson Volquez, 9-1 with a 1.85 in his last 17 starts, takes the hill for Pittsburgh, while Madison Bumgarner, 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 road starts...
Via Fox Sports
5 hours ago  |  Discuss

Five Wild Card Questions with ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian

ESPN will be covering the NL Wild Card game, starting with an extended edition of Baseball Tonight at 5:30 on ESPN2 (moving to ESPN at 7) and the game broadcast on ESPN at 8. Nearly a dozen ESPN commentators will be involved including Karl Ravech, Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and analyst Eduardo Perez on site and Adnan Virk and analysts Eric Wedge and Dallas Braden from ESPN’s...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
6 hours ago  |  Discuss

Volquez hopes to follow familiar script

PITTSBURGH -- A year ago Edinson Volquez was on the Dodgers' postseason roster but didn't see any action. He also wasn't sure what the next step in his career was going to be. Now Volquez finds himself starting for the Pirates in Wednesday's NL Wild Card game against the Giants. After seeing how his friend Francisco Liriano saw a career revival when he signed with...
Via Fox Sports Ohio
7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Edinson Volquez is the Wildest of Wild Cards

Wild Card Playoff baseball is here and there is no greater wild card in this opening single game elimination playoff round than Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. wild card: a person or thing that could affect a situation in a way that cannot be predicted : an unknown or unpredictable factor. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) While the other three Wild Card teams will...
Via Hidden Vigorish
7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

PITTSBURGH (AP) Edinson Volquez gets a chance to continue his remarkable resurgence Wednesday night when the Pittsburgh Pirates host the San Francisco Giants in the NL wild-card game. A year after being released by San Diego, Volquez has found a home in Pittsburgh. He went 13-7 this season and is unbeaten since July. He'll face a tough test in the Giants, who stumbled down the...
Via AP on Fox
8 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Matchup: Edinson Volquez vs. Madison Bumgarner

When the Pirates signed Edinson Volquez in December, pretty much the most optimistic takes were something like “the Pirates can probably turn him around enough to make him a decent fifth starter and worth the $5 million.” Nobody in their wildest dreams would have imagined him taking the mound for Wild Card Blackout Part 2, but he will do exactly that on Wednesday night. While...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
10 hours ago  |  Discuss

Giants Ace Madison Bumgarner a Tall Task for Pirates Offense

The San Francisco Giants will host the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night in the wild card round with the winner advancing to the NLDS to face the top-seeded Washington Nationals. Because they used top pitcher Gerrit Cole this weekend in an attempt to catch the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, the Pirates will send Edinson Volquez to the mound. Meanwhile, the Giants...
Via Baseball News Source
12 hours ago  |  Discuss

2014 MLB Wild Card Predictions

We are on the verge of the most wonderful time of the year. Not Christmas, but Autumn. And not because of pumpkin flavored beer, foliage, or the brisk wind that rises up to embrace us as we go about our daily business. It’s baseball playoff time, ladies and germs. Ten teams. One Commissioner’s Trophy. Soon, the curtain will rise, and it’s go time for the biggest stage of...
Via The Sideline
12 hours ago  |  Discuss

Blogger Roundtable: Wildcard Games

Welcome to the second Batting Leadoff Blogger Roundtable. Each week the Batting Leadoff team will each contribute their opinion on one of the game’s most pressing topics. This week the focus is on predicting the victors of each Wild Card Game!  Bryan Holcomb –  Both Wild Card games figure to feature some pretty good starting pitching, but overall, each matchup is lopsided...
Via Batting Leadoff
14 hours ago  |  Discuss

Why Starting Edinson Volquez Isn’t A Bad Idea

The marathon regular season is over, and the middle-distance sprint that is the playoffs is about to begin. The Pirates will host the Giants on Wednesday in the NL Wild Card game, and now that the dust has settled, it appears that righty Edinson Volquez is the Bucs’ choice to take on Giants’ ace southpaw […]
Via Fangraphs
15 hours ago  |  Discuss

The tyranny of the one-game Wild Card playoff

It is now year three of the two-Wild Card format in year three. Three years of being forced to watch the most unnatural thing in all of baseball: the one-game playoff series. There is nothing about baseball that lends itself to a one-game, winner-take-all format. With a regular season nearly twice as longer as any other, MLB is the very definition of a sport that is a marathon and...
Via Bloguin Best
15 hours ago  |  Discuss

What did Edinson Volquez do differently in 2014, and what hasn’t changed?

Edinson Volquez had a better year in 2014 than he did in 2013. This seems like an obvious statement to make — Volquez had the worst ERA among qualified pitchers in baseball last year, putting up a 5.71 ERA with the Padres and Dodgers. Given that the Padres and Dodgers both pitch in pitcher’s parks, that number is even more impressive. In 2014, Volquez has been the mainstay...
15 hours ago  |  Discuss

Edinson Volquez, Starting The Most Important Game Of The Year

Three years ago, Edinson Volquez was one of the worst pitchers in baseball. Two years ago, thanks in large part to calling Petco Park home for the first time, he was just okay, putting up a 1.1 WAR season that is still his second-best WAR year ever. One year ago, he was one of the […]
Via Fangraphs
19 hours ago  |  Discuss

Wild Card rosters

Edinson Volquez was officially announced as the Pirates’ Wild Card starter on Monday. More on the Volquez-Bumgarner matchup in a bit, but first I’m going to look at how the Bucs might assemble their roster for Wednesday’s game. Remember, postseason rosters are only 25 (not the expanded September 40) so there are some decisions to make. Rosters can be changed after each round...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Pirates savoring another playoff push

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready for Buctober. The Pirates host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night in the National League wild card game. It's Pittsburgh's second straight postseason appearance after two decades of losing. The Pirates won 94 games a year ago and the wild card game before falling to St. Louis in the division series. Pittsburgh'...
Via AP on Fox
1 day ago  |  Discuss

The 2014 regular season was frustrating, weird, and amazing. So what’s next?

Today might be the worst sports day of the year. The Pirates and Giants won’t play the National League Wild Card Game until Wednesday night, and so I’m sitting here on Monday morning trying to sort through a huge tangle of thoughts and sort them into two or three day’s wort of posts, while simultaneously realizing that half of the posts will be pointless if the Pirates can’t...
1 day ago  |  Discuss

World Series Projections Show a Tough Path For the Pirates

The MLB playoff field has been set, which means we’ve got our first set of finalized World Series projections. Anything can happen in the playoffs, so the projections should be viewed as a guide for what is expected to happen, rather than a stone cold lock. Of course, that’s how all projections should be viewed. I bring this disclaimer up because the Pittsburgh Pirates are seeing...
Via Pirates Prospects
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Pirates officially announce Edinson Volquez as Wild Card Game starter

#Pirates announce RHP Edinson Volquez as our starter for the 2014 NL #WildCard! Here’s some info to start #Buctober pic.twitter.com/hY7MnyqNb9 — Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 29, 2014
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Edinson Volquez Officially Announced as the Wild Card Game Starter

Last night I wrote about how Edinson Volquez had been listed on the Pirates.com page as the starter for the Wild Card game, which went along with a lot of speculation to say that Volquez would be the guy getting the ball. Today, the Pirates have made it official that Volquez is the starter. https://twitter.com/Pirates/status/516602650520199169 I gave my thoughts on the subject in...
Via Pirates Prospects
1 day ago  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Edinson Volquez Currently Listed as the Starter in the Wild Card Game

When I first started this site, I was 26 years old. The first ear I ran the site, I was driving 45 minutes back and forth from Lynchburg every night. The second year on the site, I finished the season with a driving tour that took me from Charlottesville, VA to Richmond, Bowie, State College, Williamsport, Altoona, West Virginia, and back to Charlottesville, all in the span of two...
Via Pirates Prospects
2 days ago  |  Discuss

Giants To Face Pirates At PNC Park on Wednesday

With a 4-1 Pirates loss on Sunday afternoon, the San Francisco Giants finalized their travel plans, and will head to Pittsburgh for the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday at 5:07pm. Two strong pitchers will face off at PNC Park, as Madison Bumgarner takes the mound against Edinson Volquez, who is currently 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA over his last ten starts. Volquez has not faced...
Via BaySportsNet
2 days ago  |  Discuss

The last day: bullpens, microcosms, and going for the division

I spent most of yesterday’s game sitting out in the sun on campus, checking my phone obsessively every ten minutes or so to see how the Pirates and Reds were progressing. The approximate roller coaster of emotions was like this: OH MY GOD LIRIANO SCORED HIS FIRST RUN EVER AND I DIDN’T EVEN PUT MY TWITTER PASSWORD INTO THIS NEW PHONE YET. Oh, and hey, the Pirates are winning...
2 days ago  |  Discuss

The NL Central Comes Down to Game 162; Who Should Start a Tiebreaker Game?

This has been a crazy season. The Pittsburgh Pirates had a horrible month of April, went back and forth all summer between being borderline contenders and borderline out of the race, lost a lot of key players for various stretches, had a horrible record against everyone in their division except the Cubs, and now we enter the final day of the season and they still have a shot at winning...
Via Pirates Prospects
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 160: Pirates 3 Reds 1

This is a weird kind of end-season baseball purgatory. I want the Pirates to win the NL Central, maybe a little bit more than I’d be willing to admit to myself. If the Pirates end this season as anything short of National League Champions, the reality is that I will remember this season differently if they win the division than I would if they don’t. Clinching a playoff spot...
4 days ago  |  Discuss
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