Pittsburgh Pirates Offseason Preview

This was the ultimate year of ups and downs for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They started so poorly in April with nearly every hitter struggling. Their offense all hit their positive regression at the same time and clicked through the rest of the months. Gregory Polanco provided a huge spark to the lineup until the league caught up with him, identifying some holes in his swing that he’ll...
Via Cheap Seat Analytics
15 days ago  |  Discuss

NL Wild Card: Pirates vs. Giants

Choosing who to root for tonight is basically a no-brainer for me. The most obvious reason is the fact that the Giants have won two World Series titles in the last five years, while the Pirates haven’t tasted victory in over three decades. But as I’ve noted in this space before, the Pirates boast a player from my home town of North Conway, NH (population: 2,349). Though Jeff...
Via In The Neutral Zone
19 days ago  |  Discuss

The Pirates and Giants played some crazy games this year

The Pirates will meet the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night in the NL Wild Card game. The game will be at PNC Park because the Pirates won the season series 4-2 (taking two of three at PNC and at AT&T). The two teams finished with identical records, and amazingly enough, identical run differentials (+51). I’ll be looking at this matchup in a number of posts before the...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
22 days ago  |  Discuss

Playoff and Rotation Watch: Friday 9/26

The Pirates enter the night 1 game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central and 1 game ahead of the Giants for the top Wild Card spot. Three games (including tonight) remain for each team. The Pirates (Worley) play the Reds (Leake) at 7:10. The Cardinals (Wacha) play the Diamonbacks (Cahill) at 9:40. The Giants (Vogelsong) play the Padres (Kennedy) at 10:15. Since they have the tiebreaker...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
24 days ago  |  Discuss

If the Pirates are going to win the NL Central, they probably have to win tonight

Sorry for the lack of recap from last night; I’m trying to get a bunch of things in line this week since THE PLAYOFFS ARE NEXT WEEK and I just didn’t have much to say. Jeff Locke sucked, it would’ve been awesome if the Pirates won because the Cardinals and Giants both lost, but then it wasn’t quite as bad that they lost because those two other things happened. Frankly, I...
25 days ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 159

That loss hurt.  It hurt Jeff Locke for sure and it likely ended up wiping away any real chances the Pirates had at winning the division. A shame too since St. Louis lost. But you honestly can’t reasonably expect the Pirates to just win eight in a row. That might be very close to what it would take to win the division. They’ve won five in a row just once this season, expecting...
Via This Is Getting Old
26 days ago  |  Discuss

Braves 6, Pirates 2

The Pirates missed an opportunity to draw even with the Cardinals in the loss column as they lost in pretty lifeless fashion on Wednesday night. It was the type of game we haven’t been accustomed to lately – they pitched poorly and were never really in it. Jeff Locke was a mess – you could smell trouble when he started issuing walks early, and the trouble came pretty quickly...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
26 days ago  |  Discuss

It’s Hangover Day, but these games are not quite meaningless

The Pirates have a wild card spot locked up and last night’s celebration was all kinds of fun, but the reality is that there’s still a little bit of work left to be done in the 2014 regular season. At the bare minimum, the Pirates need to win enough games from here on out to ensure that the Wild Card Game is played on their terms at PNC Park. With a one-game lead and a tiebreaker...
26 days ago  |  Discuss

What can the Pirates do with their rotation down the stretch?

The Pirates have clinched a playoff spot, and with the Cardinals’ loss to the Cubs last night, they’ve also kept a small amount of hope alive that they can win the National League Central (FanGraphs has them with a 25% chance, but my hopes fall much more in line with BP’s ~10% shot). This actually puts the Pirates in a sort of difficult position: they should try to do everything...
27 days ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Game 158

There are some people that are so burned up that the Pirates are successful. Media. “Fans”. A whole lot of jam over what should be a joyous occasion. **** em though. If you always look at everything negatively why even cover sports? This is a good day. It’s okay to be excited. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay that the players are happy and they celebrated. Most of the people...
Via This Is Getting Old
27 days ago  |  Discuss

Morning Report: Comparing Last Year’s Group to This Year

Yesterday, we gave scouting reports on all 15 of the new players over from the Dominican Summer League. Today, we take a look at the group of 15 that came over last year for the Fall Instructional League and how they handled the jump to the States. The players that come over from the DSL to the FIL usually return to Bradenton for Spring Training and for the most part, it gives you...
Via Pirates Prospects
27 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates Win a Game of Trends

In baseball, it’s often the trends and history against teams and players that can make or break a team. Tonight, it was a bit of both, as the Pirates ultimately came out on top 4-2, via an 8th inning three run homer from Russell Martin. On the bad side of trends, the Pirates continued their struggles against Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo took a 2.67 career ERA against the Pirates into...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 19, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Game 153

Alright, alright! This is the biggest series of the year. I know we’ve said it a million times but when I say it you best believe I mean it. It’s very fitting that we have a late season brawl with the Poo-crew with a playoff spot at stake. Milwaukee is freeeeeeeeeeee, freeeee fallin’! Problem is they’ve absolutely dominated the Buccos this year, as per usual. 5-11. That’s...
Via This Is Getting Old
September 19, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Aside From Francisco Liriano, Who Should Be in the Pirates’ Playoff Rotation?

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t clinched anything yet. But it’s becoming quite clear that this team is going to the playoffs. They currently sit 2.5 games back in the NL Central, 2.5 games back from the first Wild Card spot, and 2.5 games in the lead for the second Wild Card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers are the only threat to their playoff chances, and the red-hot Pirates play...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 18, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: An Early Look at the Depth Out of Indianapolis in 2015

Today we started our 2014 season recap series by looking at the 2014 Indianapolis Indians. As the Triple-A team, Indianapolis obviously provides the depth for the Pirates throughout the year. This year the depth wasn’t that strong on the position player side, although the additions of Vance Worley, Jeff Locke, and Brandon Cumpton helped the rotation at times throughout the year...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 17, 2014  |  Discuss

Lining up the Pirates’ rotation the rest of the way

Monday was the last off day of the regular season for the Pirates. With only thirteen games left, I think we’re at the point where we can reasonably look forward and see what the rotation could look like the rest of the way — since that will be a growing topic as the Wild Card game approaches. The Bucs still have to get there, of course, but let’s take a look at how things...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 15, 2014  |  Discuss

First Pitch: Jeff Locke Having Another Poor Second Half, Only This One is a Surprise

Jeff Locke is currently having another poor second half. Last year it was predictable. He posted a 2.15 ERA in 109 innings during the first half, with a 4.21 xFIP that suggested things wouldn’t go so well in the second half. And things didn’t go well. Locke’s control bottomed out in the second half, with a 5.8 BB/9 ratio, helping to lead to a 6.12 ERA and a 4.14 xFIP. This...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke Struggles With Fastball Command

In most ways, Jeff Locke is just like almost any other major league pitcher: If his fastball command is off, than he has to find a way to compensate. And when he has to compensate, he’s likely to pay the price. Today, Locke paid the price. No, he didn’t struggle tremendously. Despite constantly missing his fastball to the glove side, Locke was able to fight his way through 5...
Via Pirates Prospects
September 14, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs – Game 148

I’ll say one thing, the Pirates have been taking care of business against the teams they should be beating. This is a favorable stretch, no doubt, but they’re still playing professionals so kudos to them for not falling into a trap. Many previous Pirates teams were known for doing just that. It’s way too soon to pop the corks or day that the Pirates have a firm grasp on...
Via This Is Getting Old
September 13, 2014  |  Discuss

Cubs learning what they have on mound

How much starting pitching do the Cubs actually need as they look to the offseason? How much do they have? How much of it’s any good? How much of it’s coming back? The Cubs aren’t sure. The series this weekend against the heating-up Pirates should help us learn more about what the Cubs have and what young playoff pitchers look like. That starts with the Pirates’ hard-throwing...
Via Pro Sports Daily
September 12, 2014  |  Discuss

Locke has strong outing to lift Pirates over Phillies in series opener

Jeff Locke's problems were clearly seen in color entering Monday. In the color-coded, pitch-location charts available to the Pirates staff, it was apparent Locke had missed the strike zone much more often in the second half of the season. The strike zone contains more shades of blue than red since the break, indicating fewer strikes thrown. After walking fewer than one batter...
Via Pro Sports Daily
September 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Game 143: Pirates 6 Phillies 4

I’m not sure if this game was closer than it needed to be, or an easier victory for the Pirates than it really should have been. For most of the game, Jeff Locke pitched really well, the Pirates left runners on base against Kyle Kendrick, and not many runs at all were scored. Locke gave up a run in the bottom of the fourth, Starling Marte hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth...
September 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Pirates 6, Phillies 4

The Pirates have an opportunity to grab hold of this last wild card spot (and start challenging for more) with this stretch of games against bad teams. So far, they’ve taken advantage in a big way with a four game win streak…with nine more games in a row coming up against last place clubs. To make things better, both the Brewers and Braves lost, so the Bucs now find themselves...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Locke keeps Pirates in wild-card hunt with 9 Ks

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Starling Marte hit a two-run homer and fell a triple short of the cycle to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Monday night. Jeff Locke (7-4) struck out nine over seven strong innings to help the Pirates keep their grip on the second NL wild card. They entered with a half-game lead ahead of Milwaukee and Atlanta. Locke and Kyle Kendrick...
Via AP on Fox
September 08, 2014  |  Discuss

Gameday 143: Phillies vs. Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates (74-68) atPhiladelphia Phillies (66-76) Starting Pitchers: PHI: Kyle Kendrick (8-11, 4.77 ERA) vs. PIT: Jeff Locke (6-4, 3.75 ERA) Time: 7:05 , Citizens Bank Park TV: CSN Weather: Cloudy, 74 Media: Twitter and Facebook Note for tonight:   The Phillies open a 4-game series tonight with their cross-state rivals as the Pirates will look to extend their lead for...
Via Phillies Nation
September 08, 2014  |  Discuss
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