The bullpen isn't as bad as you think

  The Pirates have blown some late leads, but over a 162-game season that is bound to happen. Now that doesn't make the losses any easier to digest, but it is important to maintain perspective throughout the rough patches of a 162-game baseball season. Mark Melancon has struggled, the entirety of the Pirates bullpen has not. However, when the closer struggles, it is a never a good...
Via Fox Sports
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Camo Comeback

When Jeff Locke issued a walk to Kris Bryant in the fifth to put the Cubs up 4-1 with the bases still loaded and only one out, it felt like it was pretty much time to throw in the towel on this one. Locke wasn’t having much of a game, the Pirate offense (missing three starters) was struggling, and the bullpen had a lot of outs to get with Watson unavailable.  Fortunately, the...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke tries to get the Pirates a split with the Cubs

It’s only been two games, but I’ve been quite impressed with the 2015 version of Jeff Locke. I don’t like to jump to too many conclusions based on just a couple of games, but Locke’s control looks vastly improved this year and his ground balls are way up. Obviously Locke’s control has varied pretty widely from start-to-start over his career, but I feel like we’ve seen...
4 days ago  |  Discuss

Game Picks - Thursday: April 23, 2015

Last night did not go well at all. In fact, I was afraid of a total ruination when the picks were like 1-6. But most of the later games came out okay (except the Giants instead of the Dodgers). It wasn't a total disaster and the Pick of the Day was right. But it wasn't good either. Thursday's picks: The Pirates over the Cubs: I obviously do not know what to do in this series...
Via The Flagrant Fan
4 days ago  |  Discuss

Starling Marte shoulders the load, Cole looks to lead Pirates to sweep

There’s something particularly wonderful and gratifying about what’s happened at PNC Park the last two nights: the Pirates came into this series against the Brewers mired in a terrible offensive slump with an ugly record. The starting rotation got off to an excellent start, but there just weren’t many runs to go around. Two games in a row, it’s been Starling Marte and Gregory...
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Saturday night Partay

Starling Marte came in to this series in a slump. It’s safe to say he’s no longer in a slump: Marte and the Pirates broke out the bats for the second straight night for another big win over the struggling Brewers. He hit that big blast – his second in as many nights – and also capped a three-run first with a two run single. The Pirates used to be absolutely terrible against...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Brewers at Pirates preview

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers scored the most runs in the NL Central last season, but they're struggling ahead of this weekend's series at PNC Park. The opener could be a low-scoring affair Friday night given how starters Jimmy Nelson and Jeff Locke fared last weekend. After averaging 4.2 and 4.0 runs in 2014, Pittsburgh ranks 24th in the majors with 3.2 while Milwaukee...
Via AP on Fox
10 days ago  |  Discuss

Brewers-Pirates Preview

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers scored the most runs in the NL Central last season, but they're struggling ahead of this weekend's series at PNC Park. The opener could be a low-scoring affair Friday night given how starters Jimmy Nelson and Jeff Locke fared last weekend. After averaging 4.2 and 4.0 runs in 2014, Pittsburgh ranks 24th in the majors with 3.2 while Milwaukee...
Via AP on Fox
10 days ago  |  Discuss

Casey Sadler brilliant in first major league start

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports When a pitcher is recalled for a spot start, it can almost feel bitter-sweet. When you get a call to make an emergency start, it is usually because of an injury to the expected starter. You may be excited to get your opportunity, but it came at the expense of the original starter. Pittsburgh Pirates’ emergency starter Casey Sadler attested to that...
Via Sports-Glory
14 days ago  |  Discuss

Bucs are on the board

Raise it for the first time in 2015!! #RTJR — Greg Brown (@gbrowniepoints) April 11, 2015 It took a while, and nobody in Pittsburgh was able to see it (thanks, Root Sports / ridiculous MLB blackout rules), but the Pirates picked up their first win in solid fashion – a good night at the plate, on the mound, and in the field. The Brewers remain winless. Jeff Locke, who always...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
16 days ago  |  Discuss

Lose three games, then advance directly to Miller Park. Gulp

I think that the Pirates will be better than the Brewers this year. I’m not hugely concerned about the Pirates’ 0-3 start. I am still not terribly happy to know that the Pirates are now headed to Milwaukee to play at Miller Park after losing the first three games of 2015, thanks to their recent history there. I will now attempt to say one nice thing about Miller Park: At least...
16 days ago  |  Discuss

Off-day links and things

Over the past couple years, one of my main goals has been to Understand Jeff Locke. Every time I read something interesting about pitchers that I didn’t previously know, I say to myself, “AHA! This is what it is that Jeff Locke does that the Pirates see in him!” And then I go into the numbers, find out that that’s not the answer, and banish the half-written post with its...
20 days ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke makes rotation, John Holdzkom optioned to Triple-A

The Pirates’ final roster decisions are coming quickly with the season less than a week today. Yesterday, they announced that Jeff Locke would get the final spot in the starting rotation, with Vance Worley headed to the bullpen. Today, John Holdzkom was among the players the Pirates demoted to Indianapolis, giving the bullpen more or less its final shape. Picking Locke over Worley...
26 days ago  |  Discuss

Carter doubles twice, singles as Astros beat Pirates 13-7

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Chris Carter was 3 for 3 with two doubles and four RBIs to break out of a spring-training slump and lift the Houston Astros over the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-7 Tuesday. Carter had entered 1 for 13 with two RBIs in the exhibition season. Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke was roughed up for six runs and seven hits in three innings, leaving him with a 9.00 ERA. ''Left...
Via AP on Fox
March 17, 2015  |  Discuss

Francoeur, sweet relief back Hamels in Phillies’ win

Jeff Francoeur's RBI single off Jeff Locke capped a two-run sixth and lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Pirates at Bright House Field on Wednesday.
Via Philly Sports Live
March 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Testing the depth

The biggest news of the day for the Pirates wasn’t good: Brandon Cumpton had Tommy John surgery and will be out for an entire year. Obviously this is terrible news for Cumpton (although not surprising, as we learned he would visit James Andrews last week), but it isn’t a huge crisis for the Pirates right away. Cumpton wasn’t going to be on the Opening Day major league roster...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
March 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke < 500

I finally got a chance to peruse this year’s Baseball Prospectus this weekend and among other things in the Pirates’ section (including a great team essay by Sarah Sprague, if you needed another reason to pick the book up) I was surprised to find this in the Jeff Locke blurb: Despite being optioned three times last year, including once as a procedural move, Locke found time to...
March 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Pirate Blogs Roundup: Korean Media, Jeff Locke Trade Bait, Offseason Recap

The Pirates began their Grapefruit League schedule this week against a familiar friend. Russell Martin had nothing but kind words for his old buddies as he reflected on his time in Pittsburgh. The 75th birthday of legendary Pirate Willie Stargell was also marked this week. Here is a roundup of the best posts from Pirates bloggers for the week ending March 7, 2015:   Charlie...
Via Hidden Vigorish
March 07, 2015  |  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
October 01, 2014  |  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!
September 28, 2014  |  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...
September 25, 2014  |  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!
September 25, 2014  |  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...
September 24, 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

Cubs 6, Pirates 4

Disappointing loss for the Bucs in this one. Home losses to teams like the Cubs at this point of the year – when everything’s crucial – will sting, but they’re still going to happen. The key is to make sure it’s one isolated bad night and win the series on Sunday.  The loss drops the Bucs another game behind St Louis – now 3.5 back, which really hurts their chances given...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
September 14, 2014  |  Discuss
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