LATEST STORIES FROM WHYGAVS?

Game 101: Pirates 6 Dodgers 1

If Tuesday night’s win was unnecessarily complicated for the Pirates, this one was nice and easy. Dan Haren looked terrible in the first inning and the Pirates made him pay for it; of the nine batters that came to the plate in the first, the Pirates had three hits, drew three walks, hit two hard outs, and had a sacrifice fly. The sum total of that was a four-run inning keyed by...
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3 hours ago  |  Discuss

Like a broken record: Francisco Liriano once again tries to find himself

Rather than re-hashing the same old same old “The Pirates need Francisco Liriano back on track to contend” that gets trotted out every time he starts, let’s take a minute a check out his Brooks Baseball page to see if the narrative that he’s looked better since his return from the disabled list except for his control checks out. If we’re just going by pitch velocities,...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Game 100: Pirates 12 Dodgers 7

Let’s start here: since 2005, my Mom has been asking me to be in a post on WHYGAVS. If we’re being honest, I can’t ever tell how serious she is about it or if she’s just giving me a hard time (I mean, I hardly ever put MYSELF on WHYGAVS, geez, Mom, don’t you want the other people on the internet to think I’m cool?). Whenever she asks, I always say that it’ll happen...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

The clock is ticking for Vanimal

Vance Worley probably doesn’t have much time left in the Pirates’ rotation. Between the rumors that the Pirates are interested in acquiring a starter and Gerrit Cole’s recovery from his lat problem, it’s hard to imagine Worley’s got more than a couple of starts left as a Pirate. Tonight, he’ll face off against Josh Beckett in Beckett’s first start since July 6th, as...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

A few words about the trade deadline

With nine days left until the trade deadline, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this year’s deadline is going to be a lot like last year’s. In the National League, the top eight teams are within four games of each other (not four games of a playoff spot; four games of each other) and in the American League you could probably go down as far as 10 teams that think that they’re...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Game 99: Dodgers 5 Pirates 2

I suppose it was unreasonable to hope that the Pirates would win all 67 games that they played after the All-Star Break, so a game against Hyun-Jin Ryu seems like as good a place as any for the Bucs to take their first post-Break loss. Really, they were never in this game at all. Edinson Volquez did not have his sharpest stuff tonight, the ball took some bad hops for the Pirates...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Lackluster lineups

The Pirates and Dodgers are two of the eight teams participating in what seems like it’s going to be a mad dash for five National League playoff spots this year, but you’d hardly know it from tonight’s lineups. Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez are both on the shelf for the Dodgers with various ailments, while the Pirates are sitting Gregory Polanco and Pedro Alvarez against lefty...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Late Recap (Or early recap, whatever) — Game 98: Pirates 5 Rockies 3

In the last few months, I’ve dug pretty deep into Mike Spencer’s great history podcasts. His The History of Rome is more or less essential listening if you’re interested in that particular type of history. Since Rome concluded, he’s started on Revolutions, which is a tour of, well, revolutions, through the Western world; how the English Civil Wars set the stage for the...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Locke looks to lead Pirates to sweep of Rockies

As crazy as it seems, if the Pirates can finish off their sweep of the Rockies at PNC Park this afternoon, there’s a pretty decent chance that most of the damage done by their 2-5 week against the Cardinals and Reds will be washed out before the first full week after the All-Star Break begins. The Brewers are sending Yovani Gallardo to the hill against Gio Gonzalez today, while...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 97: Pirates 3 Rockies 2

I don’t know why, but I didn’t really feel like the Pirates were going to lose this game when Carlos Gomez hit the two-run homer in the seventh inning that turned a 1-0 Pirate lead into a 2-1 deficit. Given that the Pirates are still afloat in the wild card race and the NL Central race despite their awful record against the better teams in the division, obviously finding a way...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

The second half climb continues

Last night was a nice win for the Pirates, in the way that it’s always nice when a good team finds a way to beat a bad team. The Pirates probably played closer to poor than they did to well, but Francisco Liriano pulled himself together after two rough innings and the Pirates’ offense strung some hits together against the Rockies’ bullpen, and the Pirates got a win. Liriano’s...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Francisco Liriano tries (again) to get back on track

I’ve written quite a bit about the Pirates’ situation in the last two days, so tonight is easy: Francisco Liriano is probably the first or second most important piece to getting the Pirates back into the playoffs in the second half. In his last start on Sunday, his stuff looked OK but his control was awful. I’m always willing to give guys a one or two start grace period with...
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5 days ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates second half preview: It won’t be easy, but it is possible

For as maddening as the first 95 games of the Pirates’ 2014 season has been, there’s one thought that keeps cropping up in my head: This Pirate team is really close to being really, really good.  With no disrespect meant to the 2013 Pirates, almost everything that happened last year felt a little bit like catching lightning in a bottle. Make no mistake: that was a good Pirate...
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5 days ago  |  Discuss

The 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates’ first half: Not good or bad, but enough of both to be maddening

When the Pirates punted almost every big decision of the off-season, leaving what one could reasonably assume to be a decent amount of cash unspent (you can look at their offers to Josh Johnson, James Loney, and AJ Burnett and guess that they had at least another $12 million to spend this winter, maybe a little bit more), my immediate thought was this: They’re not sure that 2014...
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6 days ago  |  Discuss

Shifting shifts

“More goes into it [shifting] than stopping ground balls from getting through. It’s more about getting hitters to change their approach.” Clint Barmes, in David Manel’s excellent piece about the Pirates’ shifts at Bucs Dugout. Go read the whole thing.
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7 days ago  |  Discuss

Leading off and playing center field for the National League …

Andrew McCutchen’s history with the Pittsburgh Pirates coincides nearly perfectly with the genesis of this blog. I started writing in April of 2005, and McCutchen was drafted two months later in June. Actually, I was not terrible impressed with the Pirates’ selection: [McCutchen] put up some amazing numbers in his senior year of high school, but it was unfortunately just that...
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8 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 95: Reds 6 Pirates 3

Of course, everything that I wrote in my pre-game post about this past week not being so bad and the Pirates being in decent shape going into the All-Star Break all presupposed a situation in which the Pirates won this afternoon. Instead, Francisco Liriano lost his control after the first inning, served up a home run to an alleged human being named Kris Negron, the Pirates failed...
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10 days ago  |  Discuss

Salvage operation

After Friday night’s Tony Watson meltdown and last night’s Charlie Morton implosion, it felt like the Pirates were on a train ride directly into All-Star Break Hell after an awful week against two division opponents. Then, Andrew McCutchen put on his cape, bailed the team out, and now the Bucs are one win away from a 3-4 week against the Cardinals and Reds that I would’ve told...
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10 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 94: Pirates 6 Reds 5

I tried to stay away. Really, I did. There was just one hitch to my plan: I didn’t actually have anything else to do tonight, so my plan to avoid the Pirates was to hole up in my apartment and watch TV on my iPad. My iPad that flashes a notification whenever runs are scored in the Pirates’ game. So I knew the Pirates were up 4-0 and I knew that Charlie Morton hit a wall in the...
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11 days ago  |  Discuss

I think I’m sitting this one out

I have had too much late inning Pirate shenanigans for one week, I think. Charlie Morton pitches for the Pirates against Mike Leake. It’s hard to say any of these game are “must win” because the Pirates have lost pretty much every single game you could put that label on this year and will still enter the All-Star Break in some kind of contention, but with Johnny Cueto and the...
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11 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 93: Reds 6 Pirates 5

I have a few thoughts: Yup, I think it’s time to have “that” conversation with Pedro Alvarez. I wonder if the Mets will trade Blake Taylor back for Ike Davis? I really don’t think it’s ideal to look at a pitcher who’s given up four hits in a row and already blown a two-run lead and think, “Hey, maybe he’ll get the fifth guy out” with the game on the line. I know...
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12 days ago  |  Discuss

Locke and Latos

To put it simply, now would be a very good time for the Pirates to start playing better against their NL Central rivals. I wrote about the eight-teams-for-five-spots race in the National League this afternoon, but it wasn’t really all that long ago that the Marlins and and Rockies were in the thick of things, too. If the Pirates are going to stick in this race as it starts to thin...
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12 days ago  |  Discuss

The National League is an eight-team race

Towards the end of last summer, whenever I’d watch Pirate games with my non-Pirate fan friends here in North Carolina, they would make fun of me. “Why are you so nervous?” they’d ask. “Aren’t the Pirates going to make the playoffs pretty much no matter what at this point?” I was particularly neurotic in the week between the Pirates’ 81st win and their 82nd win, but...
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12 days ago  |  Discuss

Game 92: Pirates 9 Cardinals 1

Well, that was cathartic. After losing two coin-flip games to open the series, then getting outplayed pretty clearly last night, the Pirates managed to salvage something from this trip to St. Louis tonight by beating up on Shelby Miller and the Cardinals’ bullpen, while getting a complete game from Edinson Volquez. Given that the Reds and Brewers both lost earlier today, the Pirates...
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13 days ago  |  Discuss

Start with one

I would start this post by asking if you remembered this 5-4 Pirate win over the Cardinals from the 31st of last July, but I suspect that I don’t need to. The Pirates fell behind 4-2 early against Adam Wainwright, but fought their way back to 5-4 on an eighth inning Russell Martin single. The win was the Bucs’ fourth straight win over the Cardinals at PNC Park and it helped turn...
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13 days ago  |  Discuss
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