Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pirates Game 136 Recap - Reds 3, Pirates 2

The Pirates had a prime chance to earn a sweep today over the Reds. The Reds are not a good baseball team but they had Johnny Cueto on the mound and this season Cueto has really had his way with the Pirates. With all that being said the Pirates had a lead early but couldn't hold on late. That kinda sucks. Not the end of the world, or season, but it still sucks.

Josh Harrison took the first pitch he saw from Cueto and went deep and then in the second inning Jordy Mercer went deep to left field and it was 2-0. Sure it was only the second inning but Francisco Liriano looked good getting through the first two innings on 20 pitches which included striking out the side in the first inning.

Liriano broke down a bit in the fifth inning as he gave up a two run bomb to Chris Heisey that was hit so well that Tim Neverette said the game was tied before the ball even left the infield. Heisey was really the only offense on the day for the Reds as he belted another no-doubter in the ninth inning off Jared Hughes. Hughes was working in his second inning of work and really goes to show the lack of depth in the Pirates pen. While it isn't a big deal to use a guy for two innings you would hope that you could keep guys fresh and after a really good eighth inning he gave up a home run on what was a pretty good pitch in the ninth.

At the end of the day the Pirates did win the series against a division opponent and have won six of their last nine games. Would a sweep have been great today? Sure it absolutely would have. The fact is that they won two games out of three and are still only two games back of the division lead as we enter September. Things could be better but they also could be a whole lot worse.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pirates Game 134 Recap - Pirates 2, Reds 1

This was a good old fashion pitchers duel. Edison Volquez and Mike Leake were going almost literally pitch for pitch with Volquez taking a no hitter into the seventh inning and Leake giving up only six hits and throwing 82 pitches in seven innings of work. The difference came when the bullpens came in and while Tony Watson surrendered a run in the top half of the eighth inning Jonathan Broxton allowed two Pirates runners to score in the bottom half of the inning and the Pirates got a huge win after it looked like they might not score a run through the first seven.

This might be the most interesting part of the night:



Josh Harrison tripled home Andrew Lambo to tie the game and scored on a Jose Tabata single to lead the offensive charge. That was on top of what were three or four really nice defensive plays and while I have never been a huge Harrison fan he has been one of the better players on the team this year. I am not going to say he is a team MVP because Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin are ahead of him (in my opinion) but it is safe to say that the Pirates aren't where they are now without Harrison. If anyone tells you they saw this coming from Harrison before the season they are lying but right now I think there is zero reason for him not to be the starting third baseman in 2015.

Volquez is another guy that has surprised. He's always had the tools but before the season I believe I said that I was going to have night terrors about him pitching. Now he is one of the top arms in the rotation and consistently giving the team great starts and chances to win. Not really sure you could ask for much more. David Manel talked about Volquez today and how his velocity is way up as the season goes on and his whole array of pitches have just gotten better. Right now the thing I think about is why the Pirates didn't give him a two year deal like they did to Francisco Liriano so they could try and bottle this magic for another season.

As I said before this was a really tight game. Volquez didn't give up a bunch of hits but a couple of walks really could have done him in. He walked Billy Hamilton in the sixth inning and after a steal and a throwing error Hamilton was at third with only one out. All Volquez did was get a strikeout and line out and the inning was over. In the seventh he gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning and then got a double play and a groundout (after another walk) to end the inning. He was nearly perfect through five innings and then used some luck over the last two and it was all good. Exactly what the Pirates needed on a night where the opposing pitcher was getting it done.

The 2014 Pirates aren't as good in the standings as the 2013 team was but wins like tonight are exactly what the 2013 team did to get into the playoffs and win 90+ games. Earlier in the year the Pirates would have lost this game. The bullpens would have given up three runs and the offense would have just came up short. Tonight that wasn't the case. The Reds are not a good team so the Pirates need to at least get another series win. With Johny Cueto on the mound on Sunday the best thing the Pirates can do is win the game tomorrow and play with house money on Sunday. Things were bad there for a while post All-Star game but things are much better now. This is fun.

Pirates Game 134 Preview - vs. Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05 p.m.
Mike Leake (10-11, 3.51) vs. Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.56)

Season Series (Reds lead 8-4)
April 14, 2014 - Pittsburgh 8, Cincinnati 7 [Recap]
April 15, 2014 - Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 5 [Recap]
April 16, 2014 - Cincinnati 4, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
April 21, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, Cincinnati 5 [Recap]
April 22, 2014 - Cincinnati 4, Pittsburgh 1 [Recap]
April 23, 2014 - Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 24, 2014 - Cincinnati 2, Pittsburgh 1 [Recap]
June 17, 2014 - Cincinnati 6, Pittsburgh 5 [Recap]
June 18, 2014 - Cincinnati 11, Pittsburgh 4 [Recap]
June 19, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Cincinnati 3 (12 inn.) [Recap]
July 11, 2014 - Cincinnati 6, Pittsburgh 5
July 12, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, Cincinnati 5 (11 inn.)
July 13, 2014 - Cincinnati 6, Pittsburgh 3


Lineups

Pittsburgh (69-64)
1. Harrison 5
2. Tabata 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Davis 3
7. Marte 7
8. Mercer 6
9. Volquez 1

Cincinnati (65-69)
1. Hamilton 8
2. Frazier 3
3. Phillips 4
4. Mesoraco 2
5. Bruce 9
6. Negron 5
7. Schumaker 7
8. Cozart 6
9. Leake 1

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pirates Game 133 Preview - vs. St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates - 12:35 p.m.
Adam Wainwright (15-8, 2.52) vs. Jeff Locke (5-3, 3.69)

Season Series (St. Louis leads 8-7)
April 4, 2014 - Pittsburgh 12, St. Louis 2 [Recap]
April 5, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 1
April 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 2, St. Louis 1 [Recap]
April 25, 2014 - St. Louis 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
April 26, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 1
April 27, 2013 - St. Louis 7, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
May 9, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 4
May 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 3
May 11, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 5
July 7, 2014 - St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
July 8, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4 [Recap]
July 9, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 2
July 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 1 [Recap]
August 25, 2014 - St. Louis 3, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
August 26, 2014 - Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (68-64)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Davis 3
7. Marte 8
8. Mercer 6
9. Locke 1

St. Louis (71-60)
1. Carpenter 5
2. Grichuk 9
3. Holliday 7
4. Adams 3
5. Peralta 6
6. Jay 8
7. Cruz 2
8. Descalso 4
9. Wainwright 1

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pirates Game 132 Recap - Pirates 5, Cardinals 2

Pretty typical Pirates tonight. Get out to a lead and get a really good start from from their starting pitcher only to have the bullpen give it up. The difference tonight is that the Pirates got a massive pinch hit three run home run from Ike Davis and that is all she wrote.



This ball was CRUSHED to right center and nearly left the yard. Exactly what the Pirates needed after just blowing the game the prior inning. A loss tonight would have been brutal and facing Adam Wainwright tomorrow you can easily see getting swept after a good series in Milwaukee. Now the Pirates have a chance to win the series tomorrow. Great, great win.

Gerrit Cole had it going on tonight. He only went 6+ innings thanks to a high pitch count but allowed only three hits and two runs while striking out nine. He did throw 108 pitches but looked strong as he hit 99 multiple times in the sixth inning when he was well over 90 pitches and had his secondary pitches working. Getting the 2013 Cole would be huge for the Pirates down the stretch and so far since coming off the DL things have gone pretty well.

Everything came up roses in the end but Andrew McCutchen needed to leave the game in the fifth inning with rib discomfort and then Pedro Alvarez left after the sixth inning with foot discomfort so it will be interesting to see what happens. The Pirates have the day off on Thursday and since tomorrow is a day game it wouldn't be overly shocking to see both of them out of the lineup for multiple days off.

Tony Watson has been largely mediocre since the break and surprisingly worked two innings tonight. He was brought in after Cole gave up back-to-back hits to start the seventh inning and gave up both of those runs to tie the game. He worked a scoreless eighth before Mark Melancon got the save. Things have just been flat awful for the Pirates. They have cost them multiple games and there really isn't anyone in the pen right now who I would feel comfortable with in a high leverage situation. Bad times.

Who cares, the Pirates won. woooooo

Pirates Game 132 Preview - vs. St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05 p.m.
Lance Lynn (14-8, 2.78) vs. Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.69)

Season Series (St. Louis leads 8-6)
April 4, 2014 - Pittsburgh 12, St. Louis 2 [Recap]
April 5, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 1
April 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 2, St. Louis 1 [Recap]
April 25, 2014 - St. Louis 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
April 26, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 1
April 27, 2013 - St. Louis 7, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
May 9, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 4
May 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 3
May 11, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 5
July 7, 2014 - St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
July 8, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4 [Recap]
July 9, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 2
July 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 1 [Recap]
August 25, 2014 - St. Louis 3, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (67-64)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Alvarez 3
7. Marte 7
8. Barmes 6
9. Cole 1

St. Louis (71-59)
1. Carpenter 5
2. Wong 4
3. Holliday 7
4. Adams 3
5. Peralta 6
6. Jay 8
7. Pierzynski 2
8. Taveras 9
9. Lynn 1

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pirates Game 131 Recap - Cardinals 3, Pirates 2

Losing tonight wasn't the end of the world for the Pirates, but when you need to win the series and have to face Adam Wainwright in one of those starts then losing this game is way less than ideal. The Bucs got a pretty solid start from Francisco Liriano but the bullpen really let them down again.

Jared Hughes has been one of the Pirates best relievers this year but after Liriano was pulled after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh Hughes was touched up for three runs after picking off Kolten Wong for the first out of the inning. Granted it didn't help that Andrew McCutchen still struggles in a big way to throw the baseball to the right base that all but allowed the third run to score but it went from a 1-0 game to a 3-1 game real quick.

The offense carried the team in Milwaukee. Tonight against John Lackey they hit the ball around most of the night but grounded into four double plays, two by Travis Snider, that really put the stop to a lot of promising innings. Pedro Alvarez went deep in the second inning and McCutchen went deep in the ninth but it wasn't enough. Starling Marte got a lot of a pitch with two outs and Russell Martin on second base in the ninth inning but landed just shy of the track in center. It was the second straight game where McCutchen led off the ninth inning with a home run to put the Pirates within one only to have them lose. He is a really good baseball player.

I think a lot of people are going to question the bullpen management tonight but I really don't think that was a problem. Liriano had good stuff tonight and struck out eight Cardinals but needed a 5-2-3 bases loaded double play in the sixth after walking two Cardinals with one out and then gave up the leadoff single in the seventh. It was dicey and I would rather take a guy out a batter too early than a batter too late. Hughes has been good all season and while you maybe could have brought in Tony Watson to face Jon Jay I don't have a problem at all with leaving Hughes in there. He just got beat.

Like I said, this was a really tough game to drop. The Pirates need all the wins they can get and while you can't expect to win 1-0 I think if you could have got to the eighth inning up 1-0 with Watson and Mark Melancon you would have had a good chance of doing so. Alas they did not. Have to go out and beat Lance Lynn tomorrow.

Pirates Game 131 Preview - vs. St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:10 p.m.
John Lackey (1-1, 5.40) vs. Francisco Liriano (3-10, 4.18)

Season Series (St. Louis leads 7-6)
April 4, 2014 - Pittsburgh 12, St. Louis 2 [Recap]
April 5, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 1
April 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 2, St. Louis 1 [Recap]
April 25, 2014 - St. Louis 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
April 26, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 1
April 27, 2013 - St. Louis 7, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
May 9, 2014 - Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 4
May 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 3
May 11, 2014 - St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 5
July 7, 2014 - St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
July 8, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4 [Recap]
July 9, 2014 - St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 2
July 10, 2014 - Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 1 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (67-63)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Alvarez 3
7. Marte 7
8. Mercer 6
9. Liriano 1

St. Louis (70-59)
1. Carpenter 5
2. Bourjos 8
3. Holliday 7
4. Adams 3
5. Peralta 6
6. Taveras 9
7. Wong 4
8. Cruz 2
9. Lackey 1

Pirates Demote Polanco, To Recall Tabata





Also...



Gregory Polanco is going back down to Indy. The move is very short term, though. With how good Travis Snider has been Polanco hasn't been playing much and is marred in a 1-for-30 slump. He has look very lost at the plate and the Pirates are hoping some every day at bats will help him out. This is short term because the rosters expand on Monday and he will be up and hopefully helping the team then.

Barmes is going to be a really nice addition and strengthen the bench. While he isn't a great player he is better than Jayson Nix and Michael Martinez.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pirates Game 130 Preview - @ Milwaukee Brewers

Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers - 2:10 p.m.
Vance Worley (5-3, 2.92) vs. Mike Fiers (3-1, 1.29)

Season Series (Milwaukee leads 10-5)
April 11, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 12, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 1
April 17, 2014 - Pittsburgh 11, Milwaukee 2 [Recap]
April 18, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
April 19, 2014 - Milwaukee 8, Pittsburgh 7
April 20, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2
May 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
May 14, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 1 [Recap]
May 15, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
June 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 15, Milwaukee 5 [Recap]
June 7, 2014 - Milwaukee 9, Pittsburgh 3
June 8, 2014 - Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
August 22, 2014 - Pittsburgh 8, Milwaukee 3 [Recap]
August 23, 2014 - Pittsburgh 10, Milwaukee 2


Lineups

Pittsburgh (67-62)
1. Harrison 5
2. Polanco 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Alvarez 3
7. Marte 8
8. Mercer 6
9. Worley 1

Milwaukee (71-58)
1. Gomez 8
2. Lucroy 2
3. Braun 9
4. Ramirez 5
5. Gennett 4
6. Reynolds 3
7. Parra 7
8. Herrera 6
9. Fiers 1

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pirates Game 129 Preview - @ Milwaukee Brewers

Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers - 7:10 p.m.
Edinson Volquez (10-7, 3.58) vs. Wily Peralta (15-7, 3.27)

Season Series (Milwaukee leads 10-4)
April 11, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 12, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 1
April 17, 2014 - Pittsburgh 11, Milwaukee 2 [Recap]
April 18, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
April 19, 2014 - Milwaukee 8, Pittsburgh 7
April 20, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2
May 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
May 14, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 1 [Recap]
May 15, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
June 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 15, Milwaukee 5 [Recap]
June 7, 2014 - Milwaukee 9, Pittsburgh 3
June 8, 2014 - Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]
August 22, 2014 - Pittsburgh 8, Milwaukee 3 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (66-62)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Alvarez 3
7. Marte 7
8. Mercer 6
9. Volquez 1

Milwaukee (71-57)
1. Gomez 8
2. Lucroy 2
3. Braun 9
4. Ramirez 5
5. Gennett 4
6. Davis 7
7. Overbay 3
8. Herrera 6
9. Peralta 1

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pirates Game 128 Recap - Pirates 8, Brewers 3

I didn't get to watch any of this game but here are some quick thoughts:

- Jeff Locke walked six guys in six innings. That is not good. I don't care about the win stat...throw strikes.

- Josh Harrison with five batted in on three hits. He just keeps playing good baseball.

- Watch this Andrew McCutchen home run on loop until the Pirates play next. My gawd.

Pirates Game 128 Preview - @ Milwaukee Brewers

Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers - 8:10 p.m.
Jeff Locke (4-3, 3.73) vs. Yovani Gallardo (8-6, 3.32)

Season Series (Milwaukee leads 10-3)
April 11, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 12, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
April 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 1
April 17, 2014 - Pittsburgh 11, Milwaukee 2 [Recap]
April 18, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
April 19, 2014 - Milwaukee 8, Pittsburgh 7
April 20, 2014 - Milwaukee 3, Pittsburgh 2
May 13, 2014 - Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 2 [Recap]
May 14, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 1 [Recap]
May 15, 2014 - Milwaukee 4, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
June 6, 2014 - Pittsburgh 15, Milwaukee 5 [Recap]
June 7, 2014 - Milwaukee 9, Pittsburgh 3
June 8, 2014 - Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (65-62)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCutchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Sanchez 3
7. Marte 8
8. Mercer 6
9. Locke 1

Milwaukee (71-56)
1. Gomez 8
2. Lucroy 2
3. Braun 9
4. Ramirez 5
5. Davis 7
6. Weeks 4
7. Reynolds 3
8. Segura 6
9. Gallardo 1

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pirates Game 127 Preview - vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05 p.m.
Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07) vs. Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78)

eason Series (Atlanta leads 2-0)
August 18, 2014 - Atlanta 7, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]
August 19, 2014 - Atlanta 11, Pittsburgh 2


Lineups

Pittsburgh (64-62)
1. Harrison 5
2. Mercer 6
3. McCutchen 8
4. Marte 7
5. Sanchez 3
6. Snider 9
7. Stewart 2
8. Nix 4
9. Cole 1

Atlanta (66-60)
1. Heyward 9
2. Simmons 6
3. Freeman 3
4. Upton 7
5. Johnson 5
6. Gattis 2
7. La Stella 4
8. Upton 8
9. Wood 1

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pirates Game 126 Preview - vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05 p.m.
Aaron Harang (9-7, 3.51) vs. Francisco Liriano (3-9, 3.78)

Season Series (Atlanta leads 1-0)
August 18, 2014 - Atlanta 7, Pittsburgh 3 [Recap]


Lineups

Pittsburgh (64-61)
1. Harrison 5
2. Snider 9
3. McCtuchen 8
4. Walker 4
5. Martin 2
6. Marte 8
7. Davis 3
8. Mercer 6
9. Liriano 1

Atlanta (65-60)
1. Heyward 9
2. Gosselin 4
3. Freeman 3
4. J. Upton 7
5. Johnson 5
6. Gattis 2
7. Simmons 6
8. BJ Upton 8
9. Harang 1

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pirates Game 125 Recap - Braves 7, Pirates 3

Sometimes one inning loses you the ballgame. Tonight the top of the first inning lost the Pirates the ballgame. The Pirates are struggling in a big way right now and have lost five straight games and if they don't start figuring things out quick they are going to be out of the playoff race in mid-September after leading the Wild Card race by 1.5 like four days ago.

Vance Worley has been really good for the Pirates this year. Unfortunately in the first inning tonight he gave up six runs (five earned) on five hits and two walks. The Braves sent 10 batters to the plate and started off the game with back-to-back home runs from Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons and it went downhill from there. Worley actually came back strong after throwing more than 30 pitches in the first and actually worked through six innings giving up no more runs and only four more hits in the next five innings. The problem is you can't erase the first inning and that is what did the Pirates in.

The Pirates actually did a nice job of chipping away. After coming up empty in the first inning they had home runs in each of the next three innings to cut the lead in half. Granted all the home runs were solo shots so it really didn't help as much as it could but down three runs going into the fifth inning and you felt pretty good about the chances of them having a chance. The Pirates had base runners all over the place but just couldn't get that second big hit they needed to tack on more runs.

They had a chance to really make it a game in the sixth inning when Starling Marte and Travis Snider started off the inning with back-to-back doubles to put runners on second and third with nobody out (Marte had to hold at second to make sure the ball wasn't caught on Sniders double, thus he couldn't score). The problem was that Brent Morel struck out and then pinch hitter Ike Davis hit a rocket that was caught and Snider was doubled off second. It was 6-3 at the time and scoring those two runs would have made it a one run game going into the seventh inning. The Pirates didn't score and that really took the air out of comeback.

The Braves hit the ball all over the field today. It wasn't just against Worley but they had 15 hits and took advantage of two Pirates errors. You are going to win a lot of games with lines like that and while the Pirates responded well after the first it just wasn't good enough.

Marte was a man possessed tonight. He ended the night 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and a double and even the flyout he hit went to the track. He has been locked in since coming off the DL and is 20-for-57 with six doubles, two triples, and three home runs. With McCutchen out it was important for some other guys to step up and Marte has done that. He is hitting the ball hard pretty much every at bat when with Cutch possibly coming back tomorrow that bodes well for the offense.

On the same note, kind of, Gregory Polanco is in some kind of slump. He went 0-for-5 tonight and now has only one hit in his last 26 at bats. With Cutch getting back into the lineup that bodes the question on what to do with Snider. Now I don't think that I want Snider to play over Polanco but the question has to be brought up since Snider is 25-for-76 since the All-Star Break and has six home runs and five doubles in that span. Polanco has been really streaky since his call-up and if he's in the lineup I think he will be fine but Snider is making a really good case to get more playing time in that crowded outfield.

Pirates Game 125 Preview - vs. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates - 7:05 p.m.
Ervin Santana (12-6, 3.66) vs. Vance Worley (5-2, 2.51)


Lineups

Pittsburgh (64-60)
1. Polanco 9
2. Harrison 6
3. Walker 4
4. Martin 2
5. Alvarez 3
6. Marte 8
7. Snider 7
8. Morel 5
9. Worley 1

Atlanta (64-60)
1. Heyward 9
2. Simmons 6
3. Freeman 3
4. J. Upton 7
5. Johnson 5
6. La Stella 4
7. Laird 2
8. Bonifacio 8
9. Santana 1

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pirates Game 123 Preview - @ Washington Nationals

Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals - 7:05 p.m.
Jeff Locke (4-3, 3.98) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 4.00)

Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 3-2)
May 22, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Washington 1 [Recap]
May 23, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3
May 24, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2
May 25, 2014 - Washington 5, Pittsburgh 2
August 15, 2014 - Washington 5, Pittsburgh 4


Lineups

Pittsburgh (64-58)
1. Harrison 6
2. Polanco 9
3. Martin 2
4. Marte 8
5. Sanchez 3
6. Alvarez 5
7. Nix 4
8. Snider 7
9. Locke 1

Washington (67-53)
1. Span 8
2. Frandsen 7
3. Rendon 5
4. LaRoche 3
5. Desmond 6
6. Harper 9
7. Ramos 2
8. Espinosa 4
9. Gonzalez 1

Friday, August 15, 2014

Pirates Game 122 Preview - @ Washington Nationals

Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals - 7:05 p.m.
Charlie Morton (5-11, 3.62) vs. Tanner Roark (11-7, 2.86)

Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 3-1)
May 22, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Washington 1 [Recap]
May 23, 2014 - Pittsburgh 4, Washington 3
May 24, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2
May 25, 2014 - Washington 5, Pittsburgh 2


Lineups

Pittsburgh (64-57)
1. Harrison 6
2. Polanco 9
3. Martin 2
4. Walker 4
5. Marte 8
6. Snider 7
7. Davis 3
8. Alvarez 5
9. Morton 1

Washington (66-53)
1. Span 8
2. Cabrera 4
3. Rendon 5
4. LaRoche 3
5. Desmond 6
6. Harper 7
7. Ramos 2
8. Taylor 9
9. Roark 1

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pirates Acquire John Axford



This dropped right after the Pirates 5-2 loss to the Tigers.

Year Age Tm W L ERA G SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
2009 26 MIL 0 0 3.52 7 1 7.2 5 3 3 0 6 9 122 3.10 1.435 5.9 0.0 7.0 10.6
2010 27 MIL 8 2 2.48 50 24 58.0 42 17 16 1 27 76 163 2.13 1.190 6.5 0.2 4.2 11.8
2011 28 MIL 2 2 1.95 74 46 73.2 59 19 16 4 25 86 202 2.41 1.140 7.2 0.5 3.1 10.5
2012 29 MIL 5 8 4.67 75 35 69.1 61 42 36 10 39 93 88 4.06 1.442 7.9 1.3 5.1 12.1
2013 30 TOT 7 7 4.02 75 0 65.0 73 32 29 10 26 65 96 4.34 1.523 10.1 1.4 3.6 9.0
2013 30 MIL 6 7 4.45 62 0 54.2 62 29 27 10 23 54 86 4.77 1.555 10.2 1.6 3.8 8.9
2013 30 STL 1 0 1.74 13 0 10.1 11 3 2 0 3 11 221 2.08 1.355 9.6 0.0 2.6 9.6
2014 31 CLE 2 3 3.92 49 10 43.2 34 21 19 6 30 51 96 4.71 1.466 7.0 1.2 6.2 10.5
6 Yrs 24 22 3.38 330 116 317.1 274 134 119 31 153 380 118 3.45 1.346 7.8 0.9 4.3 10.8
162 Game Avg. 5 5 3.38 68 24 65 56 28 25 6 32 78 118 3.45 1.346 7.8 0.9 4.3 10.8
MIL (5 yrs) 21 19 3.35 268 106 263.1 229 110 98 25 120 318 120 3.29 1.325 7.8 0.9 4.1 10.9
CLE (1 yr) 2 3 3.92 49 10 43.2 34 21 19 6 30 51 96 4.71 1.466 7.0 1.2 6.2 10.5
STL (1 yr) 1 0 1.74 13 0 10.1 11 3 2 0 3 11 221 2.08 1.355 9.6 0.0 2.6 9.6
NL (5 yrs) 22 19 3.29 281 106 273.2 240 113 100 25 123 329 122 3.25 1.326 7.9 0.8 4.0 10.8
AL (1 yr) 2 3 3.92 49 10 43.2 34 21 19 6 30 51 96 4.71 1.466 7.0 1.2 6.2 10.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/14/2014.

Since his 2011 bid with the Brewers Axford hasn't been overly good. He is striking out better than 10 batters per nine innings but overall his is giving up a ton of home runs and walking a ton of hitters. He does have a decent ground ball rate so maybe he can be useful for the Pirates but who really knows.

I would be pretty surprised if Axford is a boost to the current Pirates pen. That says a lot because the current middle of the Pirates pen is bad.

Update: