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Additions of J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton helped Pirates to posteason

View image | The Pittsburgh Pirates were facing a dilemma at the trade deadline: starter A.J. Burnett was headed to the disabled list and his future with the team was in doubt. Vance Worley was struggling for the Pirates, with a 5.91 ERA in July. The Pirates ended up...
Via Philliedelphia
1 hour ago  |  Discuss

Five questions about the National League Wild Card game

It doesn’t seem fair that the teams with baseball’s second and third-best records are playing in a sudden death elimination game, but those are the breaks. The Chicago Cubs (97-65) travel to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates (98-64) to win the right to move on to the NLDS in St. Louis. Unlike the AL game that saw two sputtering teams see which one could be less worse than the...
Via The Outside Corner
1 hour ago  |  Discuss

2015 NL Wild Card Game Preview: Finding a way

Here is a partial list of opposing pitchers that have started games won by the Pittsburgh Pirates this year: Max Scherzer Clayton Kershaw (2x) Jake Arrieta The Pirates faced Zack Greinke once and lost to him. They did not face Jacob deGrom. The only other pitcher likely to finish in the top half of NL Cy Young voting is Gerrit Cole, who pitches for the Pirates. Here is a brief list...
3 hours ago  |  Discuss

Playing Postseason Pepper: Pittsburgh Pirates

We took a look yesterday at the two AL Wild Card teams, so today we turn our attention to the game that will provide the Cardinals’ next opponent.  Most everyone expects that tonight’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs will be intense and most Cardinal fans are probably just glad it’s not [...]
Via The Cardinal Conclave
3 hours ago  |  Discuss

Hidden Vigorish and a Wild Ass Wild Card Prediction

If you are a Pittsburgh Pirates fan you are most likely familiar with the term Hidden Vigorish, which is the inspiration behind the name of this website. Hidden Vigorish is a term coined by the late great Pirates play-by-play announcer Bob “The Gunner” Prince that describes a situation/team/player that is “overdue” to come through in the clutch. You need not be a Pirates...
Via Hidden Vigorish
4 hours ago  |  Discuss

Scouting Report: Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole Physical Profile Big, tall, workhorse body; dominating presence on the mound; low three-quarters arm slot with elite-level arm speed. Raw Stuff Fastball – 94-98 with serious run lower in the velocity band; sinks it when needed; excellent extension with elite command. Slider – 86-88; 10-4 movement; plus command; hard double-plus breaking action with […]
Via BP Wrigleyville
5 hours ago  |  Discuss

Arrieta-Cole, objectively one of best playoff matchups ever

Individual performances tend to be magnified in the postseason, and that is especially true of pitchers. While 16-18 other players appear in the lineups and many others will have profound impacts on the outcomes of games over the next month, the starting pitcher will likely have more influence over the outcome of a single game than any other player. Everything is magnified in the...
Via Fangraphs
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Who makes the Wild Card roster? How about the lineup?

As you likely know by now (since we’re certainly not new to this Wild Card Game thing), the Pirates need to set a 25-man playoff roster for Wednesday night against the Cubs. If they advance, they’ll get to set a whole new roster for the next series against St. Louis – so the WCG roster will look a little different. It’ll be specifically designed for one game. On one hand...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Closer Melancon quiet exclamation point for Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) The greatest season by a Pittsburgh Pirates reliever began with doubt. Mark Melancon struggled early on, blowing a save against the Chicago Cubs on April 21 while running his ERA to 8.53. Melancon responded by converting his next 35 save opportunities on his way to 51, the most in the majors and the most ever by a Pirate. Melancon did it with a cerebral approach...
Via AP on Fox
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Pirates TWIBB Notes for Week of 9-28-15 to 10-04-15

Here are your This Week in Buccos Baseball Notes for 9/28/15 thru 10/04/15, the 26th week (and final week) of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 regular season.   Weekly result: 3 Wins and 3 Losses, 20 Runs Scored and 23 Runs Allowed.   Hero of the week: J.A. Happ. Happ took the hill for two must win games for the Pirates this week. This was his line: 12 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks...
Via Hidden Vigorish
2 days ago  |  Discuss

In apprciation of the 98-win 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates before the stress of the Wild Card Game consumes us all

On the afternoon of May 22nd, my dad sent me an e-mail about how disappointed he’d been in the Pirates through 40 games, but that he and my mom and brother were going down to PNC to watch the Pirates and Mets. I agreed with him that I was worried that at 18-22 and eight games behind the Cardinals, the Pirates might have ruined their chances to win the NL Central before the summer...
2 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates' Burnett receives Batmobile-cycle as retirement gift

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett took the mound for the his final regular season start on Saturday night, as he is set to retire after this year.He certainly had a last day to remember.Prior to the game, his agent and financial advisor gave him a Batmobile-cycle as a retirement gift:After 6 2/3 innings and 107 pitches, Burnett exited to a standing ovation at PNC Park:All of...
Via Fox Sports
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Marte saves the day

Juuuust when things were starting to look a little dicey for Wild Card home field, the Pirates did just enough to rescue themselves from a cold, soggy, bad loss against a miserable Reds team that is just playing out the string. Starling Marte made it a happy ending: Now the Pirates just need one more win or one more Cubs loss over the final two to make it a date at PNC Park on Wednesday...
Via Raise the Jolly Roger!
4 days ago  |  Discuss

There is a small amount of business remaining before the playoffs begin

The reaction to the Cardinals NL Central clinch on Wednesday night kind of weirds me out. There was an immediate Charlie Morton backlash, followed by a collective Pirate fan panic that the Cubs are going to catch the Pirates this weekend and switch the Wild Card Game from PNC Park to Wrigley Field. It is still within the realm of possibility that the Cubs may do this, but please...
4 days ago  |  Discuss

Joe Blanton, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ secret weapon

The man who started the 2015 season with the Omaha Storm Chasers — Triple A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals — is now the secret weapon for the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe Blanton was purchased by the Pirates after being designated for assignment in late July. The former first-round draft pick had a disappointing past couple years, even taking all of 2014 off from...
Via Sportsnaut
6 days ago  |  Discuss

Cardinals clinch NL Central; first 100-game winner since 2011

It’s getting difficult to remember the last time the St. Louis Cardinals weren’t part of the MLB postseason. The Cards clinched their third straight NL Central title with an 11-1 win over the Pirates on Wednesday, putting them in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. With the victory, St. Louis also gets their 100th win of the season, becoming the first team to crack triple...
Via The Outside Corner
6 days ago  |  Discuss

Maintaining First Wild Card is a Necessity to Beat Arrieta

The Pittsburgh Pirates are mathematically alive for the NL Central Division crown, but realistically that dream ended when they dropped the first game of a pivotal series to the Cardinals at the start of the final week of the regular season. It is time to look ahead to a show down in the Wild Card Game with the Cubs. The Pirates are on a collision course with the force that is Cub’s...
Via Hidden Vigorish
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Gerrit Cole is now the most important Pirates player

Gerrit Cole might not be the best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates — Andrew McCutchen probably still holds that distinction — but over the course of the next 10 days, perhaps no pitcher in the National League, or perhaps in Major League Baseball, will have a greater impact on his team’s season. Cole has slid under the radar of the Cy Young race as Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta...
Via Fangraphs
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates: GM Huntington’s Dumpster Dives Shine

Image credit vavel I’m fairly critical of Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington.  But I will also give him props when he ends up being right about moves that I doubted.  This past MLB Trade Deadline, I was furious over the GM’s dabbling in veteran reclamation projects, as opposed to adding marquee additions like many American League contenders did (Trade Deadline Hangover...
10 days ago  |  Discuss

Mark Melancon Is Shutting Them Down

Toward the end of April, things weren’t looking so hot for Pirates relief ace Mark Melancon. His velocity was down — way down — and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was beginning to field questions about Melancon’s job security. Fast forward to September, and it seems like ages ago that we were even discussing this in a serious matter, because Melancon is on the verge of a historic...
Via Fangraphs
12 days ago  |  Discuss

Rockies send champagne to playoff-clinching Pirates’ clubhouse (pic)

The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a spot in Major League Baseball’s postseason for the third consecutive season courtesy of Wednesday’s 13-7 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. And the home team, mired in a horrible losing season, did its best to assist the Pirates in celebrating the playoff berth. When the Pirates returned to the the visitor’s clubhouse following...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
13 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates manager Hurdle selling CD collection to benefit charity

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is selling over 2,300 music CDs to benefit charity. The former MLB outfielder turned manager is putting his large CD collection up for auction to benefit a local radio station (91.3 WYEP), and Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA). WYEP is a non-profit radio station that has served the greater Pittsburgh area for over 40 years. The stated...
Via Sportsnaut
18 days ago  |  Discuss

Pirates, Cubs ready to change NL playoff landscape

If the regular season ended today, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs would square off at PNC Park for the National League Wild Card one-game playoff. If the standings hold out, it will be the third consecutive year that the Pirates host the NL WC game, following a 20-year playoff drought. The Pirates beat the Reds in 2013 and lost to the eventual-champion Giants...
Via The Sports Quotient
19 days ago  |  Discuss

Gregory Polanco easily retires Trevor Cahill on a 9-3 putout

Usually when we see 9-3 putouts, a catcher or pitcher is running, the right fielder is playing shallow, and uncorks a laser beam of a throw to retire the baserunner. And on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, that’s exactly what happened when Gregory Polanco gunned out Trevor Cahill, who wasn’t even running hard to first. At least Cahill did his job for the Cubs on the mound – he...
Via The Outside Corner
21 days ago  |  Discuss

How the Cardinals will win the 2015 World Series

The St. Louis Cardinals have what it takes to win a championship this year. The team currently sits ahead of the pack in the NL Central with an 89-54 record, though it is still a tight race. The Pittsburgh Pirates sit just 2.5 games back while the Cubs aren’t far behind at 6.5 games behind. However, neither team will catch the Cardinals—a team that has been a powerhouse all...
Via Sportsnaut
22 days ago  |  Discuss

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