July 3, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - As the owner of the locker just to the right of the main entrance to the common area of the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse, outfielder Garrett Jones has a panoramic view of his teammates as he sits at his stall. Since he first established himself as a major-league regular with Pittsburgh three years ago, the players he has seen when he surveys the clubhouse has changed dramatically. So have the results. The 2013 Pirates are the toast of baseball, owners of the majors' best record at the precise midpoint of their season (51-30)
June 24, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH CLOSER Jason Grilli and Los Angeles Angels counterpart Ernesto Frieri each gave up three runs yesterday. The final outcome came down to one pitch that Mike Trout missed. Pedro Alvarez homered for the fourth straight game, Starling Marte capped a three-run ninth inning with a tying single, and the visiting Pirates added four more in the 10th to beat the Angels, 10-9, and complete their first interleague sweep on the road. Trailing 6-3 entering the ninth, the Pirates pulled even against Frieri - his second blown save in 19 chances.
June 13, 2013 |
STARLING MARTE'S precocious talent can sometimes get him in trouble at the plate. The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder can be in such a hurry to get on base, his bat tends to get ahead of itself. A well-timed piece of advice helped him break out of a slump last night against the visiting San Francisco Giants. Told by several teammates to wait a beat longer before swinging, Marte slapped a career-high four hits and scored four times as the Pirates pulled away for a 12-8 victory. "I think you know it goes back to pitch selection, seeing the ball, trying to maintain discipline throughout the at-bat," manager Clint Hurdle said.
June 11, 2013 |
Speed is Gerrit Cole's stock in trade. The top pick in the 2011 draft has a 99-m.ph. fastball and zipped through Pittsburgh's farm system, needing just 26 starts to move from single A to triple A last summer. The Pirates sent him back for more seasoning after spring training, but you kind of knew he wouldn't stay down. The next start for the burly righthander, 22, will be his major-league debut on Tuesday night, when the Pirates host the San Francisco Giants. As fate would have it, the defending World Series champions will have two-time Cy Young Award winner (and former phenom)
May 31, 2013 |
RUSSELL MARTIN hit a bases-loaded single off the left-center wall in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 1-0 victory over the visiting Detroit Tigers last night. Neil Walker opened the inning with a sharp single to right off Luke Putkonen (1-1) and Andrew McCutchen walked. Gaby Sanchez loaded the bases by bouncing a single through the left side of the infield. Martin then ripped a 2-1 pitch into the gap to give the Pirates their 16th win in 20 games.
May 26, 2013 |
ESPN used to have a show that listed five reasons you couldn't blame someone for something even though it appeared as if that someone really deserved the blame. One episode focused on why you couldn't blame Mitch Williams for the Phillies' 1993 World Series loss. The exercise here will be similar. This will focus on why you can't blame Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. for letting Jason Grilli opt out of his contract in the middle of the 2011 season. That move looks terrible now because Grilli leads the National League with 19 saves and has a 1.25 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates entering play Saturday.
May 22, 2013 |
MATT GARZA waited 10 months to take the mound again, but he will have to wait a little longer to get a victory. Travis Snider hit a pinch-hit grand slam during a five-run sixth and the Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled a strong return to the mound for Garza with a 5-4 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs last night. Garza allowed one hit over five shutout innings in his first outing in 10 months, but the Pirates pounced on a Chicago bullpen that is 10th in the National League in ERA by sending 11 men to the plate in the sixth.
May 6, 2013
Washington's Bryce Harper was ejected from Sunday's game against Pittsburgh for arguing with - and showing up - third base umpire John Hirschbeck. It happened in the first inning. Harper tried to hold up on a 2-2 pitch and home plate umpire Bob Davidson pointed to Hirschbeck for help. Hirschbeck signaled strike, at which point Harper stood outside the batter's box, eyeballed the ump, dropped his bat, and got the boot. Didn't matter, as the Nationals won, 6-2. Harper was also tossed Aug. 29, when he spiked his helmet after grounding into a double play against the Mets.
April 29, 2013 |
IT WAS A milestone day for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who took the NL Central lead for the first time since last July and reached 15 wins in April for the first time since 1992. Manager Clint Hurdle thought his 700th career victory was a footnote at best, considering he has 808 losses. Players gave him a toast all the same. "It means you're gifted and blessed with the opportunity to do this for a while," Hurdle said after the visiting Pirates beat the Cardinals, 9-0, yesterday for a series win and the division lead.
April 29, 2013
Major League Baseball has suspended Pirates lefty Jonathan Sanchez for six games and fined him an undisclosed amount for beaning the Cardinals' Allen Craig in Friday's 9-1 loss. Sanchez has appealed the suspension, but maybe the Bucs should consider keeping him off the mound. He has allowed 16 runs on 21 hits and five walks in just 111/3 innings this season. And on Friday, he didn't get a single out, and served up back-to-back homers to Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran, and a single to Matt Holliday before he threw at Craig's head.