4:34 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
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The evolving Pirate offense

The Pirates’ offensive turnaround this year has been a big topic of discussion lately. You likely know the basics. They’re fourth in the National League in runs scored despite playing in a pitcher-friendly park, their position players have a 110 OPS+, and their on-base percentage of .334 is the best in all of baseball. As […]

Franciso Liriano and the value of a slider

The bottom line is that if you take Liriano’s wSL/C from last season at face value and extrapolate it into 2014, Liriano would have saved himself 9 runs; the difference between his current ERA of 4.43 and a projected ERA of 3.43. Great work at Beyond the Box Score that goes much more in depth […]
Raise the Jolly Roger! Jul 23, 2014

Pirates 6, Dodgers 1

After the wild and crazy Tuesday night win, this was a nice, clean, easy victory for the Pirates, completing another series win. The Bucs finished the homestand 5-1 and are now tied with the Cardinals for 2nd in the Central, 2.5 GB Milwaukee, and 1 GB a wild card spot. The story of the game […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]
Raise the Jolly Roger! Jul 18, 2014

Series Preview: Pirates vs Rockies

Friday, 7:05 (ROOT): Jorge De La Rosa vs. Francisco Liriano Saturday, 7:05 (ROOT): Brett Anderson vs. Charlie Morton Sunday, 1:35 (ROOT): Tyler Matzek vs. Jeff Locke Our long national nightmare (the All Star Break) is over and the unofficial second half of the season gets under way on Friday night. I think the break has […]

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 […]

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.

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, […]

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