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Remember that the Wild Card cuts both ways

Remember that the Wild Card cuts both ways

There is no major American sport that treats its first division runner-up worse than baseball does. In the NFL, the team with the best record that fails to win a division plays the worst division winner in the Wild Card Round. The division-winner gets home-field advantage, but often has a worse record than the wild […]
Redleg Nation Aug 5, 2016

Reds at Pirates – August 5, 2016

The Cincinnati Reds (44-63) have won six consecutive series to begin the second half of 2016. Tonight at 7:05, the Reds will begin a 9-game road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates (53-53). The Pirates have lost 5 of 6, and are quickly falling out of contention. They are 12.5 games out of the division, and …
Game whatever who cares: Braves 8 Pirates 4

Game whatever who cares: Braves 8 Pirates 4

Here is what I would like explained to me: How on Earth can you go through a trade deadline and behave like a team that believes its playoff chances are not completely extinguished this year, then put Jeff Locke on the mound 48 hours later? And if you do go ahead and put Jeff Locke […]
The Pirates are not giving up, they are operating within a budget

The Pirates are not giving up, they are operating within a budget

The underlying implications of what the Pirates did at the trade deadline are still awfully worrisome to me, 48 hours later. By trading Mark Melancon while still in the Wild Card race, the Pirates more or less said that future value will always be considered vs. present value, even when present value has a direct […]
If the Pirates are unwilling or unable to support a $90 million payroll, then somebody tell me because this where I get off

If the Pirates are unwilling or unable to support a $90 million payroll, then somebody tell me because this where I get off

Let’s start with this: I don’t like making strong pronouncements after trades. I have, particularly early on in the Neal Huntington era, misread trades pretty badly in the moment. I didn’t take much time to think about the JA Happ trade last year, and I looked pretty dumb in hindsight. This happens not just because […]
Pirates trade Francisco Liriano and Harold Ramirez to Blue Jays for Drew Hutchison

Pirates trade Francisco Liriano and Harold Ramirez to Blue Jays for Drew Hutchison

Well after the trade deadline passed and when I had assumed everyone was done for the day, word leaked out that the Pirates snuck one more deal in after the deadline: Francisco Liriano, Harold Ramirez, and another prospect to Toronto for Drew Hutchison. I understand the Pirates’ desire to move on from Liriano; he’s pretty […]
Pirates acquire Ivan Nova, swap Jon Niese for Antonio Bastardo (seriously)

Pirates acquire Ivan Nova, swap Jon Niese for Antonio Bastardo (seriously)

It would appear that the Pirates’ strategy at this trade deadline is to do exactly what they did at the last one: acquire a once-promising young pitcher that hasn’t been any good for a long time for pennies on the dollar with the assumption that they can turn him into an asset for this season’s […]
Pirates swept at Miller Park. Again.

Pirates swept at Miller Park. Again.

Here’s the thing about an easy schedule: it doesn’t do much good if you don’t beat the bad teams that make the schedule easy. The Pirates went into Miller Park this weekend playing relatively good baseball, then scored six times in three games in being swept at Miller Park for the ten millionth time in […]
Pirates trade Mark Melancon to the Nationals

Pirates trade Mark Melancon to the Nationals

I have a sneaking suspicion that in a year or two, we’re going to look back at the Mark Melancon trade and call it a win for the Pirates. Felipe Rivero is 25 years old with a fastball that hits 100 mph, his peripheral numbers this year are already great, and he’ll finish this year with […]
Some thoughts on trading Mark Melancon

Some thoughts on trading Mark Melancon

As we ramp up to the deadline, a lot of discussion around the Pirates this year has involved Mark Melancon. The situation as it stands is this: the Pirates have a decent shot at making the playoffs this year, but are not favorites to do so; depending on your favorite playoff odds site, they’re somewhere […]
Game 100: Pirates 10 Mariners 1

Game 100: Pirates 10 Mariners 1

The main problem of the Pittsburgh Pirates was perfectly on display in this two-game series against the Seattle Mariners: sometimes, the starting pitching works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, the offense strings its hits together, and sometimes it spreads them out. Sometimes, the Pirates look ready to beat anyone, and sometimes it’s hard to remember […]
Game 99: Mariners 7 Pirates 4

Game 99: Mariners 7 Pirates 4

With the Pirates up 4-2 in the top of the third last night, I told my dad that I thought the Pirates would need six or seven runs with the way that Liriano had been pitching. Franklin Gutierrez hit the next pitch out of the park to tie the game at four. We went outside […]
The Pirates are in a weird place: their biggest need is their best minor league strength

The Pirates are in a weird place: their biggest need is their best minor league strength

Despite all of their issues with starting pitching and a month of June that reminded most Pirate fans of the Bad Old Days, the Pirates are not in bad shape as we round up to the trade deadline. With last night’s results, they’re 1 1/2 games behind the Marlins for the second wild card spot, […]
In which the Pirates steal a series from the Phillies while leaving pitching questions rampant

In which the Pirates steal a series from the Phillies while leaving pitching questions rampant

The math from the All-Star Break was pretty easy: with 73 games left and 46 wins in the bank, playing about .600 baseball (.602, to be exact) would get the Pirates to 90 wins. From the break (and from here), that looks like a pretty decent target to get into this year’s Wild Card Coin […]

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