3:24 AM EDT, Sat April 29, 2017
14 hours ago

Game 22: Improvements needed, and quickly

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner MIAMI — After the Pirates wasted Gerrit Cole’s gem and lost, 1-0, to the Cubs on Tuesday, I poked my head into Joe Maddon’s postgame presser. This part jumped out at me: “One of those nights. We always talk about you’ve got to win 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 to win …
Apr 26, 2017

Game 21: Freese not in lineup but not ruled out to be available; a new Gift to open

By Chris Adamski NORTH SHORE – Two days after injuring himself when he missed the bag at first base, David Freese is “getting better” and hasn’t been ruled out to be available for Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs.   “Right hamstring tightness, day to day (but) he does feel better today,” head athletic …
Apr 25, 2017

Game 20: As it turned out, adding an arm was the right call

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner When Adam Frazier went on the disabled list on Monday, the Pirates recalled Dovydas Neverauskas from Triple-A Indy. It seemed an odd move, swapping out a utilityman for a reliever — especially considering the gaping hole in right field — but the Pirates figured they might need some bullpen …
Apr 24, 2017

Game 19: Did Nova make Yankees wonder ‘what if?’

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner Did the Yankees make a mistake? Should they have held on to RHP Ivan Nova last year instead of trading him to the Pirates? “Look at (Nova’s) numbers at our place,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Sunday’s game. “He had some good years, he had some tough years. …
Apr 23, 2017

Game 18: Hurdle says “Nothing’s up” with Cervelli

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner In last night’s 11-5 loss to the Yankees, Francisco Cervelli was replaced by Chris Stewart to start the ninth inning. Hurdle was asked if that was just a way to get Cervelli off his feet in a blowout loss. “No, I think something was going on,” manager Clint Hurdle …
Apr 22, 2017

Game 17: Bastardo’s exile might soon be over

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner Reliever Antonio Bastardo has not pitched in a game since April 12, when he gave up four runs on two hits in two-thirds of an innings against the Reds. In four innings. he has served up eight hits, including three home runs, and five walks. He has a 20.25 …
Apr 21, 2017

Game 16: Jose Osuna’s PNC Park debut comes in the starting lineup

By Chris Adamski NORTH SHORE – Some four hours prior to Friday’s first pitch, Jose Osuna had yet to shag flies in PNC Park’s unique right field. He’d also yet to see his name written into a regular-season major-league lineup.   Both changed in preparation for Friday’s game against the New York Yankees.   “It’s …
Apr 19, 2017

Game 15: Band of brothers? Not quite.

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner ST. LOUIS — There was no finger-pointing in the Pirates’ clubhouse on Tuesday after the news broke that Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for using steroids. The harshest (if you can call it that) comment came from Andrew McCutchen, who noted: “When you make a mistake, you’ve got …
Apr 18, 2017

Breaking: Starling Marte suspended for PED violation

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner ST. LOUIS — Pirates center fielder Starling Marte on Tuesday was suspended for 80 games after he tested positive for tested positive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. The suspension is without pay and is effective immediately. He also is not eligible to participate in the postseason. “When you make …
Apr 18, 2017

Game 14: Hurdle makes the right call

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner ST. LOUIS — The Pirates were down by one run in the seventh inning when Ivan Nova’s turn in the batting order came around. With two outs and nobody on, it was an easy call for manager Clint Hurdle to let Nova bat instead of using Gregory Polanco as …
Apr 17, 2017

Game 13: Many moving parts to lineup

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner ST. LOUIS — The lineup has a lot of moving parts, which makes manager Clint Hurdle happy. “That’s what makes our lineup and our roster very interesting and flexible,” he said. “Even during a game, we can make some switches and move people around if need be.” Hurdle had …
Apr 15, 2017

Game 11: Rivero makes move for the better

By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by The Associated Press CHICAGO — When Felipe Rivero’s fastball is on, it is a 100 mph, razor-edged scythe that cuts down batters. When it’s not … stuff like what happened in the eighth inning yesterday happens. “He’s got electric stuff,” manager Clint Hurdle stuff. “There isn’t anybody who he can’t get …
Apr 14, 2017

Game 10: McCutchen powers up

By Rob Biertempfel/Photos by Christopher Horner CHICAGO — Around the All-Star break last year, I was scrolling through the list of Pirates all-time home run leaders and was a bit surprised to see Andrew McCutchen’s name among the top 10. I’ve always viewed McCutchen as an all-around standout rather than a pure slugger, but there …
Apr 12, 2017

Game 8: Gregory Polanco sits for the first time in ’17

By Chris Adamski NORTH SHORE – Facing lefthanded starters on consecutive days likely would have signaled an ideal time for a Gregory Polanco day off, regardless.   Taking advantage of an opportunity to rest a balky left shoulder made the decision that much easier for Clint Hurdle.   “Just to get his shoulder a break,” …
Apr 11, 2017

Game 7: Josh Harrison returns, Wade LeBlanc beloved by all

By Chris Adamski NORTH SHORE – Josh Harrison’s absence from the lineup lasted one day.   Harrison was back at second base, back in the familiar (for this season) No. 7 spot in the batting order for Tuesday’s game against the Reds.   Harrison was struck by a pitch on his right calf in the …