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September 11, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

5 comments so far - add yours!

With his season likely over, what to do with Pedro?

PHILADELPHIA – Could Pedro Alvarez’s nightmare season get any worse? Short answer: yes. We know about the 23 throwing errors that forced him off third base at least temporarily, the most throwing errors since throwing errors began be tracked separately …

September 10, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

12 comments so far - add yours!

Does Volquez have a point?

Edinson Volquez is one of the most easy-going major leaguers I’ve encountered in my brief two years covering the sport.

He’s often smiling, joking, signing sometimes even dancing as he was prior to Monday’s game to the beat of the clubhouse stereo. After giving up five home runs in a game in Yankee Stadium earlier this season, Volquez was still affable and engaging with reporters following the performance. He even chuckled several times during post-game interviews. Nothing seemed to bother him.

September 8, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

5 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: Separation Week?

SOUTH HILLS – You can’t predict ball. And you certainly can’t predict this Pirates’ season. From Josh Harrison going from 25th man to All-Star, from the Pirates’ pitching and defense transforming from strengths in 2013 to liabilities this season, and  from …

September 3, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

2 comments so far - add yours!

Jeff Locke is reverting back to All-Star form (and that means trouble)

SOUTH HILLS – On Aug. 22nd in Milwaukee, Jeff Locke walked six batters in six innings. He did not strike out a single batter. So Milwaukee batters either walked or put the ball in play and miraculously scored only two runs in six innings against Locke.

Afterward Locke said this: “It was a lot like last year’s first half. There were so many games we had four-plus walks, two or three hits.”

September 2, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

3 comments so far - add yours!

Gerrit Cole’s checklist to acehood

SOUTH HILLS – As we discussed here and on the Final Word on Sunday, the key for the Pirates in navigating a difficult September schedule – 17 road games, 9 home games – was getting their top-of-the-rotation arms to produce …

August 31, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

6 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: How to manage the rookie wall

SOUTH HILLS – Here’s a wacky thought  – what else would you expect here, right? — should clubs expecting to be in condition hold back their top prospects even longer? Yes, even longer, despite the criticism they already endure for …

August 29, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

4 comments so far - add yours!

Do you want the good or bad news? (How about both?)

SOUTH HILL – The Pirates will remarkably enter September with meaningful baseball to be played despite an assortment of injuries, missed opportunities to upgrade the roster (though the folks inside 115 Federal St. might disagree), and general craziness. The final …

August 27, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

3 comments so far - add yours!

Gerrit Cole’s time of year

SOUTH HILLS – Gerrit Cole likes saving his best for last, apparently. At least the last quarter of the season. Remember last year when Cole was solid but not spectacular the first three months last year after his call-up? Cole …

August 25, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

3 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: 101 ways to make out a lineup card

MILLER PARK – A three-headed platoon monster at first base is a difficult animal to feed. It’s an unusual roster situation to manage, to have three players limited on the defensive spectrum soak up so much flexibility, and, moreover, two …

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