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May 25, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up: Top shelf, top of rotation?

SOUTH HILLS – As disappointing as many aspects of the Pirates’ season have been up to the season’s quarter mark, the weekend’s sweep of the Mets – an important weekend considering the Mets are an emerging team like the Cubs …

May 21, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Blame game at the quarter mark (and a podcast)

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates have to hope this is the low point in their season. Before Wednesday’s game, Starling Marte – the club’s best position player to date- was getting an earful from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle in a …

May 18, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up: Arms (and Bats) Race

CHICAGO –  Three-and-a-half hours before first pitch Sunday, Kris Bryant tried to make his way in the players/media gate off Waveland Avenue. He was in street clothes and carried a backpack and a single bat in his right hand. Maybe …

May 11, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: The Kang and Harrison parallel

PHILADELPHIA – As noted in Sunday’s Starting 9 column, there is a curious parallel between Josh Harrison and Jung Ho Kang. After playing sparingly last April, it was nearly at this time a year ago – on May 3, 4, 5 …

May 4, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Time to find out what Kang can do?

SOUTH HILLS – Interesting to see Josh Harrison start at second base Sunday, which of course marked the third straight, walk-off loss to the rival Cardinals for the Pirates. For starters, after playing five different positions in each of his …

May 1, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Pirates now hold ace card in NL Central?

SOUTH HILLS – It was a turbulent first month of the season for the Pirates. The Pirates’ lineup inexplicably went from being the National League’s most patience last season, to the league’s least discerning in April. Andrew McCutchen hardly looked …

April 27, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: A changing of the guard in the Central?

PNC PARK – I began writing this post over the weekend before the injury to St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (his Achilles injury is an unfortunate potential season-ender). The lede item of this blog entry was inspired by this question: over the next …

April 24, 2015
by Travis Sawchik

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How long should managers ‘believe’?

PNC PARK – Dancing with Mark Melancon has been quite the exercise in anxiety early this season. Melancon recorded his third save with a clean ninth inning Thursday but his velocity was down again. His cutter ranged from 90 to …

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