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September 25, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Final answers revealed in Joe-Ja

ATLANTA – The Pirates entered Atlanta with only three areas of their roster carrying uncertainty as far as playing time and roster construction in October is concerned. Those areas? Right field, the bullpen bridge, and the No. 4 starter spot. …

September 24, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Same place, another soaked carpet, different mood

ATLANTA – As the clubhouse opened after last night’s win, the Pirates celebrated wildly as all postseason clinching teams do, exhausting 20 cases of champagne (six bottles in each case – roughly two for every member of the traveling party) …

September 22, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: a mandate for Martin?

SOUTH HILLS – Baseball has been revived in Pittsburgh. They, the front office, built it and you, the fans, showed up. The Pirates set a single-season attendance record Sunday: 2,442,564. That’s more than the total metro population. The city proved …

September 19, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Eight-two all over again … only a lot different

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates have reached 82 wins in a season twice since 1992, and those campaigns have, of course, come in back to back years (Or since I arrived on the shores of the Allegheny. Yes, I’ll take …

September 17, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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The Morton dilemma and a future ace and first baseman?

PNC PARK – Charlie Morton is making things interesting. Morton has said he’s not going to be 100 percent if he pitches through his sports hernia. It’s going to at least need offseason rest and, perhaps, surgery. But he said …

September 16, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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When the hitting coach matters

LEBO – We don’t see the hitting coach. He doesn’t make mound visits. He doesn’t hold press conference. While the bullpens are visible to the public before games, where pitching coaches are often watching over pitcher’s shoulders, batting cages are …

September 15, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Let’s get ahead of ourselves

LEBO – The Pirates have a 67.7 percent of making the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus. There’s a better than even chance the Pirates will be playing meaningful baseball in October whether it’s in a wild card game or as division champs. …

September 12, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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Frankkkkkkkkkkkkie is back and his slider never left

SOMEWHERE OFF THE PA TURNPIKE – For the Pirates, for any team, to advance into October and then be competitive in the postseason they require top-of-the-rotation pitchers to pitch like elite arms. Well, Francisco Liriano is getting back to being …

September 11, 2014
by Travis Sawchik

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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 …

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