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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 …

April 22, 2015
by Joe Rutter


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I swear, this tirade is true

Bryan Price’s profanity-laced meltdown Monday had sportswriters digging into the archives to recall the best managerial meltdowns. These lists included Lee Elia, Hal McRae, Earl Weaver and Tommy Lasorda (sometimes twice). Sadly, Lloyd McClendon was nowhere to be found. People …

April 20, 2015
by Travis Sawchik


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Monday Mop-Up Duty: Can Jeff Locke trust himself?

PNC PARK – There are two Jeff Lockes. There is Locke The Nibbler. The Locke that regressed badly in 2013, and again in the second half last season. The Locke that lost conviction in pitches he was throwing. The Locke …

April 19, 2015
by Rob Biertempfel


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Better looks at plate make a difference

My game story about last night’s 6-2 win against the Brewers focused on Starling Marte‘s big bat and Jeff Locke’s finesse. During his media confab this morning, manager Clint Hurdle talked about another factor that’s been in play the past couple …

 
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