Pirates Update – Week of September 12th
It's been another incredible season of baseball in Pittsburgh, with
the Pirates really pulling together in some crucial spots and moving closer and closer to the playoffs for the second season
in a row. Still in play for the division title in the N.L. Central and right with the Giants for the two wildcard spots coming
down the home stretch, the Pirates are playing some of the best baseball they've played all season long. That has also translated
into some incredible wins as well, including a riveting matchup in Philly recently in which Andrew McCutchen hit his first
career inside-the-park homer, anchoring the Pirates' effort as they walked away with a 6-3 win against the Phillies.
that homer seems to be indicative of the entire way that the Pirates have been able to beat teams this season. With an exciting
combination of speed and power, the Pirates have been neck-and-neck with the Washington Nationals as the highest scoring offense
in the National League, showing that they can do a lot more than just swing for the fences. McCutchen, obviously, has been
simply astounding in the heart of the order, keeping his batting average well over.300, his on-base percentage over.400 while
leading the team in both homers and RBIs. Not bad for a guy who drew whispers of getting off to a so-so start after being
named MVP last year.
But all McCutchen has done is be the most consistently dominant hitter in the National League once
again this season. McCutchen has hit.300 or higher and gotten on base at a.400 clip or better every single month except for
July, in which he hit.280 with a.360 on-base percentage and 16 RBIs. Put it all together and McCutchen is having simply another
outstanding season as he leads the Pirates right back into the heart of the playoff chase in the National League.
Update – Week of September 5th
With the Pirates looking for some big wins as they claw their way closer to a
playoff spot, the season continues to just get more and more interesting coming down the home stretch, as the Pirates are
right in the thick of the wide open N.L. playoff chase and fans know that anything can happen from here. Overcoming the Brewers,
Braves or Cardinals isn't going to be easy, but the Pirates have shown that they're not going to back down from a challenge
and continue to be one of the most consistent teams in the National League, which fans are hoping translates into another
trip to the postseason.
The Pirates will also have a major test as they look to rebound from a minor losing streak,
as the red-hot Cardinals momentarily took charge of the division with a series sweep over the Pirates. Prior to the series,
however, the Pirates had beaten Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati all in succession, point out that the Pirates have still
been playing great overall baseball within the division. One of the big contributors, of course, has been Edison Volquez,
as he won all three of decisions in August while putting together an ERA of 2.11 for the month. Volquez also had a great outing
in his first action in September, pitching 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball in St. Louis against the Cardinals, though he ultimately
got a no-decision.
With Volquez continuing to turn some heads and the Pirates' offense still showing some big-time outbursts,
the Pirates remain a very dangerous team that is hungry to get back into the driver's seat for the N.L. playoff chase. Thanks
to an intriguing schedule with big games both in and out of the division in September, the Pirates are sure to be in the middle
of some major drama from now until the end of the season, making it a great part of the year to be a Pirates fan.
Update – Week of August 29th
With the Pirates' season in need of a jolt following a recent losing streak against
the Tigers, Nationals and Braves, the Pirates quickly turned it around and picked up some momentum with some much-needed wins
against the Brewers and Cardinals. With the Brewers and Cardinals also in the mix for the same playoff spot that the Pirates
are seeking, the Pirates took two of three from the Brewers in Milwaukee before coming home and taking two out of three from
the Cardinals as well. Thanks to back-to-back series wins against division rivals, the Pirates once again find themselves
right back in the thick of the playoff chase, which means that anything can happen from here.
During the recent winning
stretch, the Pirates had one of the more impressive offensive outpourings in Milwaukee, as they exploded for seven earned
runs against Wily Peralta, who fell to 15-8 with the shellacking. Before that, the Pirates also got to Brewers' ace Yovani
Gollardo, knocking him around and dishing his seventh loss of the season. The Pirates also beat Adam Wainwright as well, something
that few teams have been able to do so far this season.
Also putting together a huge win for the Pirates was the combination
of Gerrit Cole and Tony Watson, as the starter/reliever combo pitched eight strong innings against the Cardinals to help turn
the series around. With the Pirates showing they're definitely not intimidated by the other strong teams in their division,
fans know that they are in a great position to make a major push towards the postseason as they look to pile up the wins coming
down the home stretch. The Pirates will also stay in the division for some huge matchups in the next couple of weeks, as they
take on the Reds at home before heading to St. Louis with an enormous series with the Cardinals and then heading to Chicago
for three with the Cubbies. Another series that fans will have circled on their calendar will be a home series against the
Brewers starting on September 19th, as it's sure to be packed with playoff implications one way or another.
Update – Week of August 22nd
Though some teams might look at a losing streak as a bad thing, the Pirates and
their fans view them as more of an opportunity to show what they're made of. The beauty of baseball is that it doesn't always
bounce your way, but the important thing is how you turn around a losing streak and get headed back in the right direction.
After losing games against the Tigers, Nationals and Braves, the Pirates finally snapped the streak recently during a clutch
home win against the Braves, with Gerrit Cole delivering a clutch start that helped to get the Pirates to a 3-2 victory to
close out the series against the Braves on a high note.
And for the talented 23-year-old second year starter, the season
continues to be a special one. Cole has had a couple of bumps along the way, typical of any pitcher, but he has also had some
very strong starts and is heating up at the exactly right moment. Cole has actually lost just one decision since mid-May and
has pushed his record all the way to 7-4, giving the Pirates a major spark in their rotation and providing some major upside
as they look to improve their playoff chances.
The Pirates will also be turning to Cole and the rest of the rotation
to help give them a significant boost in a crucial part of their schedule. With 12 straight games against divisional foes,
including two different series against the Cardinals, the Pirates have all of the pieces in front of them and will be looking
to bring home some huge wins that will shoot them up the standings in the coming weeks. Though it's not going to be easy in
one of the toughest divisions in all of Major League Baseball, the Pirates definitely won't be going away anytime soon.
Pirates Update – Week of August 15th
The Pittsburgh Pirates might be the most consistent team in the league,
as their mojo has been steadily rising all season long and it comes to the surprise of no one around Pittsburgh that they're
at the top of the wildcard playoff hunt with only a month and a half left in the season. This is a team that still has a shot
at the division as well, making for an unbelievable home stretch of the season as the Pirates look to continue their recent
dominance. Even though they split with the Tigers and lost a series to the Padres, the Pirates are still looking up and have
more than enough confidence to get them back to the playoffs.
One of the reasons they have been so consistent is because
they get on base better than any other team in the league. The key to scoring runs is to first get on base, and Andrew McCutchen
has been leading the way with yet another unbelievable season that starts with his patience at the plate. With the Pirates
getting on base at an unbelievable clip, the Pirates have been able to put together some very consistent offensive numbers,
which have combined with some timely starting pitching to make them a serious threat in the National League.
on the road, the Pirates will now look to get back to their winning ways as they head to Washington to play the N.L. East-leading
Nationals. Then it will be home to play the Atlanta Braves in another crucial battle with an N.L. East foe, though that just
sets up what could end up being the biggest stretch of the Pirates' season. After playing the Brewers over three games, a
huge home stand against the Cardinals will be another enormous series that could even end up being the difference in the hunt
for October. But with the Pirates playing some very good overall baseball and looking to continue churning forward, the rest
of the 2014 season is filled with possibilities that have fans glued to the action.
Pirates Update – Week
of August 8th
The wins simply keep on coming for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are now all the way back in the playoff
hunt and are starting to make some serious noise in the process. After winning a couple of games in Arizona and taking two
out of three from the Marlins, a team that has a very nice young nucleus of talent, the Pirates are off to the races, putting
them right there with the Cardinals, the Brewers and the Giants for the last spots in the playoff picture. This is one of
the hottest teams in the league since the early part of the season, and they're starting to look like a real contender, not
just for the postseason but potentially for a title.
Right in the middle of the action, as per usual, has been Andrew
McCutchen, who continues to be a huge catalyst and the player who has been driving the Pirates forward for much of the season.
Recently, it was McCutchen who sparked a four-run eighth inning against the Diamondbacks to deliver a big win, then he was
right back with a clutch hit the following day to deliver a come-from-behind victory that had the Diamondbacks scratching
Also swinging a very hot stick lately has been Russell Martin, who had a productive July and has turned
it up to another level so far in August. Not only has Martin been producing in a big way but he's had a bevy of clutch hits
exactly when the Pirates have needed them, showing that the Pirates have more clutch players than just McCutchen. With a balanced
lineup that can cause some serious damage all the way through, the Pirates are rounding into form at exactly the right moment
and are starting to eye the division as the Brewers have shown some signs of fading. Though there is still plenty of baseball
left to be played, Pirates' fans continue to be very confident in their team for a reason.
Pirates Update –
Week of August 1
The Pittsburgh Pirates are right back to being one of the most feared teams in the National League,
as all they seem to do is beat the other top teams in the league. Though almost no one has been able to beat the Dodgers,
the Pirates took two out three from them recently and they followed it up by winning two more games against the Giants, only
this time in San Fran. The Pirates also have had a series sweep in against the Rockies, and that's just the success they've
had in the second half. Of course, Pittsburgh fans likely saw this coming, as they were inching closer and closer to.500 for
a while before finally pulling it all together and making their move.
Now the Pirates are right back into the thick
of the action in the N.L. Central, which looks like a division that is going to be a fight all the way to the finish. With
the Cardinals also playing good baseball and the Brewers staying just ahead of both of them, for now, the N.L. Central is
looking like it very well could produce three total playoff teams this season, making for an exhilarating second half to the
season as the three-way race continues to heat up.
The Pirates also have some great opportunities coming up to keep
the momentum going. After a four-game set in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, it will be an exciting home series against
the Marlins next followed by home games against both the Padres and the Tigers. As the Pirates look to continue to ride MVP
candidate Andrew McCutchen back towards the playoffs, the Pirates have shown that they can win in all kinds of different ways,
and they're really starting to come together has fans truly believing in their chances this season. It won't be easy with
the level of competition in the division, but this is a team that clearly isn't backing down from a challenge any time soon.
Pirates Update – Week of July 25
After sweeping the Rockies and winning two out of three against the Los
Angeles Dodgers, the Pirates are now right in the heart of the playoff race in the National League, putting them back within
striking distance of both the Cardinals and the Brewers in their bid to win the N.L. Central. The Pirates got off to a bit
of a slow start but have steadily been building momentum since the early portion of the season, giving them a great chance
to head right back to the playoffs. Though it's definitely not going to be easy in a wide open division, the Pirates seem
to clicking at exactly the right time and they look like they'll be a major factor in the National League from here on out.
the Dodgers found that out the hard way in a recent three-game set in Pittsburgh. Following the series sweep of the Rockies,
the Dodgers broke the Pirates' winning streak in the opening game of a three-game set, though the Pirates came storming back
with a 12-7 blowout the following day. Even without Andrew McCutchen tallying a hit, the Pirates hopped all over Dodgers'
pitching, with five different batters getting at least two hits and Ike Davis, Neil Walker and Gregory Polanco all going yard.
following game, the Pirates showed their overall balance, as it was Francisco Liriano who shut down the Dodgers' lineup over
seven innings, helping to hand-deliver a clutch 6-1 win to close out the series. After beating two strong offensive teams
to start the second half of the season, the Pirates look like they're off and running as they hope to swing their way all
the way to the top of the A.L. Central. But nobody said it was going to be easy, as the Pirates have a major road test that
will take them to Colorado, San Francisco and then Arizona in a crucial 10-game road trip before coming home to take on the
Marlins on Aug. 5.
Pirates Update – Week of July 18
The tough spots for the Pirates in 2014 suddenly
seem like quite a while ago, as the Pirates have been finding ways to win with much more regularity over the last couple of
months, putting them right in the thick of the playoff hunt in the National League – again. Even though they had some
tough losses in Cincinnati and St. Louis just before the break, the Pirates finished the first half of the season three games
above.500, which is a level that they definitely can build upon as they look to get back into the postseason.
it's been Andrew McCutchen who is putting together another incredible season and acting as the Pirates' main catalyst. McCutchen
started somewhat slow this season – for him anyway – but he has been on an absolute terror in recent weeks and
months, pushing his batting average near the league leaders and landing just behind Troy Tulowitzki in terms of on-base percentage
for the season. With those type of numbers, in addition to 15 stolen bases so far, McCutchen ended up being the perfect choice
to lead-off for the N.L. in the All-Star Game, which he did very well by tallying the only hit against Mariners' ace Felix
Hernandez while beating out a throw from Derek Jeter.
With McCutchen right back in the hunt for the MVP, the Pirates
head into the second half with lots of confidence as they look to continue to do major damage in the N.L. Central. It will
all start with a nice home stand against the Colorado Rockies and then the Los Angeles Dodgers, bringing the Pirates up against
two potent N.L. West teams in the process. Then it's back on the road to take on the Giants and the Diamondbacks away from
home before coming back to PNC Park in early August to take on the talented young Miami Marlins.
– Week of July 11
One of the keys to the success of the Pirates in recent years and in 2014 as well has been
getting on base, as the Pirates tend to do it a lot. More than any other team in the league, in fact. Though the Pirates are
known for having explosive young talent, they're also an extremely disciplined team at the plate, leading them to hover near
the very top of the league in on-base percentage throughout the season. Andrew McCutchen is near the of the National League
in the category, in addition to leading the Pirates in just about every stat offensively, and the Pirates have also had many
key contributions as well.
And that has translated into plenty of wins in recent weeks, putting them right smack in
the middle of the hunt for the playoffs. Though they did finally lose a four-game set on the road to the always tough St.
Louis Cardinals, they won their previous five series in a row and are starting to remind baseball fans all over the country
that the cream eventually does rise to the top.
But it definitely hasn't only been the hitting and plate discipline
that has brought the Pirates' season around, as their pitching staff has shown some stretches of dominance. During a recent
three-game sweep of the Phillies in Pittsburgh, the Pirates allowed just two runs in each game, and the hitters had no problem
taking it from there. In the process, Gerrit Cole and Edinson Volquez both picked up their seventh win of the season with
very strong outings, though Cole dig tweak a small muscle that will cause him to miss a short amount of time. The Pirates
still have plenty of work ahead of them this season, but they'll also be looking to bring home some wins against Cincinnati
so they can build a little momentum heading into the official midway point of the regular season.
– Week of July 4
It's hard to imagine that anyone around Pittsburgh is surprised to see the Pirates starting
to really come on strong, as they showed last year that they have a complete roster loaded with stars, making it really only
a matter of time before they start making their move up the divisional standings in the N.L. Central. After losing a very
tough series to the Reds, the Pirates have been very tough to beat, winning series against the Cubs, the Rays, the Mets and
the D-Backs in order. With that little bit of momentum, the Pirates are starting to edge further and further away from the.500
mark, placing them right in the heart of the playoff chase in the National League.
Obviously a major factor has been
Andrew McCutchen, who has increased his batting average each month this season and was truly on fire on June, smashing eight
homers and driving in 25 runs to help boost the Pirates up the standings. Starling Marte has also been a firecrackers on the
base paths as well and both Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez have provided some big hits throughout the season, showing that
this is an offense capable of toppling any pitching staff when they start playing Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. Pitching wise,
the Pirates have also gotten quite a boost as well, with quality starts coming from all over the rotation as the Pirates continue
to play very consistent baseball.
And they'll need that consistency to continue as the Pirates look to wrap up the early
potion of their schedule on a high note and keep up the momentum heading into the All-Star break. After taking on the Phillies
at home, the Pirates will have a great opportunity on the road against both the Cardinals and Reds, two other teams right
in the heart of the race in the N.L. Central.
Pirates Update – Week of June 27
Though the N.L. Central
was expected to be a tough one from the very beginning, some early inconsistency by a few different teams made it a little
more unpredictable, though now the division is starting to take shape in a way that many anticipated. And one of the centerpieces
of that is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have shrugged off a rollercoaster start to the season and have been settling in by
playing very good baseball. The Pirates have been slowly and steadily moving up the win column, settling in right behind the
Reds and the Cardinals as everyone continues to chase the Brewers.
A big part of the reason why the Pirates find themselves
where they do is because of a very good June, as the Pirates won six different series throughout the month and played some
of their best baseball yet this season. One of their most impressive stretches even happened during a four-game winning streak
on the road, beating both the Cubs in Chicago and the Rays in Tampa. In fact, the Pirates have won their last five series
on the road, which is the sign of a maturing team that definitely is far from rattled when they're not in their home ballpark.
the Pirates picking up a little momentum, the rest of the league is starting to take notice as well. In All-Star voting, reigning
MVP Andrew McCutchen is again one of the most popular players on the ballot, right up there in outfield voting with Dodgers'
young superstar Yasiel Puig and the Brewers' Carlos Gomez. Neil Walker is also getting some major attention at second base
as well thanks to a stellar first half to the season, helping give the Pirates a major one-two punch that has made them a
formidable threat in the N.L. Central. With the Pirates looking to get to the midway point on a high note, Pirates' fans are
anticipating watching their team continue to rise up the standings the rest of the season.
Pirates Update –
Week of June 20
With the Pirates continuing to build momentum and move higher in the N.L. Central, fans are starting
to once again see a team that has all the potential in the world. After some struggles early on, the Pirates have found a
level of consistency and have marched closer to the.500 mark, putting them back within striking distance of the playoffs as
they look to make their move heading towards the halfway point of the season. One of the best games recently also showed exactly
why they're so dangerous, as starter Edinson Volquez out-dueled Cubs' ace Jeff Samardzija to deliver a 4-0 win over division
During the game, the Pirates also got yet another lift from Andrew McCutchen, who is playing well enough
to put him right back in the discussion of league MVP. McCutchen is hitting close to.400 in June and it's also been easily
his most productive month as well, showing once again that he's one of the very best players in the entire league in the process.
With McCutchen back among the league leaders in batting average an on-base percentage, he's been the catalyst that the Pirates
need him to be as look to push their way over.500 this season.
Also starting to come on in a big way has been Charlie
Morton, who is shrugging off a very rough start to the season and has been a major factor in the rotation in recent weeks.
On June 14, Morton won his third consecutive start while lowering his ERA to 3.09, which is stops among the starters for Pittsburgh
so far this season. With guys like Morton doing his part and McCutchen leading the way offensively, the Pirates are focused
on taking down the rest of their N.L. Central opponents and delivering a few winning streaks to set them up for the second
half of the season.
Pirates Update – Week of June 13
Following a fairly tough start to the season,
nobody around Steel City is surprised to see that the Pirates are creeping up the standings in the N.L. Central and starting
to show some major signs of life – all with plenty of baseball left in 2014 and a roster now exploding with young talent.
Of course, much of that rides on the arrival of Gregory Polanco, a smooth-hitting outfielder who comes up to the big club
with anticipation of being a mainstay in the Pirates lineup for quite a while. With Polanco inserted right in the heart of
the order and McCutchen starting to heat up (or play on par with his usual MVP-caliber abilities), the Pirates are optimistic
they can turn a few close games into wins and continue to march up the N.L. Central standings.
And fans got a great
idea of what the Pirates are capable of during a recent blowout win against the Brewers, as the Pirates blew out the Brewers
at home 15-5, with McCutchen homering and doubling to get the offense starting and Russell Martin and plenty of others adding
to the offensive display. Even more impressive was the fact that they were going up against Kyle Lohse, who entered the game
7-1 on the season and had been one of the most dominant pitchers in the National League so far this season.
they're right back in the middle of the N.L. Central, the Pirates will also look to keep the upswing happening as they settle
in for a crucial portion of their schedule. After playing the Marlins in Miami, the Pirates will come home for a highly anticipated
series against the Reds and then they'll the road to play the Cubs, giving them plenty of opportunities to continue making
a push in the division. With Polanco giving some added home for the present and future and the well-balanced Pirates coming
together, the rest of the National League definitely knows what the Pirates can do from game to game.
Update – Week of June 6
The Pirates are starting to finally show their potential, which is something they pointed
out to a couple of National League opponents recently as the Pirates brought home a handful of wins during a tough road stretch.
Winning five out of six against the Dodgers and the Padres away from home was a great way to start making their move up the
N.L. Central standings, though now they'll be looking to keep the momentum going as they edge closer to St. Louis and Milwaukee.
To no one's surprise, it's been Andrew McCutchen continuing to lead the way, as the reigning N.L. MVP is once again being
among the most productive players in the league and continues to be a dominant force in the middle of the Pirates' lineup.
of the games that really got Pirates' fans talking around town was a recent matchup in L.A. against the Dodgers, as Francisco
Liriano out-pitched Josh Beckett on the way to beating the Dodgers 2-1. In the contest, the Pirates also pitched 3 1/3 great
innings to help deliver the victory, giving Liriano his first win of the season and giving fans plenty of reasons for optimism.
It also didn't hurt that Ike Davis hit an absolute bomb that turned out to be the difference in the game, as the power-hitting
first baseman belted a 450-foot shot in the fourth inning.
Along the way, Gerrit Cole has been really firing on all
cylinders, as he's won his last three decisions and now boasts a nice record of 6-3 after a June 3 win in San Diego. With
McCutchen, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez all posting some clutch hits and a pitching staff that is starting to really come
around, the Pirates are on the up in the middle of a wide open division that could play out in any number of ways this season.
Pirates Update – Week of May 16
After recently winning four straight games, with two each coming from the
Giants and the Cardinals, the Pirates are making their move up the standings and are back in the middle of the N.L. Central
race. With a balanced team that can do a little bit of everything, the Pirates have the type of talent both in the pitching
staff and in the lineup, making them a dangerous team that looks like it has its best baseball in 2014 still ahead of it.
the Pirates' abilities all came together in a nail-biter recently against the San Francisco Giants, a team that has been storming
up the N.L. West standings. Though almost no one has been able to beat Tim Hudson, Charlie Morton went eight strong innings
and Tony Watson came in to pick up the win by pitching a perfect ninth, dishing Hudson just his second loss of the season.
Watson, in the process, moved to 3-0 on the season showing that he is at his best when the game is still up in the air, though
it helps to have guy like Morton who can get them there. In the end, it was Starling Marte who belted a triple and scored
on a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth, delivering a riveting 2-1 win on the Giants.
The Pirates don't just
have promising pitchers, however, as their lineup continues to round into form as one of the best in the National League.
Andrew McCutchen continues to be an MVP candidate and one of the most productive hitters in the league and the Pirates also
have two excellent hitters in Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez, who rank at the top of the team in RBIs. With a balanced squad
and a schedule loaded with great matchups in the coming weeks, the Pirates are looking to build a bit of momentum as they
head deeper into the 2014 season.
Pirates Update – Week of May 9
Even with some bumps in the road,
the Pirates have still shown some major signs of life as we head deeper into the 2014 season. After a few tough losses to
close out April, the Pirates took home series wins against both the Giants and the Blue Jays recently, getting them back on
track as they look to make their move in the N.L. Central. And the N.L. Central once again looks very wide open, even though
the Brewers did get off to a very hot start that pushed them well into the lead. But with the Brewers starting to finally
come back to Earth and the Pirates picking it up, the race in the N.L. Central could get awfully tight as we move further
into the season.
One of the main reasons for optimism with the Pirates remains Andrew McCutchen, who shrugged off a
lukewarm start to the season and is once again looking like an MVP candidate. Hitting over.320 through his first 34 games
of the season, McCutchen has shown he is an all-around great hitter and he can also get on base with the best players in the
league, leading him to an on-base percentage well over.400 midway through May. With McCutchen dominating in the heart of the
order once again and Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez giving them a well-rounded attack, the Pirates are confident they can continue
to put together big series wins as they look to be a factor in the division.
And that will definitely be tested in a
big way in the coming weeks, as the Pirates will head to both Milwaukee and to New York to take on two division leaders on
the road back-to-back. From there, the Pirates will come home for a stand against the Orioles and Mets before heading back
on the road to take on the Dodgers and the Padres.
Pirates Update – Week of April 25th
have definitely been some bright moments as well, the Pirates have had their hands full in the early going, losing tough series
to both the Brewers and the Reds. But the Pirates also have won two series against the Cubs and were in every game during
a four-game set with the Reds, scoring at nine runs in all of them. It's been a pretty wild ride so far for the Pirates, and
that looks to continue as they look to end the first month of the season on a high note and get right back into the thick
of things in the competitive N.L. Central.
One of the brightest spots in recent weeks has been the coming on of Andrew
McCutchen, who is already considered a major superstar and it was only a matter of time before he got on track. With a batting
average right around.300 and an on-base percentage well above.400, McCutchen is once again setting the table for the Pirates
offense in a big way, and it's only a matter of time before that turns directly into some winning streaks. Also helping has
been both Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez, who are showing flashes of their usual power as the Pirates look to pull it together
in the early going of 2014.
And they'll have plenty of new challenges on the horizon, as they'll head to St. Louis for
a series against the Cardinals and then they'll travel to Baltimore, where they'll take on the Orioles in the first interleague
matchups of the season. From there, they'll have a nice home stand to start the month of May, with highly anticipated matchups
against both the Blue Jays and the San Francisco Giants in the first two weeks of the new month. With the Pirates showing
some signs and looking to just transfer that into some prominent victories, the Pirates have plenty of opportunities upcoming
to make their move in the division.
Pirates Update – Week of April 18th
Even with a bit of a dry
spell, the Pirates are right in the middle of the excitement in the N.L. Central, providing plenty of big-time thrills for
fans in the early going as they look to pull it all together and rise up the divisional standings. Andrew McCutchen shook
off a somewhat slow start (for him) as well as a sore ankle and is already producing in the thick of the Pirates' order. Neil
Walker and Pedro Alvarez have also shown exactly how it's done in terms of power production, making them the bane of National
League pitchers' existence as they continue to establish the Pirates as one of the best power-hitting teams in the league.
the bump, the Pirates have also shown they can dominate as well, with Francisco Liriano striking out more than a batter per
inning and guys like Tony Watson, Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon all doing very well out of the bullpen and helping to shorten
the game for the Pirates in the process. Watson in particular has been a bright spot, locking down three holds in the early
going and striking out batters at a very impressive clip, adding two late-inning wins to boot.
Following some tough
losses on the road against the Brewers and the Reds, the Pirates are looking to get right back into the mix and continue their
early-April success, though it helps that they'll get rematches with the Brewers and Reds at home. From there, the Pirates
will be back on the road to take in a heated divisional rivalry with the Cardinals and then they'll head to Baltimore, where
they'll play their first interleague matchups of the season with the Orioles. Though they've had some ups and downs so far,
a strong lineup, a dominant bullpen and some timely starting pitching has Pirates' fans very optimistic as they look to wrap
up the season's first month on a high note.
Pirates Update – Week of April 11th
The Pirates are
off and running so far in 2014, mostly thanks to a stellar offense led by Pedro Alvarez, who has slugged his way to five homers
and 10 RBIs in his first nine games of the season. Though Andrew McCutchen has gotten off to a little slower start, National
League pitchers are all very well aware that it won't be long until heats up, making the Pirates' strong start that much more
impressive. Other standouts so far this season have been Russell Martin, Travis Snider and more, giving the Pirates the type
of prolific offenses that can go a long way to getting them right back into the playoffs after a great 2013 season.
helping matters greatly has been excellent pitching performances from Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton, who
have shown that the Pirates have a lot more than just bashers at the plate. Cole is flashing his potential in a big way, with
wins at home against the Cardinals and then on the road against the Cubs. It's not only just about the starting pitching,
however, as Tony Watson has had a major impact in the early going coming out of the bullpen, picking up two wins and giving
the Pirates the type of balance that can go a long way in helping their playoff chances.
More than anything, though,
the Pirates are flashing their consistency, a key in taking their team from a team on the rise to a team that is establishing
themselves as one of the finest clubs in the league. The Pirates won each of their first three series, taking two of three
from the Cubs, then the Cardinals and then the Cubs again on the road, reminding the rest of the National League that the
Pirates are for real as they look to build into a contender throughout the early portion of 2014.
With sluggers like Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates have plenty of firepower and dreams
of rising all the way to the top of the N.L. Central, though it's never easy in the same division as the Cardinals, Reds,
Brewers and Cubs. The schedule is also not exactly lacking in highly anticipated matchups, particularly in the early going.
With big early-season divisional rivalry matchups against the Brewers and Reds, the Pirates will have plenty of opportunities
to keep up their momentum in the N.L. Central and remind everyone that they're one of the teams to beat thanks to a balanced
roster and high aspirations. As the Pirates look to round into form and pile up the wins on their schedule, there has never
been a better time to put down the remote and head out to see what all the excitement is about.
The Pirates will have
their work cut out for them when the St. Louis Cardinals come to Pittsburgh this season. The Cardinals were able to win the
National league Central title last year and advanced all the way to the World Series, though they would eventually lose out
on winning the whole thing to the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals again look like a formidable team, so any wins against this
ball club would go a long way for Pirates team that is looking to leapfrog them in the division standings. Every game against
the Cards should be a big one this season, and that's why the fans need to show up in a big way to support their team for
Another team that poses a threat to contend for the National League Central crown is the Cincinnati
Reds. The Reds might have finished third in the divisional race in 2013, but their 90 wins were enough to get them into the
postseason via Wild Card. The Reds have a potent lineup of sluggers that can put up a lot of runs in any given game, and the
Bucs know that their pitching staff has to bring its best when the Reds hit the field at PNC Park. With so many different
possibilities on the schedule this season, fans have plenty of options to see baseball the way it was meant to be seen.
Pittsburgh Pirates Team Info
The Pittsburgh Pirates play in the National League Central division of Major League
Baseball, a division that also features the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. The
Pirates had a resurgent season in 2013, making the playoffs for the first time in more than two decades. The Pirates didn't
win the National League Central crown, but second place was good enough for a Wild Card berth. The Pirates are looking to
play even better in 2014, well enough to win the division title. Thanks to a potent line up and a strong pitching rotation
led by Francisco Liriano, this is a team that definitely isn't going to go quietly this season as they look to once again
make a move up the divisional standings.
The MLB Experience
When it comes to baseball, Major League Baseball
is the best of the best. People love to head out to the stadium for a big game to root for their favorite team. That's not
a surprise, since they're sure to see some of the most impressive baseball players in the world by doing so. Baseball is a
game that has been around a long time, and it's still going strong as a sport that people enjoy seeing live. Catching a game
in person makes you forget about seeing a contest from home. Make sure to get out to the stadium this season to see the Pirates
take on some of the best teams in Major League Baseball in a steady string of unforgettable matchups that will have everyone
talking around town.
Pittsburgh Pirates History
The Pittsburgh Pirates franchise was founded in 1882,
when the team was simply known as Allegheny. They became the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1887 and finally the Pittsburgh Pirates
in 1912. The Pirates have had a lot of successful season over the course of their long history. This franchise has won the
National League Pennant nine times, and captured the World Championship on five occasions, the most recent of which came in
1979. They've also had plenty of great players, such as Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Hank Greenberg and Willie Stargell
just to name the tip of the iceberg, helping to solidify them as a talented franchise that is never lacking in the stars of
both yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Pittsburgh Pirates Trivia
Who was the most recent Pittsburgh Pirates
player to win the Most Valuable Player award?
The answer is current Pirate Andrew McCutchen, who won the award this
last season (2013). Certainly living up to the hype, McCutchen has quickly become one of the most dynamic playmakers in the
league – a player feared in the batter's box and on the base paths.
The Pittsburgh Pirates
have had some great years and some tough ones, but one thing that has remained consistent is the support of the team's adoring
fans. Pirates' fans love their baseball, and they can't get enough of seeing it in person. That's why heading out to a Pirates
game is such a good time, because you'll feel the love of the game in the ballpark. The Pirates have some big games on their
home schedule this season, and the fans will come out in a big way to support their favorite team.
But just don't make
the mistake of thinking that it's only about the home matchups, as every Pirates fan needs to eventually get out and see their
favorite team in foreign territory. Once you watch your Pirates hit the field for a highly anticipated road matchup, you might
even be kicking yourself for not doing it a whole lot sooner, as Pirates fans tend to be very well-traveled and you can count
on seeing plenty of Pirate black and gold throughout the regular season.