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Bucs overcome sloppy play in 5-3 win

Published on July 4, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Pirates 5, Astros 3

WP: Paul Maholm (5-9)
LP: Brett Myers (3-8)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (25)

This one got really ugly early on as the Pirates made 3 errors in the 3rd inning as they fell down 3-1. However, the Pirates settled down to shut down the ‘Stros from then on and picked up some necessary hits to win the game.

Paul Maholm looked very good aside from the 3rd inning where he gave up 2 unearned runs. He finished with 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K to improve to 5-9 on the year.

Daniel McCutchen, Jose Veras, and Joel Hanrahan would secure the Pirates’ victory. Hanrahan’s 25th save is now tops in the NL.

Alex Presley led the charge on offense with 3 hits and a walk, including an RBI triple in the 6th inning. Chase d’Arnaud, Garrett Jones, Neil Walker, and Lyle Overbay would also each add 2 hits a piece.

Aside from the 3rd inning, this game was exactly what the Pirates should do to a team like the Astros, who are the owners of the worst record in the Majors.

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Game 85: Pittsburgh Pirates vs Houston Astros Live Blog

Published on July 4, 2011 by in Live Blogs

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All-Star Game snub of Andrew McCutchen absurd

Published on July 3, 2011 by in Features

McCutchen ranks 2nd among all NL position players in WAR.

Before we get into this. Glance over this page.

On that page, you see that Andrew McCutchen has the 2nd highest WAR in the National League among all position players, and the best among NL outfielders.

Now, let me list some players and their seasons for you: Joey Votto (2010), Chase Utley (2008, 2009), Albert Pujols (2003, 2005, 2007), Carlos Beltran (2006), Adrian Beltre (2004). You may think that comparing McCutchen’s season to those players’ seasons is a bit ridiculous, but based purely on numbers, that is exactly what I am doing.  Out of those guys, Beltre was the only one who did not make the All-Star team in the season I cited. He would, though, go on to finish 2nd in NL MVP voting.

Now, I know WAR isn’t perfect, no stat is. However, in my opinion, no stat is more telling of a player’s worth compared to another player.

The National League roster has 8 outfielders on it. And Andrew McCutchen isn’t one of them. Sorry, but that is a complete joke. And if that wasn’t enough, being left off the “Final Vote” thing is even more ridiculous.

I understand every team needs one representative, so I have no issue with Justin Upton or Hunter Pence being on the team, even if McCutchen is better than them. I remember PLENTY of Pirates teams in recent history where probably no one deserved to be on the team and I was thankful of that rule.

But Jay Bruce (1.5 WAR), Carlos Beltran (2.7 WAR), Matt Holliday (3.2 WAR) were all selected as reserves over McCutchen and his 4.6 WAR.

McCutchen is on pace to have a 9.1 WAR this season, which historically speaking is an MVP caliber year. In fact, that would be the 8th best season an NL player has had since 2000, and 4th best by someone not named Barry Bonds. Hopefully, if ‘Cutch is able to keep up the pace he currently is on, he won’t be snubbed when it comes to that, either.

You all are witnessing an incredible season right now by Andrew McCutchen. Many Pirates fans are realizing it, but most aren’t. And due to today’s events, people outside Pittsburgh don’t seem to be realizing it either.

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Pirates’ offense erupts in 10-2 win

Published on July 3, 2011 by in Game Recaps

Final: Pirates 10, Nationals 2

WP: Kevin Correia (11-6)
LP: Jason Marquis (7-3)

This one was over pretty early. The Bucs got on the board quickly as an error and 4 singles helped them score 3 runs in the 1st inning. In the 2nd, they piled on another 5 runs, all by singles and doubles.

Washington would get 2 runs in the 2nd inning off starter Kevin Correia, but that would be all they would get as Correia would finish with 6 innings and pick up his 11th win of the season. Danny Moskos added 2 scoreless innings of relief, and Chris Leroux pitched a scoreless 9th inning after being called up to replace Brad Lincoln on the roster earlier today.

Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Lyle Overbay all had 3 hits a piece and Alex Presley and Chase d’Arnaud would add on 2 a piece. The Pirates’ 1-6 hitters combined to go 14 for 30. You will win a lot of games when that happens.

The win gave Pittsburgh the series split against Washington and finished yet another successful road trip with a 4-3 record. They now are 43-41 on the season and will come back to PNC tomorrow to start a 3-game set against the last place Houston Astros, which will be followed by a 3-game set against the 5th place Cubs at home. The Pirates really need to take advantage of these upcoming series’ before the All-Star break and do some damage in the standings.

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Pirates sign OF Elvis Escobar

Published on July 3, 2011 by in Transactions

The Pirates made another splash in the International market today as they signed Venzuelan OF Elvis Escobar for a reported $570,000.

Here’s what Baseball America has to say on Escobar:

Escobar, 16, is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound lefty with advanced baseball instincts and feel for hitting. Escobar comes from one of baseball’s biggest families. He is the son of Jose Escobar, who played 10 games with Cleveland as a middle infielder in 1991. His older brother, Giants lefthander Edwin Escobar, signed with the Rangers for $350,000 in 2008. Kelvim Escobar and Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar are both cousins, as is Mariners short-season Everett righthander Vicente Campos.

Escobar is the 2nd big time signing the Pirates have made in the past 2 days after signing Harold Ramirez yesterday for $1.05 million.

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Joel Hanrahan selected to NL All-Star Team

Published on July 3, 2011 by in Features

The National League and American League announced their All-Star teams today for the mid-summer classic next week. Closer Joel Hanrahan will represent the Pirates.

There is no doubt that Hanrahan deserves the honor as he is tied for first in the league in saves (24) and has the longest streak without blowing a save in all of baseball. His 1.2 WAR is tied for 3rd among NL relievers, as well.

Also, starting pitcher Kevin Correia has been named as an alternate and will join the team if one of the starting pitchers named to the team pitches next Sunday and would be unavailable to pitch in the game.

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