Bucco GIFs of the Year: July 2014

Pirate GIFs of the year — July edition.

Ike Davis gets the Gatorade bath after a great walk-off win:

ike davis gatorade bath0001

A.J. Burnett tips his cap to the PNC Park crowd in his return to Pittsburgh:

aj burnett0001

Jordy Mercer goes nuts in the dugout after Andrew McCutchen put the team on his back in Cincinnati:

jordy mercer 0001

– Cutch legs out an infield single in the All-Star Game, beating out a great play by Derek Jeter:

andrew mccutchen all star game

– Down goes Cheese Chester. This injury forced him onto the 15-day DL.

cheese chester injury0001

Josh Harrison‘s (second) epic rundown:

josh harrison rundown

– Cutch videobomb city:

andrew mccutchen videobomb

– Jordy Mercer — unfortunate home run placement:

jordy mercer beer cup0001

Previous editions:

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

Go Bucs

Good Pitching Beats Good Hitting

Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Rotation July 29 2013

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s that solid pitching paves the way to victories.

With a .596 winning percentage, they’ve proven that it doesn’t matter if their offense ranks near the bottom…

Pittsburgh Pirates Offense July 29

… as long as their pitching ranks near the top.

Pittsburgh Pirates Pitching July 29

And ultimately, they’ve shown that good pitching will beat the opponents’ good hitting. Monday night was the latest testament of that.

The St. Louis Cardinals – National League leaders in batting average, OBP, OPS, runs, etc. – were shut down by Francisco Liriano, who’s been an unbelievable success this season.

Francisco Liriano Cy Young Candidate

A Pittsburgh Pirate… Cy Young candidate?

But it’s not just Liriano doing the damage. Check out the earned run averages of the starting five:

Jeff Locke: 2.15
Liriano: 2.16
A.J. Burnett: 2.96
Gerrit Cole: 3.56
Charlie Morton: 3.59

Those five – and whoever else can help out (Wandy Rodriguez? Trade deadline pickup? AAA depth?) – will need keep it going for the rest of the year, obviously. The month of August will feature five of the National League’s top six offenses (by batting average) – Cardinals, Rockies, D-backs, Giants, Brewers.

If they just keep doing what they’ve been doing, there will be a whole lot of this:

Pirate Parrot Raise the Jolly Roger

Go Bucs

Saturday Stat Sheet 7/20/13

Some great stats, all via Tom Singer:

Eleven of the Pirates’ last 13 home runs have come with no men on base.

Friday’s game was the first Pirates-Reds contest this year without a hit batter.

The RISP struggles continue. With runners in scoring position last night, the Reds were 3-for-7, the Cardinals were 6-for-12, and the Pirates were 0-for-6.

– Francisco Liriano became the first Pirates’ starter since A.J. Burnett on June 3rd to allow 5+ in an outing.

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Pirates Batting Stats (Table of stats updates daily):

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Pirates Pitching Stats (Table of stats updates daily):

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Tigers

preview DET

Pittsburgh Pirates (32-20) vs. Detroit Tigers (29-21)

May 29, 2013 – 7:05 pm
May 30, 2013 – 7:05 pm

PNC Park – Pittsburgh, PA

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Resources: Pirates Depth Chart | Bullpen Workload | Statistics

After splitting the two-game set in Detroit, the Pirates and Tigers shift the series to PNC Park to complete “rivalry week.” A couple of good pitching matchups await, which should make for two more solid contests.

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Probable Starters:

Game 1 – A.J. Burnett (3-5, 2.57) vs. Anibal Sanchez (5-4, 2.38)

Game 2 – Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.45) vs. Doug Fister (5-2, 3.65)

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Batting Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Tigers

AVG

Starling Marte (.297)

Miguel Cabrera (.373)

HR

Pedro Alvarez (10)

Cabrera (14)

RBI

Alvarez, McCutchen (27)

Cabrera (57)

SB

Andrew McCutchen (14)

Dirks, Jackson (5)

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Pitching Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Tigers

Wins

Wandy Rodriguez (6)

Max Scherzer (7)

SO

A.J. Burnett (85)

Justin Verlander (82)

ERA

Jeff Locke (2.45)

Anibal Sanchez (2.38)

Saves

Jason Grilli (21)

Jose Valverde (6)

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Opponent Blogs: Bless You Boys, Motor City Bengals, Walkoff Woodward

Neil Walker

Player to Watch: Neil Walker, who won Tuesday night’s contest with a solo home run in the 11th inning. On the five-game roadtrip, the Pittsburgh Kid hit .429 (9-for-21) with five extra-base hits and four runs batted in. Walker’s been much better from the left-side of the plate this season (.286 avg, .852 OPS vs. .167 avg, .385 OPS) so hopefully he can stay hot against two right-handed pitchers, Sanchez and Fister.

Go Bucs

Game #33: Mariners 2, Pirates 1

Over the course of a 162-game season, every team is guaranteed a handful of games in which they face one of the top pitchers in the game and they’re usually automatic losses.  To A.J. Burnett‘s credit, he out-pitched Felix Hernandez, but made one mistake too many and couldn’t make the King STFD.

The Bucs didn’t waste any time getting to Hernandez in the first.  Starling Marte doubled on the second pitch that he saw, and two batters later, Cutch singled up the middle to bring him home.

A.J. was perfect through three innings against the weak Seattle lineup, which featured former Bucco-great Jason Bay.  Burnett got ahead of the leadoff man in the fourth 1-2, but threw three straight balls and allowed his first baserunner of the game.  J-Bat then drew a walk, but A.J. got a strikeout to calm things down.  After a groundout moved both runners up a base, Burnett threw his second wild pitch of the inning and allowed the tying-run to score.

The Mariners’ first hit came with one out in the fifth when Endy Chavez reached on a cheap infield single, and then advanced to second base on a throwing error.  After five innings, A.J. had allowed just one hit and struck out eight batters.  In the bottom of the inning, Jordy Mercer made up for his error with a leadoff double, which was followed by one of the most atrocious series of baseball plays you’ll ever see.  Clint Barmes, which the pitcher on deck, came to the plate intending to bunt.  Whether this call came from the dugout or Barmes decided to do it himself doesn’t matter, it’s a stupid play.  He took the first two pitches before fouling off a bunt attempt, falling behind 1-2.  He eventually worked the count back full and flew out to RF, allowing Mercer to tag up and get to third.  The result was essentially a sacrifice bunt, but wasn’t it worth it to at least let Clint swing the bat and MAYBE come up with a knock that scored a run?  A.J. then came up and HE tried to bunt, but failed to do so and struck out attempting.  Marte then struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt to end the inning and waste the leadoff double.  So frustrating.

Burnett’s only real mistake was trying to sneak a first-pitch fastball in against Jesus Montero in the seventh, which ended up in the right-center stands for a go-ahead home run that made it 2-1.  On any other day, seven innings with nine strikeouts and two runs on two hits would be almost a guaranteed win for Burnett, but Felix lasted eight innings and allowed just the one run to best A.J.  The Pirates had two chances late in the game to make a comeback, beginning with Marte’s two-out single in the eighth.  Everyone had to know that he was going to run, it was just a matter of when.  On the second pitch to Travis Snider, Marte broke for second, but stumbled and got hung up between bases.  He then decided to do a complete 180 and go back to first, before eventually getting in a rundown and getting tagged out.  Jeff Sullivan, Mariners-fanatic and writer, offered up this explanation of the pickoff/caught-stealing.   In the ninth against Tom Wilhelmsen, Garrett Jones singled with two outs, but Michael McKenry skied a high flyball to LF that ended the game and gave the Mariners the win to split the series.

Off to NYC for four games against the Metropolitans.

Pirates (18-15) – Mariners (16-19)

Win: Hernandez (5-2)
Loss: Burnett (3-3)
Save: Wilhelmsen (9)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs