Cutch: “I’m bringin the ‘Z’ back…”


The infamous Zoltan hand signal is apparently returning to action. That is, if the Pirates can actually produce some form of clutch hit in the near future.

Some good tweets in response to the “news”…


Personally, we think the Zoltan should have been kept in 2012. It’s not like the team’s success was sustained anyway, and those who say it helped the Pirates win games are plain wrong. This article, titled “Pirates riding the Power of ‘Z’ to first place” from July 13th, 2012 clearly states:

[quote_center]Forget about Andrew McCutchen, James McDonald or A.J. Burnett. The secret behind the Pirates’ rise to first place in the Central Division is all about the “Z.”[/quote_center]

Good hitting and good pitching wins baseball games, not a hand signal. But as fans of a franchise that hasn’t won in 20 years, we probably aren’t expected to know that.

But, hey, if it sells some t-shirts and helps the fans have fun, go for it.

Pirates Playback 3/11/13

The tenth and final edition of Pirates Playback will air on ROOT Sports at 7:00 pm. They will replay it on Friday night at 7:00.

The featured game is from August 28th, when the Bucs stayed in the wild card race with a convincing 9-0 win over St. Louis. Pedro Alvarez hit two monstrous home runs that travelled a combined 891 feet, and James McDonald turned in seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball. From our recap:

[quote_center]”A win wasn’t absolutely needed tonight, but a loss would have been pretty devastating. Glad to see the Bucs stepped up, and played like they’re fighting for a playoff-birth. Let’s keep it up.”[/quote_center]

Only three more weeks until Opening Day…

Go Bucs

Pirates Playback 2/18/13

Another edition of Pirates Playback will be aired tonight at 7:00 on ROOT Sports. It’ll be shown again at 7:00 pm on Thursday.

The Pirates-Reds match-up from June 7th will be the featured game. It was easily one of the best Bucco games of the year, as Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry hit back-to-back doubles off Aroldis Chapman in the 10th inning to give the Bucs a 5-4 lead. It was the first earned run Chapman had allowed all season; we named it the sixth most memorable Pirates moment of 2012. From our recap:

[quote_center]”He promptly took Chapman’s 98 MPH fastball into the right-center gap for another double, driving in Barmes. The Pirates took a 5-4 lead, and Chapman’s ERA shot up to a whopping .30… The Pirates are just 2 games out of first place now, and the Royals are scuffling. Should be a fun weekend.”[/quote_center]

What a great time to be a Bucco fan.

42 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

2012 Season Recap Video

Yet another masterpiece produced by the Pirates Scoreboard YouTube account. The video commemorates some of the top moments of 2012, including walk-off hits, the All-Star Game, and Pirates Charities work. Have a look:

134 days until Opening Day…

2012 in Review: Bullpen

Closer Joel Hanrahan once again anchored the Bucco bullpen.

A consistent Bullpen was one of the strengths of the ballclub and paved the way to many victories.

The top five relievers in 2012:

Wins Losses ERA IP
Joel Hanrahan 5 2 2.72 59.2
Jared Hughes 2 2 2.85 75.2
Chris Resop 1 4 3.91 73.2
Jason Grilli 1 6 2.91 58.2
Tony Watson 5 2 3.38 53.1

Other pitchers to make relief appearances: Brad Lincoln, Juan Cruz, Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Chad Qualls, Doug Slaten, Evan Meek, Chris Leroux, Hisanori Takahashi, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson, Rick van den Hurk, Daniel McCutchen.

For much of the year, the game was just about locked up anytime the bullpen took over.  Hammer and Grilli were lights-out, while Watson and Hughes really pitched well for how inexperienced they were.  Resop, although he got plenty of hate, really fit in well to the middle inning/multiple inning roles.  Other than that, the rest of the bullpen was pieced together for most of the year.  A handful of AAAA guys all had their moments, but ultimately couldn’t find a place in the ‘pen.  Some of this, however, could have been due to the mismanagement of the bullpen almost all year.  Looking forward to 2013, Hanrahan (possible trade) and Grilli (free agent) very well could leave, which would deplete the bullpen.  There is a solid group of young guys, with a few more in AAA hopefully on the way, but the bullpen is a bit of a question mark for next season.  Luckily for the Pirates, finding a group of relievers that make up a successful ‘pen isn’t too difficult, assuming your manager knows how to use them effectively.