Pirates beat the Mariners and move on to Milwaukee

I'm writing this from my phone so this will be short, without frills. The Pirates got a much needed win against the Mariners yesterday. The defense was spectacular. If you didn't watch the game, do yourself a favor and watch all the defensive highlights. While you're at it, watch the offensive highlights too. Cutch got it going with a good game, Kang was better than he's been, and the Pirates erupted for ten runs.

Gerrit Cole threw the first complete game of his career, which is pretty amazing and indicative of the era we watch baseball in. He was greatly efficient, too, doing it with fewer than 100 pitches and only giving up three hits (thanks in part to the defense behind him).

It's on to Milwaukee this weekend to get some wins against the bad Brewers. Ideally they would trade Lucroy before the weekend but that seems unlikely at this point. Go get 'em.

Cardinals series wrapup and what the future holds

This is going to be a quick one because I have to pack since I’m heading out to Pittsburgh for the weekend to catch the last two games before the All-Star break.

The winning streak is over, but it put the Pirates right back in the thick of things in the playoff race. This is exactly what they needed at this point in the season to help identify where their season is going; they still have a really great shot at the playoffs, even if it is just the Wild Card Game, and that’s a coin toss worth playing for.

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Pirates 6 Giants 7: The one where the Pirates blow a 6-1 lead. Or, wrestling night.

There was a point when the Pirates were up 6-1 early on that I was going to text my friend, who’s a Giants fan, gloating over their significant improvement on yesterday’s affair. Something stopped me, though, and as the game wore on, the Giants chipped away and chipped away until a dropped Polanco catch down the left field line resulted in the 7-6 Giants lead that was the final score.

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Just please do something

(I started writing this when the Pirates were tied with the Giants 0-0 today. By the time I finished, it was 10-0 and the game was about as winnable as that carnival game where you throw the baseball at the milk jugs. So it goes.)

Despite the feeling of the last few weeks, the Pirates are very much alive in the “playoff” race. Only 3.0 games back from the second Wild Card, this laggard crew could still find themselves in a playoff game, albeit one against Clayton Kershaw or Noah Syndergaard or Jose Fernandez. If last night’s contest is any indication, however, that single game is worth pursuing as a goal; anyone can win on any night if Jeff Locke can beat Madison Bumgarner in a pitcher’s duel in which Eric Kratz’s weak solo homer was the only scoring play of the game. Just when we thought we were finally going to be rid of Jeff Locke, he comes crawling back with a start that stays his execution from the rotation for another two weeks.

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Pirates 4 Cubs Much more than 4: The Pirates suck right now

The bullpen is filled with random dudes who either suck or I’ve never heard of or both. The starting rotation currently includes four pitchers who can’t pitch well and one guy who’s started 3 MLB games, two of them against a Mets lineup that’s arguably worse than the Pirates’ pitching staff right now. It seems like the “scrap heap pitcher experiment” is over because it hasn’t worked out at all for the Pirates. If these guys want to be contenders moving forward, they have some decisions to make. The prospects need to be put to work somehow, either through trades to get legitimate players (either now or during the offseason) or promoted to the Majors to get some big league experience to prepare them for future seasons.

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