Monday, December 19, 2011

In the dark

Get out your candlesticks.

The Bucs should consider pausing games with transformer explosions when they're losing, especially on SkyBlast.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

NFL week 12-13: wins

One has to wonder when the NFL will realize that these essentially meaningless games could be more efficiently replaced with a playoff bye system where superior teams like the Steelers wouldn't have to go through the motions of the regular season.

Monday, November 07, 2011

NFL week 9: Ravens at Steelers

Missed the last minute or so of this one, but am celebrating the magical victory. For no reason however, as these pre-playoff games don't matter much either way.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Series: Bye

The Bucs will face the winner of the Rangers vs. Cardinals in the World Championship. For now, rest.

NFL week 6: Steelers 17, Jaguars 13

Steelers win, but Tomlin needs work on his really strong, slap, grab handshake.

Monday, October 10, 2011

NLCS: Bye

The Bucs are resting peacefully, passed out at a red light with their shirts untucked.

NFL week 5: Titans at Steelers

Starks wins game ball, Couch Nation celebrates.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

NLDS: Bye

The Bucs rest up during their bye and watch the other playoff teams fight for second place.

NFL Week 4: Steelers at Texans

Ben would get more rest on a segway than on crutches.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game 162: Pirates at Brewers

Congratulations to the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates! Ever since the Bucs were in first place, it's been hard to believe such a magically entertaining year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Game 160: Pirates at Brewers

One of the Charlie Mortons is leading the Pirates to a 4-2 advantage in this one, now in the fourth.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

NFL Week 3: Steelers at Colts

Steelers look to keep the magical season rolling with a big win tonight on SNF.

Game 159: Reds at Pirates

Although our statistical analyses will be presented behind the pay wall at HW-plus, it's looking like if you correct for missed BUNTs and baserunning gaffes, the Pirates will represent the NL in the World Series. Again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Game 158: Reds at Pirates

Four score and seven months ago, the Bucs also won 70% of their games.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Game 157: Reds at Pirates

John Locke will try to BUNT the Bucs over the 70% winning percentage mark that they haven't touched since 2004. Good times.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Playoffs

Players and fans should use the off day to rest up for the Bucs' first round bye.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Game 155: Pirates at D-backs

Blissful rest to prepare for the playoffs continues.

The Bucs are just two games away from clinching a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Game 154: Pirates at D-backs

The Bucs will rest most of their starters tonight for the playoffs. Game starts at 9:40.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Game 152: Pirates at Dodgers

McDonald and Lilly starting soon.

The Bucs are 10 bunts back and it feels like the season is starting to slip away.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Game 151: Pirates at Dodgers

There will be baseball tonight, in Los Angeles, after the children are all in bed.

Locke and Kuroda will start.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Game 150: Pirates at Dodgers

Ohlendorf just hit a three-run dinger, putting the Bucs up 4-1 in the second.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Game 148: Cardinals at Pirates

Karstens and Carpenter at seven.

The Cardinals are 6.5 games back, passed out at a red light.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Game 147: Cardinals at Pirates

Lincoln and Lohse at seven. The Cards are six games back in the division and 4.5 games back in the wild-card, and unlike the Bucs, have not yet clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game 146: Marlins at Pirates

Huntington extended three years. Bucs lose again.

Last preseason game

The Steelers will use today's last meaningless preseason game to experiment with different looks, like turning the ball over many many times.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Game 144: Marlins at Pirates

Nolasco and Ohlendorf at seven.

Pirates are 66-77 with football season starting any day now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Game 143: Astros at Pirates

Burres and Happ at seven. If it wasn't for Happ, this entire contest would be hapless.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Game 142: Astros at Pirates

When Moskos strikes somebody out, even if no bunts are laid down the entire evening, the Bucs WIN in my book.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Game 141: Astros at Pirates

Sosa and McDonald after this delay.

Pirates are 64-76. Will need to finish 17-6 to break even.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Game 137: Dodgers at Pirates

Lincoln and Eveland at four.

The Bucs need to win one game to prevent another 100-loss season.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Game 136: Pirates at Astros

McDonald and Happ at eight. Happ has won 4 games and lost 15.

Advantage: Bucs (for being Happ-less).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Game 135: Pirates at Astros

Charlie Morton and Henry Sosa face off at eight. The maximum number of strikeouts per 9 inning game is 54.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Game 132: Pirates at Cardinals

Lincoln and Carpenter at 4.

Pirates are 17 games out of first and 9 games under .500.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Game 131: Pirates at Cardinals

McDonald and Westbrook at eight.

After the game, maybe someone will take a nap in a car, at a stoplight.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Game 130: Pirates at Cardinals

Morton and Jackson at 8:15. The Bucs must win to keep playoff hopes alive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Game 129: Brewers at Pirates

Aaron Thompson, seven year minor league veteran, makes his MLB debut at 12:35. Speaking of seven, the Pirates will try to not give up that many runs in one inning again this week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Game 128: Brewers at Pirates

Return of Ohlendorf at seven. Speaking of seven, the Brewers will try to not give up that many runs in one inning again this week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Game 125: Reds at Pirates

Leake and McDonald starting any time now.

The start has been delayed, but it looks like they will get this one in.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Game 124: Reds at Pirates

Iron Balls and one of the Charlie Mortons try to derail the D-train starting soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Game 121: Cardinals at Pirates

Karstens and Carpenter at seven. If Newly-Acquired-Upside somehow counted as runs, the Bucs win this game by 100.

Cole and Bell sign

SI's Jon Heyman reports. Wow. We are having a Slot-Busting Party on the roof of the Beer Fort. Upside for everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Game 120: Cardinals at Pirates

McDonald and Westbrook at seven.

Meanwhile, the draft deadline hovers at midnight. Must. Sign. Upside.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Game 119: Pirates at Brewers

Morton and Marcum at two. From deep within the Beer Fort, I smell a WIN.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Game 118: Pirates at Brewers

Correia and Erik Estrada at four. Derrek Lee texts Armando Rios with his one good hand.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Game 117: Pirates at Brewers

Maholm and hidden vigorish take on Greinke at eight with the pennant on the line. Prepare to untuck.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Off day

The Bucs rest today, and watch video of Nyjer Morgan in preparation for the Brewers tomorrow.

The losing streak not surprisingly has hurt the playoff odds, which have dipped to 75.5%.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Game 116: Pirates at Giants

Karstens vs. Sanchez in a day game. Bucs must win to keep playoff hopes alive.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Game 115: Pirates at Giants

McDonald and Bumgarner at ten.

We shudder to think that before yesterday an entire cohort of zero-to-ten-day-olds had never tasted a WIN.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Game 114: Pirates at Giants

Charlie Morton swaggers into San Francisco to take on the New and Improved Ryan Vogelsong and Jeff Keppinger at ten. Playoff implications abound.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Game 113: Padres at Pirates

Correia and Latos this afternoon. The Bucs need to swagger and BUNT to victory.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Game 112: Padres at Pirates

Skyblast! Bad baseball to be followed by even worse music. Game starts soon.

Maholm and Iron Balls take on some no-name guy. Pedro gets the night off. Derrek Lee is busy in the trainer's room, reading texts from Armando Rios.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Game 111: Padres at Pirates

Karstens hosts the Harangutan and the last-place hapless Padres at seven.

We just got the Win Meter back from the shop, and it's glowing green and beeping loudly.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Game 110: Cubs at Pirates

McDonald and Lopez at seven.

It would be magically exciting to see Ludwick BUNT. Again.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Game 109: Cubs at Pirates

Home Run Derby, featuring only Derrek "Long Balls" Lee (aka Operation Moonshot), starts tonight at seven. One of the Charlie Mortons will pitch.

All four wings of the Beer Fort are either on fire or smoldering. Must. Win. Now.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Game 108: Cubs at Pirates

Derrek Lee Home Run Derby starts at seven.

We're still working on a new nickname for the 2011 World Series MVP. Leon? D-Manlee? D-Leong Ball? Jose DeLeeong Ball? Derrek Ballgame? Bill MazeroskLee? Roberto ClementLee? WilLee Stargell?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Game 107: Cubs at Pirates

Derrek Lee, Ryan Ludwick, and Maholm lead the new look Bucs vs. Zambrano at seven.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Game 106: Pirates at Phillies

Karstens and Worley starting now. Overbay gets his likely final start at 1B with Lee joining the team tomorrow. With the deadline approaching, no other trades reported yet.

Bucs trade for Derrek Lee

Bucs trade minor league 1B Aaron Baker to the Orioles for Derrek Lee and cash, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The only red flag here is that Derrek Lee has not laid down a bunt since 2004, and has only 2 in nearly 8000 plate appearances. As long as D-Lee is willing to work within the new system and work on his bunting game, this is a huge win for the Bucs and their playoff roster.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Game 102: Pirates at Braves

Maholm and Jurrjens at seven.

Last night's six-hour, nineteen-inning game ended with the most egregious blown call, in any sport, I've ever seen. I've watched a lot of sports. Seriously, that has to be the worst call by a baseball umpire ever.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Game 101: Pirates at Braves

Karstens, Pedro, and Fort Iron City Balls take on the Hanson Brothers at seven.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Game 99: Cardinals at Pirates

Lohse and Morton at 1:30.

Kids Jose Tabata jersey day.

This is a real public service for all thirteen-year-old boys out to impress the college girls.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Game 98: Cardinals at Pirates

Garcia and Correia at seven.

Pirates will wear the Grays uniforms.

I will do the same in the beer fort, and juggle sparklers afterwards.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Game 97: Cardinals at Pirates

Friday at seven: Carpenter and Maholm.

Pirates are six games up, and they should be getting some players back over the weekend.

I am curious to see how anticipated whipping-boy Pedro Alvarez would fare if promoted to the Show to work on that 587 OPS. Any talk about bringing him up should be grounded in the fact that his 2011 season has been a huge bust to date. It's not Ryan Braun we'd be getting back.

That said, I was looking around at various pre-season projections and whatever he did in 2010, was clearly promising for a man his age. ZIPS suggested a 116 OPS+ and 116 RBI with 28 HRs in a near-full season. Alvarez looks like the kind of player a budget-minded team would trade for--the next Andy Laroche, maybe.

The Pirates should give him another shot with that in mind. Some of these guys will be for real, and the opportunity to be the team that finds out, is a valuable one that is not to be squandered, especially when Ronny Cedeno might be the third or fourth best hitter on the active roster. He's up to a 924 OPS at AAA. I'd like to see him recalled when hot and then, if he does not hit much in a week, sent down again. I'm not sure if that is practical in terms of minor-league options etc., but this team does not hit so well that they can afford to keep Alvarez down there, destroying minor-league pitching.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Game 95: Reds at Pirates

Leake and McDonald at seven.

Good $60 seats available in the baseball club level.

Standing tall

The Pirates not only in sole possession of first place -- a half game over the Brewers and the Cardinals -- they are also a good six games above .500.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Game 94: Pirates at Reds

Willis and McDonald at seven.

Pirates are 49-44, and a half-game back of the Cardinals.

The simulations give the Reds a greater chance (~81%) at the playoffs. The Reds are a little more worthy than the hapless Astros, making this series an important test.

It will help answer the question, never far from my mind: "Will the Pirates squeak into the playoffs, or will they win 105 games, like they did last year?"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Game 93: Pirates at Umps

Pirates could have done a lot of things better last night, sure.

Correia and Rodriguez at two.

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Place Party

Going on up here.

Game 91: Pirates at Astros

Karstens and Myers at eight. The Bucs are one game back.

Now that the burgeoning baseball market in Pittsburgh could support two MLB franchises, why not move the hapless 30-62 Astros to the AL, as the Pittsburgh Astros? We wouldn't cover them here, of course, but at least they'd have fans show up to make noise.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Game 90: Cubs at Pirates

Last call before the All-Star break.

Old Ramon Ortiz and Paul Maholm at 1:30.

Also Kid's Peirogy Wind-Up Racer Day.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Game 89: Cubs at Pirates

The hapless Cubs will try again at 7.

Cryin' Dempster and Cy Correia to start.

After the game, more sparklers and an eight-track.

Beer Fort McHenry

Surprised but cannot disagree with Dejan Kovacevic's case that last night's homer was the best of the sad, short history of PNC Park.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Game 88: Cubs at Pirates

Last nights' loss mucked up my Skyblast. Hall & Oates tape would not play, and the sparklers burnt holes in both the carpet and the leather sofa. Not entertained.

Nevermind. More than 24 hours to prepare for the next game.

Friday at seven: Lopez and McDonald as the Pirates gun for their 46th win.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Game 87: Astros at Pirates

Norris and a Morton at seven.

After the win, here in the beer fort, our own private Skyblast (beer, Hall & Oates tape, juggling sparklers).

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Game 86: Astros at Pirates

Wandy and Karstens at seven.

Pirates are a game and a half back of St. Louis and three games over .500.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Game 84: Pirates at Nationals

Correia and Marquis at 1:30.

Pirates are 42-41, 2.5 games back of the Brewers and Cardinals.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Game 83: Pirates at Nationals

Game two in progress.

Bottom of the second with Brad Lincoln auditioning for a role on the playoff roster.

Nats up 1-0.

Game 82: Pirates at Nationals

It was a regular pistol-whipping as the Pirates took game one of this doubleheader.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Game 81: Pirates at Nationals

Coasting into the middle point of the season, the Pirates are on pace for 98 wins.

They take their big, powerful-looking big bats into Washington, where our starters will stand tall against the slouchy National pitchers.

One of the Charlie Mortons and Tom Gorzelanny at seven.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Game 80: Pirates at Blue Jays

After a minor setback, the Pirates continue their dominance of the hapless, banjo-hitting AL.

Karstens and Cecil to start. Game on at 7.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Game 79: Pirates at Blue Jays

This dominance of the hapless AL continues tonight at 7pm.

Maholm and Morrow will start.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Game 77: Red Sox at Pirates

McDonald and Miller starting soon.

The Bucs don't want to tip their hand since these teams will likely meet again in the playoffs, so some of the backups are playing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Game 76: Red Sox at Pirates

Return of Wakefield tonight at seven.

Flattery is rooting around in somebody's dumpster, finding something you like, then using it for 17 years.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Game 75: Bucs 3, Red Sox 1

If the league was realigned into overall talent tiers, the elite teams like the Bucs, Red Sox, and Yankees would get to play each other more often.

Still three back.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Game 74: Orioles at Pirates

To have any chance for the Cy Young, Kevin Correia must beat Zach Britton today. Game starts at 12:35.

The latest odds of the Bucs winning the division have dipped to 30%. Again: Must. Win. Game.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Game 73: Orioles at Pirates

Pirates have four runs after 2, which is pretty impressive, the way they have been hitting.

Woody Guthrie and James McDonald are the pitchers.

Pirates are back to being two games under .500 and need the win, of course, as always.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Game 72: Orioles at Pirates

Another match-up I'd like to see much more often.

But not with this result. Orioles lead 7-0 in the bottom of the second.

Bad Charlie started. Jake Arrieta pitching for the 5's and 2's.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Game 71: Pirates at Indians

Karstens and Masterson starting soon. Offensive call-ups and trade acquisitions still en route.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Game 69: Pirates at Indians

Correia and Tomlin at seven.

Pirates are 35-33; the Indians, who once had the best record in all baseball, are 36-31.

How great would it be if these two teams were division rivals. The Indians could be the Browns of baseball.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Game 68: Pirates at Astros

The winning Pirates take on the hapless Astros again.

Game starts in about half an hour. McDonald and Lyles are the starters.

Time to start brainstorming about who the Pirates will add, at the trade deadline, for the defense of their national championship.

Those Mets had a pretty good-looking catcher who might be available, given the pathetic down-on-their-luck condition of that scandal-plagued franchise.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Game 67: Pirates at Astros

One of the Charlie Mortons takes on Happless tonight at eight.

The Bucs are 33-33 and four games out of first place. Playoff odds are 75.5%.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Game 66: Bucs 1, Astros 0

We raise our glasses to the proposed league realignment, and the day the mighty Bucs won't have to regularly play the hapless last-place Astros.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Game 65: Mets at Pirates

Maholm and Pelfrey at seven.

In other news, all hail new Trib columnist Dejan Kovacevic, who now has a free blog, reports Bucs have signed a new catcher, thinks Huntington should be extended, and like me, cried* outside after Bream's slide (* very briefly in our case).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Game 64: Mets at Pirates

Was mighty entertained by last night's game. McCutchen took that HBP like a chambpion.

Today it is Chris Capuano and Huntington's Correia at one-thirty.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Game 63: Mets at Pirates

McDonald, Dickey, and Ronny Ballgame open up for Zambelli Fireworks and Huey Lewis and the News. Prepare to be entertained.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Game 60: Bucs win!

Bucs clinch the pennant with a dramatic clutch Cutch jack in the 12th! And many beverages ensued.

Monday, June 06, 2011

In a Cole sweat

The World Champion Bucs came in first place in the draft today, and selected UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole. Despite the big, powerful Cole not being the best bunter on his college team, we are penciling him in to start Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.

On Pittsburgh, Cole aptly notes the "...fans are unbelievable." We raise our glass to young Gerrit, who sorely needs a nickname. Stone Cole?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Game 57: Phillies at Pirates

Dion Kendrick and a Charlie Morton at seven.

Pirates are 27-29 and 5 1/2 games out.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Game 54: Pirates at Mets

Cy Correia and Dion Capuano at seven.

I looked but could not find Josh Harrison on the All-Star Ballot. Maybe I'm spelling his name wrong?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Game 51: Pirates at Cubs

Pirates continue to play possum, bobbing along just under .500. And the Cubs are making it tough for them to continue to lay low. The difference between the two teams is just that striking.

Karstens and Dempster will start. Game on at 2:20pm.

Look for Iowa Pirate in the crowd. No description necessary -- you'll know him when you see him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Game 50: Pirates at Cubs

Today, the Pirates continue their pounding of the hapless Cubs.

Paul Maholm will get the win.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Game 48: Braves at Pirates

Bucs BUNT but lose? If the Bucs are going to average 1 run per game, they will need to draft many more talented pitchers.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Game 46: Tigers at Pirates

Maholm and Porcello starting soon as the Bucs try to get back to .500.

Steve Pearce gets the start at 3B for the raptured Pedro Alvarez.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Game 44: Tigers at Pirates

Somewhere in the award-winning archives I have a proposal for radical MLB realignment, with Detroit and Pittsburgh in the same division.

Little-known fact: Jerome Bettis is from Detroit.

Baseball game is on. No score last I checked.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Game 40: Pirates at Brewers

Correia and Greinke starting soon.

The Bucs own the hapless Brewers so hopefully the umps can keep this one close today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Game 38: Pirates at Brewers

After last night's rainout, the Pirates remain a game under.

McDonald and Gallardo at eight.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Game 38: Dodgers at Pirates

18-19, but still three games back of St. Louis.

Maybe the Cardinals fell asleep at the wheel, waiting for the light to change.

Jon Garland and a Charlie Morton at seven.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 09, 2011

Game 35: Dodgers at Pirates

The Pirates, at 17-17, are moving in on first place in the NL Central.

The Dodgers, at 16-19, must envy the stable leadership of the Nutting family.

Billingsley and Karstens will start. Game on at seven.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Game 34: Astros at Pirates

McDonald and Happ at 1:35 as the Bucs attempt the unthinkable.

Call your mother.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Game 32: Astros at Pirates

Pirate nemesis Wandy Rodriguez and playoff MVP Paul Maholm at seven.

Pirates are a game under .500 and 2 1/2 out of first.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Game 31: Pirates at Padres

Bucs win 7-4 against the hapless last-place Padres.

Cy Young candidate Correia leads the NL with 5 wins.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Game 30: Pirates at Padres

Game start at ten. Karstens and Latos.

Pirates are one game under .500 and two games out of first.

This despite some disappointing numbers in the HBP department. Hurdle should coach them up on this. Can't spell "Champbion" without HBP.

Game 29: Pirates at Padres

Bucs up 4-2 at the end of the seventh. No bunts yet.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Game 28: Pirates at Rockies

One of the two Charlie Mortons takes on Ubaldo starting soon. Amezaga gets the start and bats second for the Rockies.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Game 27: Pirates at Rockies

A historic night, as Maholm, Hammel, and Amezaga usher in the Danny Moskos Era.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Game 26: Pirates at Rockies

Huntington's Correia and Shawn Chacon at 8:40.

Looking forward to the day when the Pirates play at Straub Field or Dogfish Head Field.

2011 NFL draft

While we were sleeping, the Steelers have been adding some players.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Game 22: Nationals at Pirates

Maholm gets the win against Adam LaRoche, Sean Burnett, and Brian Bixler. Bucs are two games out of first.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Game 21: Nationals at Pirates

The resurrected Kevin Correia takes on Jason Marquis today, at a time only the Bucs know.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Game 20: Nationals at Pirates

Karstens and Hernandez at seven.

The Bucs are 8-3 when they successfully BUNT, and 0-8 when they fail to do so. Baseball is not rocket science.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Game 16: Pirates at Reds

The streaking Pirates send out Kevin Correia to pistol-whip the hapless Reds and their starter, Kerry Wood.

Game on at seven.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game 15: Pirates at Reds

Pirates flashing their 2010 form as the season gets rolling.

Karstens and Volquez at one.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Game 14: Pirates at Reds

McDonald and Leake at one.

McDonald will eat some innings today we predict.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Game 13: Pirates at Reds

Morton and Arroyo at seven.

After getting clubbed and tazed at home, the defending World Champion Bucs need to tuck their jerseys back in, and trust that their hard work in spring training will pay off and move runners from station-to-station.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Game 12: Brewers at Pirates

Game on. Brewers up 2-0 in the sixth. Maholm and Wolf started, and are still in the game.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Game 11: Brewers at Pirates

Correia and Marcum at seven. Beer and bunting at eight and nine. More beer, billy clubs, and tasers at ten. Every day, I think I need to do something.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Game 10: Rockies at Pirates

McDonald and Chacin starting soon.

The Bucs might not be able to afford Manny Ramirez or Dodger killer Larry Walker to intimidate Jim Tracy in the on-deck circle. If so, they could sign Jose Hernandez to stand in the circle to flex and pose, causing Tracy to pay zero attention to the game.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Game 9: Rockies at Pirates

Reynolds and Morton at seven.

Regarding McCutchen's appearance in the on-deck circle late last night -- as described here by MLB.com writer Thomas Harding --

Behind Tabata was the pitcher's spot, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had no choice but to go with Olson, 1-for-6 in nine career at-bats. The last Bucs reliever remaining, Evan Meek, was not available to throw, Hurdle revealed after the game.

Hurdle sent Andrew McCutchen, who was due to hit two batters after Tabata, to the on-deck circle. Rather than say he did it to keep the Rockies from noticing the next turn was going to be taken by Olson, who hasn't batted since 2009, Hurdle explained the move creatively.

"We put him up there just to help with a play at the plate," Hurdle said. "He has more experience, rather than have Garrett try to figure that out. Garrett -- we wanted to keep him as far away from the plate as we could until he had to hit."

Tracy said there was risk in walking Tabata.

"To walk him into scoring position -- you know something, I know they have somebody over there that maybe takes a swing and not have to hit the ball very far at all to end up winning the game," Tracy said.

It really speaks to what Hurdle adds to this team. Tracy is no fool. He knows the Pirates would have Garrett ready to bunt -- ready "to not have to hit the ball very far at all to end up winning the game."

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Game 7: Rockies at Pirates

Hurdle vs. Tracy? Yes, at 1:35 in the home opener.

Are the Bucs in first place? Yes, with the Rockies just two bunts back.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Game 6: Pirates at Cardinals

Correia and Carpenter at 1:45.

It's probably no coincidence that the Bucs lead the majors in bunts and are only 1.5 games out of first place.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Game 5: Pirates at Cardinals

Pirates winning 71.5% of their games. Sorry we doubted those experts. Baseball has a funny way of making us look foolish.

McDonald and McClellan at 8:15.

Half game back

Bucs are just a half game back, and wide awake as the light turns green, ready to accelerate. Since I'm not driving, I'll drink to that.

If the Bucs are going to run the table in the playoffs again, all strategical possibilities, such as this Straight-Outta-Iowa trick, should be considered.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Game 4: Pirates at Cardinals

Looks like rain in St. Louis, but maybe it clears up in time for Morton and Lohse at eight fifteen.

Playing to win

The awesomeness of Jenifer Langosch's spot-on game recap deserves some quotation for further internet immortality purposes:

CHICAGO -- Neil Walker was running all the way -- just as manager Clint Hurdle would have wanted him to.

Walker's sprint from second to home on Pedro Alvarez's infield hit capped a two-run ninth for the Pirates, who stunned the Cubs with some unconventional strategies to steal a 5-4 victory in the finale of a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Sunday. The inning was advanced by cleanup hitter Lyle Overbay, who bunted with runners on first and second base.

"There's going to be a lot of things that happen with this ballclub that I don't think are going to be traditional this year," said Hurdle, who has emphasized aggressive baserunning for weeks. "We're going to play to win. That's why those guys work on that all spring."

But asking the cleanup hitter lay down a bunt? And attempting to score two runs on a squibber that never made it to the infield dirt?

Sure, and without hesitation, actually.

It is wonderful to see that people outside the advanced blogs are starting to just plain get it.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Game 2: Pirates at Cubs

Maholm and Zambrano starting soon.

It's a little early to get excited about magic like this, but it has not escaped our notice that Kevin Correia leads the league in BUNTing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HW 2011 Readers' Poll

It's time. Please prognosticate in the comments.

1. How many Bucco wins?
2. Who gets traded first?
3. 2011 Whipping Boy?
4. Most bunts?
5. Other predictions?

I'll start:
1. Experts are predicting the Bucs will win 71.5% (116) of their games this year. Honestly, that seems way too high. I'll take the under and conservatively predict 75 wins.
2. Doumit.
3. Overbay.
4. Last year's bunting leader, Zach Duke with 8, is gone. This year the 2010 runner-up, HomeRon Cedeno, wins this contest hands down.
5. Continuing the trend of willingness of top Bucco brass to engage loyal fans for interviews, Spike makes a mint off Nutting family biography.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preseason winning continues

Charlie Morton scored two bunts and Wimberly one, as the Bucs outbunted the Rays 3-1.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Still preseason? Yes.

Can Clint Hurdle impersonate Jim Tracy? Yes, reports the P-G.

"Can he drive a ball out of the park? Yes," Hurdle said. "Can he drive in runs? Yes. Has he got a slow heartbeat when he plays in the field and [is] at the plate? Yes. Those are the things we were looking for."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bucs destroy Manatees

Inspired by Bob Nutting's will to win, the Bucs pistol-whipped the hated Manatees, 21-1.

Hats off to any remaining Manatee fans - we can only imagine what it feels like to have your favorite team lose by 20 runs.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nutting: must get better

Bob Nutting raises the bar.

It is critically important that they understand, and we understand, that 2011 is not going to be a year where small bits of incremental beer are going to be adequate.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bizarro World

It is very disorienting, after the Pirates' championship and the Steelers' run through the playoffs, to see the Steelers lose a game.

Nuts. Spring training can't come soon enough.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: Steelers and Packers

Wrapping up our week of wall-to-wall Super Bowl coverage, I conclude with my keys to victory for each team:

Steelers: Veteranosity and clutchiness.

Packers: Luck and poor officiating.

Enjoy the game, Steeler fans!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AFC Championship Game: Jets at Steelers

Kickoff at 6:30. Sometimes it feels like we're just making this stuff up.

Update: Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl ... again!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Top 20 Pirate Prospects

John Sickels likes him some Pirates Prospects. Excellent pitching aside, it is hard to not get excited about so many options for future utility infielders.

Monday, January 03, 2011

NFL week 17

When the NFL gets reorganized into upper and lower tiers, the Steelers will not have to bother playing the small market hapless Browns.

Bye week allows the Steelers to kick back, relax, and enjoy the newly released 2010 Pirates World Championship DVD.