Crushing Loss for Pirates Fans — But Pittsburgh Still Strong

Last night will be a hard night to forget for Pirates fans, as their team was subject to a brutal beating by the Dodgers, losing 11-0. The Dodgers have Chad Billingsley to thank for much of the route, as his pitching helped beach the Pirates for eight straight innings. Pittsburgh pitcher Kevin Correia also had a deceptively strong outing that kept most balls in the infield. But costly errors and a few missed opportunities on pitches loaded the bases and allowed hitters to drive home run after run. Add to that a lack of conversion from the Pittsburgh batting rotation, and the game was destined to end in defeat.

So one of the big questions that have a lot of fans worried if they’ll ever get a chance to buy Pittsburgh Pirates tickets for the postseason. Are the Pirates in trouble? Well if you take a look at the team’s stats since June, it’s clear that last night was merely a fluke.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, even after last night’s loss, head into their next game 12 games above a .500 winning percentage. The Pirates have also not been swept in a series since the beginning of June. Finally, the Pirates still hold the top NL wild card spot and are fortunately playing healthy right now, unlike many other teams that are struggling to keep a full roster active. Correia has had a tremendous resume the past seven starts leading up to last night, winning every game and tying the longest active winning streak in the MLB.

So don’t be too quick to count the Pirates out this year, even though a crushing loss is always a tough challenge to overcome. The Pirates play the Dodgers again tonight and finish the series on Thursday before facing off against the Cardinals late this week.

Pirates Have Chance to Catch Up to Reds With Three-Game Padres Series

Beginning at 7:05 ET tonight, the Pittsburgh Pirates will face off against the Padres in Pittsburgh, and it’s getting close to a must-win scenario for the Bucs. With the Cardinals fast approaching in the standings and the Reds gaining ground after the Pirates’ Thursday loss to the Diamondbacks, a playoff spot for the Pirates is beginning to slip away. Pittsburgh Pirates tickets are still available for tonight’s game and all games in the three-game Padres series at HeadlineTickets.com

The Padres are going to be a challenge for the Pirates, as the club is coming off four straight victories. But the pitching battle between James McDonald (Pirates) and Edinson Volquez (Padres) could be the deciding factor in the game. Despite almost earning a spot on the MLB All-Star team after an outstanding performance in the first half of the season, McDonald recently struggled in his last four starts, giving up 19 runs and never pitching a seventh inning in the 22 he played. But Volquez is not without his own recent troubles. Reportedly due to a blister on is pitching hand, Volquez suffered through a tough game against the Mets this past Saturday, only managing five outs while giving up four runs.

It really will come down to McDonald’s performance tonight as the two teams begin the first of their six regular-season games, all taking place in the next couple of weeks. McDonald’s last performance against the Padres was a successful one, however, when he only gave up two runs on May 2nd, 2011. McDonald pitched six innings and earned the win. McDonald will have to keep an eye on the Padre’s Chase Headley, who has logged three home runs and ten RBIs in August alone. Headley is currently .287 on the road.

Rumor Suggests Pirates To Call Up Jameson Taillon

Long has the Pirates fan base been calling for some real firepower from the mound, and rumor has it that the Pirates organization has plans to look to one of their low-A affiliate pitchers, Jameson Taillon to add some heat to their defense. Taillon currently pitches on the Pirates’ A affiliate team, the Bradenton Marauders.

Taillon first caught the attention of scouts following the end of his high school pitching tenure, where he logged a 22-6 record playing for the Woodlands High School Highlanders in Texas. Taillon had a strong finish in his senior year, going 8-1 which included a 19-strikeout no hitter he pitched against the school’s rival, Conroe High School. Taillon was quickly drafted by the Pirates in 2010, the youngest player with Canadian citizenship to be drafted into the MLB. He began his minor league career with a 2011 season for the West Virginia Power, earning a 3.98 ERA in five games.

Many fans are questioning the rumors of Taillon’s possible promotion, primarily because the pitchers current minor league numbers just don’t suggest that the pitcher is ready for major league play. But it’s likely the Pirates want to test the young pitcher, even if it’s only for a couple innings here and there in 2013. But Pittsburgh Pirates tickets could net fans a chance to see Taillon’s major league debut late this year.

Taillon’s 99 mph fastball and “plus” curveball could be a huge asset for the Pirates, who are in need of a new face to freshen their bullpen. Commenting on Taillon’s talent, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington noted that he had the skills to become a “top-of-the-rotation starter.”

Doubts as to Taillon’s acceptance of the 2010 MLB draft pick by the Pirates arose when he signed a letter of intent to pitch for Rice University in 2009. Soon it became clear that Taillon would accept the Pirate’s $6.5 million signing bonus, the 2nd highest in the history of the MLB draft instead of attending college.

Despite Errors, Pirates Victorious Over Diamondbacks

Fans who came out for Pittsburgh Pirates tickets yesterday were rewarded with a solid victory as the Pirates overcame four errors and a seventh inning thunderstorm to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks. Helping to erase those potentially costly errors was Neil Walker, who alone homered and drove in a total of five runs. Pirates pitcher Kevin Correia also threw his seventh straight win to hold the Diamondbacks at 6. But the game was full of ups and downs for the Diamondbacks, as the 7-6 final score was by no means a blowout for Pittsburgh.

Correia faced early struggles against Diamondback batters, giving up three earned runs in his six innings pitched. But along with Walker’s dominant game, rookies also shined with Jordy Mercer and Starling Marte both hitting home runs, with Marte homering for his second day in a row.

One of the most exciting points of the game was in the seventh inning, where the trailing Diamondbacks managed to load the bases after several Pirates errors, with a score of 7-4. But Correia shined against batter Chris Young, striking him out. Despite arguing the call with the home plate umpire and eventually being ejected from the game (joined by Arizona’s Justin Upton soon after), the strikeout stood and set the pace for the remainder of the game.

Walker’s home run has now tied the second baseman for most home runs in the National League in his position, while Marte’s homer marks his fourth in only 13 career games. Following the ejections of both Upton and Young, Jason Kubel and Aaron Hill, who had originally been left off the starting lineup, entered the game.

The Pirates continue their series with the Diamondbacks today at 1:05 PT in Arizona, before heading to San Diego to face the Pirates on the 10th.

Cubs Give Pirates Manager the Birthday Gift He Wishes He Could Return

Despite celebrating his 55th birthday yesterday, Clint Hurdle received a gift from the Chicago Cubs that made him remark “You shouldn’t have.” Despite tying the game at one in the third inning, the Pirates went on to suffer their worst game of the season, giving up 14 runs when the dust had settled, while only managing to bat in four. While it hurts to miss an opportunity to capitalize on the end of the Reds’ recent winning streak, the Pirates remain confident tonight and Pittsburgh Pirates tickets are still expected to sell well.

The fifth inning was the most apparent collapse of the Pirates, when the Cubs put up nine runs. Following a three-run homer in the fourth inning by Darwin Barney, Cubs Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each slammed home runners, with a three-run homer and a two-run hit, respectively. Those collective eight runs would prove to be just too much to recover from for the remainder of the game, despite the Pirates holding batters to just one run for the remainder of the game. The stats tell the true story of the blowout during a momentary lapse in Pirates pitching, with the Cubs’ 14 hits driving in 14 runs.

And Erik Bedard, who was the unfortunate recipient of the heavy blows, was having a great game up until Cubs batters starting finding his pitches. In fact, seven of the thirteen outs in the game came from strikeouts thrown by Bedard. Bedard, of course, also set some personal records of his own, logging the most runs, most runs in an inning, and biggest margin of defeat the pitcher has ever faced. Bedard noted that the Cubs hit “good pitches” and “bad pitches” but “some of them went over the fence.”

Pirates Nab Sanchez,Snider Mere Hours Before Trade Deadline

Pushing their trade prospects to the very last minute today, the Pittsburgh Pirates picked up All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez from the Florida Marlins, a huge boost to the team’s batting lineup and fielding. Also offered in the trade was Kyle Kaminska, a minor league pitcher. While the trade certainly didn’t come for free (the Pirates gave up their extra 2013 draft pick and minor league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez), it looks as if the Pirates will come out ahead on the trade. Pittsburgh Pirates tickets will give fans a chance to see this new outfielder in action as early as tonight.

But Pittsburgh will have some work to do in Sanchez, as the struggling player is having one of his toughest years for the Marlins. At 28-years-old, Sanchez is only batting at .202, and was previously demoted to a Triple-A team earlier this year — a demotion that lasted almost 30 days. But Sanchez had 17 RBIs, as well as a trio of home runs too. The Pirates are hoping to recapture Sanchez’ past performance, as he was named a National League All-Star only last year. Will the switch to Pirate colors give Sanchez the boost he needs to enjoy All-Star status again?

The Sanchez pickup wasn’t the only trade activity by the Pirates today. The team also traded pitcher Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider, formerly an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays. Snider has a much more shining batting record this year than Sanchez with a .335 average, 13 home runs, and 57 RBIs while playing in the Triple-A. Shortly after Snider was pulled in the sixth inning of a game against the Mariners, Pittsburgh announced the trade.

Pittsburgh is a playoff contender this year with a good shot at the wild-card spot, as well as the National League Central Division Title.

Pirates Trade for Shin-Soo Choo Rumored

While the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen has certainly benefited from the addition of Wandy Rodriguez to the team, the Pirates have a new task at hand as they approach the end of the regular season close in games with the Cincinnati Reds. It’s time for the Pirates to take a close look at their batters, and rumor has it that the team is taking a long, hard look at the Indians’ Shin-Soo Choo as a possible trade candidate. So far in 2012, Choo has been powerful on the plate and on the bases, with a .295 batting average, 12 home runs, 39 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Pittsburgh Pirate tickets may offer fans the chance to see a new addition to the team compete for postseason glory.

But some Pirates fans are more concerned about who Pittsburgh will need to offer up to secure the potential (but not guaranteed) talent from Choo. And many analysts are currently pointing to the center fielder Starling Marte as a possible choice. Although Marte could be critical for the Pirates’ progress through the rest of the season, natural center-fielder Andrew McCutchen is many’s choice for NL MVP, and is unlikely to be moved from his center field spot any time soon. What’s more — Choo could fill either left or right field, a far more pressing need for the playoff hopeful Pirates.

The big problem in the Choo/Marte trade is whether or not the Pirates stand to get a better deal by holding onto Marte until the end of the season, possibly well into 2013. Even if the Pirates could pick up Choo for Marte, Choo won’t be a free agent until 2014, and can only be contracted for the rest of this season and next season. Although Choo has some mileage in the MLB, Marte is largely untested, and strikes out to minor league pitchers a minimum of 21% of the time. Should these numbers skyrocket against major league pitchers (which they have a habit of doing), we’re looking at a potentially disastrous trade for the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Looking to Move Up on Reds With Win Against Cubs Tonight

Pittsburgh’s veteran pitcher Erik Bedard will go head-to-head against the Cubs’ righty Justin Germano tonight as the Pirates hope to claim a Wrigley Field victory and close the gap between them and the Cincinnati Reds for the Central Division. The Pirates are currently in second place, three games behind the Reds. Although this will be Germano’s first outing against the Pirates, Bedard is no stranger to the Cubs’ swingers. Bedard’s last game against the Cubs was an unlucky loss against the club on July 23rd.

The Pirates also have plenty of reasons to enter tonight’s game with confidence, as they’ve captured four of the six games where they’ve played the Cubs in 2012. Pittsburgh Pirates tickets are still available leading up to the 8 P.M. (ET) game tonight at Wrigley Field. The Reds furthered their lead over the Pirates yesterday with a victory over the Colorado Rockies (their 10th straight) to continue the team’s recent push for the top of the NL Central Division, while the Pirates dropped a game to Houston even after defeating the Astros in the first three games.

Loyal Pirate fans will remember Erik Bedard from his 2012 Opening Day start earlier this year, after signing to play with the Pirates on a one-year, $4.5 million contract. The Pirates are the fourth MLB team Bedard has thrown for, previously pitching for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Boston Red Sox. The Canadian-born pitcher had his best starts as an Oriole, going as far as to brea the franchise record for most single-season strikeouts in nine innings, with 10.93 in 2007.

The Pirates will continue their series against the Chicago Cubs tomorrow and play a third game on August 1st before facing off against their current nemesis, the Cincinnati Reds beginning on August 3rd.

A Team That You Hate to Love

A Team That You Hate to Love

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of those teams that you hate to love but you love them anyways with the trademark “P” logo everywhere you go they are just a team loved by the nation. The Pirates are one of those special teams that seem to get us wanting them to be world champions every year which is why going to one of their games is just one of the most special events one can partake in. It is a well-known fact that if you go to a Pirates game you will not regret it win or lose. The pirates have a knack of winning our hearts, they just play with a passion that few teams have.

To be a part of a Pirates game is to become part of a team, a team of fans with one will to win. Going to a pirates game is the experience of a lifetime with the passion of the Pittsburgh home crowd that will tirelessly root for the home team until the end. A Pirates win has the celebration that is rivaled by none and revered by all. Being at a Pirates game getting a home win is heart thumping passion at its finest.

Watching the pirates hit home runs just makes you want to jump up and buy Pittsburgh Pirates tickets. If you have ever witnessed the team spirit on television it is inspiration enough to get out the door and at the game. Pittsburgh is well known throughout the sporting community to have the most ruckus fans out there and the energy that they bring to a game is so contagious that you are guaranteed to want to be a part of it. Just give in and get your hands on some tickets throw your inhibitions out the window and get the giant “P” on your person somewhere and get rowdy because being at a Pirates game is like nothing else.

For great deals on Pittsburgh Pirates tickets, visit www.BuyPittsburghPiratesTickets.com!

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Update

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Update

The Pittsburgh Pirates are not a team that has enjoyed much success the past decade, however for much for the 2012 regular season they have been in a tight 3-way race for first place in the National League Central.  They are currently competing with the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals who both hold slight leads over Pittsburgh.  The Reds are 41-33 while the defending champion Cardinals are 40-35 with the Pirates right on their tail at 38-35.

The much-improved play of the Pirates can be attributed to several variables, although center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been responsible for much of it.  He is Pittsburgh’s current leader in batting average (.341), home runs (13), RBI’s (46), runs scored (40) and OPS (.976).  However, the overall teams play must improve, as they are currently last in the major leagues in on base percentage and second to last in runs scored.

The Pirates open up a critical series at the division rival Cardinals this Thursday and the winner could likely be in second or leading the division going into the All-Star break.  Pittsburgh plays tonight and tomorrow against the Philadelphia Phillies who they are currently 0-2 against and will need to avoid getting swept to keep the pressure on the division leaders.  With only 12 games left until the All-Star break, anything is possible in this toss up of a division, and do not be surprised to see the Pirates gain momentum heading into September.

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