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(SB Nation)   Pirates become the first MLB team to win 50 games this season. Or as Pittsburgh fans used to call their 50th win, September   (sbnation.com) divider line 4
    More: Spiffy, Major League Baseball, MLB teams, Pittsburgh, Michael Cuddyer, pirates, Justin Morneau, first team, Francisco Liriano  
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494 clicks; posted to Sports » on 01 Jul 2013 at 9:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-01 10:00:16 AM
2 votes:
They have an interesting lineup-- they can field 7 guys with virtually identical offensive lines.  Not a great line, mind you, just a steady stream of guys with .340 OBPs and 8 HR.  They play the best team defense in MLB.

But look again at that pitching rotation and tell me it's going to last.

A.J. Burnett: 36 years old.  Two years ago, he was one of the worst pitchers in the American League.
Francisco Liriano: One year ago, he was one of the worst pitchers in the American League.  Gets hurt doing anything more strenuous than brushing his teeth.
Wandy Rodriguez: I actually like this guy.  An annual lock to be about 10% better than league average.  Skillfully avoids being noticed by fans by hiding in Houston and Pittsburgh his whole career.
Jeff Locke: In 2011, Baseball Prospectus thought he was the Pirates' 12th most promising minor leaguer.  Their review: "This southpaw has good command of an average three-pitch mix. He could fit the fourth- or fifth-starter profile."
Jeanmar Gomez: Pitched too poorly to remain in Cleveland.  Last year, Baseball Prospectus thought he was the 9th-best young player in the Indians organization, with the review "Gomez has been inconsistent, and might work best in a Ramiro Mendoza swingman type of role."

Throw in a bullpen anchored by Jason Grilli, who's a 36-year-old journeyman who made 330 appearances for six different teams before this year, and you never heard of any of them.  Suddenly, he's lights-out for three months.

Granted, all of their ERAs are suppressed by the fantastic defense behind them.  Maybe they have the best pitching coaches in the history of baseball.  Otherwise, it's a staff with a combined 3.13 ERA (best in MLB, average is 3.93) made up entirely out of 2012 punchlines and "Who?" guys.  If the Pirates implode, the rotation will be Ground Zero.
2013-07-01 01:48:18 PM
1 votes:
The Pirates are making me pay attention to baseball before September for the first time. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but I am going to call this much: they are going to have a winning season.
2013-07-01 09:44:52 AM
1 votes:

Lost Thought 00: I always thought that when they broke the streak it would be a bit of a whimper, just a game or two over .500 and well out of the playoff hunt. Wasn't expecting this.


God, I hope they can pull it off.
2013-07-01 09:27:10 AM
1 votes:
I always thought that when they broke the streak it would be a bit of a whimper, just a game or two over .500 and well out of the playoff hunt. Wasn't expecting this.
 
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