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Pittsburgh Pirates: Buccos Fall Hard To End Road Trip

What can Brown do for you? For the Pirates, they can certainly do a lot; the Buccos finished off their horrendous six game road trip, mailing in the final game. 

To describe the play of the franchise over the past three games doesn’t even reach the disparaging label of “going through the motions.” Houston fans raved about how they wish they could play the Pirates every game, as the Pirates finished their final series with the Astros by finishing a dismal 0-9 in Houston.

To say that the Buccos aren’t talented enough to win is crediting them too much; Houston’s only weapons come in the form of Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee, who completely destroyed the Pirates in every series at Minute Maid Park. 

The only correct way to dub the petty-excuse-for-a-professional-ball-club is exactly what it seems – a team without heart; a team that is simply playing the season to it’s close.

In the Houston series, Pirate starters Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, and Jeff Karstens each went relatively deep in the game, and supported a Pirates’ lead. However, with a bullpen that is nearly all claimed off waivers and has an ERA of around 10.00, one to two runs just won’t win ball games.

Pedro Alvarez added significantly to his stardom by striking out a total of seven consecutive times between three games, and was basically rendered hitless. His defense was a disgrace to the game, as he seemed to be afraid to get dirty or hurt. Simple ground balls scampered past an outstretched arm countless times. What should have been outs to end innings turned into seeing-eye ground balls to start a rally.

And it doesn’t end there. The management has been non-existent since the All-Star break. There is nobody instructing, nobody trying to fire the team up, and nobody taking charge and being a leader. Chuck Noll may have been a master at the stoic mentality, but John Russell is just the eye witness to a complete collapse of what could be a halfway decent franchise.

To think back to the greats, to the glory years, and even to some of the past years of crippled attempts at a .500 season, this season dishonors every past team this franchise has ever seen. To not have any pride, to not use the God given talent that was blessed upon them is a disgrace to the game.

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Bullpen Lifts Buccos Past Tribe, Pirates Win Series

On a clear Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates strung together their first win streak since mid-May.

The Pirates put together well-timed hits and with the help of three Indians’ errors, defeated Cleveland 5-3 to win their first series in over a month.

Rookie pitcher Brad Lincoln made his third start today. He entered the game with an ERA just over 7.00. Lincoln went six innings for the Bucs, surrendering three runs on eight hits to the Tribe. 

Indians’ star rookie Carlos Santana took Lincoln deep for a two-run-homerun in the top of the first. The Pirates quickly answered back with two runs in the bottom half of the opening inning, with hits by Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, and Garrett Jones, to tie the game.

Santana then doubled off Lincoln in the third to score Shin-Soo Choo, giving the Indians their second lead of the ball game.

Javy Lopez and Brendan Donnelly pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, continuing the Pirates’ bullpen success.

Down a run in the bottom of the eighth, Pedro Alvarez came up big with a sac fly to the Clemente Wall, earning his second RBI by scoring Andrew McCutchen.

Shortstop Bobby Crosby then scored Garrett Jones on his third hit of the day, a single to center field.

Octavio Dotel pitched the ninth inning in his second consecutive day of work, picking up his fourteenth save while striking out two of the three batters he faced.


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Lastings Milledge, Andrew McCutchen Break Pirates’ Losing Streak

In a night filled with stories, the Pirates finally ended one—their horrendous twelve-game losing streak.

The Pirates did so in a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians in game two of the series. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Pirates’ World Series victory, Pittsburgh fans were out in full force at PNC Park for the third sellout of the season. A contributing factor, one might say, to the elevated play from the struggling ball club. 

From the start of the game, the atmosphere was electric and filled with energy. The Pirates welcomed back on the field several of the players from the 1960 World Series team including Bill Mazeroski, Vernon Law, Bill Virdon and even 92-year-old ex-general manager Joe Brown.

It was evident from the minute the Bucs took the field, this wasn’t an ordinary game; they had more than one reason to win other than ending the losing streak—avoiding humiliation.

However, the biggest story of the night that eclipsed the end of the losing streak and 50th anniversary was top prospect Pedro Alvarez’s first major league hit—a ground rule double to the left field corner, which scored Andrew McCutchen.

Lastings Milledge continued to produce with runners in scoring position, something he has come to be known for, as he is ranked third with a .408 batting average with RISP. Milledge finished just a homerun short of the cycle, finishing 3-4 with four RBIs and a walk.

McCutchen, who has become the face of the franchise, scored four times in the game, as he finished 2-2 with three walks and a stolen base.

Starter Jeff Karstens struggled early, giving up a run in the first inning, but quickly tightened up to give the Pirates four perfect innings before being pulled in the sixth. Karstens gave up a three-run homer in the sixth inning to Russell Branyan to shorten the Pirates lead to only one run. 

Manager John Russell wasn’t going to allow another blown game, as he changed pitchers four times in the inning, with Evan Meek finally closing it out.

Meek and Joel Hanrahan closed out the seventh and eighth innings, while Octavio Dotel came in the ninth to get his thirteenth save of the season to cap off a Bucs’ win—the first since June 5th.

In accordance with the win, there is a lot to be optimistic about. This season is not the one, but in the words of Bill Mazeroski, “They have to go from kids to baseball players. But trust me, in two to three years, they’ll get theirs. Believe it.”

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Jesus Christ, The Messiah, Has Returned! (Satire)

On Wednesday, June 16, Jesus Christ rose again!

Christ’s 1,977-year absence has been laid to rest.

He was spotted rising in Pittsburgh, in the form of baseball player Pedro Alvarez. 

Christ’s disguise may have fooled many, but not Pittsburgh Pirate fans—a strong and devout group of Catholics.

When Christ came to his first at bat, he received a standing ovation from the fans that decided to come watch the Pirates lose their 10th consecutive game.

The Pittsburgh media, upon hearing that Christ would be called up from the minors, asked God the ever-looming question: why the Pirates?

God’s spokesman had this to say.

“The Pirates are a struggling team. The fans have prayed for nearly 18 years that the team will have at least one winning season in their lifetime. God decided that he will give his only son to the worst team in the MLB. He was deciding between the Pirates and the Nationals, but the Nationals broke one of the 10 Commandments by becoming polytheists and worshiping false prophets (Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg).”

Most enthusiastic, however, were his disciples Neil Walker and Jose Tabata, who were both ecstatic at his arrival.

“He’s great,” said Walker. “He’s going to be the future of the team, and will lead us to salvation.”

Alvarez even has his own sports drink: Jesus Juice: King of the Juice.

However, some are pessimistic about Christ’s return.

Indians outfielder Pedro Cerrano has apparently decided that Jesus Christ cannot hit a curveball, and therefore won’t be any good in the MLB.

“I ask Jo-bu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come. He help Pedro hit curveball.”

Pirates manager John Russell decided to take time to comment on the situation.

“I’m really glad we have the opportunity to be graced by The Messiah’s presence.”

Pirates Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit both explained how Alvarez isn’t under any pressure.

“He cured the blind and sick. If he can handle that pressure, being king of the Jews, he can handle playing for the last-place Pirates.”

When asked what he thought, principal owner Bob Nutting had this to say.

“He’s a good fit for the team. Of course once he plays through his contract, we’ll have to get rid of him. Standings? The only standings I care about is the payroll list. We might be last in the win-loss column, but the standings that count is payroll. If you’re last, you’re making money. Remember that kids.”


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