- The Pirates have won six of their last seven games and ten of their last twelve. Their 48-37 record is first in the NL Central by a game and second best in the NL, behind Washington (49-34). Pittsburgh is 11-1-1 in their past thirteen series. Heck, ESPN even puts the odds of them making the playoffs at 72.4%.
- From Elias Sports Bureau: Andrew McCutchen is the first player in Pirates history with a batting average of .362 and 60 RBI before the All-Star Break.
- In the last two decades, the only Pirates to have at least 10 wins by the break were Neal Heaton
in 1990 (10-5), Randy Tomlin in 1992 (10-5), Bob Walk in 1993 (10-6), Kevin Correia in 2011 (11-7) and now AJ Burnett (10-2, his eighth straight season with at least 10 wins).
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review on trade prospects: "Either Justin Upton or Chase Headley would be better long-term fit, but my gut tells me that the Pirates have better chance of landing OF Carlos Quentin via trade in next few days...If it only costs 1-2 Triple A pitchers and lower-level guy, they should jump at it. Quentin would bolt via FA this winter, but would be worth the price for 3 months, if only to give McCutchen protection in lineup." Sounds steep but logical to us, especially if the FO is sold on Starling Marte, who would be much more cost effective but completely unproven as an OF candidate.
- The Pirates have averaged 25,475 in their 42 home dates this season, only behind 2001's (30,834) gate, the year PNC Park opened. That number would bring the total attendance for the season to 2,063,475. The Bucs sold out 17 games in 2011 and a club-record 19 in 2001; they have nine so far this season
- In the Futures game, Altoona RHP Gerritt Cole's line was 1 IP, giving up 2 runs on a hit (HR) and walk with 2 K. Cole touched 100 MPH on his heater and was sitting in the upper 90s. The 21 year old also showed a good slider in the upper 80s and change. But his control still needs sharpening; his walk was followed by a homer off a fastball that he left upstairs after falling behind 2-1.
- Bradenton RHP Jameson Taillon, 20, got an inning, too. He fared a little better, giving up a run on two doubles. No K, but he threw 96-98. His secondary stuff is behind Cole, as to be expected from a kid who was tossing high school ball in 2010.
- State College's RHP Clayton Holmes went five zippo innings last night, giving up a hit, a walk, a plunk and 2 K. He's the high school pitcher the Pirates signed last year in the ninth round for a record $1.2M bonus and is settling in very nicely in the short-season league.
- Doug Bair, who pitched for Pittsburgh and six other MLB clubs, is now involved in helping to find missing children, and thinks sports venues with their huge crowds are a great place to start the process.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Pirate Notes And News
Some stats, notes and news to keep your Bucco jones occupied during the All-Star doldrums: