3 Up, 3 Down: July 2nd-9th

Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from July 3-9: a seven game road trip where the Pirates took three of four against the Phillies (July 3-6) and winning two of three against the Cubs (July 7-9).

3 UP

Gregory Polanco’s bat finally started to pick up this week, slashing .375/.400/.625 with two home runs over 25 plate appearances. He also picked up an assist after starting a double-play on July 5. Speaking of assists, Jose Osuna picked up three assists from left in the Pirates’ 6-3 win Thursday. Chad Kuhl came through big for the Pirates twice this week. He went a career high seven innings Thursday, allowing just two earned runs. His week was not over though, as he made an emergency start Sunday in place of a sick Jameson Taillon

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Pirates Flashback #6: 1B Kevin Young

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Kevin Young, who played first base for the Pirates from 1992-1995, and then again from 1997-2003.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Young was an All-American with the Kansas City Kansas Community College team, leading the league with a .477 batting average. He went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi before entering the 1990 draft.

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Four Pirates Prospects to watch in July

The Pirates have boasted one of the most celebrated farm systems the past few seasons, so it’s hard to keep track of everyone. These four minor leaguers may not be grabbing headlines or may be a few years away, but they are worth keeping an eye on this month.

Luis Escobar: RHP West Virginia Power

Escobar will be the Pirates only representative at the 2017 Futures Game, which will be held this Sunday.

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First Half Report Card for the 2017 Pirates

The first half of the Pirates’ season is in the books, so now is the perfect time to assess each player’s performance so far.

Keep in mind these grades are based on a curve of their expectations for the year. Chris Stewart wasn’t going to be an All-Star, so it won’t be fair to judge him the same as Andrew McCutchen.

A

Josh Harrison: His glove is as good as ever and his versatility has been a lifesaver. He’s also contributing a lot more offensively now that he’s healthy. His ,369 OBP has been aided by a league high 18 HBPs, but he is chasing out of the zone less and has 21 walks- one away from his career high in 2014.

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Pirates Flashback #5: OF Nate McLouth

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Nate McLouth, who played from the Pirates from 2005-2009 and then again in 2012.

BEFORE THE BUCS

McLouth was drafted by the Pirates out of Whitehall High School (Michigan) in the 25th round of the 2000 Amateur Draft. He dropped that low because it looked like he was college bound, but the Pirates convinced him to sign with a massive $500,000 bonus. For reference, there were players drafted in the second round that year making less than that.

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3 Up, 3 Down: June 19th-25th

Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from June 19-25: a stretch where the Pirates split a four game series in Milwaukee (6/19-6/22) and took two of three on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals (6/23-6/25).

3 UP

Gerrit Cole picked up a pair of wins this past week, going 13 innings with 10 strikeouts. He did allow two solo home runs, but those were the only runs he surrendered. He has a 1.35 ERA in his last three outings after a four game swoon in late May, early June. It’s probably safe to say Andrew McCutchen is back. He hit .391 this week (9/23) with two home runs and six walks. He was also the most popular topic of discussion at Pirates Talk Now this week. ESPN’s Aaron Boone talked to me about him

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Sunday Night Baseball Preview with ESPN’s Aaron Boone

The Pirates and Cardinals will conclude their three game series at 8:08 tonight on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Pirates Talk Now sat down with ESPN’s Aaron Boone to discuss the matchup and some of the main focal points about the Pirates’ season so far.

ON THE MATCHUP

This is the second of three scheduled Sunday Night games for the Pirates this season, and their first against St. Louis. They will be the prime time game again on August 20 in Williamsport.

Boone: “I think in the case of the Cardinals, you have a wildly popular and consistently successful franchise. It’s just one of those teams that their is undeniable.

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Pirates Flashback #4: OF Chad Hermansen

Welcome to Pirates Flashback, a weekly look back at some of the best players of the worst teams in Pirates’ history.

Today’s player is Chad Hermansen, who played for the Pirates from 1999-2002.

BEFORE THE BUCS

Hermansen was drafted out of Green Valley High School by the Pirates with the 10th pick in the 1995 draft. He quickly rose through the Pirates’ farm system, reaching AA in 1997 and AAA in 1998. Despite being younger than just about everyone at his level, he hit at least 20 home runs every year of his development besides the abbreviated 1995 campaign.

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