Daily 5

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

1. The Pittsburgh Pirates showed a killer instinct in Thursday’s sweep of the Brewers. A fifth straight come from behind victory, but in not sitting the likes of Andrew McCutchen, others, that is a norm for Clint Hurdle in these situations, it showed the importance Hurdle saw in being able to pluck another game away from the Brewers. You have to treat games against teams ahead of you with a different outlook.

The Pirates did Thursday and that has to continue.

Moving three games behind the Brewers, Pirate officials still see the team being in a peculiar place with the trade deadline 10 days away because of where Pittsburgh sits in the wild card standings.

This is a big series coming up against the Colorado Rockies (56-41) who are 7.5 games ahead of the Pirates in the wild card and tied for the top wildcard spot with Arizona. You still need to chip away at that wildcard deficit to not leave such a small margin of error.

Pittsburgh has the luxury of having 25 games remaining in the division against the Brewers (8), Cardinals (10), Cubs (7).

These are the final three games of the season vs Colorado and Pittsburgh has no games remaining against wildcard leader Arizona (55-40).

2. How rare is the Pirates five game winning streak being all come from behind wins against divisional foes?

It’s rare, especially the four-game sweep vs a first place divisional opponent.

From the Elias Sports Bureau:

[Only two other teams in major-league history have conducted a four-game sweep vs. a first-place divisional opponent (or league opponent before 1969), with all games being comeback wins. Those two teams were the 1924 Pirates, who swept the first place New York Giants in four home comebacks in August of that season, and the 2006 Astros, who swept the first-place Cardinals at home in four comeback games in September of that season.]

3. What Pirate fans and the baseball world are witnessing with closer Felipe Rivero is greatness. This guy is something else.

The Pirates are 14-3 since Rivero was officially named the closer.

But, as Pirate fans always have to live with this in having an owner like Bob Nutting, is how long will we get to watch this greatness from Rivero in a Pirates uniform.

Rivero is so cheap right now and under team-control, there’s little chance he would be moved at the deadline if the Pirates stumble on the upcoming road trip or even this winter, but with the Scott Boras client you always have to wonder how soon he’ll be put on the market for a kings ransom, especially in a position Neal Huntington does not value.

Jon Heyman in his latest Inside Baseball Column didn’t even close the door on the possibility.

[“That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t trade Felipe Rivero,” Heyman said when discussing that an Andrew McCutchen trade is unlikely and a Gerrit Cole trade even less likely. “If they put him out on the market, there’d be a feeding frenzy”]

4. The player the Pirates are getting the most significant trade inquiries into is To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

5. Ryan Spooner for Conor Sheary straight up. Who says no?

I polled two scouts and one eastern conference executive on this the other day.

The results with some feedback from each:


One scout: Pittsburgh says No | He thinks Spooner is too soft in the defensive zone down low and likes him better as a winger. The scout felt Pittsburgh would be playing a dangerous game in moving a winger who has proven chemistry with Sidney Crosby. He feels Pittsburgh’s best move is playing things out for one more year on Sheary, even if Sheary gets a favorable contract around $4 million per season.

2nd Scout: Neither team says no: | The scout loved the deal for both sides, citing Spooner would give Pittsburgh more versatility and increase their speed down the middle. “There’s some untapped ability another team and coaching staff can get to [with Spooner]. The way he plays fits right into how Pittsburgh wants to play, more so than Boston. Has a good chance to flourish in another city.”

On Sheary: “Boston has good young centers coming up. They need more skill on the wings that can create and the lack of consistent 5 on 5 production is an area they still haven’t addressed. Sheary gives you that dimension and how well he can play with elite centers would be attractive.

Eastern Conference Executive: Leaning Pittsburgh No: The executive didn’t give me a direct answer because of the uncertainty of where Ryan Spooner’s contract comes in. [“If he falls somewhere in the mid $2 [million] range, you got a situation where it makes sense [for the Penguins],” the executive said. “For me, the value of Ryan Spooner in Pittsburgh diminishes if that number is above 3 [$3 million]. You might as well wait for someone else to come available.”


“He doesn’t bring it every game and that needs To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!