Gerrit Cole has been unbelievable in two starts


Former Pirate Gerrit Cole (1-0, 0.64 ERA) through two starts with the Houston Astros, is looking everything the Pirates imagined/hoped he was going to be when they took him 1st overall in the 2011 draft. Cole was dominant again Saturday night in his first home start as an Astro, striking out 11 for the second straight this season. Cole allowed 0 runs and 5 hits. Cole in two starts has a K/BB ratio of 22/3. The swing and miss stuff has been at a level never seen from Cole before as the Astros have found something the Pirates couldn’t with Cole in developing a 3rd and 4th pitch. From the Houston Chronicle: [It’s a small sample size, mind you, but after two starts it’d be hard to argue that he’s not the team’s best starter right now..Nineteen of his 102 pitches were swung upon and missed on Saturday, two fewerRead More »

Post-Game: Karstens throws complete game Shutout for First Place Pirates


Pirates 4 – Astros 0 W: Jeff Karstens (8-4, 2.34 ERA) L: Brett Myers (3-10, 4.86 ERA) First Place Pirates — The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Houston Astros 4-0 on Friday night, improving to 48-43 on the season. The Pirates moved into first place with the win. The Cincinnati Reds (46-47) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (49-44) 6-5 with a Brandon Phillips walkoff homer and the Colorado Rockies shutout the Milwaukee Brewers (49-44), 4-0. Karstens throws 2nd career shutout game — In nine days rest, Jeff Karstens (8-4, 2.34) was calm and composed, earning his 8th win of the season with a complete game shutout, the second of his career. Karstens allowed 5 hits and 0 runs, while striking out 2 and walking none in the victory. Karstens has lowered his ERA to 2.34 (3rd in NL) and is 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his last 8 starts. KarstensRead More »

Berkman powers Astros to 6-3 win


Pirates drop second in a row Inconsistency was expected to follow the Pirates this season and it has so far. The Pirates have scored 30 runs in their four wins and just eight runs in their five losses. Lance Berkman hit a three-run homer in the 6th inning off of Sean Burnett to break a 3-3 tie as the Astros rallied to a 6-3 win, Thursday afternoon at PNC Park The Pirates got off to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Nyjer Morgan scored on a Russ Ortiz wild pitch and Adam Laroche doubled to deep center, scoring Nate McLouth. In the second inning, Nyjer Morgan tripled to deep right center, scoring Jeff Karstens, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead going into the top of the 3rd but the Pirates would be held scoreless for the remainder of the game Morgan was one of the Pirates fewRead More »

Hampton stifles Pirates in 4-1 win


By John Perrotto Ross Ohlendorf and Mike Hampton both faced 23 batters Wednesday night at PNC Park in the Pirates‚Äô 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros. Ohlendorf, the Pirates‚Äô right-hander, threw the first pitch for strikes to 14 of those batters. Hampton, the Astros‚Äô left-hander, threw 17 first-pitch strikes. That might not seem like a big difference but Pirates manager John Russell felt it was the deciding factor in his team dropping back to .500 at 4-4 and the Astros snapping their five-game losing streak. ‚ÄúHampton got ahead of the hitters all night and put our guys on the defensive,‚Äù Russell said. ‚ÄúRoss was the opposite. He kept falling behind and running a lot of 3-2 counts and it‚Äôs tough to pitch effectively that way.‚Äù Ohlendorf used his two-seam fastball effectively in his first start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals last Thursday as he allowed three runsRead More »

Duke throws CG, 4-hit shutout in 7-0 win


In front of a sell out crowd, Zach Duke threw a four hit, complete game shutout leading the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3) to a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros (1-6), Monday afternoon at PNC Park. Duke (2-0) is off to a strong start after a 5-14 season in 2008 and credits pitching coach Joe Kerrigan for the turnaround. Duke‚Äôs complete game shutout was the first by a Pirates pitcher in a home opener since 1978 While Duke dominated on the pitchers mound, Freddy Sanchez had three doubles, starting a five run third inning for the Pirates. Adam LaRoche who is notoriously a slow starter in April had three hits including a two run homer in the third inning to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead. Nyjer Morgan capped off the Pirates 5-run third inning, with a two-run single, scoring Ramon Vazquez and Jack Wilson. Ryan Doumit added a solo homerunRead More »