Stats Geek: 5 guesses why Sean Rodriguez is starting in place of Pedro Alvarez

Stats Geek Brian O’Neill has five guesses why Sean Rodriguez is starting at 1B in the wild-card game instead of Pedro Alvarez.

24 minutes ago

 Sean Rodriguez and Josh Harrison will start at first base and third base, respectively, tonight against the Cubs.

Rodriguez at first base, Harrison at third for Pirates-Cubs wild-card matchup

Rodriguez, a defensive specialist, was selected to start at first over Pedro Alvarez and Michael Morse and will bat eighth.

39 minutes ago

 The altered sign at the Smith Brothers offices on the North Side.

Alteration of sign from 'Bucs' to 'Cubs' for photo op goes viral

"It was just for fun. Just a prank," said Steve Mpistolarides, a Cook County police officer who and drove to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

about 3 hours ago

 Tonight's wild-card game is expected to generate between $4.6 million and more than $5 million in direct spending in the city.

Pittsburgh's economy will come out a winner thanks to wild-card game

One-game playoff between Pirates and Cubs will generate millions in direct spending and provide the city with free national promotion.

about 4 hours ago

 The two aces: Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, a former No. 1 pick and Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, a 29-year-old who has found his stuff with the Cubs, face off in the NL Wild Card game.

One Game, One Night: Winner Take All

The second- and third-best teams meet in a one-game playoff at PNC Park for the right to play on. Is it fair, a flaw, or ‘the way it goes’?

about 17 hours ago

 John Rozell, 26, of Crafton offered this prediction Tuesday: “I think the Bucs are going to beat the Cubs, 5-1.”

After tonight's playoff game, could Pirates' window of success soon be closing?

With the club in a do-or-die situation, questions arise about how many more chances it will get at October glory.

about 17 hours ago

Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 10.07.15

Even fans from Berlin are weighing in with questions about the Pirates’ wild-card game tonight.

about 3 hours ago

 The Jolly Rogers will be waving across PNC Park tonight.

Stephen J. Nesbitt's Pirates chat transcript: 10.7.15

With first pitch nigh, Stephen takes your questions on what to expect tonight at PNC Park.

about 2 hours ago

 Cubs manager Joe Maddon warms up his team during batting practice Tuesday in preparation for its wild-card game against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Gene Collier: Cubs manager Maddon's approach -- 'go out and play, man!'

A manager who has gone to explicit lengths to keep his teams loose, Joe Maddon knows as well as anyone how teams succeed in games like this.

about 17 hours ago

 Members of the 1979 world championship Pirates together with the World Series trophy before a game in 2009. From left to right, top row, Omar Moreno, Bruce Kison, partially blocked by Chuck Tanner, Kent Tekulve, Bill Madlock, wife of the late slugger Willie Stargell, Margaret Stargell, Don Robinson, and Rennie Stennett,, Bottom row right to left are Dale Berra , Mike Easler, Grant Jackson, Steve Nicosia and Phil Garner.

Stats Geek: The great 98; it is just that

This year’s Pirates are one of only six clubs in franchise history to win 98 games. Here are four in order of wins. Three went all the way.

about 17 hours ago

 Gerrit Cole prepares to deliver a pitch Aug. 22 against the Giants.

Pirates notebook: Cole flies under radar ahead of start

The Pirates starter for tonight’s game -- and every other pitcher in the playoffs -- have been overshadowed by Jake Arrieta’s historic run.

about 17 hours ago

 Cubs manager Joe Maddon talks to the media Tuesday at PNC Park.

Cubs notebook: Joe Maddon puts focus on fun

The Cubs manager has a reputation for being a fun-loving manager who keeps things light and loose in the locker room.

about 17 hours ago

 Tickets for tonight's NL wild-card game.

Pirates-Cubs drawing big numbers in secondary market ticket sales

Nearly 20-25 percent of tickets for tonight’s game are being sold through StubHub.

about 2 hours ago

 The person behind Clark, the Chicago Cubs mascot, portrayed the Pirate Parrot for seven years, until 2014.

For the Pirate Parrot, birds of a feather don't stick together

The Pirate Parrot changed allegiances in 2014, becoming Clark, the new mascot of the Chicago Cubs.

about 17 hours ago

 A common sight at PNC Park: a Pirates fan waving the Jolly Roger.

Pirates or Cubs: Who will wave victory flag tonight?

At PNC Park and Wrigley Field, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs have deep flag-raising traditions.

about 17 hours ago

 The Cubs' Jake Arrieta, left, and the Pirates' Gerrit Cole face off Wednesday night at PNC Park.

Cubs' Arrieta feels 'confident' facing familiar Pirates hitters

In response to his Twitter spats with fans earlier this week, the Cubs ace said it was “all in good fun.”

1 day ago

 The Cubs' Jake Arrieta delivers a pitch Aug. 4 against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Should Pirates take small ball approach against Cubs' Arrieta?

Lineup presents another dilemma: The Pirates have decided on, but not announced, their roster, which they must do Wednesday morning.

1 day ago

 Francisco Cervelli cheers with the crowd as he heads home to put the Pirates up 3-0 against the Cincinnati Reds Sunday at PNC Park.

Bill Brink's Pirates chat transcript: Wild Card edition

Readers have lots of questions about Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta as the Pirates prepare for the wild card game Wednesday night.

1 day ago

Andrew McCutchen's mother to sing national anthem for Wednesday's wild-card game

Know before you go: Here are some parking and gate reminders to keep in mind before heading to PNC Park.

1 day ago

 Manager Clint Hurdle looks on before Sunday's game against the Reds at PNC Park. Hurdle has seen his share of elimination games, starting as a player, when he went 5 for 12 in the 1980 World Series that his Royals lost to the Phillies.

Wild-card roster makeup critical for Pirates

The Pirates have two years of experience to draw from when forming their wild-card roster and making in-game decisions.

1 day ago

 Josh Harrison went 3 for 4 against the Cincinnati Reds Sunday at PNC Park.

Ron Cook: Picking a Pirates lineup for wild-card game not easy

Pirates need Josh Harrison’s fire and hot bat in the starting lineup for the National League wild-card game against the Chicago Cubs.

1 day ago

 Cubs' Jake Arrieta talks to the media about his upcoming start in the Wild Card Game against the Pirates during a press conference Tuesday at PNC Park.

Arrieta an unexpected ace for Cubs

Nothing on resume foreshadowed Jake Arietta’s fantastic numbers this season.

about 18 hours ago

 Since Sept. 22, Josh Harrison has a .994 OPS in 43 plate appearances.

Bob Smizik: Harrison should be in Pirates lineup against Cubs

Regular readers might be aware that I’ve never fully bought into the Harrison mystique.

1 day ago

 J.A. Happ was again brilliant in another start for the Pirates, but will he be back next season?

Ron Cook: Walker, Alvarez, Happ deliver Sunday, but the future remains a question

The trio is playing well at the right time, but is their time as Pirates players running out?

2 days ago

 “Every one of you. That’s why I came back. I love you,” A.J. Burnett told the Pirates dugout Sunday.

Pirates notebook: Burnett, Ramirez saluted before final regular-season game

A couple of veterans on their way out were saluted Sunday by the Pirates, who then in turn heaped praise on their fans after the game.

2 days ago

 Pirates fans cheer their team.

Downtown rally being held today for Pirates wild-card game

Events and music are planned to cheer on the Bucs a day before their home game against Chicago.

1 day ago

 Francisco Cervelli cheers with the crowd as he heads home to put the Pirates up 3-0 against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.

Pirates clinch home field in National League wild-card game with 4-0 victory

The Pirates won 98 games for the sixth time in club history and their reward is a one-game playoff against Chicago on Wednesday at PNC Park.

2 days ago

 Gerrit Cole already has the reputation of a big-game pitcher, which he'll carry into Wednesday night's win-or-go-home playoff against the Cubs.

Ace high: Gerrit Cole just the guy Pirates want in do-or-die situation

Gerrit Cole, just 25, will already be making his third postseason start Wednesday night, and the Pirates wouldn’t want it any other way.

3 days ago

 Starling Marte celebrates with teammates after his walk-off home run Friday night to beat Cincinnati.

Ron Cook: Postseason success a must for Pirates

Many Steelers fans take a Super Bowl-or-bust approach to each season, and it’s time that thinking applies to the Pirates.

3 days ago

  Max Scherzer struck out 17 hitters Saturday.

Nationals pitcher Scherzer throws his second no-hitter of season

The first one, on June 20, came against the Pirates.

3 days ago

 Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett holds back tears as he waves to fans after exiting in the seventh inning of tonight's game against the Reds.

Pirates fall to Reds in what may be Burnett's final regular season start

The pitcher has said he’ll retire at season’s end. With the Cubs winning, the Pirates still have work to do to host the NL wild-card game.

3 days ago

 Gerrit Cole has pitched one elimination game before: Game 5 of the 2013 NLDS against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Cole to start Pirates' wild-card game against Cubs

The 25-year-old, the first overall selection in the 2011 draft, was the Pirates’ best starter this season.

3 days ago

 Sean Rodriguez in catcher's gear? These are the kind of nightmare scenarios teams think about before heading into the postseason.

Pirates notebook: Hurdle already mulling choices for wild-card game roster

The Pirates have time before submitting their wild-card roster, but the discussions about whom to select have begun.

4 days ago

 Starling Marte celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run in the 12th inning Friday night against the Reds at PNC Park.

After trailing, 4-0, Marte’s homer in 12th reduces magic number to 1

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs beat the Brewers, keeping the pressure on the Pirates.

4 days ago

 Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli celebrates at home after hitting a grand slam in the fourth inning against the Cardinals at PNC Park on Wednesday.

Pirates catcher Cervelli enjoying fruits of a full season in majors

Without major injuries or other obstacles, Francisco Cervelli has played a full season for the first time and sets career-highs on offense.

5 days ago

 Pirates reliever Jared Hughes celebrates with Josh Harrison after beating the Cardinals 8-2 Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park.

Bill Brink's Pirates baseball chat transcript: 10.1.15

Bill takes your questions on the Pirates, who will face the Cubs in a Wild Card playoff next week.

6 days ago

 A matchup between Pirates ace Gerrit Cole and Cubs ace Jake Arrieta is nigh.

Ron Cook: Gerrit Cole's attitude, ability can carry Pirates a long way

Even if it comes down to a duel with Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, Gerrit Cole gives the Pirates a great chance to beat anyone in the other dugout.

6 days ago

 Gregory Polanco and Josh Harrison celebrate after scoring on a double by Starling Marte against the Colorado Rockies last week at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Pirates notebook: Polanco shakes off Monday error

Gregory Polanco had a nice day at the plate and in the field in the first game of the Wednesday doubleheader.

6 days ago

 Charlie Morton allowed five runs before leaving in the third inning of Game 2 Wednesday night at PNC Park, quickly taking the drama out of the Pirates’ hopes for a sweep.

Cardinals win division; Pirates bound for third wild-card game

The Pirates stayed alive by winning the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, 8-2. But Morton fell far short in the nightcap.

6 days ago

 Pirates fans celebrate after Joakim Soria struck out Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta in the seventh inning Monday at PNC Park.

Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 9.30.15

Jerry takes your questions on the Pirates postseason prospects and how the Steelers will fare without Ben Roethlisberger.

1 week ago

 Cardinals' Mark Reynolds rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run against Pirates' Mark Melancon in the ninth inning Monday at PNC Park.

Gene Collier: Pirates pay high price for many mistakes Monday night

After the miscues late in the game Monday night against St. Louis, Tuesday’s rain didn’t do the Pirates any favors.

1 week ago

 The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez slides to break up a double play against the Cardinals' Kolten Wong in the fourth inning Monday at PNC Park.

St. Louis gets two chances to clinch NL Central title today after game Tuesday is rained out

The Cardinals can wrap up the NL Central title today with one win in the day-night doubleheader against the Pirates at PNC Park.

1 week ago

 Pirates' Josh Harrison gets a hit against the Cardinals in the third inning Monday at PNC Park.

Stephen J. Nesbitt's Pirates baseball chat transcript: 9.29.15

With five games left will the Pirates catch the Cardinals? Stephen takes your questions in today’s chat.

1 week ago

Gene Collier: Pirates fail to pick things up

The Pirates face a must win situation tonight if they care to keep the balance of the week relevant.

1 week ago

 Pirates' Gregory Polanco is tagged out at home by Cardinals' Yadier Molina in the first inning of a July game at PNC Park.

Pirates notebook: Cardinals lose one, might gain another

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will miss the rest of the season because of a thumb injury, meaning the Pirates will face backup Tony Cruz.

1 week ago

 Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon fight in the dugout in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Washington.

Washington Nationals suspend closer for games for duguout fight

Jonathan Papelbon also drops appeal of three-game suspension from league for throwing at an opponent’s head, thus ending his season.

1 week ago

 The Cardinals' Tony Cruz tags out Pirates' Starling Marte at home plate in the third inning Monday at PNC Park.

Pirates can't close gap on Cardinals in 3-0 loss

The Pirates went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 16 runners on base.

1 week ago

 Not much new ground will be broken this week when the St. Louis Cardinals visit PNC Park to take on the Pirates in the middle of a pennant race.

Pirates notebook: No secrets with Cardinals entering penultimate series

The Pirates and Cardinals have plenty of data to inform their decisions in the crucial final series between the two teams.

1 week ago

 Cardinals' Peter Bourjos holds up the ball after colliding with Stephen Piscotty on a fly ball hit by Pirates' Josh Harrison in the seventh inning Monday at PNC Park.

Cardinals' Piscotty leaves game after scary collision

“Stephen Piscotty suffered a head contusion,” the Cardinals announced on Twitter. “[He] is being taken to local hospital for further exams.

1 week ago

 Gregory Polanco steals second base on the late tag by Cubs infielder Starlin Castro in the seventh inning.

Cubs stop Pirates' win streak at 8 with 4-0 victory

The Pirates (95-61) trail the St. Louis Cardinals, who come to PNC Park for a three-game series that begins today, by three games.

1 week ago