The Pirates will have to decide if they want to bring back mercurial first baseman Pedro Alvarez, among several others.

Walker, Alvarez among decisions Pirates face entering offseason earlier than planned

The Pirates have several decisions to make on free agents and arbitration-eligible players after the playoffs end.

35 minutes ago

 Wednesday night against the Cubs started bad and turned worse for the Pirates and starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, but he's not alone in the blame.

Ron Cook: Plenty of Pirates give reason to play the blame game after loss

Who to blame for another early Pirates postseason exit? More like who not to blame after an ugly 4-0 shutout by the Chicago Cubs.

57 minutes ago

 Andrew McCutchen picks up a hit off Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta in the first inning of Wednesday's game.

Pirates-Cubs wild-card matchup sets ratings records

Wednesday’s game received the highest ever TV rating for an MLB wild-card game.

about 9 hours ago

 Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is mobbed after pitching a complete game Wednesday against the Pirates on Wednesday.

Red-hot Arrieta abruptly ends postseason dreams for Pirates, fans

“Sometimes you draw a tough bull,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve drawn a tough bull two years in a row.”

about 15 hours ago

 Jake Arrieta reacts after getting a double play to end the sixth inning during the National League Wild Card Game at PNC Park Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

Gene Collier: No amount of metrics could help Pirates vs. Jake Arrieta

Destiny calls for Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, who becomes first pitcher to throw a postseason shutout with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.

1 day ago

 Chicago's Kyle Schwarber rounds third base after hitting a two-run homer against Gerrit Cole in the third inning Wednesday night.

Huge opportunity doesn't go as planned for Pirates ace Gerrit Cole

“It burns. It stings,” Cole said after Wednesday’s game. “All the negative things you can come up with, that’s how it feels right now.”

1 day ago

 The home plate umpire separates Jake Arrieta and Francisco Cervelli after Arrieta was hit by Tony Watson during the National League Wild Card Game at PNC Park Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

Benches-clearing scrum set off by hit-batsmen

National League wild-card game was marred by a bench-clearing altercation in the top of the seventh inning.

1 day ago

 Dexter Fowler congratulates Kyle Schwarber after Schwarber's two-run home run in the third inning Wednesday at PNC Park.

Youth takes center stage in Cubs' wild-card win against Pirates

A young Chicago lineup solved Pirates ace Gerrit Cole, sending Joe Maddon and the Cubs to the NLDS.

1 day ago

 AJ Burnett greets injured Jung Ho Kang as he's introduced before the NL Wild Card game at PNC Park.

Pirates Insider: Jung Ho Kang gets warm welcome back from Pirates fans

Injured rookie star Jung Ho Kang makes his return to PNC Park in a wheelchair for a warm ovation from a big, raucous crowd.

1 day ago

 Cubs' pitcher Jake Arrieta is mobbed after defeating the Pirates during the National League Wild Card Game at PNC Park.

Bob Smizik: Arrieta simply too good

Event the 1927 Yankees would have had trouble with Arrieta, Bob Smizik argues.

about 19 hours ago

 Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole hangs his head after giving up a home run during the NL wild-card game Wednesday night at PNC Park.

'From pitch one': Arrieta overpowers, Pirates fall to Cubs, 4-0, in wild-card game

A crowd of 40,889 fans -- largest ever at PNC Park -- watched the decisive game. The Pirates lost their second wild-card game in a row.

1 day ago

 Fans lose hope for a wild card win at PNC Park.

Cubs crush Pirates fans' hopes for playoffs at PNC Park

Pirates fans, Cubs fans co-mingling peacefully as the excitement builds for tonight's do-or-die NL wild-card game.

1 day ago

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.

1 day ago

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

Pirates notebook: Hurdle chose to go defensive at first base

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

1 day 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.

1 day 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.

1 day 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’?

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

1 day 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.

1 day 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

2 days ago

 Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon greets his players as he is introduced before the NL Wild Card game at PNC Park.

Cubs notebook: Maddon puts out offensive lineup

Like Clint Hurdle, Cubs manager Joe Maddon also made a few curious decisions about who he wanted to start the game.

1 day 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.

1 day 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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.”

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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.

3 days 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.

3 days 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.

2 days 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.

2 days 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?

4 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.

4 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.

3 days 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.

4 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.

5 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.

5 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.

5 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.

5 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.

5 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.

6 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.

6 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.

6 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.

1 week 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.

1 week ago