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 6 hours ago

 Fans gather for a Pirates rally Tuesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown. The Pirates will take on the Chicago Cubs tonight in the National League wild-card game at PNC Park.

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 6 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 6 hours ago

 Gerrit Cole prepares to pitch during the Pirates 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park on Saturday, August 22, 2015.

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 6 hours ago

 Cubs manager Joe Maddon talks to the media about his team's upcoming Wild Card Game against the Pirates during a press conference Tuesday at PNC Park.

Cubs Notebook: Maddon puts focus on fun

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

about 6 hours ago

 Olli Maatta skates up ice against the Hurricanes during a preseason game last month at the Consol Energy Center.

Penguins notebook: Penguins send Maatta to minor league team in salary-cap move

The Penguins assigned defenseman Olli Maatta to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and recalled center Oskar Sundqvist for salary-cap purposes.

about 6 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 6 hours ago

 Cubs manager Joe Maddon warms up his team during batting practice in preperation for their Wild Card Game against the Pirates Tuesday 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 6 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 6 hours ago

 Pitt defensive lineman Ejuan Price hits Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard right after Beathard threw a pass during the first half of a game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Healthy Price savors playing time after many injury-related problems

Pitt defensive end Ejuan Price relishes his chance to play after numerous injuries

about 6 hours ago

 West Virginia Mountaineers running back Rushel Shell rushes for a touchdown against the Oklahoma Sooners last week at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma State poses even a bigger threat to WVU

One week after allowing seven sacks, West Virginia prepares for an Oklahoma State defense leading FBS in sacks and tackles for a loss.

about 6 hours ago

 Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on during the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights last month at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State Notebook: Franklin understands struggles on offense

James Franklin said he responded to a fan’s criticism and hears their concerns about the Nittany Lions, despite a 4-1 start.

about 6 hours ago

 Greensburg Central Catholic's Olivia Zambruno tees off on the 11th hole during the Girls AA Invididual Championship & PIAA Qualifier at the Rolling Hills Country Club, Tuesday.

WPIAL Class AAA and AA girls golf championships

Hampton’s Balish, Greensburg Central Catholic’s Zambruno have somewhat similar stories in winning WPIAL individual girls titles.

about 6 hours ago

 Penn State head basketball coach Pat Chambers.

Penn State men’s basketball team searching for balanced scoring attack this season

Pat Chambers’ team doesn’t know who the leading scorer will be and is  OK with having plenty of options.

about 6 hours ago

High school highlights: Chartiers Valley boys soccer beats No. 1 team in Class AAA

Chartiers Valley won, 3-2, Tuesday, handing Canon-McMillan its second loss in a row.

about 6 hours ago

 Penguins' Olli Maatta.

Penguins assign Maatta to Wilkes-Barre, but not for long

The Penguins have assigned star defenseman Olli Maatta to their farm team in Wilkes-Barre as part of a salary cap move.

about 15 hours ago

 Pitt's Tyrique Jarrett and Rori Blair take down Akron's Conor Hundley earlier in the season.

Pitt's defense shows signs of dominance, earning high expectations

Defensive coordinator Josh Conklin says the Panthers’ standard “is being the best defense in the ACC.”

about 16 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.”

about 15 hours 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.

about 15 hours 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.

about 16 hours 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.

about 13 hours ago

 Then-New York Giants Kicker Chris Boswell follows through on a field goal the first half of a preseason game against the New England Patriots on Sept. 3.

Kicker Boswell isn't concerned with Steelers debut coming on 'Monday Night Football'

Chris Boswell knows he has to take advantage of this opportunity if he wants to stick around in the NFL.

1 day ago

 Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell breaks away from Baltimore Ravens defender Kapron Lewis-Moore in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's game at Heinz Field.

Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 10.6.15

Ed takes your questions on the Steelers who head to the Left Coast for a Monday night matchup against the San Diego Chargers,

about 15 hours ago

 Michael Vick will start against San Diego on Monday night. Coach Mike Tomlin says he expects Vick to improve, now that he's had more practice time with the team.

Extra time between games should help Vick and Brown get on same page

Steelers coach says an extra week of practice will help the quarterback; says Ryan Shazier’s shoulder injury is “dramatically improved.”

about 17 hours ago

 Pascal Dupuis returned to the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins first practice last month at the team's new facility in Cranberry.

Penguins: Dupuis' latest injury to keep him out 4-5 weeks

The team said the injury, though unspecified, is not related to previous health issues he has had but will temporarily derail his  comeback

about 21 hours 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

 New York Rangers fans cheer as Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Rob Scuderi react to a goal by the New York Rangers' Derek Stepan during the first period of Game 5 in the first round of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Friday, April 24, 2015, in New York.

Penguins defense still in flux heading into season opener

Ian Cole likes the way Penguins defense is coming together and sees further improvement coming soon.

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 7 hours ago

Scandal erupts in unregulated world of fantasy sports

Fantasy companies DraftKings and FanDuel are facing allegations that employees placed bets and won money with inside information.

about 19 hours 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

The second Pittsburgh City League Hall of Fame class announced

The 23 inductees include two former NFL players, a bronze medalist from the 1948 Olympics and a former WNBA player.

1 day ago

2015-16 PIHL hockey preview

Shaler moves back up to Class AAA, should be a Penguins Cup contender after losing in the semifinals in 2014-15.

1 day ago

 Dave Molinari predicts Sidney Crosby and the Penguins to finish third in the Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division this season.

NHL Preview: Team-by-team analysis of the 2015-16 season

Penguins beat writer Dave Molinari previews the upcoming NHL season, with what to expect for every team.

1 day ago

 Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman drops back to pass Saturday in the Panthers' defensive-minded 17-13 win at Virginia Tech.

Pitt coach Narduzzi believes offense will sort itself out

Despite a dominant defensive performance, Panthers still are searching for their offensive identity

2 days ago

 Steelers' DB Will Allen reaches to take down Ravens' Lorenzo Taliaferro in the first quarter Thursday at Heinz Field.

Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat transcript: 10.5.15

Ray takes your questions on the Steelers who will head to San Diego next week with a new kicker -- and Martavis Bryant -- in tow.

1 day ago

 Steelers' Ryan Shazier gets a piece of 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick's jersey during the home opener at Heinz Field last month.

On the Steelers: Bryant, Shazier return to practice

Martavis Bryant’s four-game suspension expires and Ryan Shazier comes back from shoulder injury that kept him out for the past two games.

1 day ago

 It might be easy to forget Shaun Suisham was far from automatic at the start of his Steelers career, but things got much better for the now injured kicker.

On the Steelers: Tomlin had patience with a previous kicker

Shaun Suisham started a little slowly but repaid his coach’s faith in him by becoming the most accurate place-kicker in Steelers history.

2 days ago

 Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek can't stop a goal by the Penguins' Daniel Sprong in a preseason game last month at Consol Energy Center.

Ten games will determine Sprong's place with Penguins

Talented Penguins rookie Daniel Sprong will get his entry-level contract if he remains with the major league club.

2 days ago

 Penguins defenseman Tim Erixon eyes the puck at a practice last month.

Penguins notebook: Erixon quietly earns roster spot

Defenseman Tim Erixon didn’t hear much feedback in training camp but heard all he needed to when he made the season-opening Penguins lineup.

2 days ago

 Pascal Dupuis will not play Thursday in Dallas.

Dupuis will miss Penguins season opener

GM Jim Rutherford says winger Pascal Dupuis will miss the opener Thursday with an unspecified injury unrelated to blood clot.

1 day ago

 Pittsburgh receiver J.P. Holtz celebrates with quarterback Nate Peterman after scoring a touchdown against Virginia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg Va.

Pitt's coaching staff brings players back to earth

Coach Pat Narduzzi says there’s plenty of room for improvement despite victory Saturday at Virginia Tech.

1 day ago

 Mario Alford and the Mountaineers handed Baylor its lone regular season loss last season.

WVU-Baylor scheduled for noon kickoff next week

The Mountaineers (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) suffered their first loss of the season last week in a 44-24 setback at No. 10 Oklahoma.

1 day 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

 Mt. Lebanon aims to reduce deer-vehicle collisions by 50 percent in five years.

Mt. Lebanon ordered to stop archery hunt in Twin Hills Park

The hunt organizer said the inter-community dustup was moot — no hunting has occurred in Twin Hills Park and none is planned.

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

Seneca Valley schools chosen for WPIAL sportsmanship award

Seneca Valley School District is being recognized for its good sportsmanship.

1 day 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

 Penn State’s Mike Gesicki outraces Army defenders for a 33-yard touchdown reception Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State TE Mike Gesicki looks to continue bouncing back after early struggles

The sophomore tight end scored his first career touchdown against Army, one that helped boost Gesicki’s spirits after earlier struggles.

2 days ago

 Pine-Richland sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec received scholarship offers from Pitt and Penn State last week.

High school notebook: PIAA to decide if Farrell can rejoin WPIAL

The Steelers have made a push to leave District 10 and come back to the WPIAL, where they shined in several sports last century.

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.

1 day ago