The Chicago Cubs are again our unanimous No. 1, but the rival Pittsburgh Pirates took a huge leap forward -- seven spots -- in our Week 8 poll. Do we have a race brewing in the NL Central?
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Pirates looking at pitchers with No. 22 pick
In his latest mock draft, Keith Law now have the Pirates drafting Louisville right-handed pitcher Zack Burdi with the No. 22 pick. Burdi still needs to work on his command, but he throws 98-100 mph. Law: Mock draft 2.0 (Insider)
Struggling sluggers Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland homered during Texas' four-run fourth inning, and the Rangers beat the Pirates 6-2 for their eighth straight series victory at home.
Lineup: Pirates (28-20) vs. Rangers (28-21)
- 1. Jordy Mercer, SS (R)
- 2. Andrew McCutchen, CF (R)
- 3. David Freese, 1B (R)
- 4. Jung Ho Kang, 3B (R)
- 5. Starling Marte, LF (R)
- 6. Francisco Cervelli, DH (R)
- 7. Sean Rodriguez, 2B (R)
- 8. Matt Joyce, RF (L)
- 9. Chris Stewart, C (R)
- SP: Francisco Liriano, LHP Daily notes
Buster Olney focuses on the 28-19 Pirates, laying out an apt analogy for the perception of the NL Central and what Pittsburgh is capable of.
In his first big league game in 659 days, Rangers ace Yu Darvish didn't look like he had missed a beat, as he threw crackling stuff and blazing heat to overpower the Pirates.
Yu Darvish struck out seven in five strong innings in his first start in the majors in almost 22 months, and the Texas Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Saturday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-instated left-handed reliever Tony Watson from the paternity list and optioned lefty Kyle Lobstein to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Are John Jaso's skills declining?
Jaso is hitting the ball well this year, but Statcast's data suggests that his abilities are fading. FiveThirtyEight crunches the numbers to see how much luck has been involved in his performance. Hitting hard, or into hard luck?
Jonathon Niese outpitched Cole Hamels with six strong innings, ending the Texas left-hander's career-best winning streak at 12 games in Pittsburgh's 9-1 victory over the Rangers on Friday.
Cole shows off some rare power
Gerrit Cole had only one extra-base hit in 158 career at-bats before homering and hitting a double against the D-backs on Thursday. Cole's three-run shot traveled 408 feet, the second-longest by a pitcher this season, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Josh Harrison came off the bench to hit a two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning to help the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Thursday.
Eric Karabell ESPN Senior Writer
You know you're a fantasy owner when you're not a Pirates fan but get frustrated when 5-3 lead becomes 8-3 lead in bottom of eighth. No save for Melancon!
Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was released from the hospital after getting hit in the head by a pitch earlier this week.
D-backs blaming Pirates for HBPs
In the days since Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero struck two D-backs on the head with pitches, Arizona manager Chip Hale and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa have pointed fingers at the Bucs for the mishap. "It's almost the fault more of the coaching and the managing than it is the player," Hale said. Arizona Republic
Wednesday's longest home runs
Rangers rookie Nomar Mazara outpaced the competition by 20 feet on Wednesday. His solo shot off Angels starter Hector Santiago traveled 453 feet, the longest homer by a Rangers player this season, per ESPN's Home Run Tracker.
David Freese hit a two-run home run to cap a four-run fifth inning, Sean Rodriguez also homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
A day after he was ejected for hitting two Diamondbacks hitters on the head with pitches, Arquimedes Caminero was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Pirates.
Eric Karabell assesses the outfield in Pittsburgh to see if Andrew McCutchen has fallen behind his hot-hitting teammates.
Gregory Polanco of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a future All-Star, leads our list of things we learned on Tuesday in MLB.
Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale wasn't happy after two of his batters were hit in the head by Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero on Tuesday.
The Pirates are looking smart for committing $35 million to their 24-year-old right fielder. His growth and development at the plate is impressive.
Pirates @ Marlins
Marlins Park - Mon 5/30