Meadville Tribune

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September 5, 2013

MLB: Losing streak just the beginning for Pirates

MEADVILLE — It is not over yet.

Sure, the streak of 20 straight non-winning seasons has finally been put to rest. But the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking for far more than a .500 record. This team is thinking playoffs.

And why not? I know it may be hard for fans to fathom, but October baseball is not out of the question. And here is why ...

1. Statistically, the Pirates sport one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The 3.20 ERA is second only to the Atlanta Braves (3.19). The team is tied for third in MLB in saves with 45 despite the loss of closer Jason Grilli. And no team is better at keeping opponents off base, as can be seen by Pittsburgh’s .237 batting average against, tied with Cincinnati for best in the majors.

2. Clint Hurdle. I applauded the choice when the Pirates hired him on Nov. 15, 2010. And he brought the team exactly what it needed — a teacher. If you are unsure of this little fact, just look at the development of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte. The three have largely carried the Pirates’ offense this season, and I think Hurdle has helped them adjust to the majors big time. Regardless of what happens, I think Hurdle is the manager of the year in the National League.

3. McCutchen is on fire. Last season, the three-time All-Star center fielder went into a massive slump after the All-Star break and the Pirates paid for it by going into a nose dive and finishing two wins short of .500. Not this season. McCutchen is hitting .355 since July 19 and is a big reason the Pirates have continued their winning ways. At this rate, Pittsburgh will be punching that ticket to the postseason sooner rather than later and McCutchen will certainly be one of the favorites for MVP.

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  • Kinter and Neff Error-free defense, hitting propel District 1 to state title

    When Tom Brunot, Doug Hecker and Mark McKissock agreed about a month ago to take on a Senior League softball team they felt fairly confident in their team’s ability to defend its turf with a state championship on the line.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV falls to Millcreek

    It may go down as one of the oddest games in Region 8 history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Meadville captures Section 1 title over DuBois

    For anyone confused about all the fire truck sirens and honking car horns that echoed through the streets of Meadville around 5 p.m. on Sunday, here’s the explanation:

    July 22, 2014

  • District 1 showcases 'D' in victory

    A strong defense up the middle is often where championship teams are born. The District 1 Senior League softball team certainly fills the bill.

    July 22, 2014

  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy builds 6-shot lead at British Open

    Rory McIlroy looks as if he has just thrown a knockout punch at the British Open, and it was only Saturday.

    July 19, 2014

  • osborne.jpg District 1 rolls in state opener

    Evidently, Jenkins Township wasn’t aware of Mark McKissock’s exceptional coaching skills.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Andrew Mook Meadville rallies in seventh for victory

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union City wins thriller

    Down to its last out of the seventh inning, the Union City Junior League softball team recorded three base hits, including a walk-off game-winner by Bree Kinney, while defeating McLane/Meadville/Vernon 3-2 in a thrilling loser’s bracket final of the Pennsylvania Section 1 All-Star tournament on Thursday at Cochranton.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lake/Linesville dealt heartbreaker

    Throughout the District 1 and Section 1 tournaments, Fred Garvey watched as his Lake/Linesville all-star baseball team battled time and time again.

    July 17, 2014

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The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
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