2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview
Sitting as far as seven games above .500 in mid-July, the Pirates looked to be on their way to their first winning record since 1992. A 10-game losing streak followed shortly thereafter, as did more losing streaks of three, four and five games in September that put Pittsburg in a familiar spot. Pittsburg looks to improve on last season and make it through the entire season without a summer swoon in 2012.
2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview
Despite being one of the most historic franchises in all of sports, the Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992, when they lost to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. Since then, Pittsburgh has rarely been competitive and fans have seen some of their favorite players shipped off to other teams. However, in 2011 the team and its fans hope homegrown talent can hold on long enough to make it a great year in Pittsburgh. While the Pirates may find it tough to contend in the NL Central once again in 2011, fans may have reason to be hopeful for the future. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen provided a spark in the field and in the lineup last year, batting a team leading .286 while stealing 33 bases and knocking 16 home runs. If there is one player they're going to build their team around–it's McCutchen. He’s not the only one there, though: Garret Jones hit 26 home runs and drove in 86 runs from first base last season; former Yankee farmhand Jose Tabata is looking to build on his promising 2010 season; and 3B Pedro Alvarez is looking to improve upon his 16 HR and 64 RBI from last year. As for the pitching staff, Paul Maholm will likely be the Pirates' opening day starter, but that is more for lack of any other options than anything else. He was their most reliable starter in 2010, which isn't saying much given that he had an ERA over 5 and went just 9-15 last year. The rest of their line up consists of James McDonald, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and Kevin Correia–not exactly a murderer's row, and a rotation that will need a lot of help from hitters to bring Pittsburgh back to respectability.
2010 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview
Pittsburgh Pirates fans may have scratched their heads after the club repeatedly traded its established producers for a rotating door of promising prospects, but those moves may finally pay off in 2010, as the team begins to mature and gel. The 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates have a young outfield that most general managers and fans can only dream of. In 2009, as a 23-year-old rookie, centerfielder Andrew McCutchen showed ticket holders that the Pirates were no longer just a team of the future - they were becoming legitimate contenders. In just over 100 games last year, McCutchen made a name for himself by hitting .286, blasting 12 homeruns and stealing 22 bases. The rising star is flanked in the Pittsburgh outfield by two other talented greenhorns, Lastings Milledge and Garrett Jones. The three outfielders will comprise the mat of the Pirates batting order, in addition to catcher Ryan Doumit and third baseman Andy LaRoche. On the mound, lefty Paul Maholm will again be the Bucs' ace, stupefying opposing batters with his crafty selection of off-speed pitches. Fans who have grown weary of years spent rebuilding may find a pleasant surprise in the Pirates 2010 season.
2009 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview
Pittsburgh Pirates fans do not have to look far for inspiration heading into the 2009 season, because their home state Phillies won the 2008 World Series. The Phils shocking World Series title last year will provide a little extra motivation for Andy LaRoche and company for the 2009 season. If the Pittsburgh Pirates play their cards right they might have a shot at the NL Central and postseason; beyond that who knows what is possible.
2008 Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the few small market teams left in Major League Baseball. This adds a challenge for them to attract big talent with less money, but it also provides the team with a rabid fan base and an underdog status the team is more than happy to wear with pride. The Pirates are happy to prove people wrong when they make a big run at the MLB Playoffs this season. With the team's ownership changes, young talent, and what is widely considered to be the best ballpark in all of baseball, Pittsburgh fans and visitors to PNC Park are in for a real treat. The leadership of Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay will make the Pittsburgh Pirates a team to watch and a tough team to beat.