The Times West Virginian

Pirates

July 7, 2013

First-place Bucs earn four All-Star Game nods

PITTSBURGH — Justly rewarded for approaching the 84th Midsummer Classic with one of baseball’s best records, the Pirates placed four All-Stars on the 2013 National League squad.

Center fielder Andrew McCutchen and closer Jason Grilli, whose selections were anticipated, are joined by third baseman Pedro Alvarez and young left-hander Jeff Locke.

The quartet gives the Pirates their best All-Star representation in 32 years — since outfielders Dave Parker and Mike Easler, second baseman Phil Garner and third baseman Bill Madlock were tabbed in 1981.

The squads were revealed Saturday on FOX television’s MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell.

McCutchen’s selection by the players was almost a given, since at the conclusion of last season, he was their pick to receive the Players Choice Award as NL Most Outstanding Player.

He becomes the Pirates’ first three-time All-Star since infielder Freddy Sanchez (2006- 07, 2009). But he is the Bucs first position player to make three consecutive All-Star teams since Bobby Bonilla (1988-91).

The selection is also a confirmation of Grilli’s persevering rise from career-long obscurity to elite closer, a role he is filling for the first time as a 36-year-old veteran 13 years after his big-league debut.

Locke was recognized for his remarkable about-face after a loss in his first start of the season put his career record at 1-7. He has since won eight consecutive decisions and ranks among the league leaders with a 2.12 ERA.

Alvarez’s power surge made him a first-time All-Star. He began play Saturday ranking third in the NL with 21 homers — 17 of them since the beginning of May. Alvarez was also tied for sixth in the league with 56 RBIs.

If not on the original roster, Alvarez would likely be considered a prime candidate for the Final Vote ballot, given his popularity as a New York native and past successes in his hometown Citi Field. While he no longer has to seek that entry into the All-Star Game, the final vote does take center stage with five other candidates for fans’ ballots.

So from Saturday to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League’s All-Star roster.

And the voting doesn’t end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Aside from his personal breakthrough, Grilli makes it three summers in a row for Pittsburgh’s closer traveling to the All-Star Game, following Joel Hanrahan’s selections the past two years.

Not even Hanrahan could match Grilli’s first-half total of 28 saves (in 29 opportunities) entering Saturday, a new pre-All-Star break club record.

The most glaring omission is that of Mark Melancon, who statistically is having an even better season than Grilli (0.87 ERA in 42 appearances, compared to 2.15 in 40), but is doing it in the relatively unsung role of a setup reliever.

“For an eighth-inning guy to make it, it’s out of the ordinary,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said prior to Saturday’s game.

Also bypassed was Francisco Liriano, the veteran left-hander who tied Locke for the team lead by winning his eighth game Friday with a complete game, the Pirates’ first since last July 31.

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
    Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Volquez outdueled; Pirates fall to Reds, 4-1

    Edinson Volquez spent four years watching Johnny Cueto evolve into one of the National League’s best pitchers when the two were teammates in Cincinnati from 2008-11.

    April 23, 2014

  • MLB suspends four from Pirates-Brewers brawl

    Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.

    April 23, 2014

  • Davis’ slam leads Pirates over Reds, 6-5

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.

    April 22, 2014

  • MAIN - Brewers Pirates Baseb_time (4).jpg Pirates fall to Brewers for sixth time in young season

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braun homers twice, rallies Brewers over Pirates, 8-7

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 20, 2014

  • Brewers’ Lohse beats Pirates again

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bucs trade for Mets’ Ike Davis

    The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate.
    Pittsburgh sent minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named to New York for the 27-year-old Davis.

    April 19, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads