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 beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pittsbugh Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally by Rockies in 11

    Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
    Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado’s Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

    July 20, 2014

  • Pirates rally late, top Rockies, 4-2

    Travis Snider’s pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker to spark the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
    Walker trotted home when Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn’t track down Snider’s sinking line drive off reliever Matt Belisle (2-5). All-Star Josh Harrison added a sacrifice fly one batter later.

    July 19, 2014

  • Resilient Pirates looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeter, Trout lead AL over NL 5-3 in All-Star game

    Derek Jeter soaked in the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball’s national stage, set the tone for the American League with a pregame speech and then delivered two final All-Star hits.
    Mike Trout, perhaps the top candidate to succeed the 40-year-old Yankees captain as the face of the game, seemed ready to assume the role with a tiebreaking triple and later a go-ahead double that earned him MVP honors.

    July 16, 2014

  • NL Central race should be fun

    If you’re a baseball fan, you’re going to want to watch the race for the National League Central division in the second half of the season.

    July 14, 2014

  • Liriano rusty in Pirates’ 6-3 loss

    Francisco Liriano was in trouble often, but it was just one bad pitch that really cost the Pittsburgh left-hander.

    July 13, 2014

  • Pirates drop final game before All-Star break

    Kris Negron hit his first career home run, and All-Star Todd Frazier added a two-run shot as the Cincinnati Reds rolled into the break with a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

    July 13, 2014

  • McCutchen’s HRs rally Pirates over Reds 6-5 in 11

    The Pirates’ MVP saved them. Twice.
    Andrew McCutchen tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth inning Saturday night, then connected again in the 11th inning, rallying the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

    July 13, 2014

  • Pirates fall to Reds after late rally

    Brayan Pena’s pinch-hit single in the eighth inning completed another late rally by the Reds, who overcame more injuries on Friday and beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 to keep their momentum going toward the All-Star break.

    July 12, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads