First Half

The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the All-Star break with a 48 -37 record and leading the National League Central by one game.     Andrew McCutchen is leading the National League with a .362 batting average, 18 home runs, and 60 runs batted in plus he is an all-star.   James McDonald has bolstered a pitching staff with a 9 and 3 record with an 2.37 ERA, and the acquisition of A.J Burnett has paid off with a 10-2 record with an  3.68 ERA.  The bullpen led by closer Joel Hanrahan with a 4-0 record with 23 saves and a 2.38 ERA.  Jason Grilli has been outstanding as a setup guy with a 1.78 ERA.   Clint Hurdle has done an outstanding job as a manager in his second season getting his team to be ready every game.  Hurdle could be in consideration for Manager of the Year and a contract extension.   General Manager Neal Huntington has rebuilt the farm system, making astute free agent signings, and trades.    The Bucs look to build on the strong first half  starting Friday in Milwaukee, with the hope of ending 19 year streak of sub-500 seasons.  Another question is whether the Pirates will make a trade to get another hitter or pitcher to help them stay in contention.    I think it has already been an amazing summer at PNC Park, and maybe it could last into the fall.

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