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The Pirates opened up their most recent home stand this weekend with at three-game series sweep over the Miami Marlins.  They are now 32-14 at PNC Park, and are a season-high 14 games over the .500 mark, just a game behind the division-leading Cincinnati Reds.

Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez are competing with one another in the home run race in the N.L. with 22 and 21 long balls respectively, while Neil Walker, Garrett Jones, and a seemingly endless number of others continue to contribute with timely hits.

On this week’s edition of Bucco Beat, the FFTS guys discuss the Pirates incredibly impressive play this past week, going 5-1 against the Colorado Rockies and Marlins.  Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, and Neil Walker have been grabbing many of the headlines as of late, along with standout starts by guys like A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, and Jeff Karstens.

And let’s not forget about the dominant bullpen for the Pirates this year.  The duo of Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan could very well be the best one-two punch of any team’s bullpen in all of baseball.  Guys like Brad Lincoln, Jared Hughes, Chris Resop, and Tony Watson have made incredibly vital contributions to this team, limiting opposing offenses’ opportunities in the latter innings.  If this team has the lead down the stretch, they don’t lose games.

We look at the Pirates last two series against the Rockies and Marlins, analyze the current N.L. Central standings, while also looking ahead to their next two series against the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

And don’t worry Pirates fans, as always, there’s a brand new edition of Ask Zane Anything.

Enjoy this week’s podcast folks…

[podcast]http://fansfromthestands.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Bucco-Beat-July-22-2012.mp3[/podcast]

And…

As Always…

Let’s Go Bucs!

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