The Pirates are finished

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This year, the Pirates are all about finishing what they start.

According to The Associated Press, the team ordered dozens of black-and-yellow shirts with the phrase “finish” to remind the Pirates about the importance of mental toughness.

The Pirates, of course, had a pretty nice first half last year before fading fast and finishing 72-90. They were 51-44 through 95 games and 21-46 the rest of the way.

The article continues:

[Manager Clint] Hurdle believes the team will be focused following the lessons of August and September. The addition of veterans Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes and Casey McGehee – all veterans of postseason play – should give the young clubhouse a calming presence.

Those veterans of postseason play have combined to go all of 4-for-28 in October. Barmes has half of those at-bats and went hitless in all 14. Barajas’ last postseason appearance came 10 years ago.

But they will be calming, for sure. Not a one of them ever figures to be responsible for A.J. Burnett whipping up a shaving cream pie this year.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.