The Pirates are on the board in Game 1 of NLDS

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The Pirates still have a long way to go in order to make a game out of this, but they are on the board against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Pedro Alvarez, who tied for the NL lead with 36 homers in the regular season, led off the top of the fifth inning with a long solo home run against Adam Wainwright. Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News notes that the ball traveled an estimated 437 feet into the right field bleachers.

Wainwright sat down the next three batters he faced, including strikeouts of Clint Barmes and Jeanmar Gomez, so it’s 7-1 as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning. The Pirates have 12 more outs to chip away, but it’s not looking good right now.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.