|2011 Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Neal Huntington|
|Local television||Root Sports Pittsburgh|
(Steve Blass, Greg Brown, Tim Neverett, Bob Walk, John Wehner)
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The 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the franchise's 125th season as a member of the National League and 130th season overall. This was their 11th season at PNC Park. The season was the first with manager Clint Hurdle, who was hired to replace the fired John Russell. After going a major league worst 57–105, they enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence, winning more than 70 games for the first time since 2004 and being covered significantly in the summer due to being involved in the pennant race, but they still locked up their 19th consecutive losing season.
The Pirates won their opening game against the Cubs in Chicago 6–3. Neil Walker led the offense with a grand slam in the fifth inning, becoming the only Pirate other than Roberto Clemente to hit a grand slam on opening day. Pittsburgh blew a lead the following day and lost, but scored two runs in the final inning of the series finale to finish their first series with a 2–1 record. Pittsburgh defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in two of three games during their second series, marking the first time the Pirates had won the majority of games in two consecutive road series since 2007. Pittsburgh came home to face the Colorado Rockies; winning one game out of four. In the second game of the series, the Pirates prevailed in a 5-hour, 10-minute game which lasted 14 innings. After an injury to starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, the bullpen combined for 11+1⁄3 scoreless innings—the most for the Pirates since 1900.
During the April 9 game in Pittsburgh, a local man was arrested in the left-field seating section. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the man "appeared to be drunk, bothered fans in his section and belligerently refused to cooperate" when he would not leave at the game at the request of PNC Park employees and police. While being escorted from the section the man struck a ballpark employee, which was met with officers putting him under arrest after "Tasering him to little effect before clubbing him in the neck, head, side and legs." The entire incident was captured on video. He was charged with public drunkenness, resisting arrest, and two additional misdemeanors. In a related incident, a woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespassing. After yelling at the officers making the initial arrest, she then "resisted an officer's attempts to remove her from the park" while yelling obscenities.
In May, the Pirates compiled a 13–13 (.500) record, and finished the month at 25–28 for the season.
On June 24, 2011, the Pirates defeated the Boston Red Sox, 3–1, to improve their record to 38–37. This is the latest in the season that the Pirates have been above .500 since 1999.
On June 28, 2011, the Pirates defeated the Blue Jays 7–6 at the Rogers Centre, to mark their first inter-league road victory in two years.
On July 8, the Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs to enter the All-Star break above the .500 mark for the first time since 1992. The Pirates also sent three players to the All-Star Game with the selections of Kevin Correia, Joel Hanrahan and Andrew McCutchen. This marked the first time since 1990 that the team had three All-Stars in the National League lineup. While Correia did not enter the game, along with Tim Lincecum, McCutchen entered the game in the seventh inning, batting in the eighth. Hanrahan was called to close in the top of the ninth, striking out the first batter, however an untimely error from Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and a single led to two men in scoring position. Brian Wilson got the save.
On July 15, and again on July 18, the Pirates moved into first place of the NL Central. This marked the first two times that the Pirates were in first place this late in the season since 1997.
July 25 saw the Pirates return to the national stage with their game at Atlanta being televised on ESPN. This is the first time the Pirates had been on ESPN since September 22, 2004. The Pirates went on to win the game 3 to 1, moving them again into a first place tie in the NL Central.
The next night, the Pirates fell victim to a controversial call in a 4–3 loss to the Braves after 19 innings. Braves infielder Julio Lugo was ruled safe at home plate by home plate umpire Jerry Meals even though replay clearly showed Lugo should have been called out. Meals and the league both admitted the call was incorrect. The team ended up filing a complaint with the commissioner's office.
|2011 Game Log (72–90)|
|Legend: = Win = Loss = Postponement|
Bold = Pirates team member
|St. Louis Cardinals||90||72||0.556||6||45–36||45–36|
|2011 Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Opening Day Starters|
2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
NL Player of the Week
MLB Delivery Man of the Month Award
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Indianapolis Indians||International League||Dean Treanor|
|AA||Altoona Curve||Eastern League||P. J. Forbes|
|A||Bradenton Marauders||Florida State League||Carlos García|
|A||West Virginia Power||South Atlantic League||Gary Robinson|
|A-Short Season||State College Spikes||New York–Penn League||Dave Turgeon|
|Rookie||GCL Pirates||Gulf Coast League||Tom Prince|
|Rookie||DSL Pirates||Dominican Summer League||Ramon Zapata|
|Rookie||VSL Pirates||Venezuelan Summer League||Osmin Melendez|