PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- MLB Network Analyst, former Major Leaguer and Upper St. Clair native Sean Casey joined “The Cook and Poni Show” on Tuesday morning to talk about the recent surge of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have now won four out of their last five games.

“This team is going to battle you and find ways to win ballgames,” Casey said. “And, that is what they have done lately.”

Casey says the reason for the Pirates’ surge of late is because they have been getting more from their starting pitchers, the bullpen is getting healthy and the bats are coming alive.

One of those bats who may have given the Pirates a spark is from super utility player Josh Harrison.

“It’s impressive what he is doing,” Casey said. “He is one of those guys you pull for. Everyone in that clubhouse loves him and there is something to be said about him creating a spark.”

Casey said he liked what he saw from Brandon Cumpton, who was called up yesterday to start against the Mets. He started in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week.

The only weak spot in the Pirates’ last five days was another bad start for Francisco Liriano, who is still looking for his first win of the season.

Casey said last year, Liriano was so dominating because he had such command of his fastball and then would hit you with a nasty slider. This year, he is struggling to get the velocity and his slider is just flat in the zone.

“He is just making more mistakes up in the zone and he is paying for it,” Casey said.

Casey still thinks the Cardinals are the team to beat in this division and that the Brewers will come back to the pack because they are not as good as they have been playing.

“No doubt about it,” Casey said. “That Cardinals’ rotation is so good and they can swing the sticks. When all is said and done, it will be the Cardinals the Pirates are chasing.”

Casey also talks to the guys about how he is teaming up with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to bring the best in baseball instruction back to the South Hills for a three-day clinic from June 17-19 at Upper St. Clair Community and Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park.

Casey said the camp is the main fundraiser for the Miracle League of South Hills.

Anyone interested in registering for the camp should visit www.miracleleaguesouthhills.org

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