In a listing of the top 10 stories of the second half of the MLB season, Tom Verducci lists the Pirates as No. 2. He has concerns, and not just about the offense. He wonders about the durability of Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole.
By Tom Verducci, SI.com
The All-Star Game is history, perhaps strangely literally so for a game that featured a record number of first-time participants and four players age 21 and younger. The stars of the night were 72-year-old Neil Diamond, 68-year-old Jim Leyland and 43-year-old pitcher Miriano Rivera. For the record, there was no sign at Citi Field of Betty White.
Otherwise, it was just another example of how baseball is played in 2013: 65 batters came to the plate and only one of them knocked in a run with a hit. The best hitters on the planet produced a total of three runs. Pitching rules. Nothing new there, either.
Now it's time to turn our attention to the second half, when awards are won, pennant races are decided, records are chased . . . and bombshell drug suspensions hang in the balance.
Here's a look at the top 10 storylines of the second half:
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