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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Astros 8, Pirates 2

One hour to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (45-41) vs. Houston Astros (29-58)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 86 degrees, fit only for exotic insects

Here is the official live box score, and here are the lineups …


  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Chase d’Arnaud, SS
  3. Garrett Jones, RF
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Brandon Wood, 3B
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. Charlie Morton, RHP


  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Angel Sanchez, 3B
  3. Hunter Pence, RF
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  6. Brett Wallace, 1B
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Carlos Corporan, C
  9. Bud Norris, RHP

I’ll be posting some stuff up here as the game goes on, but feel free to use this as a discussion forum, as always.

Rob Biertempfel has news updates on the Bucco Blog.

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: First pitch from Morton to Bourn, 84 degrees. Not a terribly big crowd here, but it’s not small, either. If this were Starbucks, I think it would be a grande.

7:13: Not the most efficient inning for Morton, but that’s still a good top of the order. Besides, I don’t have a problem with pitching around Lee with an open base. Overall decent action/velocity, which matters most tonight, I think.

7:24: This just in on the Trib news desk: Cutch is good.

Pass the word on to San Francisco.

8:08: Don’t want to be a wet blanket, but I’m not all that wild about Morton’s outing, results notwithstanding. He’s leaning too much on that curve, and his sinker isn’t doing much of anything. That’s not the Morton you saw the first two months. He simply has to find that sinker.

The crowd has filled in kind of nicely, by the way.

8:44: Well, there it went. Again. Morton needs to find the sinker. He knows that, and now everybody knows it.

8:52: I saw almost nothing I liked in Chris Leroux when he was up late last season, but I’m open-minded.


  1. Keith says:

    Welcome to the broom closet. There will be more room in here shortly when it’s time to sweep.

  2. Bizrow says:

    What do we do with Chase and the Pres when the injured guys come back?

    If you lose guys due to DFA, I’d still rather see eating Diaz and the Overbay contracts, in the long run anyways. I know Chase and the Pres have options, but others like Paul and Wood do not

    The 40 man roster may also be a bit dicey, I know Ohlie is on that 60 day DL

    Its early, but any word on signings of the top 3 draft choices?

    PBC Nation – at the Trib
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles
    Colorado – Ft Collins
    Connecticut – Cos Cob
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach (somewhat reluctantly), Oviedo, Tampa
    Georgia – Marietta
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline
    Indiana – Indianapolis
    Iowa – Bettendorf
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago
    Kentucky – Louisville
    Japan – Tokyo
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon
    New York – New York, Smithtown
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Mason
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, DuBois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia
    Tennessee – Smithville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane
    West Virginia – Martinsburg
    Wisconsin – Madison

    79 places, no place like home, even if we don’t get no respect
    7/6/2011 6:10 PM

  3. JAL says:

    NH said today that the top 3 will go near the end, as they always seem to.

  4. CDBrewer says:


    I have been ringing the 40 man bell for a couple days now when somebody else pointed it out (bugona rug maybe?).

    I would much rather ship a couple guys – whoever would be cut – for a really marginal prospect with some time of control or something…dfa’ing is just losing guys – ZERO ROI, and even Wood and Paul have been decent investments.

    Actually I prefer the trade that doesn’t change the chemistry right now than risking a trade for a guy who might be a cast-off. Hinske still rubs me the wrong way – I want him drilled every time we face him after his comments.

  5. Duncan says:

    @ Biz

    add Belton, TX if you’d like.

  6. JAL says:

    Should be NH said that about the top 2. They have signed 4, 6, and 10

  7. Bizrow says:

    Duncan, I’d like to, thanks


    I don’t understand why the 1st baseman that was the 3rd round pick hasn’t signed yet, sorry I forget the details fo who he is, where he is from, the Big 10?


    One thing that has been said before is NH painted himself in a corner with early trades, both ML options as well as minor league time

    I agree with you trade wise, lots of “flood” not cutting the mustard

    C’Mon lurkers, two cents are pretty much free anymore, and especially here

  8. Bizrow says:

    Duncan makes 80, what in less than a month?

  9. JAL says:

    Alez Dickerson from Indiana

  10. Bizrow says:

    Thanks JAL, what no stats? Kidding

  11. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Biz: Really appreciate your tracking all this. It’s a great list to look over. Never get tired of it.

    Did you ever put Downtown Pittsburgh for me?

  12. cherokee23 says:

    Has anyone mentioned Hurdle’s black eye? What happened?

  13. Bizrow says:

    Dejan, if I may say, since the site is free, so I will

    You were dead nutz on with the statement, if they win, the nuts will come out of the woodworks

    Lets go Bucs

  14. Bizrow says:

    Dejan, Downtown is the first on the list for PA, Hopewell is No. 2 ;-)

  15. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    @ Bizrow

    When Pedro is ready I think they option Harrison. He’s not really better, right now, than Wood. No reason to lose Wood if you have the option to keep him. Paul may get the boot when Tabata comes back. He and Presley are kind of the same type of player with Presley better as of now. They would probab;ly lose Paul if they DFA him, but Presley the better option. Ohlandorf may be held out until August 1st, then go on a rehab assignment which would put his recall date Sept. 1st when all 40-man guys can be here.

  16. Keith says:

    Add Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Lived in Butler County from 1970-1979. (If you could pick nine years to live in Western Pa., which other nine would you choose?!)

  17. pattonbb says:

    Pence might hit .400 if the Astros played a few more series with Pitt.

  18. MrB says:

    It is such a pleasure to watch this team successfully execute in all phases of this great game of baseball…

    …Thank you Clint Hurdle!

  19. pattonbb says:

    Here we go!!

  20. Steve Smith says:

    I know the second baseman was already right behind second, but how was that not a balk. That hit by Cutch would have plated 2 instead of the one. Let’s go Neal!

  21. Bizrow says:

    Welcome Keith, 1960, 1976. 79 and 2012

    Kidding, except you only saw Roberto at the end


    Yeah, its going to be control and right now, got no problem with Wood vs Harrision, Paul might clear waivers, maybe not and Ohlie is clearing a spot on the 40 man, regardless as to when he is activated.

    I’ts been a while with the 40 man, we’ll have to talk about this

    Eaton Rapids, No 81, welcome Keith

  22. Steve Smith says:

    Not another baserunning gaff!

  23. Bizrow says:

    @MrB, yup, IMHO the key is Hurdle

    Hell he should run the franchise

  24. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    I’m sure more are still going thru the gates…

  25. MrB says:

    @Biz, Perhaps Hurdle IS running the franchise…

    During the interview process, Hurdle interviewed the front office as thoroughly as they interviewed him, perhaps more so.

    So far, the front office has yet to do anything incredibly stupid this year (knocking on wood as I type this). The acquisition of McKenry was based on a “suggestion” by Hurdle. Hurdle and the front offce met to discuss the trade deadline and we know they will not be acquiring any jackasses.

    Hmmm, the more I think about this, the more I like it.

  26. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Sterling: Yeah, it’s filled up a bit more than I expected initially.

  27. MrB says:

    @DK – Did you hear that Bochy expected to be contacted and lobbied by opposing managers about their all-star player candidates?

  28. MrB says:

    Charlie…”just a bit high”

  29. pattonbb says:

    MrB – Did you hear Hurdle’s response to Bochy today?

  30. Steve Smith says:

    Crash – “Just throw it at the bull.”
    Nuke – “Why should I throw it at the bull?”
    I think that is what McKenry was thinking there.

  31. MrB says:

    …and then he hooks Lee…I feel like I’m watching Bull Durham,

  32. JAL says:

    Morton rolling after a shaky first

  33. MrB says:

    @patonbb – Yes, I have the MLB package with the Bucs broadcast on tonight and they showed a clip of Hurdle discussing it.

    Not to start another ESPN bonfire, but did you see PTI tonight? Kornheiser ripped Bochy for his lobbying expectations.

  34. Dock Ellis says:

    Does anyone here enjoy what Bob Walk does?

  35. Keith says:


    Bochy’s words were rip-worthy. He all but admitted that he picked bench players based on whose wheel was the squeakiest.

  36. Keith says:

    Turnabout is fair (and double) play.

  37. JAL says:

    Morton 6 K through 5 innings, still up a scary 1-0

  38. CDBrewer says:

    @ Keith and MrB,

    I missed Hurdle’s response…PLEASE fill me in.

    Hurdle is the new Leyland…maybe…
    Still watch the Tigers for 1 reason…

  39. JAL says:


    I was the DH in DC last weekend and I disagree with Cutch is good—Cutch is very very good :)

  40. CDBrewer says:

    Cincy is up 5-0!!! In the first!

  41. Keith says:


    I didn’t think they used the DH in the National League. JK


    Hurdle’s response is on the other site. He was very diplomatic and said that when he was ASG manager, no one called him to lobby, and he didn’t think that was the way to go. Ouch.

  42. CDBrewer says:


    Thanks. Good for him. Hurdle has done just about everything really well this year.

  43. Keith says:

    Anyone see that DP from last inning? That guy wasn’t even close to the bag when he tried to take out d’Arnaud. Sheesh.

  44. Steve Smith says:

    Baserunning and errors again. So much for the sweep again. This offense has gone back to sleep after several good hitting games.

  45. Steve Smith says:

    Charlie is starting to get lit up, and the defense is certainly not helping. Soon to be 4-1 and now we have 4 innings to get back even.

  46. CDBrewer says:

    I think we are again seeing why sweeps are so difficult…
    2 clean games and then the mistakes come out.
    2 of 3 the rest of the way will get the job done though.

  47. Steve Smith says:

    2 out of 3 is nice, but when St Louis is finally getting crushed, and since the Brewers won today 3-1, it would have been nice to get to within a half game of first and still be in second.

  48. Steve Smith says:

    Clint left Charlie in way too long that inning.

  49. Keith says:

    Hey, it’s not over. Charlie did really well for 6. And they were pulling Karstens after 6 – not any more.

  50. pattonbb says:

    Where did the Charlie Morton we saw a month ago disappear to?

  51. MrB says:

    This game got out of hand in a hurry.

    One last thing on Bochy…I guess it didn’t help Cutch’s cause when he went 0-13 in the three SF games at PNC.

  52. brian says:

    Unfortunately, that was the Charlie Morton we saw a month ago.

  53. JAL says:

    After i post Cutch is very very good, he makes two bad plays in one inning. Oh well

  54. MrB says:

    @DK – nice 8:08 call on Morton

  55. JAL says:


    Yeah, should have sid was at the dh (doubleheader) :)

  56. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @MrB: I am to disappoint all of you even before you get disappointed.

  57. Keith says:


    Who was there? Sid? Sid who? (Piling on – sorry.)

  58. MrB says:

    Bourn is very good also. :-(

  59. Dock Ellis says:

    Someone needs to revoke the season tickets of Charlie Brown’s teacher.

  60. Dan1283 says:

    Checking in from Canonsburg PA here Biz!

    It still feels like we’re in this game for some reason…

  61. Steve Smith says:

    Batting practice is still going on I see. So much for our 10+ hit attacks.

  62. Bizrow says:

    Canonsburgh, welcome Dan

    Sigh, as JAL says its not a race its a marathoh

    Charile’s start is disappointing to say the least

  63. Bizrow says:

    Thats 82 communities in this blog, BTW, many more to speak out

  64. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Dock: You can hear that?

  65. Bizrow says:

    Charlie needs to talk to Bailey

    Get em tomorrow

    Well Friday

  66. JMB says:

    That stunk.

    I was hoping for a 6-0 run and 1st place at the AS break.

  67. Reading says:

    Very disappointing. With the Cards being hammered, a going through the motions performance was not going to get it done.

  68. Florida Steeler says:

    Will someone please teach Garrett Jones how to run the damn bases????

  69. Dan1283 says:

    Well at least Morton’s bad outings are no long absurdly bad…only 4 ER we’d have killed for that last year.

  70. Dock Ellis says:

    @Dejan: Yes. It’s very noticeable on the feed. It’s even more annoying when I select “park audio” to get away from Bob Walk and then have to sit through a 3rd grader’s trombone recital.

    Meh. I honestly can’t tell you which headline would thrill me more this off-season: “Pirates sign Albert Pujols” or “Root Sports signs Mike Emerick.”

  71. JAL says:

    Just a loss and they were not going to win every game anyway. AQs long as they keep taking 2 of 3 they will be be doing fine.

  72. Dock Ellis says:

    Dear Doc,

    Sorry for misspelling your last name.


  73. HalSmith says:


    You can add lansing, michigan.

  74. Please add Huntingdon, Pa.

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