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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 4, Astros 0

One hour to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (47-43) vs. Houston Astros (30-62)

Time: 8:05 p.m.

Site: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 86 degrees, scattered storms … but there’s a roof

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


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


  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Matt Downs, 3B
  3. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Carlos Lee, LF
  6. Brett Wallace, 1B
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Humberto Quintero, C
  9. Brett Myers, RHP

Rob Biertempfel has news updates from Houston on the Bucco Blog.


  1. Bizrow says:

    Here we go Buccos, Here we go

    Oops, wrong chant :-)

    PBC Nation – at the Trib
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach
    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, Palatine (3 inmates there)
    Kentucky – Louisville
    Japan – Tokyo
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing
    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, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia
    Tennessee – Smithville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane
    West Virginia – Martinsburg
    Wisconsin – Madison

    91 locations represented in the blog
    7/15/2011 5:45 PM

  2. Lawnbeaver says:

    DK, Have you heard if any of the realignment talk has Pittsburgh back in the NL East? I seem to remember that you were very much in favor of that, especially when you were on the beat.

  3. TimT says:

    Dejan – The link to Bucco Blog says “Page Not Found.”

    The Bucco Blog is updated and I found it by clicking on “All Blogs” but the link from your blog is “broken.”

    Go Bucs!!!!

  4. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Beaver: Selig said Tuesday that nothing is imminent, and no major change is expected.

    @Tim: I’ll fix that. Thanks!

  5. Keith says:

    I think generally the Pirates are better off in the Central. St. Louis, Cincinnati and Chicago are all original NL teams with whom the Bucs have pasts (such as they are). The same can be said about the Phillies, but after that you have to make a case that the Mets are a rival, and I don’t think that’s been the case very often. Plus, the markets in the midwest match up better with Pittsburgh.

  6. Keith says:

    Anyone think Keppinger is being showcased by batting third? Or are the ‘stros just that bad?

  7. JAL says:


    Keppinger hitting .301 and Astros don’t have much

  8. MrB says:

    Lets Go Bucs!!!

  9. Catfish293 says:

    Add Morningside in Pittsburgh to the list

  10. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, Morningside, added

    I like Hurdle’s comment tonight, uncharterd for the PBC club

    That includes Neil, Slick Frankie, Nuttin who decides to call the FAN from his car and all of us

    Gawd is this fun

  11. DavedigsDKsblog says:

    I’m not complaining but it feels like we’ve played the Astros 65 times already.

  12. DavedigsDKsblog says:


    we go

  13. pattonbb says:

    nice start!

  14. Bizrow says:

    PRNW is one cool bean

  15. Eric Bowser says:

    perfect start for the second half of the season as Presley gets a leadoff single, stolen base, advances to third on d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly to RF, and scores the first run of the game on Walker’s single to RF on 3-1 count.

    A healthy Pirates team doesn’t have too bad of a lineup against right-handed pitching and I can live with Diaz in right-field against lefties but I just can’t see Jones or Alvarez getting important at-bats versus lefties, so finding a right-handed hitter to platoon with those guys would be important.

    Pearce should be able to handle first base leaving Huntington to find a third baseman like Casey Blake, who can also play first base and right field. Another infielder to consider could be Mark Reynolds. I’m hoping the Pirates can use Ross Ohlendorf and maybe an outfielder like Gorkys Hernandez or Robbie Grossman to get Blake or Reynolds by the trade deadline.

    vs RHP
    1. Presley, RF
    2. Tabata, LF
    3. Walker, 2B
    4. McCutchen, CF
    5. Jones, 1B
    6. Doumit, C
    7. Alvarez, 3B
    8. Cedeno, SS
    Bench(5) Diaz, Pearce, Wood, McKendry, *RH hitter*
    Starters(5) Karstens, Maholm, Correia, McDonald, Morton
    Bullpen(7) Hanrahan, Veras, Resop, McCutchen, Beimel, Watson, Meek

    vs LHP
    1. Tabata, LF
    2. Diaz, RF
    3. Walker, 2B
    4. McCutchen, CF
    5. Doumit, C
    6. *RH Hitter*, 3B
    7. Pearce, 1B
    8. Cedeno, SS
    Bench(5) Presley, Jones, Alvarez, McKendry, Wood
    Starters(5) Karstens, Maholm, Correia, McDonald, Morton
    Bullpen(7) Hanrahan, Veras, Resop, McCutchen, Beimel, Watson, Meek

  16. pattonbb says:

    Jeeze…is Pence hitting over .500 against us this year? Sure seems like it.

  17. Eric Bowser says:

    Pence entered tonight’s game hitting .421 against the Pirates this season.

  18. Eric Bowser says:

    Great thing about the Pence numbers for the Pirates, only 3 doubles, 5 RBI, and 4 Runs even though he has 16 hits and 1 hit-by-pitch. The guys behind Pence have not done their job.

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    Presley gets hit by pitch, d’Arnaud with a solid single to LF, Walker strikes out, and McCutchen drills a ball up the hill for a 2-run triple!

  20. Bizrow says:

    Trip, trip, triple

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    Jeff Karstens has his era down to 2.48…. TWO POINT FOUR EIGHT!!! Amazing

  22. Steve Smith says:

    Good Evening Everyone! Glad to be back for the post-All-Star portion of the season. Anybody know what Pence is hitting versus the rest of the NL (and AL in interleague)? If it is not good, then the wishing for trying to get Pence via trade may not be valid. He tears the cover off the ball versus us, but if not against the rest of the league, then Houston can keep him. As for the comment about Reynolds, I’ve never really taken to the guy. He does have some power, but he strikes out way too much for my liking. This team already strikes out too much. Adding another person who strikes out more would be horrible. Once Pedro is back, he will likely be our Mark Reynolds in the K department, though I hope not.

  23. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Unrealistic, but wouldnt it be nice to bring Pence back to Pittsburgh after this series. Just seems to be an all around great guy.

  24. Naje says:

    35 pitches through 4 innings… Drabek-esque.

  25. absolute59 says:

    DK: Any chance we can do anything about the woman with the belly tip squeezing her belly on the top of the page of every blog posting.

    Surely there must be some ad that is more compatible with Pirates blog than that.

  26. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Just got home from taking the daughter somewhere. How does a team score three runs off a guy who has eight Ks through 4 1/3 innings?

  27. Steve Smith says:

    Glad they got the 3 runs, because they are just not having great at-bats right now – 8 strikeouts through 4 and a third. Let’s Go Bucs! Rockies up 1-0 on the Brewers.

  28. Steve Smith says:

    @DK – through speed!

  29. Naje says:

    They’re raking him… a bit of a generous strike zone…

    Presley got on, stole second, sac fly to right from d’Arnaud and came home on Walker’s single…

    3rd inning: Presley walk, d’Arnaud single and Cutch triple…

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    NASTY curve by Myers tonight… just nasty. 10 K’s through 5

    but hey, Karstens ERA is now at 2.45

  31. Naje says:

    94 pitches through 5 innings…

    And wherever that Robert guy is… the one who loves Jones… well, Jones ain’t looking like much tonight…

    Reds up 4-3 in the 7th… no outs with guys on 2nd and 3rd.

  32. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Reds are back on top. 4-3 in the 7th… bases loaded for them

  33. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    8.6 pitches per inning for Karstens… smell like a complete game?

  34. pattonbb says:

    Karstens looks as strong as acid out there.

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    Karstens’ era now at 2.43 – unreal

    @DK – I don’t understand this Kevin Slowey twittering going on. Pirates have Lincoln in AAA to back up while Ohlendorf and Meek rehabbing to add to the mix for the bullpen. If they want to add to their mix, I’d look to get better lefty in the pen than Watson and Beimel.

  36. Naje says:

    forget Drabek-esque… this is Maddux-like.

  37. dschomburg says:

    Man, Karstens has made it look easy through five. Cards down one, bottom of seven.

  38. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Reds squander a great chance with bases loaded no outs. Cant squeeze anything home. 4-3 Cincy top 8th.

  39. Bob from mt lebo says:

    You just got to think that one of Cota’s throws to first is going to end up in right.

  40. pattonbb says:

    Quintero certainly isn’t bashful about snapping a throw to 1st.

  41. Steve Smith says:

    That’s like 3 full counts in 3 at-bats for Karstens. Making Myers work.

  42. Steve Smith says:

    Colorado up now 2-0.

  43. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Pujols homers; 5-4 Cards

  44. MrB says:

    When did Greg Maddux’s brain get transplanted into Jeff Karsten’s body?

  45. Eric Bowser says:

    Walker… ugh

  46. Eric Bowser says:

    Keith Law is a moron, nuff said – see twitter

    “No. @Gasface25: @keithlaw Beyond sample size. Jeff Karstens has learned to pitch.”

  47. Eric Bowser says:

    Karstens’ era is now at 2.41…started the game at 2.55

  48. Steve Smith says:

    This game tonight is exhibit A of my comment earlier about the K’s – now at 12 on the night. I’m just glad Jeff has the Astros in check with his stuff tonight. Keep it up Jeff.

  49. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    On to ninth inning in Cincy; Cards 5, Reds 4

  50. pattonbb says:

    That’s the SS’s play to make. Hard to fault Harrison for the effort, but that’s an easy play if he doesn’t get to it.

  51. Steve Smith says:

    NIce DP right there!!

  52. pattonbb says:

    no harm no foul…

  53. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Karstens at 71 pitches thru 7.

  54. JAL says:

    3-0 good 12 strikeouts bad

  55. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    8-pitch walk for Jones… nice!

  56. pattonbb says:

    Keppinger looked lazy, if not downright lethargic on that ground ball.

  57. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Bottom 9th in Cincy. 5-4 Cards.

  58. Steve Smith says:

    3-0 Colorado. bottom 5 2nd and 3rd.

  59. Steve Smith says:

    Great catch by Elvis right there!

  60. Dave G in Mason, OH says:


  61. Steve Smith says:

    Cinci 6-5 over STL!

  62. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Brandon Phillips walk-off two-run shot for Cincy!

  63. Steve Smith says:

    Phillips hit 2-run shot to win it.

  64. Bizrow says:

    I’m really starting to hope

    Kartsens is amazing

  65. Eric Bowser says:

    Reds win, Rockies are winning over Brewers and Pirates leading late… could it… could it be?!?

  66. Steve Smith says:

    Got to do something about all these K’s. 14 now through the whole game. Can’t do that every night. Your expecting too much from your pitching when half your outs you don’t even hit the ball.

  67. pattonbb says:

    what a night for Karstens!!

  68. Steve Smith says:

    Great start there by Jeff and the rest of the boyz! Come on Colorado, hold that lead!

  69. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Complete game! I called it in the 6th inning! :) Only 82 pitches for Karstens!

  70. Catfish293 says:


  71. pattonbb says:

    as of this minute we are TIED FOR 1ST!!!!!

  72. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    83 pitches. Outstanding performance! Go Rockies!

  73. JAL says:

    83 pitches, 64 strikes 8-4 ERA 2.34

  74. Bizrow says:

    Folks its still early, lots of sweating, miles to go

    First time since 97, sweet

    How do you sign up for MLB Network???

  75. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Karstens @ 2.34 ERA

  76. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Pittsburgh 48-43-.527
    Milwaukee 49-44-.527
    St. Louis 49-44-.527

  77. HalSmith says:

    Col scores again

  78. Karen22 says:


  79. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    4-0 Rockies! The Burgh wakes to the Pirates in first place! :) :) :)

  80. Mike C. says:

    Mike C. – South Korea

    Thank you Buccos for giving my summer something exciting to look forward to everyday.
    I was one of those fans who defended the Pirates to my friends but all i wanted was a .500+ season this year. I Knew we had a good future, but never expected THIS this year.

    NLC 1st place. an Awesome way to start off my Saturday =)

  81. CTBucsFan says:

    DARYL, where you at? FIRST PLACE BABY!

  82. JoeBucco says:


    I’m in Miami on vacation, had Dennis Rodman at the table next to me at dinner, and now the Pirates are in first place.

    Talk about a unique day. :)

    Go Buccos!

  83. FormerSoxFan says:


    “I’m in Miami on vacation, had Dennis Rodman at the table next to me at dinner, and now the Pirates are in first place.”

    Yeah, right. Like someone would believe an outlandish story like that. “The Pirates are in first place.” Get real.

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