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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 7, Astros 5

One hour to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (48-44) vs. Houston Astros (31-63)

Time: 2:05 p.m.

Site: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 87 degrees … 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. Matt Diaz, RF
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Brandon Wood, 3B
  8. Eric Fryer, C
  9. Kevin Correia, RHP


  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Clint Barmes, SS
  3. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Carlos Lee, 1B
  6. Chris Johnson, 3B
  7. Brett Wallace, 1B
  8. Carlos Corporan, C
  9. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP

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


  1. Bizrow says:

    We’re up to 95 locations represented in the blog
    7/17/2011 12:32 PM

    Lets Go Bucs

  2. bdubb says:

    When does Evan Meek come back? Veras has been 2 shaky for over a month now.

  3. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I wish you hadn’t ever brought up getting Hunter pence, because I know the Pirates won’t get him. I sure wish they would though if he actually is available. He would be that major puzzle piece, reminiscent of the acquisition of Andy Van Slyke years ago, that could put them over the top. If I’m Huntington/Nutting, I would explore every possible avenue of bring Pence in and keeping him around for life. Not only is he an excellent hitter, have you seen his arm and outfield assists? Pence would rock this town silly!

    Now we will only be let down since the reality seems to be that they are more likely to bring in someone along the lines of outfielder Josh Willingham (not a bad power hitter by any means, but hobbled part of this year with a sore achilles tendon, and often injured anyway.) At least he can play first base if needed.

    I still hope and prefer they can at least pursue Michael Cuddyer, but lately the word is that the Twins arent exactly dangling him out there. Cuddyer is a good hitter and consistent run producer who can play just about any position, though excels most as an outfielder or first baseman. But a good 3rd or 4th hitter, nonetheless. And since they are known to be offering up pitcher Kevin Slowey anyway it seems like they could explore, dare I say, the dreaded package deal? [Pig Legs cowers with hands over head and runs away].

  4. DavedigsDKsBlog says:

    Buster Olney reportes that the Pirates are interested in Josh Willingham from the A’s.

  5. Curt says:

    Little frustrated the Pirates let that game slip away. But hey its all about winning series and getting the “w” today allows us to win another series!
    On a side note. The home town team O’s just signed JJ Hardy to an extension. My thought process is why can’t our Pirates get the same thing done with Maholm soon? I was thinking 3 yrs./24 mill. would get the deal done!

  6. Drew71 says:

    Curt, your Maholm proposal sounds about right.

  7. Karen22 says:

    We don’t need Josh Willingham!! Geesh!
    And let’s get the taste of last night’s clunker out of our mouths, eh? Gotta take this series!! Let’s go, Bucs!!

  8. pattonbb says:

    Hey Pig Legs, I think Michael Cuddyer would be an incredible acquisition. I really like him. But he’s a free agent next year and I don’t see this club trying to deal for someone they can’t control longer than a couple months.

    There’s no way Houston deals Pence without recieving a boatload of minor league talent in return. That pretty much takes us out of the equation. But it’s nice to dream.

  9. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I agree. I actually have more confidence in Steve Pearce. I like Willingham, but it seems like he has spent more time on the DL than on an active roster the past 3 years. I don’t think he would bring much more than what Steve Pearce could bring.
    Heck, Pearce even played some shortstop last night. I don’t think you’ll ever see that from Willingham.

  10. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Walker has to stay up to make Barmes adjust his throw

  11. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Overbay finally starting to shake loose a little. Nice to see…

  12. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Correia looks really shaky. Even two of those outs were stung.

  13. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Correia delivers— at the plate! Go Bucs!

  14. pattonbb says:

    Presley’s starting to struggle. He has to learn to handle that fastball under his hands. Almost everyone starts him with it.

  15. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Wow. Glad Correia took advantage of that poor coaching decision by mills

  16. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    That was a percentage play, Bob. Right decision… but wrong result!

  17. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    (or did I miss the sarcasm in your statement? lol)

  18. pattonbb says:

    Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

  19. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Watching on Gameday… why the ejection?

  20. Bob from mt lebo says:

    @Dave thats a percentage play when they guy you intentionally walk isnt 1 for 10 in his mlb career and plays more than once a week

  21. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Ump making several questiinable strike zone calls in a row

  22. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The guy that was intentionally walked, despite batting .100 in his ten at-bats as a Pirate, actually had some pretty good minor league stats, including some power numbers, whereas the pitcher was batting .057 for the season.

    Either way, it worked out well for us…

  23. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Eric Fryer in minors (AA and AAA, 2011):

    GP 58; HR 7; RBI 35; SLG .511; OPS .920

  24. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Sorry … correct that to 25 RBI

  25. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I hope they dont give up too soon on Brandon Wood. He kind of reminds me of a long time ago when the Cleveland Indians tired of their young shortstop who could not hit his weight in the big leagues, and the Pirates took a chance on him, and he still took a long while to get his average up above his weight, but eventually did.
    I believe that kid’s name was Jay Bell.

  26. Bob from mt lebo says:

    I think you would want to take your chance with the guy batting 100 and have the pitcher lead off the next inning.

    Like you said regardless it worked out for the Bucs.

    And this strikezone has gotten a little oit of hand. Almost like softball, if its close its a strike.

  27. pattonbb says:

    This strikezone is becoming comical.

  28. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Presley rebounding nicely. 4-3 Bucs

    Chase has struck out 4 times today.

  29. buccos since '04 says:

    Neil Walker should just let his beard grow rampant. Brett Keisel circa 2010

  30. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Beimel scares the hell out of me. What is this love affair the annnouncers seem to have for this guy?
    Thank God he’s coming out, but I fear it may be too late.

  31. Karen22 says:

    Anyone know what the reason is for JOE BEIMEL?

    He’s never impressed…

    This game is making me nervous.

  32. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    If it werent for that double play, we would be losing right now. Hopefully Daniel McCutchen can salvage this mess. Just as I type this Daniel’s brother saves the day. (brother in spirit at least).

    Now for God’s sake please get Beimel outta here!

  33. Bizrow says:

    Our catchers are getting hot

    Great story

  34. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    LOL Fryer now batting .231 after that hit…

  35. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    uggghhh….. hope the good Veras shows up today…

  36. Bizrow says:

    Ok, hot relatively speaking ;-)

  37. Karen22 says:

    VERAS?? I am watching the World Cup in the 8th inning. USA!!!!! UP: 2-1.

    Pathetic, I know—I hate soccer…but I can’t watch the 8th…

  38. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    lead=off single… Pence up… here we go again…. hang on everyone…

  39. bdubb says:

    Please go find a setup man immedietly. If Meek isn’t coming back this might be our biggest need. Veras has not been good for a month. Please find someone immedietly

  40. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  41. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Thank you Clint…THANK YOU!!

  42. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Handy-man… amen!

  43. MrB says:

    Pirate broadcast team is ridiculous…praising Veras for two VERY LOUD outs as Hurdle scrambles for the hammer.

  44. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Second half is going to be VERY different from the first half, two games in a row where the bull pen has lost it

  45. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Hanrahan looks as bad as Veras

  46. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Run charged to Veras, plus a blown save.

    Hanrahan: 12 pitches (6 strikes, 6 balls)

  47. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Blown hold… sorry again

  48. Steve Smith says:

    Another game where almost half the outs, we don’t even make contact. We need to do something with this. Not helping the pitching at all when you can even hit.

  49. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Change Chase d’Arnauld’s name to Chase d’Anything. 0-5

  50. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Dave: No, that’s actually a blown save for Hanrahan.

  51. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Then his streak is broken…

  52. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I got to thinking maybe is should be both, Dejan

    Bucs delivering in the 11th!

    Again, a pitching change before Chase Anything comes to bat…

  53. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Brewers 4, Rockies 2 bottom 7th. Brewers are in the driver’s seat today, with Cards losing…

  54. DannyMoe says:

    Can’t believe I’m anxious for the return of Ronny Cedeno…

  55. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Love how the Bucs battled back today… Presley 3 for 6, .343; Walker 2 for 4, extends hitting streak to 11; Wood 2 for 4

    Chase d’Arnauld 0 for 6 w/ 4 k’s; Cutch 0 for 5; Pirates hitters today 16 strikeouts! (ouch!)
    Making all the Astros pitchers look like Nolan Ryan….

  56. DannyMoe says:


  57. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Walker 2 for 5

  58. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Bucs have won 14 of 21

  59. Karen22 says:

    Whoa! Great comeback, Alex and Neal! VERY worried about late inning relief now…and whatever happened to relievers pitching MORE THAN ONE INNING?? Why was Resop pulled yesterday and D-Mac today? Anyone?? Anyone??

  60. Karen22 says:

    That would be “Neil.” I hate misspellings…

  61. Bizrow says:

    Neal is the evil one ;-)

  62. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Per Box Score:

    Veras gets a hold despite the tying run charged to him…Hanrahan blown save… Leroux gets the win, Resop gets a save.

  63. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The next 13 games will determine whether or not this team is going to contend the rest of the season.

    3 against Cincy
    3 against St. Louis
    4 in Atlanta
    3 in Philly

    Time to see exactly what we’ve got with this team.

  64. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I get to watch the next three games :)…. on Fox Sports- Ohio :(

    Meh… I’ll take it! ;)

  65. buccos since '04 says:

    When the offense scores is the only time I enjoy my foot in my mouth

  66. hooco01 says:

    Where was the “Just a few thoughts before sunrise” blog this morning? Very dissapointed this morning when that did not appear. Come on DK! No slacking!

  67. buccos since '04 says:

    I can unequivocally say I am and have been a proud representative of the Pirates way before it was Prince Fielder cool.

  68. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I’m 52 and I can remember both the 71 and 79 World Series…

    My hero growing up was Clemente, and I cried when he died. I have an autographed photo of Clemente that he personally sent me. I remember sending requests to several players at Three Rivers Stadium, but Clemente was the only one to return a photo to me.

    I still have 3 Arco gasoline color glossies that they gave out in the ’70s… Gene Alley, Al Oliver, and Bob Moose.

    I remember ‘We Are Family,’ and how I timed having my tonsils out (at age 19) to coincide with the ’79 series so that I didn’t have to work. I have an autographed baseball by Willie Stargell that my mother got me for Christmas.

    And I’ll never forget the pain of 1992, the ground ball through the legs of Lind… and then the single and Bond’s throw home… Sid Bream sliding past Spanky… absolutely the most miserable sports moment of my entire life. Still hurts to think about it.

  69. Catfish293 says:

    @Dave G – A piece of me did that day, I just re-watched it for the first time this year… Maybe it excorcised the deamons.

  70. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The replay was shown over and over and over and over….. so painful…

  71. Jay G -Jacksonville via New Castle says:

    Anybody out there with me????……No trades….No rental players….All we’re going to get is another .230 hitter…..Don’t give up any of our kids…..We’re not going to get a Pujols type….Pence will cost too much (and we’re ok in the OF)……Let’s do it with our guys and keep growing…..

  72. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Hooco: Going to limit those to the weekdays.

  73. JAL says:

    Only wekdays for a morning thread. OK, that works.

  74. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Yeah, Joe, I figure that cuts you a break, too. And if there are any links of urgency, there will still be other posts, game threads and the like. Is that all right with you?

  75. JoeBucco says:

    I think one big acquisition to help the offense is about to go down.

    “All we are saying, is give Pearce a chance”

    Rehab over, get him back up here ASAP.

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