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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Pirates 1, Reds 0

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (50-44) vs. Cincinnati Reds (47-49)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 85 degrees, clearing up but still humid

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


  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Josh Harrison, 3B
  3. Neil Walker, 2B
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Garrett Jones, RF
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Brandon Wood, SS
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. James McDonald, RHP


  1. Drew Stubbs, CF
  2. Zack Cozart, SS
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  5. Miguel Cairo, 3B
  6. Chris Heisey, RF
  7. Fred Lewis, LF
  8. Ryan Hanigan, C
  9. Mike Leake, RHP

Rob Biertempfel has news updates on the Bucco Blog.

UPDATE 7:05 p.m.: First pitch from McDonald to Stubbs, 86 degrees.

7:08: Sizzling start for McDonald with swinging Ks of Cozart and Votto. Already has that curve going. Crowd into it again. Going to be a little bigger than last night.

7:31: Flipping through my scorebook, Walker’s 13-game hitting streak isn’t the whole story: He also has a hit in his first plate appearance of the past seven games. That’s pretty neat.

7:49: McDonald has good control of his fastball, which is getting up there at 92-93. That’s an even better sign than the curve. He looks sharp.

7:50: My Wednesday column will look into whether or not the Pirates’ players actually want outside help. And, from that, I will renew my call for outside help.

8:17: Just snapped the above photo. An amazing sight on a Tuesday night. Really is.

9:03: Total eruption just now for Joe Beimel’s big K of Jay Bruce. I mean people jumped out of their seats, the ones who weren’t already up. Here comes Chris Resop to try to get Stubbs.


  1. JAL says:

    Guess d’Arnaud suffering ill effects from last night.

  2. Karen22 says:

    I was going to ask for an update on Chase…haven’t heard anything since he left the game last night. That was a nasty head-to-knee collision.

  3. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @JAL, Karen: It’s not at all serious. Tomorrow’s a day game, then an off-day. There’s no way he won’t be back out by Friday.

  4. TS says:

    Overbay. Why why why? He looked putrid last night with lazy I-don’t-care swings. Put Diaz in right in Jones at 1B. Overbay doesn’t deserve to start.

  5. TS says:

    “News updates” coming up as “page not found” again

  6. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’m curious as to what you all think about this. DK, feel free to chime in as well. I’m going to throw out two names and let me know what you think.

    Tyler Clippard and Michael Morse

    Reliever for the 8th inning and right handed bat with power that can play first base. Neither of them are quite as sexy as Hunter Pence, but the Nats are aggressively pursuing a center fielder for the future and that is something that we seem to have a ton of. Just a thought, let me know what you all think.

  7. AJS says:

    If people are clamoring for Diaz instead of Overbay, against a right handed pitcher where Diaz himself has not performed well, then things are pretty grim. The fact of the matter is that right field and first base will continue to be an issue. Jones can’t play every day as he is terrible against left handed pitching. Diaz can’t play right every day because he stinks against righties. Overbay has to play at least part time. My guess is he is starting to look even less enthused about his ABs as the criticism grows. If he feels like his time is already up he may just be going through the motions.

  8. TS says:

    @AJS – “going through the motions” is precisely why his ass should be on the bench or out the door, regardless of how well or not Diaz hits versus right-handed pitching. this is not about a matchup, it’s about out-and-out poor play. period.

  9. Better Days Coming says:

    For what it’s worth, in the last 28 days Overbay has a .274 average along with an OBP of .312, a slugging percentage of .397 and an OPS of .709.

    Over the entire season, in his 92 PAs when the score has been tied, those numbers jump to .317 .387 .524 and .911 respectively.

    Just sayin’……

  10. JAL says:


    Is is possible that if Cedeno and Pearce are ready by Friday Chase may be sent to Indy?

  11. Keith says:

    Don’t you think it would be Harrison before d’Arnaud?

  12. Curt says:

    Let’s Go Bucs! Let’s push that first place lead. Chase must be sore today. I tell you what though, when he decided to push it and try for third to me that was the turning point of last night’s game. Loved the hustle and loved the head first slide!
    How about this over/under walks for McDonald? I’m going with his usual 3.

  13. Curt says:

    I say the order of being sent to Indy soon is as follows:
    1. Ciriaco
    2. Harrison
    3. D’Arnaud

  14. Keith says:

    I think it would be:
    1. Ciriaco
    2. Harrison
    3. DFA Wood
    4. d’Arnaud

  15. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Wood has more HR and RBI than Diaz, and he can play SS. Why DFA him??

  16. CDBrewer says:

    Not going to dfa the vet who leads stretches when he is scorching hot – even if it is all singles.
    Maybe not Wood either, but Diaz is going to be around.

  17. JAL says:

    Curt and Keith

    I think Ciriaco then d’Arnaud because d’Arnaud would be better served playing regularly in Indy as opposed to sitting on the bench in Pittsburgh.

  18. JAL says:

    Harrison the better hitter which is important to have on the bench.




    LETS GO BUCS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Keith says:

    All this said, I don’t think the Pirates will allow things to get to the point of DFAing anyone (except maybe Paul, out of necessity). There will be deals done by the deadline to ease the burdensome 40-man roster and alleviate the need to dump valuable people.

  21. CDBrewer says:

    I would keep d’Arnaud longer than Harrison because SS is the hardest position to fill and Ronny keeps showing he needs the occassional day off.

  22. pattonbb says:

    nice start…let’s get a couple runs here!!

  23. JAL says:

    Harrison first hit of the game

  24. Karen22 says:

    DK’s been looking for you, DARYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. JAL says:

    Cutch still not hitting, needs to break out soon.

  26. pattonbb says:

    Who is the woman behind home with the Pirates flag/towel/banner? Anyone know? I see her during every broadcast. Just curious.

  27. Keith says:

    So, there’s no chance they’re moving up the trading deadline, is there? Watching Overbay in situations like that … ouch.

  28. pattonbb says:

    at least they got out of that without any damage.

  29. JAL says:

    Failure to bunt leads to DP–the basics are important.

  30. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Daryle: DARYLE!

  31. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @JAL: Don’t think Chase is going anywhere anytime soon. Ciriaco and Harrison would be ahead of him. (In the Pirates’ minds, anyway.)

  32. Bucco_Jax says:

    Go Mets!!!

  33. Bizrow says:

    Good to see Daryle here

    Dejan, that made me laugh, thanks


    A thought, how soon till Pedro returns, if he keeps things up?

  34. Bizrow says:

    July 19th, 2011 – 8:34 pm Go Mets!!!

    You are right, but that statement shudders me to my soul

    Muck the Fets, except when they play Central Division teams ;-)

  35. JAL says:


    Ok, will take your inside info over my outside info.

  36. CWalton_67 says:

    DK, thoughts on #freematthague please?

  37. pattonbb says:

    I wish they’d make a rule that says if you slide into 1st base, you’re not allowed to slide past the bag.

  38. buccos since '04 says:

    Crowd sounds good on a Tuesday

  39. vandelay industries says:

    My clapping at home after getting out of that inning scared the crap out of my dogs. In years’ past it was my cursing at the Pirate games that did it.

    A welcome change…

  40. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Hey, what’s the deal with so many people unable to spell Alex Presley’s name?
    It’s spelled the same way as every other person named Presley has ever been spelled.
    What is this Pressley or Pressly stuff?
    Are these folks that far removed from the singer who made the same name famous?

  41. JoeBucco says:

    @Patton – NyjMo is hoping they put that rule in for all bases.

  42. JoeBucco says:

    FWIW – Pedro Ciriaco has the coolest job in America right now. Getting paid to wear a big league uniform with absolutely no pressure to do anything. Awesome.

  43. Keith says:

    I sort of like how the Pirates’ front office goes after things that are available and cheap (bullpen help) when they really need offense. There’s nothing saying they won’t get a bat (they will), but taking advantage of a sale when it happens is kind of like buying shorts for $4 in January when you don’t really need them. You eventually will.

  44. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    vandelay: I hear you, my poor cat suffers the same as your dogs. And a welcome change, I agree.

  45. JoeBucco says:

    @Keith – With all of the things I don’t think the front office has done well over the years, they absolutely do know how to put together a bullpen.

  46. buccos since '04 says:

    Bring out the hammer

  47. JAL says:

    Very nice 8th by Resop

  48. Bizrow says:

    @vandelay industries

    My grils dachsys are going thru the same thing

    Dare I mention Badger Bob Johnston?

    Hurdle is the one difference

    He’s taken the guys on the field higher than even they could imagine

  49. JoeBucco says:

    Alex Impresley does it again.

  50. JoeBucco says:

    Pedro is 3 for 3 tonight,and coming up again in a couple hitters. Been on a tear, gotta be coming back up soon I would think.

  51. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I already gave this game up for lost when Beimel came in, so them still winning now is gravy for me. Now lets get Presssssley across home and give us some insurance!

  52. Bizrow says:

    Has everyone signed into the Bucco Nation?

    Lets Go Bucs

  53. MBS says:

    Did I just see a sign in the stands that said “I love Nutting”?

  54. Bizrow says:

    @MBS Personally I’m not ready to go there quite yet ;-)

  55. MBS says:

    @Biz. Add Sewickley to Bucco Nation, and agree with Nutting reservations.

  56. JAL says:

    Pirates’ 8th shutout of the season. Most they had any of the past 3 seasons was 7.

  57. JoeBucco says:

    Wow, raise it. What a win.

    For anyone bored, I’ll be hosting my first Pirates call in show at 11 tonight, for my web site that I’ve neglected all year. But if you’re bored, call in and let’s talk Buccos.

  58. Bizrow says:

    Crap two shutouts in a row


  59. Colo Springs Steel says:


    I don’t think you have Colorado Springs, CO. I know you have me on the + site.

  60. Fat Jimmy says:

    DK, when you’re right, you’re right. SOMEBODY GET THESE GUYS A BAT!!!!

  61. Lasedog8 says:

    Pedro 4-4 w/RBI

  62. pattonbb says:

    Fear the Bones!

  63. JoeBucco says:

    @Fat Jimmy – I think that bat may already be in the org. Pedro is hitting.

  64. Bizrow says:

    105 lunatic places in the Bucco Nation

    Hell, even 93.7 is stealing our moniker

    Dam, keep it going PBC

  65. buccos since '04 says:

    When Alvarez gets called back up it’ll b like his first time type excitement

  66. Karen22 says:

    STUNNING!! Shutting out the potent Reds for 18 straight innings?! That was AWESOME!!

  67. JoeBucco says:

    Back to back shutouts and our best pitcher on the hill tomorrow. #Sweep

  68. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Attendance: 26,058

    Nice game for Jimmy Mack!

    Walker hitting streak at 13

    Hammer save #28

    Bucs pitchers @ 18 scoreless innings.

  69. Karen22 says:


  70. Fat Jimmy says:

    Pirates’ sOPS+ by position:

    C: 92
    1B: 71
    2B: 115
    3B: 83
    SS: 82
    LF: 108
    CF: 132
    RF: 83

    Seems to me that there are a lot of positions on this team where even a league-average bat could be used.

    And yet they keep winning. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Wonder Boy!!!

  71. vandelay industries says:


    Alvarez is up for the weekend series against StL.

  72. Fat Jimmy says:

    JoeBucco, then get two! :-)

  73. JoeBucco says:

    More amazing that they are winning despite all these injuries or that they are winning with Lyle Overbay getting at bats?

  74. JMB says:

    Awesome finish.

    I had a Mad Capper flashback there for a second in the 9th, but Hammer pulled it out!

  75. JoeBucco says:

    Good call Jimmy, bring up Pearce while we’re at it!

    I kid, I kid, let’s make a deal.

  76. Imsorree says:

    Vandelay, my afraid of everything basset runs out of the room when I start cheering/cursing during the games. It works in my favor because he usualky has the good seat on the couch.

  77. Bizrow says:

    Good night all

    Good tidings

    Thanks Dave G, can you use a ducat of tickets? Friday August 5th, vs the Padres, I think

    Gratis for a PBC fan

    If we can figure out how to make the deal work

  78. BenderHeel says:

    The Reds lead MLB in runs scored and average roughly 4.5 per game. Pirates have held them scoreless through the first 18 innings of this series. That’s pretty dang impressive.

  79. JAL says:

    Reds have bats and haven’t scored yet in the series.

  80. JoeBucco says:

    FWIW – I think we may have won the Dotel trade.

  81. Fat Jimmy says:

    I think we’ll get Garcia for one game, so there will be one leftie. But yes, it’s probably time for Alvarez.

    Oh, and Pence.

    Just because I’ve been hitting the Sweet Tea Vodka tonight…

    Presley LF
    D’Arnaud SS
    Walker 2B
    McCutchen CF
    Alvarez 3B
    Pence RF
    Jones 1B
    Doumit C

    Geesh, that lineup would score runs!

  82. JMB says:


    Let’s turn the win into a GS by flipping Lambo (in a package) for a stud hitter!

  83. buccos since '04 says:

    7 games over sounds crazy

  84. Fat Jimmy says:

    Then add THREE!!!!

  85. Fat Jimmy says:

    Seriously, I think Pearce is useful. Alvarez up. Pearce up. Acquire Pence. You’ve got a hell of a lineup with great R/L balance. And if you can shut out the Reds with the defense we fielded tonight? #@%#@… defense don’t matter.

    (I kid. I love defense)

  86. JoeBucco says:

    July 19, 2011 & April 21, 2002

    The only two days since October 1992 when the Pirates were 7 games over .500 at any point in a season. For the record, we were 12-5 to start that year.

  87. vandelay industries says:


    I know what you mean.

    Unfortunately for me though the 65 lb dog thinks it’s a lap dog and when she jumps up from my clapping/cursing I usually get a well placed nut-shot

  88. Curt says:

    @Buccos: I agree with you. 7 over sounds nuts!
    I know Hanrahan can’t be perfect all season, but everytime he comes in, I always think that he’s going to get the save. period.
    I believe I called the McDonald 3 walks, but he pitched well tonight, major step forward for him.

  89. Dave G in Mason, OH says:


    I start a new job this Sunday night, so my work won’t allow me.

    I’m stuck near Cincinnati til we sell this damn house and then we are moving to the Burgh.

    Tip of the stovepipe to ya…

  90. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    I don’t know if anyone else posted this before or not, but I just happened to go to MLB TV(7th inning, unfortunately) and found they are in the middle of a free preview time. So I got to actually watch a game(part) tonight! I hope it lasts through at least the weekend. This is on Verizon FIOS, and Philly area.

    And on a more important note, nice win Buccos! Let’s take the sweep tomorrow.


  91. JoeBucco says:

    Ross Ohlendorf pitched 4 innings tonight for Bradenton. (4 ER on 8 hits).

    Tabata played too, 1 for 2 with an RBI double

  92. pghboyinca says:

    If Alvarez is 4-4 I tonight would have him here Friday, he is too big a part of this teams futute to keep him down. He showed last yea rhe can hit up here, if he has any pride he will get into shape and start to rake. This team needs him, the teams coming in will score runs.

  93. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Good to see Zach Duke is helping us out tonight…….

  94. Robert says:

    Robert Fisher II …I getting tired of this crap from ESPN about how the Pirates are going to get some “wakeup call” cause they play the Red, Cardinals,​ Braves, and Phillies until the end of July.

    I hate to tell you but the Pirates are above .500 against those teams collective​ly already this season.

    11-5 to be exact.

  95. Robert says:

    Not sure why my name was repeated. But the record proves ESPN analysts apparently don’t do their homework.

  96. Jay G -Jacksonville via New Castle says:

    Very impressive Bucs…….Keep it rolling….Good to see Pedro get warm….

  97. Joseph - Huntington Beach CA says:

    I love all the attention that the resurgent Pirates are getting nationally (i.e. ESPN); but if I hear John Kruk say that the Bucs “have” to make a move because of their 18 years of futility I’m going to scream.

    Has he, or anyone else, really looked at who’s available? What in the world is three months of Carlos Beltran worth? Derek Lee? Carlos Pena? Josh WIllingham?!?

    Unless Hunter Pence can be pried from the Astros, or Melky Cabrera can be obtained cheaply (who knew he was younger than Hunter Pence?) I just don’t see anyone worth giving up a genuine prospect for.

  98. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Joseph: It’s the GM’s job to get it done. We don’t need to play violin music in advance of that. He has to get it done.

    I’m speaking only for myself there.

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