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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Cardinals 6, Pirates 4

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (51-45) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (51-47)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

Tickets: Nope.

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 95 degrees, and it’s 89 in Winnipeg, for the record

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


  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Chase d’Arnaud, 3B
  3. Neil Walker, 2B
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. Paul Maholm, LHP


  1. Ryan Theriot, SS
  2. Jon Jay, CF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Matt Holliday, LF
  5. Lance Berkman, RF
  6. David Freese, 3B
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Nick Punto, 2B
  9. Chris Carpenter, RHP

Rob Biertempfel has news updates on the Bucco Blog.


  1. Parrothead01 says:

    It would have been nice to see Pearce in the lineup. Give him a few games to see what if any hitting help he could provide.

  2. Naje says:

    Pearce will be coming off the bench for a double switch later in the game… too bad… would like to see his bat in this pathetic lineup, too.

    Really clutching at straws on Overbay… has the man been quoted about his putrid, $5M money stealing performance? Haven’t seen one quote from him in quite some time… nor one story focusing on his woeful performances day-in, day-out… don’t want to crush a guy when he’s down, but would like to hear his self-assessment.

  3. JAL says:

    They must think Chase d’Arnaud is going break out soon or something. Hitting .225 with an OPB of .250, SLG of .292, OPS .542. Not fielding well either yet they sent down Harrison who was at .263, .271, .305, and .576. Not earth shattering but still better.

  4. Naje says:

    Agree, JAL… don’t understand the fascination with d’Arnaud and placing him every day in the #2 spot is really hurting this team. Pearce is much the better option at 3B tonight.

  5. Lawnbeaver says:

    I’m with you about having Pearce in the lineup, Naje. I don’t really care to hear why Overbay thinks he seems to only be capable of grounding softly to second (If he doesn’t whiff). I just want to stop watching it. I really wanted to see Pearce in the lineup tonight.

  6. Naje says:

    Hoping d’Arnaud slows his act down and makes the easy plays, umm, easy. He’s rushing so much in the field and he’s pressing at the plate and he’s just in a little over his head. Needs to settle down and probably drop down in the order to the 7th or 8th spot. Love his speed, can’t abide by the constant miscues, overthrows and bad at bats.

    Seems like all the lightning has left his bottle… for now.

  7. pattonbb says:

    I want to see Pearce at 1b. I also want to see Cutch batting anywhere in that order besides cleanup.

    Oh well…as they say down here, “I’m not too old for my wants to hurt me”…

  8. aglebagel says:

    I don’t think anyone who’s been to Cards games at PNC is shocked by those Pujols stats listed in this morning’s post. I clearly remember the moment I realized I was watching absolute greatness while attending a Bucs-Cards game a few years ago. There were guys on second and third with two outs and Pujols was on his ninth or tenth pitch of the AB when he popped almost straight up and the catch was botched by the catcher/first baseman. I thought to myself, “That was it. That was our chance. You don’t get second chances with this guy” and I just KNEW, surer than anything I’ve felt in sports, that Pujols was gonna make us pay for that missed opportunity. Next pitch- lined to the wall for a 2-run double.

    Wait, what am I talking about? These are the new Buccos! Pujols sucks!!!

  9. bdubb says:

    I am a big fan of d’Arnoud but how is he a better option than Alvarez? Waiting for him to drive the ball the other way is nonsense. We need a power option. Pedro hitting .240 is in fact a lot different than d’Arnoud.

  10. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Totally agree about preferring Cedeno in the second spot and d’Arnauld 7th or 8th.

  11. Lawnbeaver says:

    Of all the the names I’ve read to be on the Bucs radar, the top of my wishlist is Chris Davis of the Rangers. He has a solid history, and they could control him for a couple of seasons. Actually, Pence is my preference, but I don’t think that is realistic. I just don’t understand how adding a first baseman can’t be the top priority.

  12. DannyMoe says:

    D’Arnaud has shown some promise for the long-term, but I can’t see why Pearce isn’t in there with the offense struggling the way it has.

    That said, let’s remember that Cedeno is not good at the plate. His approach is awful and he brings almost nothing offensively. D’Arnaud’s agressiveness and speed help at the top of the lineup even if he’s had a rough couple weeks at the plate.

  13. Naje says:

    I think my gripe with d’Arnaud is that he’s been given a role for the team and it’s pretty simple: field your position, contribute what you can with the bat, run like hell on the bases. But he’s failing in the field. He’s not hitting at all. But he can run well.

    I understand the options are limited, but he needs to be held accountable, too. You can’t play as poorly as he did at SS Wednesday and not have some repercussion…whether it’s being benched or dropped in the order, the guy has to understand that his performance is hurting the team and make sound, professional attempts to rectify the problems. He’s been given a bit of a scholarship right now.

    He’s not doing that right now… he’s pressing. Got to alleviate that pressure on him, somehow, some way. But I do like his talent… and think in a year or two he’ll be a much better player than he is right now.

  14. Curt says:

    I wanted Steve Pearce in the lineup. Didn’t Hurdle once say he likes throwing guys in the fire, if they’re here, they’ll play?
    I have had enough of Lyle Overbay. Its time for him to sit. On a side note, I’d rather have d’Arnaud in the #2 spot. Cedeno is better defensively, but he still offers little behind the plate, other than an easy out.

  15. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Watching the radar for Pittsburgh area. Pretty nasty looking.

    Delays look inevitable for tonight’s game….

  16. Bizrow says:

    1000 following on twitter, congratulations

    Bucco Nation – at the Trib, Never say die
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Austrailia – Mackay
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach
    Colorado – Ft Collins
    Connecticut – Cos Cob
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach (somewhat reluctantly), Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville
    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, Severn, Baltimore
    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, Louisville
    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, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley
    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

    106 locations represented in the blog
    7/22/2011 6:20 PM

    Beat Em Bucs

  17. Stuart says:

    DuBois here. Folks, let’s take a deep breath. Pearce will get his at bats eventually. Let’s just cheer for whomever the TEAM puts on the field.


  18. pattonbb says:

    Wow, Cardinals pre-game just said Pittsburgh has been like a convienence store for the Cards. They “pop in, pick up a win, and get back on the road”.

    To their credit, they did say that the Bucs have been outstanding lately, and they’re bragging a lot on Maholm.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    All this angst about d’Arnaud. Hey, it’s speed, and ease Ronny back. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. (I know, you have to get on to use the speed, but it’s not like Ronny’s hitting .300).

  20. JoeBucco says:

    Overbay in the 5 spot.

    Awe-freaking-some. Man, I can’t describe in words how much I hate that guy.

  21. dschomburg says:

    All we are saying is give Pearce a chance.

  22. pattonbb says:

    what’s the updated time for first pitch?

  23. Dave says:


    Why is D’Arnaud batting 2nd? I’d feel more comfortable with Cedeno there and Wood playing 3b.

    By the way speaking of Wood why aren’t they getting him more AB’s?

    Wood is hitting .236 with 5 homers, 9RBI, and 9 walks in his last 35 games. Not very good by any stretch, but a lot better than D’Arnaud and his .542 OPS.

  24. Poz says:

    I believe Overbay has decent stats against Carpenter. That might be one reason why he is in the lineup tonight.



  26. pattonbb says:

    OK, here we go Bucs!!!!!

  27. pattonbb says:

    Seriously? Arguing the first pitch of the game?

  28. Eric Bowser says:

    9 Days… in 9 days, we will find out just how good Neal Huntington really is, how much he believes in this team, and how much ownership has demanded the purse to be emptied out.

    Now about this game, ball four = strike 3, thank you Ryan Theriot

  29. Eric Bowser says:


  30. Eric Bowser says:

    seriously?!? Pujols 2-run HR

  31. pattonbb says:


  32. Eric Bowser says:

    Cardinals are hammering the ball against Maholm… 3 hard hits already

  33. Eric Bowser says:

    4 solid hits against Maholm…. just float the ball up to the plate… out. over. the. plate.

  34. dschomburg says:

    Wow! Talk about a crappy start!

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    cycle for Cards already…. sickening

  36. Eric Bowser says:

    and this is why no one trusts Maholm.




  38. bjm says:

    Ppffffffttttttttttttttt (the air out of the bucco sails tonight after that start)…

  39. Reading says:

    On pace for 45 hits. Not good.

  40. Eric Bowser says:

    Cards with some thunder (4 runs) in top of 1st, time for lightning show for Pirates in this inning. Need lots of hits and runs to punch the Cards back in the mouth.

    Not a fan of Pujols staring at his HR.

  41. I do not understand why the pirates continue to pitch to Albert. His stats against them are out of site. First base is open. What are they thinking. Tracy, Russel and now Hurdle, you think they would make someone else beat them. Albert owns them and he makes them look like idiots when they pitch to him.


    @ eric bowser

    You should have seen him last night, my god he should have gotten plunked , just stood there like IM THE ISH!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. pattonbb says:

    Pujols should never see a ball within 3 feet of the plate.

  44. pattonbb says:

    Nobody has the stones to plunk Pujols.

  45. BenderHeel says:

    Excellent point, Ken. And not only was first base open, but it would also open up a potential doubleplay. But the reasoning not to intentionally walk Pujols is that by putting him on base with Holliday behind him, you open yourself up to a big inning (never mind that that’s exactly what the Cards got from pitching to Pujols).

  46. Eric Bowser says:

    If I would face Pujols after that, I’m drilling him in the hand or back.

  47. Naje says:

    EB – I’d hit him… or throw under his fists twice in a row. You can see how scared Malholm is throwing… aiming the ball… doesn’t finish his pitch… intent to throw inside is not strong enough… can’t be successful throwing away from their lineup… have to throw inside and give them something to think about.

  48. BenderHeel says:

    And I said when these lineups were announced, the comparison between the heart of the Cards’ lineup with the Pirates illustrates just why it’s imperative that the Buccos add a legit MLB hitter to this lineup. I haven’t been one of those screaming for Carlos Pena, but at least he would add some power and fear to this lineup (and instantly be the 3rd highest OBP (behind Cutch and Walker) and OPS (behind Presley and Cutch) on the team).


    24 More outs left for the BUCS HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  50. pattonbb says:

    Lazy throw..


    FAT ALBERT WILL BE BATTING 320 when this series is over DAMMM

  52. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    Maholm should NEVER pitch to Pujols. Ridiculous!!!

  53. Eric Bowser says:

    and THAT’S why you pitch around Pujols

  54. pattonbb says:

    Pujols was out by the way.

    So the reds are supposedly looking at Pence, and the Booers are in the Beltran sweepstakes. I know these are just rumors, but I don’t like either scenario.

  55. J_C_Steel says:

    Tough to walk Pujols to get to Holliday and Berkman. The 4 and 5 hitters in this lineup will kill you just as dead as Big Albert…


    @ Benderheel

    Wish you were the GM, I cant stop looking at the THUMP IN THE MIDDLE OF THERE 3SOME , AS OPPOSED TO JUST CUTCH AND NW…

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    someone needs to tell Pirates announcers, those 2 HRs were not result of wind, result of flat fastball out over the plate.

  58. JAL says:

    Lets see, 4 down in first and Carpenter pitching. Not a good scenario

  59. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Rain moving in…

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    Welcome back Ronnie Cedeno!

  61. pattonbb says:

    Here we go!! If Ronny can put the ball in play, there’s a few more in this lineup that should too.



  63. pattonbb says:

    Oh Fort…..

  64. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    How bout that 6 thru 9 in the lineup!!!

  65. pattonbb says:

    we’re down by 2 runs people. If Paul can get us through the next 3 innings, we’ll make a game of this.


  66. Eric Bowser says:

    Pirates get 2 runs but another blunder ends inning, 4-2 Cards.

    Can’t give away outs.

    Jones misses ball in RF and now McKenry out at 3B for third out.



  68. BenderHeel says:

    Since I’m following on GameCast, what happened with McHenry? Cardinal rule – don’t make the first or third out at 3rd base!

    @pattonbb: That’s the thing about deciding to stand pat because we have a long-term plan. So do other teams! And they already have better players and bigger payrolls! So if you don’t try to take advantage of the situation now, you may not get another chance! #HeapItOnDammit

  69. Eric Bowser says:

    shocking, Maholm gives up hit to the pitcher… real nice Paul…

  70. pattonbb says:

    What the heck is LaRussa doing?

  71. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    What is it with opposing pitchers constantly getting hits off the Bucs’ starters?

  72. Eric Bowser says:

    What is this crap by STL and Larussa arguing with umpires



  74. Eric Bowser says:

    terrible throw by Chase

  75. pattonbb says:

    Just toss him already. You can’t argue strikes.

    Nice pick by Overbay.

  76. pattonbb says:

    mlbtraderumors say the Bucs are interested in Chris Iannetta.

    Another catcher?

  77. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Walking the 8 spot to get to the pitcher hasnt been good percentage play lately

  78. Eric Bowser says:

    since Doumit and Snyder are free agents, Iannetta could make sense and let’s remember, we’re talking about another Hurdle player so could happen.

  79. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    d’Arnauld now at .220, (.001 above the Khalifa line)

  80. Eric Bowser says:

    recall Alvarez now

  81. Reading says:

    I’m thinking a massive storm washing this game away might be timely about now.

  82. Eric Bowser says:

    OMG, Pujols is out!

  83. Keith says:

    Nice 4th inning for Maholm.

  84. pattonbb says:

    Hey they went down in order! Here’s comes the heart of our order. Lets get a couple!!

    ….I’m really trying.

  85. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I’m beginning to think Pujols is just an average hitter, had he never faced the Pirates…

  86. buccos since '04 says:

    Lyle overbay doesn’t even get claps anymore

  87. Eric Bowser says:

    hey hey hey, Overbay strikes out, again.

  88. buccos since '04 says:


  89. BenderHeel says:

    Overbay is awful. If they want the lefties in the lineup, move Jones to 1B and Paul to RF, which also improves the D in RF.

    And why the heck isn’t Cutch stealing second there to get into scoring position? I mean, he takes too short of leads off first, and what’s the good of having all that speed if he can’t get into position to score to cut it to 2?



  91. pattonbb says:

    Bender – Molina is pretty tough to run on. But I agree. Cutch has to run more. Not sure what the hangup is there.

  92. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    ugh… here comes Chase to challenge Sammy Khalifa for the title

  93. pattonbb says:

    How much more will these umps take from that Cardinal dugout? C’mon umps…show some courage.

  94. Eric Bowser says:

    If Chase can suck this much in majors, then what’s the excuse for Alvarez in AAA?

  95. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    d’Arnauld @ .217. God bless Sammy…

  96. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Sam Khalifa (born December 5, 1963 in Fontana, California, USA), … He ended his career with a .219 batting average

  97. BenderHeel says:

    Exactly, Bowser. But at least Chase runs fast………….even though he rarely actually, you know, gets on base.

  98. Eric Bowser says:

    must get these 2 runners home

  99. pattonbb says:

    Holy crap! Miracles happen!!!

  100. Eric Bowser says:

    another out given away, that’s 3 outs so far… at least 2 runs are in.

  101. pattonbb says:

    This isn’t last years ball club!!!!

  102. Eric Bowser says:

    If Jones doesn’t get thrown out at 2B, this is a tied game.

  103. Bob from mt lebo says:

    Gotta love how they dont give up when they get down early. How things change when the manager isnt standing there thinking if he turned off the lights

  104. pghboyinca says:

    For all the goods things this teamand coaching staff has done this year running themselves into outs isn’t one of them. In a tight game like this with what is at stake that can’t happen, margin is to small to give up outs.

    Also having Case as the 3rd baseman is a joke. If that continues then you know this regime is not trying to win this year.

  105. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    d’Arnauld .215 and falling fast…

  106. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    d’Arnauld can’t hit, can’t field… Pearce, Wood and Harrison are right there on the bench. Stop the bleeding, Clint!! Please!

  107. JAL says:

    Dave G

    Harrison is not on the bench, he in Indy

  108. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    sigh. they sent down the wrong guy.

  109. Eric Bowser says:

    another guy I dislike, Molina with solo HR to center

  110. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Reds lose, 6-4

  111. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The score non-withstanding, Pirates batters struck out only 4 times tonight thru 8…

  112. pattonbb says:

    uh oh….

  113. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Attendance 38,490

    Pujols 4 for 5, HR (22), .280; Freese HR (4) , Molina HR (6)

    McKenry 3 for 4; Cutch, Jones, Cedeno all 2 for 4

    Bucs thrown out stretching twice; d’Arnauld sets new bar for futility, .215

    Maholm 5 ER, 10 hits, 3.26 ERA

  114. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    How in this world, at this moment, can the Bucs justify Chase d’Arnauld at third base over Pedro Alvarez? HOW?

  115. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    4 games and counting without a HR.
    Time to get someone in the lineup who can reach the seats.

  116. JoeBucco says:

    I agree Dave. I don’t care if Pedri “isn’t right” yet. He’s our best option at 3B, period.

    And Pearce needs to be in the lineup. Every day.

  117. Pacfrag says:

    Have to agree with Dave and Joe now is time for Pedro

  118. Robert says:

    Jones accounted for a negative 4 run swing in this game. He should’ve caught the ball in the first, making Pujols HR a solo, Matt Holiday makes the third out; saving 3 runs. Then he gets thrown out at 2nd base when the Pirates rallied to get within one (5-4).

    Literally, this game very likely would have turned out very different.Of course, it didn’t help that the Cardinals had at least two ground ball doubles (Berkman and Pujols), Molina’s half-swing single, and Berkman’s chop single that didn’t get to second base. It seemed like every ball the Pirates hit hard was right at somebody (i.e. Neil Walker’s first three AB’s).

    Just one of those games…

    Difficult to swallow…

  119. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Brewers take over sole possession of first place. Might be the last time we see the Bucs in first this year.

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