Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 3, Braves 1

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (52-47) vs. Atlanta Braves (59-43)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV, radio: Root Sports, ESPN (outside Pittsburgh), News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 78 degrees, chance of storms

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


  1. Xavier Paul, LF
  2. Garrett Jones, RF
  3. Neil Walker, 2B
  4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. James McDonald, RHP


  1. Martin Prado, LF
  2. Jason Heyward, RF
  3. Chipper Jones, 3B
  4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  5. Dan Uggla, 2B
  6. David Ross, C
  7. Nate McLouth, CF
  8. Alex Gonzalez, SS
  9. Tim Hudson, RHP

Karen Price has news updates from Atlanta on the Bucco Blog.


  1. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    Can’t we just try Pearce at First for a couple weeks….No platooning crap….Just stick him out there…..He’s never had a full look……Just 2-3 starts a week here and there through the years…Some prospects get a lot of opportunity, he hasn’t………

  2. Brian Leary says:

    So much for waiting on Pedro, I suppose.

  3. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    Jones has got to start hitting to justify him being in the lineup…..Like the guy, but his numbers are getting Overbay-like….Someone on this team has got to start raking….Love the lightning but need some lumber…..

  4. Duncan says:

    @ Jay
    I totally agree. We’ve seen enough Overbay.

    @ all
    I am glad to see Pedro in the line up again. Here’s hoping he’s ready.

  5. CDBrewer says:

    I don’t get Pearce continuing to sit either…unless we think we are trading Overbay’s horrid contract for somebody else’s more horrid contract.

    Maybe we are kinda shopping Overbay…
    I really can’t believe that…but nothing else makes sense either.

  6. dcpinpgh says:

    The only thing i can think of is Overbay brings it off the field and/or the manager doesn’t want to sit a veteran.

  7. Keith says:

    Well, this lineup at least looks like it has a possibility of making noise. I like five lefties in the lineup. Hopefully Overbay has a short leash with Pearce on the bench.

    Note: Try a lineup with Beltran in RF and Doumit back. It sure looks nice.

  8. Joseph ~ Huntington Beach CA says:

    How does everyone feel about Jason Giambi?

  9. Skip says:

    I am curious to see if Alvarez has made an adjustment to his stroke. Will he let the ball in deep and try to hit the ball hard through the middle? Or will he be all pull? The dude went to Vanderbilt – you’d think he’s smart enough to figure this out – it’s not about physical ability with him…

  10. Happy G says:

    The Pirates are on national television tonight, Pedro is back, and Overbay is benched in favor of Pierce. Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. I don’t get it, it’s time to try anything other than Overbay at first, anything.

    There’s a new post on my Blog comparing this year’s team to another pirates team from the past. Check it out.

  11. Why not Cedeno batting second? especially when he’s hitting the ball?

    Jones is not a #2 hitter. 6 or 7 yes. 2 no.

  12. Keith says:

    Actually, I think Jones did pretty well when he hit 2nd. I remember Cutch hitting him over a few times. Someone check.

  13. Pablo says:

    re: Overbay. I’m OK with a Pearce/Overbay platoon at first. Pearce’s numbers against righties are pretty grim.

    I see Karen Price is covering the game. Is she any better covering baseball than her disasterous stint as the Trib’s Pens’ beat writer a few year ago?

  14. Curt says:

    Welcome back Pedro and in the #5 spot. I hope he mashes immediately!
    And to pile on everyone else’s comments about Pearce. Give him 3 straight starts at first and see what happens. Seriously, let him play.

  15. Curt says:

    And one more thing…
    David DeJesus, Jason Giambi, Chris Ianneta and Ty Wigginton are not the answers to our offense!
    Here’s my list of who they need to focus/chase:
    1. Hunter Pence
    2. Carlos Beltran
    3. Michael Morse
    4. Josh Willingham
    5. Carlos Pena

  16. Bizrow says:

    @Joseph – I’d take a shot at Giambi

    One day FO is sayin Pedro’s not ready, poof, next day he’s in the line-up hitting 5th.

    You can’t make this stuff up

    That being said, I’m just sayin

    Who else could they bring up?

    Bucco Nation, at the Trib

    107 locations represented in the blog
    7/25/2011 6:42 PM

    Never say die

  17. Naje says:

    @ Biz – did you read Hurdle’s comments? That’ll explain a lot of things… especially the jab at the front office… which is quite easy to do, all things considered.

  18. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    And it figures that we’d get a rain delay to start things off. Can’t have our first appearance on ESPN in 7 years go smoothly (not counting last year’s game which was only because of Strasburg).

  19. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    As for those wanting Pearce, I agree. He can’t do much worse than Overbay. And while I don’t get a chance to see many games, in those I have seen and in replays Lyle seems to be going through the motions right now. He knows he hasn’t delivered and is destined to be replaced if the Bucs can find anyone. I don’t see how he missed or at least didn’t knock down that pickoff attempt by Charlie yesterday. No, it wasn’t a perfect throw, but he just didn’t get his glove down.

  20. What happened to common sense? says:

    Presley’s injury in conjunction with Pedro’s performance (mostly taking walks and hitting the ball hard) is the reason why he’s back with the Pirates. It’s not just some front office BS. The Pirates have been forced to do a lot of things and play a lot of guys this season because of injuries; more than any team in the NL Central and most of baseball.

    It’s apparent that some people don’t even need a real reason to complain.

  21. pattonbb says:

    Nasty storms all around Atl.

  22. Mike C. says:

    it’s only 1 game, but i’m sure I and a lot of fans can’t wait to see how Pedro will do in his first game back.

  23. Bizrow says:

    nage, no did not read things, and I still think the way I think

    Pls don’t turn this into what the old place has been turned into, thanks in large part to bloggers like you

    If you listen to words, keep track, the FO is the best at gobbeldggook

    I still think a flooded system could get sumptin

    That being said, Beat Em Bucs

  24. Bizrow says:

    I think its just ironic that NH spends time explaining why Pedro is not ready, next day he’s batting fifth

    I dunno, I couldn’t make this scenario up

    Some folks constantly protect the FO, I just wonder

    For the record, Slick Frank is the one that gives me the heebeejeebies, not so much NH, bad luck here for him with Presley’s injury

    Nuttin, he just counts pennys

  25. CDBrewer says:

    Hey Biz,

    I have agreed with you on a bunch, but I think the Pedro thing really is Hurdle putting his foot down and saying no to Gorkys…
    I can’t crush the FO, or even complain since they undid a lot of the Littlefield damage in 3 years.
    Lots of mistakes, no doubt, but even the Bravos got burnt by Uggla and the Nats by Werth. And those were enormous and long contracts…The Mariners and Bedard…We are just really familiar with our mistakes.

    We are not nearly there yet, but man, this was unimaginable last year.
    I am good to enjoy this and trust that the FO does the right thing in the offseason when they aren’t being held hostage. We aren’t ready to hold off the likes of a Milwaukee, who was built for this year, or even a St. Louis, who has Superman in a contract year.
    We weren’t built for this year. The target was probably next year, and I think that is too ambitious, I think playoffs are realistic in two years…
    But we are getting there.

  26. pattonbb says:

    We might be in trouble tonight.

  27. CDBrewer says:

    Or McDonald might have figured enough out to make the pitching look a lot more stable…
    Not a bad inning.

  28. CDBrewer says:

    Watching espn feed…according to McDonough, Hurdle singled Overbay out for “fine leadership skills”
    mmmm, they better be more than fine…

  29. Curt says:

    Love the aggressive base running!

  30. CDBrewer says:

    Live by the sword…and we’ve seen die by the sword…
    The baserunning is all Hurdle.

  31. Happy G says:

    Did they really have to show the clip of Sid Bream scoring in 1992? Really?

    Come on Pedro!

  32. Happy G says:

    @CDBrewer: Thank you for your comment on my Blog and catching my mistake. I’ve corrected my entry.

    I want you to know I didn’t see your comment on yesterday’s blog before I wrote my entry. It’s purely coincidental. It seems the team from 1988 was very similar to this year’s team since two fans noticed.

  33. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    McDonald’s looking good…..Hang in there Bucs…..

  34. Jordan says:

    Am I the only out-of-towner who is getting crushed by ESPN? They are showing ESPN News instead of the regular ESPN feed and it is nothing but football talk. I’m highly annoyed. Is it just me? I’m near DC.

  35. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    You’ve got to love Pedro’s at bats so far….The walk showed great patience, that was a tough pitch to take for ball 4 when Hudson was painting corners…….Single up the middle……..lefties hitting to the 2nd baseman a million times gets old (Overbay’s 4-6-3 for example)………….Let’s hit a couple out of the yard tonight boys!!!!!

  36. Happy G says:

    @Jordan: You are not alone. I rarely watch ESPN but I’m forced tonight because I live in North Chicagoland. Yes, they’re killing me, especially with the Sid Bream clip.

  37. Keith says:


  38. Happy G says:

    One comment…when Doumit comes back, put him at first. McHenry is our catcher!

  39. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    Very good game guys……Keith is right, pitching…….Let’s get the bats heated up this week, though……How many times have you guys watched kudos go out to our starting pitching without mentioning McDonald…….Way to go James…..

  40. buccos since '04 says:

    Nice, much needed win.

  41. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I’m just amazed that Lyle Overbay never touched the ball on defense, with the exception of Hanrahan’s K that needed to end up with a 2-3. That’s crazy.

  42. What happened to common sense? says:

    So much for the naysayers’ prediction that the Bucs wouldn’t be in first place again after losing to STL.

    “Playoffs by 2012
    July 23rd, 2011 – 12:42 am
    Brewers take over sole possession of first place. Might be the last time we see the Bucs in first this year.”

    It’s one game but Pedro is doing the right things at the plate; staying behind the ball, being patient, anticipating and reacting instead of guessing. And he looks 20 lbs. lighter.

  43. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Dejan and everyone,

    Just got home from the game. It was quite possibly one of the best baseball experiences I’ve in long time. Sitting right behind the Bucs dugout, watching a contending team in late July. Best Summer Ever!! Go Bucs!!

  44. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @What happened to common sense

    I was wrong, what of it?? Am I no longer allowed to cheer for this team now??

  45. Skip says:

    What a game by McKenry. Tremendous job blocking balls in the dirt with two strikes, and more than once with a runner on third. Plus, a huge, two-out RBI single. And maybe most impressive was the laser he threw to Cedeno for the caught stealing – I got him at 1.80 seconds on that throw. That is exceptional! Tremendous footwork.

  46. TimT says:


    The game was blacked out here in Columbus, Ohio as well. Nothing but ESPN News as well. Very annoying!

  47. AJS says:

    The blackout areas in each sport are different. I’m somewhat surprised to see DC was blacked out, but not Columbus. It is usually based on a radius around the city. Columbus can be reached from Pittsburgh in about 2 and a half hours. It is a stretch but I can see it being considered Pittsburgh’s market. Which means Root gets first shot at the game.

    I live in Harrisburg. They consider that part of the Pens market. So when FSP wasn’t offered by my cable company I couldn’t even get Center Ice to compensate because it was an “in market” game. People were pleading with the cable company to offer it. They never did. So when i moved into my house I got DirecTV which offered FSP. I now have fios which offers Root. The cable company finally lost enough customers to the other 2 providers that it just in January added Root and Baltimore/Washington’s MASN.

    In short, black outs suck. I feel for ya. I’ve been there.

  48. Baywatch says:

    I miss DK. But I just now look up to see he checked in with a post … for lo, he is with us alway!

  49. Man, I could use some baseball talk right now!!
    I guess I’ll have to jog over to the Smiz blog to hear ‘fair & balanced’ comments!

  50. Happy G says:

    @Groat, et al: I know, this is terrible without DK. I did, however, post an argument to keep McKenry starting after Doumit returns from the DL.

  51. Baywatch says:

    I think when Doumit comes back it’s going to VERY HARD for Hurdle to turn that catcher’s job over to him, just from a receiver standpoint. But Doumit’s bat has got to play, and I don’t see them putting him on first base. Of course, Doumit has had as much problem sustaining any kind of offensive production as anyone on the club. Hope he can get locked in again.

  52. jefft says:

    Quick question…for all the help we need, why are we looking so hard at BJ Upton (off Don’t get me wrong…great player, under contract (I believe), love to have him, but is that the answer for what ails this team?

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News