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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Braves 2, Pirates 1

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (53-48) vs. Atlanta Braves (60-44)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 91 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. Steve Pearce, 1B
  7. Brandon Wood, SS
  8. Eric Fryer, C
  9. Paul Maholm, LHP


  1. Nate McLouth, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  4. Dan Uggla, 2B
  5. David Ross, C
  6. Wilkin Ramirez, RF
  7. Julio Lugo, 3B
  8. Alex Gonzalez, SS
  9. Jair Jurrjens, RHP

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


  1. Keith says:

    I completely understand, but I’m kind of disappointed McKenry isn’t starting again tonight. That would have sort of sent the message to ATL and MLB that this year’s Pirates will press on with or without you.

  2. Keith says:

    Oh, and let me express my ALL-CAPS OUTRAGE here.

  3. Curt says:

    Glad to see Pearce in the lineup. Hope we mash tonight and send Jair packing early!

  4. Curt says:

    Hunter Pence not in the Astros lineup tonight. Packing so he can be here tomorrow?!?
    I completely understand that. Lol.
    He’s just getting the night off.

  5. Bizrow says:

    I’m thankful for a few things

    1. I’m still somewhat breathing

    2. My dachsys

    3. The Bucs

    4. This site

    5. I have no idea what many tweets are all about

    Beat Em Bucs

    109 locations represented in the blog, First Place in both the Burgh blogs and the NL Central, except for the worst call ever
    7/27/2011 5:55 PM

  6. pattonbb says:

    Joe Torre is a tool. Just read his response to the blown call. What an ass.

    If Meals doesn’t walk up to the Bucco dugout and say, “Sorry guys, I blew that one”, then I hope they stay in his ear all night. Love the fact that he’ll be on third tonight…right in front of the visitors.

    All the uproar about the blown call aside, if we ever needed a quality start from Maholm, tonight’s the night.

  7. bdubb says:

    No way does Mckenry play tonight. Dude has to be gassed
    Speaking of catchers I went to see Indy/Charlotte this afternoon. Doumit didn’t look good at all. Chasing tons of off speed. Let me know that there is a reason for these guys to go on a rehab assignment. Tough to see good pitching after time off

  8. aglebagel says:

    Do you have a link, or just the gist of what Torre said? Haven’t heard it.

  9. Happy G says:

    I agree, McKenry deserves a night off. 6+ hours of catching? He has to be sore.

  10. Keith says:

    No question he deserves and needs the night off. Just thought how cool it would be for announcers to mention his name in the lineup after yesterday’s (today’s!) OUTRAGE.

  11. Bizrow says:


    Typical wooga-wooga, no great insight, or any insight for that matter

  12. Justin says:

    in response to Beltran post…

    Any word of the package the Buccos put together/were willing to put together?

  13. Happy G says:

    I’ve lobbied for Pearce to replace Overbay. Last night, the Bucco’s announcers thought Pearce’s timing was off. If that’s the case, sometimes that fixes itself quickly, even after great contact even if it’s a sharply hit out. Let’s hope Pearce finds his timing tonight!

  14. Reading says:

    Something looks different in AMac’s stance lately. Can’t put a finger on exactly what the difference might be (possibly standing more upright and arms more away from body) but wondered if anybody else has also noticed.

  15. Bizrow says:

    Baseball is one cool game

  16. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that last pitch to Maholm was low?

  17. CDBrewer says:

    Got another name for possible acquisition.

    Greg Dobbs…
    Low cost, hitting .308, plays 1b, 3b, OF, not Lefty McThump, but 1 .300 hitter would look good.

  18. CDBrewer says:

    Wonder if they have our signs…got the squeeze right and now they got the pitch out right.

  19. JAL says:


    They didn’t put a package together because Beltran would waive no-trade clause for Pirates.

  20. JAL says:

    CD Brewer

    That is 3 for 3 this series, also got it right on one walker spoiled by reaching out and getting his bat on one.

  21. CDBrewer says:


    I couldn’t remember if that was this series or last after last night!

  22. CDBrewer says:

    Phew, I was worried we were going to play 19 more innings scoreless tonight

  23. pattonbb says:

    Nice hit by Alvarez…..opposite field?

  24. SeanE says:

    Not to be the skeptic here but I think it is possible NH knew in the back of his mind that Beltran wouldn’t waive his no trade to come to Pgh. This made it easy to pursue him. You knew he wouldn’t come and you get the positive PR for saying we really tried.

    Not saying I think this is true….in fact I don’t….but hard to discount the possibility.

  25. CDBrewer says:


    I am pretty skeptical – the Mayans in South America, JFK, the lunar landing – and I am not saying that isn’t the case, but DK’s report makes me think it is unlikely.
    DK has taken a “no excuses, bottom line business” approach to the FO acquiring some help and he seemed to exonerate them to some degree on this one.

    He has been a “show me” guy since his first call for help.
    I think he felt a little shown.

  26. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Good job by Paul tonight. Needed at least 7 from him tonight and got it.

  27. Steve Smith says:

    Come on offense! Let’s get Paul some runs for a win.

  28. Curt says:

    Its painfully obvious that we need a big bat or two in the lineup. Tonight is another case of great pitching and no run support.

  29. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    But that’s true for both sides, Curt. And Atlanta has some known bats in their lineup.

  30. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Great inning by Tony. I think Tony will be around for a few, unless we get some runs and require Hanrahan.

  31. JoeBucco says:

    Come on, Jose. Get out of this one and we to extras. Been a while since we’ve gotten to see some free baseball.

  32. JoeBucco says:

    Hinske – that’s what you get for saying what you said.

    Have a seat Hinsk. We didn’t want you either.

    Veras looked wicked tough with those curveballs. Wow.

    Now let’s get a run so this thing doesn’t drag on.

  33. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    That figures. Thanks Lyle!

  34. Steve Smith says:

    Our offense is very offensive this series, and it is not just due to the opposing pitching. Very poor at bat most of the time. We can not keep striking out 9-10 times a game and expect to do something. Great performance by Paul Maholm, just wish we can get him and the other starters some runs one of these days to weeks. We can still split tomorrow. Let Go Get Them and try not to go to extra innings again – hasn’t worked out the last two nights at all. @$#%#^@&!

  35. TS says:

    Another mistake by Clint, not pulling Leroux. I know, I know… Clint didn’t want to tax an already overtaxed bullpen from last night. BS.

  36. TS says:

    This lack of hitting can’t continue much longer. If it does, August is going to be a long month.

  37. AJS says:

    AS soon as I saw Leroux on the mound I knew it was over. Chalk that loss up to the long night last night. THey had nothing in the pen for extras. And Lyle was robbed again. That ball was absolutely smoked and Freeman stabs it for the twin kill, then comes up the next inning and rifles a 2 strike fastball into right to set up the game winner.

    And one more time…CAN WE GET A BAT??? Where has Cutch gone?

  38. AJS says:


    Who do you suggest pitching at that point? His only option would have been the Hammer and if you bring him in he gives you 2 innings tops. If he goes to hammer and this thing drags on, they have no where to turn. McCutchen and Grilli absolutely cound NOT go. THey called Leroux up today for this exact purpose. If it went more than 9 he was out there for the duration.

  39. TS says:

    The Pirates need 2 bats, not just one. And all this stuff about a relief pitcher being the first priority seems like nonsense to me. Address the glaring weaknesses first.

    Can we get a BJ Upton and a Jeff Franceour?

  40. TS says:


    I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long for someone to defend Hurdle. He should have brought in Resop. He pitched one inning last night. Game is on the line. Leroux is weak.

  41. JoeBucco says:

    Chalk that one up to Jair Jurrjens being the best pitcher in the NL this year.

    Sometimes you are just not the better team. Wasn’t about not getting a bat. Wasn’t about the bullpen (though Leroux had a long day today, with travel and all, I hate seeing guys thrown right into key spots like that).

    Jair is a stud. Too bad the Pirates don’t have a guy like that. Oh wait, we turned down a trade of Jack Wilson for Jair Jurrjens because we also wanted a top level prospect in return. But I digress.

  42. AJS says:

    As for the new cry of Hurdle mismanaging, I ask you to look at the situations you are complaining about. If the squeeze works last night he’s a genius. Instead the Braves GUESSED lucky and hung him out. The Pedro bunt…dude had 4 strike outs at that point. I’d ask him to bunt too, even if it means bringing up overbay. Does it really matter? Overbay was going to suck either way.

    THe only bad call by Clint last night as keeping the shift on which lead to the rally that tied the game.

    And tonight he wasn’t saving anything in the bullpen. There was no one left. Watson and Veras were used. McCutchen and Grilli were absolutely unavailable.

    MAYBE Beimel or Resop. But those guys would have been an inning each, at best after pitching last night. They could have been options before Leroux entered, but once Leroux was inserted, that was the end of it. He was pitching to the end win or lose.

    The problem was not the managment of the game. Christ they lost by one run in extra innings. It is that they have absolutely no offense to back up the unbelievable pitching they are getting. Cutch needs to get his swing back and they need to find a corner infielder and an outfielder. Even one bat is likely not enough. And they undoubtedly need Presley back. He adds a spark at the top of the line up that just doesn’t exist otherwise.

  43. buccos since '04 says:


  44. Marc says:

    Pedro is a really bad baseball player right now.

  45. AJS says:

    OK TS so he goes to Resop there. Then what? Is Resop going to eat any innings? One MAYBE two tops. If you want to argue the mistake was putting Leroux in to begin with instead of using Resop and or Beimel first, I’m likely to agree with that. But once he had Leroux out there, he couldn’t pull him unless he was willing to chance having to use a starter or a position player to close this thing out.

  46. Reading says:

    Really tired of ex Pirates getting game winning hits.

  47. Reading says:

    Miraculously the Astros K Pujols to win game with tying runs on 2nd and 3rd.

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

    We should feel very fortunate to be so high in the standings with an offense so horrible…This is getting really bad…..I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to happen trade wise that really will make a difference…..Let’s just get our hurt guys back and fight the season out……Don’t give up 2 kids for a .230 hitter…..Unless there’s a Pence out there, don’t trade…….Maybe beef up in the off season via free agency.(thus not giving up prospects)……..Let’s fight this season out with OUR guys…….get healthy Bucs!!!!

  49. Joseph ~ Huntington Beach says:

    I’m all for standing by the young players, but Pedro’s six strikeouts in two games is indescribably dreadful.

  50. What happened to common sense? says:

    I’m sorry but the call for a “big bat” is ridiculous in PNC Park. The Pirates don’t need more K’s in the lineup they need guys who put the ball in play consistently. The park is too big in the gaps to worry about HR’s unless the hitter is a no-doubter type of HR hitter, or a dead pull hitter that hits sky rockets. Those aren’t readily available. The Pirates need a couple gap-to-gap guys that are going to keep the speed on the basepaths moving. Pure and simple. If they played in Cincinnati’s lunch box sized park or the friendly confines then looking for pure pop would be fine.

  51. What happened to common sense? says:

    I’d rather see them give up a couple prospects for Billy Butler in KC or Adam Lind in TOR or Cuddyer from MIN. They are all solid contact guys that hit a few HR’s and a lot of doubles who don’t K a lot.

  52. pghboyinca says:

    To trot Overbay and Pearce out there the last week in July when you are tied for or within a game of first place is waving the white flag. If I was hte opposing team Cutch and Walker WOULD NEVER BEAT ME. I would not throw them a strike all night. We were in first palce 48 hurs ago and we are now in danger of letting there be some distance between us and first place. We have scored 2 runs in the last 27 innings and 20 runs in the last 10 games. How long can we waste these superlative pitchng outings? Remember the Braves dealing for Sabathia in ealry July the first year they were close? C,C. Sabathia the most coveted palyer available and pulling the trigger in early July to get 5 extra starts from him, brilliant.

    What have we done in additon to talk about how difficult it is to acquire talent? Look at the players moving around today and prior to today. K-Rod, Rasmus, Baltran, Keppinger, etc…. If the Pirates leaked that they had gone hard after Baltran then they did it after knowing he would not come to try and justify their inaction so far. With this front office I will believe a bold decisive move without penny pinching when I see it, not when they whiff but leak out how hard they tried. Hey, I can try to get Brooklyn Decker to return my phone calls and meet me for dinner but I know the sexy litttle private banker at Wells Fargo who smiles at me is a much more realistic opportunity to close.

    We could have won 3-4 more games with a decent bat the last 15 games and Huntington is probably prayng to lose 6 straight by Sunday so he can start selling. Absolutely pathetic performance by the worst front office in all sports.

  53. Curt says:

    @What happened:
    That’s exactly what I was thinking about last night. We could make a run at Billy Butler. They already have a young stud at 1B in Eric Hosmer. That’s the type of bat we need. I’d also prefer Michael Morse from Wash. Pair one of these guys up with a Josh Willingham or BJ Upton. That’s all I want. Need some good average guys that have the power to hit it out of the park.

  54. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    @pghboy – Ok, so they acquire that bat, name doesn’t matter. Are you guaranteed that bat won’t also start struggling? Yes, I hope they can find someone before the weekend is over because this team does deserve some help this season. They are earning it. And Overbay deserves to sit since he hasn’t performed.

    The Braves are 17 games above .500 right now. The Phillies, coming up this weekend, are currently 27 games above .500. They are both very good teams. And as JB pointed out, Jair is a stud this year (12-3, 2.38 ERA). So it’s not exactly like the Bucs were facing a slob last night, either. That bat you covet may also have struck out 4 times last night.

    This is a tough road trip for this team. My expectations for this trip was hoping for 3-4, with a fear of 2-5. They are facing Halladay and Lee to start the series this weekend. And as I pointed out earlier this week, it didn’t help that while we had this tough stretch that the Cards and Brewers were facing the Cubs and Astros for the week.

    The goal for this team should be to survive these 7 games (face it, we aren’t exactly an all-star team), then for Hurdle to pick them back up when they come home next week to face the Cubs and Padres.


  55. JClare says:


    Question: Would you compare the Pirates offense to the Penguins powerplay?

  56. buckeyehba says:

    All I know is there is stuff happening. Other teams are not waiting for 20 minutes before the deadline. That ship just does not sail. Before the Atlanta and Philly series was the time to make a move….not after.

    I suspect we will do nothing at all and blame it on the prospects we did not want to give up. That way club can pocket the money the fans have been generating the past month and can say “we tried”.

  57. PetroSteel says:

    The talk of the club pocketing the money and taking advantage of the fams is getting old. I think they proved that they are trying to do the right thing and they ARE spending money. If a trade makes sense, than they will do it. Hurtle has his hands on things. For the first time in a long time, I actually have confidence that they will do the right thing. Wow! I cant believe I just said that..But I do believe it!

  58. pghboyinca says:

    “Petro, The talk of the club pocketing the money and taking advantage of the fams is getting old. I think they proved that they are trying to do the right thing and they ARE spending money.”

    Can you share withthe rest of us the secret documents that you posess that no one else hasa access to that detisl this spending? Especially since you BOLDED ARE spending money. And before you spin up the tired rant about the draft spending 2 million mopre than anyone else, realize those of us here with fiscal sense are well aware that this team was very proftable while spending 30 million less than teams in comparable markets PRIOR to the attendance spike.

    All we have heard as they sold off the assets each year was “When the time is right we wil be acquiring not selling assets” Really, is the time not right? Then earlier this year Tommy Flanagan (Coonelly) made the famous statement about when people start coming out we can take on more payroll. Really, well we are coming out and and lining your pockets Mr. Coonelly and where is the commitment on your part? Keep sticking your foot in your mouthand running Overbay and Pearce out there everyday along with the rest of your popgun offense. I am the only onewho looks at the fact that our first baseman has been in a furious strugggle all season to see if his slugging percentage can out do the Boston first basemans batting average? Right now it is a dead heat and that my friends is an absolute disgrace.

    Coonelly said the Pirates “deserve better” referring to Meals call. I am very clearly comvinced that Cutch, Walker, Morton, Maholm, etc..”deserve better” than the front office and management team the franchise has assmbled.

  59. What happened to common sense? says:

    “Can you share withthe rest of us the secret documents that you posess that no one else hasa access to that detisl this spending?”

    The Pirates have more than doubled their international spending while also increasing draft spending by more than 50% in 2008-2010 over the previous 3 years lead by the McClatchey/Littlefield team.

    Even the current Major League payroll, with a bunch of the young players on rookie contracts, is above 45 Mil and has been 3 times in 4 seasons. The previous regime’s 2007 Opening Day payroll was 39 Mil and only stayed above 40 Mil 3 times in 7 seasons.

    If you don’t believe it then look it up. The information is available. Of course, then you wouldn’t have a talking point to blabber about while you whine about a team that is in the hunt for a playoff berth.

    Good Day pghboyinca

  60. PetroSteel says:

    It is proven over and over that just becouse you have a high payroll there is no guarantee that you win (Mets, Cubs, etc.) it is also proven that not all trades work out. Every team has made bad trades.
    We dont want to be left with high prized players that are not producing and that we cant move and that we are stuck with. It would strap us in a very bad way.
    This management team and its manager should not be underestimated. Especially, this manager!
    Are they spending money? Yes! They are spending money.
    It appears as if they are being smart about it. All I’m saying is that the talk of the club pocketing the money and taking advantage of the fans should be over. We have a compeditive team. They should be commended! Remember, we need to stay competitive long term and not just this year.

  61. CDBrewer says:

    Just read on ESPN that Wandy is being shopped hard…and there is interest.
    Also read we are looking at Kubel.
    I can deal with Kubel.
    We do need somebody who can get on base as much as mash – we don’t have a decent average in there even.

    And I like the idea of flipping Wandy – get him now, then it is a win-win, keep and sign him, or see if we can turn him into the bat (maybe +) that we really want from Yankees or Sox or something.
    Given Beltran’s attitude, it is time to look outside the box.

  62. Happy G says:

    Just looked at our schedule for next week. 4 games home against the Cubs. Woohoo! The Cubs traded away Fukodome today.

  63. pghboyinca says:

    What happened to common sensed?

    You are either a PBC employee or need to be in a mental institution. I already pointed out the fallacy in the “nternational spending and draft shell game” Thi steam spends what 60 some odd million between draft , international, and MLB payroll while comparable market clubs spend 90-100? You can cut out any tiny piece of the pie yuou would like but that alone si the KEY ISSUE. It is like havin g apiece of crap car that doesn’t run and pointing at the nice rims you have on it.

    And spare me with the team battling for first place nonsense, every 18 years you are bound to catch lighting in a bottle once. And I am here to tell you this is not the start of something rather a quirky coincidence that will be soon over. Take away Maholm, and see how comfortable you are next year with Correia, Morton, karstens, mCdonald and whoever as the rotation. Do you really think the 4 returnees will be as good or better next year? I love karstens but he is pitchig like Greg Maddox and hte saber metrics guys think it is due ot some incredible luck. I hop enot but I odn’ think he continues to pitch like he has. Morton was spectacular and has regressed and now is in the mode of figuring it out. I think if his mind is right he could be dominant. McDonald, nice upside could be solid. Correia is onadownward slide and is a4th or 5th starter at best. He has somehow had tremendous run support but think htat continues?? Hardly.

    Now let’s look at he hitting, Walker and Cutch…Awesome but streaky. The rest? Please nothing but question marks ALL AROUND. And let’s see who is coming up from AAA next year, Oh wait , no one! But never fear have faith in Huntington to find a hitter after all he did bring us Overbay, Aki, Church, Crosby, Diaz, R.Sanchez, need I go on? Keep touching yourself and worshipping at the altar of this regime, they definately have it all figured out.

  64. Naje says:

    @pghboyinca –

    Is it really necessary to talk at people like you’re in a middle school locker-room circa 1975? Real tough guy, aren’t ya’? Challenging everyone with your bombastic style…

    Come on… you’re reasoning deserves much better than nasty insults and attacks on others. Filtering through those, you actually have some good points and some debatable points. But God forbid someone questions you or your opinion. Or points out that Huntington has brought to the team Karstens, D. McCutchen, Tabata, Ohlendorf, McDonald, Correia, Morton, Hanrahan, Veras, Resop, McKenry and several others.

  65. JD says:

    @ Nage – I agree with you. Too many clowns like pghboyinca just like complaining all the tyime, bringing up the same sorry points. It gets old, here and on th PG blogs as well. These sorry mopes will soon be whining about Big Ben when he throws his 1st pick. They just prefer to share their misery with everyone else.

  66. PetroSteel says:

    Ok. Your right pghboyinca!!! Lets go out and spend 100 M. How about 200 M? Since you are convinced that it’s a 100% proof plan!!! Since your convinced that all these high salaries will produce. Its just that simple isnt it??? WOW!!!
    I’m sticking with this group of men that I have confidence in. Hurdle wouldn’t be here if he didnt feel the same way. I like the direction and I think they know what they are doing. The early returns say that they do!!!

  67. PetroSteel says:

    Naje and JD…I’m with you brother!!! Go Bucs!!!

  68. pghboyinca says:

    Unlike you “band of brothers” I don’t complain when Ben throws a pick or Cooke gets suspended or any Pirate player makes a mistake. I am a big picture guy and am successful and intelligent (and modest) and can see what management does and why they do it. Although never a professional athlete I played in college at avery high level and now am hte CEO of a large company. I understand athletics and more importantly am very astute and business and finance. I never said spend 100 million or that it was a foolproof plan as you ignoramus’s claim. Me a clown because I don’t rallybehind a mirafge, hardly? I am a true fan and can be impartial and make valid points, try it some time.

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