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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Braves 2

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (53-49) vs. Atlanta Braves (61-44)

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. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Neil Walker, 2B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  7. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  8. Mike McKenry, C
  9. Kevin Correia, RHP


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

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


  1. Are we going to “Wake Up” with you tomorrow?
    Or, are you still not talking like the highest paid Steelers?

    Sure am glad we hurried and brought Pedro up——he made a great
    down-payment on 20 strikeouts for Bucs the other night with 4 of his own.

    Looks like he has that swing in mid-season form!
    When he swings like that, I’m GLAD he wears his hat different than I do!

  2. PetroSteel says:

    Lets Go Bucs! The bats finally come alive tonight!!!
    Dejan, its really quite out there. You ready to break a big story?

  3. Keith says:

    Hold out hope, Bucco fans. In a few more days, even without a new bat, our lineup could look like this:

    Presley, RF
    Tabata, LF
    McCutchen, CF
    Walker, 2B
    Alvarez, 3B
    Pearce, 1B
    Cedeno, SS
    McKenry, C

    I like the looks of that a lot more than any lineup that has been trotted out over the past few weeks.

  4. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @Groat: Wakeup Call, column, chat and everything else returns tomorrow. Flying home tonight.

  5. Keith,
    That looks like a GREAT lineup! Good choice.
    If we just had Berkmann or Albert at 1st base . . .
    although I can live with Jones/Pearce platoon.

    I see FO talking a lot but picking no one of substance by deadline.
    Man, we could use a bopper!

  6. Great news, Dejan! Should we meet you at the airport like the ’79 Pirates?

  7. Keith says:


    Did you notice anyone I OVERlooked? Or someone I OVERtly left out? I wonder if I was OVERcome with the Pirates’ OVERachievement that I BAYled on someone?

  8. Keith,
    I think you made outstanding choices, DOU MIghT be
    OVERcome with optimism, BAYbee!

    I can’t think of anyone you left out.
    If OHLEN we had one more DORF to put in the rotation when Maholm gets traded.

    (Seriously, I still can’t decide how long PM is going to be here. Dare FO trade him by Sunday??? August 15th after waivers? How could they? How can they not?)

  9. I’m really tired of the offensive ineptitude. Something needs to be done soon!

  10. Bizrow says:

    So Dejan can’t take a vacation?

    Lets rip on everyone here because, you know, we’re in a pennant race and lost two tough games


    109 locations represented in the blog, its bad karma if you don’t sign in ;-)

    Lowe has won 10 in a row against us, the Gunner’s hidden vigorish comes into play tonight

    PBC comes out on top tonight, thus predicts Nostrabiz, thus it will be

  11. meglasdad says:

    Who do you want them to pick up of substance? Pena? Willingham? Really? I think they should pick someone up who would be here for awhile. This division is ripe for the picking next couple years with Milwaukee losing Fielder and others. St.Louis might even lose Albert. The Astros will be down a couple more years and the Cubs are the Cubs. I say go get a Pence or a Carlos Quentin. You can’t have Tallion or Marte, who do you want? Pence and Quentin have proven they can play in the majors. Prospects haven’t. Chad Hermanson was going to be a superstar. I”m not giving up on Pedro yet, but he looks like he might be a decent DH so far. Forget about rentals and build for now AND the future.

  12. Dave G in Mason, OH says:


  13. Bizrow says:

    Ocho Stinko just gave us another reason to not like the NEPatriots

  14. Bizrow says:

    Right now, I’m worried that Huntington will get taken if he makes a deal

    Thats why he still sits with the kids at their Thanksgiving table

  15. Jason says:


    Everytime I click on the Karen price link, it says “Page Not Found” also when I go to the Bucco Blog, it’s just an old post.

  16. Bizzy,
    Not sure what you’re “sheeshing” about: no one here is ripping anyone.
    1/ We’re excited DK is coming back give us direction (“When the blind lead the blind…”)
    2/ We’re a game & a half out on July 28!!!
    3/ The bats HAVE TO wake up soon: they can’t sleep forever.
    4/ It’s exciting yet fearful to anticipate a new bat in the lineup [will he fit? what’d we give up? Will he be a rental or a teammate to build around?]
    5/ Very little happens in life that a 4 game winning streak doesn’t cure!

    No negative vibes! Checking in from Washington & Greensburg, PA

  17. Curt says:

    Well said Groat. All 5 points are right on!
    I think the sentiment from many (including myself) is we’ve waited for so long to be in the race and to be officially “buyers” and want the Pirates to make a move.
    They don’t need a masher, just someone who gets on base and hits for average.
    I think they need to look at Billy Butler, Carlos Quentin and Michael Morse. Someone like one of them would make alot of sense.

  18. Happy G says:

    @Groat: 4 game winning streak? We happen to play the Cubs at home next week for 4 games.

    Ocho Cinco and Albert Haynesworth to the Patriots. Nothing like adding cancer topped with more cancer to the locker room. I love it! The Patriots still play the defense Haynesworth refused to play for in Washington.

    @DK: any hints on the subject of your column tomorrow? Is it Pirates trade deadline or Steelers cap issues? Am I close?

  19. Happy G says:

    How about this for a move? Somehow, just somehow Ramirez agrees to be traded back to Pittsburgh. Move Alvarez to first and start Ramirez at third. That’s the kind of bat we need.

  20. Curt says:

    Just read on mlb trade rumors that Houston is opening up talks again about trading Hunter Pence. The Pirates are not named as one of those teams. Frustrating.

  21. pghboyinca says:

    We nend to go pick up one of the young first baseman blocked in another organization, it gives us an answer for the next 3 years or so. I donj’t want to see Overbay or Pearce in the lineup. A has been and never was personified. It is ashame about Pressly, I don’t see Tabata ever being injury free, a lot of muscle pulls and strains will haunt his career.

  22. Happy G says:

    I live in North Chicagoland and this is their perspective. Everyone here assumes Ramirez and Pena will be gone next year. They want the Cubs to sign both Pujols and Prince Fielder. They figure Pujols will move to third. Now, that’s how you dream big.

    Putting that into play, what kind of really, really big dreams does anyone have for the trade deadline?

  23. Dave says:

    The Pirates should stay far away from the Pence talks. Houston rejected an offer from Philly that included Cozart, Singleton AND their best pitching prospect. Pence is a very good outfielder in a career year–he’s not worth all that + the overpayment he’ll get in arbitration, especially for this team at this time.

  24. Bizrow says:

    @Groat, couldn’t tell about your post

    Follow up sez stuff though ;-)

  25. Bizrow says:

    Oops, I meant to add, people gotta lay off the leader of the pack here

    Dejan does not deserve any crapola,

    Regarding Pence, supposedly they already rejected an offer from Philly that there is no way we would match

    Folks, I fear we’re gettin Nuttin

  26. JAL says:

    Every year the large majority of the trades are made the last 4 days. Sure there is much to come, just no idea which teams will involved. No trades yet mean nothing.

  27. TS says:

    Happy G

    I’m a Pirates fan whose spent most of his life in Chicago (Lincoln Park for the last 10) and the Cubs can dream all they want. Pujols isn’t coming to the Windy City. And I doubt Fielder will either. Go Sox.

    As for the Buccos, I read that they’re looking at Jamey Carroll. If NH acquires this guy for 1B, it would be a travesty. He can’t hit a lick.

  28. What happened to common sense? says:

    The obvious truth here is that MLB is a business. Every team the Pirates talk to, and this has been reported, are asking for a ton because they know that people feel like this year is some fluke. The fact of the matter is that this is not an uncommon idea in the business world (the use of leverage). It takes two teams to make a trade. I would rather see the team stand pat and stay competitive long term than give in to ridiculous demands and go backward.

  29. Curt says:

    All I know is the fan base deserves better than Nuttin’. Here’s hoping they do something that makes an impact on the race!

  30. CDBrewer says:

    Correia better get it together fast or it is 3 in a row heading to Philly.
    We can get 3 I think, but Correia also has to go innings…

    Still, I never thought I would be looking at the standings as July ended.

    How about JJ Hardy?
    Heard nothing on that, and the O’s are FAR out of it.

  31. Bizrow says:

    I humbly disagree, JAL, every trade takes one more guy out of the picture, and its supply and demand, as supply decreases, demand/price increases

    Thats why the guys that sit at the big table at Thanksgiving target someone and aggressively pursue them, not just sit there, look at the table scraps and then lament, well we tried..

    If you ask Overbay, he will tell you he tried

    I’m just sayin…..

    Talk is cheap

    I was going to say the FO is really good at talk, but then I’m thinking, not really though

    But we will see, tick, tick, tick

    KC does not look like he has his stuff so far

  32. JAL says:


    O’s just signed Hardy to 3 year contract extension–$22.25 million over 3 years.

  33. CDBrewer says:

    I agree with What happened to.

    I think we could do damage to a longer term plan, that was not supposed to win THIS year – was designed to be competitve this year – by making a huge move.

    And what are we doing it for?
    We need more than 1 impact bat and bullpen help to win the division, and the Braves are out in front of the WC chase.

    I think we have a good young core, and could sustain competitiveness for some time.
    The league is back to being about pitching, defense, and speed…not ‘roids. We can compete financially in that environment.

  34. CDBrewer says:


    We signed McLouth just before that trade…sometimes those deals help.

    Maybe Correia can play first the other 4 days! lol

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

    I’m with Common Sense…..Don’t give the farm away for garbage just for the sake of making a move…..Like the Steelers, I want the Bucs to be good every year…..If there is nothing good out there that makes sense, do nothing…..I’m not going to cry in my room if we don’t win the WS…….Get somebody in the off season (spend money) that won’t cost us one prospect…..(even though all of our top minor league pitchers have an ERA of 4 or 5, and Sanchez is in the .230’s)……..big picture folks, big picture……

  36. CDBrewer says:

    I think we all tend to overlook one other piece here…chemistry. If you want to call it style, that is fine too, but Hurdle has brought something that has changed the clubhouse, and it isn’t just being in charge, or being loud, or having their backs.
    They believe.
    Hell, WE believe…We waited for the shoe to drop through May and into June and here we are, now that it hasn’t, wanting to add to run at the playoffs!
    I almost can’t write that without chuckling.
    We all think that the team that lost 105 and only added Overbay, Diaz, and Correia COULD make the playoffs…


    In the preseason predictions, what was the top win total?
    What was the largest grouping of guesses – 60’s?

    Look where we came from.

  37. JAL says:


    Top win total was 90, largest grouping was the 70s

  38. JAL says:


    That is not opinion, that is fact, over the past 3 seasons over 80% of the treads have taken place during the last 4 days.

    Only way you can disagree is with facts that counter that.

  39. CDBrewer says:

    Thanks JAL.

    Still – we were expecting a 13-22 game improvement, by and large.
    That is a HUGE improvement, and probably based on optomism as much as play.

    And we are ahead of that schedule.

    Very pleased with this year so far.

  40. Curt says:

    While we wait out the rain, let’s have some fun. Put together your worst lineup possible of Pirate rejects/retreads. Here’s mine, see if you could top this…
    C-Benito Santiago
    1B- Mark Johnson
    2B-Warren Morris
    3B-Jose Hernandez
    SS-Pat Mears
    OF-Derek Bell, Chad Hermansen and Jeromy Burnitz
    SP-Matt Morris

  41. densum2 says:

    Curt…you gotta include Pat Meares in that list

  42. densum2 says:

    Oh…you did! Sorry!

  43. densum2 says:

    Raul Mondesi

  44. Steve Smith says:

    Curt, How about Armando Rios in the outfield. Due got hurt after two games with us and I don’t think he really played much more after that. Didn’t play well when he did play.

  45. JAL says:

    game about to restart

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

    Way to hit it hard Alvarez…….We need our buddy Overbay to come through in the clutch…..

  47. JAL says:

    3 runs, an offensive outburst for the Pirates

  48. pghboyinca says:

    Somebody forgot to tell Milwaukee that all the majority of alll the trades trades happen in the last day or two. JAL maybe you can go post there and maybe their G.M. will realize his error. 2 years ago they got C.C. Sabathia in early July and he won his first 5 or so starts and was lights out and led them into the playoffs. At the time some of the same front office suck ups here said it would be the demise of the franchise and they are still ahead of us and actualy went out early again this year and got K-Rod. That is an ownership and front office committed to their fans and players. They are a market similar to Pittsburgh.

  49. pghboyinca says:

    When we play the Braves the coaches need to note two things. Don’t throw low strikes to Freeman and don’t hit the ball near Freeman.

  50. JAL says:


    80% means that there are 20% that happen earlier, like the K-Rod trade this year. I never said it was an error, just reporting fact. Wasn’t defending anyone. Stats show that is what happens, most take place near end of time limit.

  51. pghboyinca says:

    Progressive, intelligent teams get out ahead of the herd, we are following it. This team, this maanger, and the fans deserve better.

  52. JAL says:


    Some big trades made late–last year Phils got Oswalt on July 29–As i said, not defending anyone.Just using facts to show some major trades take place at end.

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

    That was always Cedeno’s problem….No plate discipline……….Let’s a good one go by…..swings at 2 balls……way to go……

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

    By the way……that’s enough of the Okobi rap song every night…..

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

    Good job Clutch……big HR

  56. buccos since '04 says:

    When those three are clicking doesn’t look too bad

  57. Reading says:

    It’s a good thing that I pointed out that discrepancy with AMac’s stance last night! Back in business.

  58. Curt says:

    Too bad there’s not a like button about comments, cause Jay G that Okobi line made me laugh. 5 runs tonight. Woohoo. Pirates released the offensive kraken!

  59. pattonbb says:

    Fear the Bones!

  60. CDBrewer says:

    Got the split in ATL…and they are goood.
    Seriously, we deserved AT least a split, on the road, against one of the top 5 teams in the NL.
    Can’t ask for more.

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

    Let’s get the lumber ready for Philly……..Go Morton!!!…..Way to split against a tough club on the road…..

  62. JAL says:

    Nice win, on to Philly. The stretch that so many feared–Cincy, St. Louis, Atlanta, Philly is 10 down now and Pirates are 5-5 with 3 to go.

  63. Duncan says:

    One of my best friends is a diehard Braves fan. I texted him: “Hell of a series. Maybe we can rehash this in the playoffs.” He said, “Seriously, I hope not. Don’t want the Braves to face the Pirates.”

    I’ve never received a better text.

  64. What happened to common sense? says:

    I know I didn’t play baseball past 22 but could someone Pedro Alvarez he doesn’t have to gear up to hit the ball out. He’s young and it’s not uncommon but the ball will carry to center and left-center too. He proved it last night.

  65. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Got the split in Atlanta that I was hoping for. Good job by the Buccos. Now let’s see what happens when they come here to Philly this weekend. Gotta take at least 1, and 2 would be nice. And no matter what, they have to get back to Pittsburgh with their heads up to take down the Cubs and Padres.

  66. pghboyinca says:

    JAL,, Agreed a lot of them do take place at the end because teams are trying to get the last missing ingredient. And the Phillies, Yanks, Braves, Sox, and others are there evey year and are balanced and putting themselves over the top. We have not sniffed this in 18 years and we have one hideously glaring need and addressing it could literally mean 5-6 wins between now and the end of the year. It isn’t like there is an answer close n the minors so go get a guy that has 3 yeas left on a contract or a young guy blocked in a good system. You can’t put Overbay and Pearce out there , that is a disgrace. Marte and Lincoln for a good young first baseman is soemthing I would do in a hearbeat.

    The time is now, the team realizes it and is playing like it. The fans are putting 18 years of misery behind them and coming out in droves. The front office loves to hear themselves wax poetic but noes nothing.

  67. Doug says:


    good young first baseman that teams are willing to trade don’t grow on trees

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