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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Cardinals 7, Pirates 2

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (58-63) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (65-58)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 80 degrees, mostly clear

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


  1. Jose Tabata, RF
  2. Garrett Jones, 1B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Ryan Doumit, C
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  7. Brandon Wood, 3B
  8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  9. Paul Maholm, LHP


  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Allen Craig, RF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Matt Holliday, LF
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Ryan Theriot, 2B
  8. Jon Jay, CF
  9. Kyle Lohse, RHP

News updates are on our Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel will cover the game tonight.


  1. I really DISLIKE the Brewers.

    But I gotta tell you: it sure does feel GOO-OOD to beat the Cardinals and the greatest manager in baseball history (in his own mind!).

    One more time, Buccos!!

  2. Bizrow says:

    @Groat – Amen, one more time

    Its not like anyone will feel bad for Mr La Russa

    Taking sign-ups for the roster of Bucco Nation at the Trib

    If interested, just drop a post with your current location


    Bucco Nation – at the Trib,
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Austrailia – Mackay
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach
    Colorado – Ft Collins
    Connecticut – Cos Cob
    Delaware. Newark
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach (somewhat reluctantly), Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville
    Georgia – Marietta
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline
    Indiana – Indianapolis
    Iowa – Bettendorf
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon
    New York – New York, Smithtown
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte
    North Dakota
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Mason, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown
    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, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilks-Barre
    The Phillipines
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane
    West Virginia – Martinsburg
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh

    127 locations represented in the blog,
    8/17/2011 4:45 PM

  3. Dejan,
    Aren’t all these articles congratulating Pirates for spending the most discounting what teams really spent on the draft?
    Stephen Strasberg signed for $15.1 million. Bryce Harper signed for $9.9 million.

    Isn’t it just semantics to say we gave Cole the largest bonus ever at $8 million when Nationals actually spent more on both those players? Pirates are taking credit for spending the most in bonuses the past 5 years when “the reality is” other teams have put out significantly more dollars.
    Heck, the Nationals spent $17,600,000 on this 2011 draft! Just not all of it was designated bonus. Is that more than Bucs spent?

    An accounting of the money that goes out the door seems more legitimate than just the part of it that is designated “bonus”. Seems like taking credit for “semantics” to me.

    DK: I’m aware of the Nationals’ deals with their two big guys. Their deals are partially major-league contracts, meaning about half-bonus, half major-league deals. Washington knows exactly what they’ll pay those guys for their first X number of years in the majors. That benefits the team. The player knows the money is guaranteed.

    Funny thing is, Cole could actually end up making more money in that same time than either of those two. He has his bonus right now to stick in his pocket. From there, he follows the same trail through the majors that any player would. If he does well, an arbitrator could award him more than what Strasburg and/or Harper already have signed for in ink. And actually, it’s not much of a leap to suggest that Cole will do exactly that.

    Bonus means bonus. That’s not semantics. It’s fact.

  4. LikeaBugonaRug says:

    Interesting that Tabata is in RF and Ludwick in LF.

  5. Curt says:

    Can we get the sweep tonight? I hope they can!

  6. BugonaRug,
    Preparing for when Presley returns——soon, it looks like, since he’s in AAA.
    Presley in LF, Tabata, with better arm, in right——just like his tatooed hero Roberto.

    Defense and speed: with no power hitters on the horizon, that’s how Bucs have to win.

    I’m intrigued to see a batting order of Presley, Tabata, McCutch, and Walker at top.

  7. Chris says:


    You know, there would be no greater thrill for me than to see the bucs take 4 from the brew crew next week @ home – than the Pirates needing 2 wins to finish at or above .500, sweeps the brewers in the last 3 games of the season at Miller park + those losses knock the brew crew out of contention….

    It is amazing to me that I can barely register my hatred towards the braves with the likes of the cubs (because of the whole Thank you for A-Ram crapola; TY Steve Bartman :) ) & the obnoxious brewers –

    let me add onto my previous brewer fantasy, the Pirates traded Danny Moskos to the Orioles for Matt Weiters (to right a previous wrong) & Weiters is behind the plate-Prince Fielder is on 2B & Nyjer Morgan on 1B; 1 out; on a two strike pitch from Hanrahan to Braun, a 99MPH inside fastball saws off Braun to his knuckles, splitting the bat in 100 pieces & breaking Braun’s hand in three places; unfortunately, he gets enough wood on the ball to float it out over Derek Lee. It lands & the race is on…. Fielder (representing the tying run) waddles around 3B with Nyjer Morgan almost running him over (representing the winning run)….Xavier Paul (a defensive replacement an inning before) gets to it & fires a lazer to Weiters (who is blocking the plate)–Fielder sensing that he is going to be out, tries to lower his shoulder into Weiters-Weiters anticipating that move (and wanting to strike a blow for catchers everywhere), lowers his shoulder & lunges back towards Fielder & catches him right under the chin while tagging him out in one motion-although Jerry Meals (home-plate umpire) was about to call him safe, the thundering, unconscious Fielder flails uncontrollably into Meals, knocking Meals unconscious-Morgan (who had run through the stopsign at 3B) thinks that he is going to take out an unsuspecting Weiters-Unfortunately for Morgan, Wieters catches him out of the corner of his eye & catches Morgan trying to lower his shoulder-this time, the monsterous Weiters simply braces for impact & Morgan lowers the boom-Morgan bounces off of Weiters ala Aaron Rowand hitting a Centerfield wall & is knocked immediately unconscious-leaving Morgan/Meals/Fielder enmassed in an unconscious ball of humanity-Wieters, with a smirk on his face, shows the baseball to the 3B umpire (who had rushed in to make the calls that Meals was unavailable for) & calls both runners out-which ends the game & knocks the Brewers completely out of the playoffs-sealing the Bucs’ 82nd win of the season!!!!!

    Morgan & Fielder begin the 2012 campaign still on the DL with concussion symptoms & Braun is still nursing his surgically repaired broken hand-the Pirates begin the 2012 campaign winning the first 20 games, leaving the Brewers/Cardinals/Reds 10 games back & the Cubs 20 games back………

    Pretty imaginative, isn’t it ;-p

  8. bdubb says:

    This front office will not be cheap when they sign their own players and keep their own players. Not “lets sign Nate and then trade him 2 days later” or the same with Doumit but there were no takers. And let’s also remember the Pirates always draft in the top 5. So Milwaukee should come nowhere near what the Pirates spent. Anyone outside the top 5 should not come close to their figure.
    Am I happy they overslotted payment on the 2nd round pick? Absolutely and I commend them for doing so. But to say they spent the most of out of any team is not comparing apples to apples. I also don’t understand how Cole’s signing bonus is the most in MLB history. Strasburg’s total signing package is almost twice that. To say Coles is more is just not right. Maybe b/c it is a straight $8mil but not total guaranteed.
    I agree the Pirates have done what they said they would and really probably need to do and get the farm loaded for that day when we can have a revolving door of prospects come up and fill in the gaps. But until they reach out and sign their own like Braun for that kind of money, or they keep a player like Fielder through FA and paying tons for him only to potentially lose him then we can talk about cheap. Yes this lessens the cheap for me a bit but there is a long way to go. You can’t dig a hole they have and crawl out of it in 2 years

    btw…last night’s game was one of the best I have ever seen (atleast in the PNC Park). 3 Pirate home runs…1 to tie in the 9th! 1 to win the 11th! Puljos homered. Paul’s catch, Cedeno’s start of the double play and Cutch running a football field to rob Puljos. So many great plays last night. Fun game. Did I miss a another great play somehere like Paul’s hustle jaw first into the railing in the 11th?

    DK: Did you read the column all the way to the end, Dubb?

  9. Hey Chris! You know, we can’t always control our dreams . . . .
    but somehow I was transported right “into” your dream . . . .
    and I was somehow standing in the on deck circle when all this happened. What a view!

    Thanks for “Welcoming me to Your Nightmare!”

  10. LikeaBugonaRug says:


    Hadn’t thought of it that way. But for now, wouldn’t you want your better fielder in LF @ PNC? Don’t prepare for later. Play for now. Though there is the possibility that Ludwick can’t play RF. But then, how often have we sent anyone out to RF this season that can really play the position?

  11. Chris says:

    Glad u enjoyed it Groat :)

  12. GoldNeck says:

    From close enough to mistakenly assume automatic inclusion, please add Morgantown, WV.

  13. Eric Bowser says:

    For the love of Honus Wagner’s ghost…. can Paul Maholm quit pitching like me.

    4 batters, two singles, 2-run HR, and walk

    2-0 Cards and no outs…..

  14. JMB says:

    sucky start

  15. hsages211 says:

    Maholm struggling early…perhaps we’ll be seeing a Brad Lincoln audition soon.

    Am concerned that Maholm has reverted back to his form from last season when he had one of the worst WHIP’s (1.56) in the NL and an ERA in the 5’s. Since the All Star Break, Maholm’s WHIP (coming into this start) is 1.63 with an ERA approaching 6. Don’t see how you can extend him at $9.75M when he’s throwing batting practice.

  16. Florida Steeler says:

    Maholm stinks–they cannot give him big money and he probably won’t get much on the trade market. Like Pearce–far too many opportunities for Maholm.

  17. TS says:

    Is it me, or could Cutch have caught that first pop fly after the double play if he went full steam?

  18. Poz says:

    I’m working while watching, so may have missed something. Could Jones not get to third on that dribbler? He could have scored on the long fly.

  19. Eric Bowser says:

    Long game ahead as Maholm and Lohse both threw 30 pitches, both only had 17 for strikes.

  20. TS says:

    I think the spirit of Zach Duke has invaded the body of Paul Maholm.

  21. Happy G says:

    TS, that’s funny.

  22. Steve Smith says:

    Half way to 10 Ks, do you think Clint can tell these guys that the thing in their hands can be used to hit the round thing being thrown at them. They might actually get to run if that happens. Long game may be getting longer at this rate. Come on Bucs!

  23. JMB says:

    Right back in it!

  24. Steve Smith says:

    That’s the way for Jose to get us back in this thing. Now if only they could have gotten one in the first.

  25. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    It seeems like every line drive they hit (minus Tabata’s HR) is right at a Cardinal. And how many balls are going to land 6 inches foul tonight?

  26. JAL says:

    Get two, immediately give back 1.

  27. Pattonbb says:

    Allen Craig…… seriously?

  28. JMB says:

    Barring a miracle, 58-64.

    24-16 to finish w. a winning record.

    15-25 to finish w. less than 90 losses.

  29. JMB says:

    Wood is terrible, and the saddest part is that his numbers are much better than Pedro has been able to achieve this season.

  30. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    I thnk they can play Ryan Ludwick at first base if they need a place to put him once Presley returns, but with Garrett Jones hitting so well now, it’s probably best to just have him on the bench and spell the 3 outfielders once in a while.
    I seem to recall that LaRussa used to play Ludwick at first base some, so he is not foreign to the position.

    Tonight’s loss was not terribly unexpected since they already took 2 from a superior team. I can’t be upset. When your starter (Maholm) can’t get past the 5th inning, you’re asking for trouble. I don’t know why the Pirates have so much trouble with 4th & 5th starters like Lohse, but so little trouble with main guys like Chris Carpenter. It seems like its always been that way around here though.

    I missed the whole game anyway cause I been watching all the ‘Last Call with Scott Hall & Larry Zbyszko’ shows all night on Youtube. Excellent show!

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ryan Ludwick has never played first base in the major leagues, according to Baseball Reference. It doesn’t look like he played there at all in the minors, either.

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    Can we go back to the issue groat2maz brought up about the bonuses? I thought it was a very valid point (especially since I also wondered the same thing). And you, DK, kind of brushed it off as, “well, Cole might make more.” At the same time you tout the bonuses as money in the pocket. It seems more reasonable, and more rational, to compare the dollars both in the bonus and the overall guaranteed money in the deals. I don’t know what the answer is there, but it is certainly a valid point if you want to compare apples to apples, it seems to me. For example, the figure used for Pedro is always $6 mil +, but that included the entire deal with him, if I am remembering correctly. To just compare bonus dollars is incomplete. Strasburg got hurt and was still guaranteed a certain amount. That would seem to inure to his benefit, unless I’m missing something. And one other thing, does Scott Boras look at just the bonus figure or the overall deal for his client? I would imagine it varies depending on the situation.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    To try and clarify it a little more, what I am saying is that if you are going to compare the situations of our draft picks and others and try to draw conclusions, the complete facts would be beneficial. I am NOT saying the the complete facts would end up at a different conclusion than just looking at the bonuses. I don’t know, because I don’t know the complete facts, which would include the details of the total guaranteed amounts to Strasburg, Harper, etc.

    DK: Brushed it off? Really? With an answer that long and detailed?

    It might not have been the answer you sought, but I didn’t brush anything off, to say the least.

    This is what I’m saying, to put it in plainer language: Nobody, nobody, nobody adds guaranteed salary on top of bonuses for the purpose of ranking these things. I have in front of me Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook, the most respected journal in the sport, and it lists Washington’s bonuses for Strasburg as $7.5M and Harper as $6.25M. Again, that’s not semantics. It’s fact. It might not be how you’d prefer to see it listed, but it’s fact.

    Here’s something else: The fact that Boras agreed to a minor-league contract while knowing full well that the next handful of guys in the first round would get guaranteed deals should tell you plenty. Boras thinks, as does the player, that he’ll get paid more by taking this route. They might be wrong, they might be right.

    Finally, none of this really has much to do with the general premise of my column, which was strictly about dollar count. I didn’t mention — even though I could have — that both Cole and Bell probably will cost a lot more than you usual young players once they make it to Pittsburgh. Never factored in a dime. And that, as you cite, is because not another dime was guaranteed.

  34. buccos since '04 says:


  35. Eye Floaters says:

    The NFL season is finally upon us! I’m ready to see some poweful hits and well drawn plays. Who is my pick for the Superbowl winner? Right now I would have to say that I think the Ravens or the 49ers look like they have the best chance. My most liked part of the NFL is that you never know who is going to be victorious. Drama and excitement, welcome home Football!

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