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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Astros 2, Pirates 0

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (62-73) vs. Houston Astros (46-90)

Time: 8:05 p.m.

Site: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 101 degrees, hazy

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


  1. Jose Tabata, RF
  2. Alex Presley, LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Ryan Doumit, C
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Josh Harrison, 3B
  8. Ronny Cedeno, SS
  9. James McDonald, RHP


  1. Jordan Schafer, CF
  2. Jose Altuve, 2B
  3. J.D. Martinez, LF
  4. Carlos Lee, 1B
  5. Brian Bogusevic, RF
  6. Jimmy Paredes, 3B
  7. Angel Sanchez, SS
  8. Humberto Quintero, C
  9. J.A. Happ, LHP

News updates are on our Pirates page. Karen Price is in Houston.


  1. No strikeouts tonight for Pirates: Happ walks every batter instead!

    If Bucs go 20—7 the rest of the way, they finish above .500.

    Dejan, Derreck Lee had a hot 3 weeks before the trading deadline. Before that, at 2/3 of the season, he was hitting .232 with 26 RBIs and single digit HRs.
    His ship has passed. He is Lyle Overbay who can catch the ball.

  2. CDBrewer says:


    Agreed on Lee.
    Kendry Morales has to be available with Trumbo’s coming of age.
    Gotta find a guy like that – a guy who can rake, and I get it won’t be either of the big two (although I would prefer one of them removed from rival AND added than signing Cutch and Maholm).
    Gotta find a real stick – even if it is gapper guy.

    By the way, DK, you have mentioned outsourcing finding a SS. Is there anybody the organization could ask? We don’t even have a guy like Tanner around anymore. Is there anyway to get another set of eyes to help?

  3. JAL says:

    Pirates tonight

    tabata 9 presley 7 mc cutchen 8 doumit 2 walker 4 jones 3 harrison 5 cedeno 6 mc donald 1

  4. Karen22 says:

    So is that our 136th different lineup?

  5. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Former Buc Matt Diaz is starting in RF for the Braves tonight

  6. CDBrewer says:

    While we all fret over Pedro, Heyward has been awful for the Braves this year…other teams have prospect issues too…
    Hence Diaz starting.

    How does Overbay land with AZ? I know Nady got hurt, but wow.

  7. Bizrow says:

    So we trade Diaz and cash for either cash or a PTBNL

    If we kicked in cash, it must have been to get a better return, I’m thinking

  8. CDBrewer says:

    Biz, I don’t think we were getting much unless we paid for Chipper too.

  9. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    So John Cooper, Atlanta sportswriter, stated in his article (on Diaz) that “the trade is a winning proposition for everyone.”

    Interesting, since it isn’t yet known, nor at least publicly mentioned, who the return player is for the Pirates in this deal.

  10. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Apologies for spelling JON Cooper incorrectly above…

  11. TS says:

    Why no D’Arnaud? It’s time for the Bucs to start seeing what he can do.

  12. Bizrow says:

    CD, you throw in cash, you should get a better prospect

    Thats the way I’ve heard it anyways. A marginal talent, throw in cash, you get a bit better prospect

    I think Dejan has explained its usually from a list of players

    Hey, maybe the PBTNL will be…….. Diaz??


    DK: The PBTNL is almost always terribly insignificant. It’s about the cash taken on.

  13. Hey TS,
    I laughed out loud as I wrote my response to you in last thread.

    Hope you surmised my tongue in my cheek and heard me laughing.

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

    Hopefully Diaz will get a fair shake from the fans in his return to Atlanta. He was meant to be a right handed bat in a platoon(to face lefties). Thanks to the Pirates’ need for the DL he had to take on more than he should have, but he still hit .295 against LH pitching this season. He did what he was paid to do.

    I’m sure some of the pathetic cynics will disagree but they are cynics for a reason. They’re the same people who complained when the Pirates were in first place and revel in their own negativity now that the season’s struggles have caught up to them.

    Good day all.

  15. TS says:


    I enjoyed it too. Doesn’t change the fact that it was an aberration. :)

  16. Coffee Drip Brewer,
    I’ve heard you mentioned Kendry Morales here a number of times . . . .
    and that idea is starting to grow on me.

    Coming off year and a half of injury——accepts lower contract to prove himself——worth the risk; especially if he returns to form.

    I’m succumbing to your hypnotic words!

  17. TS says:

    Bunch of fair….

    you crack me up. Did what he was paid to do? 0 HRs, a handful of doubles, and a whole lot of soft singles. Yea, that’s worth 2 mill. And calling people “pathetic” cynics. Even more laughable.

  18. Steve Smith says:

    @Playoffs must be in shock that Diaz was traded today. How ya feeling buddy?

  19. JMB says:

    I’ll be honest; I’m starting to get nervous about next year.

    This year’s $10mm wasnt wisely spent, so how will NH improve next year?

    The FA market is relatively weak, so trades may be the only way to go.

    This team, with its reliance on speedy OF’s, is desperate for power from the corners. PA better get it going, and a power hitting 1B like Morales or Morse had better be on the C64’s to-do list!

  20. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Steve Smith

    Couldn’t be happier. Diaz was U-S-E-L-E-S-S. Good riddance!!

  21. Steve Smith says:

    @Playoffs, I hear ya, I hope the sarcasm came through on your end. He was picking it up against the lefties recently, but we have other younger players to get straight in the outfield to have him keep clogging up the lineup. Seemed like a nice enough guy, though, and probably a voice in the clubhouse. Hopefully that doesn’t have an even more adverse affect on the clubhouse. Enjoy the game and Let’s Go Bucs!

  22. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The people who will defend Diaz’s “performance” are the same people who defended the likes of Adam LaRoche, Eric Hinske, and Lyle Overbay. Just like Diaz they were all wastes of space and thankfully they are all gone.

  23. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Steve Smith

    I’m sure he was a good guy, and if Atlanta wants him back then more power to them. It cracks me up to keep hearing about “good clubhouse” guys. At some point a team that hasn’t won anything in 19 years needs guys who can play, not just be good in the clubhouse.

  24. Keith says:

    What kinds of SS are available for acquisition this offseason? The Bucs need to look for a serious SS so they can fill around at other positions from within.

  25. hsages211 says:

    Did a little bit of research this evening on the Pirates and the SS position as I was wondering who was the last player drafted by the Pirates that made his way through the minors to become a starting SS. If I’m correct, it hasn’t happened since 1998 when Lou Collier and Kevin Polcovich manned the position. Going back further (to 1980) to home grown SS, the distinguished list includes Rafael Belliard, Felix Fermin, Sam Khalifa, and Dale Berra.

    So DK, are there any companies around the Buccos can hire to outsource the search for a SS because history is really against us here?

    Another thought would be to hire another GM but keep NH and let NH and his team do the drafting but get someone else in there to sign free agents and make trades.

    DK: I recommend the firm of Crosby Vazquez Rivas & Gomez for all your shortstop needs.

  26. CDBrewer says:


    No, your thinking is right, and we probably did improve what we were going to get…but I CAN’T imagine that the Braves think Diaz is the missing piece. I hope we got an 11th rounder like Pujols, but I imagine not.


    Thanks for getting some momentum on the KM bandwagon. My thing is we need a .300 guy. We just do. All the speed is wonderful if somebody can hit behind them with some pop AND consistently.
    I LOVE the speed and hate the pure power or K guys – I want to make that clear…but you gotta have a 40 doubles .310 guy to knock in speed.

    I hate admitting this, but I am in the Diaz was asked to do too much because of injuries camp…I know it isn’t popular, but if we had a legit rbi guy his singles wouldn’t be so irritating.

    Last note…let me just say, I am not depressed by this season…
    Karstens drop off was foreseeable. The bullpen too – you just can’t cover the 8th with scrap heap to replace an All Star forever.
    Lots of good strides this year – if we get those 10 more wins.
    I even like Resop, McCutchen, and Veras in the pen with Meek and Hanny next year.
    And I like Paul as a 4th OF.

    72 wins with Pedro sucking, Overbay being a HUGE drag, and all the injuries…didn’t see that as possible in March. I never thought the division was realistic, but I loved dreaming.

    Never as good as you think you are and never as bad either.

  27. CDBrewer says:

    Diaz single in first AB with Braves.

  28. hsages211 says:

    Still can’t quite figure out what went wrong with Diaz. In the 2nd half of 2010 he mashed left-handed pitching and hit 7 HRs. Never had great power but he always seemed to hit about 10 HRs a season in limited duty. He just never quite got it together while in Pittsburgh.

  29. JAL says:

    Diaz got hits with Pirates, not like he was batting .210. Just no power which was what they wanted. If he had 10 HR with same batting average no one would have complained. No surprise he got a single tonight.

  30. JAL says:


    Off a couple of rounds–Albert was a 13th round pick

  31. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    The bats will come back to life tonight. ‘Watching’ on Gameday.

    Enjoy the game, guys.

  32. CDBrewer says:

    Thanks JAL…you ARE on top of it…impressive
    Much appreciated…

    You jest about the firm, but seriously, do they have ANYBODY they can consult with? Not kidding about the fact there is no Tanner left even.

  33. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    2 Ks already. Double digits again?

  34. CDBrewer says:


    Easily 10…I hate that almost as much as the losses too.

    Also, I know a lot of Pens fans on here…just wanted to pass along Morneau is going to be on the shelf AGAIN because of concussion symptoms, and that is after coming back, in a fairly non-contact sport. I feel for Sid, it has to be frustrating.

  35. CDBrewer says:

    4 through 2…Can we K 18 times tonight?

  36. Pattonbb says:

    That inning looked like it was going to get ugly. Way to get out of trouble JMac.

  37. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Those 4 pitches to Lee just now were all in the strike zone.

  38. David says:

    Outside of Reyes and Rollins the free agent SS position looks a little bare. Scutaro is on the list but he has an option and I would imagine isn’t a realistic option for the Pirates. Furcal is available but I don’t want the Pirates to touch him.

    The next group and the one the Pirates should focus on is Jamey Carrol, Omar Infante, Clint Barmes, Alex Gonzalez, Nick Punto.

    After that I honestly think Cedeno would be next on the list. So who does everyone like of those 5?

  39. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    JMac starting to look wild

  40. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    End of four: Houston 2 runs, Bucs 2 hits

  41. Pattonbb says:

    That’s the problem David, there really aren’t any strong SS candidates. Jamey Carroll would probably get my vote, but I in no way look at him and think, “There’s the missing piece”.

    If Ronny doesn’t come back, I’m willing to bet d’Arnaud gets the job.

  42. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Happ is throwing virtually nothing but 90 MPH fastballs with 3 to 4 inch breaks and none of these guys can get a handle on that.

  43. CDBrewer says:

    My vote would be Infante, but what Patton said about Carroll applies to Infante – not “the missing piece”.
    Barmes and Carroll would be my 2nd and 3rd in either order.

    First has to be the “missing piece”. Everything else is set.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    Crosby Vazquez Rivas & Gomez

    None of those shortstops were signed to be starters. They were signed to be back ups.
    A couple were signed to back up the almighty Jack Wilson.

  45. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Do you pinch for JMac now? Bucs need runs…

  46. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Oh… you let him hit. I guess he earned it… he has half of the offense so far tonight.

  47. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Happ @ 99 pitches.

  48. JMB says:

    Jack Wilson to the Braves.

    I’m kinda surprised that no one has taken a flyer on Dewey.

  49. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Bucs avoid double-digit strikeouts tonight…. unless they go into extras…

  50. JAL says:

    Considering they almost locked into playoffs surprised the Braves are making several moves.

  51. Pattonbb says:

    Braves need help at ss. Won’t be surprised if they don’t give Jack 2 or 3 starts in a row and a chance to win the starting job. Alex Gonzalez is terrible.

    Bet Wilson feels like he just won the lottery.

  52. JMB says:

    swept by the ‘stros…ugh!!!

  53. Florida Steeler says:

    How the hell can Huntington keep his job?? Look at his wonderful FA signings–again. Diaz and Overbay. He and Coonelly are HORRIBLE.

  54. Pattonbb says:

    This is getting sad…..again.

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