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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Dodgers 6, Pirates 4

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (62-74) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (65-70)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, News Talk 104.7 FM

Weather: 77 degrees, cloudy, some rain

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. Josh Harrison, 3B
  7. Brandon Wood, 1B
  8. Chase d’Arnaud, SS
  9. Brad Lincoln, RHP


  1. Dee Gordon, SS
  2. James Loney, 1B
  3. Matt Kemp, CF
  4. Andre Ethier, RF
  5. Aaron Miles, 3B
  6. Tony Gwynn Jr., LF
  7. A.J. Ellis, C
  8. Jamey Carroll, 2B
  9. Dana Eveland, LHP

News updates are on our Pirates page. I’m here at the yard today.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: Never easy to sell tickets to an unscheduled rainout makeup game.

4:05: First pitch from Lincoln to Gordon, 82 degrees.

4:18: Seriously lousy inning for Lincoln, with three runs, three hits. No, he didn’t get scorched, and he used only 17 pitches. But it would appear he’s nowhere near as sharp as in his first three starts since coming back.

4:30: Odd ending to that inning, with Gordon nearly taking Wood’s arm off at first base. It goes down as a 1-3 — official scorer Bob Hertzel just confirmed that next to me with a flip through his rulebook — because of the runner’s interference. Don Mattingly didn’t like it much, but oh, well.

4:36: Harrison’s 4-6-3 DP brings home the Pirates’ first run, if not an actual RBI. It’s 3-1. In general, the Pirates are getting decent swings off Eveland. Which is as it should be.

4:42: Another fine pick at third for Harrison. I know the book on him through the minors was that he’s bad defensively, but it could just be that he was miscast in the middle infield. He’s looked good at third.

5:15: Give Lincoln credit. After that three-run first, he has retired all but two batters through the fifth. And he’s done it by using all his stuff. Fact is, with Lincoln entering this game with a 2.00 ERA, he’s done pretty well since coming up.

As for the offense … wake me when it’s over.

5:36: Why did Mattingly let Eveland bat there? Seemed an odd choice. It’s not like you can’t take Eveland out of a game.

5:52: D’Arnaud never should have thrown that ball. I know the throw was bad, and Wood looked worse at first, but that’s a deserved error on the shortstop.

I’ll be back in a minute. I just heard Ozzie Smith is doing backflips on Federal!

5:54:Fans are livid with that awful defensive sequence. Dude right below just threw his glasses yelling at Doumit. Really ugly.


  1. The way Cedeno did not run hard on that double play grounder he hit last night, he should not start again this year.
    What does it take to get through to this guy?

  2. Dejan,

    I would love it if you would use your scout contacts to write about the training plan for the young pitchers in the minors.

    Jameson Taillon has made 22 starts and pitched 88 innings all year. How can 4 inning outings give him a chance to learn and work on his craft? How can he stretch out his arm? How can he learn to work around runners on base? How can he learn to pitch? Most people learn best by DOING!

    Stetson Allie has worked a grand total of 12 innings at State College since July 7 (24 innings for the whole season!)! He has made 10 appearances (3 starts)—just about every 5th-6th day—but pitched only 12 innings!! How can a pitcher learn to be a pitcher without ever pitching?

    None of the so-called bonus baby pitchers, signed above slot, have pitched a significant number of innings from the last three drafts: baby them if you will, but none has separated himself from the pack of other Minor Leaguers either. Certainly after three drafts (2008, 2009, 2010), some, even ONE, should have stepped up to show significant ability. Goodness, some of these draft picks are the same age as the two Atlanta phenom relievers!

    The Front Office likes to refer to the build-up of our Minor League system. They repeatedly stress individual development over team winning. So, where is the development? 80% of our draft picks have been pitchers: we have to luck out at least once, don’t we?

    Not one of these pitchers has stepped up to be head and shoulders above other minor leaguers . . . not even Taillon with his 4.54 ERA and Allie with his 5.69 ERA. If they are all failing, or not exhibiting growth, that sounds like the training program is faulty.

    I would love to hear your lengthy educated analysis of what’s going on with the young pitchers in the Minors.
    I still believe one learns to pitch by pitching. One does not learn to field a ground ball by watching movies. One learns to play by playing.

    DK: I like the idea, but we’re about to see the end of the minor-league season, and football is underway. Maybe next spring.

  3. JAL says:

    Looked at the Southern league and Pirate innings not out of line with rest of the league. Von Rosenberg has 119 innings Cain 106, Fuesser 105, Ashville’s top 3 are 119, 104, 87, Augusta has a couple higher at 163 and 147 but those two are 24 and 23 years old, their 3rd is 105. Charleston’s top 3 are 132 (a 23 year old) 98 and 82.Same throughout the league.

    Von Rosenberg and Fuesser are 21 and Cain 20.

  4. twentytwo22 says:


    I always thought that the benefits of modern medicine was that if a pitcher broke down his career wasn’t necessarily over. That you could pitch exactly the same as they did in the 50s and not worry too much about getting hurt. Fear of injury is used as a crutch. They treat the pitcher like he is injured even when he is healthy. It makes no sense. The team seems to relax only after the pitcher is injured, like Steven Strasburg.

    And then you have the Tommy John surgery and folks insisting that somehow you come back stronger. And if that is true then it is not because of the surgery but it is due to the rehab program put in place after the surgery. I would figure that every pitcher should be put on Tommy John rehab and shoulder rehab in the offseason to strengthen his arm and keep it healthy.

    I’d like Steve Blass in control of these pitchers’ development. He says he never had a sore arm.

    When you look at pitch counts in little league baseball, the babying kid gloves crowd has won out.

  5. meglasdad says:

    I agree with you 100% Groat. You can’t learn to play a sport by watching. I read an article early in the spring about Tim Alderson, the pitcher who they got for Freddy Sanchez. He was a great prospect until he joined the Pirates. Suddenly he lost all his ability. He blamed it on the Pirates throwing program. I don’t remember exactly the program, but the Pirates I believe push a program of short throws and he had always had a program of long throws which most teams use. He blamed that for his loss of velocity. Also, they talk of all the prospects we have, but the national media ( who Dejan loves so) says most teams believe the Pirates over value most of their prospects. Other than Tallion and Allie, most Pirate prospects are not really coveted. Don’t know, thats just what I read.

  6. JAL,
    Florida State League stats say Bradenton pitchers you mentioned 20th, 34th, 57th in league in innings pitched.

    Sally League stats list West Virginia Power top two pitchers at 25th and 61st in innings pitched. Taillon not in top 80 pitchers of innings pitched.

    Does not look to me as if our pitchers are in line with other clubs.

    Stetson Allie has thrown 24 innings ALL SEASON including only 12 in last 7 weeks, and he has missed no time via injury. That CANNOT be in line, to use your term.

    Ya gotta pitch to learn how to pitch. Let them learn from mistakes and let them learn from successes. A player has to play to learn how to play!

  7. TS says:


    Excellent insights on Bucs minor league pitching.

  8. TS says:

    As you guys do, I would love to know DK’s thoughts on this in a story… further showing that the Bucs deserve an F when it comes to their minor league pitching program, and thus, lack of top pitching prospects in the upper minors.

  9. JAL says:


    That was not the Bradenton pitchers, it was WV pitchers in Southern Atlantic League

  10. Fat Jimmy says:

    If you believe that Steve Blass’ arm was never sore, then I have some property in the swamps of Florida that I’d like to sell you.

    DK: Which Wal-Mart is the nearest to that?

  11. Fat Jimmy says:

    Dejan hates the national media until the ink on his contract dries.

  12. JAL says:


    Also, Von Rosenberg is 20th in innings pitched. Also have to look at their ages, the top innings pitched are by pitcher 3 or 4 year older than the the Pirate pitchers.

  13. JAL,
    Read my post again: I also listed the Sally League pitchers at West Virginia.

    I listed two leagues: Pirates farmhands rank low in both.

  14. Radio wave says:

    Can’t believe eveland gets a look.

  15. JAL says:


    20th in a 14 team league is not low (Von Rosenberg) and , as i said–have to look at the ages.

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    This Eveland guy looks to have an interesting four pitch mix.

  17. TS says:

    They should be knocking this soft tossing weak-ass dude around. Just don’t have the real-deal hitters in this lineup. Ugh.

  18. Naje says:

    Anyone care to talk about Mr. Cool’s terrible baserunning?



    Again, picked off by a lefty… and not just any lefty… but Dana freakin’ Eveland? Really, Cutch? Yeah, you’re into the game… we can tell… we trust that you give your best on the bases…

  19. Naje says:

    Where’s burgerboyincali when you need him? Hey man, take a look at McCutchen’s stats since the all-star break and tell me he’s a superstar…

    He’s got potential, but picked off at first again…??? That reeks of laziness… lack of focus… lack of desire to be great. These weird rain-out, make-up games are precisely the ones he should be salivating to succeed…

    That IS Dana Eveland on the mound… D-A-N-A E-V-E-L-A-N-D. And Cutch is an all star…. wow. Color me impressed by Mr. McCutchen for what he’s done in the past two months, and especially today.

    (he can certainly make up for it with a 3-run jack… he damn well better)

  20. Steve Smith says:

    @TS, that’s the problem, they all seem to not be able to hit any slow breaking stuff period.

  21. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Well, Bucs already have their four hits for the day.

  22. Steve Smith says:

    It sucks how games are just over after the top of the first inning. Have a good one everyone. Hopefully we can get some Cubs this weekend, but it will be tough after the last series that they swept from us.

  23. Karen22 says:

    When I saw who was pitching against the Bucs, I called yet another Nolan Ryan-like outing by yet ANOTHER Pirates’ castoff. So easy to write this script. It’s all so tiresome. 2010—deja-vu all over again. PATHETIC!! (And good luck with packing PNC next season with higher ticket prices—WHO CARES the prices haven’t been MLB competitive in a decade?? The Pirates haven’t been competitive in TWO!! Incredibly ill-timed move and DUH marketing)!

  24. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    We Pirate fans are a special breed.

    Faithfully watching the unwatchable.

  25. Arriba Wilver says:

    Liked the Ozzie Smith comment.

  26. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Dana Eveland!!! This is absolutely pathetic!! Hope the front office has another 17 million stashed away for next year’s draft. Looks like we’re drafting in the TOP 5 again.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    Dana Eveland Alexander.

  28. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Wouldn’t matter if it was Dana Carvey right now against these guys.

  29. JAL says:

    Presley hits a 2 run homer–too little too late 6-3 now in 9th

  30. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Nice to see Presley connect!

  31. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Two more on… no outs. Starting to actually get interesting here

  32. Milo Hamilton says:


  33. CDBrewer says:

    Don’t Death Spirals have endings?

    I think we have become distinctly familiar with the physical properties of Death Spirals, and as I recall one of those is having a finite ending.
    You can only see the beginning in retrospect, but there also has to be an end.

  34. JMB says:


    11-14 to hit the “magical” 73-89 (we have low standards around these parts).

    I’m thinking 5-20 might be more likely.

  35. JMB says:

    Littlefield was fired on the morning of September 7, 2007 (per Wikipedia).

    Will #historyrepeatitself six days from now?

  36. AZBuccosFan says:

    I had the strangest dream…..I dreamed the Pirates were 7 games above .500 as recently as July. I dreamed the starting pitchers were healthy and pitching well nearly every game. I dreamed the bullpen had put together dominant innings at times. I dreamed the offense was exciting to watch and the defense was more than adequate. No more Japanese food for me before bedtime!

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