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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Dodgers 3, Pirates 2


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (2-3) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-1)

Time: 10:10 p.m.

Site: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Karen Price is doing Vin Scully imitations.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Jose Tabata, RF
  2. Josh Harrison, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Casey McGehee, 1B
  5. Yamaico Navarro, LF
  6. Clint Barmes, SS
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  8. Michael McKenry, C
  9. Jeff Karstens, RHP


  1. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Looks a lot like a spring training game line-up.

  2. JRay3 says:

    Yikes…definitely the B squad being run out there tonight as we try to salvage one in the series. Maybe Navarro and Harrison will inject some life into the lineup and show us why they made the squad. Probably good to give Walker a night off to try and get right. With Fryer hitting .400+ down at Indy starting to think I would rather see him behind the dish when Barajas is given an off day. No excuses tonight Capuano is not a top five pitcher, CY Young pitcher or even good pitcher!

  3. Kevin says:

    Maybe this line up will hit better??

  4. Eric Bowser says:

    Not a fan of this lineup, what’s the use of Alvarez if he’s going to be hitting in that spot in the lineup. He has no protection at all in the order.

    To be a fly on the wall when Bob Nutting opens his NEWSPAPER in the morning to see the Pirates have the 28th ranked team batting average .189, 30th in runs scored with 9 runs in FIVE games, and .228 OBP is…yes, you guessed it, 30th.

  5. JRay3 says:

    Oh I can guess the response of Bob Nutting when he opens the newspaper and sees those dreaded stats…well how about these stats-39,585, 38,885, 19,856 total 98,326 oh that will help cover this team’s third to lowest payroll this year. Get the team some HITTERS!

  6. AJS says:

    I get where you are coming from with the protection. But protection is over rated. It really is. I just heard today on the radio that Pujols had worse numbers AFTER Holliday came to the Cards then he did before. When you are swinging the bat as bad as Pedro, it is hard to fathom how just adding “protection” would help. And just wondering who in this line up would qualify as protection?

  7. JAL says:


    But he will like the pitching stats

    1st in ERA 4th in slugging against 5th in OPS against

  8. JAL says:

    Probably playing Navarro and Harrison to get a better read on who to send down when they activate Morton for his start Saturday

  9. JRay3 says:

    @ JAL – Are there enough AB’s to justify keeping Hague up? Or are we better served letting him start at Indy? Just a thought. Also looks like we catch a break in San Fran as we face Cain, Zito and Vogelsong so hopefully tonight is the start of some better offensive trends.

  10. JAL says:


    Hague also possible to go down. not much to get a read on anyone yet–Harrison has 1 at bat, Navarro has 1 official AB and 2 walks, Hague has 1 hit in 7 at bats

  11. mayhay22 says:

    1.5 legitimate major leaguers in our lineup.

  12. JAL says:

    Hurdle has said that when Morton is activated they will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players.

  13. JAL says:


    1.5–is that new math, how can you have half a player?

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    I agree with Playoffs2012. This is a ST lineup. This is a major league game that counts-best possible lineup needs to be fielded and Navarro, Harrison and McKenry all in the lineup is weak sauce. McKenry should start the afternoon game tomorrow following tonight’s game. Barajas needs as much early season work with his staff as is possible. And while your are probably right, JAL, about the Pirates evaluating Harrison and Navarro in anticipation of Saturday, such evaluations can and should be made already. Feel free to insert them later in the game as situation dictates.

    Also looking for the Pirates to stop making fundamental mistakes. Correia picked off at first by the Cy Young winner with one of the best moves to first, Mclouth being doubled up last night with the play in front of him are just a couple of examples of shoddy play. Funny how Hurdle has this no nonsense reputation yet relative newbie Mattingly has his team playing solidly.

    That being said, I hope they put up crooked numbers tonight and have a laugher for a change.

  15. AJS says:

    I think Clint was looking to give the regulars a day off either today or tomorrow for the afternoon game. He decided to do it tonight. Walker seems like he needs a day off. Barajas was going to get one of the two days off. That just leaves Navarro as the lone curious move.

    Missing Lincecum right now may not be a good thing. 2 starts and only 7 innings while giving up 14 hits and 11 runs. He has struck out 10 as well though. That probably would spell doom for the impatient and contact deficient Pirates lineup.

  16. bob hasis says:

    Unless he’s freakin’ paralyzed, Presley MUST be in this lineup. Oh that’s right, we have our best lefty batter in there – against a lefty pitcher – who will be playing third base?

    I think Hurdle is daft!

  17. bob hasis says:


    Yes how can Hague a right handed batter be out of this line-up. One for seven is better than several of the penciled in starters

  18. JAL says:

    Bob h

    No idea

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    Was I just seeing something or was Bob’s post corrected somehow? Didn’t he originally omit the “third” in post #16 and correct it with a new box that has since been deleted? Anybody else see that?

  20. bob hasis says:

    Yes I noticed it too and I’m equally curious

  21. JohninOshkosh says:


    I think there are computer gremlins afoot!

  22. Baywatch says:

    I always get some real negative response when I mentioned this but … our family finds the icon Vin Scully SUPER annoying to listen to. The Dude really could use a color man. Nine innings of him has each of us looking for a rope. BUT, that being said, I’m happy the old-timer can do what he likes doing until his dying day. There’s a lot to be said for that. I can see how some like him … he’s more of a tradition I think. And he does indeed have his own style.

  23. Baywatch says:

    Plus he tells the same stories all the time. I remember when we still had Joey Bats, he told that goofy story of how a cow knocked him off a milking stool every game during that home stand.

  24. JRay3 says:

    We have played all of a half an inning with a lead this year thru the first five games, what say we jump on the Capuano and give Karstens some early support.

    DK: Wow, hadn’t realized that about the half-inning. Guess the two Ws have hidden a lot.

  25. Dave J says:

    These Buccos are quite the draw. Looks like there are at least 50 people in the stands tonight.

  26. JRay3 says:

    How long before we start clamoring for Starling Marte?

  27. JohninOshkosh says:

    Who weighs less-Jeff Karstens or Dee Gordon?

  28. JRay3 says:

    In the NL Central the Cards # 5 hitter is Freese, the Reds is Bruce, the Brewers is Hart, and the best we muster tonight is Navarro and with two on he pops to short…sigh. …and Kemp continues to hammer us

  29. JohninOshkosh says:

    That plunking of Eithier almost looked intentional but it couldn’t have been-could it?

  30. JRay3 says:

    Interesting…Maybe Karstens has had enough and let one go in frustration or saved himself three extra pitches for the unintentional intentional walk.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    That should be plenty. Goodnight.

  32. JRay3 says:

    Well already down 3 after one…at our current rate of offensive production we should be able to tie the game up by Saturday evening

  33. JohninOshkosh says:


    Stay up for the brouhaha when Capuano plucks McCutchen

  34. Baywatch says:

    Watching the game … announcers talking about some of the Dodgers’ hits finding holes but some of those pitches seem to be catching a lot of plate to me. Down 3, not insurmountable IF we can wait out Capuano and get some pitches to hit.

  35. JRay3 says:

    3 K’s in the first 1 1/3…this is not Sandy Koufax! There is just no plan by these guys at the plate

  36. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Capuano has 4 K’s already. WOW!!!

  37. JRay3 says:

    Swinging the bat is required to hit Capuano…4 punch outs and three looking

  38. JohninOshkosh says:

    Capuano on a 22 K pace for the game.

  39. Baywatch says:

    This is just downright PIRATES PATHETIC, watching Capuano get all these called strikeouts … It’s like we’re in kindergarten when it comes to hitting.

  40. JRay3 says:

    Dear Neal Huntington,

    Please call up Marte, Fryer, Mercer and any other player who may actually attempt to hit the ball.

    Thank you,

    A Frustrated Pirate Fan

  41. Baywatch says:

    Amen to THAT, JRay3!

  42. JohninOshkosh says:


    If NH is like everyone else east of the Mississippi, he has been lulled to sleep already by the sound of bats not swinging. So he should get your note in the morning.

  43. JRay3 says:

    @ John – sadly funny… I’d also like to ask that we replace our hitting coach because we are regressing by the game…thank you.

  44. bob hasis says:

    Have you all noticed that Cutch swings alot like Starling Marte, with similar results. Boy, would it be nice to see them in the same line-up.

    Two more hits for Cutch

  45. JRay3 says:

    @ Bob – yes it would..leadoff double, than unproductive out, flyout which could have been a sac fly if we move runner, and than a groundout for the 1-18 5 million dollar man. This is just scary anemic.

  46. JRay3 says:

    I don’t know why I am foolishly sitting here watching this thinking if we can just get a couple runners on one AB and we can get back into this…I really should flip over to the Coyotes playoff game and save myself the frustration

  47. bob hasis says:

    I have said in this space early on before the season started, and repeated myself, we will all be missing Cedeno/Doumit. While they weren’t perfect, and not the total answer/package, it will have been proven they provided more than the current replacements.

    I was also chastized by one of our colleagues in this space that Marte wasn’t ready, that he was too young and inexperienced.

    Did you know Clayton Kershaw has had 4 outstanding seasons in the majors, and he’s only 24?

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    I hope Pedro gets another hit soon so the announcers can stop talking about his other hit. Or his batting practice homer.

  49. JRay3 says:

    Milo – I’m assuming you are watching the pirates feed…as on the dodger feed they keep reminding the viewers that Dodger pitching has 25 K’s and 0 BB’s in this series. i hope Pedro gets another hit because I did not think it possible for him to hit worse than last year and his .192

  50. JRay3 says:

    CUTCH…well one player that it is a true joy to watch…3-3 on the night!

  51. Milo Hamilton says:


    Yes, I’m in Pittsburgh wondering why I haven’t gone to bed yet. I guess I’m feeling a comeback.

  52. JohninOshkosh says:

    Mcgehee advanced him to third on a hit to the right side too. About fell off my bed with a display of solid fundamentals.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dodgers have the ability to play “7 inning games” with Jansen in the 8th and Guerra in the 9th so lets get em now!

  54. JRay3 says:

    Milo – admire the optimism! Within one maybe just maybe we will be surprised.

    John- ha ha…me too!

  55. KWJCDon says:

    They are still hanging in there. Let’s see of if continues!

  56. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Man, this has been an ugly series. Is it too early to call up Josh Bell? ;)

  57. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Pay-dro the statue!

  58. Baywatch says:

    I think they’ve given Pedro every chance imaginable to do something about his funk. But the way he strikes out looking, and feebly waving at stuff outside like he did tonight – against a soft-tosser – I really don’t know how much more they can take of this.

  59. pghboyinca says:

    How are some of you delusional enough to actually make a comment like ‘Wow this likeup looks like a B squad game” News flash, the Pirates regular lineup is a B squad. This lineup is not much worse, at least they scored.

    I have been preaching for 3 straight years that this organization is CLUELESS. Nothing is EVER changing without the removal of the whole front office and ownership. I am actively rooting for them to lose every game, and lose it embarrassingly because I love the Pirates. If you love something you want to take pride in it and watch it succeed, not be a disgrace. The pitching is going to come back to earth andit is going ot be butt ugly. Go back a year and read my posts, the Pirates were in first place and i was posting “3-2-1 almost ready for implosion, this team is about to come apart” I took a lot of heat at that time but it was spot on. All off season and the first week I have been posting “just like last year but wthout the wonderful start”. it is hapening.

  60. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, apparently only Bitter Pirate fans were on this blog last night.

    No mention of Matt Hague failing a bases loaded situation? That’s probably because the ‘sky is falling fans lobbied hard for the hit collector. I guess that has been proven wrong. 1 weak hit.

    But sure, let’s remote Walker and Hague and bring up someone new. Anyone new.

    What’s pathetic is any ‘fan’ ‘ calling for call-ups after SIX games. Get real.

    DK: Actually, Hague smoked a lineout into center. Very different game if it falls.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Bell had two more hits last night and has a homer, 8 RBI and is hitting an early .290. Could we see him in Bradenton this year?

  62. JRay3 says:

    @ Roberto

    Not bitter fans, frustrated fans. I live in Arizona and travel to see at least three Pirate Series a year have followed this team from childhood. Watch as many games a season as I can. If you accept a 663-955 record since 2000 and a .409 win percentage so be it.

    Fact – Alvarez .077, Barmes .105, Jones .182, Tabata .190, Hague .125, McLouth .167 and four of these guys are starters, show me another team with those lines. How long do you want to give Alvarez? Barmes makes 5 million and I promise not the long term answer. I have seen this song and dance before, Derek Bell, Matt Diaz, Erick Hinske, Lyle Overbay come on now. Jody Mercer who may be the solution is hitting .281 with a .563 slugging and .866 OPS and that should not be brought up, Marte .290, .484, .817 and Fryer .417, 583 and 1.027 should not be brought up with this anemic offense…get real.

    I can argue accepting poor baseball for such a long period of time is pathetic it is a wonder I don’t cheer for the Dbacks.

    All’s I want is some accountability, I want a winner as much or more than any fan in here and have not seen that in 20 years, we really want to talk about pathetic?

  63. Chris says:


    Bell is also striking out a lot so he’d have to improve that area before he gets promoted. Also Hanson, Polanco, and Osuna have been doing even better than Bell.

  64. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I wasn’t 100% serious. Still, High A would be an accomplishment for a kid that’s one year removed from hitting balls out of The Ball Park at Arlington for his HS team.

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