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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (3-7) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (7-3)

Time: 9:40 p.m.

Site: Chase Field, Phoenix

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Rob Biertempfel is ready to cover a PERFECT GAME.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Nate McLouth, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Neil Walker, 2B
  5. Garrett Jones, 1B
  6. Rod Barajas, C
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Jeff Karstens, RHP


  1. JAL says:

    Giving Tabata a rest in hopes he can find his swing.

  2. JRay3 says:

    @ JAL – Not sure anyone saw Tabata’s early season struggles coming.

    With all the talk of Chase Park being a hitters friendly confine, this is probably the lineup that boasts our most power potential. Headed to the park shortly to watch the team tear it up in bp, how about in game # 11 we carry that over to actual game tonight.

  3. Milo Hamilton says:

    12 players received NL Cy Young votes in 2011. Including tonight, the Pirates will face 6 of them in their 1st 11 games. They’re 2-3 in the 1st 5 of them. It’s the 1-4 against the other jabrones that kind of frosts me a little.

  4. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Tough, Tough month of baseball.

  5. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    At least the pitching has held pretty strong. This Dbacks lineup might be the toughest with the big guys from the Phillies being out.

  6. PigLegs Robinson says:

    Based on Jose Tabata’s Miguel Dilone-like numbers of last season, (minus the stolen bases Dilone was good at getting), It would be very hard NOT to have seen this coming.

  7. T.S. says:

    Tabata is quickly showing that he’s more of a Gorkys Hernandez; all defense, no hitting = fringe player.

  8. T.S. says:

    Looking forward to 4 K’s from Alvarez. Anyway we can turn him into a pitcher and channel that in the opposite direction? Oh, never mind.

  9. T.S. says:

    One real major leaguer on this team: Cutch
    Anyone know a good cloner?

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo– that’s an interesting stat. Did not know that.

  11. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    And they avoided Lincecum. That would’ve been 7

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    No such thing as a ”must win” in April, but I would classify this one as an ”important” game. Gotta try and beat Kennedy so they are in position to take the series tomorrow.

    JRay-nice ”reporting” on your earlier post. Enjoyed it.

  13. Milo Hamilton says:


    I saw my first Pirate game in person in 1970. And I dare say, Miguel Dilone is the fastest guy I’ve ever seen in a Pirate uniform.

  14. Milo Hamilton says:

    And by the way, Dilone hit .341 for Cleveland in 1980.

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Have not thought about Miguel Dilone in years! :-)

  16. Milo Hamilton says:


    Neither have I. Their minor league system was so good back in those days, they simply didn’t have room for all the players they produced. I swear they had 2 or 3 of everything.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ol’ 24/7 is reporting that AJ Burnett will make one more rehab start in Altoona on Saturday and then will probably start for the Pirates in Atlanta the following weekend. No word on who he’ll replace. If he replaces anyone.

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    These 3 goal comebacks in these Stanley Cup playoffs are crazy.

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    Has there ever been a decent team (and I will arbitrarily place “decent” at .500) that has platooned both first and third base? Anyone?

  20. Milo Hamilton says:


    1990 Pirates platooned Bream & Redus at 1st and Backman & King at 3rd. Not to mention LaValliere & Slaught behind the plate. That team won 95 games and the Eastern division.

  21. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow. Forgot all about Backman playing any significant time. Good call. Pretty sure this team does not have 95 win potential but nice to know that it doesn’t make it impossible to get to .500 under the platooning system. Or should I say “process.”

  22. John Lease says:

    At last, Nate McLouth is freed. 6-9 are all automatic outs, no pressure on 1-5!

  23. John Lease says:

    Milo, I like that 24/7 comment!

  24. JAL says:

    Platoons can effective if you two good players, they can combine their stats to equal 1 good player.

  25. JohninOshkosh says:


    No question about it. It just seems solid clubs usually have at least the 1b or 3b play everyday. Not uncommon to see platoons in the OF and even at one of the corners. Doesn’t seem that often you see both corners platooned.

    Per NHL network, last time Florida Panthers led a playoff series until today: 15 years ago. NJ is terrible in playoffs at their fancy Newark digs.

  26. Nice to see Jonsey going with the pitch to score Cutch.

  27. @JAL and @John, I was thinking the same thing. With this team, they are going to have to go with any strengths they have until someone just starts raking.

  28. I think the Penguins are beginning to rub off on the Bucs. Four straight games they have scored first now, and in all of them, they have given up the lead – a couple in the first inning. This blows – again.

  29. Milo Hamilton says:

    Karstens leaves after 1 inning & reminds me of a great line by Jim Leyland. When asked about a potential roster move weeks away, Leyland said, “These things usually take care of themselves.”

  30. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Just got home. What exactly happened to Karstens?

  31. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Anybody see what happened to Karstens? Obviously have no TV out here.

  32. Don’t know yet, but with him out and Paydro flailing, and a 3-1 deficite, this game is likely in the bag for the D-backs.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    That ought to about put a wrap on this one. This is the least amount of sleep I’ve ever lost on a coast trip. The offense is so anemic, get a couple runs down & it’s safe to go to bed.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:


    No word on Karstens. Nothing was apparent from TV.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    Neal suspended 1 game; Asham 4 games.

  36. Now if anyone outside of 3-4-5 can get some hits in this game, we may be seeing a win. At least it is now tied.

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    Karstens – inflammation in right shoulder. Let’s just call it an upper body injury.

    DK: Oh, boy. In mid-game, that’s not good.

  38. TDB1977 says:

    Hey – with Karstens going down. Does this mean that Burnett won’t be traveling down rt 22 to Altoona but instead staying in Pittsburgh and pitching this weekend? That would be great since I’m going to the game on Sunday. Would love to see him pitch.

  39. Chris Young hits wall RELLY hard tracing down Pedro’s drive to left center, and comes out of game with possible right shoulder (collarbone) injury.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    This Overbay guy sure has a sweet swing doesn’t he ?

  41. Sorry, just noticed, but I meant to say REALLY, not RELLY. Darn tiredness.

  42. JohninOshkosh says:

    Jared Hughes pitched well. PBC using lefty Watson already in the 4th. I think Clint really wants this game.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    …. and he does his job. AZ strands 2.

  44. JohninOshkosh says:

    PBC middle of the order 6 for 6

  45. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sorry that was the 3-4-5 hitters 6 for 6 until Cutch’s GO

  46. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So far, seems to be a sound game.

  47. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    HR by Jones to break the tie……..

  48. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Cutch continuing to hit, Walker and Jones breaking out. Pedro has hit the ball at least.

  49. bob hasis says:

    Nel Huntington needs to draw up some release papers immediately for Barajas and Barmes, and then when he’s finished with that, he should draw up another set for himself, for bringing those two players here in the first place. 6-7-8 can make a grown man cry, especially again tonight.

  50. twentytwo22 says:

    Jones and Alvarez were allowed to bat versus a lefty in the 8th.

  51. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Good…they need to get as many AB’s as possible.

    Bob, seriously, after 10 games, release them all!!

  52. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Why Grilli in the 8th instead of Meek??

  53. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    and that is why Andrew McCutchen needs to stay a Pirate for life!!!

  54. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    How can we release you??

  55. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Hard fought W!!

  56. twentytwo22 says:

    McCutchen looked to the dugout as he was running to first base, gave a left handed high five to Silverio as he returned to first, and then gave the dugout a dramatic twin gun point. That’ll be the brewer thing we do that brings the fun out and makes everyone hate us. The dramatic twin gun point.

  57. JRay3 says:

    Wow I witnessed an offensive breakout from the club today! What a win for the team maybe the type of win that brings some momentum that can carry over to the next few games. Today I got there early and spent time watching the pitchers during pre-game. it was interesting to see AJ Burnett long tossing after pitching yesterday with JMac and they appeared quite chatty with one another. Jared Hughes tossed me a ball little did I know he would be thrust into early action. I will say this Burnett not the most fan-friendly and always impresses with Neil Walker and how classy he is as I got a brief chance to speak with him at dugout before game and how he interacts with the fans but in defense of Burnett he is paid handsomely to pitch well and he maybe asked to do that a bit sooner than expected due to tonight’s developments. On to the good and the bad.

    The good – Cutch what a night and what a leader, huge 2 strike, 2 out AB in 9th and he stayed on the off speed pitch to loop it into left. Garret Jones should have had four hits and hit an absolute bomb. McGehee pinch hit in 9th tonkeep inning going. The bullpen major kudos to Hughes, Watson and Meek for holding down the fort to give team chance to win they really carried many innings. Cruz earning his first save since ’09 with a nice mix of offerings, we see to have success finding bullpen arms. Neil Walker has his bat going right now…and was large part of our 3-4-5 hitters contributing 10 hits.
    And yes even Alvarez, his bomb robbed by Chris Young was hit 400′ and was a shot that should have been gone. Contact all night a step hopefully ine better direction and nice defense at 3rd.

    The bad – 8th inning nightmare…Walker’s base running gaffe took away a potential bases loaded no out situation and gave Jones a FC on what should have been a single. Grilli giving up a solo shot to .167 hitting John Macdonald at the time took the wind out of the sails. Barajas and Barmes the bottom third of our order is practically automatic outs at this point. Karstens only going one inning with shoulder inflammation, the only puzzling thing to me was he still took his at bat in the bottom half of the second and actually struck out swinging, which I found odd with the shoulder ailment.

    One last tidbit with the Pirates down 3-1 Garret Jones tossed a ball to me in the stands which I gave to a five year old boy in the row in front of me. I told my buddy I believe in Karma and watch giving the ball to a young Dbacks fan would help turn the tide and promptly the Pirates tied the game. Coincidence of course but I still thought it great and I think I even helped convert the child over to a Bucco fan to which I say welcome aboard!

  58. John Lease says:

    I was sure spot on on my analysis of 6-9 hitters. Fortunately the D’Backs didn’t just walk people to get to the automatic outs.

  59. Johnnie Ray III,

    Thanks for the game report. I really enjoyed your perspective.

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