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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 2, Cardinals 0


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (6-8) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (10-5)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Rob Biertempfel types through the rain drops.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Jose Tabata, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Neil Walker, 2B
  5. Casey McGehee, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. A.J. Burnett, RHP


  1. Let’s go AJ and the Bucs! Break out the bats tonight and keep the momentum going once you do.

  2. Judging by the Intellicast Radar, the rain should end soon, so they should get the game in, though it might be a bit chilly. Anyone going to the game, stay warm!

  3. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thank God they didn’t trade Correia. You can never have enough pitching. Guys dropping like flies. Hope A.J. tosses a gem tonight. Needs some sticks to back him. and some better D than four errors.

  4. sean says:

    bench barmes and barajas!

  5. JRay3 says:

    Well AJ stated he was ready but did not want to create a stir, so here it is Mr. Burnett time to show us what you got! Liked what I saw of Jared Hughes but right move after pitching three last night would not be available for day or two. Now it is either Correia or Lincoln on Monday for series opener on Monday versus the Rockies. After seeing Lincoln pitch in Arizona I was looking forward to him getting an opportunity.

    Time to wake the bats…glad to see Barajas is hitting 8th although batting him 10th may have been more appropriate. Let’s go Bucs!

  6. Eric Bowser says:

    Some year, we’ll have a starting lineup that has average and above average hitters, and not this abomination that is the 2012 starting eight consisting of one above average hitter and seven below average hitters.

    Team Batting
    .201 average (#15 is .250)
    .249 OBP (#15 is .313)
    27 runs (#15 is 57)

    Going to take a long time for this team to think about league average with their current numbers.

  7. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    AJ making a rehab start—- at PNC tonight.

  8. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Took AJ a few batters to zone in, but great job to get out of trouble with 2 Ks, line-out after bases loaded, no outs.

  9. JRay3 says:

    Well nothing like doing things the hard way! Bases loaded jam, no outs, no problem…pepto please. Now can we get some offensive production?

  10. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Descalzo down… 3 Ks in last 4 batters for AJ

  11. JRay3 says:

    Nice bounce back an easy 1-2-3. Middle of the order time to get to Westbrook!

  12. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    This is where Barajas earns his bucks… as AJ’s backstop. Needs to start swinging his bat.

  13. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Lots of great D by both teams so far

  14. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    White Sox’ Humber tosses a perfect game today.

  15. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    After allowing first three batters to reach, AJ retires nine in a row..

  16. JRay3 says:

    Did I read that right…Nick Swisher has 20 RBI’s and the Pirates have 27 total runs? AJ has settled in nicely, unfortunately it is like three pitcher due up in a row this half inning.

  17. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Some rare stuff… perfect game and a Barajas base hit on same day

  18. JRay3 says:

    This should be interesting, slowest runner in baseball on first and guy who broke his orbital bunting up at the plate in a bunt situation.

  19. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Tabata fans on a terrible pitch. Should have walked and loaded bases for Cutch, but side retired

  20. Thanks, Jose, for swinging at ball 4.

  21. JRay3 says:

    And that’s the difference between the great hitters and the not so great, know the strike zone!

  22. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    6 Ks for AJ thru 3 and a third.

  23. What’s been worse, Watching this inept office, or the Pens defense? I think it has been this offense hands down. At least the Pens are in the post-season.

  24. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    12 in a row now for AJ.

    No score, bottom 4th.

  25. JRay3 says:

    AJ Burnett with 12 in a row retired, looking good!

  26. JRay3 says:

    If only we had a few more of Cutch in the lineup!

  27. JRay3 says:

    I just do not get it, in key situations we have either hacked at Ball 4 or look at Strike 3 over the plate…just once put it together Bucs.

  28. TDB1977 says:

    Pedro with the infield RBI.

  29. JRay3 says:

    And with that a nice piece of hitting by Pedro going with the pitch and knocks in his 3rd RBI!

  30. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    7 Ks thru 5 for Burnett

  31. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Thru 5:

  32. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    STL 0-2-0
    PIT 1-4-0

  33. JRay3 says:

    Two plays Walker should have made, but power pitching by Burnett still gets Holliday and than side retired, can’t remember when I have watched this dominant pitching from a Bucco starter!

  34. JRay3 says:

    Who else….Cutch!!!

  35. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Pedro delivers again! 2-0 Bucs on his single

  36. TDB1977 says:

    Pedro with another base hit….WHAT?!?!

  37. Can he be starting to get it together (Pedro that is)? I sure hope so. Nice hit again.

  38. JRay3 says:

    Pedro with another sharply hit ball and second RBI of the night!!

  39. TDB1977 says:

    He has had nice contact tonight. Maybe he will go on a roll and the roll will turn into abs against lefties and those abs turn into hits as well.

  40. TDB1977 says:

    His average is up to .121 now. Started around .050.

  41. Eric Bowser says:

    Let’s hope these two base hits by Alvarez is the start of him getting into a groove, this team needs it.

  42. JRay3 says:

    AJ Burnett 75 pitches thru 7, maybe our other SP’s will see this and take note. This aids the bullpen greatly!

  43. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Thru 6.5 innings:

    STL 0-3-0…4LOB
    PIT 2-6-0…5LOB

    AJ leaves after 7 innings pitched:
    0R 3H 2BB 7K ERA: 0.00

  44. Eric Bowser says:

    Pirates couldn’t have asked for a better pitching performance by AJ Burnett.

  45. TDB1977 says:

    I really wish I could have been in the stands for this one tonight. Wanted to go to Burnett’s first home game so badly.

  46. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    With 2 hits tonight, Cutch is now batting .385

  47. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Bucs getting some great at-bats tonight. Tabata walks in 7th, runners at first and second, two outs for Cutch

  48. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Double steal try. Tabata nailed at second. Bad decision, bad baserunning

  49. Very poor right there! Can not get thrown out there with Cutch up.

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    2 outs, runners at 1st and 2nd, McCutchen at the plate and Hurdle calls a double-steal? You have got to be kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. bob hasis says:

    Ditto #49. Brilliant piece of managing????

  52. Eric Bowser says:

    Quite possibly the WORST managerial move by a Pirates manager in years, I can’t even think of a worse move right now.

  53. We bring in relief and they start hitting. They bring in relief we forget how to run bases with our best hitter up at the plate with TWO outs. Frustrating beyond belief!

  54. JRay3 says:

    Double steal, pulling AJ, lots of questionable decisions.

  55. Eric Bowser says:

    Pulling Burnett, I don’t have a problem with it, he’s still working his way back into pitching shape but this double-steal was just stupid and started the bad juju.

  56. @JRay3, know what you mean. AJ wouldn’t have done any better than Nate did with the AB. He already had one walk on the night at the plate, so couldn’t have been worse. Then we might still be in this. Not feeling good about this at this point. Come on Watson!

  57. JRay3 says:

    He was slated to try and hit 100 pitches if he pitched in Altoona tonight, he was at 75 he had another inning in him for sure.

  58. Nice pitch by Watson there. One more.

  59. Eric Bowser says:

    Watson is a pitch-to-contact type lefty but on this night, he does his job and gets his man out on the strikeout.

  60. JRay3 says:

    I said when I saw him in Arizona, Watson is just calm and cool as ice!

  61. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Two down, but still some sharks in the water…

  62. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    25,218 is the announced attendance

  63. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Great job by Watson and Grilli to bail the Bucs in the 8th

  64. @Dave, doubt that. Great pitch by Grilled Cheese!!!! Getting back to you Dave, many empty seats due to the rain. Bucs still up 2-0 going into bottom of the 8th.

  65. JRay3 says:

    Grilli…THANK YOU…that was big!

  66. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    9 Ks for Pirate pitchers thru 8 innings tonight

  67. Too high for Cutch’s HR try. Air is too thick as well.

  68. bob hasis says:

    Now I get his strategy; he wanted Cutch to lead off, just in case after he removed his strength from the game which was AJ, to bring in relievers who were less certain in that moment, then Cutch could start a rally, if required??? He’s way ahead of me!!

  69. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Walker at second on a two-base error by CF. One out in 8th.

  70. Greg Brown is smokin’ something. I don’t care if the center fielder had to come in on the ball. He was in position to make the catch and didn’t when it hit his glove. That is an error all day for most score keepers.

  71. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Definitely an error. It the heel of his hand, he overplayed it…

  72. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Hammer time in the 9th!

  73. TDB1977 says:

    That seemed like good wood on the ball by Pedro in that at bat, even thought it was a deep fly out to center.

  74. Daytime and drier atmosphere and Cutch and Pedro both homer.

  75. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    K for Hammer… 10th of the game for Bucs. 1 out.

  76. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    OK. Now Hammer walks two batters. Still one out,

  77. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Resop? Yep up in the pen

  78. These adrenaline junkie closers just love giving us heart attacks. Why does he want to walk the bases loaded just to try and save a ballgame. Just save the thing already! Mike Williams was the worst at this.

  79. Bear down Hammer! One more!

  80. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    What a huge, huge K for Hanrahan. 2 outs

  81. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    Double steal here?

  82. Forgot about the umbrella night – what irony with it raining today. Raise it!!!

  83. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:


    BUCS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  84. TDB1977 says:

    Bucs WIN! Bucs WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. If only this offense can come out of it’s fog. This pitching has been great so far. I know it may not last, but we have to keep hoping.

  86. JRay3 says:

    Baseball the hard way…and there was noooo doubt about it! whew!

  87. Have a good night all! Let’s get that rubber game tomorrow. Also, Go Pens!

  88. Dave G in Liberty Township, OH says:

    AJ Burnett, you’re a winner tonight! Welcome to the Burgh!

  89. JRay3 says:

    Hard to believe we have a chance to take our third series of the year tomorrow in the first five. @ Steve -yes let’s get the rubber match tomorrow!

  90. Eric Bowser says:

    Mike Williams-esque 9th inning.

    Pirates with six wins are 7.3% on their way to 82 wins on the season, while 8.6% of the season has been played. Need to keep the two percentages on the same track.

  91. Eric Bowser says:

    Apparently Hurdle said Presley and Tabata went on their own on the failed double steal with two outs and McCutchen at the plate.

  92. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:

    …Consider the combined 42-28 record (as of this morning) of teams they have played so far this season, 4 one-run losses that all could have ended up differently, the Phillies (2), Cardinals (3), Dodgers (4), and Giants (8) are each in the top half of the NL in ERA and have starting pitchers with a combined 7 Cy Young Awards. I would say that 6-8 is a solid start to the season. I know that I will probably get told that I’m an idiot because I actually support the team, but I don’t care. The organization is heading in the right direction and have been since Nutting, Coonelly, and Huntington started focusing resources on building the organization from the bottom-up. Let’s Go Bucs!

  93. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:


    Hurdle also said he gave them the “green light” and “It was a sign”.

  94. pattonbb says:

    Fear the Bones!

    That’s a pretty stout lineup AJ cruised through. Welcome to the ‘Burgh Mr. Burnett.

    Were my eyes playing tricks on me or did Pedro actually have a couple nice AB’s tonight? Me likey….

    The double steal attempt was incredibly stupid. Any chance it was a hit and run that blew up? Can’t imagine Hurdle would take the bat out of Cutch’s hands.

  95. Eric Bowser says:

    @Black and Gold (not yellow)
    If Pirates had a league average offense or even 20-25 ranked offense, they would have 2-3 more wins. So yes I agree, 6-8 record against quality competition and virtually non-existent offense and poor defense is a good record.

    You can’t win continually with your pitching staff putting in quality start after quality start because some nights, you’ll need to win by scoring more than four runs.

    Right now, I think they have the best record they could possibly have so at some point, offense has to produce and defense improve in order to get those two wins back.

  96. RobertoForever says:

    @Black n Gold

    Agree with you 200%

    Never seen so many negative comments when your team is winning, lol.

    Great defense tonight, Timely hitting, great pitching.

    Battlin Bucs are 6-8 against 5 of the top NL teams and most of the top pitchers in the league.

    Bucs run their record to 7-4 for me. Can’t wait to see them again soon.

  97. Black n Gold (not yellow) says:


    When can the unbelievable quality of the pitching the Pirates have faced get some credit for the Pirates offensive struggles?

    The opposition usually has something to do with the results, and I would venture an educated guess that the Pirates have opposed better starting pitching than any team in the league.

  98. Eric Bowser says:

    I would say the quality of competition is a factor but you can’t hide those numbers. It will be an interesting test for this team once they get through this meat grinder of a schedule.

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