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Final: Braves 6, Pirates 1


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (8-10) vs. Atlanta Braves (12-7)

Time: 7:35 p.m.

Site: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Rob Biertempfel is on the lookout for Jerry Meals.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

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


  1. AND, we’ve got lineup, Houston! Yay, that’s the one I’ve been wanting to see for awhile … McGehee (And Me … for those who remember that James Dobson video series, “McGee & Me” from the early ’90s … “Say Goodnight, Bay!”) and Jones in the same lineup and if those two get untracked, with Mr. Alvarez … Heck yeah!

    OK, QUICK question on the minor league front that I haven’t heard anyone address yet:

    I’ve been following Jeff Clement’s progress at Indy and it’s been substantial, BUT but … He hasn’t played in 5 days! I know they need to find ABs for Hague, Fox and Evans but no pinch-hitting or nothing for 5 days for Clement? And his profile shows nothing of an injury. I do know they’ve been slow this year in listing people that are on the 7-day, BUT no news on that that I’ve read and I’d sure like to read some. Probably MORE IMPORTANTLY, JOSH BELL is on the 7-Day injured list and I haven’t read ONE DROP of what’s up with our top position prospect (well, next to Marte).

    AND, file this under your “Former Pirates And Therefore Not All THAT Newsworthy” file, but Xavier Paul is on the Nationals’ “Restricted List,” which I always thought might mean he’s been a bad boy and bailed. Hasn’t played since April 11. I recognized it’s hard to get news on these “restricted” types … I always tried my darndest to find out where Duffy was but never could!
    for Syracuse since April 11 and is on the Nationals “Restricted List.”
    Again, have been able to find out nothing on him. I know he’s no
    longer a Pirate, but I hope he hasn’t quit or something.

    DK: Haven’t heard anything more on Bell than the Charleston paper had.

  2. Ruh-Roh! I just found this on Josh Bell … gulp … knee injury!

    From the Charleston newspaper:

  3. In Philly and haven’t seen anything on Clement

  4. Go Bucs!

    Lets start killing the ”Ghosts of Atlanta” starting tonight. Who’s up for a sweep?

  5. I … said the little red hen!

  6. Pirates sweep, I’m in

  7. i like the people in this line up. I can’t say I am crazy about their ordering. It is hard to figure out who to hit in the two hole with this bunch. But I don’t like McGehee so low. Call me crazy because I know he has been the best hitter this team has but I still feel that when this team gets to the level it needs to be at, McCuthen should not be hitting third. Keeping that in mind:


    I guess what they have with Barmes in the 2 hole is OK with as hot as he was against Colorado, but that is a short term memory.

  8. Some tix fell into my lap here in Atlanta, I’ll try to update you kind readers later on. Can’t promise much with 3 yr old and 6 yr old in tow. Excited to see AJB in a Bucco uni. I’ll be wearing my white Clemente jersey. Let’s go Bucs!

  9. It’s pretty cool how there seems to be a contributor to this blog at almost every road game. Enjoy the game, Pongo, or at least as much as you can with a 3 and 6 year old!

  10. Josh Bell has had surgery on his injured knee in Pittsburgh today. The Pirates hope he can return to play later this season.

  11. 19 year old Bryce Harper called up by Nationals & will make his big league debut tomorrow in Los Angeles. If he was in the Pirates organization, he’d be playing in Bradenton.

  12. @ Pongo – Sweet, bring us home a W!

    Interesting lineup, probably the one (minus Barajas) with the hottest/best bats. Tabata getting another day off, could this be a sign of things to come with him being more suited as a 4th OF when Marte is ready?

    Here’s to AJ throwing another gem, as this is going to be a tough series and a good barometer of where we are at.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  13. @ Milo – too funny, the Nationals making a statement by showing they are all in this year and showing their fan base winning now more important than worrying about starting a players clock.

  14. @Milo:

    Your comment presupposes that NH would have drafted him in the first place. I wish theBucs had a player with his skills set in the system.

  15. Bad news about Bell, but better now than later. Those young knees will heal nicely and he’ll be back.

  16. Presely first AB of the game – The good made Hanson work for 11 pitches, the bad should have walked three times.

  17. A.J. Burnett is good.

  18. Well Pedro was robbed again, I can recollect at least four-five extra hits he should have this year.

    And yes AJ Burnett is looking good!

  19. @JRay3 Too bad he was robbed again. But so encouraging to see him continue to square it up. That stuff will start dropping.

  20. in the first AJ became the 7th active pitcher with at least 1800 Ks in the majors

  21. Leave it to Barajas again, good grief.

  22. Barajas—USELESS!!!!! Please put him OUT of our misery!!

  23. Braves have two runs and got on with a walk, free bases will get you

  24. Walks turning into runs…Bases loaded less than two outs and come up with nothing with a chance to blow game open, just another game of missed chances.

  25. DK: That Barajas at-bat defies adjectives. One of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in baseball, quite possibly.

  26. @DK, That’s the truth. If we were being accountable, he should be on the bench right now. He watches two guys walk to load bases and one out, and swings at very first pitch that was likely ball 1. Horrible!

  27. @ DK – You just absolutely summed it up – “defies adjectives”. And with that a warning track fly out. Boy would Wieters look good in this lineup but I digress.

  28. And almost unnoticed is another quality start by a Bucco starter with all of 1 run as support.

  29. Way tooooooooo many waisted pitching performances. This really blows!

  30. Barajas shouldn’t surprise anyone. This general manager has an uncanny knack of “rewarding” washed up veterans with the lifetime achievement award final contract.

  31. What a play by Uggla. That ball had no mans land written all over it.

    Why exactly did they sign Barajas again? Lauded as the best free agent at his position this year. Wow, what a low standard. How bad WAS the catcher class this year if he was the best?

    6 innings 2 runs and a handful of strikeouts for Burnette. Nice outing. Still no offense for the BUcs. Just infuriating to see there starts go wasted.

  32. I wouldn’t have paid Doumit what he wanted, but boy would it be nice to have him in the line up other than Rob “Rally Killer” Barajas.

  33. Hearing the chop brings back so many nightmares.

  34. I can’t recall a stretch of games like these that have started the season. The pitching phenomenal. The team in every inning of every game, practically. No laughers in the bunch. Yet no ability to score runs or even put up a big inning. Incredible.

  35. I really hate the Braves. Does not matter who is playing for them.

  36. These are 6 inning games with that Atlanta bullpen. Good hitting teams get shut down by them.

  37. @ John – Ditto…I still can’t shake Cabrera and Bream some twenty years later.

  38. Evan Meek was good two years ago.

  39. There are two immediate personnel moves that need to be addressed…the obvious Barajas…and either bring back Hughes or Moskos for Meek, he just is not the same.

  40. My point here is, what’s happening now is virtually meaningless. This game was lost when Fredi turned the game over to his pen in the 7th with the lead.

  41. Thanks Clint…ballgame

  42. What in the heck is going on with Meek? Will he ever get that nasty stuff back or is he just done? Shoulda brought in Charlie Morton to pitch to one batter to get the ground ball for the DP. Not realistic I know.

    Watson just flat out stunk. And Meek isn’t looking any better. And there goes the no games over 5 runs allowed streak.

  43. Stat note – streak over at 18 of not allowing or scoring 6 or more runs in game

  44. I love how Ross was struck out, but ended up walking. The ump was looking right at that side of the plate, and still didn’t see it. Too many walks killing this team. There goes the streak as the stupid braves get calls and pull you know what out of their you know what to make plays. Bullpen blows it tonight, but the offense is once again the main culprit. We should have been the team to break the game open, but we just have to have the worst catcher up in critical moments.

  45. So they need to get rid of Barajas. But what do you replace him with? McKenry isn’t much better. Fryer? Sure is heck aint gonna be Sanchez at this point. What else is available?

    And I typically don’t mind how NH deals with the pen, and these are mostly the same guys who had a decent year last year. But it seems like they can’t get anyone out this season.

  46. This will depress you. The Braves are the 3rd youngest team in baseball. They trail only Kansas City & Houston. Just goes to show you can actually win with kids.

  47. @Steve

    I think Burnette got a few strike calls tonight too on pitches I thought were low and a little away. But Watson shold have got the K on Ross. However, that is a location where you don’t get that called a strike very often.

  48. @Milo

    Of course you can. If those kids are actually major league talent and you have coaches who know how to teach them the game. I feel like the Pirates have neither.

    Huntingdon’s plan was to rack up the starting pitching and fill the line up with bats when it was time. He completely ignored the position players when stocking the minors. Great plan. Now the arms are there. So where are all of these bats he is going to go get? SS and C are particularly week.

    And another brilliant defensive play by the Braves. The Bucs can’t buy a hit.

  49. I have no problem with the bullpen it has been good. Grilli, Cruz and Hammer are a nice back end…Watson has been solid, Lincoln strong in his two outings, Hughes looked good…Meek just has lost movement, pitches are flat and is struggling to regain former velocity…Clint has stated he would like to carry two LH in the pen this maybe the time to make move.

    I have no answer for our Catching problem…I am confident Fryer would give better AB’s but not sure he is ready to handle the staff, McKenry is not an everyday catcher, Sanchez has not demonstrated he is ready…but it is painful to watch Rod.

  50. And Meek promptly gives up a 0-2 hit to the opposing team relief pitcher, yikes!

  51. @AJS

    The greatest coaching in the world can’t make up for the difference in talent between these two teams. Tony Gwynn & George Brett would still win batting titles with this clown as their hitting coach.

  52. @AJS, thanks for the note about Burnett. I didn’t see the first couple innings, so I likely missed that.

    The Bucs used all their gifts from the baseball Gods in the last game with those back-to-back flyballs to Gonzales. It also comes down to positioning. Way too many time this year and even last the Pirates crush balls right at people so they don’t have to move much. On the other hand, the Pirates fielders usually seem to be slightly out of position to get to balls.

  53. And they didn’t even have to use their good relievers.

  54. The streak wasn’t going to end with them scoring 6 runs that’s for damn sure. No hits from the sixth inning on.

  55. Barajas has done nothing at the plate. No one expected a middle of the order hitter. But, to be fair to the Pirates, Barajas had one of his better years (last year) in terms of run production. They rightly expected more than he has given thus far.

  56. At what point is Neal Huntington going to be held accountable and released of his duties as General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates?

    This team can’t hit, run the bases or field their position well enough to even dream of having 82-80 record. The bullpen is a mess if Evan Meek and Tony Watson can’t get people out and by the looks of their numbers, go get some butter because these guys are toast.

    Huntington thought Rod Barajas would be a better overall catcher than Ryan Doumit but so far this season, that isn’t showing as the new catcher is hitting .114, 0 RBI and 11% caught stealing compared to Doumit’s 25% caught stealing, .241 avg, and 10 RBI. Barajas has 15 at-bats with runners on, he’s hitting .000, while Doumit has had 29 at-bats hitting .276 with men on. Watch Barajas run the bases has cost the team at least two runs that I’ve personally seen on tv as he’s been a base to base

    I wonder at what point does Starling Marte get a shot at right-field considering Jose Tabata hasn’t been the same since April 2011, that’s a full year since we’ve seen the “young” man hit.

  57. Does ANYONE know why Jeff Clement hasn’t played a down at Indianapolis in a week? Or, is it like the old Chicago lyric, “Does anyone really care?” He’s not listed on the injured list, and not so much as a pinch-hitting appearance? DK? One of your sources, maybe? I sent an e-mail to Indy’s media person, HOPING to get at least a “manager’s decision” or something injury related (DMac on here has informed me that HAS been slow to update when players are injured). Clement got off to a hot start, so I would think it’s SLIGHTLY newsworthy. Oh, and Clement can CATCH! Let’s see, Barajas …

  58. Yep Ryan Doumit would have been so much better

    Except two things HE didn’t want to play here. And he would have been no better. Don’t believe, thats your perogative. But coaches and players in the Twins think he is not as good as they thought. Last night GIDP after 3 of first 4 batters raked hits. Strikeout in his next at bat on bad pitches, with Mauer on second and one out. Opposing pitchers don’t even walk him with 1 out, first base open, and a young, struggling 3b batting .204 (yes the Twins have their own Alvarez at 3b).

    Doumit of the 12 k’s, 1 BB. Doumit with the lowest range factor of his career at C, and pitchers ERA while he is catchinf 5.39. And the5 games in RF, his range factor is almost 0 (virtually impossible to do, but he’s done it)

    Yeah that Doumit, he was clearly a better option…..except when he was here and everyone did nothing but complain about him. Hilarious.

  59. My point was the Pirates went out to replace Doumit at catcher and the guy they signed is fat, can’t run, can’t hit, and can’t throw anyone out at 11%. Doumit’s time was done, big red truck.

  60. Steelers appear to be doing well in their draft with RG David DeCastro (#1), LT Mike Adams (#2), LB Sean Spence (#3), and NT Alameda Ta’amu (#4). I don’t think Spence is a LB with his lack of size, so maybe he can shift to safety, otherwise he’s a special teams contributor…a third round reach, imo.

  61. Same ole, same ole, excellent starting pitcher, but absolutely no hitting with MOB. We have the best pitching staff (starters) in ether league, and no run support. Get rid of the automatic outs and replace them with semi-automatic outs and we’ll be much better off.
    We all know who the auto outs are: Barajas, Barmes, McLouth, Alverez and, of course,
    the pitchers, but that’s fine, let them do the pitching. I heard that Bradenton is shipping the bats, finally to the team. GO, BUCS!

  62. Umm McLouth isn’t even a starter, and Alvarez and Barmes are hitting better.

    Easy to complain and throw around cheap shots. Yet no comments on who would replace. As usual few productive or even realistic comments here on the play by play column.

  63. If Tabata continues to fail, Starling Marte has to get consideration for a recall.

    There’s nothing in the organization to replace Barmes and Barajas, that’s half the reason why the team had to sign the two players in the first place. Let’s not forget the horrendous selection of Tony Sanchez, he’s done nothing to warrant being the fourth overall pick.

    The day Sanchez was drafted, Huntington said, “With the selection of Sanchez, we add a young man with a combination of present abilities, potential upside and personal traits that is matched by few in the draft. He is an advanced player at a premium position and was the highest-rated player on our board when it came time for the Pirates to make their selection.”

    If you can’t draft and develop talent, then you better have really good pro scouts to sign quality free agents for cheap or you know, once in a while sign a good free agent player.

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