TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Final: Pirates 9, Braves 3

.

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (9-12) vs. Atlanta Braves (14-8)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Rob Biertempfel thinks it’s Sunday.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Jose Tabata, RF
  2. Josh Harrison, SS
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Casey McGehee, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Yamaico Navarro, LF
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  8. Rod Barajas, C
  9. James McDonald, RHP

116 Comments

  1. Let’s see if Cutch decides to not hot dog it in the outfield…doubt it.

  2. Looks like Pedro has gotten his BA at the mendoza line. Leads the team in HR’s, 2nd in RBI and leads in Strike Outs…..He’s slowly climbing in the AVG department, but I don’t expect anything over .250

  3. Tough loss yesterday, defensive lapses and free passes helped turn the game and the inability of the Pirates to add-on after staking a two run lead, chalk it all up to another frustrating early season loss that could have been a win.

    Every time I see JMac penciled in I have this 50-50 feeling, he is usually spot on or just erratic and need him at his best tonight to salvage split.

    Glad to see Barmes given the day off, needs that, time for the bench guys who earned spots out of spring to show us what they add. Production from Harrison and Navarro can make tonight would be a welcome sight.

    Time for McDonald to earn his first win of the season and to give the team some momentum heading into St. Louis for a big series. Let’s go Bucs!

  4. JRay- couldn’t agree more on JMac. His stuff is outstanding, but erratic. Gotta like how the starters have performed so far this season.

  5. Go Bucs!

    Lets get a split and get the heck out of Dodge. Nothing good happens in Atlanta!

  6. JohninOshkosh

    Nothing good for the Pirates, some good does happen in Atlanta.

  7. JAL

    Yeah, it’s a nice city. Although, I have not been there for years. Oh, I finished your friend’s novel, “Watergate” last night . It’s a good read. I enjoy historical novels. It took awhile before it was available for check out from the library so it must be popular. My New Year’s Resolution was to try to read a novel a week. I am about 3 weeks off but doing pretty well.

  8. The teams the Pirates have played so far have a combined record of 88-66 (.571).

    DK: Wow. And here come the Reds and Nats, too.

  9. fair schedule by MLB. First the draft-now the schedule! Ha

  10. Reds only 11-11 and Nats have lost 4 in row.

  11. Do we face Strasburg?

  12. and the Reds have a much better offense than the Pirates. I do think the Buccos have better pitching, but when 2 runs can win you games, the Reds can easily score that.

  13. Thought I might sneak in a basketball post before the ballgame since there wasn’t any general morning thread.

    I think the USA Men’s National team is in serious trouble this summer. They won’t have Howard and, after this past weekend, won’t have Rose either. I would like to see them put Russell Westbrook on the roster so he is teamed with Kevin Durant. Then they could have Deron Williams be an alternative point. I would even consider placing a third point guard like maybe Brandon Jennings on the roster. It is impossible to undervalue point guards under international play. Rose was a big lost though. Also, Bryant and James will probably be out of gas by the time the Olympics come around. Same with Durant who has been an absolute beast in international play.

    I’m concerned. I think Dejan might not see the Star Spangled Banner being played at the men’s medal ceremony. Which is always irritating since we invented the game.

  14. I must confess ——— when I looked at and listed the schedule here in mid-March, with all the Cy Young winners and almosts, with all the road games and a trip to the left coast and Nor Cal Ryanville, I would have taken 10 – 12 in a heartbeat after 22 games.

    Have to win tonight to make it happen!

    Boy, I would much rather see Nate or Presley in Left, southpaw or not! And, Harrison makes me EXTREMELY nervous at short.

    But what am I saying: If there is one thing Neal Huntington knows, it’s shortstops!!!!

  15. Groat- I don’t remember who (think it was Milo) that predicted a 9 win mark for April. Win tonight, tops that, but lets be honest, they’ve hung in there with every game, except for the first game of the Braves series.

  16. Nor Cal Ryan,

    9 – 13 is actually better than I feared it would be!

    But I’m greedy now!! I want to come home 10 – 12 . . . . . . 2 games under .500.

    The Drive for Five (Hundred)!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. @Ryan

    I don’t think I ever offered a prediction on April. My thoughts on this season are that I want them to be better in May than they were in April, better in June than they were in May etc.

    I will offer that I think they’ll take 2 out of 3 in St. Louis.

  18. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    Duke’s second 5 should be able to beat the starting 5 of any MAC school. Duke has so many Parade All-Americans.

    USA 2nd Team should be able to beat any team in world: we have so many more ballers.

    They just need a coach they will respond to and to select a team who will play together. By the way, I DON’T like Russell Westbrook because he has a me-first attitude with the ball. That’s how you LOSE in international play!

  19. Ah, I couldn’t remember, but thought it was you Milo.

    2/3 IN ST. LOUIS!!! I’ll take 2/3 against anybody, but especially the Cards. Bold prediction.

    Groat-I agree that I am getting greedy too, 10-12, can’t complain about that to be honest.

  20. After a daunting April this team will have some room to breathe in May. Yes the month starts with 3 in St. Louis. But is quickly followed by a 9 game home stand versus Reds, Nats, and Astros. Add in 2 with Miami, 3 with the Cubs, 3 with the Mets and I truly feel we will know by end of May if the Bucs can hang deep into the season.

    @ Ryan – The starters are a big reason why I still hold out hope, if Burnett and Bedard stay healthy and with their ability to get K’s, the upside of Morton and McDonald with most likely Karstens or anyone of our AAA pitchers (Locke, Wilson, Owens) that have started out well on the very back end, should be good enough to give us a chance to compete most nights. Yes I left off Correia but I just don’t have much faith in him deep into the season.

    A split tonight would be big and get us within striking distance of @Groat Drive for Five Hundred!!

  21. Jeez, Milo (not the stiff, unexciting baseball announcer)!

    You sound mature . . . . coachlike . . . . PATIENT . . . . building on positive . . . . . . . .

    WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR MILO!!

  22. Also, looking way ahead to next weekend vs Cincinnati, I suggest they get a 2nd lefthander in that bullpen. You may need to get Votto & Bruce out twice in the late innings.

    Of course, I thought that minute detail should have addressed during the off season with an actual major league lefty, but I digress.

  23. I do think Brad Lincoln has earned a chance to start. He’s proved everything he’s needed to prove at AAA and has looked very good, minues the HR last night, in his relief appearances. I don’t think the Buccos have been able to say this for awhile, but they have some pretty good starting pitching depth.

    Wish they had something in the way of offense though.

    Question for the blog: If the Pirates traded Hanrahan (I think Grilli can fill closer role) what position would they trade for? I would say SS, but too early to say Barmes is a bust. He’s not expected to do much anyhow. All positions are up and coming guys and Garrett Jones at 1B isn’t all that bad.

    I just don’t see any suitable subs out there to take over for anyone on our roster. Every spot has “potential.”

  24. Huntington doesn’t believe in extra lefthanders in the bullpen, or even any lefties.

    Remember two seasons ago when we had NO lefthanders in the pen?!

    Neil spends his time instead scouting shortstops.

    DK: Boom!

  25. CH has also said that he would prefer guys that can get both, RH and LH hitters out. I agree. Though an extra southpaw for the Reds series is a good idea…

    I’m available.

  26. @Groat

    Or explaining away our lack of offense by blaming it on an “industry afflicted by a depressed run environment.”

    Huh ?

  27. Left Coast Ryan,

    I vote to keep Hanrahan unless we are receiving an immediate bonafide Major League home run hitter! (or Sano!) NO PROSPECTS!

    Bullpens where everyone moves up a spot are quick trips to failure. 21 good games do not a season make!

  28. Milo,

    I was going to say that about the Pirate offense, but Neil Huntington beat me to it!!

    “The reality is” the man knows his excuses.

  29. Leaving work now to get home by “Play Ball!”

    See y’al at 3rd base!

  30. @Groat

    Who else at point? Chris Paul? Mr. Me Me Me. You underestimate the Euros. Good to talk to you again, friend.

  31. Groat-I agree, no prospects

  32. Should not face Strasburg, he scheduled to pitch may 4. Pirates should see Zimmerman, Jackson, and Detwiler

  33. Hope they beat up on Jackson……..

  34. Taillon named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week for the week of 4/23-4/29

  35. Didn’t I get a tweet, Dejan, that you were taking a week off? ;-)

    DK: I don’t work for Twitter!

  36. Noticed that Jumbo Diaz was involved in Indy’s no hitter yesterday. I hope he finds his way up here at some point this year.

  37. Week off except for game threads, no columns or morning threads.

  38. The Yankees we’re willing to pay the Pirates $20 million to take A.J. Burnett off their hands, and so far their starting pitchers’ ERA is 6.37.

  39. Milo

    They did, they thought they had enough pitching but not working out so far.

  40. Just get home to see us already down 2…and for a team that struggles to score two not good. Anybody know our batting average with RISP less than 2 out? Just awful to see first and third 0 out and come up empty again.

  41. This series is a prime example of a very good ball club that executes and one that lacks in execution too often.

  42. I’m in favor of their execution.

  43. Good grief get the runner over…fundamentals

  44. And than promptly a double which should have been a RBI…nice to see Tabata heating up.

  45. Critical inning for J-Mac. Gotta shut them down after getting the game tied.

  46. Mike Knuble just scored. Ha.

  47. Much needed 1-2-3 for J-Mac…Minor is struggling need to jump on him

  48. Pedro!!! Two run bomb….he keeps this up and they may need to move him up in order.

  49. LOL southpaws in Neal’s bullpens, shortstop scouting, and the whole scene here. Great to see so many here & so much wry humor, including the fact that moderator posts about the Pirates are “uncategorized” but not (yet) unprintable (the season is young).

  50. In Pedro’s honor the organist should play Bach’s “Sleeper Awake!” with a few “let’s go Bucs” flourishes. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KyWOIKCtjiw

  51. Shaping up to be a battle of bullpens

  52. We might have to finally break that 5 run barrier to win this one.

  53. @Mancuso

    Catherine Bach ?

  54. JRay3

    That’s scarey, Braves pen has shut the Pirates pretty well this series.

  55. Derek Jeter has 37 hits this year. The Pirates entered play today with 151.

  56. Nice play by Pedro!

  57. @ Milo – our current starter at SS Barmes at the pace he is going should have 37 hits in mid-July.

  58. We got six !

  59. How bout Navarro with the second Pirate homer and we can all exhale the Buccos have scored six!

  60. And the drought ends!!! We scored more than 5, now keep adding on!!

  61. The joy of six !

  62. If only Pedro didn’t tuck his ears in, right? ;-)

  63. FREE MIKE KNUBLE

  64. @Dan

    This Caps team is barely recognizable.

  65. Big knock by Walker to get another one, now 1st and 3rd with one out. Greedy for more.

  66. This now officially constitutes an outburst.

  67. 9 runs–when they go over 5 they go way over 5.

  68. The turning point in this game may have come in the 2nd inning. The Braves already leading 2-0 had runners at 2nd & 3rd with one out. McDonald struck out Minor & got Bourne to ground out to Walker keeping it only 2-0. The Pirates then tied it in the top of the 3rd.

    That’s great pitching by McDonald after allowing that bomb to Freeman in the 1st.

  69. J-Mac with a career high ten K’s…great effort following the shaky first!

  70. Boy it’s nice to have a game like this.

  71. There is a really good chance that Matt Diaz is NOT going to hit a homerun.

  72. RTJR.

  73. And the Bucs win 9-3 behind the pitching of J-Mac, another homer for Pedro, and 11 offensive hits to salvage the split….and there was noooooo doubt about it!

    On to St.Louis and a big three game division set!

  74. J-Mac with a career high 10 K’s as well as a career high 114 pitches. I was a little surprised that CH didn’t pinch hit for J-Mac in the top of the 8th, but maybe he wanted to give him the chance to set the season high (and a career high) for K’s.

    Great hitting by Pedro. Is it me, or does he look slimmer?? LOL – I thought TV adds 10 pounds. But Pedro looks slimmer tonight than when I saw him late in Spring training.

    Nice split against the Braves. Lets get a win streak going!

    Oh yeah, Neal Walker – 3 for 4.

  75. Evan Meek has been sent to Indianapolis. They’ll fill the spot tomorrow. A lefty ?

  76. Nice win for the Pirates, really glad to see Pedro heating up and finally the 6 run mark is achieved.

    Since we don’t have a general topic blog thread, here’s a few things

    1) I’m guilty of it myself but my goodness, Jordan Staal is signed for next season, as well as Sidney Crosby, but all anyone is talking about is Staal to Edmonton for the number one overall pick, or to Carolina for some junk load of players for the Hurricanes. Little do we and others seem to realize, with Staal signed and CBA is going to change, there’s not much Shero seems forced to do between now, draft June 22nd, free agency July 1st, and expiration of CBA on September 15th.

    2) Maybe fans and media wouldn’t be worried about Crosby, Staal, Malkin, Fleury, Letang, etc. if Ray Shero’s draft turned out a few prospects or already established production in the NHL. Facts are pretty hard to argue for Shero since taking Staal in his first selection as GM in 2007 with the second overall draft pick. Shero has selected 34 players since Staal, 16 forwards, 3 goaltenders, 15 defensemen. Not one goalie since 2008 draft that had two of them and of the 16 forwards drafted, only Dustin Jeffrey – 12 goals, and Luca Caputi – 2 goals, have scored for the Penguins. That’s downright pathetic.

    3) If Shero is going to maintain his job as GM, he’ll be wise to start changing those abysmal numbers with the draft in Pittsburgh in June. The team will have eight picks in the seven rounds, the extra pick as a result of the Mark Letestu to Columbus trade for a 4th round pick, which will be the first of that round, 92nd overall.

    4) Penguins have Dominik Uher, Beau Bennett, Tom Kuehnhackl, and Ken Agostino as their lone forward prospects drafted by the Penguins, who seem to be legit candidates for a job in the NHL, if they continue their development. Though, I want to be clear, these four at best are second line support wingers, none are franchise scorers.

    5) This embarrassing collection of prospects is why Staal, Letang, or maybe even Malkin could be on the trading block for a boat load of cheap NHL talent and draft picks. Malkin could bring the biggest return but with the CBA, how many teams are out of the discussion because their cap situation could worsen dependent on the agreement between the NHL and NHLPA.

    6) Finally, if you are going to negotiate a new deal, let’s hope the creativity light bulbs are working for both sides as the current CBA penalizes teams who draft and develop their own talent and if that talent rises to the top, the good teams can’t retain those players and must be forced into drafting late in the entry draft and trading their home grown stars for unknown assets or worse yet, letting those players walk as free agents. Not only would a draft credit potentially help loosen the restrictions for those who scout/develop well, maybe even allowing teams to trade a draft pick for cap space is an option.

  77. Finally. An offensive EXPLOSION. And the gigantic disappointment actually hit a homer, after of course hitting into an inning ending DP on the first pitch in the 2nd inning.

    And yet another ‘shortstop’ brought in by Neil does his best work by not playing. BMTIB looking foolish, again.

  78. One Month

    Before the start of the season, I posted a small analysis of the first month of games facing the Pirates. The string of cy young candidates, the long West Coast trip, and the volume of road games were all tough challenges. I predicted a 9-13 month. Most people thought that was generous but I’m glad to see the Bucs did one game better (10-12).

    The schedule is a bit easier in May and I have the Pirates going 15-13 this month. It gets tougher in June so It is important that they get to .500.

  79. JAL’s Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye Steam Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    McDonald Solid, Bucs Bats Break Out in 9-3 Win

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/04/mcdonald-solid-bucs-bats-break-out-in-9-3-win.html

    Pirates Option Evan Meek to Triple-A

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/04/pirates-option-evan-meek-to-triple-a.html

  80. title song Na Na Hey Hey Steam 1969—Took the number 1 spot on December 6 from the Beatles Come Together and was replaced by Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul & Mary. This was one of two songs to hit number 1 in 1969 by non-bands. Steam was a group of studio musicians who then put together a group to tour after this song hit big. The other non-band number 1 in 1969 was Sugar Sugar by The Archies. This song is still used in many sport events, sung by the crowd if not actually played.

  81. Hahahahahahahah

    Laughable.

    The team has its best game of the year, and @JohnLease still finds something kill, even if it wasn’t supported in the facts of the great dominating win.

    I am guessing John Lease is really a Reds or Brewers fan trolling the blog. That or he is really McClatchy or Littlefield.

  82. @Roberto

    Some fans are too jaded and caught up in the rhetoric to enjoy Pirates baseball anymore.

    I’m sure John Lease is not a troll or McClatchy or Littlefield. I’m sure he’s a normal guy like you and I.

    I just for the life of me can not understand what kind of attitude one must have to watch your favorite team win by six runs and immediately go to an internet blog to complain about it.

  83. If John Lease wants to be a Blog Troll, he needs to clear it with the club’s CEO, Milo and Admissions Directors Jandy and Lucky. :-)

  84. I’m still dizzy over scoring 9 runs. I can’t even think of Pat Mears, I’m sorry, I mean Clint Barmes.

  85. He must be a blog-trolling sock puppet at heart.

  86. Meares – what a sparkplug he was, huh?

    I look at it this way. If most fans on these blogs had their way, we would still be paying Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez to be our starters while still needing guys to replace them due to injuries.

  87. @Roberto

    I once had a Pat Mears homerun (yes, Pat Mears hit a homerun) go right off the tip of my fingers at the back of the leftfield bleachers. I have all the vertical leap of Casey Hampton. That same inning ended with the Brian Giles grand slam off Billy Wagner to cap the great comeback.

  88. @ Lucky and OshKoshB’Gosh ~ If John Lease wants to be a blog-trolling sock puppet, it’s his right. but there will be NO complaining after a 9-3 win by the Buccos! That will not be tolerated ;) This kind of game gives us all hope! The Drive for Five (Hundred)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. Ditto Jandy!

  90. Just took a quick look at SI’s power rankings for this week to see how our heroes, the Kansas City Royals, the champions of that virtual reality known as sabermetricland are doing. Remember last week they were ranked #7 following their 11 game losing streak. Well, hard times have befallen the Royals, as if losing 11 in a row aren’t hard times enough. The Royals are now ranked by SI as only the 9th best team in baseball. I guess that’s all a 6-15 record gets you in sabermetricland. Apparently, their wRC+ is carrying them so far. Don’t ask me, I have no idea.

    Here’s how SI summarized this week’s Royals capsule, ” …they’ve shown the underlying skills of a team that can win games on a regular basis.” Alrighty then.

    DK: This is spectacular.

  91. I was watching some of the Cubs game last Sunday and each Sunday they apparently do a focus on a Sabermetric stat (it was BABIP). You could easily sense that Bob Brenly could barely stomach talking about it. By the way he managed a team to a World Championship, and guided his club through one of the most emotionally difficult World Series ever played.

  92. @Milo

    Somebody forgot to tell the egg heads that sometimes you need to pitch after your teams trip to the plate.

    Dayton Moore, the architect of the “best minor league system, like ever”, seems to have forgotten that small bit of info as well.

    As a Pirate fan, I truly do feel bad for KC and their faithful. So far, it must feel like they’ve scored a date with the prettiest girl in school only to be stood up on prom night.

  93. @NMR

    The three fan bases most deserving of a winner right now would have to be Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.

  94. Bud Selig deserves a KC/Baltimore-Pittsburgh/Cincinatti championship series every bit as much as each of those fan bases.

  95. I could go for another Pirates-Orioles World Series!

  96. NMR ~ he** yeah!

    Hey guys, I was just reading on the Trib main site about Indy’s Justin Wilson’s no-hitter (which he has to share) against Durham. He’s a lefty to boot. Can someone tell me more about Wilson? I think it’s awesome to see something like that. How long has this kid been in the system?

  97. Jandy, here’s a link to Wilson’s minorleaguebaseball.com page which has all his stats since he was drafted by the Pirates in ’08. He earned a College World Series ring for Fresno State that year, on the same staff as Tanner Scheppers, whom the Pirates were interested in at one time. Scheppers, by the way, is doing well this season so far, pitching a lot of late-inning relief for the Rangers’ AAA team, Round Rock, a 3.09 ERA. Here’s the link to Wilson’s history with us: http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=458677

  98. Thanks, Baywatch. Looks good! Has anyone here seen him pitch in person?

  99. Jandy

    Wilson has a great arm, his problem has been control. He was with the team in ST, pitched 5.2 innings, struck out 6 and walked 7, 4 hits and 2 earned runs.

  100. JAL, thank you. Hopefully his control improves.

  101. He was much better in the no-hitter–107 pitches, 72 strikes. Named International League pitcher of the week.

  102. Hope he can keep it up! St. Louis tonight…Go Buccos!

  103. Nashville coach Barry Trotz has suspended Alexander Radulov & Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 3 of their series with Phoenix. Seems our two Russian friends were seen out partying at 4 am the night before Game 2. Too bad Trotz didn’t find out before the game.

    The Predators are learning the hard way what they already know in Montreal. Never send a Kostitsyn to do a man’s job.

  104. Milo ~ Which Kostitsyn scored the last game? Send Radulov back to Russia ;)

  105. @Jandy

    Andrei Kostitsyn has a goal in each game of the series. They are both interchangeable, and equally useless.

  106. Milo, not so useless if they’re scoring a goal now and then…but I get your point lol

  107. Howdy everybody! How about that win last night?!

    I was unable to catch the game (little league) but came home to a pleasant surprise.

    Evan Meek demoted?! Didn’t see that coming. Have they made a call up yet? LH reliever perhaps? Good move by the FO. He needs repaired.

  108. I just read the article about Justin Wilson’s group effort of a no-no. I understand the FO has a staunch policy on innings pitched and pitches thrown. A no-no is a big deal, especially to a pitcher.

    That said, I agree with the removal of Wilson, the Pirates have had so many issues in the past with pitching arms, that the removal was for the greater good of the organization and the pitcher.

    A no-no would’ve been sweet though. Great outing for JWil.

  109. Ryan, agreed on the No-no and pulling Wilson. I’m new here, but I can see the need for taking care of these guys, and the Buccos need lefties! Don’t ruin his arm. Hope your team won the little league game :)

  110. Jared Hughes replaces Evan Meek.

  111. @Jandy-Thanks, but it was just practice!! They need it too.

    Milo- I like Hughes, but I agree with your statement from yesterday of needing an extra LH reliever. Maybe has they get closer to the Reds series.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News