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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 4, Nationals 2


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (13-16) vs. Washington Nationals (18-11)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Beat writer Rob Biertempfel now has a mohawk, too.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

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


  1. Nate83 says:

    Looks like Harrison is in there for the sole purpose of moving Barajas up so he doesn’t have the pitcher batting behind him and can see a little better pitches. Maybe try to kickstart his bat a little which I’m all for. Interesting starting Navarro and Harrison both.

  2. When I see Josh Harrison penciled in at shortstop, it reminds me that I really like Clint Barmes playing short.

  3. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Agree! Wouldn’t Navarro at SS and Harrison in LF make more sense? Let’s hope he makes the routine plays.

  4. Nate83 says:

    I agree except I think Navarro at SS and Pressley or Marte in LF would make the most sense. What did Pressley do to get in the dog house? He’s one of the few guys who hit the first 12 games of the year and if you are going to find out what kind of player he is you have to let him hit his way out of slumps.

  5. JohninOshkosh says:

    Rob Biertempfel with a mohawk.
    Good visual.

  6. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Except Marte is at AAA…..

  7. Nate83 says:

    I realize that. I didn’t say it was possible just that it made more sense. He also seems to be injured a little bit making it even less possible.

  8. AJS says:

    I still can’t figure out what Presley did to get into the dog house either. Teh only thing I can think is that he wants navarro’s right handed stick in the line up against the lefty Detwiller. It isn’t like Pressley can’t hit lefties though. Just goes to show Hurdle will always play the righty and lefty game. Except with Pedro at this point apparently. So Pressley can only crack the line up when a righty throws, but having McGehee’s bat in the line up against anyone is apparently more important.

    Hurdle’s overmanagment at times is out of control right now.

  9. AJS says:

    And can we PLEASE find a shortstop? Seriously. Problem seems to be with shortstop that you ahve to develop one or be willing to buy one that is willing to come to town. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a good one in the system and no one wants to come to town. Though I think you have to be able to find someone better than the mendoza line lying on the trash heap.

  10. Nate83 says:

    Thanks Ryan. Unfortunately that link is blocked by my work computer.

    I actually agreed with sending him down if he wasn’t going to get 400-500 at bats with the Pirates but if they are not going to play Pressley either then I’m all for bringing him up as I’m sure we already know Harrison and Mclouth are not going to be long term solutions in the outfield.

  11. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Little known fact that a Lefty/Lefty matchup is far more trouble than a righty/righty.

    Many players get days off, especially the younger ones because they do not play 162 games in the minors.

    It could be that everyone is overanalyzing Presley not starting. I’m sure he will be a defensive substatution late in the game.

    He’s bench because of the lefty on the hill. And for what Pedro brings, he needs to be in the game against everybody. Jones is aweful against lefties.


  12. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You must have missed the Wakeup Call thread. Also, Jordy Mercer has fared well at Indy early-on. Talked about him yesterday some.

  13. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I think Marte has a few more things to prove at AAA. He’s not exactly knocking the cover off the ball right now. Fairly high strike out totals as well.

    I do think (as I predicted before the season starts) that’ll we’ll see Marte up in June/July time frame, Nate sent packing and AP would become the 4th OF.

    The way Tabby has been playing lately could put him as the 4th OF though.

  14. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Lucky’s right.

    Mercer has been on fire lately. He’ll be up end of June if he keeps it up.

  15. Nate83 says:


    I see what you are saying about match ups, but a good team doesn’t have platoons and a legitimate major league player hits against both. I thought this was the year they wanted to find out if Pressley is a legitimate major league player to stay with the team or use in a trade.

    Harrison = bad against everybody.

    Navarro is interesting and if he can play some outfield I would like to see him get some of Nate’s at bats as well as Barmes. He seems like he could be a really versatile bench guy.

  16. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Who said the Pirates were a good team??

    Even the best of the best gets time off from time to time. You don’t see many that play 162 anymore.

  17. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Actually, I just looked it up..

    AP’s lines against lefties and righties:

    vs Left vl
    – 23 4 7 2 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 1 .304 .304 .391 .696 134 2012 vl
    vs Right vl
    – 81 7 19 2 0 2 6 3 0 21 3 2 .235 .262 .333 .595

  18. AJS says:

    I only skimmed the wake up call thread. Count me amongst those who don’t think over spending for a shortstop at this phase of the Pirates development is the right thing to do. All I ask is for someone, anyone who can put the ball in play and hit even .240 or .250 and can actually field.

    The problem with Harrison is his defensive liability. I think he could be a decent hitter if he had a place to play every day. Doesn’t seem very good cold off the bench. But his defense will never earn him that.

  19. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    So maybe you guys are on to something with him being in a doghouse. He does have a rather high total of K’s.

  20. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Not gonna say a word about #25 on the Nats tonight (at least until the game is over). I promise.

    Now let’s open up the window!!

    Tonight’s OVER / UNDER (always just for fun of course)

    Total Innings Pitched by Erik Bedard
    Line — 5.5

    Anyone can play!! What’ll ya have!! What’ll ya have!!

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +20
    Officer Mancuso +20
    JohninOshkosh +10
    RobertoForever EVEN
    Milo Hamilton -20
    Steve J Smith -40
    JRay3 -40

  21. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Agree with you whole-heartedly. Mercer is at .288 with 17 RBI’s and has played some third and short and, I think some second.

  22. AJS says:

    So Pressley is actually hitting lefties better than righties? Awesome.

    The buccos need to find some legitimate bats that can hit either handed pitcher. That’s the problem witht he pirates stuck in that “we need lefty power” mode for so long after PNC opened. You end up with a bunch of guys who you have to platoon.

    Thinking back though the Bucs had a couple of platoons in the early 90s. LaVallier and Slaught and Redus/Merced and Bream. I never had a problem witht he platoons there. The problem is when you are platooning the meat of your line up. Jones is a power bat and hits 5th when he’s in the line up. McGehee was only getting to face lefties for a while. Pedro finally gets a chance to see every day action. Platoon your 6-8 hitters all you want as long as both can legitimately hit their half of the time, but the top half of the order needs to be solid.

  23. Nate83 says:

    I guess it did sound like I was calling them a good team which wasn’t my intent.

    I was trying to say good teams have legitimate major league players that play almost every game which is what we all hope Pressley is and that is what the Pirates are striving for.

  24. Nate83 says:

    20 on the over

  25. AJS says:

    I do think Pressley’s K totals have him in a little trouble and some of the hits in his 10 game streak came late in games or in situarions that were not all that meaningful. He had a lot of 1 fer games and wasn’t exactly having great at bat after great at bat.

    I don’t know if he is a legitimate major league top of the line up guy or not. But I sure thought he’d be given more of an opportunity this year to see for sure. i think you know what you have in Navarro.

  26. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I agree with AJS. I hate platoons. Nobody gets in a groove of any kind.

    Justin Wilson, Tim Wood and Bryan Morris combined for a shutout today over the Philly Pigs AAA team. Gorkys Hernandez his second homer in as many days. Maybe a blossoming power hitter there? (Also his second is as many seasons, I think).

  27. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Double it Playoff…put me in for another 20 on the over this time.

  28. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Nate83, you got it, good luck!!

  29. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Ryan, you got it, good luck!!

  30. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Just giving you some grief….I know what you meant.

    Would be nice, but this team is so young that they are still trying to figure out who’s what and wear..

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    Paul Maholm gets 4th straight victory. Beat Hudson. One or zero runs allowed in last 4 starts. Guy is a battler. Looks strange in that Cubs uni.

    “Go Cubs Go” Worst sports song ever written.

  32. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Good for Paul…..he struggled earlier.

  33. JAL says:

    Hanrahan’s grandmother died, he is on 3 game MLB bereavement list, no word on who they will bring up for those games.

  34. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Probably Slaten…

  35. JAL says:

    Not being an accountant I have no clue what any of that betting post means–how can you go 25.5 innings in game or pitch negative innings?

  36. JAL says:


    Probably not since he is not on the 40 and they would not drop someone for 3 games.

  37. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    As it was explained to me JAL. Its in units..or (cash)

  38. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    True, thought he was…

  39. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DMac or Meek.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:


    I need a ruling. Would throwing 1 pitch in the 6th constitute over ?

  41. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was thinking about the same clarification. This is hard earned fake money I’m risking.

  42. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I can gladly clarify for everyone….

    @JAL — The line is OVER or UNDER 5.5 innings pitched by Bedard

    So with that said, if Bedard gets 2 outs in the 6th inning (meaning he pitched 5 and 2/3 innings) the OVER will win. Anything less than that and the UNDER will win. Let me know if that makes sense. Best of luck to everyone who plays!!

  43. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thank you for the clarification. I’ll take 20 on the over & try to get back to even.

  44. @Playoffs, I’m going “All-In” and say 40 on the over. Just trying to get back to level playing ground. I may have to break open the fake piggy bank soon.

  45. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Good news on our site: On the main sports page, look for my full name on that horizontal bar across the top. That’s the new, easy-to-find portal to this blog.

    Thanks to our IT people for their help on this.


  46. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Awesome. Thanks DK!!

  47. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Milo and Steve, you got it. Good luck to you both!!

  48. Milo Hamilton says:


    Are you considering Strasburg strikeouts for tomorrow ? Could be fun.

  49. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    I’s have to set the line at 15.5, LOL

  50. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Anyone else want in??

    Tonight’s OVER / UNDER (always just for fun of course)

    Total Innings Pitched by Erik Bedard
    Line is 5.5 innings
    (If Bedard gets 2 outs in the 6th inning, meaning he pitched 5 and 2/3 innings, the OVER will win. Anything less than that and the UNDER will win.)

    Anyone can play!! What’ll ya have!! What’ll ya have!!

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +20
    Officer Mancuso +20
    JohninOshkosh +10
    RobertoForever EVEN
    Milo Hamilton -20
    Steve J Smith -40
    JRay3 -40

  51. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ll take10 on the under. Don’t know exactly why but am worried about this game.

  52. Looking at the radar, there may be a shower or two that roll through early in the game, so I hope it doesn’t affect the pitching for the Bucs.

  53. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    John, you got it. Good Luck!!

  54. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Has to be a FULL 9 INNING game or everything is a PUSH.

  55. For all the defensive detractors of Harrison, so far this year, he has been in 9 (maybe this is the 10th) at three positions and has not committed an error. He has started 5 (now 6) games. I know small sample size, but Barmes alone has committed 6 or so errors. To me he has been holding his own in the field. Just wish his bat from Spring Training would show up. Let’s go Bucs! Get it started!

  56. JAL says:

    Pedro just missed getting all of that pitch.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bedard’s hurt. What did you know Playoffs ?

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    It was only a matter of time. Can you say injury prone, boys & girls ? UNDER wins.

  59. Anybody see what happened to him? I am not able to see the game tonight. Not a good sign already in the season.

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    I did not expect this until June.

    What happened? Like Steve, I am unable to watch game.

  61. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    WOW wasn’t expecting Bedard to go down with an oblique injury. UNDER wins, but damn that sucks.

  62. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @John and @Steve

    He threw a pitch, winced, then stretched around and winced again. TV says it looks like an oblique injury.

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s a leg injury, groin or hamstring. Just from his history, Bedard won’t be rushing himself back. Calling Rudy Owens ? It might be time to take a look. Karstens hasn’t even looked at a mound yet. He’s at least another month a way.

    Brad Lincoln’s in.

  64. Bullpen has to come up big tonight having to go 8 innings. Let’s go Mike.

  65. Thanks Playoffs. Nice pick up by Lincoln with 2 K’s and the groundout.

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    Old 27/7 reports it’s back spasms for Bedard.

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just added 3 hours to the day. He’s really going to love me now.

  68. Back spasms are nearly as bad, though. Shouldn’t be too long if it isn’t too severe. May not even need the DL.

  69. Meant to say “aren’t nearly as bad.”

  70. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Playoffs.

    This sucks on all sorts of levels. If it is serious, there goes trade value and add another to the FA bust list. Will keep my fingers crossed that it is not serious.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thank goodness. Can work around back spasms.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bedard left a game in 2008 with back spasms & returned 9 days later.

  73. twentytwo22 says:

    The Pirates might want to switch up their signs it seems every team has them.

  74. I’ve never heard of a team with several speed guys that can’t steal bases. It probably didn’t help that the ball was high, so the catcher was already getting into a standup mode to throw.

  75. @22, that may well be the case. Too predictable at times, as well.

  76. Luckily, it’s only a back problem.

    As Dejan knows, it’s easy to overcome back problems.

  77. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rain should be coming through soon. It’s really cooled down too.

  78. We did it last night, so let’s take advantage of their mistakes.

  79. Nice!! Keep it going Cutch!

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, when Bedard returned from his back spasms in 9 days. He promptly hurt his shoulder in that start & missed the rest of the season.

    Way to go Neil. Way to go Cutch.

  81. Merry-go-rounds are nice in baseball. 2-0 now for the good guys.

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pedro hasn’t had a hit since Friday.

  83. Again with the baserunning. Still would have been two outs, though.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    Casey McGehee’s 1st RBI since April 24th vs. Colorado. Thanks to Ian Desmond.

  85. Eric Bowser says:

    really nice to see a few hits put together to get a 2-0 lead, would have loved another run or two knocked in by Alvarez but a thank you brain cramp by Ian Desmond hands the Pirates a run on grounder by McGehee.

  86. JRay3 says:

    wow just getting in and see a healthy Cutch rounding third on a deep grounder to short and scoring to give us a 3 run lead! What happened to Bedard? Looks like another long relief stint for Lincoln, similar to the Arizona game luckily the pen is pretty well rested.

    I think thisbfurther proves the chatter on here earlier this season on the importance to have 8-9 strong SP pitching options. between Lincoln and some hot arms in AAA may be seeing another addition.

  87. JAL says:

    That is just typical Ian Desmond play

  88. JRay3 says:

    What a catch by Navarro and to think I thought he was a defensive liability!

  89. twentytwo22 says:

    It’s a hard ‘Y’.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here comes the rain.

  91. And another walk scores, but with help from an infielder trying to play rover.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    I hate all these shifts. If Pedro was supposed to be a 2nd baseman, then he’d play 2nd base. Overkill, in my opinion. And it costs us a run.

  93. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Here are the updated totals. Thanks to everyone for playing. See you again tomorrow.

    Officer Mancuso +20
    JohninOshkosh +20
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) EVEN
    RobertoForever EVEN
    Nate83 -20
    Milo Hamilton -40
    JRay3 -40
    Steve J Smith -80

  94. Keith says:

    What the heck is with all the attempted bunts with no one on base?!

  95. JAL says:

    trying tio bunt fir hit but the bunts have to be better than the one tabby put down

  96. I hope this error doesn’t hurt.

  97. bob hasis says:

    Without the benefit of stats in front of me, can anyone recall Barajas throwing a runner out at second?

  98. Milo Hamilton says:


    15 out of 17 successful steals against Barajas. I’d like to know the 2 guys he got.

  99. Keith says:

    Brad Lincoln 2012 = Jeff Karstens 2011 (starts as a knockout reliever, finishes as a starter)

  100. This game is becoming really frustrating.

  101. JRay3 says:

    Frustrating that we never seem to add-on when get a crooked number and build a lead and now it appears the pen will have to win this one for us tonight.

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looks like Hanrahan’s still here.

  103. Grilled cheese almost became burnt cheese there, but it was nice to see him get out of it with some big Ks. Now tack on some freakin’ runs.

  104. JRay3 says:

    grilli Cheeeeeeseee!! Nails….and a chance to exhale, nice work escaping that jam!

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    Do you think he feels better ?

  106. Way to go Cutch. That rest has really paid off. 4 for 4 with a homer for the second straight day.

  107. JRay3 says:

    Cutch!! showing off his tools tonight…speed check, power check, 4-4 now hitting .330 looks fully healthy to me.

  108. pattonbb says:

    Another impressive showing from Cutch tonight. Guess he’s over his “stomach flu”.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:


    That’s the 1st 2 game win streak since April 17-18 in Arizona.

  110. Raise the Jolly Roger, baby! Nice pitching by the bullpen. Bent, but didn’t break. Let’s sweep tomorrow!

  111. JRay3 says:

    Hammer time…Hanrahan shuts the door and the Buccos win it tonight and there was nooooo doubt about it! They take the series and will look for the sweep tomorrow!

    let’s Go Bucs!

  112. pattonbb says:

    Fear the Bones……

  113. pattonbb says:

    11 k’s for Bucco pitching tonight. Nice change from all of the “pitch to contact” strategy we’ve watched the last few years.

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