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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Nationals 3


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (17-20) vs. Washington Nationals (23-14)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score. Rob Biertempfel brought a bat.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup …

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


  1. JHadar says:

    Better line up than last night… hope they can shake it off

    DK: They’ll all be better than last night’s.

  2. Ron says:

    I wonder how much more time McGehee has before they try Fox, Clement or Hague at first. It can’t get much worse, can it?

  3. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    With that lame lineup last night they scored 4 runs.

    Anyone want to make a wager that this lineup doesn’t score that many?

  4. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Zimmerman’s ERA is 2.14. Sounds like Cy Young to me.

  5. Bizrow says:

    Everyone seems to be Cy Young against the good guys ;-)

  6. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re right, Biz. We probably lower his ERA to 1.14 automatically, although I think Gonzalez’s went up last night.

  7. bob hasis says:

    Ronny Cedeno – remember him? – just blasted a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to just about seal the deal for the Mets against Cincy.

    It’s good to have a reliable hitting SS.

  8. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Have you been drinking your coffee with that Steelers guy from the other paper. Sure are taking on some of his sarcasm. Not to say that you don’t have sarcasm in your own right, but it reminded me of a Eddie chat.

    BTW, the best Q and A from the chat:

    “LG: why doesn’t Pittsburgh have an NBA team, it seems a good sports city?

    Dejan Kovacevic: I think you answered your own question.”

    DK: I’m pretty sure I limited the sarcasm to the single recurring theme. Was there more?

  9. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Speaking of sarcasm, I sure hope your RC comment was it.

    And by reliable you mean .219 instead of .155. Barmes does have 1 more HR than RC, so we do have some power at SS….insert my sarcasm.

  10. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Hey wait, if Pittsburgh did get a basketball team, what would the name be???

    BTW, where’s Playoffs with the daily over/under. Pretty sure I’m dominating that.

  11. NMR says:


    I thought for sure that would be the first comment today.

    Everyone was so disgusted at how bad last nights lineup looked that they forgot to notice it doubled their season average output.

  12. JRay3 says:

    @ Ryan – I am pretty sure you are as well, but remember not how you start but how you finish!

    Speaking of finishing the mantra that Clint has preached since Bradenton, have to question some of his moves and the lack of sense they make at times. I can’t quite figure out if he is by the book or not by the book. Strategies of late with the pen seem odd, using Watson in situations where there seems no benefit and than not having him available when needed….it LaRoche. I know Meek was brought up to pitch but had he earned that type of confidence already in a four game AAA stint when a week or so ago they named multiple things he needed to work out. Blind loyalty some non performers and the list goes on.

    On sports radio and in the paper today here in Phoenix the main story is on Dbacks GM Kevin Towers and the impatience he has and that he and Gibson are meeting in Colorado today and expect changes to be made. Talk about doing more the “trying” the word of the day, that team is run on expectations, accountability and not excepting sub par performance. Only reminds me how different our “Dream Team” Mangement team is, when Huntington states earlier this week there is no help forthcoming, standing pat, history indicates there will be a correction, blah blah blah.

    Time for Leaders somewhere, anywhere to step up especially given that through it all this team is still very much in the thick of things in Mid-May.

    Ok enough ranting, Let’s Go Bucs time to snap the losing skid.

  13. NMR says:

    Yup, Reliable Ronny.

    How we all long for the good ole days of watching our shortstop pick dandelions while grounders dribble past 10′ to his right…

  14. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Hey, he did finish 2nd in Gold Glove voting last year…just sayin’

  15. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s just the thing though dude, they won the west last year and should expect to do the same again this year… they need to make changes.

    The Pirates on the other hand……are still the same.

  16. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The Giants up here are doing the same thing……

  17. NMR says:


    How would you react if this was the answer from the Pirates front office when asked if they would sign Andrew McCutchen to a long term deal:

    “Sure, why not? We’d like to keep him.”

  18. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Let’s open the window!!!

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

    Total Pitches Thrown by James McDonald
    Line is 101.5

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

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +120
    RobertoForever +80
    JaxBuc +70
    Nate83 +60
    Bizrow +60
    Steve J Smith +30
    Officer Mancuso +20
    jeffsbar +20
    cosmo +20
    JRay3 +5
    JohninOshkosh EVEN
    Milo Hamilton EVEN

  19. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    That would be too easy of an answer. NH doesn’t answer things that way…

  20. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    20 on the under please….I lost yesterday? Crap I don’t remember the category now.

  21. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Ryan, you got it, good luck!!

  22. AJS says:

    For all the complaints about last night’s lineup, they scored 4 runs, which is above average for this crew. And pretty much all of those runs came from the maligned bottom of the order. I stand by the point I made yesterday, that group of guys hitting yesterday are no worse than the group of guys hitting today. They just aren’t the ones we are used to seeing on a daily basis. Other than Pedro not playing last night, there was nothing there that makes today’s lineup any better.

  23. NMR says:



    Neal has the need to discuss every question in detail, and more often than not it ends up biting him in the ass, even if its the truth.

    By the way, that quote was from the Brewers owner when asked if he was going to resign Zach Greinke.

  24. Bizrow says:

    I’ll take the under for 20

    No, the over for 20

    Yup the over

    Great over/unders BTW playoff

    Can I bet 20 that your moniker is false? ;-)

    Cmon gang, TRY

    Just state where you currently reside

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Austrailia – Mackay
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City
    Canada – Toronto
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park, Denver
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford
    Costa Rica
    Delaware. Newark
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Lincoln Park, Chicago
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon
    New York – New York, Smithtown
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Charleston, Wilmington, Chapel Hill
    North Dakota
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, DuBois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilks-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Dannys Hoagies
    The Philipines
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia
    South Korea – Seoul
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield, Virginia Beach
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville

    174 locations represented in the blog,
    5/17/2012 5:28 PM

    DK: We still have no one from Manitoba. That’s got to change.

  25. JRay3 says:

    @ Playoffs – another toughie tonight… I have teetered on this one for too long so I will go on 25 on the over staying positive that J-Mac has a strong performance and goes deep into the contest.

  26. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    But that was the owner, don’t ever hear any quotes from Nutting unless its about accountability and championship play.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:


    I’ll have 25 on the under please. Thank you.

  28. Bizrow says:

    Dejan, maybe that field trip next hockey season would change that?

  29. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Bizrow, I got you 20 on the over.
    JRay, I got you 25 on the over.
    Milo, I got you 20 on the under.


  30. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Bizrow, thanks for the compliment, and yes it looks like my moniker will not be a prophesy this year.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:


    That should be 25. Probably digging myself a deeper hole.

  32. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    “DK: I’m pretty sure I limited the sarcasm to the single recurring theme. Was there more?”

    The biggest focal point of your sarcasm seemed to the Pirates effort of “trying.”

    I sensed it in a lot of answers though..I enjoy sarcasm.

  33. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Milo, it has been corrected, thanks, good luck tonight!!

  34. Bizrow says:

    IMO pretty much anything about this current FO deserves some sarcasm

    Ok, pitching is pretty good, but it takes many talents to be a good ballclub.

    Neal has not proven he’s one of 30 in the world to run a Major League Club.

    Slick Frank hired him

    Its on them, always has been, always will be

    Harry Truman – “The buck stops at the top”,

    Or something like that, IMO this FO has the theory that “S&^% rolls downhill”

  35. Bizrow says:

    Maybe its “The buck stops here”

  36. Nate83 says:

    I’ll take 20 on the under, thanks.

  37. Bizrow says:

    Ryan, where do I send the KWood sign to?

    I’m serious, no strings attached

  38. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Nate, you got it, good luck!!

  39. JohninOshkosh says:


    I’ll take 20 over, if you please.

  40. pattonbb says:

    There was nothing reliable about Ronnie Cedeno other than his unreliability.

    No thanks.

    All things considered…I like this lineup. Actually, I like any lineup that doesn’t have a SS named Barmes in it. A break could do him some good too.

    @Playoffs – can I get some of that action? 20 on the over if I may.

    Go Bucs.

  41. Jon V says:

    Bizrow, you can add Baldwin, PA to that list (I am currently a quick five minute drive from Danny’s Hoagie’s, were I not at work!)

  42. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    John, you got it, good luck!!

  43. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Pattonbb, welcome to the window, you got it, good luck!!

  44. RobertoForever says:


    Not much time to think about it, and the o/u is another very good one.

    So I will go light and go 10 units on the under.

    Let’s hope instead, J-Mac goes 110 pitches in a CGSO!


  45. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Roberto, you got it, good luck!!

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s 4 homers in the last 10 days for McCutchen. He’s one hit shy of hitting .500 in that span.

  47. Eric Bowser says:

    Driving into work, I was listening to 93.7 FM The Fan and those morning guys were saying how the Pirates just *had* to go out and make a deal with Boston to acquire Kevin Youkilis. I about wrecked my car when I heard them discussing the idea of trading 27-year old pitcher James McDonald for the 32-year old infielder.

    I would be ok with the idea of trading McDonald but not for a rental. They need someone who will be around for 3-5 years, not one year.

  48. RobertoForever says:


    Wow – I mentioned Youk the other day, but certainly not for James McD.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:

    In those same 10 games that Cutch is hitting almost .500, Pedro is hitting .125 hitting directly behind him. Protection is overrated.

    DK: It’s disturbing that we think that much alike, Milo …

  50. Milo Hamilton says:


    Frightening. Where’s NMR ? I agree with the folks in sabermetricland on something.

    Back when Glenn Davis played for Houston is when I jumped off that train. He was the only guy in that lineup that could hurt you. And he did.

  51. RobertoForever says:

    JMac with 6 straight strikeouts.

    It took the pitcher to stop that K-streak.

  52. JRay3 says:

    Who gave Pedro the 3-0 green light to pop out to left…make Zimmerman work or you better rip the ball. Cutch goes to show why he is a 51 M star and the cost of getting players that actually can hit.

  53. JRay3 says:

    I have read a lot of chatter about shopping J-Mac for Youk or something foolish like that… Is that just typical? How about the talk that J-Mac may be developing into a front of the rotation starter and locking him up long term since he is what 27 and about to hit his prime years.

  54. pattonbb says:

    Hello Mr. Barajas, nice to finally meet you.

  55. RobertoForever says:


    And maybe now someone will acknowledge what I have been saying – Barajas is the hottest hitter on the team.

    WTG Hot Rod!

  56. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Barajas crossed the Mendoza line with that HR.

  57. JRay3 says:

    How about that Barajas goes bomb! @ Roberto said earlier in last 10 games he is one of the hottest hitters on team and just provides some cushion with that blast!

  58. bob hasis says:

    I take it all back – I love my new best friend Rod Barajas. I KNEW he would come around to being himself

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Barajas is the 2nd hottest hitter on the team. And to quote Bill Cowher, “And what is wrong with that ?”

  60. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Through 4.5 and Indy still hasn’t scored. Clement has their only 2 hits. He’s at .310. Presley is 0 for 2 with 2 K’s.

  61. RobertoForever says:


    haha – love it! He has been a true killer bee for two weeks. Hope he makes it several more weeks.

  62. Bizrow says:

    Thats sweet, but thats the only way he seems to be able to help us with the stick

    I’ll take a taters shot

    Baldwin in the books, thanks

    Danny’s, um, gotta go there this weekend ;-)

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    The team record for K’s in a game is 16 by Bob Veale vs. Philly in 1965.

    Most K’s by a righthander is 14. Bob Moose in September, 1969 vs. Philly (he had a great September in 1969 – no hitter at Shea.) and Jose DeLeon in 1985 vs. NY Mets.

  64. RobertoForever says:

    J-Mac with 2 more K’s to make in 9 in 4 innings.

    Keep it up J-Mac.

    what was that stat about the Bucs winning when they score 2 or more runs?

  65. Bizrow says:

    52 pitches thru 4

  66. RobertoForever says:


    Are you talking about Barajas only helping with the HR’s?

    He has raised his average from .067 to over .200 in his last 15 starts.

  67. Milo Hamilton says:

    I guess that’s the only way to get that @#%^&*&$ out.

  68. Bizrow says:


    Yep, he’s like cholesterol in the arteries on the basepaths, and he swings for the fences every single pitch.

    90-100 games at most for him.

    Dingers or nuttin

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s 69 pitches through 5 innings.

  70. Milo Hamilton says:

    If this were hockey, James McDonald could pitch a no hitter & be the #2 star.

  71. JRay3 says:

    Just another day at the office for CUTCH… Second blast of the night and that was crushed!

  72. JohninOshkosh says:


    I liked you linking your sulia nugget on the blog here. Very nice for lazy fans like myself.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t think I ever heard Casey Stengel say, “…his batting average on balls in play is unsustainable.”

    DK: If you ever find me in a coffee shop someday, Milo, ask me about Bobby Cox and Charlie Morton’s xFip rating.

  74. Bizrow says:

    Yup, pop ups usually don’t fall for hits

  75. Officer Mancuso says:

    Awesome piece from the New York Times on baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules”: . Executive summary: Cole Hamels is an illiterate thug.

  76. Bizrow says:

    IMO, you don’t get excited about a no-no till the 8th

    Now we are in a quick pickle

  77. Milo Hamilton says:


    Maybe on our Winnipeg trip. I’ll buy.

  78. JMB says:

    What’s Tabby doing out there?

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jose Tabata used to be fast and a pretty good outfielder. He’s neither of those things now.

  80. Bizrow says:

    Crap, good tidings am going to the bedroom with the pups to finish this off

    Sign up, TRY ;-)

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    86 pitches for McDonald. Pay the man, Shirley.

  82. JRay3 says:

    Hard to believe how this game went for first five innings that Zimmerman actually outlasted J-Mac.

  83. JRay3 says:

    Jhay giving us some offensive production from the SS position…big leadoff double!

  84. JohninOshkosh says:


    That’s a Norman Chad line is it not. Did he lift that from something in pop culture? I like it.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:


    Or maybe one of his ex-wives was named Shirley.

  86. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Wow, did not see McDonald’s night falling apart like it did so quickly. Anyways, the UNDER wins. Thank you to everyone who played. See you again tomorrow night.

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +140
    RobertoForever +90
    Nate83 +80
    JaxBuc +70
    Bizrow +40
    Steve J Smith +30
    Milo Hamilton +25
    Officer Mancuso +20
    jeffsbar +20
    cosmo +20
    pattonbb -20
    JRay3 -20
    JohninOshkosh -20

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    See post #80.

  88. Eric Bowser says:

    Teams cannot win on a consistent basis when your outfielders are dropping balls, misplaying balls off the wall or missing the cutoff man.

  89. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Indy shut out again on 5 hits. Clement had a double, but all the rest singles. Not much better at Altoona, but they did score 3 runs so far in 8 innings.

  90. RobertoForever says:

    Did the Nats just double-switch out their best hitter and a ‘very-good’ defensive first baseman?

  91. RobertoForever says:

    As I said before –

    Barajas is the Pirates hottest hitter.

  92. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    LaRoche left a man on base last inning. Now that is the LaRoche I remember. The Nats better get used to that LaRoche the rest of the summer.

  93. RobertoForever says:

    And the Killer B’s starting some more in the 9th inning.

  94. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, I couldn’t see or hear that Tabata GIDP. But I can’t imagine he was hustling much if he got thrown out 3rd to 1st on the back end of the double play.

  95. T.S. says:

    first it was #freematthague

    now it should be #freegreggritchiefromhiscontract

  96. RobertoForever says:

    Let’s Go Hammer!

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not hustling at all, Roberto.

  98. JRay3 says:

    And the Buccos knock down the Nats 5-3 to earn the series split and take the season series over Washington and there was noooooooo doubt about it. 2-2 through the first four of the roadie on to Detroit…Let’s go bucs!

  99. Milo Hamilton says:

    We had ‘em all the way.

  100. Milo Hamilton says:


    DK: Just had an automatic feel about it, didn’t it?

  101. JAL says:

    I got back in time to the Tabata play–just unlucky–swung and topped the ball, went straight down and stayed about an inch in front of the plate. Ball goes foul 99% of the time/ Catcher just picked it up and started the DP. Anyone would have been doubled up on that one.

  102. JAL says:

    Barajas has his BA over .200

  103. RobertoForever says:

    Raise It!

    Oh, and for those negative nellies out there, THIS Bucco lineup DID outscore last nights and collected 10 hits off the Cy Young candidate tonight.

    Including 4 hits from the Killer B’s. Oh and 2 HR’s from the 2nd hottest hitter on the Pirates as well.

    I guess that means that there will be no Pirates-Nats highlights on the mothership in the morning, since the Buccos beat the new fair-haired boys of the Bristol Set.

  104. RobertoForever says:


    Thanks for the description. I always appreciate some context.

    24/7 tweeted a few minutes after the play that he thinks Tabata will be benched tomorrow.

  105. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Nice win. Thank the good lord there is no more Nationals for this year. No more LaRoche, and no more insufferable Nationals broadcasters. Raise it!!

  106. Milo Hamilton says:


    You may be right that anyone would have been doubled up on that Tabata play. But that’s no excuse for the lack of hustle down the line. I don’t know where his head was tonight, but it clearly wasn’t in DC. The George Hendrick impression is not appreciated here. With McLouth already in the game, he should have been pulled from the game.

  107. JohninOshkosh says:

    I tried to tell everybody that Neal Huntington was a genius.

  108. Nate83 says:

    The combined winning percentage of the teams the Pirates have played this year is .534, and they have managed to stay close to .500 at 18-20. Unfortunately the schedule through June isn’t that much easier. As it stands currently July looks to have an extremely easy schedule.

    I don’t think this team will ever bat .260 or .270 as a ball club but I have to imagine it will come up to something around .250 just based on the careers of the players they have on the team currently. There are just too many guys batting 40-80 points below their career average for it not to level off to a certain degree. If the pitching holds up maybe .250 and 3.5 runs a game would be enough.

  109. hal Smith says:

    FYI I’m attending Friday night game in Det. Im wearing a 1960 Pirates Jersey. Hope I make it out alive. LOL.

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