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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 1, Cubs 0


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (20-24) vs. Chicago Cubs (15-29)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Chicago RHP Ryan Dempster

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


  1. RobertoForever says:

    Pirates will now score 50 runs a game now that babe ruth, errr matt hague is now with the Pirates.


  2. JRay3 says:

    Well maybe at just the right time here come the pitiful Cubs. Really could use a sweep to makeup for the Mets series. With the Reds streaking, the Cards scuffling we really could use a good 12 game stretch that features in division foes Cubs, Reds (6), Brewers.

    If anything Matt Hague signals a message to the team especially McGehee and Jones. One small move it is, and here’s hoping it helps ignite the bats a little.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  3. JAL says:

    Hague will either be worn out from playing 15 innings last night or still in good game form. :)

  4. RobertoForever says:

    I love Matt Hague, but wasnt he a key cog in that Indy team that scored 1 run in 5 games? He’s no Sutton, huh.

  5. Evan says:

    I know they keep trotting Barmes out there because of his history and numbers, but I’d rather see Harrison get the start at short with Jones in RF.

  6. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bold move by Huntington. I bet he’s still trying to figure out what he wants for lunch last Tuesday.

  7. RobertoForever says:


    Nah, when NH can’t decide, I just bring him chicken salad. He’s fine with that.

  8. Drew71 says:

    Credit the Pirates for once again owning up and eating the contract for a mistake.

    That said…

    Blame the Pirates for making so freaking many mistakes with position player acquisitions.

    DK: Well put, Drew.

  9. JAL says:


    Yin and Yang

  10. Reading says:

    Reggie White was the first big name free agent that went to the Packers years ago and turned them around. We need one quality FA to give the Pirates a chance.

  11. Milo Hamilton says:


    Just saw your explanation on the McLouth standing ovation on Opening Day. Let me say that I stood & applauded because I was happy to see Nate back in a Pirate uniform. Never got a chance to thank him for what he had done here & thought that was a great opportunity to do so. Now you can go ahead and read the minds of the other 39,584 people that were there.

    DK: But I didn’t omit that as a reason. Read it again. Just said — and I did clarify that it was only my opinion by prefacing with “If you ask me” — that it seemed like it was more the situation than the player. Or some odd combination of both.

  12. diehard says:

    I’d go with the combination theory DK. The situation warranted it, but I think we also wanted to see this guy in particular – Nate – succeed in this situation.

    What’s next for Nate anyway? Does he get released or take a demotion to AAA and see if he can get something back?

    DK: He’ll go to the minors. He’s due $1.75 million.

  13. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Now fellas, you know he’ll get claimed, he’s hitting .140. It is the year of the pitcher.

  14. T.S. says:

    DK, is The Fan going to put up the audio of your conversation up on their site?

    DK: Honestly don’t know. I don’t work there, so I wouldn’t even know who to ask.

  15. RobertoForever says:

    Looks like the oddsmakers don’t like the Hague move. All of the major lines have narrowed since the Hague was recalled. Pirates now barely favored to win.

    But the over/under has gone up 0.5 a run. So maybe Matt will be worth half a run.

  16. Steve J Smith says:

    Good luck Bucs! Bring home some winners @Playoffs. We’ll be there tomorrow night and Monday’s games.

  17. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Matt Hague isn’t going to be the savior but sure would be nice if he is the spark. Two different things IMO. If we could get a nice stretch with him doing SOMETHING, that would be bonus.

    Does anybody know how he is defensively at 1B? Can’t be worse than Jones/McGeheheeehehehee

  18. Bizrow says:

    I was pulling for Nate, me and Arriba Wilbur were two in the crowd that gave him a standing O. I still wish him nuttin but the best, and I wish things would have worked out for him. As we painfully know with the PBC, things usually don’t work out the way we hope.

    Agree with Drew’s post 100%

    Ok, sign in, just post where you currently reside, if you haven’t already

    If I’ve missed anyone, well, “I try”

    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, Lincoln Park
    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, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy
    The Phillipines
    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, Fairfax
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville

    178 locations represented in the blog,

    Two planets
    5/25/2012 6:00 PM

    I’m still worried about hidden vigorish being on the Cubs side of the ledger

  19. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I smell a sweep by the Cubs. I sure hope I’m wrong. This is just a set-up in the making.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just heard Hurdle’s pre game media scrum. Doesn’t sound like Nate will be accepting any assignment to the minors when he goes unclaimed.

  21. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s what happened last year, after we handled them for a couple seasons. They nailed us right when we needed some W’s and helped kill the season. Hope you’re wrong, too.

    I, too, wish the best to Nate. Maybe he can go to Indy and work things out.

  22. RobertoForever says:


    Matt Hague played OF in college, was drafted by NH after his senior year in college. He moved to 3B in the minors, but was pushed to 1B because of Pedro being at 3B. Matt had 15 errors at 1B in full-time duty last year.

    Here’s the scoop on Hague from

    “He’s a firstbaseman who doesn’t run well, isn’t a strong defensive player, hits for only modest power and has always been a little old for his levels”

    Then again, maybe that writer wasn’t thinking for himself, but was parroting the FO when he wrote that.

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hurdle has talked to Jones & McGehee and told them that they will be getting fewer at bats. He wants to give Hague a chance to “bundle some at bats”.

  24. Bizrow says:

    We’ve heard the same with Pearce and other guys, then they pick splinters from their keister

    I don’t think Clint H has said such though, that was JR stuff

    It can’t hurt to stick him out there, can it?

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was watching the Mets game last night and Ron Darling said, as a player, he always feared times coming to town on the heels of being swept. Sure enough the Pods crushed the Metsies last night. Similar to Biz’s hidden vigorish concerns, I guess. Don’t know what to think about a team coming to town with 9 straight losses. Face the best Cubs pitcher tonight. Gotta get to that shaky Cubs bullpen. Lets win this to put the fellas in a position to win/sweep the holiday weekend series.

    Dollars to donuts, er I believe Dejan likes to wager Olive Garden bread sticks, that Nate gets claimed by some desperate team that thinks it has the magic touch.

  26. JohninOshkosh says:

    …”times” ought to be teams, obviously.

    Oh how I wish there was a way to cosmetically edit these posts after hitting the dreaded point of no return ‘Submit Comment.”

  27. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Thanks for the info, I didn’t feel like doing the digging.

    As a lefty, 1B was my position all my life. I dont understand over a course of season how 1B could come up with 15 errors, to be honest. Not saying I’m perfect by no means, but I dont think I had 15 in 4 years of high school, to include legion and tournaments that didn’t count for records…….I should’ve been drafted, maybe I can try out. LOL

  28. RobertoForever says:


    You SHOULD try out. Would Uncle Sam give you the time off? ;)

    I also only had 4 errors in my playing career in 4 years as a young person. Unfortunately, I had little power in batting. Rarely struck out, but had to be a seeing-eye single, or I had to beat out an infield single. I did have the green light to bunt for a hit anytime I felt the time was right ;) Cause alot of throwing errors on the third baseman, pitcher or catcher, lol.

    Appreciate your service, Ryan.

  29. T.S. says:

    Let’s just forget how good or not Hague is defensively. This team is putrid offensively. As the old adage goes: The bat plays.

  30. JAL says:

    Except if drive in 2 runs and allow 2 to score on fielding the effect of the bat is canceled out. When you have a team like the Pirates where runs are rare you can’t afford to give any away.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:


    Good tunes today. I pretty much gave up on music in the 90’s with the mantra – they stopped making music for me.

  32. Bizrow says:

    I don’t think anyone will claim Nate, they would have to pick up the rest of his contract

    As a FA, they would pay a prorated 480k of the minimum ML salary, once he would get to the bigs

    Nate is pissed right now, he may change his mind and go to Indy

    Probably not

  33. pattonbb says:

    Dempster throws only 8 pitches and he’s out of the first. Wow…

  34. Officer Mancuso says:

    Funny following this one from Chicago. The Cubs fans I’ve talked with haven’t even considered the prospect of a visit to PNC being a good thing, they’re emotionally busy ruminating on how badly their team sucks. I feel their pain.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    By contrast, 42 pitches for Burnett through 2 IP.

  36. Eric Bowser says:

    Pedro likes the back door!

    1-0 Pirates on a nice slide by Alvarez

  37. Officer Mancuso says:

    Hopefully DK can get a good interview with Nate. Lots of human interest there for Pirates fans. I wouldn’t want to guess what Nate’s thinking and feeling right now, except I’m sure he never forgets, “I was able to do this!”

  38. Milo Hamilton says:


    With the amount of money involved in the McLouth roster move, would it have to be run by ownership before Neal could pull the trigger ?

  39. RobertoForever says:

    Barajas gets a hit, beating the shift the Cubbies tried to use on him, and drives in another run.

    Hot Rod continues to be hot this month.

  40. RobertoForever says:

    AJ now with 6 K’s thru 4 IP, 4 H, 0 BB.

    But pitch count elevated with 73 pitches thrown.

  41. Officer Mancuso says:

    I was going to say Burnett workmanlike and deserves a lead after 4, then saw 6 K’s. Permission to revise and extend my remarks? That’s flashy. Go AJ!

  42. Bizrow says:

    Good pitchers, get em early, or they settle down

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Milo. As decades go I’ll always be partial to the 80’s.

  44. RobertoForever says:

    Burnett gets 2 outs on 3 pitches in the top of the 5th, then walks DeJesus on 8 pitches, gives up a single on 4 pitches, to put guys on 1st and 3rd.

    Alvarez then picks a sharp grounder out of the dirt, and with a 360 spin, throws out Mather to end the inning.

    Good Guys 1, Cubbies 0

    Burnett at 93 pitches, but hits for himself in the bottom of the 5th to leadoff.

  45. RobertoForever says:

    2 quick outs, and then Harrison with a single to LF.

    After 4 pickoff attempts, on a 1-1 count, Harrison steals his second base of the night.

    Now, with a repeat of the 3rd inning, Cutch up with Harrison on 2nd base. In the 3rd, Cutch struck out, and Alvarez knocked in Harrison. 2 outs now. Let’s see what Cutch can do.

  46. RobertoForever says:

    Cutch takes Dempsters first walk.

    Now left handed Alvarez up again with Harrison in scoring position. Lets go El Toro

  47. RobertoForever says:

    Sorry, mixed up the scoring. Alvarez also struck out in the 3rd with Harrison in scoring position.

  48. bob hasis says:

    The 2-0 pitch to Pedro had to be driven into never-never land, and he took it for strike 1. This is a reason they are offensively challenged

  49. RobertoForever says:

    Pedro grounds out weakly to end the inning. Dempster at 77 pitches thru 5 IP. 4 Hits, 1 BB, 2 K’s.

  50. RobertoForever says:

    Burnett gets a groundout in the top of the 6th, then gives up a single to Soriano and a 4 pitch walk.

    Gives way to Jared Hughes.

    Burnett’s current line – 105 pitches, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K’s. Also responsible for the 2 baserunners

  51. RobertoForever says:

    Hughes gets Barney to ground to Alvarez, but Soriano PLOWS into Alvarez and is called out.

    Now 2 outs with guys on 1st and 2nd.

  52. RobertoForever says:

    So if you are wondering why the gameday is ‘paused’ its because they are looking for the ‘runner interference’ button, lol.

    Bob Walk is dumbfounded that Soriano would do that.

    Next batter grounds out to end the inning.

  53. JAL says:

    Barajas continues to bring his BA up toward his norm.

  54. pattonbb says:

    What happened with Soriano and Pedro? Was putting a little one to bed and missed it.

  55. RobertoForever says:

    Walker strikes out, Hague grounds out on the first pitch.

    Then the Killer B’s hit back-to-back singles.

    McGehee pinch-hits and swings at the first pitch and grounds out,

  56. Barajas and Barmes have back-to-back hits.

    Has that ever happened before in this season?!?!

  57. RobertoForever says:


    On the radio, they said he plowed right into Alvarez as he was fielding and trying to throw.

  58. JAL says:


    Soriano tried to run over Pedro and was called out.

  59. RobertoForever says:


    Yes it has.

  60. JAL says:


    Yes it has but don’t know how many times.

  61. LuckyNKentucky says:

    McGehee seems to be feelin’ the same pressure as McLouth did.

  62. RobertoForever says:

    Grilli in and picking up where he left off, striking out the first two batters.

    That’s some serious #GrilledCheese

  63. Wow! Hunter Wendelstadt has been calling that pitch 6 inches outside a strike all day. Twice he has called out deJesus on “balls.”

  64. pattonbb says:

    wow…not sure I’d want to have a collision with Pedro.


  65. JAL says:

    Grilli’s Ks per 9 inning ratio is unreal

  66. RobertoForever says:

    And Grilli strikes out the side.

    McGehee remained in the game replacing Hague.

  67. 2/3 of the shortstops in the National League do not make the play that Castro just made on Tabata.

  68. 7 straight batters struck out by Grilli.

    Neal may not know shortstops but he sure sniffs out relievers.

  69. RobertoForever says:

    Between Cruz and Grilli, that’s a hell-of a waiver combo, huh?

  70. RobertoForever says:

    Pirates only have 5 K’s thru 7IP (vs Cubs 10), but Cutch has 2 of the 5. #offnight

  71. pattonbb says:

    whoa…picked off?

  72. JRay3 says:

    What a huge pick off by Cruz, have to win this one with pitching perfection tonight. Do want to say that it is nice to see Barajas picking things up with the bat, very happy for him.

    I noticed Drew Sutton is 2-2 with a BB and just continues to hit, does anybody miss this ex-pirate:)

    Being outhit 8-6 but have managed to get the big outs….need one here after the failed pitch out due to Barmes missing the tag….good grief. Come on Cruz.

  73. JRay3 says:

    Pitching, Pitching, Pitching – thank you Burnett, Hughes, Grilli and Cruz! Three outs to go!

  74. Steals 2nd on a pitchout. Good throw by Barajas . . . . . GOT to hold that runner a little closer to first.

  75. JRay3 says:

    Can we be the first team in MLB to have two GM’s…NH for the pitching side of things and hire somebody to find and develop hitters?

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hurdle & Barmes with an exchange between innings. Hurdle doing most of the talking. Didn’t look pleasant.

  77. Johnnie Ray III,

    Made me laugh!

  78. Neil off the top of the Clemente wall for two.

    Why do I feel so confident? The score is 1-0! Bucs have scored exactly ONE run.

    Boy, we could use that run.

  79. JRay3 says:

    How about a run to give the pitching a little margin for error? What is it with McGehee and Jones swinging at first pitches that tie them all up.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    Dempster shouldn’t be too upset. He’ll be pitching in a pennant race before too long.

  81. JRay3 says:

    Or not…ok Hammer time all you Joel!!

  82. JRay3 says:

    @ Milo – and I would not be surprised in the least if the Cubs get the bat we so need!

  83. Jones and Barajas decide that 1-0 is plenty, neither one reaching the outfield grass.

    Help me, Obi won Hanrahan, you’re my only hope!

  84. RobertoForever says:

    Walker gets a double in the middle of 3 outs by Alvarez, Jones and Barajas.


    Please, Hammer, DO hurt them

  85. JRay3 says:

    @ Groat – nice!~

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    That 2-2 pitch to Barney was strike 3.

  87. You’re right, Milo!

    This Reed Johnson makes me nervous!

  88. CRUD!

    Got to have K’s now!

  89. RobertoForever says:

    Nothing like Hanrahan making it interesting.

    Drop the hammer, now please

  90. JRay3 says:

    The Bucs provide AJ Burnett just enough run support, scoring one time and the reliable bullpen pitches 3.2 innings of shutout baseball to give the Pirates a 1-0 win and there was nooooooo doubt about it! Burnett earns his third victory on the year and Hanrahan picks up save # 11.

  91. We had ‘em all-ll-ll-ll-ll the way!!!!

  92. RobertoForever says:


    Strikes out Castro for the 3rd out with runners on 1st and 3rd.


  93. pattonbb says:

    12 k’s for Bucco pitchers tonight.

    ….fear the Bones…..

  94. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs brings home another W, and the Pirates move to 12-10 at home.

    Let’s get em tomorrow, too. Correia vs Darth Paul.

  95. RobertoForever says:


    Great stat. Plus the Pirates had more hits than strikeouts.

  96. Interesting——Barajas is asked on TV what was working for Burnett tonight and he says nothing!

    105 pitches in 5 1/3 innings . . . . . he toughed it out and got the ball to the ‘pen.

  97. Milo Hamilton says:


    Funny guy, that Barajas.

  98. OK, boys and girl——going off to learn more about the universe with a smile on my face!

    Can we name the whole bullpen as “Player of the Game”?

    Every night?!?

  99. buccos in Maine says:


    Bangor, Maine is also representated!! Everyday reader but first every comment.

  100. RobertoForever says:

    Hot Rod Barajas should be the player of the game.

    2 hits, knocked in the only run, and kept AJ on the rails long enough to get to the great part of our bullpen.

  101. RobertoForever says:


    Sutton is technically an ex-Indian, as he was never on the Pirates 40-man, only the Triple-A roster of the Indy Indians.

    Who by the way, won their 5th straight game since some folks tried to erroneously use a 5 game stretch to belittle the Pirates with the Indians non-representative stretch. They are also averaging 5 runs per game. Jeff Larish, the replacement for Matt Hague went 2 for 4 with a double. Larish had sbeen getting spotty opportunities since joining the Indians, but is 5 for 18 in his starts.

    DK: That first sentence up there easily comprises the most amazing argument I’ve seen in the tens of thousands of comments ever posted to this blog. Congrats.

  102. bob hasis says:

    If the MVP Award could be given to more than one, the Pirate Bullpen should win it. At least
    the mid-season version of the award.
    They have been incredible; beside the four who contributed last night, Watson and Lincoln as well.

  103. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Maine bucco,

    You’re looking for Bizrow. He’s the master of the lunatics on here. He may pick that up or he may not, but mention it again tonight before the game if you can. Welcome aboard, anyway. Great bunch of people. Very intelligent and knowledgable and, for the most part, receptive of others’ opinions. Anyway, with DK as moderator, it will never get out of hand.

  104. RobertoForever says:

    Just reading some interesting info on the Tribune website.

    Apparently the Cubs have a player in Triple-A hitting .353 with 16 HR’s in 45 games. But why aren’t they promoting him to help break the Cubs longest losing streak in 5 years?

    “Skeptics wonder if the Cubs are failing to react to Rizzo’s fast start because they don’t want him to get another 104 days in the big leagues this season, as that would move his first taste of the free-agent window up a year — to after 2017, not ’18. But Hoyer points to the need for more minor league time as “the key driver” in the decision”

    Hmm, so the great Theo Epstein is choosing to watch the free agency clock over trying to help his club being terrible instead of historically bad. Interesting.

  105. RobertoForever says:


    I didn’t think there was an “argument” there. Just listing facts.

    Interesting that you did not respond to the 2nd paragraph. Do the Indians only exist when needed to attack the Pirates?

  106. Eric Bowser says:

    @Roberto – What year do you project the Pirates to have a roster ready to win the NL Central division title?

  107. RobertoForever says:


    Offer your opinion on your question and I will offer mine.

  108. RobertoForever says:

    Just looking at Burnett’s stats.

    If you take out the disaster vs the Cards, where AJ was left in the game to gut out some innings to protect the bullpen, here are his stats:

    6 games, 3 W, 1L, 1.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 37 K’s, 11BB

    I think I would take a disaster in 1 game for 6 games like that. Pretty good acquisition for low minors junk.

  109. Eric Bowser says:

    @Roberto – I don’t see it ever happening under this ownership and management group because as one group develops, another group falters or is traded. If everything works just right, maybe 2016 is best case scenario.

    That’s enough time for a new GM to get hitters and the current crop of pitchers actually turn out great.

  110. RobertoForever says:

    I actually think the Pirates have a very good chance to compete for the NL Central crown in 2014. A very good chance is like 40%, with acknowledgment that the other teams in the division are doing the right things to compete as well right now. (Astros leaving, so that makes it a little tougher)

    Right now, ignoring the current results vs the expected results, I think the Pirates had about a 10% chance going into this year. The current terrible results have lowered that % IMHO. But the FO acquiring a D-Lee type may raise that back up again over 10%, maybe as high as 20%.

  111. Milo Hamilton says:

    Have a safe weekend everyone.

  112. JHadar says:

    I always enjoying playing the Cubs because we can get their radio network out here on the prairie. Radio is still the best way to take in a game if you can’t get to the park and after a lifetime of hearing the Bucs via the Cubs and Cardinals networks (and sometimes, usually in the car, Colorado, Kansas City, Houston, MIlwaukee, or Minnesota) the boosterism doesn’t bother me. You expect the local guys to be rooting for their own team.

    Last night Mrs. H and I were coming home from Iowa City — about a four hour trip taking the back roads because we don’t like traffic and listening to the game on a little coffeepot station out of Boone. The Cubs announcers were fixated on how everything goes wrong when you’re on a losing streak and the RISP LOB numbers. Their key play was Hague’s comebacker that Dempster bobbled which allowed Barajas to bat and drive in the only run.

    They were concerned about Walker’s matchup with Dempster, especially after Alvarez scored. They noted Burnett’s wildness was not what it had been in previous seasons due to his shortening his slide step since they’d seen him last. Their frustration was evident and became moreso as the innings crept along, but for me it was the annual reconnection — the first time we’ve been able to get a game with anything more than the computer graphics. The win helped of course, but there’s just something that connects us old geezers with our boyhood in driving down the county roads through the fields and small towns with the game on the radio, the sun going down, and you can picture everything in your head just the way it should be happening.

    One of those little things that gives me a sense of loss to modern technology is that the Pirate games aren’t on KDKA AM any more. Not that we could get it every night, and when we could it was usually in the car not in the house. A hundred miles east of here we could pick it up easily, but even 50,000 watts only travels so far. I very rarely watch a game on TV unless it has the Pirates these days, but if I’m traveling and the Bucs aren’t on, I’ll poke around the dial until a game comes on and the miles go by more and more pleasantly.

    Hope we get ‘em again tonight. Have a good day.

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