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Final: Pirates 4, Reds 1 … Holy Grail

.

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (23-24) vs. Cincinnati Reds (27-20)

Time: 1:35 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. Cincinnati RHP Bronson Arroyo

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

Comments

  1. Bizrow says:

    Ok, time for some Memorial Day sign ups

    Just post where you are currently residing

    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
    China – Singapore
    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, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann)
    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
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf
    Massachusetts – Boston
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Mountain Home AFB*
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan
    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

    185 locations represented in the blog,
    9 countries
    36 states, plus the District of Columbia
    Two planets
    5/28/2012 11:19 AM

    BEAT EM BUCS

  2. bob hasis says:

    Wonder if Theo Epstein would consider a trade; Starlin Castro for Kevin Correia, Brad Lincoln and Clint Barmes, and we pick up half of Barmes salary.

    The Cubs have two prospects for SS named Javier Baez and Marco Hernandez, high in their system.

    Just killing time waiting for 1:35

  3. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Bob,

    Maybe we could pick up one of those prospects, but I doubt they’d part with Castro right now. He’s the current “face of the franchise”. But you never know about Epstein.

  4. bob hasis says:

    As I said Lucky, I’m just killing time and my breakfast, waiting for the game.

    My logic is with Castro we could WIN our division. As Branch Rickey said of Ralph Kiner in the early fifties, “we finished last with you and we can finish last without you” Of course old Ralph was due to make 100k in 1952 (huge bucks for the time) so we traded our face of the franchise to the Cubs for Dee Fondy, Toby Atwell and three more names you wouldn’t know and I can’t remember.

    The Cubs WILL finish last with Castro as well. And as you said, who knows about Epstein?

  5. OZ says:

    There is no way in heck the Pirates could acquire Castro w/o giving up one of the 2 big arms plus another impact prospect like Marte or MLB player.

    Castro is the premier young SS in the game IMO, cheap, and under team control for many more seasons.

  6. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Bob,

    Thank God, you’re right. That’s the year before even I was born. Don’t remember the names. The Cubs owe us one from Aramis.

  7. JAL says:

    Rickey also got $150,000 from the Cubs in that trade

  8. bob hasis says:

    OZ a journey starts with the first step.

    Which are the two big arms? I thought Lincoln was our top arm as recently as last year. I believe he has progressed. This is the kind of an idea NH has to offer up, discuss it, tweek it and seeif anything comes of it.

    Plug in ANY names that suit you from our side, but the premise is to NH – DO SOMETHING

  9. JAL says:

    It was Kiner, Joe Garagiola, George Metkovich and Howie Pollet to the Cubs for Bob Addis, Toby Atwell, George Freese, Gene Hermanski, Bob Schultz, Preston Ward and $150,000

    Dee Fondy was a later trade–Lee Walls and Dale Long for Fondy and Gene Baker

  10. bob hasis says:

    YesLucky the Cubs do owe us – Epstein doesn’t, but he is (has been) a very successful negotiator. He needs to get started as well as NH.

  11. bob hasis says:

    JAL, see how 50 years causes one to forget specifics. At the time I HATED both of those trades and justifiably so. WE got stiffed by the Cubs.

    BTW thanks for the correction and your research!

  12. OZ says:

    Bob
    If NH could acquire Castro w/o giving up Tailon or Cole that would be tremendous.

    I highly doubt that Barnes (junk) Correia (very very little value) and Lincoln (some value) gets a premier player. This idea is just silly.

    I agree with you that NH needs to add a bat though.

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    Epstein does owe us. We took Manny off his hands for 2 stiffs (from him).

  14. LuckyNKentucky says:

    AW,

    You are correct, sir, as Ed McMahon used to say.

  15. bob hasis says:

    OZ I agree that is too one-sided in our favor, but we can’t go all-in on the first salvo.

    First of all, we need to get their attention, just to see IF they have an interest

  16. Bizrow says:

    From MLBTradeRumors – •Jim Callis of Baseball America expects the Pirates to take a hitter with the eighth overall selection. Callis keeps hearing the Pirates connected to Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero, and prep outfielder Albert Almora and University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino are also possibilities. Zunino draws comparisons to Jason Varitek, Callis notes.

  17. bob hasis says:

    Just thinking again, Castro isn’t the face of the franchise that Epstein put there, since Castro was already there.
    I think with Epstein, he would prefer to put the face on them, and I believe an offer could be made that couldn’t be refused.

    The only reason my focus is on Castro is because the Cubs are hapless, and there isn’t much more that Castro can do to improve them.

    I’d give an arm – Cole or Taillon, and Lincoln for Castro with “minor” entities as part of a package if push came to shove

  18. TJA says:

    Holiday baseball takes a step up from a normal day or game. It’s the best! That said…Let’s all remember what this day is truly about. Went to the cemetery this morning to plant a flag at my dad and grandfather’s grave. Thanks to all of our veterans and God Bless America! Have a great holiday everyone!!

  19. bob hasis says:

    While waiting for 1:35 I was scootin’ around the dial to ESPN 2; is there a worse sports show than Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless exchanging stupefyingly meaningless jabs on First Take?

  20. JRay3 says:

    Slaten recalled from Indy for Cruz who is placed on restrictive list for personal reasons, anyone know more about this? When Cruz returns is it Slaten or somebody else DFA, my guess Resop could be in mix as he gives up runs at alarming rate.

  21. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Fresh off witnessing a clean sweep by the Battling Bucs, the window is open on this holiday Monday. The window is now 5-0 when this season when witnessing the Bucs live at PNC. But anyways, onto today’s action………

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

    Total Strikeouts by James McDonald
    Line is 8.5

    Anyone can play!! Everyone should TRY!! What’ll ya have!! What’ll ya have!!

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +200
    Steve J Smith +110
    Nate83 +100
    JRay3 +75
    RobertoForever +60
    Bizrow +60
    JaxBuc +40
    GlassHalfFull +22.5
    NMR +20
    Officer Mancuso +20
    jeffsbar +20
    pattonbb +20
    Milo Hamilton EVEN
    JohninOshkosh EVEN
    cosmo -10
    tmp444 -25
    JMB -40
    bob hasis -50

  22. JRay3 says:

    @Playoffs – welcome back…glad you witnessed some good baseball over the weekend…with that record we might ask you get back to the park.

    Good one today…I will take 40 on the under.

  23. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Jray, you got it, good luck. Also, the window is considering passing around a collection plate for season tickets.

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JRay,

    I think Resop stays. He has upside and has pitched well in the past. Needs to work out the rust in games like yesterday. Cruz may be out a while. Never know what goes on in the homeland.

  25. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Don’t know if anyone has noticed, but…………..since Adam LaRoche’s last game against the Pirates on 5/17 he:

    is only 4 for his last 32
    has a .125 batting average
    has only 1 Home Run (which game in the 9th inning of a 4-1 loss)
    has only 9 RBI’s
    has 9 K’s

    That is the stat line from the player I remember……..

  26. JAL says:

    Playoffs

    That is Adam, streaky

  27. JAL says:

    K,K, single, ground out and through the first.

  28. CDBrewer says:

    DK,

    From the morning thread…You are right that it would be overreacting to give up based on the Sutton issue…my thing is that I have had faith and this offseason really disappointed me. I was hoping for a Kotchman at 1B/OF (and he has been lousy), but I was really hoping for a 1B bat given the effort at getting a defensive SS and a vet catcher.
    So my sliding disappointment started with the combination of crap signed this offseason. Sutton is just more a “last straw” type whatever for me. I just don’t have faith in NH to fix the offense anymore.

    Sad because he has done a GREAT job with the pitching, and the pen especially each year.

  29. JAL says:

    Pedro with two out out double drives in Walker, pirates take lead in first

  30. JAL says:

    Jones singles, Alvarez scores. End of first with Pirates up 2-0

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    JRay—Slaten took Nate’s 40 man position, so no need for move when Cruz comes back.

  32. RobertoForever says:

    Drew71,

    If you are still around, I asked you a question about the TB and their team’s hitting on the morning thread. Won’t post it here to bore the rest of the folks.

  33. JRay3 says:

    @ Arriba – thanks….wow three runs through first 2 with J-Mac feeling good early.

  34. RobertoForever says:

    @playoffs

    Welcome back! Thanks for that 3-game sweep. If I had been here in time (forgot about the gameday thread since I got to the morning thread so late) I would have gone under.

    J-Mac only got 7 K’s against the Reds last time, the Reds are hot, and the temps are hot.

    But then again, maybe J-Mac will set another career high and shut down these pesky Reds.

    Beat Em Bucs

  35. JRay3 says:

    After fly ball that was close to being an out, have to wonder if cramping yesterday had effect on Tabata not getting to ball, walk to pitcher J-Mac bounces back to get lead runner on bunt attempt, k, than harmless FO to center…nice pitching.

  36. Bizrow says:

    @AW – I think we’re thinking about who stays on the 25 man roster and who goes when Cruz returns.

    Nice job, JMac, gettin out of that little pickle

  37. RobertoForever says:

    Pedro with a great catch on that throw from J-Mac. He threw a 90 mph strike at the waist – a hard pitch to catch as a 3B, lol.

    WTG Bucs, lets pile on some more!

  38. JRay3 says:

    Looks like Pedro is getting back on one of those hot streaks again with his second double of the day and using all parts of the park….El Toro back up to .218! Jones needed to at least move the runner in that AB….fundamentals.

  39. Officer Mancuso says:

    Pedro is providing me with a tasty holiday meal of crow. Not bad, if it weren’t for the feathers.

  40. JRay3 says:

    Hot Rod Barajas with two out RBI…4-0 Bucs!

  41. RobertoForever says:

    Interesting stats on Barajas:

    Of Catchers that have 60 AB’s in the last 30 days, he is 6th in MLB in BA and 5th in OPS. Behind only Ruiz (Phi), LuCroy (Mil), Ellis (LAD) and Molina (StL)

    Yeah, he is a terrible signing.

  42. RobertoForever says:

    Oh, and those stats on Barajas were BEFORE his 2 for 2 day so far.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wonder what his stats are on the last 6 Monday holidays in day games at home ?

  44. JRay3 says:

    Games in April count as much as the ones in May….but he did just make a great play but replay shows it may have been foul….now if Barmes just could ever get a hit huh?

  45. Officer Mancuso says:

    The “latest news” banner atop this screen say “Flyers End Pen’s Brief Playoff Run”. Wright Bros. report success at Kitty Hawk may be next.

  46. JRay3 says:

    Bucs with nine hits through 3.1 innings and only Cutch, Hague and of course Barmes only position players without a hit.

  47. Bizrow says:

    @OM, lol, thought I was the only one that had seen that.

    How are you doing, Sir?

  48. RobertoForever says:

    In addition to the 3pm pause across all of the major league games, the Reds network doing something really cool. In between innings, they have Reds players reading the names and honoring military folks who gave their lives, and had lived in the viewing area. Very heartfelt.

    And the violin player who did God Bless America and the National Anthem was fantastic.

  49. RobertoForever says:

    Milo,

    Glad to see your first comment of the day is a snide one. The snideness of your comment does not negate the great stats Hot Rod is putting up for the Pirates.

    Why don’t you find out his stats on the last 6 Monday holidays in day games at home and let us know. Thanks.

  50. RobertoForever says:

    @JRay,

    No doubt, but I would rather have a C hitting great in May and struggled in April, than Ryan Doumit who hit a little in April and is now injured. I am sure that Hot Rods numbers will come down, but I am guessing that they will not return to the valley he had this April. Should be a solid part of the lineup going forward.

  51. Officer Mancuso says:

    @Biz not too bad here in Algonquin IL. Gr8 to see you!

  52. RobertoForever says:

    Great battle back by J-Mac to strand 2 runners with 0 outs, without giving up anything.

    Lets add on!

  53. JRay3 says:

    @ OM – that was too funny.

    @ Roberto – I am on the Hot Rod train and have stated I am very happy he has pulled it together, saw him on intentional talk on MLB and he sincerely wants to be contributing and he has had a great effect on the pitching staff in my opinion. But still pulling to see Mercer.

    Alvarez robbed on blast to CF ball may have been trapped off wall.

  54. RobertoForever says:

    Wow, Pedro driving the ball with authority today. 1 foot short of a 3 for 3 day.

  55. JMB says:

    @RF “I would rather have a C hitting great in May and struggled in April, than Ryan Doumit who hit a little in April…”

    —–

    You do realize we can look this stuff up right?
    I’m not sure about this Doumit hate you have RF, but for the season with a min of 100 PA’s, Doumit’s OBP is 47 points higher than RB, and RD’s OPS is 88 points higher.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/c/sort/OPS/order/true/minpa/100

    In May, Doumit is 73 points higher in OPS and 83 points higher in OBP than Rod B.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/c/split/41/sort/onBasePct/order/true/minpa/50

    I’m glad Rod is finally hitting, but let’s stick with facts.

  56. Vette60 says:

    Hi Ya’ll.

    Checking in from Richmond. I’m back in the garage listening on SiriusXM to the Buccos. Enjoying the game so far today. Nice job getting out a bit of a jam there by J-Mac.

    Back to re-purposing my son’s Superman bike into one suitable for my daughter. Done with all the painting (light green & white) now onto reassembly.

    Everyone enjoy the rest of the game and your Memorial Day holiday.

    Take care,
    R.

  57. JRay3 says:

    And Hague gets in on the action with a line drive stung to left center for double….welcome back Matt!

  58. Bizrow says:

    I’d like a few more runs, please

    This scoring runs thing is fun to watch

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Everth Cabrera just homered for San Diego at Wrigley. The Padres have just passed Josh Hamilton in home runs 21-20.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    Complaining about people complaining about Barajas is so 3 weeks ago. How about the people who thought Pedro should start in Spring Training?

    Snidely Wilver

  61. RobertoForever says:

    @JRay,

    A few more weeks of this from Barmes and I am willing to give him a break and try Mercer. I am just hesitant, because if you want free agents to come here, you can’t abandon a 2 year commitment within 60 days. Barmes typically heats up about now, and in his 3rd month of the season has hit over .300 in 2 of the last 3 seasons and hit .280 last year.

    Is he a big drag on the offense now – absolutely. But I think his defense and his clubhouse presence do add quite a bit. He also seems to have calmed his strikeouts as of late, hitting the ball better. But at some point, yes, you have to make a move.

  62. RobertoForever says:

    @JMB

    Yes, let’s stick with facts. I’ll give you one chance to revise your slanted facts. Care to revise before I point out the nonsense in your argument?

  63. Bizrow says:

    I haven’t been in the PBC clubhouse, so I don’t know how Barmes is fitting in

    Bottom line is 10.5 million reasons he’s going to keep being put out there

    We need a few more runs….

  64. Bizrow says:

    @RF, sigh ……

  65. RobertoForever says:

    @AW

    Since the topic today was ‘terrible signings by the front office’ I thought Barajas stats deserved some attention, since it was completely ignored.

    If you want to rehash the Pedro opening day status, feel free.

  66. JMB says:

    I posted links RF. How did I slant the links? You are the one that brought Doumit into the conversation, so you wanted to compare the two players.

    You also claim Doumit is “injured,” but he was back in the lineup yesterday.

    He went 1 for 3 in the game with a double and a run scored, and he also walked once.

  67. Drew71 says:

    Speaking of facts, I recommend pointing them out rather than insulting JMB.

    Have at your argument. Whether I agree or not, it’s fun to have the discussion. When it doesn’t get personal.

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    @JMB

    At least he didn’t throw “snide” in there.

  69. RobertoForever says:

    @Drew71,

    if someone accuses you of lying, that’s not personal? Feel free to criticize the one who posted personal attacks rather than just facts.

  70. RobertoForever says:

    @JMB

    Glad you doubled down.

    Doumit is no longer an everyday catcher. As a matter of fact, he has had about the same number of games at DH, as he has at C.

    He had 52 AB’s at catcher this year.

    Here’s the link
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=doumiry01&year=2012&t=b#defp

    But perhaps this was just a ‘head in the sand’ mistake and not attempting to make someone look bad.

    And Doumit was injured. But since the Twins FO can’t even decide if he is, I’ll give you a pass on that.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7941843/ryan-doumit-minnesota-twins-not-dl-nick-blackburn-is

  71. Drew71 says:

    If he did, then a pox on both houses. Better to just make the points.

    Milo, he threw Arriba in there? I don’t understa…oh. waittaminnit. That’s not what you meant.

    Only here can a guy get a nickname to his nickname.

    Unless of course Arriba Wilber is his real name.

  72. JRay3 says:

    Hey felt it appropriate to point out the Bucs are up 4-0 on the first place team in the Central and are poised to win fourth straight for first time this year and could be 5-2 on this home stand in six outs.

    Great game J-Mac boy this pitching is so much fun to watch!

  73. CDBrewer says:

    Hey RF,

    JMB didn’t call you a liar. I saw your spat last week, and I love the positivity you have for the Bucs, but JMB didn’t call you a liar.

    I lurk a lot more than I post, but used to post a bunch, at the old site too. JMB is okay people.

  74. JMB says:

    @RF once is an accident twice is a trend my friend.

    You’re the same dude who posted that Barmes was hitting .494 in May or some other craziness just last week, and then when I called you on it, you said that you were looking at the wrong column.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Drew

    Hope you’re having a great holiday in FLA.

  76. RobertoForever says:

    Back to the real action…

    J-Mac STILL dealing.

    Finishes off the top of the 7th with a 1-2-3 inning. 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 1 BB, and 4 K’s. 90 pitches thru the 7 innings.

  77. Roberto For Now,

    I would advise you to excise “snide” from your vocabulary when referring to others here. You use it almost every day.

    If you constantly accuse and attack the other participants here, it does no good for your cause. Bullying by words wins you no points.

    Even when you present something worth considering, you tend to attach it to a criticism of others, and it negates anything worthwhile of yours being contemplated.

    Everyone cannot be out-of-step but you!!

  78. JRay3 says:

    Now every position player except….yes we have all guessed it….Barmes with a hit today!

  79. Drew71 says:

    I just went up and didn’t see anyone calling anyone a liar. Did I miss it? Can you give me the post number?

    I hope he didn’t. But then again, I also hope one wouldn’t falsely accuse another of something like that.

  80. CDBrewer says:

    And I want to make it clear, I am not supporting bringing Doumit back. He is a DH, but if we are going to be fair, he got bumped to DH when Morneau and Willingham both were playing well and healthy. All indications this spring were catcher and LF…and maybe occassionally 1B and DH. Kinda keep everybody fresh.

  81. RobertoForever says:

    @JMB

    Feel free to check my links. I was correct.

    And when I read the wrong column, I admitted it. Feel free to admit now that you are not correct about Ryan Doumit having over 100 PA’s as a C. Just because ESPN has bad sorting data, doesn’t make you correct.

  82. Drew71 says:

    Hey. Guess what. I just noticed there’s a Pirates game on.

  83. JMB says:

    @RF

    As I said, you’re the one that wanted to compare Barajas to Doumit.

    Yes, Doumit also plays DH, but you wanted to compare the two AT THE PLATE, so I did — with stats.

    There is no lying or head in the sand; there are numbers.

    *****

    Good to see you CDB –hope Seattle(?) is still treating you kindly.

  84. RobertoForever says:

    Groat

    I was having a polite conversation with JRay when JMB broke in, quoted me, and said “you do know we can look this stuff up”.

    What does that imply to you?

    And I’ll make you a deal, you call out Milo everytime he makes a tangential insult to folks, named or not, and I will exercise snide from my comments. Never have seen anyone call him out for his “impolite” comments. Than again, I guess the view of the Pirates FO is not the only thing unbalanced on blog comments.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    James McDonald is just ridiculous right now. This is a very good hitting lineup & a hot team.

  86. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    HANG A STAR ON THAT CATCH BY GORKYS!!!

  87. JRay3 says:

    Just an unreal catch by Gorkys…not many make that play.

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    What’d I do ?

  89. JMB says:

    Sorry guys. It’s my fault for engaging. I should have just ignored.

    This has been a great game, and this team is fun to watch –except for Barmes.

  90. JRay3 says:

    @ Milo – I second that comment #85!

  91. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    That’s the type of catch where if you aren’t in the right position, and don’t make the perfect slide, you break your wrist. Well played by Gorkys.

  92. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs

    Agreed – Gorkys did everything right. An ailing Tabata probably does not make that play today.Strange that they moved Jose to RF rather than giving him the rest of the day off.

  93. Does Hurdle let McDonald pitch the 9th?

    I mowed lawn from 12:00 to 2:00 in this heat and I could barely make it to the couch to watch the game.

    I’m rooting for the chance for a shutout! Come on, Hurdle!!

  94. CDBrewer says:

    Hey RF,

    Wow…you really gotta settle down. JMB is giving links so we can see, it isn’t his word. The beauty of the internet is that we can look it up.
    He isn’t wrong, and neither is your point that Doumit hasn’t been playing catcher. And neither is the idea that it isn’t Doumit’s decision and he might have been playing catcher if not for Mauer’s health and ability and Godlike status in Minny.

    Man, I pray you are right about the FO, but I think DK has it pretty well nailed, just fabulous with pitching, and really lacking with the offense, and I was very upbeat through the 2nd half last year. The offseason bothered me.

    JMB! – Yep, you hit hit, Seattle (thank you). Things going okay. Got a day-of-game gig with the M’s that keeps me off here – and watching WAY too much AL ball, but things are good. Man, I hate the DH.
    You holding things down by the Bay?

  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think they probably moved Jose to right for defensive reasons—he’s better than Jones, and with a 4 run lead, jones’ HR power less significant.

  96. Officer Mancuso says:

    @JMB sometimes a little “engaging” is a public service, as you can see from the many venerable inmates who’ve also pushed back at Roberto’s tone.

  97. Boise Bucco says:

    Can we get James McDonald a long-term contract before he figures out he’s Pedro Martinez?

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    I gotta think the # of people who think they should move JMac for a bat is shrinking with every outing.

  99. CRAP!! I wanted JMac to get his chance!!

    The drive for FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (hundred)

  100. CDBrewer says:

    I think this is sustainable for JMac. Always thought Karstens was partially grit and guts and he was over his head a little, but I think this could be JMac.
    Can we give Searage a lifetime contract?

    Greg Brown calling .500 “magical” in May! LOL! Wow, it has been a bad 20 years.

  101. Officer Mancuso says:

    How long since a Pirates starter pitched as many inning as JMac with such a low ERA? Right now this pitching staff has to be the envy of many a richer club.

  102. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Gonna love to hear #Hurdled explanation as to why he took J-Mac out after 8.

  103. Officer Mancuso says:

    What CDBrewer said.

  104. RobertoForever says:

    J-Mac not out for the 9th inning. He does tie his season high of 8.0IP. Already at 103 pitches, 3rd highest # of pitches for the season. 114 pitches from earlier this year is his career high.

    I think I might have sent him out to start the 9th inning., even with Votto, Philips and Bruce coming up.

  105. CDBrewer says:

    G2M2S,

    If this helps, Weaver hasn’t been the same since his no-no, Beachy hasn’t been the same since his first career cg. Sometimes these outings cost down the road…and 8 innings is fantastic.

    Just trying to help.

  106. That ball 4 pitch is a ‘strike’ on Valdes or Bruce.

    Votto has earned his cachet.

  107. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    What was his xFIP today? Was he losing his downward plane? Would he not have been projectable in the 9th? Or is it the fact the J-Mac is arbitration eligible this year and a Complete Game Shut out might get him some extra $$$ in negotiations?

  108. JMB says:

    @CDB

    That sounds like fun with the M’s. I’m more involved on the blog the last few weeks as I wait for my summer teaching gigs to get going.

  109. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    By the way, the UNDER wins easily today. Thanks to JRay for playing. See you tomorrow night.

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +200
    JRay3 +115
    Steve J Smith +110
    Nate83 +100
    RobertoForever +60
    Bizrow +60
    JaxBuc +40
    GlassHalfFull +22.5
    NMR +20
    Officer Mancuso +20
    jeffsbar +20
    pattonbb +20
    Milo Hamilton EVEN
    JohninOshkosh EVEN
    cosmo -10
    tmp444 -25
    JMB -40
    bob hasis -50

  110. JMB says:

    HAMMER-TIME

  111. Brewed on Grant Street,

    What you said was very logical and appropriate.

    My disappointment is purely emotional.

    Baseball surely bring out the emotions, doesn’t it?

    By the way, as I type, there goes the shutout.

  112. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs

    thanks again for the o/u (even though I was too late to get paid for my under guess)

    You were GREATLY missed over the weekend. But I will take the Bucs Sweep as the exchange. Will look forward to participating in tomorrow’s o/u

  113. JRay3 says:

    Behind eight stellar innings from James McDonald, who improves to 4-2, and ten hits on offense the Bucs down the first place Reds 4-1 to move to within three games of first and reach the .500 mark for the first time since open of the season and there was nooooooo doubt about it!

    The Pirates will go for their second consecutive series win versus a division foe tomorrow night with Charlie Morton toeing the rubber. Let’s Go Bucs!

  114. RaleighBob says:

    I know Ronny wasn’t great, but he has to be better than Barmes.
    Wasn’t it 3M for 1 year for Ronny?

  115. RobertoForever says:

    Clint wanted to get Hammer another save, so that his Arbitration/Trade Value is greater.

  116. JMB says:

    .500 on Memorial Day.

    Now, it’s time for goals to change, per Blass.

    ‘Why can’t now be now?”

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    We had ‘em all the way.

  118. JRay3 says:

    Four straight win for first time this season! Great team win today against a hot team…let’s go for five tomorrow!

  119. RobertoForever says:

    Bucs beat a GREAT, hot team, in first place, and go to 15-10 at home! WOW, what a great home record. But only go for the fireworks and bobbleheads folks.

    Pirates with 21 hits in the last 2 days. If that’s the first time that the Pirates combined for 21 hits in 2 games this season, I am sure that 24/7 will tweet it.

    Need some Ground Chuck for tomorrow’s game. Let’s clinch the series against the first place Reds tomorrow!

  120. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Thanks @RobertoForever, I appreciate the kind words. Loved seeing them pull off the sweep, and love the 4th in a row even more. See everyone tomorrow night!!

  121. RobertoForever says:

    Pirates now also 9-7 against the NL Central, including 10 of those 17 games against the 1st place Reds and the 2nd place Cardinals.

  122. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @RobertoForever

    The bobbleheads and fireworks make it a little easier for me to convince my better half to hike up to Pittsburgh for a weekend and watch a few games. So I’ll never complain about the promotion nights at PNC.

  123. mayhay22 says:

    Most important number is that we’re just 3 games out of first in the Central. Playoffs is the holy grail.

  124. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs,

    I never plan my trips around them, but I am far from disappointed when I found out that my admission to the best ballpark in the Majors, and the privilege to watch these Buccos win at home, ALSO meant I got to hear from the Steve Miller Band.

    And my kids do enjoy the replica jerseys when they get them. ;) No complaints here either.

  125. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs

    And I am rooting for a cowbell giveaway for next season. Hoping that the Milk Board will get behind it.

  126. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    DK: For those who think a massive offensive upgrade is needed for the Pirates, I submit these amazing numbers: They are now 16-2 when scoring four or more runs, 20-6 when scoring three or more runs and — this one blows me away — 23-10 when scoring at least TWO MEASLY RUNS.

    I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible. But I write this to debunk notion that mega-all-stars are needed. The lineup just needs to be average or even below-average.

  127. JHadar says:

    .500

    Now all we need is 68-66 to get the big monkey off our back.

    I want more than that though.

    A hitter or two
    .
    A consistent Alvarez (let me pre-empt the wiseguys, a good consistency)

    Meaningful games late in September.

    I want Presley to get his eye back.

    Get Karstens healthy and unload some pitching talent for a hitter.

    Preferably a shortstop. (Clint me boy, we hardly knew ya’.)

    Keep MacDonald.

    I want Hague to be the real deal.

    I want a line-up strong enough to prop up a guy in a slump.

    Just some random thoughts.

  128. CDBrewer says:

    Would Drew Sutton have been a little upgrade at SS? Get us closer to below average?

    Sorry, stuck there. Trying to move past. I’ll keep trying.

  129. JHadar says:

    DK — I get that a MASSIVE upgrade is not needed for the offense. It’s the 1-14 record when they get 1 or less. That’s 31% of the games they’ve played so far.

    Even if the collective slump at the bottom of the order would end, it would go a long way to getting them into contention. At least in this division.

  130. Officer Mancuso says:

    Charlie Morton to my mind is the biggest question mark on the team’s MLB roster. He’s always just about to turn a corner, or he’s the new Halliday but had a few bad outings. No one doubts the arm. Many doubt the head. Here’s hoping he grills me some crow tomorrow. If #electricstuff gets consistent, AMac keeps flashing hall of fame cred, Pedro keeps looking like a legit #1 drafted cleanup hitter with Brooks Robinson moments at 3b, and other things come out average, things will be looking up for the home team.

  131. CDBrewer says:

    @JHadar

    I think Pedro might be doing okay for his age. He might be getting it. Opposite field and off the wall was just wonderful to see.

    If we make that trade, I want that piece for 3 years, not a rental for a quick run. They pitching will be here a couple years, let’s make sure the hitting is too.

  132. JMB says:

    I guess the question is where is the line between “massive offensive upgrade”/”mega all-star” and say Trumbo, Morneau, Butler, Willingham, Smoak, etc.

    The Nate McL trade happened on June 3, 2010, so maybe we will see a bit more buzz over the next week to ten days.

  133. CDBrewer says:

    JMB,

    You and I have been here before with Kendrys and Trumbo. I felt like Kendrys was more obtainable, you really like Trumbo.
    Either way…I saw a ball Trumbo hit into the upper deck out here yesterday. WOW!

    I would love to get one of those guys…but they are in decent shape on starters. They might be interested in a Hanny – their pen is a mess.

    Can Butler play first? He would be a perfect 5 hole guy behind Pedro.
    Morneau’s concussions scare me. He is one collision from zero return on the trade.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    While watching Pedro, I get the feeling I’ve been through this before. And the more I’ve thought about it I think & I hope I’ve found it. Would you take Jeff King’s career for Pedro ?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kingje01.shtml

  135. JMB says:

    Oops meant June 3, 2009 for Nate’s trade.

  136. JHadar says:

    Just speculation — but if we see an effective and healthy Karstens coming off the DL I wouldn’t be surprised by a trade. That said, I’m less worried about whether or not there will be a trade than I am about who Neal might trade for.

  137. RobertoForever says:

    Drew Sutton does not really play SS. 12 games in the minors at SS in the past 3 years.

    Sutton is 0 for 8 the Saturday and Sunday with 3 K’s

    Today so far, Drew Sutton is 0 for 3 with 3K’s. The Rays are wasting a great pitching performance by Matt Moore, and have racked up 14 K’s in 6 innings against White Sox SP Chris Sale, in his first year as a starting pitcher. (RP in 2010 and 2011). The 14 K’s by Sale against the Rays has already broken his career high of 11 K’s.

  138. JMB says:

    @CDB

    Yeah, armchair GM’ing is always fun.

    As DK always writes, only GM’s really know what is available at what price.

    With all of the Angels injuries, I would be surprised if they moved Trumbo since he can play OF. I would offer a package of Hanny, Jones, and Allie, but who knows if that is in the ballpark or a pipe-dream. The Angels need a MLB ready C, but we dont really have one to give.

    Butler is def more DH than 1B.

    The Twins are definitely out of it, and they should want to “reload.”

  139. RobertoForever says:

    The collective slump at the bottom of the order was 7 for 21 with 2 doubles and a HR the last 2 days.

  140. CDBrewer says:

    RF,

    You are making me feel better with those Saturday/Sunday numbers.
    I saw Sale pitch out here – and granted the M’s, um, struggle offensively, but what he did to Ichiro in the 1st inning was something from a kid.

    Still, the Rays have a recent track record of getting more out of people than we do offensively.

    Moving on from Sutton…slowly…but moving. Just can’t believe we didn’t give him a look given how little we have faith in at SS. It is clear NH doesn’t love Harrison or Chase.

  141. RobertoForever says:

    How about these Heroes from the past of MLB.

    Bob Feller – in the prime of his young pttching career, was the first MLB player to volunteer. I met Bob Feller at a Columbus Clippers game about 5 years ago. He gave a stirring speech from the mound right before throwing a strike.

    Ted Williams – gave up career time to serve in 2 wars, WWII right after his first triple crown, and then the Korean War at age 32 and flew combat missions.

    Warren Spahn – combat engineer and served at the Battle of the Bulge.

    Heroes in many ways.

  142. JHadar says:

    RF –

    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Barajas has been doing better, but not McGehee or Barmes. I hope they do, but I don’t see it. Yet.

  143. RobertoForever says:

    @JHadar

    Agreed on McGehee or Barmes.

    But with the commitment to Hague as the regular RH 1B, and with Jones getting McLouth’s LH AB’s in the OF, I think they have already improved a bit. Need to see more from Barmes for sure. I think he only has a few more weeks, 2-year contract and $10 million be damned. They may not cut him, but he will find the bench in favor of Harrison or a triple-A call-up.

  144. JHadar says:

    RF –

    I’d keep McCutchen, Alvarez and Walker and lose Barmes and McGehee. The other three could go if better replacements are at hand.

    Tabata’s getting over injuries, I think he’ll improve some more, but I don’t think he’s a long term replacement.

    Hague is an experiment at this point. An experiment born of desperation. Hope it works out.

    Jones is a good 4th outfielder, but I don’t see Harrison, Presley, or Gorkys (nice catch today though) as the long-term solution.

    There’s more to Barajas than meets the eye,I hope we can get a couple seasons out of him — but again I don’t see a long-term fit there.

    Navarro could be gone for the next experiment.

    I’m happy to be at 24-24, but as I said before one average major league hitter could have had us a couple three or more wins. We’d be ecstatic at 27-21 right now (first place!) and Neal would be a genius.

    I hope that with the two 10-hit games in a row that we might be breaking out, but I’m not ready to claim the pennant just yet.

  145. bob hasis says:

    DK , I accept those astounding stats and I will simply add those same wins would have been there if were scored three more or six more runs per game, and the entire pitching staff would have been less stressed.

    Today’s game was a beautiful example of the options CH had with 4 on the board going into the ninth. Suppose we only had two on the board, CH would have been stuck between a rock and a hard place – whether to take out your very effective pitcher, who had a shutout and complete game within reach. Then you bring in whomever, he yields three and POOF we go down.

    The more runs the better and a heckuva lot easier to be a manager.

    DK: That’s a sound point to raise, Bob. But one of the great things about this bullpen Huntington has built is that the starters haven’t taken as much stress as you’d think. Consider that Evan Meek is in the minors, and it’s barely been felt in Pittsburgh.

  146. RobertoForever says:

    @JHadar

    With you on almost everything you typed. Would love to see Morneau or Youk at 1B, but both are aging and injury risks, like D-Lee.

    I just don’t see alot of SS out there to even get. I know Minny has been looking for YEARS.

    I believe Marte, if he continues to hit, will be up by July 1st. Hague is an experiment, but he does seem to collect hits, just not many HR’s.

    Sure would like the FO to take a flier on a guy like Trumbo, but I just don’t see teams letting those guys go for a reasonable price. Seems like a big gamble to take.

    No pennant claiming here yet either. Wondering aloud, do we really think that folks on here will call NH a ‘genius’ if the Pirates are back in first place soon? There might be a couple, but I wonder how many would just be silent on the topic, after the years of heaping disgust his way. And for clarification, I don’t see NH as a top-tier GM. But I don’t see him as a Bill Smith either. Closer to the middle, than to the bottom.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:

    Roberto–what name did you go by on the old free PBC Blog?

  148. Officer Mancuso says:

    I haven’t given up McGehee yet. I expect a return on my learning to spell names investment.

  149. cosmo says:

    time for NH to call JMac’s agent and start talking extension. The more he pitches like he is pitching the price goes up.

  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    OM–I haven’t given up on McGehee yet, either, but I like him better where he is right now–on the bench. And while he’s played a decent 1B, I don’t know that he or Jones would have stopped that screamer that Hague did today.

  151. bob hasis says:

    Get Harrison back in there at SS and leave the rest alone for the next 5-6 games.

    Some of the swings Barmes has been taking are weak & defensive with no result. JHar gives hustle, effort and average to above average defense. So far Barmes name is not linked to the Golden Glove and his ba is well below the Mendoza line. What else is there to say – excluding 10.5.

  152. Dave G says:

    Sigh.

    Can’t take it here anymore.

    I’ll check back when this becomes Dejan’s blog again, and not Roberto’s.

    DK: I’m with you on this, Dave. It’s never healthy when any one poster — myself very much included — gets to dominating the conversation.

    Roberto, I’ll ask kindly that you make your point and move on. There’s no need to dispute, refute, approve or whatever to every single post that goes up.

  153. Thundercrack says:

    I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible. But I write this to debunk notion that mega-all-stars are needed. The lineup just needs to be average or even below-average.
    —————————————————————————————
    Holy crap, something we can agree upon! We do just need an average bat.

    But within the past two weeks this is the first I’ve read or heard you say that “it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible.”

    That my friend, is the second thing we can agree upon.

    DK: I used almost exactly the same terminology in the original column.

  154. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thank you for post 152, both comment and response. I have read newspapers for 35 years or more in several cities and states. And Dejan has easily been my favorite writer. And his blog has been one of the most beloved sites I have visited daily. I have enjoyed these posts literally for years. It has been tearing me up what has been going on here these last weeks.

  155. Leefoo says:

    DK….you say “I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible. “, so why would NH say that he needs one. You and I BOTH know he needs one, but since he probably can’t get one now, WHY should he say he needs to get one.

    THAT is what I meant by showing his cards. He needs a certain card to make his hand, but he sure as heck ain’t gonna tell anyone. Why would he?

    If that makes your day, so be it. But why oh why would he say he does need a hitter? Until you tell me THAT, then YOUR response is as humorous as mine, ehh? I can see Neal saying “Yes, we need a hitter badly….even an average hitter would help our lineup and I’m prepared to pay whatever it takes”.

    THAT would be stooooooooooopid, ehh?

    This means YOU TOO Mr AW since you agreed with DK. And to think I carried your pizza out to the car since you were hobbled. I’m eating that sucker, next time.

    Besides, Hurdle sucks….:) :)

  156. Milo Hamilton says:

    Listening to Vin Scully, what a great country.

    He says that Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out of the lineup tonight because his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand. Remember when Irving Fryar caught a knife that his wife “dropped” in the kitchen ?

  157. Nate C. says:

    Haven’t been here nor have I taken the time to read all of these comments, but…

    It is time for Alex Presley to be recalled. He is a major league player who has gotten things straightened out. There is no reason for him to be anywhere near Victory Field anymore.

    It is almost time for Starling Marte to be recalled. Recalling these two players will allow the Pirates to sit down guys like Garrett Jones and even Jose Tabata who has been a very bad leadoff hitter at a .280 clip getting on base. Additionally, it would allow Hurdle to then give Harrison more regular starts at shortstop and keep his bat in the lineup.

    Dejan, what do you think about this?

    DK: For different reasons, both of those players are in line behind Jordy Mercer. Would be very surprised if Mercer isn’t up soon, with Yamaico Navarro down.

    Marte’s recall won’t be based on stats. He needs to show better overall command of his own K zone.

    Ditto Presley. They know he can hit line drives. They don’t know if he can walk or bunt.

  158. Eric Bowser says:

    Dejan’s right, this team doesn’t have to acquire Josh Hamilton, though I’d love him in left field. What this team needs is a leadoff hitter who gets on base at a .350+ clip and good base runner.

    I’m looking at guys like Melky Cabrera (.412), Martin Prado (.406), David DeJesus (.381), Denard Span (.364), and Michael Bourn (.354).

    Then go find a first baseman who can hit behind Alvarez and provide some offensive production. This team doesn’t need a 30 HR hitter, they need someone who can hit for average, knock in 85+ RBI and 20+ HR.

    I think Carlos Lee is the guy to target with his .309 avg, 4 HR, 23 RBI, and .792 OPS but if Anaheim comes or willing to listen, I’d prefer the younger Mark Trumbo, he’s hitting .324, 7 HR, and 20 RBI.

    Pirates should be more than willing to move Marte, Tabata, Locke, Owens, Wilson, Moskos, McPherson, and Morris for anyone who isn’t a 2012 rental. If they move Hanrahan, I’d prefer they bring up Morris into the bullpen and have a closer by committee because I really want to see Lincoln in the rotation over guys like Correia and Karstens.

  159. Scott DePoe says:

    Dejan,

    How is the PTBNL determined? Is it performance based at all or is the club given a list of players when the trade is finalized?

    DK: Varies from deal to deal. In some, there’s no one at all that moves, the deals are so small. Or it’s a nominal amount of cash.

    Most often, though, it’s a list of players the other party CAN’T have, and that team then can pick one or two or however many players agreed upon in the trade.

    People get wound up about these, but very rarely is a PTBNL meaningful.

  160. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Dave and John,

    Thanks for your honesty. I knew DK would take care of this.

  161. JAL says:

    Eric

    No problems with any of your moves except Marte. Marte has the look a of soon to be superstar and you don’t get rid of players with his tools. Pirates don’t have the position depth in the system to get rid of their top position prospect.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–I think you miss the point. Nobody’s saying Neal should go on national TV and say “my offense stinks, I’m desperate for a bat.”. It’s the idea that him pretending like he doesn’t need one is fooling anybody. “oh my, the cat’s out of the bag.”. At least that’s what I think. (the pizza was still good for lunch the next day–thanks).

    And Clint’s been Neal’s best hire.

  163. JRay3 says:

    Quick observation and STAT OF THE DAY: I was watching the MLB Network discuss whether or not the Indians could contend in the AL Central and the analysts stated they did not believe so based on the fact that their rotation did not have guys with strikeout stuff. That got me to thinking why I believe the Pirates can stay in this race all season based on Burnett, Bedard and McDonald all having the ability to generate K’s. So I took a look at these numbers, on the year Pirates pitching has a 7.34 K/9 rate with a 3.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Compare those against our last four seasons:
    ’11- 6.40/ 4.04/ 1.41
    ’10- 6.54/ 5.00/ 1.49
    ’09- 5.83/ 4.59/ 1.45
    ’08- 5.96/ 5.08/ 1.57
    That is an improvement of .94-1.51 K/9, .76-1.23 ERA, and .16-.22 WHIP from our most recent seasons. Compared to the Indians who own a 6.40 K/9 4.40 ERA and 1.40 WHIP our numbers lend me to believe we have what is necessary to compete.

    Also wanted to add is it just me or does Matt Hague just look very comfortable so far in his return to the big league club. His mitt has been solid and he is putting good bat to the ball. Maybe the move is a little spark the team needed.

  164. JRay3 says:

    Eric – am with you on all except Marte, our one potential five tool player, and probably Tabata as he has a really friendly team deal for the next six seasons. I would offer any of our AAA arms, Correia if a team would be willing to bite and even package Presley if need be as I just get the feeling he does not fit into the long terms plans.

    Like you truly hope Lincoln gets a shot in the rotation…but there is some talk of him being a potential future closer with us.

  165. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Wanted to share a couple things that the wife and I got to experience on our trip to Pittsburgh this weekend.

    To give you all a little background, I have been a Pirates fan my whole life. However neither I nor my family has never lived in Pittsburgh. My dad became a fan of Roberto Clemente in 1965 and has been a Bucoo fan ever since. He raised me as a Pirates fan, and sadly I missed their last World Series victory by about 8 months (maybe I’m the hex or the curse??).

    My wife on the other hand knew very little, and I mean VERY LITTLE, about baseball when we met about 4 years ago. I told her that within 5 years I would have her not only understanding the game, but loving it as well. Well, I am happy to report that less than 4 years into MY “5 Year Plan,” she has a pretty good knowledge of the game and loves going to games.

    Friday night’s game was an amazing experience for us both. We both got to meet Steve Blass along with the rest of the Pirates Broadcast team. For me, having grown up always hearing the stories of Game 7 in 1971 from my old man, it was truly an amazing moment to be able to speak for a few minutes with the man who hurled that gem of a game. He is truly a wonderful and gracious human being and it was an honor for me be able to shake his hand. The rest of the Broadcast Team was wonderful as well. I got to speak for at least 5 minutes with Bob Walk about Game 2 in the 1992 NLCS (still one of my favorite games), and spoke with Tim Neverett for about 10 minutes as well. Tim is also a great person, and I admire a professional like him who paid his dues for years before he too got his call to the bigs. On top of all that, got to meet and speak with Dave Cash after the game. Another nice, down to earth, great guy, and an absolute pleasure to meet.

    I could go on and on recapping the games, but everyone here saw them and let’s be honest, there is no better feeling than being in the park when the Bucs win. Only thing I wish that someone would do at PNC is stop all the walking up and down the aisles when the game is taking place. Anyone who has ever had a seat on the aisle in the lower deck knows exactly what I’m talking about. The game on Saturday was absolutely brutal at times when people kept getting up while the ball was in play. Other than that my wife and I had a blast, and she’s already looking to go back real soon.

    Sorry if I rambled on here, just wanted to share. To anyone who makes it this far reading, thank you.

    GO BUCS!!

    P.S. – The amount of free items we got at all 3 games was in a word ASTOUNDING. Here is the final tally:

    4 Free T-Shirts
    3 Free Hats
    2 Free Tickets to a future game
    1 Free MLB Bag
    1 Free Pirates Cup
    1 Free Stress Ball

  166. Thundercrack says:

    DK: I used almost exactly the same terminology in the original column.
    —————————————————————————————————
    Where is the link when you really need one.

    I don’t ever recall you using that terminology. I’ve heard/read that we have pitching and that is something teams do need. That came from you. But you’ve been riding NH pretty hard, and I don’t recall you agreeing with him that it isn’t easy or maybe impossible at this time.

    DK: “Look, I believe Huntington that a trade will be tough.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/1795438-74/pirates-pitching-offense-hitting-huntington-mccutchen-wouldn-yet-address-baseball

  167. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve always thought that you can find at least one thing to disagree with your manager on every game. Bunt, pinch hit, pull your starter, who’s in the dog house etc.. But the things that make a good manager, we never see. It’s all about dealing with people. Stengel used to say it’s about keeping the ones that hate you away from the ones that are undecided. Jim Leyland used to drive me crazy bunting Jay Bell in the 1st inning all the time. He was the best manager in baseball the 21 hours there was no game.

    I think Hurdle is terrific. He’s great with the players. He’s great with the media. Very much like Leyland, his value lies in the 21 hours that no game is going on. And yeah, I think he bunts too much too.

  168. Thundercrack says:

    The Angels are currently 6.5 games behind Texas and are one game under .500. Don’t you think that before they decide to trade Mark Trumbo they are going to wait a little longer to actually see if they are in it or not? For even a wild card spot?

    And if I am the Angels, who have to pay Albert $200+ million dollars, don’t you think I would want to hold on to a younger hitter who I have ‘control’ over for the next few years before his arbitration and free agency years kick in? And by the way, the young hitter ( Trumbo ) is really, really good.

  169. JRay3 says:

    @ Playoffs – what a great recap and story of your experience. How awesome to have had the opportunity to meet the broadcast team and hear how generous they were with giving you some time. So glad you were able to get out there and enjoy the experience. I am counting down the days till I see the team next out in Denver and and will also see them in San Diego and Chicago for my first trip to Wrigley late in the season. and can so relate to seeing a game in the park ending with a Pirates win.

  170. Eric Bowser says:

    @Thundercrack – details, details, details… leave those to the GM who will unlikely pull the trigger to fix the lineup. Anaheim should keep Trumbo but they aren’t spending big money on Pujols, Wilson, etc. without trying to do something to win this year.

    @Jal and @JRay3 – I understand the hesitant feelings about Marte but I’m just not real high on his ability to be a star, I guess Tabata’s horrible zone judgement and how he’s regressed over the last year has me a bit concerned that Marte could be just another Tabata.

    I guess at the end of the day, 2012 will probably be like 2011 at the deadline with guys like Ludwick and Lee, heck this year, that might be good enough with this weak offense.

  171. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Sounds like there was some hostility today….too bad, missed a good game.

  172. Thundercrack says:

    DK,
    Thanks for the link. You are correct. I missed those 10 words.

  173. JRay3 says:

    Good day down at Indy- Chase D’Arnaud, Jody Mercer, Alex Presley all with two hits, Presley and Marte hit HR’s in the 7-4 win. Mercer now hitting .303 and Presely up to .275. Would like to swap those two for Navarro and Hernandez.

  174. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Jray

    Thanks for the kind words. It was a great time.

    By the way, have fun at Wrigley later this year. Do yourself a favor and get there a few hours early and soak up the entire Wrigley experience. When I was there about 10 years ago, I wished I had spent more time there than I did.

  175. Eric Bowser says:

    @JRay3 – If you recall Mercer, I assume that’s the end of Barmes as a starter, which I’m all for at this point. I wasn’t thrilled with the two-year deal, really hated it and now it looks just terrible. Can’t see the team dumping that kind of money, so let him hit the bench as utility infielder (SS/2B).

    I’m all for Presley coming back and hitting leadoff until he proves he can’t do it or they acquire someone who can take his job.

  176. RobertoForever says:

    I am confused, even though the Indy Indians have won 7 of the last 8 games and averaged 5.5 runs a game, I thought there were no answers for hitting in Indy?

    It was declared so 1 week ago with much applause and support. At least, that’s what I think I recall. Did I dream that?

    DK: And you couldn’t have pulled off that simple point without the snark?

  177. Eric Bowser says:

    @Roberto – You do realize some of the players like Presley and Mercer are not exactly top prospects and probably average at best. Marte is still a top 100 prospect, haven’t read anyone saying he wasn’t, though I’m not sold on him being a star.

    So let’s see, they have 1 legit top prospect with Marte, 2 suspects with Presley and Marte… nothing at 1B, 2B, 3B, and corner OF… and you want to continue to come here with your posts soaked with trolling?

  178. bob hasis says:

    If the entire baseball world knows everything? about every other teams farm system talent, then I am absolutely certain NH need not tell anyone he needs a bat at the major league level – they already know!!!

    The only thing that remains to be done is to identify someone who you know can help your team (the Pirates in this case), and LOGICALLY go after him.

    If you are an educated, skilled, experienced leader – which GM’s should be – then an intellectual conversation with one of your peers should be able to occur. A conversation that would be beneficial to both parties and both teams.

    Mind games, ploys, gimmicks, sci-fi wouldn’t be required.

  179. RobertoForever says:

    @Playoffs

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Especially the opportunity to meet and talk with Blass, Walk, Neverett and Cash (sounds like a band).

    I had a similar experience last year with my father. He turned 80 recently, and through a charity auction, my brother won an experience at PNC Park. We got to meet several of the Root Sports folks and they were very gracious and great to meet. Dan Potash spent alot of time with us. My father doesn’t really like to travel anymore, although he loves baseball (his favorite player was Ralph Kiner). But that day, he was holding court in the suite. After over 40 years of hard factory labor it was great to see him enjoying how the 1% enjoys baseball.

    Baseball really is still ‘America’s Greatest Pastime’, and they do a great job at PNC Park to keep it that way.

  180. JRay3 says:

    I think it is universal Marte who is our # 3 prospect is expected to help the Pirates at some time in the future. The debate on Mercer has heated up due to how awful Barmes has been at the plate and fairly average in the field with 6 errors. Presley started the year with us sending him down does not indicate help from the AAA club just whether he has done enough to warrant a recall. I think most agree he is better than Gorkys, although happy he got a big league hit the other night and made the great catch today. After that you are left with Chase hitting .190, Fryer hitting .162 and nobody can really believe that Clement or Boggs or Evans is going to help the club. So a case could be made that there is not all that much at that level unless you take a chance on a AAAA guy like Fox.

  181. JAL says:

    Eric

    Marte’s upside is much higher than Tabata’s –faster, better fielder, more power. Of course he can fail but just too much skill to give up now.

  182. bob hasis says:

    Marte acquitted himself very well in the spring against major league pitchers and hopefuls, and has at least earned a visit to Pittsburgh.

    Presley is good enough, has already shown enough and deserves the same attention as Tabata and Barmes to get it ALL right.

    I know only stats on Mercer but he too appears to have enough to have earned a look.

    Bring them all here at whomever’s expense and play them.

    In the meantime, let NH “continue’ his pursuit of a major trade.

    We have electricity and airplanes because people tried doing something – and it worked!

  183. RobertoForever says:

    @Eric

    Are we talking about top prospects or hitting help for the Pirates right now?

    Its easily arguable that Matt Hague has already helped the club, in exchange for McLouth. I hear many here arguing that Mercer would be an upgrade over Barmes. As well as arguments that Marte would be better than Tabata/Jones.

    That sounds like 3 players who were in Triple-A on May 21st that actually could help upgrade the Pirates hitting.

    You won’t find me arguing that we have the best hitting prospects in Triple-A. I think its well established that most of our top hitting prospects are in the lower levels.

  184. Eric Bowser says:

    @JAL – I was really hoping to see him in the majors in June, guessing the team will take it slow with .261 avg, .318 obp, and .205 avg when behind in the count.

  185. Eric Bowser says:

    @Roberto – I agree the improvements with Hague, Marte, Presley, and Mercer is better than watching McLouth, McGehee, Navarro, and Barmes. The team still needs to have more than one above average hitter and they really need to get Walker and Tabata moving back in the right direction.

    And can Josh Harrison turn into a poor man’s Freddy Sanchez?

  186. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Roberto

    Tank you for sharing that. It’s great times and experiences like what you and your father got that make this game truly great.

  187. RobertoForever says:

    @Eric

    Interesting question on Josh Harrison. I root for Josh, because he reminds me of my friend, who hustled and hit, but only got to spend 1 month in the majors. Loved Freddy Sanchez, right up until I felt like he stood fast on a fake high number, just so he could get out without the fans thinking ill of him.

    But I loved the Wilson to Sanchez to anyone for a DP. It seemed like magic when they were there.

    And I do actually have faith that sometime in the next 45 days, that NH will trade for a D-Lee guy at least. Who knows, maybe it will be Christmas in June and he turns up with a Trumbo-type for some pitching depth.

    In the meantime, I can’t wait to rub it in the face of the Reds fan in my office tomorrow. The Buccos reached .500 on Memorial Day on the backs of the Reds (I know, I know, they may let me down and lose the next two – but it will feel really good for tomorrow until at least 7pm)

  188. Eric Bowser says:

    @Roberto – The only opposing team’s fans that I can confidently joke with are Cubs fans, though that could change in 2-3 years with Theo Epstein running the team.

    It is too bad Walker didn’t develop more power and consistency, that may have provided an opportunity to move Alvarez to first base, Walker to third, and Harrison to second. If Hague doesn’t produce, not sure I would go back to the Jones/McGehee platoon.

  189. Eric Bowser says:

    Talk about annoying, my twitter feed is filled with Pens employees and fans trying to get Evgeni Malkin voted onto the cover of EA Sports NHL 2013. Can’t wait until that is done at midnight.

  190. bob hasis says:

    @Playoffs, I too thoroughly enjoyed your baseball game experience.

    How did it come about that you were able to meet the broacast guys?

  191. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @bob

    Thanks for the kind words. The Pirates had a “Social Media” night at PNC on Friday. They had the entire broadcast team down there to meet with fans, and 93.7 did the pre-game show from there as well. The wife and I went there on a whim, and it turned out to be a really great time for us both.

  192. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Trumbo just hit a MONSTER walk-off HR. Wow can this guy hit!!

 
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