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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 2, Reds 1, Holy Grail


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (24-25) vs. Cincinnati Reds (28-21)

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. Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto

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


  1. densum2 says:

    Glad to see Mercer in the line-up!

  2. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I kinda like this lineup….

  3. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK and anybody else that might know.

    Do you know how players are valued for trade?

    For instance, if Corriea was to be traded, how is he valued as far as the return?

    I’m not saying Corriea is valuable, just using him as an example.

  4. Mike A. says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the Bucs have had almost as much trouble with Cueto as they have had with Bailey. Maybe the young guys will give the offense a jolt.

  5. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Last night the UNDER was so nice, it went ahead and won TWICE. But like most Bucs fans, I’d rather forget about last night’s game. So let’s open the window for tonight’s game!!!

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

    Total Pirates Runners Left on Base
    Line is 7.5

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

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +300
    JRay3 +190
    RobertoForever +160
    Nate83 +140
    Steve J Smith +110
    JaxBuc +90
    pattonbb +80
    GlassHalfFull +72.5
    Bizrow +60
    Officer Mancuso +60
    jeffsbar +60
    Evan +40
    cosmo +40
    OZ +40
    Mike C. +30
    NMR +20
    JohninOshkosh EVEN
    tmp444 -25
    bob hasis -25
    JMB -40
    Milo Hamilton -50
    TDB1977 -60
    Arriba Wilver -100

    Whomever can amass the most (fake) units at the end of the season will win:

  6. @Playoffs, I know you are not here, yet, but I wanted to get back with you from last night. I had a family obligation to attend a friend of my daughter’s preschool graduation last night, so didn’t see much of the game.

    We will be attending the third game of the Pirates-Orioles series in Baltimore. Cool thing about that week is that from the 13th to 19th there will be Tall Ships (with sails) and Navy Ships in Baltimore for the War of 1812 events (called Sailabration). There is an airshow over Fort McHenry with the Blue Angels that weekend as well. Hopefully our very own Fort McKenry can launch some bombs of his own that series. If you will be at the third game let me know.

  7. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    hmm, seems I’m taking to everybody…

    Aw Playoffs, you’re bringing the man down! Was gonna do all in!! Just kidding.

    This one is tough….gotta do some thinking.

  8. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Boo Blue Angels!!!

  9. JHadar says:

    Ryan —

    I don’t think there’s such a thing as a set value for a player in a trade. He’s worth whatever you can get for him, and if whatever you can get isn’t enough to satisfy you, then you don’t trade. His performance, salary, age, trend, all come into play, as well your need and the other guy’s need.

    I’m sure that GM’s make ridiculous offers and counter-offers to each other all the time, and that most deals get done after a lot of negotiation.

  10. @Playoffs, interesting line tonight. Under could be good and bad. Good if we knock everyone in. Bad if we don’t get many on in the first place – which seemed the case last time against Cueto. I’m going to go with 40 on the UNDER. Thanks.

  11. pattonbb says:

    Playoffs – 20 on the under please.

  12. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I get that part and figured all of that goes into it. But you see and hear people talk about “value.” Wondering if there was more to it than the basics or obvious.

    We know NH values his guys a lot….A lot more than the others it seems.

  13. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Put me down for 50 on the under. Not feeling good about tonights game.

  14. JohninOshkosh says:


    Getting in early while the getting is good. Think it will be a tight pitching duel so 25Under, if you please.

  15. JHadar says:

    Ryan —

    Yeah, the Pirates have an internal system of valuing players, but I think it applies to how much they’ll pay a free agent more than what kind of trade they’ll make — at least you’d assume with a trade that they’ll value both players on the same scale. I don’t know what their system is and if they let it out I’m sure the other clubs would find a way to cherry pick it.

  16. Leefoo says:

    Ryan…….Pirates Prospects has done quite a few articles on values in trades. I highly recommend you scour their site. It WILL be worth it.

    DK: You’re getting a stipend now, Foo?

  17. NMR says:


    If you put any stock into sabremetrics, there is a WAR/$ metric I’ve seen used similar to what Foo is talking about. A given amount of money is assigned per WAR point, with prospects given a value according to their grade.

    Trades are then compared monetarily, or more correctly in “units” as Playoffs describes in his bets.

    It’s actually a decent ballpark estimate for expected return, but I wouldn’t take it as scripture.

  18. NMR says:

    Other than that, you’d probably have to go back and research other comparable trades, then adjust for the specifics of the current player on the block and prospective teams needs…or in other words, quit your day job.

  19. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Foo and NMR

    Thanks. I’ve missed some of those articles so I’ll have to back track and see what they have to say.

    I bet NH and his disciples have a very nice excel spreadsheet explain…..I hate excel BTW.

  20. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @patonbb you got it and good luck!!

    @Ryan you got it and good luck!!

    @John you got it and good luck!!

    @Steve, You got it and good luck!!!
    I’ll have to check with my better half and see what day(s) she feels like making the trip to Baltimore. The traffic mess to get there from where we live can be “challenging” to sit through to go to a game. If she ends up deciding on Thursday, I’ll make sure to catch up with you at the park. I completely forgot about the Sailabration going on at that time, so thanks for reminding me. I’d really like to check that out as well.

  21. NMR says:


    I’d actually love to know if they follow that system.

    I’m with you, though. I’d love to start hearing some baseball people talk about what the return “could” be, not just what the Pirates need.

  22. RobertoForever says:

    I now know why none of us should hav expected the Pirates to win yesterday and hold onto the “Holy Grail”.

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Arthur, King of the Britons. It was in the cards along time ago.

    But today’s a new day. #BeatEmBucs. AJ for his first CGSO as a Pirate?

  23. Bizrow says:

    Everybody is betting on the under, but I have faith, or something….

    20 on the OVAH, sie vous ples

    Ok, should be a good night in the asylum

    If you don’t see your current residence on the sign in log, please post where you currently reside

    Muchas Gracias

    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, Algonquin
    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
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    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

    186 locations represented in the blog,
    9 countries
    37 states, plus the District of Columbia
    Two planets
    5/30/2012 3:58 PM

  24. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s what I was talking about……I’m sure there’s no “golden rule.” Much might be made by gut feeling, at least by the older, experienced GMs.

  25. RobertoForever says:


    If you are booing the Blue Angels, who are are you ‘Yaying’?

    I heard about the Sailabration weekend and we planned a weekend to come down with the kids. But the parking situation at Fort McHenry appears to be pathetically inadequate, so we will probably pass on the Fort McHenry part, but will probably still see some of the tail ships.

    Love the Blue Angels – my parents used to take us to our Aunt & Uncle’s place in Laurel, MD and we would go to the big air show in the DC area every year. The Blue Angels are my Dad’s favorite. We nicknamed his Ford F-150 that lasted from 1977 (or so) to 1993, the Blue Angel.

  26. nate83 says:

    I will go against logic and a really good pitcher in Cuato and put 20 on the over. Thanks playoffs for running this.

  27. JAL says:

    Player value will change as situations change. Phils just Halladay for 4 to 8 weeks. If he had been lost for the season the value of some starting pitchers would have gone up. Same thing will happen if a contending teams loses a closer mid-season, suddenly closers become more valuable.

  28. It would have been quite easy for Hurdle to throw Jordy Mercer into Clint Barmes’ batting hole at 8, put Neil Walker in the 2 hole, and bat accordingly.

    I’m real pleased that Hurdle is putting Mercer in a batting situation where it makes it more probable he can relax and succeed.

    Mercer has probably batted near the top of the order as long as he has been playing baseball. That’s where he is comfortable. Those who say one spot in the batting order is the same as another have never played ball. There are different factors and pressures at different spots in the order, especially when that spot is foreign to you.

    Plus, Mercer does NOT have to bat behind Barajas, who makes Randall Simon look fast! Batting behind Barajas when he gets on takes away all chances of an infield single or speed on the bases, one of Mercer’s strengths. Mercer has looked good running the bases in the past.

    I like it that Clint Hurdle is batting Jordy Mercer #2 in his first start!

  29. JHadar says:

    Groat — I had a little league coach one year, somebody’s dad who never played the game, who batted us strictly by position, 1=Pitcher, 2=Catcher 3=1B etc. That lasted about half the season until somebody else’s dad volunteered to be an “assistant” and made changes.

  30. @Ryan and @Roberto, I am partial to the Blue Angels myself being a former Navy guy. I have seen them several times and the Thunderbirds a couple times. They both are very impressive, but the Blue Angels, to me, get the nod due to that Carrier landing scenario.

    @Roberto, I know what you mean about Fort McHenry parking. What I have read on it doesn’t sound good especially with some construction in the area.

  31. Evan says:

    In honor of Mr. Mercer, I’d like to bet his jersey number, 69, on the over. I know its Cueto, but I have a good feeling about tonight.

  32. cosmo says:

    @ Playoffs

    40 on the over. guess I’ll go against the grain on this one.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–from the last thread, in terms of turning something into a black/white issue you may want to review your posts, you are the one who said that you did not believe Hurdle was the right fit for this team.

    Playoffs—25 on the under.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    What was Larraine Newman doing in Aroldis Chapman’s room at the William Penn ?

  35. GlassHalfFull says:

    @ Playoffs

    Gotta go with the over tonite for anudder 22.5. This is one I don’t want to win.

    FYI-My total units are 5 too much….22.5 x 3 wins = 67.5

    Honest John

  36. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Thunderbirds…….though I do think the Angels do a better show. The Navy has less restrictions than the AF.

  37. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    That’s hilarious. I dont think I’ve ever heard of that before…kinda makes sense at that level. RFers have almost always batted last.

  38. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Nate, it is my pleasure to do this every game, and I’m glad you all enjoy it as much as I do. With that said, you got it and good luck tonite!!

    @bizrow, you got it and good luck tonite!!

    @Evan, the window likes your unique wager, you got it and good luck tonite!!

    @cosmo, you got it and good luck tonite!!

    @Arriba, you got it and good luck tonite!!

  39. cosmo says:

    @ Milo,

    Maybe she was in town to watch Kordell Stewart sign his retirement papers.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    No Pittsburgh media allowed in the Cincinnati clubhouse before the game. Here’s the story. Sorry it’s fro the PG, but I couldn’t find it on the mess that is currently the Trib’s site.

    This Chapman is a shady character. He is currently being sued by a former friend for attempting to detain & torture him. Here’s that one.

    Why hasn’t he been detained by authorities, at least until the game is over ?

  41. Eric Bowser says:

    Dejan, you better be attending my press conference tomorrow.

    For those that don’t know, I’m announcing my retirement from baseball due to an elbow injury from 1995.

    DK: We’re all over it.

  42. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @GlassHalfFull, thank you, the window needs a better calculator or a remedial math course. Your honesty is appreciated, and you got it. Good Luck tonite!!

  43. Bizrow says:


    I will humbly donate at 2012 Topps Roberto Clemente card for the winning player in your window.

    Ryan, still waiting to hear where to send the KWood sign ;-)

  44. NMR says:

    @Arriba – I simply suggested that another coaches style MIGHT fit better with this team. Hardly a concrete stance. My logic being that the team is deficient in traits not associated with talent, many players have regressed, and no hitters have gotten any better. The only two facts that were given in rebuttal were that the pitchers have been better and the team improved on their previous 105 loss record. The rest basically amounted to saying no manager could ever do any better. Ever.

    I, personally, don’t feel any part of this organization is beyond improvement. No more, no less.

  45. Iowa Hader,

    Made me smile and shake my head at the same time.

  46. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Bizrow, the window appreciates your donation and humbly accepts it. That will be the runner-up prize. Thank you.

  47. Eric Bowser says:

    Next player to hit the pine has to be Tabata, right… right?

    This team has to stop trotting out a below .300 OBP leadoff hitter.

    Good luck AJ

  48. NMR says:


    I bet Tabata at least lets his 40 yo wife out of the hotel room long enough to watch the game.

  49. Bizrow says:


    Send me a note with your address so I ship it while I’m thinking about it

  50. National Mart of Records,

    Is everything OK with you in your life?

    You, who have so frequently given us a unique, creative, well-thought-out perspective, have been unusually negative and combative for the last week/10 days. That seems so unlike you.

    Is there anything I can do to help? E-mail me via Dejan if there is anything I can do to ease things. Or, I’d be glad to beat somebody up for you if you want!

  51. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I’ll be there in two weeks. See what I come up with. But thank you very much.

  52. RobertoForever says:


    Wow, I disagree with what you have been saying about CH, but I certainly didn’t take any of your comments to be combative or reflective of something wrong in your life.

    I do enjoy your posts as well. One of the most balanced commenters on this blog. Keep those good POV’s coming.

  53. Milo Hamilton says:


    Jose’s since moved on. I think he got an annulment from her. She was arrested for kidnapping a baby in Bradenton that she was going to pass off as his. I’m assuming she’s in jail. He’s since remarried someone closer to his age. Or his purported age, anyway.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–your interpretation of what you meant is unique based on your posts. If that had been your intent, it would have been a very different discussion. And I don’t agree with your interpretation of the responses, either. It certainly wasn’t what I said (or meant) despite it sounding good to you now. But I’m done now on this subject. I’ll wait for Foo to give his unbiased approach to Hurdle.

  55. Bizrow says:

    @Ryan, you will beat me there then, not going till June 23rd

    Try that new roller coaster, I can’t wait to take Ali on the rapids and the jackrabbit

    Or to eat those fries covered in Heinz ketchup

    Lets get a win tonight folks

  56. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @bizrow, the window is in the process of moving, once we’ve got the move taken care of and the new address all setup, I’ll forward everything to you. Thanks again.

  57. RobertoForever says:

    Don’t forget about Aroldis Chapman being pulled over for 93 in a 55 zone in a southern suburb of Columbus Ohio last week. Sounds like a Bengal, not a Red, lol.

  58. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks for that, missed that one. Wonder if Walt Jocketty has any 2nd thoughts on that contract ?

  59. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Jamie Moyer was DFA’d this afternoon by the Rockies. Hope he latches on somewhere else.

  60. Bizrow says:


    Can we park at your casino?

    :-) :-)

  61. RobertoForever says:


    I also forgot (and just looked it up) that he was driving on a suspended Kentucky license. He got the ticket after arriving back in Cincy after a weekend series in NY against the Yankees, where he closed out a game for a save in the first opportunity as the Reds closer.

    Apparently after landing in Cincy from NY, he spent a few hours down south and then “sped” north at 11pm to celebrate. I am just trying to figure out what place or persons in Columbus OH are the place to “celebrate” his new-found success as closer. Especially needing to be back in Cincy in 14 hours for a game on Monday, lol. I guess $30 million really does make you think you are superman, and you can fly, lol.

  62. RobertoForever says:

    @Bizrow and Playoffs

    There better be valet parking for us big winners! ;)

  63. Bizrow says:

    I’ve never been 21, and if I was, never had guaranteed 30 mm, and if I was ever 21, never, ever made a mistake

    Don’t know really why its worth posting about.

    (See, make a statement but don’t get personal)

    Such is sports, give kids big bucks, some get themselves in dicey situations

  64. Bizrow says:

    Again, may I say, sigh….

  65. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    1st time back there in quit awhile. Can’t wait to take my boys there. My oldest was there once, but probably doesn’t remember.

    I agree, what’s the big deal with what Chapman’s been doing, besides getting caught.

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think Chapman should be declared out of tonight’s game for his own safety. Maybe even held in protective custody.

  67. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Just for tonight, I agree.

    Anyone see Verlander hit 101 last night?

  68. Bizrow says:

    Ryan, if perhaps you forget a KWood sign, let me know


  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m confused. Are we a better team than the Reds because their guys get in more trouble?

  70. bman says:


    I’m itching to get in on the action.

    Give me 30 units on the UNDER

  71. Better Days Coming says:


    No, I believe we’re better because we employ fewer ex-commies.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:


    I’ll take 50 on the under. Thank you.

  73. Eric Bowser says:

    I hope I didn’t miss this anywhere recently but outside of Colorado and Texas, has Clint Hurdle ever been the hitting coach in the majors where his team wasn’t in the equivalent of a sandbox?

    I’m starting to think his hitting reputation is more to do about those parks and some really good hitters compared to fixing players or sound baseball fundamentals as it relates to approaching an at-bat.

  74. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @bman, the window welcomes you, you got it and good luck tonite!!

  75. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Milo, thank you as always, you got it and good luck tonite!!

  76. RobertoForever says:


    I have procrastinated long enough. I had hoped that some sign would help me decide over or under. A very good line again tonight.

    Since there are 2 possibilities for the under (We knock in everything that gets on, or Cueto is a bad guest and doesn’t share the field with the Pirates), I think I will go under.

    And since, I am flush with winning big on both lines last night, let me push my luck a little and bet 75 on the under.

    Beat em Bucs! Take the series against this first-place foe

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    BDC– I didn’t understand the significance of “Reds”. No wonder they were called the Redlegs. :-)

  78. RobertoForever says:

    Buccos catch a break, as Dusty Baker gives Votto the day off and starts a rookie, Costanzo, in his place at 1B.

    Love it when the MVP of the other team sits, for any reason.

  79. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @Roberto, the window loves the detailed analysis you give with each wager. If this thing ever goes viral, you will be hosting the podcast. By the way, the window likes the “major action,” you got it and good luck tonite!!

  80. Better Days Coming says:

    I wonder if Costanza’s uniform will be 100% cotton.

  81. Bizrow says:

    I do not like personal attacks

    Yesterdays news?

  82. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @bizrow, the window is more of an OTB type setup….for now :)

  83. Nice first hit for Jordy!! Get him home now Cutch!

  84. Jordy follows up his first hit with a nifty assist off the deflection off of Burnett (1-6-3).

  85. RobertoForever says:

    WOW – great reaction and throw by Jordy Mercer. If that is not a web gem in his first major league start, then the motherships Baseball Tonight show should be cancelled.

    WTG Jordy – your first ML hit and a stellar defensive play. Love it!

  86. RobertoForever says:

    For those who are interested in an abbreviated play by play.

    top of 1st – leadoff man for Reds hit a ground-rule double to the notch (Jose was sprinting to no avail), Pedro was unable to barehand the perfect bunt, and was given an E. Men on 1st and 2nd. Bruce hits a bullet that Hague snares ( but still had him looking in his glove to make sure he caught it.

    Brandon Philips with a Sac Fly, then a strikeout to minimize the damage.

    Bottom of 1st – Tabata out on deep fly to RF, Mercer with a nice hit to RF, Clutch flies out deep against out-of-town scoreboard in RF (Bruce with a nice jumping catch). Alvarez then struck out on a nasty inside slider that he foul-tipped.

    Top of 2nd – 1-2-3 inning – K, great defensive play by Mercer on 1-6-3 groundout, then groundout to end the inning.

    AJ with 17 pitches in the first and only 10 pitches in 2nd.

  87. JohninOshkosh says:

    Note to Ashton Gibbs: feel free to ignore the NBA Draft Lottery coming up at the top of the hour, it has nothing to do with you.

  88. pattonbb says:

    whoa…nice ab by AJ.

  89. Come on Jose! Dude just walked the pitcher and you swing at the first pitch, ground to second, then lolly-gag down the line.

  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    Very knowledgeable crowd at PNC. They were applauding AJB’s fouling off of pitches and were appreciative of his professional AB.

  91. pattonbb says:

    …followed by a really weak ab by Jose.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tabata’s just awful right now. He’s hurting this team more than Clint Barmes ever could.

  93. T.S. says:

    How does Tabata get away with that garbage? If I’m Hurdle, I’m screaming at his ass when he gets back in the dugout. First pitching swinging? Gregg Ritchie for President!

  94. LuckyNKentucky says:

    A lot of discussion about Jose on the morning thread. Is he loafing or is he hurt or what is he doing?

  95. JohninOshkosh says:

    There have been some absolutely mind boggling swinging at first pitches this season.

  96. RobertoForever says:

    Bottom of 2nd

    Walker strikes out on same nasty slide that Pedro struck out on.

    Jones hits a triple to LF (yes, LF, with a little help from Heisey kicking the ball around in the corner)

    Hague with a ground out to 3B

    Cueto then intentionally walks Barajas, setting up a showdown with the pitcher Burnett.

    Burnett works a 3-2 walk, fouling off several pitches. Bases loaded with 2 outs.

    Tabata hits first pitch, fastball down the middle, to 2b for an easy groudout to end the 2nd. Cueto now at 32 pitches vs AJ 27 through 2 IP. Pirates down 1-0

    Top of 3rd

    AJ Burnett gets his second quick 1-2-3 inning against the Pitcher – leadoff and #2 batter. All 3 weak grounders.

    Up in bottom of the 3rd for Buccos – Mercer, Cutch and Pedro

  97. Officer Mancuso says:

    Dropping by to like post #28 from the crown jewel of Buc blog usernames.

  98. RobertoForever says:

    @Lucky – on 2 balls hit to LF, Jose appeared to be hustling just fine tonight.

    As to the first pitch swinging. If a pitcher as good as Cueto throws a fastball in the hitters zone, should a batter not swing at a good pitch, even if its the first pitch?

    Cutch has swung at the first pitch both at-bats tonight. Tabata did look at a called strike to start his AB in the first inning.

  99. RobertoForever says:

    Bottom of 3rd –

    Cueto gets Mercer, Cutch and Alvarez to all ground out, for a 1-2-3 inning.

    Cueto at 44 pitches, AJ at 42 pitches. Bucs down 1-0.

  100. Officer Mancuso says:

    I love the play by play from RobertoForever, IMHO that could become a great feature in the comments here. Especially if you can do the occasional Bob Prince imitation.

  101. pattonbb says:

    @Roberto – Must respectfully disagree with you. AJ just took an 8 pitch walk from Cueto. Although I agree Cueto’s first pitch to Jose was a strike, you have to take a pitch in that situation.

    Great snag by Tabata to end the inning by the way. What a catch.

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Nice play by Tabata in left.

  103. Great catch by Jose in the OF. Yes he was hustling on that play, and likely the earlier play (didn’t see it at the time).

  104. Officer Mancuso says:

    AJ is not Sandy Koufax, he brings a lunch pail to work, and looks good to me.

  105. @Roberto, understood, but in a bases loaded situation, a walk can be just as good as a hit, and you may force him into an even better pitch to hit.

  106. RobertoForever says:

    AJ retires his 12th straight, as he has a 1-2-3 inning.

    strikeout looking by Jay Bruce, groundout by Philips. and Jose Tabata hustles to take away extra bases in the LF corner.

  107. RobertoForever says:


    thanks – can’t always do it, but since I can watch the Pirates tonight via Slingbox via DVR, I am happy to oblige.

    I will have to work on that Bob Prince imitation, lol.

  108. RobertoForever says:

    Cueto with his own 1-2-3 inning , setting down 7 in a row himself.

    Walker flies out to LF, Jonesy strikes out on that nasty slider for Cueto’s 3rd K, and Hague flies out on a lazy fly to CF.

    Through 4 IP, Cueto with 58 pitches2 BB’s and 3 K’s. Burnett with 49 pitches with 0 BB’s, 3K’s but unfortunately, that unearned run to put the Pirates down 1-0, heading to the top of the 5th

  109. Officer Mancuso says:

    Watching “Hatfields and McCoys” on the History channel. They’re actually citing comments in this blog from last Sunday. OK, I made that up.
    But this is true: Burnett trails after 4 innings in which he surrendered 1 hit and no walks.

  110. RobertoForever says:

    Burnett sits down his 15th in a row, with another 1-2-3 inning.

    Frazier with a flyout to LF, Costanzo (Votto-lite) with a hard grounder to 2nd, and Hanigan grounds out to Pedro.

    Coming up for the Pirates – Barajas, Burnett and Tabata. Bucs still down that 1 unearned run.

  111. RobertoForever says:

    @OM – I am recording that show’s three parts, so I can watch it in 1 big marathon. Wrote a paper on the Hatfield and McCoys in college for American History.

    Did you hear that the premiere of that miniseries set a record for the most-watched non-sports show on cable TV? something like 14 million viewers. More than any of the 3 network shows on tv that night. People will watch quality if someone puts the time into it.

  112. pattonbb says:

    Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Tabata was napping over there.

  113. RobertoForever says:

    Bottom of the 5th – Barajas grounds out for Cueto’s 8th in a row retired.

    AJ then says “Here’s how you do it guys” and throws his bat in front of a pitch to bloop it in to shallow center.

    Jose takes the first pitch ( a strike) en route to a fielder’s choice Ground out to SS. Tabata hustles down the line and the Reds 2nd baseman doesn’t even try to throw him out at 1st for a possible double-play.

    Cueto spins wildly to pickoff Tabata at 1B, but the rookie Costanzo at first, allows the ball to tip off his glove and miss picking off Jose. Jose moves to 2nd on the error.

    Mercer up with Jose in scoring position, and digs himself into an 0-2 hole before striking out to strand Jose, the Pirates 5th runner Left on Base.

    Through 5 IP – Cueto at 73 pitches and AJ at 62 pitches.

  114. Officer Mancuso says:

    I’m seconding my motion that RobertoForever is doing great PBP.

  115. Eric Bowser says:

    Walker to his left is still a problem.

  116. RobertoForever says:

    Top of the 6th – Burnett with another good inning but his streak of retired batters ends at 17 in a row.

    Reds pitcher Cueto with a ground out to Walker up the middle. Cozart with an 8-pitch AB, but grounds out to Mercer. Burnett goes 3-0 to Stubbs before walking him on a 3-1 pitch.

    Walker short-arms a sliding catch in the ouitfield grass on a Jay Bruce grounder, and the runner at 1st goes to 3rd. Error on Walker.

    2 outs, Reds on 1st and 3rd with Philips at-bat. Philips hitting .293 with RISP. but grounds out hard to Pedro to end the inning.

    FoxSportsOhio has a graphic that says that AJ has the 2nd best home ERA in the NL at 1.27, trailing only Brandon Beachy of Atlanta. At #3 with the NL’s best home ERA – our own J-Mac at 1.28 ERA

  117. Mike C. says:

    hello to all from 9:30am here

    the cycle of sneaking at the box score while at work continues for me this summer again ^^

    too bad there’s never a consistent stream of Pirates games on the net. only Cleveland games. bleh
    maybe my cheap butt will have to buy thing one of these days.

  118. RobertoForever says:

    Thanks OM – just typing what I’m thinking as I see it.

    Cueto with a quick 1-2-3 inning

    McCutchen grounds out to 3rd, Pedro grounds out to SS, and Walker, hitting only .238 in May, takes a walk after 1st pitch called strike (duly noted, that a walk can occur after a called first strike).

    Jones up with 2 outs and Walker on 1st. Fouls off fastball on 1st pitch, before taking him to 3-2 count. Jones then bounces a medium grounder thru the right side on a backdoor breaking ball.

    Matt Hague now up with Walker on 3rd and Jones on 1st with 2 outs. Hague with a 5 game hitting streak on the line as well

  119. pattonbb says:

    Matt Hague !!!!!!

  120. Matty Hague does it with the two run double!!!!

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Hague !!

  122. Eric Bowser says:

    The Hague hangs a 2-run double!

  123. RobertoForever says:

    Strike the line “Cueto with a quick 1-2-3 inning”. Started that, but Walker, Jones and Hague had other ideas.

    Hague pounds a long fly ball into right-center and off the Xfinity sign in the outfield. Walker scores easily and Jones, lumbering alot faster than he looks, scores just ahead of the throw to put the good guys up 2-1!!!!!

    6 game hitting streak for Hague

  124. RobertoForever says:

    Coaching trip to the mound.

    Cueto stays in and promptly intentional walks Barajas for the SECOND time in the game, to get to Burnett.

    Here’s hoping AJ has a 2-hit night to really help himself

  125. JAL says:

    Several missed chances early but finally capitalized on a chance.

  126. RobertoForever says:

    AJ grouns out to 3B to end the 6th inning.

    Pirates with a line of 1 BB, 2 hits, 1 double and the 2-out 2-run double by Hague as the Buccos now lead 2-1.

    AJ back out for the 7th inning.

    Thru 6 IP – Cueto 95 pitches, AJ 84 pitches.

    Up for Cincy in the top of the 7th – 5th, 6th and 7th hitters

  127. RobertoForever says:

    Gorkys Hernandez now replacing Garrett Jones in the lineup. Garrett with an excellent 2 for 3 night, with a huge 1 run scored from 1st for the go-ahead run.

    Gorkys in LF, Jose moves from LF to RF

  128. Eric Bowser says:

    whew, AJ labors but gets through 7th inning without a run given up.

    Let’s get an insurance run!

  129. Drew71 says:

    Officer – I’m a direct descendant of “Devil Ance” Anderson Hatfield.

    Explains a lot, huh?

    BTW, anybody hear from Free Foo since Hague drilled the double?

    Time for mouth to mouth resuscitation?


    Let Thunder do it.

  130. RobertoForever says:

    Top of the 7th – Leadoff batter for the Reds, Heisey, hits a 1-2 fastball on a rope to straightaway CF for a hit.

    Rookie Todd Frazier then swings at the first pitch and grounds into a Mercer to Walker to Hague double play! (I like the sound of that – Mercer to Walker to Hague)

    Rookie 1B Costanzo then walks ona 3-2 pitch, and is lifted for a pinch-runner, 38-yo Miguel Cairo.

    AJ falls behind the Reds catcher 2-0, prompting a mound visit from Barajas. AJ then throws 5 straight strikes and gets Hanigan to hit a can of corn to Gorkys in LF for the 3rd out.

    AJ now with a 16 IP streak of no earned runs. back thru the last 2 starts. 7 IP tonight with no earned runs. No runs allowed in 5.1 IP on 5/25 vs the Cubs, and the last 3.2 IP against the Tigers on 5/19.

  131. RobertoForever says:

    Cueto still in to face the top of the order for the Bucs. Starting the inning with 96 pitches. Cueto regularly pitches 110 pitches, and is the leadoff batter in the top of the 8th.

    Jose swings and fouls off first pitch, then grounds out to 3B on a 2-1 count.

    Mercer takes a called strike and then grounds out weakly to Cueto.

    Cutch swings for the fences on the first pitch, a 94 mph high fastball. He misses dramatically. Cutch eventually strikes out on a 2-2 fastball, a 93 mph fastball well outside.

    Cueto’s evening is likely done, with 105 pitches and his turn at-bat coming up first to start the top of the 8th.

    Final line – 7 IP, 5 hits, 4 walks (2 IBB’s to Barajas), 5 strikeouts, and 2 runs/earned runs. In line for the loss, if the score remains the same thru the top of the 8th.

  132. Eric Bowser says:

    wow, I thought it would be a lock that the Pirates had the worst OBP from the leadoff hitter in the majors, they’re 26th w/ .276 but the Reds are a majors worst .196 – wow that’s horrible.

    The worst OBP from leadoff spot last year was Washington with .285, Pirates were 4th best with .359.

    From #2 spot
    2011 Pirates were 27th at .288
    2012 Pirates are 29th at .246

  133. pattonbb says:

    AJ’s doing a good job of raising his trade value.

  134. RobertoForever says:

    Grilli in for the Pirates – 2nd straight day with an appearance. 9 pitch outing yesterday.

    Grilli with a strikeout in 19 out of his 20 outings this year.

    Hague also replaced at 1b by McGehee, but Grilli remains in the pitcher’s spot, and McGehee will be the 4th batter up in the bottom of the 8th

  135. RobertoForever says:

    Top of the 8th

    Note – Grilli’s outing yesterday to mop up in the 9th against the Reds (1 IP, 9 pitches) broke his 19 straight appearance streak with a strikeout to start a season.

    Ludwick pinch-hits for Cueto and skies a can of corn to Gorkys in LF

    Cozart, the leadoff man for the Reds, then falls in a quick 0-2 hole swinging at two low sliders. Cozart is then frozen on a 94 mph fastball right down the middle and is a victim of Grilled Cheese!

    Stubbs falls into the 0-2 hole, but then battles back to take 4 straight balls and gets a walk.

    Jay Bruce up, with 2 outs and the quick Stubbs at 1st base. Possible steal situation…..

  136. Eric Bowser says:

    I would not trade AJ Burnett unless it meant getting a major league ready prospect who is a lock to be a run producing hitter for a position of need like corner outfield or first base.

  137. Eric Bowser says:

    Again, Huntington has done a solid job building the 2012 pitching staff and team depth in AAA…..there’s my one good comment about Neal for the week.

  138. RobertoForever says:

    Bruce looks at a ball low. Then a called strike and proceeds to foul off 2 straight pitches. Jason then feeds Bruce some Grilled Cheeeeeeeeeeese as Bruce stikers out on a 94 mph fastball on the top of the strikezone.

    Stubbs makes no attempt at any time to steal on the Right-hander Grilli

    Pirates still up 2-1 headed to the bottom of the 8th. Up next – Alvarez, Walker and Gorkys. I hear a Hammer pounding somewhere out in CF.

  139. RobertoForever says:

    I don’t think Burnett gets traded during the season unless someone really overpays. If anything, Burnett gets traded in the offseason or next year’s trading deadline.

  140. JAL says:

    AJ signed through next season, not likely to trade him. Bedard more likely to be used in a trade.

  141. Milo Hamilton says:


    Congratulations on your retirement. You’ll be missed.

  142. Eric Bowser says:

    @JAL – agreed, Bedard is the more likely candidate to be traded and that is one deal I would support if the team isn’t in contention at the trade deadline.

  143. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – Yeah, it is going to be hard to miss the days of throwing 75 mph fastballs and the nasty curve that buckled knees. I’m fairly confident my curve even as slow as it is now could still strikeout a few Pirates hitters. I could have been Jamie Moyer 2.0! LOL

  144. RobertoForever says:

    Left handed relief pitcher, Sean Marshall (demoted Reds closer) in to face Pedro.

    Pedro takes the first pitch for a ball, but eventually grounds out to the pitcher, cementing an 0-4 night ( but only 1 strikeout)

    Neil Walker then walks on 5 pitches, and the demoted closer gets yanked quick by Dusty Baker.

    Right handed relief pitcher Logan Ondrusek in to face 3 straight righties, with 1 out and Walker on 1st.

  145. pattonbb says:

    If Burnett keeps dealing like this, you never know what someone might be willing to part with for him.

    I’m not saying he should be dealt. But I do think if the FO is going to trade anyone, he probably offers the highest return.

  146. Eric Bowser says:

    2B was NOWHERE near the bag on that

  147. RobertoForever says:

    Still bottom of the 8th

    RH Logan Onrdusek on in relief of Marshall. Walker on 1st. 1 out.

    Gorkys grounds to 2nd, but easily beats the relay attempting to get him in a double play at 1st. Walker erased on the force at 2nd base.

    McGehee up. 2 straight pickoff plays by the right handed Ondrusek, to keep Gorkys close. Gorkys finally goes for the steal on a 2-1 pitch, and is succesful in his first major league steal attempt

  148. bob hasis says:

    Is it possible for a team to have a weak starting eight, and a real good bench?

  149. Milo Hamilton says:

    Where’s Joey Votto ?

  150. RobertoForever says:

    McGehee pops up to the catcher in foul ground in front of the Reds dugout on the 1st base side.

    In comes the HAMMER.

    Joel to face 3 right-handed batters, all who have had success against him in limited sample size

    Phillips – 13 AB’s – 1.098 OPS
    Heisey – 7 AB’s – 1.429 OPS
    Frazier – 2 AB’s – 2.000 OPS

    Let’s go Hammer – Please hurt them!

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    He’s on deck now.

  152. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – Dusty Baker must be a Pirates fan to rest Votto tonight.

  153. Eric Bowser says:

    seriously, come on

  154. RobertoForever says:

    Top of the 9th – Pirates lead 2-1

    Phillips swings at first pitch and flies out to RF.

    Heisey hits a 1-1 pitch to left-field for a single.

    Reds pinch hit for Frazier and send the left-handed Votto up. on 1-1 pitch, he inside-outs a slider to left field.

    Reds now have men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Miguel Cairo up. Cairo not with a good OPS against Hanrahan. C’mon ground ball – get the double play

  155. Eric Bowser says:

    Always nice to see the ball girl showing up the guys in uniform!

  156. RobertoForever says:

    Hanrahan strikes out Cairo on 1-2 pitch, a 97 mph fastball.

    2 outs now with the right-handed Hanigan up.

    Hanigan quickly in an 0-2 hole, fouling off a fastball and swinging and missing against the slider. Hanigan lays off a high 98 mph fastball. Hanny wastes a slide in the dirt with a great pick out of the dirt by Barajas.

    Quick mound discussion between Hanny and Barajas.

    2-2, 2outs, 2 on, Pirates lead 2-1……….

  157. Eric Bowser says:

    strike 3, you can raaaaaaaise the jolly roger.

  158. RobertoForever says:

    RAISE IT! Hanny strikes out his 2nd of the night on a low slider, and there was noooo doubt about it.

    Pirates take the series from the 1st place Reds and claw their way back to .500 with a great showing.

  159. pattonbb says:

    ….fear the Bones….

  160. cosmo says:

    @ Eric , but can she hit.

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s 15-13 in May, following a 10-12 April. That’s all I’m asking, steady improvement. June will be tough, only 9 home games.

  162. Eric Bowser says:

    pretty funny to see post-game with two players wearing a 69 and 65! LOL

  163. Eric Bowser says:

    @Cosmo – she’s probably a slap hitter, lol.

  164. JAL says:

    Another win brought to you by the pitchers, 1 unearned run

  165. cosmo says:

    25 down, magic number now stands at 57 to end the 19 year streak

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    Anze Kopitar > Marty Brodeur.

  167. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The “advanced saber-metrics department” that the window utilizes had this one almost spot on tonight. The Bucs left 8 men on base, and the UNDER squeaks out the win….Just like the Buccos!! Thanks as always to all who played. See you Friday!!

    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) +350
    RobertoForever +235
    JRay3 +190
    Steve J Smith +150
    Nate83 +120
    pattonbb +100
    JaxBuc +90
    Officer Mancuso +60
    jeffsbar +60
    GlassHalfFull +45
    Bizrow +40
    OZ +40
    Mike C. +30
    bman +30
    JohninOshkosh +25
    NMR +20
    cosmo EVEN
    Milo Hamilton EVEN
    tmp444 -25
    bob hasis -25
    Evan -29
    JMB -40
    TDB1977 -60
    Arriba Wilver -75

    First Place end of the season will win:

    Runner-up at the end of the season will win:
    (1) 2012 Topps Roberto Clemente Card

  168. Pit 36 says:

    In honor of Mr. Mercer, I’d like to bet his jersey number, 69, on the over. I know its Cueto, but I have a good feeling about tonight.

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