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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 9, Twins 1


Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (35-32) vs. Minnesota Twins (27-40)

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. Minnesota RHP Liam Hendriks

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


  1. The Gunner says:

    Good line up tonight – Clint must be reading my mind. The Bucs need to “strap it on ‘em” tonight!!

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The window would like to introduce a brand new feature. DOUBLE LINE THURSDAY!! Let’s open the window!!

    Line #1
    Total Strikeouts by James McDonald
    Line is 7.5

    Line #2
    Total Combined Doubles + Triples + Home-runs by Pirates Hitters
    Line is 4.5

    ** Please specify which line and how many units, the window is a terrible psychic **


    JRay3 ** 765
    Slack Boss ** 735
    JMB ** 350
    radio wave ** 350
    Nate83 ** 340
    DemonDachshund ** 330
    Mlrgenuine ** 325
    cosmo ** 255
    Steve J Smith ** 250
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) ** 200
    Evan ** 183
    Officer Mancuso ** 180
    Chico ** 175
    JaxBuc ** 170
    pattonbb ** 150
    JohninOshkosh ** 150
    jeffsbar ** 150
    bman ** 145
    likeabugonarug ** 120
    MarkV ** 100
    Milo Hamilton ** 100
    buggee ** 100
    RobertoForever ** 80
    Sir Lochsby ** 50
    cmat0829 ** 50
    OZ ** 25
    Hal Smith ** 20
    tmp444 ** 5
    crkkid ** EVEN
    lawnbeaver ** EVEN
    NMR ** EVEN
    Stuart ** -25
    stuart66 ** -30
    manny_sanguine ** -50
    JD ** -50
    Boise Bucco ** -50
    JUCOfan ** -50
    Kevin ** -75
    Mike C. ** -100
    bob hasis ** -100
    Bizrow ** -230
    GlassHalfFull ** -305
    Arriba Wilver ** -330
    TDB1977 ** -640

    First Place at the end of the season will win:

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) 2012 Topps Roberto Clemente Card

  3. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Give me 50 on the UNDER for #1 and 100 on the OVER for #2

  4. stuart66 says:

    Give me 30 each on the under

  5. Bizrow says:

    Look out below, 100 on OVAH for both, thanks

  6. AJS says:

    i’m starting to think we are actually going to see a Presley/Tabata platoon here. When 2/3 of your outfield is in platoon situations that isn’t good.

  7. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The window is going to have to step out.

    As long as you get your (fake) wagers in before J-Mac throws his first pitch, they will be recorded.

    Good Luck and LET’S GO BUCS!!

  8. Evan says:

    Hendriks is giving up a home run about every 3 innings this season, and has given up some doubles too.

    100 on the over for both lines.

  9. Hal Smith says:


    give me 20 on the under on both.

    thanks for doing this.

    I’m interested to see what this line up can do.

    I think they all are capable is seeing the ball.

  10. bman says:


    Cool – two opportunities to make up for the last pitch defeat last night…

    Line #1: 55 on the UNDER
    Line #2: 30 on the UNDER

  11. cmat0829 says:

    Mr WINDOW:

    Let’s go 100 fictional units on the OVER on JMAC’s Ks and another 100 on OVER for Pirates extra base hits.

    Go BUCS.

  12. buggee says:

    Line #1: 100 OVER
    Line #2: 100 UNDER

    Much obliged sir

  13. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Right now, Jones needs to be in RF and McGehehehe at 1B. Jones in only for righties.

    J-Hay can play anywhere, so I wouldn’t use him specifically as a RF platoon option.

    Presley/Tabata does make more sense but not strictly on the lefty/lefty match ups. Tabby still gets most of the games in LF now, until Marte or trade is made for more power to put in RF.

    Must find someone that can out-produce Jones though, right now, this month, not the easiest thing in the world to do.

  14. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Garrett’s line for June is .302 .326 .488 .814

    Not too shabby. If he continues, then you really need to make one move. Either another Jones type of player (1B/RF) combo like a Willingham, who has been mentioned.

  15. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Here’s McGehee’s line for June: .347 .421 .592 1.013

    both seem to be getting hot as the month moves on, hope it stays that way throughout the summer.

  16. tmp444 says:


    #1: 50 on the OVER
    #2: 25 on the UNDER

    Let’s win the series!!!!

  17. Serious question:

    ——if Tabata had not signed that long-term $15 mill contract, that has been so touted by many as a brilliant move by BMTIB, would he ever be regularly in line-up? Would he even be on team, or at Indy?

    Tabata has 9 ribbies in approx 225 ABs, 3 on one misjudged double . . . . . so 6 RBIs in other 224 ABs.

    He “forgets” to run sometimes!

    I “want desperately” to believe Dejan’s column last Friday. Does Tabata?

    The Bible says, “By their fruits you shall know them!” Tabata’s “fruit production” tells me he should be covering up that Clemente tattoo with an Indianapolis uniform!

  18. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Looking at some more stats during my lunch.

    Pirates hitting in the month of June as a team:

    6th in AVG
    5th in HR
    1st in SB
    5th in OPS
    6th in OBP

    Decent numbers, I’ll take em. Especially where they were in the beginning of the season.

    Pitching stats:

    8th ERA
    3rd (tie) Wins, 1 behind leaders
    3rd (tie) Saves
    14th (tied) SO’s (no big surprise)
    6th AVG

    All in all, not too shabby for June.

  19. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:



  20. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re right, Groat. 9 RBI’s is like dragon fruit. It’s not like he’s been in the leadoff spot every game, either. Should have more than 9 be default.

  21. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Tabata .255 for the month, Presley is .228.

  22. dcpinpgh says:

    @Playoffs by 2012

    j mac under
    team over


  23. pattonbb says:

    Playoffs – Seems I’m continuing my march back to zero.

    Line 1 – 100 on the under
    Line 2 – 100 on the over

  24. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    @dcpinpgh, you need to make a wager in units, thanks

    @Ryan, you got it and good luck!!
    @Stuart66, welcome back, you got it and good luck!!
    @bizrow, you got it and good luck!!
    @Evan, you got it and good luck!!
    @Hal, you’re welcome, you got it and good luck!!
    @bman, you got it and good luck!!
    @cmat, you got it and good luck!!
    @buggee, you got it and good luck!!
    @tmp444, you got it and good luck!!
    @pattonbb, you got it and good luck!!

  25. crkkid says:

    @ Playoffs

    I would like 50 units on the under for both. Thanks!

  26. tdb1977 says:


    100 on the over on line 1
    100 on the under on line 2

    Going for -840 tonight and solidifying last place even more :)

    Enjoy a good game by the Bucs tonight

  27. JRay3 says:

    @ Playoffs – always coming up with something new and fresh…double line Thursday, nice! Well taking a look at tonight’s lines I do think there is some opportunity and sides with an advantage so let’s dive in.

    Line 1 – This season J-Mac has 78 K’s in 81.1 IP. In his 13 starts this year he has netted 8+ K’s six times or 46% of the time. However he is on a recent trend where he only has 8+ K’s in in one of his past four starts and in his other three has 5 or less K’s. In addition, in his three starts in June he has reached 100 pitches by the end of six innings and has not pitched later than that this month as we see him trending to higher pitch counts. Couple those trends with the fact that the Twins have just 435 K’s in 67 GP this season and striking out only 6.49 times a game and the numbers point definitively in the favor of one direction.

    I will take 75 on the UNDER in line 1.

    Line 2- If there was ever a trick line this may be the one. On the surface it looks enticing as the Pirates face Liam Hendriks of the 0-3 record and 7.38 ERA. On top of that Hendriks has given up 38 Hits, 5 doubles, 1 triple and 8 HR’s. So on average he allows 2.8 2B+3B+HR a game. However he has only pitched six innings once this year and his other four starts did not make it that long, so the possibility is high that he may only be around five innings. Now on the year the Bucs have 103 doubles, 12 triples and 60 HR’s that equals a per game average of 2.6 per game (2.5 below the number needed to achieve). Couple that with this fact, in the team’s last ten games where they have produced 42 runs their 2B+3B+HR totals have been:1,2,4,3,3,1,3,6,5,1 so only twice have they achieved that mark or 20%.

    The numbers show a distinct advantage one way even against a tantalizing opposing pitcher tonight.

    Line 2 – I will take 75 on the UNDER

    Thanks now let’s win this series tonight. Let’s Go Bucs!

  28. JohninOshkosh says:

    Tonight”s Twins Road 9

    1. Span 8
    2. Revere 9
    3. Willingham 7
    4. Morneau 3
    5. Plouffe 5
    6, Doumit 2
    7. Dozier 6
    8. Casilla 4
    9. Hendricks 1

  29. I sure haven’t thought that the Twins shortstop was so hot in this series.

    ‘Course the Twins probably don’t think our shortstop tonight is so hot either!

  30. The Gunner says:

    @ Groat2Maz2Strangeglove #17

    I agree with your thoughts about Tabata. I forgot that 3 of his RBIs were a gift of sorts. He has been a big 2012 disappointment in many ways – the Bucs can’t win the division with him being involved as much as he has been thus far this year. Now, if he regains his 2010 form, he can be a factor but, given the way he is playing and carrying himself, he probably needs a wake up call that involves a trip to Indy.

  31. JaxBuc says:


    Line 1: Please place 50 units on the UNDER for JMac’s K’s.
    Line 2: 25 units on the (hopeful) OVER for XBH.

  32. radio wave says:

    At playoffs:
    Line 1, 70 on the under.

  33. After 66 games, Pirates are 40 % through the season. Plenty of time to prove what kind of player you are.

    It’s 2 weeks until the All Star break——Tabata has 2 weeks to show us the Tabata of 2010.

    Otherwise, my starting line-up on that first game after the All Star break has Starling Marte in Left and Garrett Jones in Right. And Tabata would not be on the bench.

  34. AJS says:

    You keep talking about tabata and a trip to Indy. Does he even have any options left? I certainly can’t justify DFAing the dude. It isn’t that easy to send a guy with 2.5 years of MLB experience and a new contract down to AAA.

  35. cosmo says:

    @ playoffs

    line 1 – 75 under
    line 2 – 100 under


  36. Milo Hamilton says:


    I’m guessing that since Hurdle threatened to send him down at least once that we know of, he has options left.

  37. My understanding is that he has an option left, but JAL will have to verify that.

    Otherwise, he will just have to go on the “Convenience List” which, after a few days, will allow him 30 days rehab time in the Minors.

  38. RobertoForever says:


    If you please, 40 over on J-Mac and 100 under on xbh.

  39. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Tabata still has an option left

  40. Nate83 says:

    Well playoffs I should give up and just say i will bet the same as rjay3 with 100 units the rest of the season but that is no fun. So I will take 100 on the under for line 1 and 50 on the over for line 2. Thanks.

  41. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The definition that I found on option years.

    “Once a player has been placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a team has 3 option years on that player.
    A player is considered to have used one of those three option years when he spends at least 20 days in the minors in any of those 3 seasons.”

    Without taking the 4th option year in account.

  42. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Wait…as I read that, he may be out of options. When did he come to the Pirates??

  43. bob hasis says:

    Playoffs, it is almost an every time occurance, that when I see your very imaginative lines, a smile comes on my face. I think “where does he get that stuff”?

    I am compelled to go OVER on both. Not because I’m going to win, but because I want it to happen. That’s the ‘Wheaties fan’ in me speaking!

  44. bob hasis says:

    Playoffs – For 25 each

  45. Dcpinpfg says:

    (in my beat dr evil coice)One millions credits …..would you believe 100 cubits on each bet(in my best maxwell smart voice)

  46. The Gunner says:

    @ Groat2Maz2Strangeglove comment #33

    Now you are starting to drink my Kool-Aid about Tabata. At least he is not in the lineup tonight, thank God!!!

  47. bob hasis says:

    Tabata’s success in 2010 has been neutered by good scouting and a game plan to pitch to him, which often, no ususally, no ALWAYS occurs at the major league level unless Tabata, in this case, would have learned a little bit – which seemingly he hasn’t – to fend off the revised approach to pitch to him.

    His very questionable, uninspired hustle is also a problem, plus I suppose that new contract which has handcuffed CH to some extent.

  48. Nate83 says:

    Do you honestly believe it took 1000 at bats for them to figure out how to pitch to him. Maybe Colorado should have given up on Troy Tolowinsky after a bad third season. I bet his stats this year are not much worse then cutch post all star break last year. They signed tabata to a 6 year contract they are not going to give up on him because of a 2 month slump.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:


    Line #1 – 75 Over
    Line #2 – 25 Over

    Thank you.

  50. SlackBoss says:

    @playoffs – love the idea of two lines on Thursday –

    I will go line 1 – over for 75

    Line 2 – under for 75

    You might want to consider an exacta sometime – these will both be close tonight.

    Let’s go Bucs!

  51. Milo Hamilton says:

    Concerning Tabata, where does obvious lack of effort enter the argument ?

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    Playoffs–I had 50 on the Over last night and you deducted 50 points from my total. Sorry for the quick post. Thanks

  53. dcpfjr says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe that tonight’s starting lineup is the 1st in a long, long time, maybe all year, where everyone is over the Mendoza line!

  54. Mlrgenuine says:

    @ Playoffs

    Line 1 – 50 on the under

    Line 2 – 50 on the over

  55. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo Hamilton (aka my successor in 1976) #51

    @ bob hasis #47

    @ Nate83 #48


    I am not saying to give up on Tabata and put him on the scrap heap. He needs some tough love, a wake up call etc. He is just so unproductive offensively – if Clemente, Stargell, Oliver and the rest of that group was still around, we could hide Tabata’s weaknesses pretty well. But that is not the case and it makes his 2012 offensive shortcomings stand out like a sore thumb!!!

  56. JAL says:

    Yes, Tabata has 1 option left

  57. DemonDachshund says:

    @Playoffs –
    50 on the OVER for the K’s.
    70 on the UNDER for the extra base hits.

  58. Thanks, JAL!!

    I in NO WAY am in favor of cutting Tabata loose.

    However, with ability comes responsibility!! I remember an extremely famous baseball strategist who declared, “No more scholarships!!”

    I’ll repeat——I would give Tabata 2 more weeks, until the All Star Break, to turn it around. It’s not 2 months gone, it is already 40 % of the season, and the All Star break will take Bucs to 1/2 through the season. If no significant improvement, then it’s off to Indy until Tabata can find that improvement.

    According to DK’s article, his confidence is shot. Let him regain his confidence and his stroke at AAA; then come back a new/renewed player for the stretch drive.

    Are we saving that option for some special reason? Use it to make Tabata better——NOW!

  59. JohninOshkosh says:

    Few things in all of sports are more enjoyable than watching a pitcher throw a well executed curve ball.

  60. JRay3 says:

    J-Mac with a quick opening inning of work, good sign.

  61. JohninOshkosh says:

    …except perhaps a triple by a speed demon!

  62. JRay3 says:

    And Jones stings a ball to second to drive in Cutch…early Bucco lead!

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t think Barmes has the arm to make that play.

  64. JohninOshkosh says:

    Text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 if you want to make a $10 donation to flood victim relief for folks in NE Minnesota (Duluth area)

    I’ve fished in that area many times. Beautiful part of the world.

  65. cosmo says:

    trib reporting Stall turned down a 10 yr offer from Pens.

  66. TDB1977 says:

    Not sure if anyone has looked down at State College tonight, but Luis Heredia has gone through 2 innings with 2 walks, 2 strikeouts and no walks. Looks like he is handling Williamsport pretty well.

  67. TDB1977 says:

    I mean, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and no HITS and not no walks.

  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    Grand Slam time?

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    Neil Walker has 16 extra base hits this year. Clint Barmes has 14 in 49 fewer at bats.

  70. JRay3 says:

    @ Milo – have to agree no way Barmes makes that play, JHay keeps that up maybe the concern of playing him at SS some more dissipates.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    A bases clearing double will do nicely…

  72. JRay3 says:

    Mr. Do it All Cutch with a bases clearing double and the Bucs opening this game up early.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    Love those 2 out runs 4-0 Bucs after 2

  74. JAL says:

    To quote Dejan–Cutch is good

  75. Officer Mancuso says:

    Whoa! Cutch & JMac 4, Twins 0 after 2. I like it!

  76. Milo Hamilton says:


    This is Harrison’s 13th start at SS – 1 error. I’m not suggesting a starting role here, but he’s certainly answered any questions about his ability to backup there.

    Pen’s president David Morehouse being interviewed on TV – trying to act happy. I’m not buying it.

  77. JohninOshkosh says:

    People like to despise agents but it must be a good feeling to know someone has your back to the point of saying “Thanks but no thanks” to a 10 year contract. Serious cajones.

  78. bob hasis says:

    @Milo #63

    . . . .and I don’t think Tabata hustles into second on the ball hit by Walker to short. Hence, force out, and Cutch doesn’t bat.

    Blass made a great point; where was the dugout help on the ball dropped by Barajas. The same thing occured the other night with The Fort – no help or direction from anyone in the dugout. Both instances occured right where CH was perched.

  79. Officer Mancuso says:

    How do the Twins rank as a hitting team? Anyone know? I’m trying to calibrate JMac’s performance.

  80. aglebagel says:

    Anyone notice that, according to the Pirates’ homepage, some dude named John McDonald is the starting pitcher tonight? Wow.

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    That one’s on me. :)

  82. Milo Hamilton says:


    Ha. Maybe the Pirates are about to acquire John McDonald to be a backup infielder.

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good Officer:

    Twins batting .256 7th in the AL 14th in the Majors

  84. RalphM says:

    From the Pirate’s Facebook page…

    17-year-old Luis Heredia makes his State College Spikes debut and throws 4.0 shutout innings allowing just 1H & striking out 4. He threw 48 pitches 30 for strikes.

  85. Mike Shigley says:

    Heredia pitches four innings tonight, giving up one single and two walks. Spikes ahead of Crosscutters 7-0 middle of the fifth.

  86. JAL says:

    Pirates really didn’t hit Hendricks that well, 3 unearned run due to an error.

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just checked, there is no rule against scoring some more runs.

  88. JohninOshkosh says:

    Bad teams do stupid things. JMAC gets out of the sixth 4-1 Bucs

  89. JAL says:


    You missed the special rules section–Bud issued a rule that Pirates are only allowed to score more than 4 runs 10 games in a season :)

  90. JAL says:

    Oops, and they used one of those 10 :)

  91. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    the window apologizes for the mistake. Your total is now correct.

  92. JRay3 says:

    Boy has it been fun to watch J-Mac develop into a top of the rotation guy right before out eyes.

  93. JAL says:

    Jones hits a birthday homer and Cutch has single, double, and triple but unlikely to get another at bat.

  94. JAL says:

    Pedro blasts one out of the park

  95. Eric Bowser says:

    This is winning baseball…. could it be happening?

  96. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bombs away in Pittsburgh PA. Holy Toledo.

  97. TDB1977 says:

    WOW! Was that a cannon ball hit by Pedro tonight. It would have been great if it landed in the Allegheny on the fly.

  98. Boise Bucco says:

    This game is doing wonders for the Runs For/Against rate. Maybe now ESPN will predict their playoff chances a little higher.

  99. TDB1977 says:

    If the game ends now, the run difference will be -10. Amazing considering where the offense was earlier this year and having so little. And now scoring another 9 spot in 3 out of the last 5 games. There seems to be something special taking place on Federal Street this year.

  100. JRay3 says:

    Games like this evenings are just pure joy to watch, great pitching, big hits, and cruising to a win….let’s go bucs!

  101. twentytwo22 says:

    Here’s my complaint of the night: The radio side is missing the first pitch of most half innings, sometimes two.

    That is all.

  102. JAL says:

    A complete game

  103. TDB1977 says:

    Great win tonight by the Bucs. Great pitching job by J-Mac! Raise the jolly roger and send Minnesota packing. Bring on Detroit for the weekend. Let’s go Bucs.

  104. JRay3 says:

    Behind a 121 pitch complete game effort from J-Mac and three Bucco blasts by Barajas, Jones and Alvarez the Pirates pound the Twins 9-1 to take the series and there was noooooooo doubt about it.

    The Pirates move to within 2 games of the Reds in the Central and continue the home stand tomorrow when they begin a three game set with the Tigers.

    Go Bucs!

  105. The Gunner says:

    Sufferin’ catfish, Possum! We had ‘em all the way!!!

  106. twentytwo22 says:

    Perfect game. Win another series. Good offense. Get a CG and save the bullpen during the 20 in 20 stretch.

  107. pattonbb says:

    ….fear the Bones….

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Gunner > Milo Hamilton. :)

  109. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo Hamilton # 108

    Yes I am, ol’ buddy!!

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    Been sitting here for the better part of the last hour trying to figure out tonight’s Staal developments DON’T say, “Trade me to Carolina”.

  111. Jay G -Jacksonville FL via New Castle says:

    Excellent game tonight….Good news from the minors lately….another series taken….keep plugging away boys………….

  112. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    The window doesn’t say this often, but that was damn pretty game to watch. J-Mac only puts up 5 K’s and the UNDER wins, but really that doesn’t matter when you can throw a Complete Game. The Buccos put up 5 Extra Base Hits and the OVER wins that one. Thank you to everyone who played. See you tomorrow for THREE PLAY FRIDAY!!

    JRay3 ** 765
    Slack Boss ** 685
    Nate83 ** 490
    Mlrgenuine ** 425
    radio wave ** 420
    JMB ** 350
    Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) ** 350
    pattonbb ** 350
    Steve J Smith ** 250
    JaxBuc ** 245
    cosmo ** 230
    DemonDachshund ** 210
    dcpinpgh ** 200
    Evan ** 183
    Officer Mancuso ** 180
    Chico ** 175
    bman ** 170
    JohninOshkosh ** 150
    jeffsbar ** 150
    likeabugonarug ** 120
    MarkV ** 100
    Milo Hamilton ** 50
    Sir Lochsby ** 50
    cmat0829 ** 50
    OZ ** 25
    Hal Smith ** 20
    crkkid ** EVEN
    lawnbeaver ** EVEN
    NMR ** EVEN
    Stuart ** -25
    stuart66 ** -30
    manny_sanguine ** -50
    JD ** -50
    Boise Bucco ** -50
    JUCOfan ** -50
    RobertoForever ** -60
    tmp444 ** -70
    Kevin ** -75
    buggee ** -100
    Mike C. ** -100
    bob hasis ** -100
    Bizrow ** -230
    Arriba Wilver ** -230
    GlassHalfFull ** -305
    TDB1977 ** -840

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