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Final: Astros 9, Pirates 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (58-42) vs. Houston Astros (34-68)

Time: 2:05 p.m.

Site: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Houston RHP Lucas Harrell

  1. Starling Marte, CF
  2. Alex Presley, LF
  3. Neil Walker, 2B
  4. Garrett Jones, RF
  5. Casey McGehee, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Michael McKenry, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. James McDonald, RHP

189 Comments

  1. This must be Lisa’s guess at today’s lineup.

    Will be interesting to see if McKenry gets the day game start after the night game. I thought Barajas had been catching J-Mac, but on further review, the Fort has been catching J-Mac alot lately. Wonder if that has anything to do with James struggles?

    Also, could we see the first Mercer start in. Week? Does McGehee get a start against a RHP? These are the questions to be answered ‘Face the BucNation’, lol.

  2. DKnobler ‏@DKnobler
    Very tough market for teams hoping to improve bullpen. Street re-signed, K-Rod flopped, Broxton unimpressive, Red Sox and Jays not selling

    Maximum value time for our RP’s. I hope they can get a bat!

  3. From ESPN — Among clubs expected to make a play for relief help include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals.

    The only team we can really trade w. is LAA.

    Kendry?

  4. #FreeJordyMercer!!!

  5. Can anyone explain to me what the Padres are doing? Why extend these guys?? In denial.

  6. @Roberto

    I believe Bob Walk mentioned the difference in JMac and catchers during the last game. Could be something to it. But I would think its mental.

  7. Marte due a day off.

  8. There’s today’s lineup.

    Thanks DK.

    Mercer with his first start in a week. Hope he has some Jordy juice to contribute today. No Sutton or J-Hay, but back to McGehee against righties.

    J-Mac needs a CG for the total IP to go over. Under looking pretty certain.

  9. And I forget what I went with, probably the over.

  10. I’d drop Marte to 6th and move everyone else up one spot… But that’s just me…

  11. Barring an extended appearance off the bench, the over/under for Cutch’s extra base hits is looking like an UNDER.

  12. No McCutchen in the line-up. The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!
    Let’s open the window!!

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

    Total Combined RBI’s by Walker + Jones + McGehee + Alvarez
    Line is 4.5

    *** MAXIMUM IS 100 (FAKE) UNITS ON ANY SINGLE LINE ***

    65 Current Fair Weather Participants!!
    If you haven’t played yet, what are you waiting for??!!??
    Anyone can play!! Everyone should TRY!!
    What’ll ya have!! What’ll ya have!!

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
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    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT

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

  13. @Playoffs

    100 on the OVER –Thanks!

  14. 100 on the OVER……this series is taking it to me though

  15. @playoffs, 100 on the OVAH, Pedro gets 4 of them

  16. @playoffs

    Let me her 100 units on the under….I’m thinking 4.

    Thanks!

  17. @Playoffs

    100 on the UNDER please. Thanks.

  18. @playoffs

    100 on the under. Thanks!

  19. Probably giving Andrew a day off to think about that ‘bad defense’ that Arriva and Dachsie were complaining about on the last thread.

    - ‘drew’

  20. @Drew -

    To clarify, I was not complaining about Cutch’s defense. I was saying that the defensive portion of his WAR score was absurdly low given what my eyes tell me about his defensive abilities.

    “Advanced” defensive metrics still need a lot of work, in my opinion.

  21. @JMB

    Don’t like the Marte for Shin Soon deal.

    Hey Neal, ‘no CHOO for you! Next customer’

  22. 100 on the under thanks.

  23. At playoffs:
    75 on the under.
    Fhanks

  24. @Playoffs

    Bucs have been averaging under 4 runs, so I will go UNDER for 75.

    Lets go Bucs

  25. @Playoffs

    100 OVER

    In other news, did anyone see this horrible joke of a rumor?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/pirates-interested-in-shin-soo-choo.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

    if this were to go down, I could see it as one of the worst in club history!

  26. Ignoring whether it would be a good idea or not, dealing Hanrahan is a high risk move that could backfire and leave people laughing at NH. That alone means it won’t happen.

    As someone else has been saying (Playoffs?) Hanny will likely be dealt between November and next July, but I don’t see it happening now.

  27. Just got done watching the game from last night…DVR’ed it….another nail biter, but we take it……….@Playoffs……….100 on the under, hope I’m wrong big time….I saw on last night’s thread some more Lanny references……Of course, “There was noooo doubt about it”….Bring him back PBC brass, you jackasses……

  28. Danny Knobler agrees. We aren’t trading Hanny.

  29. What am I missing on Choo? He looks like a high OBP, 20 HR type guy that would look great hitting in the 2 slot.

    Are people just concerned with giving up Marte? Or is there something with Choo that I’m missing?

  30. @ Playoffs – time for a sweep, and how about a Reds loss, does that happen anymore?

    For today I will take 100 on the UNDER.

    Thanks and Go Bucs!

  31. Playoffs –

    100 units on the under for today, please. Thanks.

  32. I can’t remember there ever being a team dealing it’s ALL-STAR closer in the middle of a pennant race. Especially when that close was still under team control for the next season. If Hanrahan is dealt between now and the deadline on Tuesday, then I’ll buy everyone here a ticket to the final home game of the year.

  33. @Playoffs -

    Awesome, I haven’t been to a World Series game since I was 4!

  34. @Playoffs

    Lets go 100 on the UNDER today. Bucs will score at least 5, but look for some RBIs from some unheralded guys.

    Lets Go Bucs!

  35. @DD

    If we can get Choo w/o giving up Marte (depending on what else we had to give up), I would be on-board.

  36. @Demon

    That would be something wouldn’t it??

  37. *******SARCASM ALERT********

    Choo

    for

    Tabata, Correia, Meek and Clement

    Seems more than fair to me………..

  38. Playoffs – 100 on the OVER

    Lets Go Bucs!!

  39. @Playoffs -

    We could throw in Mercer and #DREWSUTTON too.

    6 for 1, how could they pass that up???

  40. @Demon,

    I was thinking more along the lines of adding Daniel McCutchen and Chris Leroux. Can’t go wrong with that package……..
    Sad thing is, some people will actually think this is a real offer that Cleveland would accept.

  41. @playoffs

    100 on the under

  42. @playoffs – give 100 on the UNDER
    thanx

    Im a big fan of Choo, and from everything I read+hear, he’s a hard workign, high character guy (other than the 1 DUI)
    High OB guy, with descent gap power, good speed+arm.
    He’d look real good at RF.

    not sure about his contract status though.

    If it’s for more than 2 years, I would seriously consider trading for him some B level prospects, including the 2 remaining AAA pitchers.

    And I also say seriously consider trading Hanrahan when he’s value is this high. can’t get any higher imo.
    I have full confidence in moving Grilli to that spot, and Lincoln to the setup role.
    and yes, i’m one of those ppl who think the “Closer” is over-rated.

  43. fantasy411
    #Astros have acquired IF Bobby Borchering and OF Marc Krauss from the Arizona #Diamondbacks in exchange for 3B Chris Johnson.

  44. @Mike C -

    Choo will go to arbitration this year for the final time, so he will be eligible for free agency in 2014.

    From what I’ve read, you’ll need to blow Cleveland away to get him, though.

  45. @playoffs – I will wager 100 on the over

    Is that a sweep I smell?

  46. @demon – true. I think this is just another internet rumor. Cleveland has no need to trade Choo at this time.
    Still, would have loved him here. He was always my RF’er whichever baseball vid game’s franchise mode I played =)

    If he does come here, strangely, he’d be in a long line of Korean athletes in Pittsburgh’s history, from Richard Park to Hines Ward, and even guys like Chanho Park for the Buccos.

  47. Dejan just posted this over on Dulia…

    Anyone wasting energy pondering Starling Marte being dealt for Shin Soo Choo or almost anyone with a year or two of control wasn’t paying attention to what Bob Nutting told me earlier this month: No prospects for rentals. Read more at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review › It’s not going to happen. If a prospect goes, it’ll be for someone with legit years of control, and even then it isn’t likely. This time of year, the shopping is for rentals. Don’t expect the Pirates to be different. Look for cash-type deal instead.

  48. Opps, make that Sulia

  49. @DD

    Marte would blow them away.

    If they were able to extend Choo, I’d be ok with the deal. If he’d sign a 3 year deal with a option for the 4th. Josh Bell should be ready by that time and Choo will fill in OK.

    But there’s no assurance in either 3 of those scenerios, so, no I don’t make this deal.

  50. I for one will be happy once the deadline comes and goes. The constant rumors, hearsay, and nonsense seems to have gone haywire this year.

  51. @Playoffs

    I think that its just more of us paying attention to the buyers mode than anything.

    This is the fun part of the season, until September.

  52. @Ryan

    I think it’s the fact that there are more writers, blogs and bloggers than ever before. So in turn there are more rumors. Seems like know if you can think it, then you can type it, so it has to be a rumor then.

  53. That adds to it as well..

    Hanrahan will probably get dealt………..in the offseason.

    Can prep Brad Lincoln for the closer role in ST, not in the middle of a playoff run.

  54. Ryan Braun for Marte, Tallion & Cole ?!?!?!?
    u heard it here first

  55. The Astros are basically assured the #1 pick again next season unless Colorado trades about five studly guys. Will they pass on Appel again?

  56. @Ryan -

    My “you’d have to blow them away” comment was in response to Mike C’s “I would seriously consider trading for him some B level prospects”. I agree with that, but I don’t think you can get him without sending one of our top guys, and as Lisa said on Sulia, I don’t see them doing that.

    Too bad really, I’d love to get Choo, but I don’t see the pieces fitting.

  57. Eh, I suspect there is “truth” in the Choo rumor, and with most of these rumors.

    NH calls the Indians GM, asks about Choo. They discuss prospects, the Indians ask for Marte, and NH says goodbye.

    A writer finds out that this happened and sends out a tweet about it.

    So, the story is 100% accurate, but it doesn’t really mean anything. These calls happen all the time, I’m sure, and VERY rarely lead anywhere.

  58. Playoffs

    Over for 100 please

  59. @ Jay G – 27

    Wishful thinking about Lanny coming back IMO. I really think the PBC pushed him to retirement and paid him a nice severance to never talk about it. Too bad because outside of the Gunner, he was outstanding.

    @ Playoffs by 2012 – 37

    Choo for Scabata, Correia, Meek and Clement – works for me.

  60. I have never talked to Bob Nutting, and I ignore what DK says the “brass” has told him, and even I didn’t fall for the Choo for Marte rumor. I mean, c’ mon . . .

  61. Oh, Playoffs, 100 on the UNDER, please. Unless, of course, Choo plays in Marte’s place.

    Thank you!

  62. drat, afternoon game and no live internet stream =(
    guess i’ll have to go ol fashion and just listen to the radio feed

  63. Why does the combination of Bob Walk and Tim Neverett bore me so much?

  64. Scabata….haa….nice….

  65. Dachsie. I don’t use smiley faces. And never will. You just have to figure out when I’m just being, sarcastic, cantankerous and generally just making s*** up.

    Which is always.

  66. I think I’d be offended if I were an Astro at this point.

    It’s pretty clear that no one else in the majors wants you.

  67. JMac needs to use this game as a type of AAA rehab type of game…get back to pre-All Star Break JMac. Maybe he needs to talk to Tony Sanchez and get him one of those slumpbuster t-shirts or something, cause his last couple of outings have been pretty awful.

  68. J-Mac won’t make it through 5 innings at this rate. Hop he finds the strikezone soon.

  69. FYI…Mike Emerick is calling Water Polo for the Olympics…this is about as exciting as Water Polo could absolutely get. I am absolutely STOKED to watch this.

  70. A deal I could see happening would be Indian outfielder/leadoff hitter Shin-soo Choo to the Pirates for pitcher Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata.

  71. You have to wonder how wise it is for the Pirates to have Jordy Mercer on the bench for 6 days a week. That last play is a pretty good indication, he’s rusty (mentally & physically).

  72. looks like McDonald is flashing last year’s form. Hopefully, Pearce doesn’t get lucky

  73. There’s the Pearce I remember!

  74. thank God – Pearce flashes his Pittsburgh form

  75. Does JMac have any options left?

    Just sayin

  76. Quite possibly the biggest double-play pitch for J-Mac on the season. He needs to get back in tune, team can’t have him lacking confidence.

  77. Anyone watch any paint drying recently? About as equal.

    JMac goes to AJ for advice, AJ’s advice “throw strikes dude”

  78. The J-Mac Walk-a-Thon only leads to one run. Stick and move, stick and move.

  79. I’d like them to get Choo but not at the expense of Marte.
    30 years old means he may have about 5 years of good hitting left, while Marte would just be hitting his prime.
    Those 32 doubles & 12 homers of Choo’s looks real nice though, I admit. But if he is going to walk a lot, I’d bat him leadoff. Otherwise he won’t knock in many runs in a run production spot in the batting order. Walks are fine for leadoff and #2 hitters. I hate when hitters 3-4-5-6 in the batting order walk though. That’s Adam LaRoche stuff there. Walking when you have runners to knock in is lame.

  80. Yay Garrett!

  81. What a bomb by Jones, where did that land?

  82. Who is this Legend??

  83. That was an impressive shot by Jones. The sound it made was enough to make the wife look up from the laptop when it was hit.

    Stick and move, stick and move.

  84. I find it cute that the Phillies refuse to admit they are finished this year. 48 hours til the deadline and they haven’t offloaded a single player. Pride can be terribly expensive sometimes.

  85. GOOD NEWS
    J-Mac found the strike zone

    BAD NEWS
    The ball found the seats

  86. Ouch. That one hurts…

  87. Playing down to the level of bad competition is always a good sign.

  88. Nice bunt by JMAC — now we need a Marte Partay!

  89. J-Mac is really stinking it up today – 88 pitches in 4 innings. Please please please don’t trade Correia

  90. Come on Marte……………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  91. Well, he got a hit!

  92. Now do we see that speed?

    Yup!

  93. Rockies up 2-1 over Reds -

  94. AP struck out on a bad pitch

  95. ********SARCASM ALERT********

    Choo Choo Choo would have knocked those 2 in….just sayin.

  96. Pence would have HR’d

    hehe

  97. Victorino would have walked

    —keep it going…….

  98. Jones looked like a sniper got him or something.

  99. Didn’t he used to be Alex Presley?

  100. Maybe Pearce will hit into a triple play

  101. Get the hook out for JMac

  102. J-Mac’s pitching today is making me sad.

  103. Paul Maholm might be needed too!

    81 PC, 5 INN, 2 HA, 2 BBI, 4 K, 0.800 WHIP vs. StL.

  104. Checking out. Driving to Cocoa Beach.

    Which means I’m leaving.

    Which means the Pirates now willwin.

    Just doing my part.

    - Bad Luck Drew

  105. Watch Correia come in and pitch 4 perfect innings, lol

  106. Seriously, they better take McDonald out of the rotation – they can’t send the likes if him out there every 5th day and expect to be successful

  107. Sand being kicked in our face now.

  108. Clint H. Is looking weary today

  109. JMac for Choo.

  110. Nice job Fort……….

  111. That play right there is why I personally will never knock McKenry.
    The guy never quits.
    Amazing effort.

  112. couldn’t tell what just happened with the McKenry play with mlb gameday.
    there wasn’t enough time 4 a double play?

  113. Good test now for the “We’re never out of any game” theory.

  114. No, he had to grab and dive back to the plate.

  115. This is an ugly one. I can’t get too upset though, the first 3 games were good. I was worried about McDonald coming into this. The Pirates aren’t done yet with the bats, I just hope they can get some pitching to hold them.

  116. Basically a swinging bunt by Snyder. Fort came out and Pounced on the ball about five feet out in front of the plate towards first base. He grabbed the ball and then had to dive back towards home plate to tag the plate with his gloved hand before the Astros guy scored- all the while avoiding Snyder’s bat which was set down in play. Great play.

  117. thanx JMB

    tough stretch for McDonald after the AS break. needs some talking to or rest or something.
    I’ve expected a lil regression, but not this……

    hoping he’ll get it straightened out for the Reds series.

  118. again thanx Reading

  119. I’m glad I don’t have cable, I wouldn’t want to see this one.
    I’m having more fun anyway reading old ‘Pittsburgh Press’ newspapers on google books.
    I’ve been reading these all winter through now. I’m up to August 1970. Pirates are having a tough end of July, 1970, with Clemente out with a sore wrist and Stargell only hitting about .240, but with 18 homeruns. His average is rising though.

  120. OK #FreeJordy2012 time to make this blog erupt.

  121. Com on Jordy, this is your big chance here.

  122. Do you hit Cutch here?

  123. PH Cutch
    I’d say a great move
    I’d have done it myself.

  124. Never mind. It’s Cutch Time!!!

  125. Could be a key moment. Team of Destiny?

  126. Oh well, I guess Andrew will have to do.

  127. Crap, well we got three more shots

  128. Wonder if Cutch stays in game? Probably not.

  129. Let’s go Correia

  130. Correia should be able to hold them.

  131. As Meatloaf said, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. So what is 3 out of 4?

  132. Oof

    Rob Biertempfel ‏@BiertempfelTrib
    correction: #Pirates JMac since AS break: 8.71 ERA, 28H, 19BB, 15K in 20.2 IP

  133. Phils are about to be swept in a series their GM said they needed to win 2/3 to keep from being sellers.

    Amaro’s going to be fielding a lot of calls over the next 48 hours.

  134. @playoffs

    So what is 3 out of 4? an album by FM Static. (never heard of them before)

  135. Victorino was 3/4 today w. a HR, and he was 1/2 in SBs.

    Pence was 2/2 after coming off the bench.

    ***************

    Way to go PRNW!

  136. Poor Presley. He swings at ball 4 and strikes out. Next at bat he doesn’t swing at ball 4 and still strikes out.

  137. @Ralph,

    Never heard of ‘em. But that answer will suffice.

  138. Paul Maholm 1st #Cubs LHP starter in modern history to have 6 straight starts of at least 6 IP and allowing 1 or fewer runs

  139. Too bad Presley got hosed on that call, would’ve been 6-4 with Walker on 2nd and 1 out.

  140. If Maholm would’ve pitched like that for the Buccos that $8.5M option would’ve been a lot easier to pick up.

  141. 94 year old WWII vet singing “God Bless America” in Houston – AWESOME!! Great work by that gentleman. Come On Bucs!!

  142. Realistically, since the Reds are apparently never going to lose, we’ll have to hope that the one game Wild Card playoff is played at PNC.

  143. IMO Maholm did pitch like that for the Bucs, but had ZERO run support…was sorry to see him go.

  144. Correia is definitely a keeper in the pen. Total shutdown performance.

  145. @Kevin, I very much agree with you about Maholm.

  146. To All Here,

    Still want Correia in the rotation?

  147. Not even trying to keep it close. Why not one of our regular relievers? Way to mail it in. Not like we’re competing for anything.

  148. You were saying @Reading? He now gave up almost as many runs as JMac. This game is now on life support. I don’t think they have come from 6 back with two innings left all season, but I could be wrong.

  149. My Correia’s a keeper post was in jest as was the description of “shutdown” performance. That was more like “Opeartion Shutdown.”

  150. Looks like we’re going to 3 games back…bummer.

  151. Since the Reds don’t need Votto to win, do you think they would trade him? I know that is silly, but just a thought.

  152. That was pleasant. Thanks for stopping by.

  153. Oh well.

    This week (& month) will be crucial.

    We def can’t afford a 1-5 week @Chi & Cin.

    It’s still awesome to be in the hunt on 7.29, but now we gotta add a supercharger to this playoff engine!

  154. Amen, JMB…the bats are falling silent…*gulp*

  155. 3 out of 4 on the road. I’ll take it. The UNDER wins today. The UNDER also wins on The McCutchen and Starting Pitcher Lines. The UNDER was the big winner this week. Been a long time since I remember seeing that. Oh well. Thanks to all who played. See you tomorrow for MULTI-LINE MONDAY!!

    Shake up at the top of the standings. Congrats to Mlrgenuine, the new clubhouse leader. Still a big logjam near the top.

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  156. Astros traded one guy who was killing them, Johnson, and sat the other, Corporan, and McDonald still can’t get the job done. That game should have been a gimme. Shame on them. They haven’t brought their ‘A’ game to the field since the Sunday before the All-Star game.

  157. Boy did I take a hit this weekend….

  158. @22

    No such thing as gimmes. This isn’t Little League.

  159. Walks drawn
    Pirates 9
    Oklahoma City Redhawks 20

  160. They are 10-5 since the break, or .667. Hard to complain about that . . . Oh, wait . . .

    Sheesh

  161. Another poor performance by McDonald, Correia was pretty lousy, and the offense stinks, Presley struck out too many times yadda yadda yadda.

    Maybe they’ll reacquire Maholm (before he beats them again) while they are in Chicago along with a bat of some type. Overall, the Bucs are looking like they have lost their swagger.

  162. 10-5, but they haven’t played good ball, not good enough to beat good teams. Anyone who isn’t a bit concerned should be. The first three games of this set, the Astros lost. There’s a difference between that and the Pirates won. Not in the standings, but in the team’s future. The Bucs need to string together big innings, and drive home guys on base, and they haven’t been doing that.

  163. #twentytwo22isajackass

  164. AW-
    10-6 since the ASB… not much of a difference, but does drop that win% a bit.

    My bigger concerns since the ASB:

    –strikeouts…as in our guys are getting way too many of them.
    –starting pitching taking a step back… not a huge step, 10-6 is still .625% after all… but the starters are coming back towards their norms (or pitching “above” them) after pitching well below (better than) their career norms through the first half of the season.
    –relievers having trouble pitching clean innings… maybe trying a bit too hard to get the swing and miss…Hanny, Grilli and Lincoln all having some control issues at one point or another since the ASB…again, not major, but something to keep an eye on.

  165. Considering how the team played I will take 3 out of 4 and move onto the next series. J-Mac has a hit of a lull maybe time to give him a breather like they did Bedard which has seemed to work.

    Reds just on a torrid streak have to think they will eventually lose, just sets up a big weekend series.

    @22- OKC Redhawks, I’ll give you points pretty funny.

    @ Ryan- You were on a reds like streak nice to see you settle back in the pack!

  166. Absolutely hilarious. Bucs win and everyone’s planning playoff parties. Bucs lose and the sky has fallen, the wheels have come off and full-scale changes are needed.

    it’s obvious that Pirate fans have been without meaningful baseball for a long time.

  167. JonHeymanCBS
    hear #pirates have put a high price tag on kevin correia (8-6, 4.24), one of the better pitchers ever bounced to the pen

  168. Starting August 1, I hope to no longer have to see Tabata, Presley or Marte in the leadoff spot. The Pirates can fix their leadoff problems by acquiring a free agent rental like Juan Pierre or Shane Victorino or 1-year rental Shin-soo Choo.

    If Bob Nutting holds true to his previous comments, Neal Huntington isn’t trading Starling Marte for a 1-year rental like Choo or Hunter Pence.

    It is going to be an interesting 48 hours as the Pirates lead the Wild Card standings by 2 games and only 3 games back of first place Cincinnati.

  169. Naje–you are correct, just went to Baseball Reference, which hadn’t been updated. Still not jumping off any bridges (as I know you aren’t, either). Doesn’t mean there aren’t any concerns, either, but “shame on them” was more than a little over the top.

  170. Correia might just want to hang on a minute, he might just end up back in the rotation with JMac pitching the way he is.

  171. Baseball is a game. It is to be played – for 2 1/2 – 3 hours usually, and half of that time the player is in the dugout sitting waiting to bat. The players are young men 20 – 35 years of age, supposedly strong, athletic and in good shape.

    Will someone please tell me why they need a day off of play – a maintenance day sounds real fashionable, so lets call it that, since CH does.

    These guys are baseball players, they are not working on oil rigs or pipelines, or working on road construction or resurfacing crews where those men put in 8 -10 hours of constant skilled labor, always on their feet carrying equipment, materials for installation, etc. These are the kind of guys that need a day off – a maintenance day.

    McCutchen sits out today and we lose. Some weeks ago I made a similar gripe to this one in this blog when Walker was held out of a game and we lost. As I recall, the circumstances were eerily similar, we had a chance to sweep a lesser opponent and didn’t.

    Now today we had some very mediocre pitching going for us, even the announcers who are usually reluctant to comment negatively or are muzzled, spoke about it. We laymen (fans) could see it, yet nothing was done about it until it was too late.

    Many in this blog toot the horn for Hurdle. That’s ok. But none of you can convince me that keeping Walker out and McCutchen out did not affect the psyche or balance of the team.

    And leaving JMac in the game when obviously he didn’t have it, it is weak managing, or was Hurdle in this case afraid of ruining JMac’s delicate psyche.

    Some may call this second-guessing, if you must that’s ok. But these incidents I cite here, should not happen. In the case of Cutch, you take out the leading hitter and possibly the best player in the majors and replace him with a rookie with 3 hits or perhaps Presley whom many of you love to attack – does not sound like logical managing to me.

    We sustained two losses, that today we could definitely use in the W column.

    I believe Hurdle talks a good game and manages a lousy one which I guess is why Barmes remains his incumbent SS.

    Oh well I’m just a die-hard fan and a real bad loser.

  172. AW–
    Didn’t see your original reference to 22′s inanity… sheesh is right. This has been, is and will be a great ride in the last 9 weeks of the season… gotta love what these guys have done and how we’re talking, essentially, about improving 3 positions (SS, corner OF and perhaps a little pitching)… whereas, in years past, we’d be talking about how to improve every position plus the minor leagues. We’ve come a long, loooong way… good stuff.

  173. @Scapper#168

    Until you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of one of those “losing Pirate fans”, you should speak with more reverence about them.

  174. This article kinda puts things in perspective since I was thinking Barajas was actually doing an adequate job overall. I def like the guys enthusiasm and clubhouse leadership. But when I saw that Soto is disappointing, I wanted to see how he aligned vs. RB.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/29/mets-cubs-talked-geovany-soto/

    Soto (195/.278/.345) is a non-tender candidate for ’13 due to his to poor numbers and current pay $4.3M.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3707&position=C

    Rod Barajas’s #’s (206/.279/.360) are pretty close to Soto, and he is making $4M. Barajas actually has a negative fWAR due to his inability to throw out runners.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=45&position=C

    I was thinking that Barajas’s option @ $3.5M 2013 would be a no-brainer, but now I’m hoping Tony Sanchez is ready.

  175. @JMB,

    I’ve been kinda leaning that way myself…with every McKenry homer, I keep talking myself into a McKenry/Sanchez catching solution for 2013, depending on how the offseason treats them. I hate to see Hot Rod go, but he’s done the work he needed to do, now he’s off to another beleagured pitching staff…

  176. @bobhassis #176

    Whoa there! There ain’t a more loyal, diehard and longtime Pirate fan than me. Always have been and always will be my number one Pgh. team. I’ve lived and died with them the last 19 years, believe me. During those years I’ve traveled to see their sorry selves in at least 8 other cities.

    Just saying how funny it is how the mood changes from game to game, and that’s indicative of the bulk of us not remembering how to handle a 162-game season that actually matters.

    Anyway, ain’t a more fervent Pirate fan on this blog.

  177. @scapper, Anyone who would be happy with the team since the break isn’t thinking long term. 10-6 against some of the worst teams in baseball is OK, but playing like they are playing now is how you get creamed by the Reds, Cards, Braves, Giants, Dodgers, Nats, and anyone else we might face IF we make post-season. Because continuing the way the Bucs have played over the last 3 weeks is how they’ll end up at 81-81.

  178. Wow, now Correia is demanding a trade if he can’t start.

    I think maybe we should accommodate him.

  179. @mosca

    I haven’t shared my thoughts on the post-All Star Game Pirate performance on this blog. But when I read the posts after each game, it’s hilarious how the mood so drastically changes. Not ragging on Pirate fans,of which I am an avid one. It’s just funny is all.

  180. @ Patton – 181

    They will end up giving Correia away for nothing. What they should do, unless they are close to bringing in someone better, is to yank J-Mac from the rotation and put KC in his slot……..immediately!!! Unfortunately, J-Mac has become a liability & the Bucs can’t keep running him out there every 5th day and expect to make it to the post-season. As sloppy as Correia’s games are most of the time, it’s better than the numbers J-Mac has put up since the AS break.

    Let’s have faith that NH & CH come up with a good solution.

  181. @Scapper

    Sorry I misunderstood your earlier comment. These last 19 years have been a painful trek, as compared to the years from 1960 until Dale Berra showed up.

    To lose a game you shouldn’t, is a step backward

  182. Dale Berra! Classic reference. Yep, suffered through the 80s with the Bucs, too. You know things were bad when Mike Diaz had a two-week period as the second coming of Kiner.

  183. Dale Berra wasn’t one inch of his father as both a ball player and a man. Those teams back then really stunk.

  184. @Scapper

    So that we are clear, my recall goes back to those sorry days of Kiner when he was all we had. Then came Roberto, and the renaissance began.

    On that fateful October day 1992 in Atlanta, my TV was abruptly turned off until the WS was over.

  185. . . . . .and he (Berra) brought discontent – to put it mildly – into the dugout and clubhouse.

    I’ve always wondered who was responsible for allowing it, or turning away from it in blind ignorance

  186. @scapper,

    I understand now, thanks. I saw my first game (that I can remember) in ’62, btw. First favorite player who was REALLY MINE was Bob Veale. Clemente, of course, but he was already there.

    A lot of us are dual Pirates/Steelers fans, and over the years we’ve come to expect the Steelers to win almost every game, and the Pirates to lose almost every game (it seems). Now that the Pirates have crossed over, when they lose it almost feels the same way it does when the Steelers lose. I think what you are seeing is that same fanaticism, but condensed from weekly to daily is all.

    It doesn’t help that the Reds are playing out of this world ball, either. The Bucs are actually the second best team in the NL since the break, and we’ve lost two games on our rivals! This must be what it feels like to be a Ravens fan….

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