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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Don’t cry for Cassidy

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON — Brief and to the Point …

>> The Monday column is about Cassidy Krug’s final dive.

The Olympics can be terribly cruel.

>> They also can be tremendously exciting.

>> Are there seriously people comparing the speed of football players to Usain Bolt?

How arrogant.

The race is the 100 meters. It’s been run on a track, with blocks, with a start gun, and the start itself has been part of the skill in terms of testing fast reaction time. Fast means fast all-around.

If anyone thinks Mike Wallace or any football player can beat Bolt in a race — track, grass or anywhere — I can guarantee you’d get a really strong argument … from that player. It’s dead wrong.

>> I hear from back home that, for the first time in Major League Baseball history, a team that’s 4.5 games out has been eliminated from first place in the opening week of August. Quite a feat.

Why is it every time the Pirates lose — or even have a lousy inning — it’s The Collapse?

>> Remember that strange thought process related to the Penguins where Evgeni Malkin was league MVP but Marc-Andre Fleury was team MVP?

How long until we hear similar stuff regarding Andrew McCutchen and A.J. Burnett?

>> Anyone fussing over McCutchen retaliation doesn’t appreciate how long baseball players remember stuff like that. Has to be the right time.

>> I’ll make my weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio today at noon, but I’m betting those cheapskates will call collect.


  1. Jason R. Clare says:

    I don’t think it’s arrogance when locals compare Bolt with fast football players. Football is what we “know” around here. I would like to think it’s a point of reference, that’s all. Something tells me Pittsburg Dad doesn’t know a lot about track & field n’ at…

  2. RobertoForever says:

    Even if the Bucs had been swept, it would not have been a start of “the collapse”. Six more games against the Reds this season, including three in PNC for the next to last series of the year. At the end, the series changed the standings by only 1 game. Hardly earth-shaking.

    Love that AJ was the stopper. And how about Hurdle pushing all the right buttons? Amazing.

  3. DemonDachshund says:

    @DK –

    The logical part of my brain tells me it’s just one game, plenty of baseball left. I’ve tried to stick to that part of my brain when posting.

    I have to admit, however, that there’s this voice in my head that keeps reminding me that there’s been almost 20 years of failure… That every time I let myself believe I get burned. That the personnel changes from last year’s team that lost 90 games are Burnett in the positive column, and Barajas, Barmes, Bedard, McLouth, and Tabata all pretty firmly in the negative column. That the team just legitimately improved itself by picking up a pair of AAA players from non-contending teams. That on paper, I look at the offense and honestly cannot understand how in the world this is happening.

    I tell that voice to hush, loudly, and on a regular basis. But it’s still there, and I don’t see it fully going away until October.

  4. Boise Bucco says:

    “Why is it every time the Pirates lose — or even have a lousy inning — it’s The Collapse?”

    Because every year for the past 19 years, there has been A Collapse. Past performance is a key indicator of future behavior. I’m not a hater, I believe this is THE year (that said, I thought last year was THE year…), but I understand why people might be naysaying. Huntington and Coonelly and Nutting can’t do anything about the last 19 years, all they can do is improve going forth. We understand that. Even the players, they had nothing to do with 1998 or 2004, they can only do what they can do. The fans, those that do all the worrying, they’re the ones who have endured through it all. And in the end, they’re the ones who will see the World Series come back too.

    We don’t worry about The Collapse with the Steelers–and a loss in the NFL means a lot more than a loss in baseball. If the Steelers lose a game–hey, the refs screwed them, Ben was injured, someone dropped a pass, etc. There’s always next week. Bottom line: There’s a culture of winning with the Steelers. The Pirates don’t have that.

    Until the Bucs bring a winning tradition back to Pittsburgh, a culture of winning, fans will worry about a collapse.

  5. Reading says:

    Four and a half out is certainly a lot better than six and a half out, but the goal should be to win the division, not play a one game wildcard. Four and a half games is not easy to make up. I seem to recall the championship clubs of the past taking these type of series against the main rival in August and September on the road to the Championship. Let’s not forget that we missed the Reds best pitcher and Votto and Phillips did not play, and we still lost two of three. That’s at least a yellow, if not a red flag. If we win two out of three, we’re two and a half out- a two game swing from where we are now.

  6. Reading says:

    For the record, I also get extremely concerned when the Steelers fail to take advantage of Raven losses and throw away games that should be easy wins by playing down to the competition and letting lesser teams hang around. Again the goal should be to win the division and secure home field, not play a wild card. See, e.g., Broncos game.

  7. Curt says:

    I don’t think it was the end and the collapse was near.
    This is a marathon and look forward to dealing with the Reds later in the season.
    I really hope that series toward the end of the year has some incredible importance.
    I would personally love that!

  8. Matt says:

    Well said Curt, couldn’t agree more! I was at the games this weekend and was VERY frustrated and disappointed with Brian Gorman. We are still up several games in the WC. I would like our chances VERY well in a one game playoff with Burnett pitching, but there is still a lot of baseball left and i look for us to catch up with Cincy. I really like what having Marte in left and batting leadoff.

  9. JAL says:

    JAL’s North to Alaska Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)


    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Burnett Throws Another Gem; McCutchen, Walker Tie Career Highs in Homers

    Prospect Watch: Cole Impacted by Rain Delay, Tabata’s Hitting Streak Reaches Eight

    VandenHurk Strikes Out Seven in Indianapolis Win

    Prospect Notebook: September Callup Candidates

    Reviewing Five Things I Needed in July; Bench Barmes & Barajas in August

    5 Bucs Dugout

    A.J. Burnett Dominates Reds As Pirates Salvage Series Finale, 6-2

    6 Rumbunter

    An Open Letter to Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle: Really?

    7 McEffect

    8/5 Recap | Pirates 6 Reds 2

    8 The Green Weenie

    AJ Pitches Bucs Past Reds 6-2

    Gaby Sanchez

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Burnett’s all business

    10 WHY GAVS

    Game 107: Pirates 6 Reds 2

  10. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Diamondbacks game Preview

    12 Sports Illustrated

    Surprise teams stay in contention, Lincecum’s revival and more

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,1063454.story

    14 USA Today

    Redemption is sweet for Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Burnett

    15 Washington Post

    A.J. Burnett’s pitching, Starling Marte’s clutch triple help Pirates salvage series finale with 6-2 win over Reds

    16 Arizona Republic

    Ryan Howard gives Philadelphia Phillies win over Arizona Diamondbacks

    17 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds fall 6-2 to Burnett, Pirates


    18 PBC Site

    Burnett burns Reds as Bucs strike back

    Notebook: Seeing Red: Bucs’ success brews healthy rivalry

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    Daily Notes, Containing Numbers About Bunting

  11. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    2012 Steelers Training Camp Observations: Part One

    Steelers DB Jack Butler Thankful to Play in ‘City of Champions’

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Burress Return To Steelers Only Happens Out Of Desperation

    23 Steelers Gab

    Making the Leap: Mike Adams Moves Into the Starting Lineup at Tackle

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Lawrence Timmons, Insurance at the “Buck,” and the Steelers Defense

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Those Disturbing ACC-ND Rumors

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Players Forced Into Duty With Juantez Hollins Suspension

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    Quoting The Coaches: Day Three Of Practice

    28 WV Illustrated

    New Season, New Position for Shaq Petteway


    29 Sky Sports

    Transfer Clockwatch

    30 Daily Telegraph

    London 2012 Olympics; Team GB 1 South Korea 1 aet (4-5 pens): match report

    31 World Soccer Daily

    10 Ten stories you need to read, August 3rd, 2012


    32 Pensburgh

    Your Favorite “No Reason” Penguin

  12. JAL says:

    Rolling through the state as the theme. Started Sunday with Stars fell on Alabama. Today we go North to Alaska, Johnny Horton 1960 Written for a John Wayne movie. The song was big hit on both the country and pop charts. Johnny Horton was rising country star but was killed in traffic accident in 1960.

  13. Jandy says:

    Post of the day from yesterday:
    August 5th, 2012 – 9:50 pm bob must be single.

    cause i have to admit i’m wrong every single stinking day.

    Drew, darn you, dude, you simply rock this blog!

  14. bdubb says:

    Glad you brought up the “collapse” by those back home. I was reading Bob’s blog yesterday and at the time there were 28 comments and I swear 28 of them were negative. A few even attacked Cutch and how over-rated he is. It was pretty embarrassing.

    Worst part about the tape-delayed Olympics? NBC cutting to commercial before every gymnast takes her turn in the vault. I just had to look up the results online and go to bed. No need to drag a total of 15 minute competition into 45+.

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    I didn’t have a chance to catch the Hall Of Fame game last night. Just wondered if there were any cart-off’s ?

  16. JMB says:

    “Why is it every time the Pirates lose — or even have a lousy inning — it’s The Collapse?”

    I don’t know how many people think a bad “inning” signals anything, but I appreciate the hyperbole.

    Demon #3 & Boise #4 both made great points.

  17. JMB says:

    The Pirates have been my con-man buddy for 20 years, so I just expect him to borrow money (and never pay it back) , hit on my wife (drunk or not), and return my car damaged (and possibly wanted). I still love him like a brother, but I generally don’t trust him.

    After all those years, a haircut, nice suit, and change in demeanor make it hard to fully believe that he is back to his pre-drug habit 1992 self, but I think everyone in here is hoping — just on different levels of optimism.

  18. twentytwo22 says:

    Good series by the Pirates. They weren’t playing great coming into the series and each game they got better. The starting pitching was strong each game. The offense scored 0 then 4 then 6. Sunday was the first time they’ve knocked around a good starting pitcher since Greinke the first game after the all-star break. It was good to see. You can look back at the first two games and say that a play here or there and they take the series on the road against a team that is 22-4 in their last 26 games.

    They made it through the stretch of 16/22 on the road 13-9 .591 (.570 for the season). One last tough stretch left on the road in mid September.

    August schedule is similar to May’s. In May, they went 15-13 .536 (11-7 at home 4-6 on the road). This team is better now than it was then. I expect them to do a little better at home, little better on the road. Not predicting anything crazy just being conservative. But playing everyday could help them a lot.

  19. pants-n-at says:

    @ JMB. Couldn’t have said it better. And we probably all have a “buddy” like that….besides the PBC.

  20. twentytwo22 says:

    Tracking progress

    1990 64-43 (95-67)
    1991 62-45 (98-64)
    1992 59-48 (96-66)

    2012 61-46

  21. Jandy says:

    Milo, I didn’t catch it either, just read the game blog from yesterday. Lots of info in there…had me going too. lol

  22. Milo Hamilton says:


    I was talking about the Saints game last night. I completely forgot there was a game until I heard the score this morning.

    But I did the same thing this morning with the game blog. If I go to the game or aren’t near a computer, like yesterday, I always check to see what went on here. Yesterday’s was particulary entertaining. Hope you’re feeling better.

  23. Jandy says:

    Milo, much more human, thanks, friend.

    Saints, indeed ;)

  24. buggee says:

    Glad to see that you’re up and about Jandylicious!

  25. NMR says:

    I can guaruntee that even the most positive of Pirates posters on this blog haven’t forgotten about the last 19 years of losing.

    How is it that they somehow can contain themselves from predicting the end of the world after every Pirates loss?

    Everybody has that friend who calls plays, predicts scores, and generally loves to be right about ANYTHING sports related. And lets face it, there has been no easier bet over the last two decades than the Pittsburgh Porates losing. Its easy pickings.

    We all know the Pirates history. Just so happens that some of us aren’t giddy to predict its continuance.

  26. Matt says:

    I guess it depends on how you define “collapse”? Will they occasionally lose two or maybe even three in a row? That is likely at some point. Will we go from two ahead in the WC to ten out in a two week stretch? Not with the players we have. I do not constitute a couple of losses as a collapse.

  27. Bizrow says:

    Fantasy Football League on Yahoo

    Dejan’s Lunatics

    Password is 1203

    Sign up and pass the word

  28. Kevin Leary says:


    I believe I remember you saying in your blog or a Q&A a few years back during the Karstens / Braun fiasco that the Brewers were breaking baseball etiquette by waiting 3 months for retribution. While this is no-doubt somewhat different because of how Gorman tied the Pirates hands, dragging this out another month has that same “breach of etiquette” feeling to me.

    Or am I remembering you incorrectly???

    Related article:

  29. NMR says:

    After watching the series this week, can I assume that we’ll hear no more “the Central Division IS THERE FOR THE TAKING” comments?

    It doesn’t matter how bad the Cubs are. The team across the diamond just beat the Pirates without using the best hitter in the game and their ace pitcher.

    The Reds are really, really good. It will be a terrific feat if the Pirates keep it close from here on out.

  30. Jandy says:

    buggee, my friend, it is soooo wonderful to feel human again :)

  31. NMR says:

    Does anyone else think the beanball fest reeked of NHL goonery?

    Yes, by all means, any of the Pirates pitchers plunking a Red would’ve “protected” McCutchen from further abuse. ‘Cuz that logic is clearly air tight.

    With that being said, I think Dejan nailed it(no pun intended). Joey Votto better go up to the plate looking like a goalie next time these teams play.

  32. Hey JAL!

    I just read the article you wrote/published Friday under Rumbunter’s banner on the strength of the National League Central.

    Excellent approach, excellent usage of statistics, excellent viewpoint. I enjoyed it immensely!!

    You’re more than just a pretty face spinning records as the DJ!

  33. aglebagel says:

    Jeff Demps of Florida was considered by many to be the fastest man in football the last couple of years, and after devoting this past offseason to track instead of football, was still only able to place 7th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100M. I’m sure that some of America’s most talented sprinters have been snatched up by other sports, but that doesn’t make them as fast as the guys we saw last night.

    What a race. Yesterday was the first time in the Olympics that I basically shut myself in for the afternoon so I wouldn’t hear the result. It was worth it. I think Bolt is the most electrifying athlete I’ve ever seen (pun totally intended).

    Meanwhile, I just figured out that I’ll be able to catch my first and only live Pirates game this season next Monday, and I’m so psyched! Pittsburgh is way out of the way during my trip, but I cannot go through this season I’ll remember forever without supporting the guys in person.

  34. twentytwo22 says:


    Good one! I saw a highlight of Kevin Kolb getting landed on by a big DL. He had to be helped up.

    Pay that man his money.

  35. Timber says:

    I’ll admit I was one of the people screaming for immediate retribution when Cutch was beaned. But after calming down a little, I realized that’s not smart. JMac is struggling and needs to focus on getting outs, not dropping Reds. AJ might have been the right guy to do it, but again, Pirates needed to focus on getting a win, not getting even. Once he started rolling, drilling someone should have been the least of worries. If the right situation would have popped up (Phillips or Bruce up with 2 outs, no one on and Pirates winning by a comfortable margin), then even the score. But I have no problem with waiting until another series with Cincy and Votto is back.

  36. Jandy says:

    NMR, loved your hockey references. You sure have it pucked…errr..pegged. Spot on.

  37. twentytwo22 says:

    1. Is Neil Walker going to be signed to an extension?

    2. When the Pirates get to 82 wins will/should the team bring back notable players from 1993-2011 for pregame alumni ceremony?

  38. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    The Pirates still need more guys on base in front of McCutchen. Walker batting second helps (if they would keep him there) but they still need a leadoff hitter. The readers of this blog have as many walks as Starling Marte in his first 42 Major League at-bats. 11 SO : 0 BB isn’t good. Let’s hope that changes or he won’t be around long. The guy shows flashes of his talent. There’s no doubt. He can’t keep hitting leadoff with those numbers though.

    Perhaps batting Walker first and Marte second would be most beneficial for the lineup as a whole. Marte doesn’t have to walk in the 2-hole. He can use is natural abilities and tendencies to concetrate on contact, hit balls the other way, and use his speed to pressure defenses bunting. Just a thought…

    And has anyone been victimized by umpires calling pitches off the plate more than Pedro Alvarez lately? It seems like opposing pitchers get 4 or 5 calls per game against him. Hitting is a lot different when you’re ahead than it is when you’re behind, and pitching is a lot easier when the strike zone is 6 inches wider. The Cincinnati series was the worst umpiring I have seen in a LONG TIME.

  39. NMR says:

    Haha, glad your feeling better, Jandy. :)

  40. 4 Deuces,

    Is Pluto going to regain its status as a planet?

    That question is just about as germane as you posing the question about Neil Walker’s contract now in the middle of a pennant race!

    PLAY BALL!!!

  41. NMR says:

    re: #38

    Being a poor leadoff hitter doesn’t mean Marte won’t be around long. He simply needs to be put in a position to succeed. We all knew the kid couldn’t walk to save his life. Thats just how it is.

    I hate to say it, but this team desperately needs Jose Tabata. Even in what was considered a disappointing season of 2011, he still posted an OBP of .350.

  42. TJA says:

    Thank you, DK for setting it straight re: a bad inning or game means “the collapse”….I have to admit…I was pretty frustrated on Friday and Saturday, but indeed…there is lots of time and games left.

    Speaking of MVP stuff…Hurdle for Manager of the Year? Or, does Davey Johnson get it?

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    Someone call the Cops! Someone is disguising themselves as 22 (##18, 20).

    JMB–great post at #17.

  44. Jandy says:

    NMR, I hear Jose is coming around in Indianapolis. Might be he comes back soon.

  45. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s a first, saying we deperately need Jose, although I understand your point. At least someone like him, with his potential for a higher OBP. One nice thing about Marte, he moves on the bases and in the outfield. That stand-up triple yesterday was nice to see, although it was poorly played off the top of the wall.

  46. Boise Bucco says:

    There was one pitch sequence, in particular, that when Alvarez goes back, he’s got every right to be ticked off about–that at-bat that he ended up grounding out to Cairo, where Cairo didn’t quite field it cleanly and Alvarez spiked his helmet.

    The strike one call was about a foot outside, on a 1-0 count. Alvarez wasn’t even looking to swing at it. When the ump called strike, you could see the look of disgust in his face. the very VERY next pitch from Broxton was in the EXACT SAME SPOT–Gorman calls it a ball.

    1. Broxton did a great job throwing another pitch there; if they’re gonna give you strikes a foot off the plate, take strikes a foot off the plate.
    2. Alvarez did a GREAT job laying off that pitch (and Walkie called it on the TV side). Even though there was a chance that Gorman could end up calling that pitch for a strike, being that he had called the previous pitch a strike, Alvarez had the discipline to lay off, and he got his call.

    In the end, it was all for naught, but I felt like it was still a good at-bat. Pedro’s gonna come back around, maybe even this series against the D-Backs.

  47. Bizrow says:

    ESPN is reporting Doan has narrowed his choices to the Pens, Rangers or Canucks

  48. Jandy says:

    AW, lol..where is Occifer Mancuso when ya need him????

  49. Dejan,

    “Why is it every time the Pirates lose — or even have a lousy inning — it’s The Collapse?”

    If your question is more than rhetorical, I will answer it. If the most recent person I ask out on a date turns me down, I may be gunshy in asking another out. If the only person I ask on a date in 20 years turns me down and stomps all over me and my reputation in the process, I may be afraid to ever ask another out.

    The Pirates last year, for the first time in 19 years, made a run at 1st Place (1997 Freak Show doesn’t count: that was the other clubs being horrid, not the Bucs being good!). Then the Bucs fell off a cliff——or, to use your word collapsed——going 19 – 43 to end the season.

    This year has been a wonderful experience thus far, much better than last year. Yet it’s still the first time in 20 years the Pirates have a legitimate contender. Especially after last year, why would we not expect McCutch to get hit with a 101 fastball and get hurt [he did, but he did not], JMac to return to his previous seasons’ pitching results [he has], Pedro to quit hitting HRs and driving in runs [he has], and Burnett’s arm to fall off [it hasn’t].

    Our only experience for 2 decades approaching winning is COLLAPSE. Why should we not fear that axe falling again? I’m very afraid to ask anybody out on that date!

  50. pants-n-at says:

    @ Arriba (43). Granted, I don’t get on here every day but to my knowledge, that’s the 1st time I’ve seen 22 address someone else (in post 34).

  51. NMR says:


    If you’re following the Pirates season, you’re already on the date!

    I can understand fans staying away from the team because of 20 years of losing. I can understand fans not buying into them being a serious contender because of 20 years of losing.

    But I’ll never understand why certain people invest time watching all the games, reading articles, and blogging on sites like this one only to jump off a bridge after every loss. That kind of stress can’t be good for the ol’ ticker.

  52. NMR says:


    I can’t imagine Jose getting serious time Spring Training. It’s a shame that he wasted this season when the team really needed him.

    I think the trade for Snider was a sign that Huntington might’ve learned his lesson from this past offseason where he basically handed Presley and Tabata starting jobs. On paper, the team looked like it had a very respectable duo flanking McCutchen.

    Next year will have a ton of competition when you figure Presley, Tabata, Snider, and Marte will be fighting for two jobs. Huntington may not have went out and aquired a “sure-thing”, but he got a guy who could at the very least push the talent the team already has.

  53. pghboyinca says:

    The Pirates are not collapsing this year and Burnett is a primary reason.With that guy throwing every 5th day a long losing streak is not possible.Also Cutch is a year older and woser and seems ready for a full seasonand Walker and Jones are both actually heating up as the season progresses. However Barmes and Barajas are a total disgrace. I really can’t decide which one is worse. The Pirates are run on at will and this guy just can’t hit. Barmes is above average defensively buit he is pathetic at the plate. And how many times with a hitters count does he swing at ball soutside hte strike zone?? If I was Hurdleand hte count was 2-0 with Barmes up I’d go get the bat and tell him he wasn’t getting it back until he had 2 strikes on him.

  54. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Excellent points.

  55. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    “Why is it every time the Pirates lose — or even have a lousy inning — it’s The Collapse?”

    NAILED it with this one DK. That’s all you ever see, in this blog and on any social media websites from people that are “fans.”

    This season is a lot more than just one series. A lot more than one winning or losing streak, though either can propel you in either way.

    Its one freakin’ game at a time.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

    The Pirates hung with the Reds for the whole series and took the last game. A bounce here or there and they could’ve swept the series.

    McCutchen will be redeamed. So what if it didn’t happen this series. My guess is Votto takes one on the side in the next series, when he returns. Sometimes there are bigger things to take care of than a retaliation plunking. They will get theirs.

    DK, on that note, some of your collegues also spread their frustration with Hurdle on not hitting a Red. Way to keep your level head……..that’s why we all come here.

  56. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned or not already………

    But who the hell thought that the Buccos could possibly have an MVP, Cy Young, and the #1 closer this year……..on the same team………still in a Buccos uniform?

    Amazing season right now……loving the ride.

  57. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Is it time to swap JT for AP yet?

  58. NMR says:


    I think DK dig a good job in his piece on Tabata of explaining that when things are good, Jose’s good and when things are bad, Jose’s bad. I woudn’t get excited about a hot streak in AAA. Tabata’s issues are deeper than the numbers, IMO.

    He needs to stay and figure out how to ride out the valleys that will always follow the peaks. For his own sake.

  59. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I think Cutch’s homer yesterday was retaliation enough. Had to listen to game on radio, but it sounded like poetic justice. We don’t need to waste pitches and potential runs plunking guys to get back at them. No Burnett for MVP… Cy Young needs to be shacking up with him after this season. By far NH’s best free agent move ever. Guy is a freakin’ stud. And 4.5 out hardly puts us out. Let’s face it- Bucs haven’t been as astounding since the break, but if this was last year’s team we are discussing how they got swept in Cincy and are 10 games behind. Reds are bound to cool off. But if they don’t, can hardly put blame on the Bucs for not keeping up with ridiculously good record, which as of right now they are. Last I checked, Cincy has most wins in the league. Anyone notice we only have 2 less wins than the Buy-a-Championshippers? (er, Yankees)

  60. Mike A. says:

    I’m not going so far as to say there’s a collapse; but when a team goes 6-4 on what has to be labeled a key road trip, and still loses, what, 3 games, in the standings, it has to be demoralizing. I don’t think the Pirates are collapsing, but I also think their chances of taking the division are slim, 4.5 game deficit or not. The Pirates aren’t losing the race, the Reds are winning it.

  61. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Very true…….if he has it figured out, bring him back up. AP is a waste of space IMO, knowing what JT CAN do………but of course, that’s different than what he DOES do.

    such a head scratcher.

  62. Bizrow says:

    I think about 1/3 of the season is still left?

    IMHO 4 1/2 games is nuttin

  63. pants-n-at says:

    @ Mike. let’s see what happens with the Buccos comig home and the Reds hitting the road. They’re bound to cool off.

  64. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    A great over/under for a our homestand line would be; what will the Pirates homestand record be? 11 straight home games is a nice thing to have.

  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Reds are obviously a good team. And they’ve pulled together and actually played better since Votto went down. And that’s the mark of a good team. I’m not sure I would count on them cooling off too much. The Brewers got hot last year after the break and never really cooled off much, and won the Division, but St. Louis won the WS.

  66. radio wave says:

    OK guys and gals, what’s going on?
    I’m listening to sirius/xm radio. Not even listening to the 24 hour mlb channel, a different sports talk channel.
    They’ve been talking a lot of Bucs.
    They say the pitching rotation for the Bucs is out up to Friday, and McDonald isn’t listed.
    If he’s out of the rotation, why?
    Dead arm?
    Skip a start?
    If anyone knows anything please post.

  67. pants-n-at says:

    I just noticed the same thing on Correia taking his spot in the rotation.

  68. JRay3 says:

    @ radio wave – They are using Correia as a spot start on Wednesday to give each started an extra day of rest.

    Arizona Series – Bedard, Karstens, Correia, Wandy
    San Diego Series – J-Mac, AJ, Bedard

    Nobody coming out of rotation but with 20 games in 20 days this is the time to utilize the spot start.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like kind of a modified 6 man rotation. Maybe a test? Although I’ve seen it mentioned that JMac, because of the modified rotation post-break, is the only starter who got no extra rest.

  70. Bizrow says:

    @AW – understand your thoughts but, we got miles to go before we sleep though

    Its still relatively early. a .611 winning percentage for the season is 99 wins? IMO the Reds aren’t that good.

    That being said, bring it on NL Central ;-)

  71. DemonDachshund says:

    I believe they said they were giving Correia a spot start to give the other pitchers a little extra rest. None of the starters other than AJ have a track record of the 200+ innings needed to go a full season. Going a turn or two with a 6 man rotation may be a way to combat that, to some degree.

    I don’t think the Padres series starters are in any way “official” yet… I think ESPN just guesses at a 5 man rotation up until they have the announced starters.

    Even if they are accurate through Friday, I could see the Bucs keeping AJ going every 5 days and pushing JMac to Saturday.

    Kind of all speculation at this point.

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    Biz–didn’t say they would keep up their pace, just that they wouldn’t fall off that much. 94-95wins? They’re good. Doesn’t mean I’m predicting we can’t catch them, but WE have to be good!

  73. Jandy says:

    AJ said it himself…”Whatever it takes to win”

  74. Bizrow says:

    Yup, AW, we just need to keep grinding the games out.

    Honestly, give me No. 82 and the rest (although I want it) is gravy.

    Shooting for say 92 wins, well that is a 20 game improvement over last year, not many teams make that big of a leap in one season.

    But there might be that hidden vigorish, not to mention magic dust over at PNC this season, you never know.

  75. twentytwo22 says:

    Going by the probables, it looks like their 4 best starters will go against the Dodgers.

    I would sign for a 7-4 homestand and 68-50 going to St. Louis.

    There is real potential for a winning streak here. When you have a good record during a stretch that you don’t play great in, if you come to a stretch where you do play well your record will take off.

    I think that pghboyinca is right. A.J. Burnett has prevented those crippling losing streaks. They have gathered their share of ugly, gutty wins, and their winning streaks or 8 out of 10s have spiked their record.

    Conditions are ripe.

  76. twentytwo22 says:

    An 8-2 here +1 and they are 70-48, heading to St. Louis. I don’t think it’s crazy at all.

  77. NMR says:

    Loved your thoughts in #65, Arriba.

    I can’t help but think of the ’11 Brew Crew every time I read someone say the Reds are bound to cool off. Maybe off of their .880, 22 of 25 current streak, but they have just as “easy” of a schedule the rest of the way as the Pirates. Even playing the rest of the way at a relatively modest .550 winning percentage, one they’ve surpassed all season, puts them at 96 wins.

    That is awfully tough to catch.

  78. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you, Biz.

  79. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    At this point, I still think the Reds will win the division. Will they cool off? Eh, hopefully, but not at the rate that the Buccos need to catch up and take the division.

    Never know though.

    I would be thrilled if they get a WC slot. I see high 80’s-low 90’s for victories for this season.

    The greatest part of the Reds series, to me, is seeing the Buccos and Reds duke it out. Love a good rivalry. This one might be coming back….

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    And with you, NMR.

  81. JAL says:


    Glad you enjoyed my article. Thank you for reading it.

  82. JHadar says:

    Biz —

    Not many teams make a 20 game improvement in a year, but I think that the collapse last year was an aberration for this team.

    Not discount the years of losing, but of the guys we’ve got now, only Jones and Karstens played with any kind of regularity before McCutchen came up. It’s basically a new team built (actually it would be better to say “being built”) around McCutchen.

    I still have hope that everybody we’re sending out there will improve or be replaced by a better player in coming seasons.

    “Anything beyond 82 8s gravy.” Please pass the gravy

  83. DemonDachshund says:

    61-46, 55 games remaining.

    Given that 32 out of 55 games remaining are at home and that the Bucs have played much better at PNC, I think 29-26 down the stretch is attainable. And if you win 90 games, you’re going to be in the wild card discussion.

    Yes, in a vacuum, an 18 game improvement from last year seems crazy. But given the position they’re in… If this wasn’t the Pirates we were talking about, I’d almost expect it.

  84. twentytwo22 says:


    Milwaukee went 23-3 and then went 19-14
    St. Louis went 13-13 and then went 23-11
    Final margin was Milwaukee by 6.

    I know that Cincinnati has gone 22-4 while the Pirates are 16-10. That’s assuming it’s only a 26 game hot streak but I like using history as a guide.

    They’re only down 4 and have more games to play than the Cards did.

  85. tdb1977 says:


    Trying to get in on the FF but I keep getting told that This league is not registered in this game.

  86. Jandy says:

    JAL/Groat, can we peons here have a link to that article JAL wrote and Groat raved about? I’d love to read it…make it easy for me…please? ;)

  87. DemonDachshund says:

    And Re: Catching the Reds…

    66-42, 54 games remaining. Even going .500 down the stretch, which is extremely unlikely given their recent play, that leaves them at 93 wins. The Bucs would have to go 32-23 to match. That’s tough enough, and note that if the Reds do better than .500, that goes up.

    The only chance lies in the 6 games between the clubs. I don’t see it happening without at least 4 Bucco wins, probably need 5. It’s possible, but it’s not going to be easy.

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    22–but the Cards still came in 2nd ( in the standings).

  89. twentytwo22 says:

    I’m hoping Milwaukee opens up a can on Cincinnati this series after being swept in Cincinnati two weeks ago.

  90. twentytwo22 says:


    I know. :( but they made up 4 games with 34 to play.

  91. Boise Bucco says:

    Here’s something good:

    Assuming that AJ pitches every 5th day, he would have 11 starts left this season. That’s 11 starts to prove that he’s Cy Young worthy.

    Among qualifiers, AJ sits tied for 1st in Wins, 3rd in win %, 11th in ERA (even after the StL game), 27th in IP, 28th in K’s, 11th in WHIP, and 15th in ERA+. The best part is he’s getting better as the season progresses.

    It’s a longshot, but wouldn’t that be something…

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    22—but as you said, the final margin was 6.

    BTW—thanks for engaging. It’s good to have a robust debate.

  93. Jandy says:

    Boise, I’m an avid AJ fan, so yeah, I’d love to see him go an a tear the rest of the season and earn some well-deserved recognition and awards.
    And again, Yankees, thanks very much!!!! :p

  94. Bizrow says:

    @tdb1977, I’ll check when I get home tonight, as soon as I read the Trib, I might have done something wrong, it is ME we’re talking about here

  95. Bizrow says:

    Did I read right that the PBC is 17-3 when AJ starts?

    That will be tough to keep up. However, our starter tonight is 5-12, there might be a chance that record can be perked up a bit. And we have Kartsy, which we did not have for most of the beginning of the season.

    @JH – I will personally deliver the gravy if it ends up on the menu….

  96. WOW!

    What a diverse collection here today!!

    Some are advocating bringing back Jose Tabata after an 8-game hitting streak when he has a whole season of failure to overcome.

    North Cali Ryan says, “A bounce here or there and they could’ve swept the series.”

    I’m not sure what series you watched or listened to, but the Bucs never even made the Reds starter sweat on Friday night. On Saturday night the Pirates hung tough but they struggled uphill all night and you somehow never felt the Pirates were going to win even when they finally tied it 4-4. Then Hughes promptly gave up that triple.

    Sunday when AJ had all those runners on in the 1st, it looked like the Buccos would get swept. Ludwick’s bonehead play getting picked off 1st might have been the turning point in the game. When Neil Walker hit his 2-run homer, it was the first lead for the Pirates in the series. Then AJ just took over!

    It was a good series, but the Pirates were much closer to being swept than getting a sweep!!

    I agree with Bizzy——4 games back in the loss column with 50 games left is nothing. All of you already conceding the division to the Reds DESERVE that stupid wild card scenario.

    I’m holding out with Bizzy and Wilver Dornel for winning the National League Central!!

  97. Bizrow says:

    In 1978, I got laughed at by at PBC ticket seller. There was a rain out with the Phillies fairly early in the year. I went and got tickets for a twi-night double header scheduled for the last Friday in the season. The ticket guy said, what the heck are you buying these for? They are out of it now and you are just wasting your money.

    78 was one of the most exciting pennant races I’ve had the pleasure of watching, we swept the Phils that last Friday, Willie hit a grand slam in the first inning of the Saturday game, but the Phils came back to win (we had to sweep and then win a make up game)

    That also reminds me of getting dissed in Vegas when I bought tickets for them to make the playoffs, the seller yelled to his buddy and said, “Hey Frank, now I’ve seen it all, this guy is betting on Pittsburgh…”

    I didn’t get to go to Vegas this year, yet, but I did have a friend pick up three 20 buck tickets, one for the NL Central, one for the NL Division and one for the WS. I hope that fellow is there when I go to cash them in. As well as the bet on the over, which I think was 69 1/2.

  98. G2M—when you’re right you’re right. :-) (F Drew)

  99. Jandy says:

    Ok, Biz is ME, Drew is EYE…anyone going for MYSELF or IRENE?

  100. JandyGirl,

    You will LOVE the article JAL wrote . . . . . . as soon as he links it!

    I have a “subscription” to Rumbunter; but after I read the Friday edition this morning I tossed it overboard. It floated away.

    I’m sure JAL has copies printed and pasted on his bedroom walls. He will link it for you!!

    It’s worth your wait.

  101. Jandy says:

    Now, JAL, you KNOW I was sicker than the proverbial dog on Friday. It was ALL I could do to WORK till 11am. lol
    Thanks for the link, Darling, I will go read it now! =D

  102. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    I guess I meant more along the lines of a series win, not a sweep………….

  103. Hey JAL!

    You’re an important member of the family here. If I didn’t know your name I might have just skipped over your article.

    When you have produced something like that, be sure to let us family members know here. It’s not bragging when you tell family.

    You produced a really good piece!

  104. Jandy says:

    Ahhhh…JAL, magnificent! Your next to last paragraph says it all. The big-headed people who decided the NL Central is down are AGAIN maligning our Buccos. How dare they! I hope this just adds fuel to the fire that burns the Bucco’s will to win right now.

    Just goes to show you, don’t be a sheep and blindly follow…think for yourself.

    Great job, JAL!

  105. Jandy says:

    Groat, you are so right, it’s a GEM!

  106. LuckyNKentucky says:


    Ditto Groaty and J-girl. Very good read.

  107. Jandy says:

    Hey Lucky, your P*****S worked, by Sunday morning I was feeling pretty darn close to normal ;)

  108. NMR says:

    Speaking of the Cards, it seems like nobody is.

    The defending World Champs are 10 games over .500, lead the league in runs scored, 6th in ERA, and have the best run differential in all of baseball.

    Man, that NL Central sure is garbage.

  109. Jandy says:

    I see NMR is on board ;)

  110. Kentuck Knob,

    Did you travel across the river to the Promised Land and see the Bucs play the Reds, or did you stay at Mount Nebo and listen to Marty?

  111. Stickyweb says:

    Count me in as still thinking the Bucs can win the division. Cincy’s pace has been ridiculous. They will cool down. It’s just a matter of how much they cool down. If they match what the Brewers did last year (“Milwaukee went 23-3 and then went 19-14″ assuming 2222 #’s are right) then we have a legit shot.

    And Votto coming back may not be such a positive, as weird as that sounds. I mean really, they can’t play any better when he comes back, so once they slow down, we’ll need to see how they handle it. Sometimes those things can snow ball on a team that has it too easy for a long time. We shall see, but if the Buccos keep up a good pace (like say 8-3 on this homestand), anything can happen.

  112. RobertoForever says:

    With regard to the Olympics coverage, it has been a tremendous games already. And truthfully, the NBC tape-delay has not bothered me one bit, and in many cases, the tape delay allowed them to provide some great context and story-telling that there would not have been time for during the live events.

    And I have been able to watch some of every event except sailing so far.

    The use of 5 different channels (NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, MSNBC and Bravo) has really provided an awesome array of options. Since Team Handball and Water Polo have always been my favorite, it has been awesome to see so many of the matches, and not just the U.S, Hearing Doc announce water polo has also been a treat, although NBC dragging Pierre along has dampened that a bit.

    Looking forward to Taekwondo and the Modern Pentathlon. Oh and I won a few music downloads thru the McDonald’s Olympic game, thanks to some U.S. gold medal winners, lol.

    My favorite stories of the Olympics has been Oscar Pistorius, the 400m athlete from South Africa and Kayla Harrison, the U.S. first gold medal in judo.

  113. RobertoForever says:

    Lineup is out

    Marte LF, Harrison 3B, Cutch CF, Sanchez 1B, Walker 2B, Jones RF, Barajas C, Barmes SS, Bedard P

  114. Bizrow says:

    No Pedro in the lineup tonight

  115. There’s nothing wrong with the Reds that a good 5-game losing streak wouldn’t cure!!

  116. Bizzy,

    Pedro’s best position for the last week has been “cheerleader.”

  117. Stickyweb says:

    Barajas? Seriously? I like Hurdle but if Hot Rod catches half the games the rest of the way, that’s about twice as many as he should. He should catch AJ and 1 more game per week. Sitting him the day after AJ pitches should be an automatic for CH.

  118. Jandy says:

    I agree with Sticky, I’d like to see more of the Fort while he’s hot.

  119. LuckyNKentucky says:


    They always do! Better than a 100,000 mile power train warranty.


    I almost had my son-in-law preach Sunday and took a ride to Cincy, but that’s four hours and the weather here was horrible, so I thought it might be there. (Hate to miss a chance to preach, anyway. Gameday and GD audio had to prevail).

  120. Stickyweb says:

    The Fort’s actually hitting lefties better than Cutch! 1.317 OPS vs. 1.266. All together now, “It’s a small sample size” but the sample size ain’t getting any bigger with the Fort on the bench.

  121. JRay3 says:

    Don’t understand why they do not play the hot bat in McKenry, perplexed by that one. Pedro sitting against a LHP no big deal.

    I would have Barajas catch AJ and Wandy and let the Fort handle the rest of the staff.

  122. RobertoForever says:

    Alvarez has actually done well the last week. 5 for 17, including 2 for 5 against the LHP he faced.

    Wonder if there is something else going on?

  123. Kentuck Knob,

    You are Moses, sticking with his people.

    Hope you do not have a Korah among your flock.

  124. JHadar says:

    Winning the division means that there have to be five more times that we win and Cincinnat loses than when they win and we lose.

  125. JHadar says:

    Oh yeah, and without letting St. Louis in.

  126. pants-n-at says:

    If we can pick up a couple games over the next few weeks, it will all come down to those last 2 series. Looking over the next few weeks, Cincy doesn’t have it too tough but I’ll be rooting for the Brew Crew tonight. Anbody heard anything more about JMac?

  127. Iowa Hadar,

    That’s why Iowa is known to have the best educational system in the nation. Can’t fool you! You got it figured!

    Buccos are 4 games back in the loss column with 55 games to go. I’d rather it be even, but I won’t start to worry until there’s 20 games left.

  128. scapper says:

    Wow, Biz! I was at that DH that night in 78, too. Stan Savran still claims that that night was the most electric he has ever seen 3 Rivers Stadium, and he includes every Steeler game he ever saw there. The place just hummed all night and the electricity grew as the evening went on. The fact that Bucs had come from something like 11.5 games back in late August AND both games being walk-offs of the most bizarre fashion…pandemonium. Lanny couldn’t even finish his mid-game radio stint the next day because he was too hoarse. Had to hand it over Milo…who had the “privilege” of announcing Phillies pitcher Barry “Randy” Lerch’s TWO homeruns to bring them back from Stargell’s first-inning slam.

    Here ends the trip down memory lane. (But the way they won those two games…off the chart craziness.)

  129. Jandy says:

    How could anyone rebel against Luckster…he’s the sweetest minister I know…

  130. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks, Jandy! I don’t have any rebels. Too small a group. (It only takes one, though, doesn’t it?)

  131. The JandyGirl knows her google machine!!!

    Scrappy-doo, one of Lerch’s homeruns bounced over the fence in center!!

    That was an amazing and exciting week-end!!

  132. Boise Bucco says:

    Here’s some stats you won’t read in the normal series preview:

    Arizona is tied for the major league lead in balks with 8. Yep. (Pittsburgh has had 2)This might be due to the average age of their pitcher which is is a relatively-young 27.5. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has an average age of 30.3–4th oldest among pitching staffs. The oldest is the Yankees, of course.

    Something I found that made me think of double-play-o-rama Friday night: Cincy actually has LESS double plays turned this year than the Bucs do–74 for the Reds, 87 for the Bucs. Arizona has turned 90. Minnesota has turned MLB-leading 124.

    On the flip-side of that, Minnesota has also grounded INTO the most double plays in MLB, with 107. Pittsburgh looks really good in that category, grounding into only 63, 2nd best in MLB. Arizona is middle of the road, with 79 GIDP’s.

    Something that could bite the Bucs: Arizona is top-5 in OBP, but they are bottom 8 in stolen bases. That said, we know how the Bucs are at throwing out runners. Hope Arizona doesn’t have a good scouting report. Bedard’s on the hill tonight, and he’s pretty decent at holding runners on.

    (all stats courtesy of

  133. JohninOshkosh says:

    This phenomenal women’s soccer game between the USA and Canada at Old Trafford is headed toward Dejan’s dreaded Penalty Kick shutout. Amazing game-rivals the US/Canada Men’s Hockey game 2 years ago, really. C’mon Alex Morgan-channel your inner Sid!

  134. JohninOshkosh says:

    Canada’s Goalkeeper, Erin McLeod, is a Penn State grad. Will be charged with stopping the American snipers if there is a PK shootout.

  135. MadTurk says:

    No collapse yet and haven’t really seen one coming. What’s a couple of games in baseball? nada. time will tell. will sweat it out more after another 40 45 games.

    #46 and others, Pedro had some bad calls but even the anoucers the other day were commenting on how Presley never gets the outside call.
    In this past series witht the REDS all our players were getting bad calls off the plate.

    So much fun to still be in the hunt, looking foward to every game now.

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