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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Brewers 3, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (70-61) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (63-68)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: House of Horrors

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Milwaukee RHP Marco Estrada

  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Josh Harrison, 2B
  7. Rod Barajas, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. A.J. Burnett, RHP


  1. pattonbb says:

    For those of you that have been asking about Playoffs by 2012 –

    I was able to track him down via email this week. He’s fine, just staying away from the blog. Here’s some of the email he sent to me..

    “I don’t want to be the guy who constantly is bickering with others on the blog. It’s funny, when I started doing the whole over/under thing it was in part a way for me to not just blurt out whatever came into my mind while watching the Pirates sub-par performances early in the season. I never dreamed the over/under would take off as it did. I was glad to see it really bring a lot of fans together, and it really was nice to see some genuine camaraderie on the blog.

    But in the end, I let myself get heated up over the posts of a few members, and I wrote some things I shouldn’t have written. I’d like to think that I could come back after a short break and just ignore the ones who get me going, but again I know myself too well. Someone will post something that will get me going, and instead of ignoring it, I’ll engage that person and write things I shouldn’t. Quite honestly, I have too much respect for the good work that Dejan does to carry on like I have been lately. It’s not right and I shouldn’t have done it. That is why I’m respectfully walking away now.”

  2. LuckyNKentucky says:


    That’s sad. He’s a good guy and is missed, not only for the window, but he has good insight and we all enjoy his posts. I admire him for wanting to control what he feels is a personal problem rather than blaming everyone else, even if the others rightfully deserve to shoulder some of it.

  3. Drew71 says:


    And let me add…the window is nice but forget the window.

    Just come back. Just you. YOU are welcome.

  4. radio wave says:

    Agree with Drew’s post.
    What roster moves were made today?

  5. Matt says:

    I was glad to see Brock Holt called up. I am anxious to see if he can hit at this level. Go buccos!

  6. Bizrow says:

    Agree with all of the posts on Playoffs and I am glad he is ok.

    The “window” stuff was a tremendous amount of fun for this place

    But a tremendous amount of work, and I’m sure it was a huge PIA at times, especially with Playoffs starting a new job.

    Just come back, my friend, regarding arguing with putzes on blogs

    Oh, the stories I could tell you..

    Lets get a win tonight and send the Brewcrew packing?

  7. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Yinz bring home a win tonight. Taking my wife to the big city (Bowling Green)for Olive Garden. It was our 40th last Sunday and we didn’t get to go “out” yet. Busy little bees. She doesn’t like poodles, Drew or we might not have made it to 40. BTW, Locke in the rotation Monday. He’ll give us a chance to win, like AJ tonight. Good move for now. Enjoy the game.

  8. The Gunner says:

    Nice to see Presley in LF tonight instead of Scabata. Worst case, he might provide a spark which this team desperately needs.

    Let’s hope AJ brings his A game and gets great support from the offense against these beer bellied drunkards from Milwaukee.

  9. JRay3 says:

    Happy to hear Jeff Locke is beiing inserted into rotation, by performance he deserves this opportunity and hope he seizes it.

    Pulling for Jeff Karstens to have a quick recovery, team is better with him in rotation but this is why having a guy like Correia has benefits, he came in and did a really nice job yesterday.

    With each day Walker is not in the lineup his back has to become a bit more concerning, really need our best lineup out there in this stretch.

    Well I too hope to see playoffs back, as I would think many of us can relate and our passion can lead to a rise in emotion.

    Time to enjoy the moment….Let’s Go Bucs!

  10. Karen22 says:

    Ditto on “Playoffs by 2012.” I was once very involved (a moderator, even) with an awesome baseball website. Everything was sunshine & roses until folks forgot respect and civility in replying to posts by blog “friends” who were really strangers…we all thought we were “pals,” but in reality, we were words on screen, devoid of inflection or body language that normally convey intent and meaning when in actual personal contact. The core group of the blog/message board eventually exited after years of exchanging fantastic information and ideas, many for the same reasons as Playoffs gives. I don’t post a lot here, but I try to make sure I stick to baseball and NOT personality. People really CAN agree to disagree without being uncivil. If you’re reading, Playoffs, I DO hope you come back—you have too much to offer.

    And let’s begin September with a big, fat WIN!!

  11. Chico says:

    Yeah, playoffs — come back soon!

  12. pattonbb says:

    Anyone notice Snider’s OBP is around .370? Wonder if Clint would ever think about moving him to leadoff? I remember a couple bringing it up in here before. The more I look at it, the more it might make sense.

    Let’s Go Bucs! Hope AJ gets a chance to tell Tony Plush to STFD a couple times tonight.

  13. bobhasis says:

    For my two newest best friends TC and AW, regarding Brock Holt; JAL provided a link in the blog WVU 69 Marshall 34, and my erstwhile old friends Lucky and Gunner with all of whom I shared some intellectual exchanges this afternoon, the link discussed the 5 new call-ups.
    In part it discussed Brock Holt, and also Eric Fryer. It was claimed that Fryer has a laser of an arm. Wouldn’t you think a pitcher – even AJ – would want that as an assist (beside his own skill of holding runners on) in getting runners tagged out at second?

    And as relates to Holt, is he not worth a game – one game – to justify why he was called up?

  14. JRay3 says:

    Nats take 9-8 lead on Cards in wild one from DC.

  15. Thundercrack says:

    Are you saying our exchanges weren’t intellectual enough for you…..or even not at all?

    Well then.

  16. bobhasis says:

    Unless we determine just what kind of talent we have “waiting in the wings” i.e. Mercer, Presley, d’Arnaud, Holt among many others – and being touted and savored by our foes – I can visualize these gems showing up in a key position for another team, without us knowing for sure of their worth. Are we certain about Marte yet?

    Or if the FO does know their worth, and have decided they can’t be trusted to provide us a lift or a push, why are they parading them around in our dugout?

    I think there is something very strange about that; the words charade and facade come to mind.

  17. bobhasis says:

    TC, absolutely not. Quite the contrary. It was invigorating and illuminating, and I thought we arrived at some mutual conclusions. I would have thought for sure you did too.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    One the things I hate about modern baseball is when a manager manages totally from “the book”. I thought the 3 Pirate managers did that, especially the last two. It seems to me that Clint doesn’t go straight from the book – that he does go by the gut at times.

    Over the past few days some have expressed the desire for the Pirates to start players that are brought up at on September 1. Catcher and shortstop…and some of the starting pitchers.

    My opinion is that at this time of the season, and while you are still in the thick of a playoff spot, you should play the veterans. Now is not the time to see what the young guy can do. If we were 15 games out or 20 games under .500 –then I am ALL for playing the young guys.

    Can someone rationally explain the other side of that argument and why they feel the young guys should play now? Thank you in advance.

  19. bobhasis says:

    Don’t those veterans have to be productive, and of some value?

    Bedard and Correia are veterans, look how pleased some were when they were “removed” and possibly be replaced by rookies. Doesn’t the same philosophy apply?

  20. pattonbb says:

    Cards have tied it up in the 8th off of good ‘ol Sean Burnett.

  21. Boise Bucco says:

    good to see that McGwire finally let his players into his stash, they’d been shut out what, 4 games in a row?

  22. JAL says:

    Boise Bucco

    Not quite, went 0, 0, 1 unearned run, 0 so 4 games without an earned run but only 3 shutouts.

  23. Boise Bucco says:

    So I FINALLY got to see Dark Knight Rises…every second of the hype was totally deserved. It was crazy seeing Pittsburgh everywhere though. I know I know this has already been discussed, but I haven’t been able to see it until now. Thanks everybody for not spoiling it for me.

  24. Boise Bucco says:

    @JAL–maybe Big Mac shouldn’t say stuff like “this lineup should never get shut out.” Baseball gods laugh at those statements.

  25. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    Looking forward to watching Pittsburgh baseball this week. Like the additions…….Would like to see Holt get in a few starts at short….

  26. Bizrow says:

    So whats going on with the game?

  27. pattonbb says:

    AJ’s hitting 95 mph on the gun? Think he’s a little pumped up?

  28. pattonbb says:


    Couldn’t pick a better time to heat up.

  29. Boise Bucco says:


  30. JRay3 says:

    El Toro with a monster blast to give the Bucs early lead…#27…if he can stay on a roll watch out.

  31. Bizrow says:

    And a 250ish batting average

    Cool beans

  32. Drew71 says:

    Happy anniversary, Mr and Mrs Luckster. I may have, um, crappy poodles and you have the Olive Garden, but it’s all good. May you have it for another 40.

  33. Bizrow says:

    #32, like

  34. JMB says:

    RB loses the ball before a SB all the time.

  35. pattonbb says:

    this stolen base issue is getting ridiculous.

  36. JMB says:

    Our only defense is to step on SB’ers.

  37. JRay3 says:

    113 SB against, 12 caught stealing, that is worse than poor, awful, unacceptable….all of the above. You would think we would luck into one every once in awhile.

  38. JMB says:

    Terrible — turrrrIBLE inning for RB.

  39. JRay3 says:

    Just gave them a run, BB, steal, steal, wp on squeeze and pitch not close, that is not playoff baseball.

  40. Bizrow says:

    Little League home run


  41. pattonbb says:

    Agree JRay. Hopefully they get all of these bugs out of their system this inning.

  42. The Gunner says:

    ha ha ha ha – that damn Nincompoop Morgan goofed up again!

  43. pattonbb says:

    Plush got picked

  44. Reading says:

    Complete waste of an at bat by Snider. Not like dude is a speedster or something.

  45. pattonbb says:

    Agree Reading. I want to see Snider swinging too, but if that bunt goes down to 3rd he jogs to 1b. A-Ram was way behind the bag.

  46. twentytwo22 says:

    I’ll post this here.

    I went through the season and tracked the result of at-bats when the opposing pitcher attempted a pickoff throw. It is my opinion that with men on base the hitter is more anxious than the pitcher. The pickoff throw creates uncertainty in the batter, messes with his timing, and decreases his performance. The pickoff throw interupts the opposition running game and the opposition offense with men on base. The numbers support this theory. More data would be necessary. League-wide numbers may indicate that it has more to do with the Pirates being free swinger who can’t hold their water at the plate with men on base.

    This is for games through the San Diego series. This tracks only at-bats with Men On Base by Pirate hitters, only at-bats that end with Men On Base (At-bats with Pickoff attempts where the Pirate is picked off and caught stealing, the result of the at-bat occurs with the Bases Empty).

    NPOA No Pick-Offs Attempted During At-Bat
    POA Pick-Offs Attempted During At-Bat

    Player (Overall) BA|OBP|SLG|OPS
    Type Plate Appearances BA|OBP|SLG|OPS

    With Men On Base
    PITTSBURGH PIRATES 1863 .258|.330|.428|.758
    NPOA 1693 .266|.336|.447|.783
    POA 230 .202|.287|.295|.582

    Andrew McCutchen 218 .335|.422|.648|1.070
    NPOA 180 .349|.439|.658|1.097
    POA 38 .273|.342|.606|.948

    Garrett Jones 182 .319|.352|.620|.972
    NPOA 150 .345|.367|.705|1.072
    POA 32 .185|.281|.185|.466

    Travis Snider 27 .348|.407|.522|.929
    NPOA 23 .316|.391|.474|.865
    POA 4 .500|.500|.750|1.250

    Neil Walker 204 .314|.369|.503|.872
    NPOA 182 .335|.387|.548|.935
    POA 22 .150|.227|.150|.377

    Drew Sutton 31 .345|.355|.517|.872
    NPOA 28 .346|.357|.538|.895
    POA 3 .333|.333|.333|.667

    Michael McKenry 88 .254|.364|.507|.871
    NPOA 80 .231|.338|.508|.846
    POA 8 .500|.625|.500|.1.125

    Pedro Alvarez 191 .250|.356|.494|.850
    NPOA 169 .264|.373|.536|.909
    POA 22 .150|.227|.200|.427

    Casey McGehee 129 .278|.341|.391|.732
    NPOA 115 .279|.339|.404|.743
    POA 14 .273|.357|.273|.630

    Clint Barmes 168 .280|.317|.400|.717
    NPOA 148 .288|.324|.409|.733
    POA 20 .222|.263|.333|.596

    Jordy Mercer 16 .231|.313|.385|.697
    NPOA 12 .111|.250|.111|.361
    POA 4 .500|.500|1.000|1.500

    Starling Marte 30 .269|.333|.346|.679
    NPOA 27 .292|.333|.375|.708
    POA 3 .000|.333|.000|.333

    Rod Barajas 118 .181|.314|.319|.633
    NPOA 108 .200|.343|.353|.696
    POA 10 .000|.000|.000|.000

    Jose Tabata 96 .210|.289|.284|.573
    NPOA 84 .222|.291|.292|.583
    POA 12 .111|.273|.222|.495

    Matt Hague 33 .226|.273|.258|.531
    NPOA 30 .214|.267|.250|.517
    POA 3 .333|.333|.333|.667

    Gorkys Hernandez 10 .222|.300|.222|.522
    NPOA 9 .250|.333|.250|.583
    POA 1 .000|.000|.000|.000

    Josh Harrison 74 .172|.265|.224|.489
    NPOA 66 .189|.262|.245|.507
    POA 8 .000|.286|.000|.286

    Alex Presley 79 .169|.224|.197|.421
    NPOA 75 .179|.236|.209|.445
    POA 4 .000|.000|.000|.000

    Yamaico Navarro 26 .125|.154|.250|.404
    NPOA 21 .143|.143|.286|.429
    POA 5 .000|.200|.000|.200

    Gaby Sanchez 27 .160|.222|.160|.382
    NPOA 20 .167|.250|.167|.417
    POA 7 .143|.143|.143|.286

    Nate McLouth 20 .111|.200|.167|.367
    NPOA 19 .111|.158|.167|.325
    POA 1 .000|1.000|.000|1.000

    Difference in OPS between Pickoff Attempt at-bats and Non Pickoff Attempt at-bats.
    +1.139 Jordy Mercer
    +.675 Nate McLouth
    +.385 Travis Snider
    +.279 Michael McKenry
    +.150 Matt Hague
    -.088 Jose Tabata
    -.113 Casey McGehee
    -.131 Gaby Sanchez
    -.137 Clint Barmes
    -.149 Andrew McCutchen
    -.221 Josh Harrison
    -.228 Drew Sutton
    -.229 Yamaico Navarro
    -.375 Starling Marte
    -.445 Alex Presley
    -.482 Pedro Alvarez
    -.558 Neil Walker
    -.583 Gorkys Hernandez
    -.606 Garrett Jones
    -.696 Rod Barajas

    DK: Wow.

  47. Thundercrack says:

    I tracked that too and was just about to post it.

  48. pattonbb says:

    Nice hit AP. Lets get another run here,….please.

  49. Thundercrack says:

    Cutch & Pedro cannot strike out there

  50. twentytwo22 says:

    Estrada thows Alvarez a changeup knee high right down the middle and Alvarez watches it and Estrada runs off the mound like he’s a bad man You’re a 2-5 scrub that’s getting out a team that can’t hit.

  51. Arriba Wilver says:

    Actually that last strike was on the outside corner, low, but in the zone. It was a good pitch.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    A J sure made Braun look silly on that last strikeout.

  53. bobhasis says:


    I believe that is uncanny and most likely genius. I could never have conjured that up, or presented in such an orderly, informative way.

    I think the research and tracking of those facts is a labor of love.

  54. Thundercrack says:

    I was actually rooting for Barmes to make an out.

    What is AJ’s pitch count

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    91 with one out in 7th.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    Play that kid every day

  57. pattonbb says:

    uh oh… comes Holt!

  58. bobhasis says:

    There’s a shock; a Pirate knows the strike zone.

  59. bobhasis says:

    Amen TC – I hope you meant Holt

  60. pattonbb says:

    Tied game! Cutch with the bloop single, Holt scores.

  61. Drew71 says:

    Give Us Barrabbas!

  62. pattonbb says:

    STFD Plush

  63. Drew71 says:

    Can’t believe they walked Gabs. But I’ll take it

  64. Jones says:

    Way to go down fighting Presley.

  65. Drew71 says:

    Watching a wonderful back and forth game game between Clemson and Auburn. 23-19 Clemson; Auburn, which just gave up the lead, has the ball back with 7 minutes left.

  66. twentytwo22 says:

    Playoff push from the Pirates worthless at-bats from rookies and 2-9 versus San Diego and Milwaukee.

  67. Karen22 says:

    HAD to win that game. Bad, bad, BAD.

  68. The Gunner says:

    Tekulve is really POed over this & rightly so / they blew another opportunity again. That is not the kind of consistency we need at this point.

  69. JMB says:



    20-10 to get to 90 wins


    I think the WC is still possible w. LAD & StL floundering, but the team should def get the 82.

  70. Reading says:

    Perfect end to a perfect day.

  71. JMB says:

    My bad: 12-18. .400 ball

    20-10 would be 666 ball.

  72. Reading says:

    Assuming Holt can play short, start him there and bat him leadoff.

  73. Drew71 says:

    Plans for tomorrow.

    Beach noon

    Home late afternoon. Heat up hot tub. Cedar plank salmon on the grill.

    All are welcome.

    Heading to the fish market in the morning. Please RSVP so I know how much salmon to buy.

  74. Drew71 says:

    What. No one’s coming?

  75. JRay3 says:

    @ Drew – sitting here at Phoenix Mercury game waiting for haltime to see my six year old dance. Checking on flights now.

    This was a depressing sports day….Pitt gets trounced by FCS school, Pirates just can’t get anything going and let opportunities go by the wayside with way too much frequency.

    I could really use the salmon!

  76. Drew71 says:

    JRay – you are welcome.

    Just marinated some veggies. We are gonna have a feast.

  77. Dave says:

    10-18 in the last 28 a .358 winning percentage. Is it a collapse yet? At that pace they’re on pace for 80.71 wins.

  78. Dave says:

    Also how pathetic is the bottom half of our lineup with Harrison, Barajas, and Barmes in there? It’s basically scrappy infielder and 2 players who get lifted for a pinch hitter late in games when we’re down.

    Sorry for being a pessimist, but why on earth are Barajas and Barmes even in the starting lineup if they only get lifted for pinch hitters when the team is down? If this team finishes below .500 or misses the playoffs by a game or two the blame has to lie directly on Clint Hurdle for continuing to run the two dead corpses out on the field almost each and every night.

  79. Drew71 says:

    Better than live ones. Zombies frighten me.

    Though I could see how it could be a competitive advantage.

  80. Drew71 says:

    I thought that Separate Thread Saturday was a hit.

    Note that Saturday, by the nature of the day that it is, often is a slow day around here. One would think that the holiday weekend would further depress the amount of posting.

    Note that our “home thread”, the Pirates game thread, only had 77 posts before midnight. So limited posts on most other threads? Depends on how you look at it. The Penn State thread had 43% of the number of posts as the baseball thread. Considering our posting style here, I think that is a very high percentage.

    But the point is that we had other places to talk about other things. And we did just that. Otherwise we would have tried to cram it all onto a baseball thread, probably meaning less ongoing conversations about those things.

    Frankly maybe we wouldn’t put out as much verse about other things without the other threads. The new threads opened opportunity. For instance, would I have talked Mountaineers without a Mountaineer thread? Doubt it. But yesterday I did.

    And to crown the day, I see the Pitt thread only had 4 posts. That makes me warm and tingly all over. That and the result of the game.

    So Dejan. Great idea. Hope we continue the madness.

  81. patrick(RI) says:

    I know it’s a statistically meaningless, but why pinch hit for Barmes each time he faces Axford, when he has 3 at bats with 2 home runs, this season!!??? (so says G. Brown, each time this happens)

    CH makes very puzzling game moves.

  82. Mosca says:

    It took me a while to digest that one, and I still haven’t. It still sits in my stomach like a day old burrito.

    Anyone else notice Hurdle’s reaction after Presley struck out with the bat not leaving his shoulder? He has to have his players’ backs in public, but he sure wanted to jump right out of his skin there.

  83. Thundercrack says:

    A trio of Brewers pitches piled up 12 strikeouts against the Pirates. Four of them came on called third strikes.

    “That’s four innings of the pitcher and catcher playing catch,” Hurdle said. “To not get a swing off on fastballs … that’s not really what you’re looking for.”
    Way too many innings of pitch & catch this season.

    Presley’s at-bat was atrocious.

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    I saw that, Mosca.

  85. Thundercrack says:

    You should have seen my reaction.

  86. Drew71 says:

    It almost made me want to go on the Pitt thread.

    Well. No. Not really.

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