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Final: Astros 5, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (70-63) vs. Houston Astros (41-93)

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Houston RHP Edgar Gonzalez

  1. Brock Holt, 2B
  2. Travis Snider, LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, RF
  5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Rod Barajas, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Jeff Locke, LHP

Comments

  1. Drew71 says:

    Well of COURSE Barajas and Barmes are back out there.

    It’s the Astros. As young as they are? As bad as they are?

    It’s just good sportsmanship.

  2. I must be in labor on the Labor Day: I am feeling great pangs of doubt!

    The most confidence I have in any of the batters above seems to be in the one who is making his 2nd Major League start! That’s stupid.

    Why is “Matt Diaz” Sanchez batting in front of Pedro?

    Fandom is such an emotional state!

    Come on, Buccos! Make September the new June!

  3. Patrick(RI) says:

    Bad taste to laud a Brave, but did you see what Chipper did last night? Talk about going out in style!

  4. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Drewster,

    Finished with the beach and salmon? Time to get back into it! Take that poodle out to the sun porch and get ready for a W today.

  5. Dave says:

    Here we go again with Barajas in the lineup. McHenry in yesterday’s game alone had 1 fewer RBI than Barajas has had since August 1. Poor Locke he gets the Pirates abbreviated lineup that only plays for about 6 innings.

  6. Thundercrack says:

    Did anyone notice what Paul Maholm -the Brave-did yesterday.

    Yuck.

  7. LuckyNKentucky says:

    DK had a nice sarcastic answer for that on Twitter, Dave.

  8. Milo,

    When we add Sgt. Hulka “Big Toe” Qualls and Starling Marte, one Convenience List, one Disabled List, that Pirate clubhouse is getting as crowded as the food table at a Newspaper Writers’ convention.

    Welcome back Big Stick Clement.

  9. Dave says:

    @LuckyNKentucky I don’t follow Dejan on twitter.

    I guess the Pirates no long hold for accountability with Barajas and Barmes in the lineup.

  10. Hey Kentuck Knob,

    Did you notice that the more the Pirates lose, the higher number of sarcastic responses from Dejan?

    He claims not to be a Bucco fan, but I think “his speech berayeth him!” (good old King James).

    A good counselor would certainly tell him he is hiding his true feelings behind his sarcasm. Dejan may be the biggest Bucco fan of all!

  11. Milo Hamilton says:

    This Wild Card thing gets more & more complicated as we go on. What exactly is Jeff Gordon’s schedule the rest of the way ?

  12. To quote a dead iconoclast, “Just win, baby,” and the Wild Card will take care of itself for both Jeff Gordon and the Buccos.

  13. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Dave and King James Groat,

    He’s had 3 sarcastic, pretty funny Tweets about Barajas catching. Very entertaining. I only read Twitter for him, 24/7, Cutch and a couple others that don’t ever Tweet. He retweets some pretty good stuff, too.

  14. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good hashtag on it. #ReasonsBarajasPlayingToday

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bunts have become every bit as big a weapon against the Pirates as stolen bases. Barajas simply cannot get out of his crouch fast enough to field a bunt in enough time to throw out an even average runner on an average bunt. You know the old saying, A walk’s as good as a hit.” ? Now, a bunt is as good as a double.

  16. bobhasis says:

    Drew@#1

    Your first line – the first line in this blog – is the EXACT reason why I know CH knows nothing about baseball! He can talk and talk and make you like him that way, but he wouldn’t recognize a good line-up if the 1927 Yankees sat next to him on the bench.

  17. Bizrow says:

    Still need one more lunatic to sign up

    Gettin close

    Yahoo

    Dejan’s Lunatics (ID# 362238)

    Password 1203

    BEAT EM BUCS

  18. Karen22 says:

    By ALL means, SIT McKenry after a three RBI day in favor of the load-behind-the-plate. Makes sense to me!

  19. pghboyinca says:

    Look at the remaining schedule, 19 out of remaining 27 games against Astros, Cubs, and Mets. And last 5 aginst Braves and Reds when games may be meaningless for them. (having already secured playoffs spots). The second wild card is gift wrapped and it would take a monumental choke job not to secure it. That being said running out Barajas and Barmes regularly may keep it interesting.

  20. Drew71 says:

    Lucky – My wife suggested something similar. Except it was the woods no the sun deck. And i think she wanted it to be a one-way trip.

    Probably for both of us.

    What’s really funny is the other three poodles, all boys. They are NOT incontinent. But you know boys. When they see her, um, mess, they take target practice.

  21. Hasty Bob,

    I’ll be honest: I don’t get your constant badgering of Hurdle. He has taken a 105 loss team from just 2 seasons ago, and is in the hunt for the Playoffs, with only sophomoric help from the Front Office.

    If the horses only place or show, it may not be the rider——it may be the horses he is given to ride.

    Barmes is without question the better shortstop than Harrison. And Mercer has not show he is better (YET) with the glove. I don’t want any more botched double plays like yesterday that screwed up that whole game!

  22. Thundercrack says:

    I think the Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers may also have something to say about the wild card. That combined with our starting pitching ….I’m not so sure it is gift wrapped

  23. Thundercrack says:

    I like Barajas, but really don’t care if he plays or not. (the most frustrating thing about him lately for me is his fielding).

    But I wonder how interesting it would be if he was benched for the rest of the year, and then maybe AJ Burnett would go into a slump and not have a quality start for the rest of the year.

    Even though I think AJ is too much of a professional for that to happen -but if it did would there be the cries of “they screwed up the chemistry” ?

  24. Drew71 says:

    Yesterday I had a grill mishap. Hadnt used it in awhile. Gas buildup created an explosion and fireball.

    Singed the front of my hair almost off.

    No kidding.

    I look like a middle ages monk.

    It may have done more damage than I realized because I’m about to agree with Bob on the lineups.

    Barmes and Barajas at the same time? Almost like three pitchers in the lineup.

    Except when it’s JMac cause he can hit a little.)

  25. Thundercrack says:

    Drew,
    That is funny because my grill almost caught on fire too.
    We were grilling steaks that we bought from Whole Foods.

    After about barely 2 minutes after putting them on the grill I look out and see the flames inside the grill. Wasn’t sure what I was more panicked about: the deck catching on fire or ruining those steaks.

    Everything turned out fine.

  26. Thundercrack says:

    BTW, I always thought that was a toupee

  27. Drew71 says:

    That’s why I didn’t like the acquisition of both of them. One? Maybe. But back in March I didn’t think the Pirates lineup could cover for both of em.

    But what do EYE know. Maybe it’s only a slump.

    It’s only been 130 games.

  28. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    Pg boy is right. It would take a massive gag job for the Bucs not to get this. At this point if JMac can’t get it, sit him…if Barajas continues to struggle, sit him….Barmes has had a better last few weeks or so, but everyone thinks Holt can play a decent short and hit better once Walker is ready….We have better options, let’s use them and get this stupid second wild card. By the way why not add 2 more wild card spots in the next couple years and further water down this once great game. Well, as long as we never get the DH……..

  29. Drew71 says:

    I’m not getting a toup until they make one that’s shovel-ready so I can look like…

    Nah. Too easy.

  30. JAL says:

    Clement back, Oscar Tejeda designated for assignment to make room on 40-man roster for Clement.

  31. patrick(RI) says:

    What are the odds Clement gets a hit, assuming he gets any at-bats before the team is eliminated?

  32. bobhasis says:

    Groat@#21

    It is simply his insistance on Barmes instead of trying to find out about Mercer, d’Arnaud, or ?Holt. We have seen the limits of Barmes skill and it isn’t appealing to me. Barmes won’t take you to the playoffs, but he damn sure can prevent us from getting there.

    I make no appeal for Harrison as a “permanent” replacement for Barmes, and certainly not as a right-fielder, but when JHay gets inserted he brings a spark of energy and hustle and exuberance that the droll personna of Barmes does not replicate.

    I know that you are learned enough to see all of Barmes shortcomings; he does nothing with excellence, but everything with routine mediocrity. CH has to have seen that, but he still shoves him down our throat.

    I never thought about this until recently; he has 8 walks in just under 400 AB’s. Think about, he has and about 60 K’s, all on bad pitches (which may have produced a walk), or on a good pitch which he should have been able to drive, and then there are the lunges which produce soft popups to right center or feeble ground balls. You know his defense is barely adequate with no range, every throw is with his body not his arm and he fields everything one-handed off to the glove side. That is not textbook SS.

    Sorry for the rant, but you mentioned Barmes – to me that is like saying Frau Blucher!!!

  33. Drew71 says:

    While I won’t go so far as barely adequate D, I concede Bob’s overall point.

    (I think his D is overrated compared to offseason acquisition hype but reasonably solid.)

    I do not want another to play SS to “see what they can do”. I don’t like that reasoning when a team is 1.5 games out.

    I want another to play SS because I believe the team will be better.

  34. The Gunner says:

    @ TC – 6

    As one of the biggest supporters of bringing Paul Maholm back at the trade deadline, I saw that he got his ears pinned back yesterday – I guess the WMTIB/WMTIS was right about him.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    But I love Cloris Leachman.

  36. bobhasis says:

    Milo

    Touche. Great role and an eternally unforgettable movie

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    @bob

    Mel Brooks = genius.

  38. bobhasis says:

    Blazing Saddles and History of the World crossed certain lines which didn’t bother me in the least, and in fact were hilarious.

    Genius YES

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    @bob

    Did you get to the TJ game on Friday ? Looks like they had an easy time with Ringgold.

  40. Boise Bucco says:

    Yeah yeah, Barajas, Barmes…but at least Holt’s starting at 2B

    Call me a glass-half-full kinda guy

  41. Dave says:

    @ Boise Bucco

    If Walker were healthy Holt wouldn’t be in the majors or he wouldn’t sniff an atbat.

  42. Karen22 says:

    BLUCHER!! (Loud whinny)! You’re killing me, Smalls (er…Barmes)!
    We watched “Young Frankenstein” for the thousandth time just last week—it always takes the pain away from reality (Barmes, Barajas, etc.).

    BLUCHER!!

  43. bobhasis says:

    Milo, check out my entry to you, perhaps on the previous blog.

    Yes it was 35-0 at one point but they – Ringgold – have a stud, who they decided just before halftime to utilize.

    We are pretty good and will be great fun watching. My touting of our QB Joe Carroll was accurate. He has a great arm, but the caveat is I’m not certain what kind of feet he has, will he be able to sustain a hit. I doubt that he has great speed, and in Cherpak’s style that is usually not too good

  44. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Dave,

    You’re right. But he is and maybe he can stay hot. Even translating that .432 BA over 24 games into the MLB equivalent would be some spark.

  45. bobhasis says:

    Milo, one other point; it looks like Lucas Nix made the 53-man squad as an undrafted free agent of Oakland, and Dom DiCicco was waived injured (he has a sports hernia) which may allow for him to return after 6 weeks to Chicago

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    @bob

    Thanks for that. I did the Highlands/Ringgold playoff game last year & the Highlands coaches were scared to death of Louis. But he was hurt & didn’t play. Going into that game he averaged 9.5 yards per carry. Keep it coming, I can use the material.

  47. Boise Bucco says:

    What if (now hear me out…) what if, in the off-season, they decide that Holt is looking like the 2B of the future…I know that this is a very small sample size, but he wouldn’t be up here if they didn’t think he was worth a look.

    1. Does PRNW still have the arm for 3B?
    2. Is this the year that Pedro moves to 1st?
    3. Infield of (from left to right) PRNW, Mercer, Holt and Pedro looks pretty good…or am I huffing gas, metaphorically speaking?

  48. bobhasis says:

    Milo, this may be of interest to you. My friend and I sat with a young African-American lad from Ringgold (I never did get his name), but he is either a cousin or knows Louis very very well.
    In one of Louis’ good runs Friday, our safety had the angle on him toward the sidelines (after a 40-yd run) which put the ball on our 26. Conceivably they could have scored. The young lad I sat with said. “watch he won’t get up”, sure enough he laid there for 10 minutes then got up and slowly walked off of the field – under his own power – crumpled to the ground on the sidelines and let the medical staff work on him further.
    The yound lad said, “he been doing that since he was 8 years old”. He said his father was overly protective of him to the point that now after a slightly hard hit, he “pretends” to be hurt.

    Had he continued in the game on that drive, I am certain they would have scored.

    The kid, as I said is a friend, or a cousin, so I’d say he knows him.

    Just a bit of stuff that perhaps you can investigate; there might be a story. I’m not sure.

  49. bobhasis says:

    Boise Bucco

    Pedro will never be confused with Brooks Robinson or Cal Ripken at 3rd, BUT he can play the position. And as I have been chided about in this space, about my obsession with arms,
    Pedro has a howitzer (WWII metaphor or analogy), which would be terribly wasted at 1st. He would request a trade before agreeing to a move like that.

    I love Walker at 2nd. I would test Holt at SS extensively, you know like the test we permitted for Barmes (whinney).

    In general I cannot agree with your premise. But at least you are thinking of stuff as opposed to the FO!!

  50. radio wave says:

    18 great post

  51. Milo Hamilton says:

    WARDROBE MALFUNCTION !!

    Look at Brock Holt’s uniform, it’s not well, uniform. His number 2 on the front is on the wrong side. How do they make that kind of mistake ? The whole staff is falling apart.

  52. bobhasis says:

    See that was Pedro’s ball on that bunt – BUT WHERE WAS CH and the coaches???

  53. Boise Bucco says:

    @bob–I know, I like Pedro at third myself, just trying to think of a way to get Holt, Pedro and PRNW all in the same infield at the same time. PRNW isn’t the prototypical first baseman, but I wouldn’t have a problem with putting him there. Who knows how Holt will play out in the long run, but so far he’s playing pretty well. Any player who can start the year at Altoona and play his way onto a wildcard-potential team has to be pretty good.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Someone please check on Edgar Gonzalez’s career high for strikeouts.

  55. Chuck H says:

    Sick and tired of those 3 and 4 run first innings that our pitchers serve up too often?
    Someone tell our manager that walking the first 3 batters they face is a clue for a quick hook.The pitcher wouldn’t care-he knows he sucks when that happens. You know I’m referring to McDonald, but it happens with our other pitchers, too. Even if A.J. is pitching, if he starts out bad, yank him-we have lots of relievers now. The main thing should be winning the game, but if we’re 4 runs down in the first inning, we are in trouble, especially with no or very little hitting and run scoring. Just don’t use Hanrahan
    in the first inning.

  56. Boise Bucco says:

    @Milo–he had 1 K in 2 innings on 14 Aug against Stl…last year…

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can’t expect anything good to happen until Brock Holt has a proper uniform. They had better be making him one now.

  58. 19 Years and Counting says:

    Edgar Gonzalez’s career high for strikeouts is 7. I set the over/under for when he exceeds it today at the 5 1/3 inning mark.

  59. Boise Bucco says:

    HAHAHA GFJ WITH YET ANOTHER DOUBLE…seriously does he have 50 yet?

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates just tweeted – “In regards to Brock Holt’s jersey today, it was a mistake made by a human being and will be corrected.”

    A little touchy, are we ?

  61. bobhasis says:

    Boise If Holt wins the sweepstakes with Mercer and d’Arnaud as the replacement for you know who (whinney omitted), that should be interesting to watch unfold.

  62. Boise Bucco says:

    I can’t watch the game on TV…what’s wrong with Holt’s uniform?

  63. Gaby “Matt Diaz” Sanchez just popped to right again with a runner in scoring position.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Boise

    The small number on the front of the jersey is on the wrong side. Instead is being under “TES”, it’s under “PIR”.

  65. JRay3 says:

    Someone please remind the team they are no longer in Milwaukee and this is the Houston Astros and Edgar Gonzalez.

    Would have liked to have seen the Fort up there instead we get pop out Barajas. Locke better be on lock down with this support.

  66. 19 Years and Counting says:

    One team successfully sacrifices and scores a run, one team fails to sacrifice and doesn’t score.

  67. The Gunner says:

    let’s strand some more runners Buccos

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates are trying to accomplish the rare feat of losing to a Frontier Leaguer & a Mexican Leaguer in a 12 day period.

  69. Chuck H says:

    O.K. now, this is ridiculous-we lead off the second inning with a double and do not score, If this wasn’t routine. it would be laughable. We’re lucky to only be down 1 run, what with the first 3 batters got hits. Pretty good job of pitching for a rookie. Of course, the opposing pitcher is a rookie, too. If we can’t beat the Astros at home, who we gonna beat?

  70. Bizrow says:

    The bottom three hitters are like get out of jail free cards for the other teams starters

  71. JRay3 says:

    Good grief down 2 already and we can not get anything going off of this nobody. He probably thinks he faced tougher lineups in the Pacific Coast League.

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Boy, this guy’s almost as good as Cy Werner from the Padres. What’s his name ? Fernando something ?

  73. Hasty Bob,

    I was not a supporter of signing Clint Barmes ( I spoke more loudly against the Rod Barajas signing) in the Spring. However, he’s the one they signed and he’s the best here.

    I don’t like his fielding style, off to the side like Bert Campaneris on artificial turf, but he makes all the average and sometimes above average plays. Seldom, very seldom, do you see him screw up on plays like yesterday when Harrison bobbled that easy double play grounder——Harrison still got the force at 2nd—therefore, no error—but it cost the Bucs an out and runs in the inning. {As I am typing this Barmes just made a terrific play in the hole!}

    Harrison bats .239; Barmes .220. That’s one more hit a week. It’s not worth it for the Bucs to sacrifice significant defense for 1 hit a week. Plus, Harrison has only 14 RBIs while Barmes has almost 3 times as many—39.

    I want my shortstop, above all other positions, to play solid defense. I feel weird defending Barmes, because he is not my guy, but of the shortstops Bucs have, Barmes is the most consistent.

    Pirates think so highly of Holt, whom they had at short all year, that they played him at 2nd and Juggles Harrison at short yesterday.

    d’Arnaud next year . . . . . . but Barmes is the best Bucs have this year. The problem with that is not Hurdle’s but BMTIB. Hurdle can only play the horses given him.

  74. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is this Roger Clemens’ spot in the rotation ?

  75. JRay3 says:

    Braves at home pounding Rockies, Cardinals at home up in first inning on Mets, Pirates at home playing AAA team and down in the fourth. Yikes.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Groat

    If you value defense at shortstop, then Chase D’Arnaud shouldn’t even be on your short list.

  77. The Gunner says:

    the meat of the order is coming up – this will be the breakout inning against Houston’s retread Frontier League or Mexican League pitcher

  78. Boise Bucco says:

    ok Bucs this is our inning, got a good feeling…

  79. Drew71 says:

    A mistake made by a human being.

    And they were tweeting about a shirt, not the lineup, right?

  80. TCB says:

    In a “pennant race” and the lineup includes 3 players who spend part, or all, of the season in the minors(Holt, Snider and Sanchez). Toss in the player who, IMHO, is the worst player in the major leagues (Barajas) add a rookie pitcher and who are we kidding.

    This team is not very good.

  81. JRay3 says:

    So weak…pop out, groundout, single by Jones only guy hitting, and weak grounder…just being mowed down.

  82. Nancy52 says:

    Pirates offense = GI Jones
    Everyone else making the Mexican League retread look like,
    what they make every AAA pitcher look like…..A Cy Young pitcher!

  83. The Gunner says:

    @ Milo – 57

    Holt’s uni kinda looks like the old road uni Stinkcinnati wore about 5 years ago. I think some of the Japanese teams put the TV number on the left side, too.

    Locke is pitching good and quite a refreshing change versus miserable Bedard. Now, Daydro better go deep next time up.

  84. Boise Bucco says:

    …maybe everybody except the Pirates is on testosterone?

  85. Chico says:

    Barmes…

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    The triumphant return of Babe Wallace.

  87. Thundercrack says:

    Hey, lets get Jeff Locke up here and take a spot in the rotation during the playoff race.

  88. Nancy52 says:

    They’re done. Can’t even beat a team that’s only won
    13!!!! games on the road.

  89. JRay3 says:

    Awesome, this team is done…No life, no fight, what’s the excuse today?

    Can’t convince me there will even be 82 wins.

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Would someone please read the standings to me because that’s supposed to make me feel better.

  91. JRay3 says:

    At least the NFL starts its season this week, something to take my attention away from this futility.

  92. 19 Years and Counting says:

    But we’ve still got 5 left against the Astros and Cubs this week!

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought I read that they cut Bedard.

  94. JRay3 says:

    Hey rally starts now…Barajas and Barmes due up this half inning.

  95. TCB says:

    Just when you think things can’t get any worse after the Brewers series. you realize they can and have.

    I didn’t think they could repeat last year’s finish, but I was wrong. Cannot and cannot pitch. Dangerous combination.

  96. Boise Bucco says:

    I turned off my Gamecast…I think I’m done for the day. Go Bucs, but they gotta start scoring some runs. No excuse for this one. It ought to be 15-5 right now.

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    Chances they actually score this run ?

  98. Karen22 says:

    Glad I’m not watching. Just reading the comments here makes me want to spit nails. TOAST…yes, I said it. TOAST. Heading outside to BBQ MY salmon…

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    Harrison and/or Holt would have made at least one out on that play Barmes just flubbed. The announcers couldn’t even figure out what happened. It was Cedeno-like.

    While I was writing this, Pedro hits his triple.

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    I forget. Are the Astros, Cubs, Brewers and Mets in the major leagues?

  101. JRay3 says:

    Typical Barajas, he is hitting .199 for a reason….wake up Clint.

  102. Chico says:

    And Barajas blows it.

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    Karen–wear a fireproof helmet.

  104. Chico says:

    I think you pull Locke here, pinch hit.

  105. Chico says:

    More likely Locke hits and then they pull him before next inning.

  106. bobhasis says:

    (whinney) That was a very good swing, as though he intended to drive the ball and he did

  107. Patrick(RI) says:

    Barmes only needs 2 more RBI,s to break even, today!

  108. JRay3 says:

    @ JonninOshKosh – at 41-93 one could make the argument the Astros shouldn’t be.

  109. Parrothead01 says:

    Clint we are sorry we ever doubted you infinite wisdom. Please keep playing Barajas every game the rest of the year. He is such a good hitter, his 2,9 lumber up time is so quick noone even thinks of running on him and he calls such a good game we only gave up five runs to the Astros in five innings. I am really starting to come around to your way of thinking. Why would we want to make the playoffs.

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    Open auditions for the starting rotation.

  111. bobhasis says:

    Groat I would like to extend an “OOPS” to you for your entry #73 in support of Barmes making routine plays, just before the 3-run homer.

  112. pattonbb says:

    Why do these awful teams never look awful when they play us?

    Maybe we can get to their bullpen.

  113. Boise Bucco says:

    I think I figured out how all these teams beat the Bucs–they get a ton of baserunners in every inning! Ohhhhhh it’s THAT easy–maybe the Bucs should do that! ;)

  114. Nancy52 says:

    @pattonbb

    Because we’re playing down to their level. Today it’s AAA vs AAA.

  115. Milo Hamilton says:

    As difficult as this is to watch, it’s even harder to listen to. Yes, they are paid by the team but geez.

  116. Thundercrack says:

    Milo,
    I am listening on the radio too.

    I thought Clement’s drive was going to leave the stadium. Neverett!!

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    Our great minor league hopes are making the Astros look like a major league team.

    Agree, Milo, on the announcers. And I think they were happy for the Pierogies race.

  118. “I’m a man!!! I’m 40 years old!!!” I can accept the criticism.

    For a full season, I still stand by what I said.
    I did not claim Barmes to be a Gold Glover when he made that diving stop and forceout a couple innings ago. I did not claim Barmes to be Cal Ripkin when he drove in that run last inning.

    No one has played a perfect complete season since I retired a few years ago.

    Based on the roster Pirates have, Barmes is still Bucs’ best option. I stand by what I said.

    As the Pirate pitchers are proving today, a Playoff race is no time to experiment.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Thunder

    I was actually talking about the excuse making on the TV side. But I’ve been sucked in by Timmy before.

  120. Boise Bucco says:

    Looks like McPherson’s been watching the Bucs wiggle out of tough situations the last month…2 runners in scoring position and he gets a tough out, nice jobbie.

  121. Thundercrack says:

    I’m with you Groat!!

    (except I only wish I was retired)

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    What are the Astros thinking starting this Fernando guy’s arbitration clock.

  123. Thundercrack says:

    AW, good point -#118

  124. Arriba Wilver says:

    How did Barmes not get an error on that play in the 5th?

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s really hard to lose 30 points on your batting average after the All Star break.

  126. bobhasis says:

    Groat it is NOT criticism from me.
    What you are seemingly saying is acceptable performance from Barmes, I’m saying we have been watching his shenanigans in and out all year long, and it’s unacceptable. You can’t win with an SS like him.

    To say we have no one better, right now, IS HASTY. How do we know? No one has had a “screen test” like Barmes. Stick Mercer in and let’s see, and while they are at it UNLOAD BARAJAS, the other killer bee.

  127. Chico says:

    There’s the real difference — Cutch just isn’t very good anymore. Same as last year.

  128. Reading says:

    Time for Cutch to reenter the MVP race.

  129. Parrothead01 says:

    McCutchen back to trying to pull everything. Tries to pull a breaking pitch way off the plate an then hits an outside pitch to the shortstop.

  130. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Chico

    Cutch & the starting pitching have both gone in the tank. Like you said, just like last year.

  131. bobhasis says:

    AW@#118

    One of the great lines in recent memory came from Gene Collier in a column last year when he wrote,”the only thing of significance the Pirates did this week was when they fired a pierogi”.
    That ranks up there with Yogi’s utterances

  132. TCB says:

    Are there any starting pitchers who can be counted on anymore?

  133. JMB says:

    well, that stunk.

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guy sitting behind home plate looks like Billy Batts from Goodfellas.

  135. Cracker, I’m only retired from baseball.

    Only softball now, and certainly not retired from HAVING to make money.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–I knew I’d seen him somewhere. Did you see the other guy sleeping?

  137. Thank you, “Matt Diaz” Sanchez! May I have another!

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Wilver

    At first, I thought he was just disgusted. But then, much like the Buccos themselves, he was in la la land.

  139. A month ago, I did not expect McCutch to keep his average at .373.

    However, I did not expect McCutch to have his average drop 30 points in a month. Nor did I expect Mr. Clutch, Clint Barmes, to have more RBIs in that time!!

  140. The Gunner says:

    Don’t feel bad folks, at least we have Barajas, Barmes & McPherson due up in the bottom of the 7th. They’ll get it going for sure.

    Stay glued to your TV sets, sports fans!!

  141. Joey Bats says:

    Milo – (post #135) ..the guy sitting behind home plate is auditioning for a starring role in “Weekend @ Bernie’s Part 2 , 3 or 4″ – whatever # they are up to !!? :-)

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looking for a soft place to land.

  143. The Gunner says:

    putrid, just putrid

  144. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Bats

    He captures the essence of the day perfectly.

  145. Parrothead01 says:

    Storey pitched for my sons’s college time. Sad to say he having an easier time pitching against the Pirates than he had pitching for FAU.

  146. Bizrow says:

    Still looking for one more lunatic

    Yahoo

    Dejan’s Lunatics (ID# 362238)

    Password 1203

    autodraft

    500 will not cut it this homestand

  147. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s Jeopardy time.

    The answer is 12.

    A – Pirates wins since August 1st.
    B – Mr. Takahashi’s ERA.
    C – Number of Astros road wins this season.
    D – Beers that guy behind the plate has had today.
    E – Games behind Cincinnati in the standings.

  148. 19 Years and Counting says:

    Please score a run so my fantasy team can pick up a save.

  149. Milo Hamilton says:

    - The Pirates have won only 11 games since August 1st.
    - Houston has won a whopping 13 road games this year.
    - At least 12 beers.
    - The Pirates are “only” 11 games out of 1st place.

    The answer is B. Mr. Takahashi’s Pirates ERA is 12.00.

  150. Bizrow says:

    For the next 9 outs the answer is C

  151. Good call on the Weekend at Bernie’s guy!

  152. Dave says:

    Hey Mr. Owner,

    Nutting wrong with selling.

    Sincerly,

    Pirates Fans

  153. Milo Hamilton says:

    Travis Snider – 95 AB’s / 7 RBI.
    Drew Sutton – 74 AB’s / 7 RBI.
    Matt Hague – 70 AB’s / 7 RBI.

  154. Reading says:

    Quality effort by all wearing black and gold. Playoff Fever: Catch It!!!!

  155. Leefoo says:

    Once again, I would like to thank Dejan for saying a couple of weeks ago that a .500 season is a lock!

    Until he reverses that jinx, we will continue our free fall.

    If losing this way to the Astros is not proof enough that his prediction jinxed us (not unlike his famous ‘they’re gonna hit’) then I don’t kow what is!!

  156. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    Losing to a true AAA team is soo embarrassing. Pathetic performance starting with the lineup card.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Astros move to within 51 games of .500.

  158. Dave G says:

    To the Gods of Baseball-

    We surrender.

    We’ve had enough.

    For 19 years, we’ve been miserable. So miserable, in fact, that we know what it feels like to be a Cleveland Browns fan.

    What did we do to deserve this?

    We are great fans. We, the greatest fans in sports, rallied our beloved Penguins and Steelers to greatness and championships during these same 19 years. Is there some sort of unwritten law against ALL of our teams being winners?

    C’mon, Gods. Let us win already.

    Sometimes you tease us. Like 1997. Fun team to watch, but didn’t quite get us over the hump.

    Or you let us have a new stadium. PNC Park. But then you snicker at us when we figure that the PNC means “Pirates Never Compete” or “Pirates’ Nosedive Continues” or whatever.

    Lately, you’ve let us dust off our pride. Gave us a good taste of what winning baseball could be like these last two seasons. Well… the FIRST halves of these seasons, anyways… because the story always ends the same.

    We’ve got a generation of Pittsburghers who’ve never seen a winning club.

    Do it for them.

  159. Arriba Wilver says:

    Be fair, Foo, he said “absolute lock!”. And if they don’t make, next year he will blame it on Doumit.

  160. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    You really have to wander if they could compete in the international league right now…

  161. Bizrow says:

    Dejan can’t win

    He gets ripped for calling the BMTIB out on stuff

    Now its his fault the BMTIB made those timid moves at the trade deadline ;-)

    Not getting to 82 this year? I gotta go find where I put that pitchfork

    Meet you on Federal Street if that happens

  162. Eric Bowser says:

    2012 might turn out to be the year 82 or more was eclipsed after twenty long years of being the butt of joke after joke but when I sit back around Halloween and think about this season, I’m sure it will be more about the wasted opportunity this franchise had to change their course in history and all that resulted was the same old Pirates worrying about prospects and not playing for the moment.

    You’ll recall the Penguins built a team ready to make the playoffs and this time compete unlike the year prior with a first round exit. This time, ownership made it clear to their General Manager, this team was ready to compete.

    Once the trade deadline passed, Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis were traded to the Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a number one pick.

    The Penguins made their move… this ownership team at PNC Park went on the cheap in terms of making all the moves they needed to make to improve the rotation, bullpen, bench, and starting lineup.

    Travis Snider might hit .280 and get on base around .330 but does it matter if he isn’t driving the ball over the fence or into the gaps. Of course, doesn’t help him when the team has practically ignored the importance of having a leadoff hitter who can get on the base.

    Alex Presley, Jose Tabata, and Starling Marte are not leadoff hitters and Marte is probably more like a 6 or 7 hitter right now.

    These are the most important baseball games in Pittsburgh in TWENTY years, they fail this month and if 82 can’t even become a reality, heads should roll and owners should change.

    There’s no guarantee the NL Central will be this bad or have the Astros to beat around since they are going to the AL.

  163. Boise Bucco says:

    “Pirates have announced the release of _________________.”

    Instant 2 game winning streak! DOOOOO ITTTTTTT

  164. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Someone wake me up in October, please.

  165. Leefoo says:

    Astros will sweep the Bucs!!

    It is an absolute LOCK!

    .

  166. The Gunner says:

    @ Leefoo – 166

    LOL – you are probably right. CH is on the post game interview, he is really agitated – his body language and the way he is talking clearly shows he is POed.

  167. Bizrow says:

    The buck stops at the top

    Hurdle is not “the top”

  168. TDB1977 says:

    Here is my observation from today’s game – from my perch in section 315…

    They look flat. They look absolutely lifeless right now. Besides Jones 3 for 4 day and Pedro’s triple, there was nothing else to get excited about. WTF Cutch, not running out the base hit in the first inning. Basically just sitting there and watching it. I’m surprised Hurdle didn’t pull you after that play. I really hope something wakes these guys up before its too late, but i just don’t know what can and what will wake them up.

  169. Karen22 says:

    Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over” is an earworm in my head…

  170. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wanting to win is one thing. Everyone wants to win. Clearly, not enough guys on this team hate to lose. There is a difference.

  171. Karen22 says:

    So is Aerosmith’s “Freefallin’.”

  172. Karen22 says:

    Oops…Tom Petty…

  173. Chico says:

    I think the problem is playoffs being gone. We need the window!!!

  174. Thundercrack says:

    Can’t blame this one on skeet shooting charity event on the off day.

  175. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wait a second, TC, not so fast . . .

  176. Eric Bowser says:

    Clint Hurdle is the Pirates version of former Penguins coach Michel Therrien, if this team doesn’t win 82, I’m all for a new manager. This team has the talent to win 82 and though I think playoffs should have been the goal of management, you must take steps forward year after year until you can win the title, this team is dangerously close to making 12 wins over the next month a virtual dogfight and that shouldn’t be if Hurdle started his best 8.

    I’m tired of seeing Barajas, Presley, Sanchez, Harrison and Barmes.

  177. Arriba Wilver says:

    Eric–who are his best 8?

  178. AZBucsFan says:

    I’ve been reading DK’s columns and blogs for years now (even when he was at the other paper), but have never felt compelled to post here until now.

    I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and only moved to Phoenix 6 years ago with a chance to enjoy a new job and some gorgeous weather. I’ve lived and breathed Pirates baseball, as well as Steelers football and Penguins hockey for over 20 years now. I see how great the fans of Pittsburgh still are, even after 19 seasons of poor drafting, poor free agent signings, poor fundamentals, poor management, etc. Pittsburgh, my hometown, deserves better than what this team is giving them right now. Losing in Milwaukee, where they never win anyway, is one thing. Losing to a team as inexperienced and laughable as the Astros today is unacceptable.

    How many more pathetic efforts will this group of players put forward before they realize they’re squandering a chance to at least make a run for a wild card?

    Atlanta, St. Louis, and even the Dodgers haven’t been playing that well lately either. It is time, now, gentlemen, to lay these demons to rest. It is time to make a run at a playoff spot. It is time to post a winning record for the first time since my sophomore year of high school. I’ve lived and died with this team for over 20 years now, don’t let me and the tremendous fans of Pittsburgh down!

    LET’S GO BUCS!

    DK: Welcome! Nice to have you aboard.

  179. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Eric

    They soff.

  180. Eric Bowser says:

    Arriba – The current 8 who are healthy

    Catcher – Michael McKenry
    First base – Garrett Jones
    Second base – Brock Holt
    Shorstop – Jordy Mercer
    Third base – Pedro Alvarez
    Left field – Jose Tabata
    Center field – Andrew McCutchen
    Right field – Travis Snider

    When Walker returns, remove Mercer and shift Holt to SS.
    When Marte returns, Tabata goes to the bench.

    September, you can’t rest anyone, you can’t worry about lefty vs lefty. Play the 8 best and go with it.

  181. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – Today would have been the best time to toss a table after the game, chew out the players…and you know what, not comment on the first inning blown call. Hurdle should have said “You know what, that call didn’t make us lose. We lost this team because we didn’t pitch good enough, we didn’t field good enough, we didn’t hit good enough, we weren’t smart, we didn’t hustle, and we didn’t want to win. I don’t coach losers, so tomorrow, we better came to play because I’m hear to win, I’m here to make the playoffs.” Then say thanks and leave.

    Instead, we got excuses and the usual post-game huff and bluff.

    Motivate everyone because what he’s done last year in second half and again this year, it isn’t working.

  182. The Gunner says:

    @ Bizrow – 168

    You are correct, the ownership (aka Bob Nutsack) is the issue. Frank Coonelly (an Empty Suit) and Neal Huntington (has Opie Taylor become an adult?) are his puppets.

    Clint Hurdle, despite his mistakes, is the best manager this team has had since Jim Leyland. If ownership doesn’t go out and get Clint the best players, he will struggle to make .500. Remember, the beloved Leyland didn’t do too well after Bonds, Bonilla, Drabek and company left Pittsburgh.

    Quit bashing Clint Hurdle / nobody’s perfect!

  183. You can’t blame this on the skeet shooting charity, true. But if you honestly ask, “what has made the Pirates different from the Steelers and Penguins lo these 21 years, I defy you to deny that the answer is “Who owned the team?”

  184. Eric Bowser says:

    By this time next week, Pirates will have taken advantage of their schedule or they will essentially written themselves out of the playoffs.

    Gut check time.

  185. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Eric

    Remember ?

    “It’s a pathetic performance. Half the team doesn’t care. These guys would see if we took 50% of their salaries because they play only 50% of the time. That defensive squad, I really am starting to believe their goal is to be the worst in the league. They pretend to care, but I know they don’t care.”

  186. Eric Bowser says:

    @Officer Mancuso – If the Penguins were owned by Rooney’s or Lemieux/Burkle, what happened at this year’s deadline would have been different.

  187. Eric Bowser says:

    @Milo – I remember, wish we didn’t have to suffer through all those years of rebuilding but well worth it with Cup and greatness of Crosby and Malkin.

  188. Thundercrack says:

    If there was a different owner of this team -who was filthy rich – who says they would have traded their best prospects just for some higher priced veterans?

    I was wondering how long it would take for people to get back around to blaming the ownership.

  189. Thundercrack says:

    Brock Holt:
    -he’s better suited as a second baseman
    -his defense isn’t as good as some of the other prospects in the system at SS
    -the Pirates prefer defense first at shortstop
    -Holt profiles best as a utility player, that’s his most likely position with the Pirates.

    Pirate Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide

    I’m not saying the guy should be pigeon holed, but I don’t want to see him as the starting shortstop during the final month of the season , as we are still in contention for a playoff spot

  190. Eric Bowser says:

    TC – It will always be about this ownership group, this season will never change that. The economics will never change that.

  191. Eric Bowser says:

    TC – Brock Holt hits, he plays, it should be as simple as that.

    By your line of thinking, then I guess you think Barajas should play?

  192. Thundercrack says:

    So if by chance we still make the playoffs, we’ll still have to blame the ownership group?

  193. @188 TC, either a bunch of hapless GMs have selected a bunch of losers, for 21 years, or owners haven’t stepped up to the plate. (Or some 3′rd thing). Ockham’s razor aint nothing.

  194. Thundercrack says:

    I like Brock Holt. But I also think defense is important.

    Brock is 2-8. 4 Ks. I run, 1 walk.

    Regarding Barajas, honestly up until about 2 weeks ago I was fine with him because I thought his role with the pitching staff was important, and besides the fact he can’t throw a base stealer out (he stinks at that), I thought he was good enough on D to make up for his putrid offense. But not anymore. He can’t hit. And I have him throw enough bunted balls down the right field line.

  195. Baywatch says:

    What the heck has happened to our team? I just went back and counted again. We were a DECENT 11-7 from the All-Star break to the end of July/Trading Deadline. Then we go 11-17 in August. Is it a combination of JMac, Bedard, Wandy … and Cutch falling off? Let’s face it, on the offensive side, he carried us in the good times.

    Another variable that doesn’t make sense, and yet it does to me: McGehee’s numbers weren’t good – but the guy always brought some nice energy to the team. Unlike Barajas and Barmes, whose numbers are bad but don’t bring nice energy … Oh, I give up! LOL!

  196. Eric Bowser says:

    TC – This isn’t about blaming, it is about taking accountability for their situation. This franchise will never be in the range of making the loads of revenue that many other teams in the sport can earn and make up for screw ups. The Pirates need to make the right decisions almost 100% of the time and that didn’t happen at the trade deadline.

    Commitment is more than money.

  197. Arriba Wilver says:

    Today’s probably a bad day to be arguing about this stuff. A bad game against a bad team, following a bad sweep against a team we’re supposed to not be as bad as. We do need to add another “s” to that. And Garrett can’t do it alone.

  198. Reading says:

    Figured I’d tune into 93.7 the Fan on the internet to catch some Pirates post-game talk and for the past 25 minutes they have running an endless stream of commercials and promos.

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    The last time the Pirates won more than 2 in a row was the last week of July.

  200. Stuart says:

    Hey Guys, is Rene Gayo our scout for the Mexican League?

    Here’s my take – Hurdle should bench IMMEDIATELY any “hitter” who takes a fast ball for strike three. He somewhat addressed this after the game, mentioning that guys are getting beyond 0-2 in the count. Look at how many hits we have given up lately on first pitches. This team is too passive. Right now they’re looking like they are standing in line patiently, waiting for the gas chamber. And by the way, it’s too bad that so many plate umpires haven’t had the benefit of our teaching of the strike zone in the minor leagues. We have guys who know within a millimeter or two if a pitch is not quite a perfect strike. Too bad the games aren’t called that way.

    Looks like it is the 20th consecutive “Wait til next year.”

    Stuart

    DK: Gayo is the Latin American scouting director. Chino Valdez, a fine man in his own right, is the main guy in Mexico.

  201. Thundercrack says:

    Stuart,

    I agree with you.

    I thought it was hilarious that the other night Clint said that Holt was told to take until he got a strike. That was when he got his pinch-hit walk.

    What I thought was so funny – Why doesn’t the rest of the team know to use that strategy?!

  202. Eric Bowser says:

    The hitting philosophy of this team and baseball in general stinks.

  203. Baywatch says:

    Man! I just got to exploring around TOO MUCH after another depressing game. Just saw where that project of ours from four years ago, DONNIE VEAL, was called up by the White Sox and has been lights out for them: 10 games, 2 hits, 2 walks, 17 strikeouts, 1 run – in 7 innings!

  204. A philosophy of “the owner can do no wrong, the manager’s to blame” can continue suckitude to infinity.

  205. Thundercrack says:

    Miguel Sano’s sixth-inning homer gave him 100 RBIs on the season

  206. Stuart says:

    BAY,

    Sometimes you just have to pick at a scab…

    By the way, weren’t there some who wrote that Travis Snider had some exceptional power? You really have to wonder if we are cursed.

    Stuart

  207. pghboyinca says:

    This is why this team will never succeed with a horrible G.M. in place. Check out these signings.

    2008
    Doug Mientkiewicz: .277/.374/.379 (103 OPS+), 1.0 WAR
    Luis Rivas: .218/.267/.311 (54 OPS+), -0.8 WAR

    2009
    Eric Hinske: .253/.373/.368 (99 OPS+), 0.4 WAR
    Ramon Vazquez: .230/.335/.279 (66 OPS+), -0.5 WAR

    2010
    Bobby Crosby: .224/.301/.295 (63 OPS+), -1.1 WAR
    Ryan Church: .180/.240/.312 (49 OPS+), -0.6 WAR

    2011
    Lyle Overbay: .227/.300/.349 (81 OPS+), -0.7 WAR
    Matt Diaz: .259/.303/.324 (75 OPS+), -0.7 WAR

    2012
    Rod Barajas: .148/.220/.204 (20 OPS+), -0.6 WAR
    Clint Barmes: .173/.215/.333 (51 OPS+), -0.2 WAR

    Just in the last 2 years, NH has blown $23.75 million………..Overbay ($5 million), Diaz (2 yrs–$4.25 million), Barajas ($4 million) and Barmes (2 yrs–$10.5 million)! Think what an intelligent G.M. could have acquired with that. How is thi0s guy still employed? Remember Donnie Veal?

  208. Drew71 says:

    Proctology
    Poodles
    Providing daily links to the standings

    Since I’m P’d off, I thought I’d provide a few other Ps that P me off too.

    - Drewp

  209. bobhasis says:

    Drew

    How about
    Pirates
    Pathos
    Persists

  210. Drew71 says:

    We’re halfway to a haiku.

    Here’s one.

    Dejan kindly links…
    (the Pirates tear our hearts out)
    …a new day’s standings.

  211. Drew71 says:

    I’m really very very sorry about that.

    I am.

    I’d like to make it up to everyone.

    What can I do? What can I do?

    Hmmm. How about this?

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/standings

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