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Final: Cubs 4, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (72-66) vs. Chicago Cubs (53-86)

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. Chicago LHP Chris Rusin

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


  1. Ah. A catcher.

  2. And he’s not named Barajas.

  3. I’m just glad there is one at all.

  4. Rusin gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 1 inning of work last week against the Nats.

  5. Perfect. So he’s due for a no hitter through 7?

  6. vs. our guy’s 2/3 of a quality start.
    They say the smog is the reason we have such beautiful sunsets.

  7. Raising the jolly Steelers’ flag today…much later than normal, but I’m just not convinced that the Jolly Roger isn’t dead in the water. Sigh…

  8. Time for this ball club to step up.

  9. #9-Its been time, for quite some time now

  10. Drew has become quite the leadoff guy.
    We should be able to beat this I cubs pitcher.
    What is Snider’s status?

  11. Yes, Radio. I’m PERFECT for the Pirates leadoff.

    I strike out a lot.

  12. Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

  13. Jeff Locke might have just attempted the ugliest bunt attempts I’ve ever seen. How do you make it this far without knowing how to bunt?

  14. Where is everybody?
    Did everyone notice jerry meals blew the call in last night’s yanks orioles game?

  15. Thanks Walkie. Classic jinx there

  16. Yeah, radio, I saw that.

    That one, costing the Yankees a game didn’t quite bother me as much

  17. Most of us apparently have better things to do than watch this Pirate team continually struggle. It was fun while it lasted however, the last 6 weeks have been more similar to the pre 2011 Pirates.

    Bring on the NFL.

  18. Looks like its going to ba a long September. Pirates can’t even hit a pitcher with an ERA above 9.

  19. Can’t hit, can’t , bunt. What an offence.

  20. I don’t need an excuse but this team has driven me to drink, heavily. Probably won’t make it until the Steelers game.

    This collapse is way worse than last years.

  21. Drinking is fun. Watching Pirates lately not much fun.

  22. At least Jeff Locke pitched pretty well today. Too bad the offense didn’t provide some support.

    I guess some Hall of Famer must be pitching for the Cubs today.

  23. We’ve got this…

  24. Yeah , but Locke didn’t hustle on his hit or he could have possibly scored to tie the game. I would have rather seen him hustle and get thrown out at second than jog like Tabata.

  25. Well, I’ve finally gone & done it—just replaced my Pirates’ house flag with the Steelers. I can no longer pay any attention to this late season, Titanic collapse. I see (just by reading) that we’ve scored ONE run against a rookie pitcher with a 9+ ERA. I am DONE.

  26. Can somebody get a key hit?

  27. Bucs tie the game on a balk!

  28. Or commit a balk!!”

  29. Holt ties it on a balk in the 7′th. I had a dream in March that predicted this, but mistakenly interpreted it to mean that I should invest in Facebook.

  30. Still waiting for that big hit. Maybe next inning.

  31. good night Irene

  32. %&#¢€π×^¢®%$#@&*+€¢££££!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. When does the Steelers game start? Just totally unsat.

  34. Is Grilli still mad about shooting pigeons??!

    Two games in a row.

  35. Looking forward to 6 more popups/weak rollers to close this one out.

  36. @ Reading – 32

    The key hit finally happened. Only problem is Soriano hit it (again) on behalf of the Cubs.

    Grilled Cheese has all of sudden become real moldy. He won’t be back next year.

  37. Maybe BJ should be on our FA wish list.

    “Upton was sitting on 10 homers on this date a month ago, but he has 11 since, … The surge has likely given his value a boost as he prepares to enter free agency…”

  38. Cubs had lost 18 of last 19 road games. Grilli changed those numbers very quickly.

    Hitting, starting pitching, bullpen – all have fallen and can’t get up.

  39. Nice job by Qualls. Grilli …

  40. We can always give Lincoln the 8th inning set up role, … oh wait

  41. Pitch right in the wheelhouse- watch. Pitch two feet outside about an inch off the dirt- weak one-armed flail. Your 2012 Buccos ladies and gentlemen!

  42. Be nice to get our closer some non-save work. Cubs emptying the bench, playing more scrubs.

  43. Hey Dejan,

    I thought this wasn’t a collapse! Swept by the Cubs, 5 games over .500 with about 3 weeks of ball left. 79 wins here we come!

  44. At least McKenry contributed today.

  45. Don’t even kick sand in our faces, Root Sports, with that phony “Clear the deck, cannonball coming!” homerun fest commercial!! Good timing there. Stick to the Billy Ocean ads.

  46. It is too numbing to write much today. About to be swept by the CUBS…that will make being swept in three of the last six series to powerhouses San Diego, Milwaukee and Chicago.

    I almost wish this team would have been 16 below .500 in the first half and than turn on the jets with a strong finish to .500 at least that would give hope this second consecutive melt down is just disheartening.


  47. The only chance the Pirates have of averting disaster is firing the manager in hopes it spikes the team. They are going to finish with a losing record the way things are now. The team is dead. The wins they get are the run of the mill type that every team that loses 90-100 games get. They are not a precursor to a stretch of winning. I do not want to watch what is about to happen it will be the worst thing that has happened to us. They must change something.

  48. Okay. Here we go. Three batters. Three runs. Ballgame.

  49. @ 22 – 50

    They won’t fire Hurdle. Now, if there is no improvement in 2013, Nutsack will go the cheap route and promote Jeff Bannister to manager.

    The Nutsack ownership is and always has been the issue with this team.

  50. No walkoff. No nothing.

  51. At some point here soon, the team will have to go .500 (7-7, 8-8) to finish at 82-80.

    It seems like an impossibility today.

  52. Today’s outcome should be no surprise to anyone. I am sure the BMTIB/BMTIS is extremely proud of this year’s showing.

  53. I think I picked something like 73 wins in this season’s contest.

    Hey. I might win.

    There’s a happy thought.

  54. It’s only one game, it’s only one game….er, I mean, it’s only two games, it’s only two games, dammit…oops, it’s only three games, it’s only three games…*sigh*…’s only one season….

    DK – still not helping.

    DK: Nope.

  55. Well, Neal got his wish. He did not want to trade any players to get a hitter to make a playoff run, and now we have no outfielders that can hit. He succeeded in his desire to not make the playoffs. As Dejan has stated numerous times, the front office needed to go all in. We haven’t been to the playoffs In 19 yeas and Neal did his best to make it 20. Sure is good to know we have control of Snider and Sanchez for 3 years.

  56. Can’t wait for the off season spin from the BMTIB

    And don’t please get me wrong, I am sick that we are falling apart.

    82 is the vision right now

  57. I repeat, the Nutsack ownership is the worst ownership in professional sports.

  58. We have no outfielders that can hit? What happened to all the Marte love?

    Oh, and I think McCutchen still plays for the Pirates. And Jones played outfield today. I think they can hit.

  59. Roberto–you need to make a reference to a post. I didn’t see anyone say we don’t have any outfielders who can hit, but I may have missed it. Oh, I’m referring to your post at #63.

  60. Fortunately

    There is no BMTIB FO in my food chain

    Still hoping for 82

    Not counting clay pigeons

  61. Cards win. Missed third strike, runner advances to second. Craig winning hit.

    DK: I do believe I’ve finally found my fork for this team, guys.

  62. I will agree with Roberto on one thing – where is all that love people had for Marte?
    You remember…when most people never even saw him play.
    I still believe he can be a very good player, but after today, I’ll get on the bandwagon when I see consistent results.

    Why have him bunt if he can’t bunt?

    Oh, and I’m supposed to believe that it is Kyle Starks’ fault.

  63. Biz, this is the “spin” I would like to hear from the FO right now

    “On July 31 we were 15 games over .500 and our winning percentage was .573. Since then we’ve gone 13-23, .361. Suck it up boys!”

    What happened? If they were good enough to be winning at a 573 clip for so long, they certainly are better than the .361 we’ve seen for about almost 6 weeks now. Or is that the front office’s fault?

  64. Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
    chase headley now leads nl in rbi w 102, via @FollowThePadres. sure, rbi arent in vogue. but w/ pads? and petco is home!

  65. If the FO said “suck it up boys,” then I hope the players would come out and say, “we played out of our minds in June/July –esp. Cutch, basically taking a 200 HP car/team and racing neck and neck w. 400 HP cars/teams, and when the time came to go ‘all-in,’ the FO left us high & dry.”

  66. Arriba, c’mon. Give him credit for tenacity.

    NO logical way to justify this team’s performance?

    Version one: Make up their record. Winning 6 of 10. Just make stuff up.

    Version two: No possible way to argue rationally with most of what is posted. So make more stuff up. Make up an argument no one makes and knock it over.

    If I was his boss, I’d give him a raise for his tenacity.

    And maybe that’s just what his boss is doing.

  67. bottom of 9th inning, Cubs lead 4-2 and Holt and Marte are on with no outs and crowd is going crazy because up strolls their best player, first half league MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen.

    It was just in the FIRST inning of this must-win game that McCutchen launched a HR to give the team an early 1-0 lead.

    And like so often during the second half, McCutchen failed in the clutch and got himself jammed for the first out.

    I don’t want to hear another word uttered by the fans, media, or team about McCutchen being an MVP candidate, he’s not. MVP candidates do not fail like this in the second half, they carry the team on their back and win.

    Yes, he’s hitting for high average and yes he hit a FIRST inning HR but when the going gets tough, where’s Cutch?

    In fact, where’s Walker? Amazed he’s been out this long.

    Now, McCutchen was exactly the lone loser today, I’d like to throw a dart, frankly a manhole cover towards Clint Hurdle for stupidly deciding it was best for the team to have Gabby Sanchez to hit fifth in the order and Alvarez sixth.

    The 9th inning clinched it for me, Hurdle will only get this team as far as it is right now… flirting with .500, appearing to be a nice story.

    Since August 1, team is 13-23 and now just 72-67 (5 games over .500).

    Does anyone really feel 100% about a 10-13 finish? I sure as heck don’t after the way Hurdle managed this series giving McKenry one start or placing Alvarez sixth in the order behind Sanchez.

    If the Pirates go 9-14, is there going to be accountability, is there going to be a financial commitment to right the 20 years of wrongs?

    The Pirates are nowhere near .500 if they committed to the right here, right now mentality and instead of the maybe next year or maybe 2014 or maybe 2015. Imagine where this team is if they had acquired Chase Headley instead of giving up Brad Lincoln for the always injured Travis Snider.

    I’ve got tickets to one more game, Sunday September 30 against the Reds. If this team fails to win 82 wins…. it will be my last until the right here, right now commitment is obvious to me and me only.

    Time for Hurdle to shut his mouth about “put your foot down” cliches and just manage, just put your best 8 on the field, and manage the game to win at all costs.

  68. Arriba,

    I knew Drew couldn’t read, but I chalked that up to ammonia poisoning from his poodle.

    But I think if you read just three short posts above mine, in #60, that it was there in black and white. But let me quote the first line for you.

    “Well, Neal got his wish. He did not want to trade any players to get a hitter to make a playoff run, and now we have no outfielders that can hit.”

    Yes, its there. Just like the last time you blew up and said something I referred to wasn’t there. You know, you can always just ignore my posts, if you find them so outrageous or confusing.

  69. Is this the Grilli that “made people look silly” by his own words, or did that one escape us?

    I hate to say it, but the 54-win Cubs are better than us right now. Sad.

  70. Notice how a few days ago DK put out there that the Pirates haven’t approached Grilli about a contract. And just about ever since Grilli has not pitched so good

  71. I’ve got nothing left on this team except for one thing. I hope they don’t win 82 games. I certainly won’t root against them, never have never will. But breaking the streak will be met with celebration in some quarters. This team deserves no credit and should not be celebrated in any form or fashion. Choking dogs indeed.

    Self imposed Pirates gag order is now in effect.

  72. Right before the trade deadline, I asked what would happen if this team didn’t make a big deal at the trade deadline and if they didn’t make .500 and how many ppl would be ready to march down to Federal Street with pitchforks and torches. And I was told to enjoy what we had at the time because they were world beaters. But wow, is everyone jumping off the bandwagon and the natives are really getting restless now. Team is only 5 games over .500 and on the verge of having losing season number 20. And fans seem to be ready to take up arms. Completely amazing with the free fall that this team has taken over the last 6 weeks and this free fall does not seem to have any end in site. Completely and utterly amazed.

  73. Roberto–you think my post at #64 was a blow up? I thought it was a question and a request to reference a post # because I said I may have missed it. So then you follow that up with a reference no one, probably even you can check, regarding “Just like the last time you blew up and said something I referred to wasn’t there.”.

    But thanks for answering my question, anyway.

  74. So tomorrow, the Pirates return to the place where the wheels started to come off. Interesting how this stuff plays out, eh?

    Adding here as I don’t think JAL catches these links.

  75. @Eric – you called the record since August 1 correctly, but it is only 12-23 since August 3, as the above article references. That’s the date that Cutch was plunked by Chapman with a 101 mph fastball. An intentional beaning that was backed with no semblance of standing up for oneself or ones teammate.

    This team showed no fight on August 3, and has shown no fight since.

    That game was Wandy vs. Latos. Just like tomorrow night. If this team has any pride whatsoever, they take care of business in more ways than one tomorrow night. If they have any fight left in them, that is.

  76. @ Eric – 72

    Cutch doesn’t have a shot at winning the MVP award as his 2nd half has been below average and his team’s performance has been even worse. I was actually starting to compare him to the Great One in the 1st half and needless to say, I was quite premature in my judgment. Cutch will continue to develop and mature but he can’t carry this team by himself. Clemente was surrounded by a much stronger supporting cast than Cutch and hopefully, Pedro, PRNW, Marte & company will step up soon. Also, the BMTIB/BMTIS has got to step up but we all know what low integrity Mr. Nutsack has.


    @ Milo – 76

    If, by some remote chance, the Bucs break the “streak”, there better not be any celebrations of any type. The ownership continues to be the problem year in and year out.

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