Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 8, Astros 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (74-77) vs. Houston Astros (50-102)

Time: 2:05 p.m.

Site: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the live box score.

And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Houston RHP Jordan Lyles

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


  1. Hurdled says:

    HOKA HEY — It’s a good day to get swept!

  2. Karen22 says:


  3. radio wave says:

    I have tix forSunday, my only PNC game this year. It’s meaningless unless they win 7 in a row. Lol

  4. Pat4Pgh says:

    Add Greg Brown to the list of PBC hacks that needs to go at the end of this disappointing season! He has spent the last 45 minutes on the FAN supporting Bad Deal Neal and pleading that fans understand that the regime needs to stay in place….I know his checks come from the PBC, but….please………

  5. Pat4Pgh says:

    Radio Wave,

    I have tix for the last two games against the Braves…at least I can be part o fhte regular season sendoff for Chipper……

  6. Hurdled says:

    If there is one thing Greg Brown knows, it is how to properly suckle from the teat that feeds him.

    Unfortunately, Brown, like many others in this organization could never get a job anywhere else in baseball expect right here in Pittsburgh.

    Cannonball Coming……….right for you Greg.

    Maybe Greg Brown is really “JB”

  7. Pat4Pgh says:


    Greg Brown is throwing your name out almost every sentence and the tone is NOT polite or respectful……FYI!

  8. Hurdled says:

    That is how you know you’ve done your job correctly.

    The front office has to attack you by sending it’s minions out to do the dirty work.

    They can’t deny anything that has been written.

    They can’t fall back on their overall record.

    So they can only try to besmirch the person who brought the information to the masses.

    Greg Brown was once the Pirate Parrot, I think he was best qualified for that job. That job doesn’t allow you to talk.

  9. JMB says:

    Astros rockin’ the pimpalicious uni’s today!

  10. T.S. says:

    Greg Brown is a homer. No surprise. Every question to Neal is nothing but a soft toss. Hell, Neal’s the one who writes the questions.

  11. T.S. says:

    And something tells me, with DK covering the Stillers today, he could give two poops about what’s being said about him by Greggie Brown.

    DK: Significantly less than two.

    It’s hysterical to me that something that’s a “non-story” would bring out such vitriol and consume these people so much. Maybe someone thinks it IS a story.

  12. Hurdled says:

    The Pirates rarely ever wear any vintage uniforms.

    They do wear a CAMO jersey.

    Wonder who had that idea?

  13. T.S. says:

    I hear the FO is lobbying to get MP helmets as a third cap next year.

  14. Arriba Wilver says:

    I heard most of the interview (I think–I came in on the Hoka Hey defense), but did not hear the beginning or the DK references (directly). I did get that Neal absolutely hates DK (not really news). And I recently had complimented Greg for asking some tough questions about the collapse.

    But I do agree his defense of Neal was OVER the top. I put it at least partly to he actually seems to like Neal, and they do work together a lot, so that part was at least understandable. But the part that I thought was really irresponsible was at the end, Greg said that he wanted to reiterate what he said at the beginning–that the fans who want to see Neal replaced should understand that they are talking about another start from scratch at least 5 year rebuild. That’s patently ridiculous and inaccurate as the automatic outcome. So he thinks someone else would come in and think no progress has been made in the last 5 years and would start from scratch?

  15. JMB says:

    That reported interview tone just makes me realize that NH knows that he will never get another GM job again, so he has to hold on at any cost — unleash the minions.

  16. T.S. says:


    Consider the source. It’s Greg Frickin’ Brown. Homer du Jour. Neal’s 1# cheerleader.

  17. Hurdled says:

    It will take another 5 years to rebuild if a new GM comes in…..

    OR, hire some competent baseball people for once, and compete next year.

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hurdled–yeah wrong and Naive on many levels.

  19. Hurdled says:

    The Pirates have never had a winning season since Greg Brown was hired.

    He is THE HEX, THE JINX and THE POX all in one.

  20. RobertoForever says:

    AJ pitching well today. 3 scoreless innings, with 4 K’s.

    Pitch count a little high at 51 pitches thru 3 innings.

  21. RobertoForever says:

    Dare I say that AJ is 50% of the way to a quality start?

  22. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Do you suppose that we could somehow score and give him a lead to work with? Sad. Two runs so far all weekend and on two solo HR’s.

  23. RobertoForever says:

    Well, no one can say that the Astros have given up.

    Taking out their Starting Pitcher in the top of the 5th, with the score tied 0-0 and no outs, bases loaded. Bringing in a lefty to face Jones. Lyles threw 79 pitches. Astros do seem to have been conservative with him in his last few starts.

    Oh, no! And Hurdle is replacing Jones with Gaby Sanchez! Jones should be staying in the game from start to finish.

    DK: Yikes.

  24. Hurdled says:

    Bases loaded. No outs.

    What does the SEAL book say the correct move is?

    What would a Hell’s Angel do?

  25. JMB says:

    Well, we’ll take it.

  26. RobertoForever says:

    Jones was 0 for 7 against the LH relief pitcher, and Sanchez did get HBP, which would not have happened with LHP vs LHB.

    So Pirates get a run and still no outs with the bases loaded. Now Alvarez vs the lefty.

  27. RobertoForever says:

    My previous comment doesn’t mean I approve of the removal of Jones. Not in the least. But I’ll take the run.

  28. Hurdled says:

    HOKA HEY — Pedro watches another K

  29. RobertoForever says:

    Is this a World Series matchup? Both managers are going for broke in the top of the 5th. 3rd pitcher now in for Astros, and Pirates with their 2nd pinch-hitter of the inning.

    Tabata in for Snider, and the Astros bring in a RHP Storey to face Tabata. Tabata is 0 for 1 in 1 PA against the rookie Storey with a K.

    Still bases loaded, 1 out. 1 run in.

  30. Hurdled says:

    Finding creative ways to score.

    They are dreaming like hippies out there.

  31. RobertoForever says:

    Tabata walks on 4 pitches. Only the 9th walk in 26 IP for Storey, versus 30 K’s.

    But the Pirates score another run. Still bases loaded, 1 out. Barmes up.

  32. Hurdled says:

    These hippies are doing real good this inning.

  33. RobertoForever says:

    Barmes with a bloop single into LF, and another run scores.

    Pirates 3-0. Still bases loaded and 1 out.

    Barajas’ turn

  34. RobertoForever says:

    And BARAJAS with a single to LF, and the Pirates are killing the Astros with paper cuts this inning. Pirates up 4-0

    STILL bases loaded with 1 out. AJ Burnett up.

  35. Hurdled says:

    All AJ has to do is get through the 5th.

    Vandenhurk and Qualls can take it from there.

  36. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hoka Hey!

  37. RobertoForever says:

    Burnett strikes out, and Presley grounds out to the pitcher to end the inning.

    Pirates score 4 in the top of the 5th, and are up 4-0.

    AJ up for bottom of the 5th.

    Sanchez now at 1st and Tabata now in RF.

  38. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Maybe A.J. will finally get #16. When did he win #15, August 1st? No Cy Young this year.

  39. RobertoForever says:

    AJ with his 3rd 1-2-3 inning of the day, with his 7th strikeout, sandwiched between 1-pitch groundouts. AJ at 72 pitches thru 5 IP.

  40. RobertoForever says:

    Interesting sequence. On a 1-2 count, Harrison, who had singled, was going from first base on a McCutchen foul ball.

    Next pitch, Astros execute a pitchout, but Harrison was not going.

    Then on 2-2 pitch, Cutch hammers a double to leftfield, and Harrison is going again. As a result, Josh scores on the hit. Pirates now up 5-0 with Cutch on 2nd, no outs.

    Pitching change by Astros, with RHP Chuckie Fick now in as bart of a double switch with the CF.

    Next up, Sanchez, Alvarez, Tabata.

  41. Reading says:

    Harrison playing a great game. A couple of hits, a couple of runs. Gunned a guy out at home. Also, a leaping catch.

  42. RobertoForever says:

    Interesting split on the starting pitcher that the Astros removed in the 5th inning at 79 pitches with no outs and bases loaded.

    ERA in 5th inning 15.83. Now up to 17.22.

    Can you say, long reliever?

  43. RobertoForever says:

    After Cutch’s RBI double, Sanchez moves him to 3rd with a groundout, Alvarez intentionally walked. Then Tabata and Barmes struck out.

    Pirates now lead 5-0 going to bottom of the 6th. AJ still only allowed 2 hits thru 5 IP and 7 K’s

  44. RobertoForever says:

    Top of the 7th and the Pirates allow AJ to bat for himself.

    Both he and Barajas ground out. Presley triples to CF, but Harrison flies out to RF to strand Presley.

    AJ out to face the Astros for the 7th inning. Only 3 hits and a walk vs 9K’s for AJ. 84 pitches thru 6 IP.

  45. RobertoForever says:

    Aj retires the 4-5-6 hitters with a 1-2-3 inning of all groundouts on 7 pitches. 91 pitches thru 7 IP.

    Cutch, Sanchez and Alvarez up

  46. Hurdled says:

    Very good to see AJ still out there fighting.

  47. Jay Jax Fl via New Castle says:

    Good job Bucs…..Let’s get this victory……

  48. RobertoForever says:

    Cutch strikes out to start the inning, but the Pirates then string together hits from 6 of 7 batters to score 3 more runs.

    Double by Sanchez, RBI single by Alvarez, RBI single by Tabata, Barmes pops out, Barajas single, Burnett RBI single. Presley grounds into a force to end the inning.

    Pirates up 8-1 (missed the solo HR by AJ given up in bottom of 6th)

    AJ out for the bottom of the 8th.

  49. JoeBucco says:

    17 Pirate hits to 4 for the Schmoes. They’re playing like they care. Wonder why they’re starting now.

    Win #75 heading to New York. Gotta win 7 of the remaining 10 to end the winning season skid, all against teams that will have nothing to play for. That’s too bad we weren’t a little less horrendous recently. At least we’d have that to pay attention to.

  50. JoeBucco says:

    Just realized the O’s are 22 games over .500 right now. And are -5 on the seaason in run differential.

  51. RobertoForever says:

    AJ puts 2 men on with 1 out in the bottom of the 8th via a hit and a HBP. But then he #STFD for his 11th K (a season high) and then gets Moore to fly out to LF to end the 8th.

    AJ replaced in the bottom of 9th. AJ’s line 8 IP, 109 pitches, 4 hits (1 HR), 1 BB, 1 HBP and 11 K’s, 1 ER. If the Bucs win, AJ will get his 16th win, making him 16-8

  52. RobertoForever says:

    Bucs strand two in the top of the 9th off Harrison and Sanchez singles.

    Qualls then enters and pitches a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th to seal the 8-1 victory on get-away day.

    Off to NY and lots of Pedro Alvarez family and friends in the stands for meaningless week-day games in NY for the second straight year.

    Let’s get a winning streak tomorrow, Bucs, behind Kyle McPherson, seeking his first career W.

  53. Hurdled says:

    This is a direct quote from Neal Huntington when asked about Kyle Stark:

    “Kyle Stark is a tremendous front-office executive — intelligence, character, abilities. When you’re a leader and you’re willing to have a tough conversation, you tend to have people who may not always like you. That’s what we’re dealing with right now.”

    Huntington went on to say:

    “The impact Kyle has had on our overall development (of players) because of his desire to learn the whole person is remarkable. Out of context is a dangerously abused term in our industry. But when you take one email and try to paint the whole man or our development system, it’s inaccurate. That terminology was used to connect with 18- to 25-year-olds. They don’t want to hear about ‘cohesiveness’ or ‘team-building’ or ‘preparation.’ But when you use the terminology that grabs them … We’re not trying to create Boy Scouts, native American warriors, Hell’s Angels or hippies. We’re trying to get (players) to think like that. We’re using images and metaphors to connect a message.”

    Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. These guys are either incredibly stupid or they all have syphilitic brains.

    DK: Can you please repost both of these collections under the Monday Wakeup Call?

    Much appreciated.

  54. Man bites Dog. It happens.

  55. NH is that rare numbers-cruncher and boot-camp superintendent who depends on man-bites-dog stories.

  56. Eric Bowser says:

    ..just got home, starting to think it is me. Didn’t see one pitch or check for the score today until now. Family and I spent the day at Carnegie Science Center, then walked along the trail to see the replicas of the Nina and Pinta ships.

    A good day for all.

  57. Hurdled says:

    Huntington went on to say:

    “As we’ve tried to evaluate metrically how we’ve gotten here, you look at the numbers and we weren’t supposed to be 16 games over .500. We should have been closer to eight (games), which is still progress.”

    That right there should be grounds for his dismissal.

    Who in their right mind says that their team doesn’t deserve to be up by 16 games.

    To those who will still defend these clowns, I ask you this?

    Does this quote above sound like someone who is trying to win a championship? Is this the type of leadership you want running a team?

    What does this say to the players?

    Yeah you’re good, but the numbers say you should be worse. Yeah we’re in playoff contention, but the numbers we have show that we shouldn’t be.

    How motivational is that?

    This front office is a complete an utter joke. Find a person in the front office of the Steelers or Penguins who would utter something a ridiculous as that.

    If there isn’t a complete and total cleansing of this entire front office, I’m done with this team. And if anyone from the Pirates is reading this, I BUY TICKETS TO AT LEAST 10 GAMES PER YEAR FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. If that doesn’t matter to you all, that’s fine. I’ll gladly take my money to another team.

  58. Drew71 says:

    Just arrived from a cross state trip to find a win. A thrashing.

    Note to self: Drive back and forth across Florida during games.
    The least I can do to do my bit.

    Roberto, I have disagreed with you on “content” but very much appreciate the PBP. Great way to quickly catch up on both the facts and the “feel” of the game. And seriously, you do it well.

    I survived another opening weekend of Oktoberfest…but just barely. Maybe I’ll do an Oktoberfest PBP next year.

    Next year in Munich? It is not a great time for me to travel due to the seasonality of my business, but I would love to visit Munich to watch and, um, participate in the opening weekend of a “real” Oktoberfest. If I do, you can expect a PBP.

    But this weekend’s Oktoberfest?

    Ambulances, physical threats (unrelated to ambulances), drinking-singing-crushing crowds, pig roast, golf, hooking up son with young woman who needed ambulance, unplanned three hour road trip, bathing in a Sweetbay Supermarket bathroom, and I promise you:
    – that was all just Saturday…
    – all true and, on my part…
    – all sober.

  59. Drew71 says:

    Note to Dejan: The mistake about the final score in the headline is TOTALLY understandable…but it is, um, you know, the other way.

  60. RobertoForever says:


    Haha, right? Force of habit. Bucs did win. Don’t take that one away from AJ.

  61. Eric Bowser says:

    Just read this quote by Huntington

    “It doesn’t mean it’s bad luck, but … yes, it means it’s bad luck.”

    Who spouts stats and backs it up with “bad luck”…. cannot take this crap for much longer.

    DK: It’s all whatever it takes to fit your preconceived argument. You know, “objectivity.”

    Well put, Eric.

  62. DemonDachshund says:

    Sigh, “stats guy” who doesn’t really get probability, NEAT!

    Suppose you have a fair coin, 50% heads, 50% tails. You flip said coin 10 times, and get 8 heads + 2 tails. What do you expect from the next 10 coin flips?

    The correct answer is 5 heads and 5 tails. The coin is unaffected by past events… It does not suddenly get more likely that tails will come up just because you had a run of heads.

    So suppose a team is 16 games above .500, but through other metrics, you determine that team has an expectation based on performance of 8 games over. You feel the team has been lucky, fine… But that does NOT imply a future unlucky streak is in store for you in the near future.

  63. Hurdled says:

    It doesn’t take a Mathematician with a PHD to see that Huntington has lost a whole hell of a lot more than he has won.

  64. Drew71 says:

    Yessir. And i want wins. No matter how I feel about some of the management team, i ALWAYS want the Pirates to win.

  65. Hurdled says:

    Amen Drew!

  66. cosmo says:

    Heard the interview with NH and then head Hurdle defending Stark, made me want to gag.


    NH talks about how fundamantels have improved thru out the system (base running,bunting,moving runners over, etc) If so then what the H— happens when they reach the majors,

  67. The Gunner says:

    I did not pay much attention to the Pirates today and they won. I have been watching the NFL most of the day. Glad to see AJ got a W, he has been a real pro all year.

    As far as the NH comments I see on today’s blog:

    1) NH is a jackass as is all the FO – they all need to go & my gut says they will shortly

    2) Greg Brown is one of the biggest rear end kissers in the world – he’ll never compare to either Lanny Frattare or Hall of Famer, Bob Prince (aka The Gunner)

    3) I hope Clint Hurdle survives the upcoming changes. He needs a chance to work with an improved FO and a real GM. His coaching staffm however, needs some changes.

    Let’s hope for a 7 game winning streak to start tomorrow in the Big Apple.

  68. Eric Bowser says:

    Steelers offense wasn’t great, it was Ben passing to some good receivers but their offensive line is still terrible at blocking on run plays. DeCastro can’t get back soon enough.

  69. Drew71 says:

    DeCastro? is he a catcher? can he throw out runners?
    then i HOPE he gets back soon.

  70. Frank says:

    Did you see how mad Tomlin was? and he called them out, told team they stink. That is how you react to a loss, it makes you mad, it makes you not want it to happen again. Pirates lay a terd and Hurdle and players all talk about how its ok, we’ll try harder, just gotta push thru–this team will continue to suck and anyone who buys tickets to watch them is complicit with continuing this lunacy. Stop buying tickets to Pirates games!!

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    Suppose Nolan Ryan said, “Yeah, I know we were in the World Series but the numbers suggest we shouldn’t have been. So you shouldn’t be so disappointed that we lost.”

  72. Eric Bowser says:

    Neal Huntington wants to bring statistics into everything, let time I checked, a database analyst never hit a ball, never threw a ball, and never caught a ball.

    If Huntington wants to get into a debate with me, I’d love it.

    He has a worse winning % than Bonifay and Littlefield, yet he’s had higher payrolls, more money to spend in the draft, more money for Latin America. More money on scouts, minor league coaches.

    Must of what limits the Pirates margin for error is money but this time, this isn’t about money. This is about an individual disconnected with reality.

  73. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s obvious that Neal feels the need to politic for his job. He’s spouting all this inanity in an effort to justify his future employment. He comes off sounding desperate.

    Nutting or Coonelly could stop all this any time they want by simply saying that Neal & his staff will be back. But they haven’t. The silence is deafening.

  74. Eric Bowser says:

    The hope is that Nutting and Coonelly have agreed to part ways after the season and that’s freed up Nutting to do his homework for his replacement and make some decisions about the performance of Huntington.

    Nutting can’t wait around forever because once the season ends, there’s going to be plenty of other teams doing the same thing and this time around, Pirates need to find someone that isn’t getting a 5-year scholarship to learn on the job.

  75. JoeBucco says:

    I hear the Orioles have been banned from the post-season this year, despite their record. Because, you know, metrically, they aren’t supposed to be 22 games over .500. More like 2. So, they aren’t going to get to play in the playoffs after all.

    Maybe Huntington should man up and just re-sign, like he said. But there is a difference between manning up and forfeiting a boatload of guaranteed money. So I’m pretty sure he won’t me “manning up” anytime soon. “Moroning up”, maybe. But definitely not manning up.

  76. JoeBucco says:

    Whoops, no – in there. resign, definitely not re-sign. :)

  77. Eric Bowser says:

    If you want to believe Huntington’s argument that the players, thus the team, have regressed back to expected end of season levels, what does that say about his ability to construct a winning baseball team.

    Did he go into 2012 with the expectation of another losing season because that sure sounds like the argument he’s trying to give to anyone that will listen to him.

    What moron tries to save his job by virtually admitting he knew the team he put on the field for Clint Hurdle wasn’t worthy of winning?

    What idiot says there’s been bad luck but then says, they regressed to expected levels?

    Huntington sounds like a desperate man.

  78. Matt Gajtka says:

    @ DemonDaschund

    The problem with your logic is that you’re not flipping a coin. You’re fielding a baseball team that rarely, if ever, has exactly a 50 percent chance of winning.

    Cool lecture, though.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News