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On location: Pirates 8, Astros 6, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

BRADENTON, Fla. — Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (2-6) vs. Houston Astros, exhibition

Starters: RHP Kyle McPherson vs. RHP John Ely

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field

Radio: KDKA-AM 1020

Here is the official live box score, and here is TribLIVE’s Pirates page.

Among our coverage today: Here’s the Sunday column about Clint Hurdle and his highly candid, I’m betting you’ll agree, observations about how he hopes to keep his players’ trust after Epic Collapses I and II. … Rob Biertempfel takes a close look at the art of pitch-framing. … And here’s my news coverage of the conflicting assessments regarding Russell Martin’s status.

Here is today’s home team lineup:

  1. Jose Tabata, LF
  2. Clint Barmes, SS
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Brad Hawpe, DH
  8. Jerry Sands, RF
  9. Tony Sanchez, C

UPDATE 10:38 a.m.: Martin clearly got his wish to not play today, though he has come out for drills right now in full gear. In other drills of late, he’s been just rolling the ball away after receiving rather than throwing it back to the pitcher.

Again, see link above for Clint Hurdle saying yesterday he’d expected Martin to play today.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Drew71 says:

    Heading down soon to Bradenton to attend today’s game.

    They’ve lost six straight. So if they lose another, not my fault.

    But if they break the jinx while I’m there, EYE get the credit.


    I’ll have my iPhone with me so I’ll post from the game. Only important stuff…

    Size of Tabata’s butt. Snider’s pregame meal. Pedro’s ears. Whether Hurdle and Martin come to blows over whether he plays C. Baseball fights. Brush-back pitches. Whether anyone sulks when they’re taken out. Or in general if anyone appears like he doesn’t wanna be here. (We already know the answer, so I’ll give Dejan a pass on that one)

    It’s freezing today, so I’ll save my streaking for later in March. Sorry Dejan.

  2. Bizrow says:

    Have fun, Drew, watch out for those restraining orders

  3. Drew71 says:

    Just in case it’s warmer than I expect I, ummm, shaved.

  4. Bizrow says:

    Fantasy Leagues

    Everyone is welcome
    All Yahoo

    League ID – 25547
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25558
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25576
    Password – 1203
    ID – 25595
    Password – 1203

  5. Thundercrack says:

    14 paragraph posts please Drew.

    And please do not mention Dan Bylsma in any of them. Or anyone that plays on the 3rd or 4th line.

  6. Thundercrack says:

    Any update on the apparent conflict?

    Is it real? A misunderstanding? Or is it still in the apparent stage?

  7. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if the space between the players’ clubhouse and the manager’s office is referred to as the neutral zone trap.

  8. Drew71 says:

    I sit behind home plate. I can take good butt pictures for those who want to measure Tabata, Snider or Pedro.

    Which gives me an idea for a new avatar.

    Tho it may be a better fit for Thunder.

  9. JMB says:

    95 wins.

    I can see a scenario where that happens, but I can also see a 95 loss scenario.

    As Biz says, “Hope but expect.”

    Career years will lead to 95 W’s, but a slow start and a massive trade-off at the ASB will lead to 95 losses.

  10. Drew71 says:

    Car thermostat registering 46 degrees.

    They may have to switch sports.

    Oklahoma Drills.

    Hurdle vs Russell Martin.

  11. JRay3 says:

    Does McPherson take a step up today in the race for te 5th rotation spot. Couple of shaky appearances from starters last few days, would like to see someone thre some zeroes up there.

    Glad to see Martin resting, way too early to be pushing it…plus gives Sanchez some additional reps after all he is the catcher of the future.

  12. Drew71 says:

    Hope but expect

    Rust never sleeps

    You can check out any time you like
    But you can never leave

  13. Drew71 says:

    Every last one of those was written about the Pirates.

    Every one.

    As well as the remote Eno classic…

    Baby’s on fire
    Better throw him in the water

  14. Drew71 says:

    Almost forgot. The Velvet Underground. Heroin.

  15. JohnH says:

    keep hearing about the minor league players being more mature. Any thoughts on why?

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Navy Seal training would seem like the most obvious answer to me.

    Or that when they act immature Kyle Stark screams in their face.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Then I had better avoid Kyle Stark

  18. Dave G says:

    More mature? Maybe it’s because they’ve been stuck in the minors for so long that some of them have grandkids now.

  19. Dave G says:

    Wow. I sounded like Drew there…

  20. Thundercrack says:

    They train in Florida.

    Everyone there is considered “mature”

  21. Drew71 says:

    Cy Young. 1-2-3 inning. Watched a scout’s gun. Consistently running them in at 93.

  22. Drew71 says:

    Andrew out trying to steal. By 17 feet.

    DK: Drew in the house?

  23. radio wave says:

    Drew, thanks for the updates. At least one team knows how to control the opponents running.

  24. TJ says:

    They are more mature because their average age is 27. The Pirates AAA roster probably has a higher average age than that of the Royals major league roster.

  25. radio wave says:

    Well, looks like some of hurdles lessons are coming through.

  26. TJ says:

    But at least he’s on the cover of Road to the Show that comes out this week.

    Wonder if the picture of him on the cover is one of him being caught stealing.

  27. Drew71 says:

    Walker almost killed the pitcher. Hard comebacker over the pitchers head for a crisp single. Then Jones drilled a hard single to right, Walker to third. Nothing cheap about either. Now two outs.

  28. Drew71 says:

    Two out walk to Sands. Bases loaded. Tony Sanchez draws two out walk for first run. Tabata up, bases still jammed

  29. Drew71 says:

    Tabs smokes double deep center, scores two. Sands held at third. First open. New pitcher.

    DK: Must. Meet. Drew. Where are you down there?

  30. officer mancuso says:

    Back on track to sweep the World Series!!

  31. radio wave says:

    Astros radio says their picture was supposed to go three innings. Guess he didn’t make it.

  32. Drew71 says:

    Error shortstop scores two more. Barmes now on first. Andrew AB.

  33. Drew71 says:

    Section one just behind concourse. Right behind home plate. Sitting in in row 8 (second row behind concourse) two rows behind and just to the left of Neal.

  34. Drew71 says:

    Small world- the guy sitting next to me just figured out we blog. It’s Jim Bibby’s Sweat

  35. Drew71 says:

    Unplanned. We just started talking and figured it out. Now I have a black eye

  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Take a picture and post it, Dejan!

  37. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew’s the guy down there who lives there because he likes the weather.

  38. Drew71 says:

    5-1. No idea how the Astros scored. Bases loaded. Two outs. McPherson lifted.

  39. radio wave says:

    Astros radio critical of McPherson on the ground ball. Said he lacked hustle. DK, can you ask them why they didn’t let him finish the inning?

  40. Drew71 says:

    Pop fly to short. Wind took it. Fell Next to Barmes. Three runs score. Just a goofy wind blown play. Then Barnes makes a nice play on next batter and Jones makes nice scoop. 5-4 an Ps back up. Walker leads off

  41. Drew71 says:

    I love the smell of Naples in the morning.

  42. Drew71 says:

    Grilli takes an inning. No damage.

  43. Drew71 says:

    Small world 2 – Jim Bibby’s Sweat and I just figured out that we went to high school together.

  44. kr70 says:

    what’s his butt like?

  45. Ghost says:

    So does DK’s desire to meet Drew go unanswered? Does Jim Bibby’s Sweat make this a triangle? And just how did that sweat taste back in high school? The suspense kills…

  46. likeabugonarug says:

    Those were always the popular vacation pics when I was growing up. My dad would take the pictures of us walking towards whatever the site was. So of course, lots of butt pics.

  47. officer mancuso says:

    Awesome! I remember him. Great username.

  48. officer mancuso says:

    On second thought, it may go to a fifth game.

  49. Drew71 says:

    Firm. Hard. Nasty. Arrogant. Militaristic.

  50. Drew71 says:

    Andrew walks, goes to second on a wild pitch. Two outs. Walker drills one out, but foul. Then puts a bloop single in left. Andrew scores. 6-4, Walker on first, jones up.

  51. Drew71 says:

    Sorry. 6-5.

  52. Drew71 says:

    Oddity alert. Score 6-5. Hits 4-4. Both teams have more runs than hits. And only one E, no HRs. Just one of those quirky baseball things.

  53. Drew71 says:

    Stadium emptying out. Freaking cold. I picked a bad day to come naked.

  54. Drew71 says:

    Old friend Robbie Grossman just beat out an infield single.

  55. Drew71 says:

    Nice DP to end the inning

  56. 21sthebest says:

    I’m evaluating several responses here. I’ll have to get back to you.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    Did you go to high school with him?

    Oh wait….did your son go to high school with him?

  58. Drew71 says:

    Bibby’s Sweat just left. I’ll head out after Ps bat in bottom of 6th.

    Hawpe up 1st. Sweat asked, does he have a hit all spring? Well. Not yet. Looked bad. Again.

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    Must be how Jim Bibby’s Sweat recognized him.

  60. Ghost says:

    I guess we’ll have to rely on paparazzi to provide us with details of the DK/Drew summit, because the principals have decided to freeze us out.

  61. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah. He probably looked down and figured he went to Mt. Lebanon.

  62. Drew71 says:

    Sands singled. Tony Sanchez up, TRIPLES off the R field wall, deep corner. Sands scored. One out, Sanchez on 3rd, pitching change

  63. Ghost says:

    Yes. Emphasis on the “re” in “recognize.”

  64. Drew71 says:

    Harrison DEEP fly out to farthest center. Tony tags and scores. 8-5.

  65. Drew71 says:

    D’Arnaud up. Life of Pie on deck.

  66. Drew71 says:

    Lines to CF to end a productive inning. Heading out. Three hour drive to cocoa beach.

    That, and it’s COLD

  67. officer mancuso says:

    Drew is actually the love child of Sarah’s 3’rd uncle 9 times removed, Piston Palin, and the Parsimony Nutting. There are trusts involved, and if his genealogy gets out, he loses them.

  68. officer mancuso says:

    That was supposed to read, “…the improbably named Parsimony Nutting.” Never mind :-)

  69. Thanks for your efforts, Drewmeister.

  70. Ghost says:

    Well the Florida State troopers are about to catch Drew driving naked with *all* his genealogy hanging out, so it’s all about to blow. (Ironically, Drew’s perp walk will be performed by the same trooper who busted Chico Lind in the same spot, two decades ago.)

  71. radio wave says:

    Thanks Drew.

  72. Drew71 says:

    Great stuff, guys. All true. In golf lingo, you knocked it stiff

  73. Drew71 says:

    It was fun, guys. Almost out of battery so out for awhile.

  74. 21sthebest says:

    + mega

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, thanks.

  76. stuart66 says:

    Thanks Drew,

    BTW if you want to see REALLY sucky weather its 25 degrees and windy here in western PA.


  77. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Drew

    I just spent the most exciting of days at the Home and Garden show


    Drew, what year did Jim Bibby matriculate?

  78. kr70 says:

    we are going to miss the Astros

  79. kr70 says:

    I figured he would at least try to be a hard a%&

  80. Arriba Wilver says:


  81. Drew71 says:

    He’s a year younger than me.

  82. Drew71 says:

    Back in Cocoa Beach, just in time to catch a sunset. Now watching purple-orange sky turn midnight blue. Black still an hour away.

    The boat lights are on, marking the docks.

    Why the reverie?

    Because EYE delivered a victory. EYE did it.


    Though Dejan helped. He predicted another loss.

  83. Bizrow says:


    We might have thrown him off a ballfield so we could play

    My brothers age and class

  84. Thundercrack says:

    And to think, you live there because you want to live there

  85. Yes, he does. And that sunset is the same with 46 degree temps, Drew?

  86. Drew71 says:

    Spunk: I watched it from inside, a climate controlled 73. So yes.

    Thunder: I voluntarily live here for THAT reason; weather plays that big a part in my life.

  87. Drew71 says:

    To all who asked, no, there are no pictures of Dejan and me.

    Just videos.

  88. Bizrow says:


    Nevermind, forgot the past 20 years of being a Pirates fan

    Rain is better than, you know, tears

    Hope but expect

    One time, just one time, I want the former to win

  89. Bizrow says:

    BTW, do NOT LET YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER ever watch Lifetime

    Else you will truly know what tears are

  90. 21sthebest says:

    Videos? Did you put clothes on yet?

  91. 21sthebest says:

    My wife likes to watch HGTV. I refer to it as the paint drying channel. Because you csn literally watch paint dry.

  92. Drew71 says:

    Who needs Lifetime? I just watch my wedding video.

  93. Drew71 says:

    Orange jumpsuit.

  94. Drew71 says:

    By the way. Hawpe does NOT look like a ball player.

    And he had his clothes on.

    Slow. Can’t hit. Kind of a cool name. But he looks lost at the plate and comical running down the line.

  95. Dave G says:

    LifeTime = The Depression Channel

  96. Bizrow says:

    Drew, in all honestly

    I’d much rather watch that

  97. Hope your not joking. That would be enjoyable.

    Wakeup Call:

    Title: Drew and the Winnepeg Man

  98. Bizrow says:

    Thank god though, the surrogate lady, was a poor shot, missed the good lady a bunch of times with a rifle, cutting to the quick, good folks win.

    It forced me though to utter words I do not especially like

    “Um hon, how about we watch the Amazing Race?

    I laid there like a slug, it was my only defense

  99. Bizrow says:

    Barabbas part deaux?

  100. Bizrow says:

    And folks wonder why I have a bunch of teams in fantasy baseball….

  101. Drew71 says:

    Ah. That explains a lot.

    So I guess my wife has been in defense mode for years.

  102. Bizrow says:

    Good tidings to all

    My only hope tonight is to yawn and say the dachys are ready for bed

    I hope, but expect tomorrow morning is Monday

    Pens game??

  103. Bizrow says:

    Dead nuts on

  104. You should watch that new mini-series on History called The Bible, Biz.

  105. Or the one about Vikings.

  106. Drew71 says:

    Watching Annie Hall.

    I should be shot.

    But early in the movie, when they first meet and Annie is an insecure girl from Wisconsin, here’s the funniest part of the movie. They’re at a deli. Annie orders pastrami on white bread with mayo and tomatoes and lettuce. And Woodie/Alvie rolls his eyes.

    White bread and mayo.

    Now that’s funny.

    Ok. I guess you had to be there.

    (Shoot me. Shoot me now.)

  107. Drew71 says:

    Yes. After all this time they are dead.

    DK: Drew hates me.

  108. JimBibbySweat says:

    Enjoyed meeting Drew71 at the game today. He needs to come to Pittsburgh in August & September — may be the Pirates’ best hope for victory.

  109. Only if he brings the Astros with him.

  110. Drew71 says:

    Sweat! YOU are the man. Great to meet you.

    And if I am their best hope, they’re becoming the Astros.

    By the way, we found your glove. If you don’t get it before you head back, your colleague (forgot her name) will take it back to Pittsburgh for you.

  111. Drew71 says:

    Give my best to your dad. Thoroughly enjoyed meeting him.

  112. JimBibbySweat says:

    Will do. Got my glove back before leaving. Glad you made it home safely. Keep up the fine commenting here, too. Enjoy reading it.

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