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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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. 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. Fantasy Leagues

    Everyone is welcome
    All Yahoo

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

  3. Any update on the apparent conflict?

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

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Car thermostat registering 46 degrees.

    They may have to switch sports.

    Oklahoma Drills.

    Hurdle vs Russell Martin.

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. Andrew out trying to steal. By 17 feet.

    DK: Drew in the house?

    • 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.

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. Back on track to sweep the World Series!!

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

  16. 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?

  17. 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

  18. Grilli takes an inning. No damage.

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

  20. 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…

  21. 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.

  22. Old friend Robbie Grossman just beat out an infield single.

  23. Nice DP to end the inning

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

    • 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.

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

      • 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.)

  26. Thanks Drew.

  27. Thanks Drew,

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


  28. Thanks Drew

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


    Drew, what year did Jim Bibby matriculate?

  29. we are going to miss the Astros

  30. 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.

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

    Just videos.

  32. BTW, do NOT LET YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER ever watch Lifetime

    Else you will truly know what tears are

  33. 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.

  34. LifeTime = The Depression Channel

  35. 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??

  36. 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.)

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

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