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Final: Cubs 3, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija

Time: 1:35 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Garrett Jones, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  6. Neil Walker, 2B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, RHP

Here’s the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene this afternoon. I’m off today. Here again is the Monday column with my season prediction.

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.

467 Comments

  1. Can’t believe that damn Huntington handed out another scholarship to Travis Snider in right fie..

    • Ha, Funny.

      Actually this will come off as Gaby being the one with the scholarship. Since these are mostly players he aquired he is kind of screwed no matter what. Except of couse when he sends down De Jesus despite a good spring. That one will just be chalked up to stupidity.

      I actually think this is the best looking starting day line up this team has posted in 7 or 8 years. Hopefully the pitching can hold up until 2 or 3 of Karstans, Liriano, Morton and Cole arrive.

      • Somebody has to keep up the forced false narrative, right?

        Ok, lets decide who we give the “scholarship” to this year so all is right in Pirateland.

  2. Nothing says “WTF?!?” like Garrett Jones in #2 while their best OBP (outside of Cutch) hitting 6th.

    • I’d bat Walker 2nd, but his OBP last year and for his career is 50 points better when he bats 5th versus 2nd.

    • Some say it doesn’t matter after the first time through the order, but when you have Barmes and the pitcher and only Marte ahead of you all day, I’d say it makes a difference for an RBI man like Jones.

      • People who say things like that simply don’t understand basic math and its implications on the offensive out comes in baseball.

        In the course of any game as well as the course of every season the top spots in the lineup will get more plate appearances than those at the bottom and as result more opportunities to produce runs. That’s why you want your best hitters, especially on base guys there, to not make outs and keep creating opportunities down lineup.

        Every team begins a game with 27 outs which means 3 plate appearances per lineup spot, which there are 9, per game. If the opposing pitcher were to hypothetically throw a perfect game with no errors behind him the resultant box score would show 0 for 3 in 9 line up spots. 3 x 9 = 27

        Any out NOT made, walk, hit, HPB, reach on error, made anywhere in the lineup adds one more plate appearance adds one more plate appearance to the lead off hitter in the later innings of the game. So the first question is; who do you want to have in your lead off spot – a hitter less likely to make an out and there by create yet another opportunity for the guy behind him (and perhaps have some power as well to create or setup a run with an extra base hit?) or one who is more likely to make and out either at the plate or on the bases?

        Every subsequent out not made then adds another plate appearance to the next guy in the lineup and so on and so forth.

        Higher on base percentages in the top spots in the order equals more opportunities to produce runs.

        This is not an opinion as the old timers and advocates of “speed at the top of the order” guys like Clint Hurdle can’t seem to grasp, it’s indisputable mathematical fact.

    • Against right handers Jones actually has the higher OBP lifetime, .348 to .346. But I still agree with you.

  3. Hopefully that lineup is an April Fools Prank.

  4. Why don’t they simply move Walker to #2, Jones to #5, and Sanchez to #6? What is the logic for moving Jones to #2?

  5. Listening to The Fan on the way in they were talking about this with Dan Zangrelli.
    I didn’t catch the whole conversation but part of what they said was this lineup breaks up the righties & lefties. And they thought this was better than having Jones hit 7th.

    I don’t have a problem with this lineup at all. But I will change my mind if I see Jones trying to put down a sacrifice bunt.

    • Figured the lefty/right thing had to be the case. Not a huge fan of Jones at #2, but you have to keep him two spots away from Pedro. That would have LOOGY written all over it after the 6th inning.

    • The order of the lineup looks weird to me. But if we are going to pick on the details, shouldn’t we give credit for the Big Picture? Does this lineup imply that Hurdle pushed back against Neal’s scholarship player, Snider, by starting Sanchez at 1st and Jones in RF?

      This is the first opening day that I can recall from the current regime in which cannot name one scholarship player…defined as a player in there because of acquisition when there is a better choice on the bench or in Indy. Not saying I love every player (Barmes)…just that the best choices are playing.

      We can argue over the batting order – and the point is valid – but frankly I think the order is a secondary point to who is in it.

      Good. For. Them.

      Others can argue re: whether the lineup order stinks, or whether this is an apocalyptic sign that there never were scholarships.

      Not me. At least not today.

      Pirates are in first place and I’m thrilled with the makeup of the lineup. I’ll hold my criticisms for sometime after the Pirates actually lose a game.

      Today, they have a chance for 162-0. Today. And I’m going to enjoy it.

  6. If ever there was a team that can not afford, from a public relations point of view, to get off to a bad start, it is this Pirates club.

    Lineup looks solid. I kinda like Jones in the 2 spot. Maybe, he’ll go deep with Marte on. Don’t know if I like him there most of the time, though.

    Maybe I’m getting old (actually no “maybe” about it), but it seems that the Pirates have opened against the Cubs several times in my lifetime. It’s a good OD match up, two old foes that date back to the 19th century.

    • Ha, the Brewers are that team for me, and I don’t even know how many times the PBC has opened with them. Just feels like if I were ever to guess who the team is playing on a given day, the Brewers would be a good bet.

      As for PR, I think this club is in a no-win situation, at least with the minority of diehard fans. If they come out hot, people will just say show me in August. If they come out cold, people will use it as a referendum on previous early season success showing the clubs “upside”.

      The majority of western PA will continue to support the team when it wins, just like last year. Just like always.

      • Good points. I know there will be the “show me” sentiment if they get off to a fast start. However, if they slog through April with a bad record, the call for knocking heads will grow. Lot of pressure on a team that isn’t expected to contend.

  7. OPENING DAY!!
    Also the first MULTI-LINE MONDAY of the season!!
    Let’s open the window, and as always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Max “wager” is 100 units on any line.
    All “wagers” must be divisible by 5.
    Please reply in this box, makes it much easier for me to “book-keep” that way.

    LINE #1
    Total Cubs batters faced by AJ Burnett in today’s game
    LINE is 21.5

    LINE #2
    Total HITS + WALKS by Pirates batters in today’s game
    Line is 9.5

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!
    What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?

    **The Window is on twitter, twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow, feel free to follow**

    Thanks to all for playing and good luck!!

  8. I gotta good idea…

    If this lineup works then keep it…If it doesn’t lets change it up.. oy vey!

    GO BUCS!

  9. Open the window Aunt Minnie, cause here it comes!

    Stuart

  10. Cool, got a 1/2 inch of snow on the grass just north of the county line!

  11. I know ESPN gets kicked around a lot here, but last night’s ballgame had a lot of good stuff from its on air personnel.

    Orel Hershiser had a lot of good info about defensive positioning and how poor positioning-especially by third basemen would take away pitches from him. It was up to pitchers to know about the scouting report on where players should be positioned. He also admitted to hating pitching OD-even asked managers if he could go on second day.

    Lot of good stuff about the tandem pitching approach the Astros are implementing at their minor league level. Kind of a fascinating team to watch-sabermetrics are on trial with that club.

    Liked John Kruk too. Self-deprecating, which is always attractive, and wasn’t afraid to call players out.

    Seems like Hershiser would make a good manager.

    • +1

      And contrast that with the “March Madness” team from CBS, which supplied us with such deep incisive comments like “They will have to play well to win”.

      Gag me with a maggot!

      Stuart

      • When Ohio State was down by 15 with 5:38 left, Reggie Miller said the next five minutes were critical to Ohio State.

        Forget you and me, Gag Reggie Miller.

    • I like Hershiser and the guy that does the play-by-play.

      I’m not sold on Kruk yet. I think you are right in that he isn’t afraid to call out players. But I thought I read a quote from him that he said he doesn’t watch a lot of games.

      I may be wrong.

  12. +10.

    Just for the day.

  13. It’s snowing on Opening Day @ PNC Park.

    Screw you hockey.

    And Global Warming.

  14. Wow, Neal Schmuckington was just on with 93.7 The Fan, and not surprisingly insulted the fans and put his foot in his mouth. Anything not to be a man, and own up to mistakes, Neal. Here’s hoping you’re fired before the season’s over. Go Bucs!

    • DITTO! (What did he say as an insult)?

      • He said “Great to be here, thanks for having me on”.
        All down hill from there.

        :-)

        • Great to be here? On the day of the apocalypse?

          What a clueless jerk.

          • I don’t have the exact quotes but they included, “everybody criticizes me,” and “the fans and media don’t understand our process.” Then when asked if Gerrit Cole was sent down because of his major league service clock, he said no, then proceeded to throw Cole under the bus as a way not to admit the truth. Dejan says he a nice fellow, but I just don’t see it that way. To me, what describes him best is passive/aggressive.

            • And short. Like Napoleon. And Rick Moranis.

            • The fans and media don’t understand their process.
              Maybe he should explain it to us. And how about getting a process that produces a winning team.

              He can’t say that the reason for Cole’s demotion was because of his service time clock. No one can.
              But he should then not say anything else.

              • I don’t really follow other teams, but what’s the big deal if that’s the reason he was sent down? From what I read about the situation it seemed like a logical move. Are other teams that shifty about demotions like that?

              • If they come out and admit that delaying service time is the real reason for sending a player down, that opens a bunch of crap from agents and the players’ union.

                So everyone makes up a phoney excuse.

              • Think about his boss, Brad.

                Bob knows that Pirate fans don’t exactly view him as generous when it comes to payroll. Last thing he needs is his GM saying that their best prospect is being held back for monetary reasons. Even if it is the smart thing to do.

              • That’s the problem. He should just keep his pie hole shut!
                Can the Pens use him for shooting practice?

              • EVERY team sends these guys down.

                Just ask Mike Trout and the Angels.

              • Other GMs will at least allude to the service clock issue. At the end of the day, Neal is just a disingenuous dude who likes to spin, sugar coat, be act defensive, etc. I almost want them to have another losing season so Nutting will clean house once and for all. But I don’t trust him either.

              • Wow. Didn’t think that type of scenario would open up the worms for a team/union/all the other stuff. I just figured for once they were making a smart move and didn’t really need to defend it per se.

                Hopefully Cole doesn’t get caught up in the horrendous injury bug that went sport to sport this weekend. What the deuce was up with that?! I’ve never seen anything like it.

              • Jason Heyward started opening day with the Braves a few years back.

              • And Heyward was the exception that proves the rule.

                Harper, Strasburg, Price, Moore, ……..

              • Jackie Bradley starting for the Red Sox today

              • Jackie Bradley is the come-back? Jackie Bradley?

                The Red Sox prospect who is only starting because they don’t have any other LH hitters since Ortiz and Drew are out?

                Haha, ok. Sure, he’s on Heyward, Strasburg, Harper and Cole’s level.

                Be sure and remind me when he gets demoted in 2 weeks to AAA. It will be a good laugh

    • Was it gift wrapped in a bunch of jargon, lingo and obscure verbiage? Or did he just come out and say that Pirate fans (for the most part) are stupid ignorant bleepedy bleeps?

      • He will never be the face of the PBC and we don’t have to like him, thank God. We can still be diehards when he’s gone.

        Like Roberto said, somebody else could be worse. But he might not insult us like this clown.

        • True dat, Lucky. The other Neil didn’t do himself any favors with those quotes either.

          Sidenote, I was just telling my wife how this is perfect football weather. Bleh on Mother Nature.

        • We don’t “have to” like any of them. Why I think players, owners and management would be best to keep their mouths shut about the fans and go earn their bloated, fortunate paycheck. We will be here as fans of this team long after they are onto their next team, retired or dead. You get booed or criticized, you did something to deserve it, you get cheered, you did something to deserve it…you don’t like it? Shut up, or leave. There’s always someone to replace them.

    • You mean like Neil Walker insulted fans yesterday.

      Quoted in DK’s column this morning, saying you fans don’t have more invested in winning than the players in the locker room.

      • Yeah, what we invest (tickets, merchandise, hot dogs…) goes into Neil’s pocket. Screw Walker.

        • If thats what you consider the fans investment, I think you’re proving Walker to be correct.

          His point, I believe, is that nobody in the world cares more about winning and losing than the players that have to live it day in and day out.

          Walker grew up in Pittsburgh as part of the lost generation who barely remembers winning baseball. He also happened to be part of the team that SHOULD have ended it, if not for a historic collapse.

          He better damn well have more invested than any of us.

          Good for him. Good for AJ. Hell, good for Huntington. Every one of them should want to prove the nay-sayers wrong, and they sure as hell better be confident that they can.

          Last thing you want is a team with the attitude of those fans here on the message board.

          • Gotta say I agree with NMR. Nut Neal is still a clown.

          • Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. And just do your thing, which Walker has done up until now. I thought it was a bit out of left field for him, ergo the harsh (snap) reaction.

            As for Huntington, sorry; disagree. He’s protecting his arse so he can keep collecting a paycheck. When he finally loses his job, that guy will never be more than a scout, if that, in baseball. He’s already burned bridges around the league with his attitude.

            Finally, you’re generalizing with your comment about the fans here on the message board having a bad attitude. After 20 years, this garbage wears on people, especially those who are dye-in-the-wool Pirates fans.

            • I am a dyed in the wool Pirates fans, and I don’t refer to any of it as garbage. And it certainly has worn on me, at least, apparently, no as much as it has worn on you.

              TS, its opening day. Lighten up. There’s 162 more game threads to b!+ch on when there is actually something to complain about.

              Play Ball!

          • Thank You NMR, now I don’t have to do a lot of typing. Took most of the words right outa my mouth!
            100% agree about Walker. He certainly did not “intend” to “insult” the fans.

          • “Hell, good for Huntington.”

            (hissing like angry cat)

      • Yeah, I thought that was a jerk move by him. I know we’ve only been fans of this team for a year or so, right and we have no idea how bad it sucks to lose…not as bad as they do, right?

        Sorry Neil, but I’ve been a fan of the Pirates long before you were a thought in his parent’s horny little minds and until I see you mad enough to slug your owner or GM in the mouth for $hitting on this organization, city and fans for decades now, I don’t think you’ll ever understand it from a fans perspective. Amazes me that crap came out of the mouth of a kid raised in Pittsburgh as a Pirates fan and should know exactly how the fans feel about this team losing like it does.

        As bad as it sucks for Walker, the fact is; eventually he can wash it all way with his paycheck and the fact he plays MLB baseball and has the opportunity to go elsewhere and play for a team where it doesn’t suck so bad to always lose.

        Go play and shut up about the fans Neil. If your lucky, you can play for the Reds one day and be a fan of that team.

  15. JAL, et al…

    Is there a single site with all 30 Opening Day rosters?

    • NMR,

      Yahoo seems to do a great job with the rosters. They have the Pirates roster correct. Just go to yahoo sports section – mlb – teams and then pick a link to a team’s roster.

      Once on any team’s roster, there is a drop down with the team name in it, that allows you to quickly change to any other team.

  16. My prediction for the 1013 Pirates: 84 wins.

    • Was baseball around in 1013?

    • 1013…when baseball was a real game!

      • Wow, I guess I was in the ‘way back’ machine when I made that prediction.

        Just be happy that that wasn’t the last time we had a winning season.

        • It wasn’t?

          • Back in those days, fans really did storm the gates with pitchforks and torches.

            I heard sports columnists were a lot tougher in those days too……………..

          • In 1013 Brian Boru led an excursion into Leinster and laid siege to Dublin. His army ran out of supplies and had to lift the siege.

            That’s all I got for pitchforks and torches in 1013. Most columnists were monks at that time as well. Not sure THAT applies today. :-)

            • If I didn’t know where you taught, I’d swear you were my buddy, who also happens to be a history teacher.

              Throw out any random date and you buffs will undoubtedly be able to bore -I mean educate- us with loads of facts.

              :)

              • I had to doublecheck on the Ethelred one. I’m actually really horrible with dates and don’t make my students memorize too much in that department. I focus on the generally important concepts.

                You know any poly-sci people? If there’s one discipline more boring to the general public than history, that’s it IMO.

              • Ha, only in college. This guy acted like a summer internship with some local state rep made his poo smell like flowers.

              • No matter how boring you think history is, I recommend the PA Renaissance Faire in Lancaster. Once you get past the hippies, the people that pay to get in and wear ridiculous costumes, and being embarrassed by actors as you walk around, the food, beer and wine are freakin awesome.

                They have their own winery and micro-brewery. One year they had a beer called the Skull Annihilator. Was 10% and tasted awesome. Down 2 of those real quick and you’re ready for whatever Elizabeth I might throw at you.

              • “Down 2 of those real quick and you’re ready for whatever Elizabeth I might throw at you.”

                You and I would get along.

  17. I’m gonna say 74-88 this year. Hope I’m wrong.

  18. I have hope that 86 wins is doable.

    I think the line-up is incrementally better and the pitching seems to be a wash with a possible up tick depending on DL returnees.

    • Pitching seems to be an uptick? Why? Because of Wandy? Wandy won’t be as good as JMac was first half of last year. And I can’t believe that AJ will be anything close to his 2012 self. JMac is such a basket case I don’t know what to expect. maybe something between the start of last year and the last 2 months?

      So the question is is Sanchez/Locke better than Bedard/Correia? I’d call it a down grade. So starting pitching having an “uptick” sounds like wishful thinking to me.

      • When I look at last seasons opening day rotation of:

        AJ
        JMac
        Correia
        Morton
        Beddard

        For 2013 you still have AJ and JMac. You replace KC with Wandy which I would call a plus. Sanchez/Locke vs Morton/Beddard I would call about equal but at least in 2013 there is help on the horizon in the form of Karstens, Morton, Liriano, and maybe Cole. That at least gives you options.

    • Agree JohnS. Pitching is at least as good as last year. Even the Trib’s staff is saying that its the best starting pitching for the Pirates in over a decade.

      Wandy is definitely better than Bedard. And with Karstens coming, and Cole in June, I think there is definitely a possible uptick.

  19. Anybody know who is singing the anthem and throwing out the first pitch?

  20. Alright, next question for those who know more than I…

    I read over the weekend that Karstens, Morton, and Liriano were placed on the 15-day DL, but that the team was hopeful they’d be back by JUNE. Some quick math tells me that June is a bit longer than 15 days away, which tells me there is more to it.

    Anybody?

    • If you put the guys on the 60 day DL, it guarantees they cannot be back before June 1. So if there is any hope they are back before June 1, they must be put on the 15 day DL.

      60 day or 15 day. No in between.

      • So, in other words, nobody really knows when any of the three are EXPECTED to be back?

        • Exactly.

          Sometime after April 15th, and “probably” before June 1st, hahaha

        • Karstens – Probably not too long.
          Morton – Tommy John takes a while. May would be early. Not sure why they bothered going 15-DL except that they didn’t need the 40-man roster spot.
          Liriano – Is he even pitching yet?

  21. Opening Day and all is right with the world…. a few thoughts from 80-degree Phoenix:

    1) Lineup, much ado about nothing…no real reason to have a strong opinion one way or another…Jones in the 2spot..why not? I do think they should break up lefties in the lineup and make the other team use up the bullpen late…. I think eventually Martin might make sense at 2 but we’ll see what happens.

    2) typically, pitching is “ahead” of hitting early in the season…cold weather, etc. Thus, I think the Pirates can get away with Sanchez/Locke early on and get Liriano/Morton/Cole/Karstens plugged in before the ship is sunk. I could be wrong, but I think Sanchez will surprise in a positive way.

    3) As to final record predictions, I think the loss of the Astros hurts but also I don’t see the epic collapse III occurring so dramatically and I think they will get off to a better start than years past…. so I’m predicting 85-77.

  22. Anyone at the game? Packed as usual for opener or is the weather keeping everyone near heatsources (bars, grills, bar & grills)?

    • Next time I leave the house at 10:00 PM, I’ll tell the wife I am going to a heatsource.

      Going off the grid now. DVR’ing the game for later and don’t want you lunatics to give me the score.

    • Far less apocolyptic on the North Shore right now. Nothin’ but sun.

    • It’s sunny here in Indiana, therefore it HAS to be better in Pittsburgh. Watching the weather from here is hilarious because Pittsburgh’s is always slightly better than Indiana.

      I’d love to be having an Uncle Charley’s off the grill and a Busch Pounder right now but the kids don’t have school. We’re having hot dogs and Hawaiian Punch instead. Not as good for me, but my son’s stoked for the game so it’s worth it. Daughter’s sick so she isn’t partaking unfortunately.

      And for any other diehard Married With Children fans, don’t forget to watch the episode of opening day which, if I remember correctly, also happens on April Fool’s if you have it on dvd. Hilarious.

  23. I have a buddy that says Opening Day is for “rookie fans…as they won’t be back until summer…”. He says if you want to see “real Pirate fans” go the next night when there are 10, 000 in the yard. I get his point and he’ll admit this is a special day. Indeed it is – - – Play Ball!

    • I’ve got butterflies sitting in the office waiting for the stupid little internet box score thingy to start lighting up.

      There is NOTHING like opening day for a baseball fan. I don’t care what franchise you follow.

  24. Bryce Harper just led off the bottom of the 1st with a HR for the Nats. Oh the hype for Nats / Harper / Strasburg will get even louder.

  25. crowd looks a little sparse… Glad to hear that they announced Jeff Bannister as assistant hitting coach. So if they don’t hit we can blame him. I would have trouble busting on Jay Bell. Saw him have a triple play against the cardinals and he is one of my favorite pirates.

  26. THE CURTAIN IS RISING – - – IT’S SHOWTIME FOR 2013! PLAY BALL!

  27. Despite my better judgment, I’m strapping in for another season. Why do I keep doing this to myself? Everything inside of me tells me this is going to be just another ridiculous Pirates season but yet here I am.

  28. Neverette gets the TV feed for Opening Day?!

    What’d Greg Brown do to deserve this?!

  29. I hate Neverette. So terrible. Bring back Lanny!

  30. Well, 1st pitch was a ball inside. 1st batter is a backwards K.

    It’s gonna be a wild ride this year folks.

    Strap in.

    • Told ya.

      Burnett had Castro 1-2 and gives up a base hit and then lays a cookie belt high to Rizzo who hammers it to dead CF over the batters eye.

      2-0 Cubs.

      But plenty of time to get those back!

  31. Start it off with a K. Nice.

  32. C’mon Bucs.

    Don’t see the woman in the third row who always sits there with a Pirates logo throw or banner on her lap.

  33. Oh crap.

    Can I revise my prediction to 62-100. Clearly these Bucs will end up in last behind the Cubs

    :D

  34. I am able to watch the game via the At Bat app.
    No blackout

  35. Well, inauspicious start to Opening Day for the Bucs.

    AJ goes to 2-0 against DeJesus, but then K’s him looking. Castro with a bloop hit off a knuckle curve to left.

    Then Rizzo, after hitting no HR’s in spring, takes AJ’s first pitch, a belt-high sinker into the last row of the C-RF seats for a 2 run HR.

    AJ then settles down, getting a ground out, giving up a meaningless hit to Schierholtz, and then an easy ground out to first.

    Cubs lead 2-0 after the 1st. AJ with 3 hits, 2 ER, 1 K and an 18.00 ERA to start his season so far. Also, he has faced 6 of the needed 21.5 batters for the over under

  36. Harper with his second homer today.

  37. I know it is early to start complaining, but Pedro has got to make contact in that situation.

  38. Marte leads off with a very patient walk on a 3-2 pitch, Jonesy reaches on an error by 2nd rushing a throw from the shift. Cutch then FC with a grounder to 3b. Pedro K’s on a 2-2 pitch and so does Gaby.

    Bucs get 3 diff baserunners on a BB, E and FC, but strand guys on 1st and 3rd.

    Still 2-0 bad guys.

  39. AJ on to face the 7-8-9 hitters in the top of the 2nd.

    With 15 pitches, AJ issues 3 STFD’s as he strikes out the side.

    Still 2-0 bad guys, AJ with 9 batters faced, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K’s and 34 pitches (19 strikes).

    Up for the Bucs, Walker, Martin and Barmes.

  40. Bottom of 2nd.

    Walker battles as Cubs pitch away, and he drives a high and away pitch to LF.

    Martin pops out to 2nd. Barmes seemingly gets the chalk down the RF line, but the ump calls it foul. Barmes then K’s and AJ K’s as well.

    End of 2nd, Cubs up 2-0. Pirates with a BB and a hit towards that 9.5 O/U

    Top of the lineups for both teams in the 3rd.

  41. Burnett has already thrown over 50 pitches.

  42. AJ has 7 Ks thru 3IP. Still down 2-0.

    Top of the lineup coming to bat in the bottom of the 3rd, and it smells like runs to me!

    • I guess I caught a whiff of something else that smelled like runs….

      Looked like a pile of…

      • Pedro & Gaby whiff with men in scoring position in the 1st. AJ is throwing lotsa pitches. It is a pleasure to watch such a professional like AJ at his chosen craft – it’s a shame he made one bad pitch.

        Now, the offense needs to come alive!!!

  43. Top of the 3rd.

    AJ K’s the side, with a single and a SB in the middle. AJ w/ 4 pickoff moves to 1st after the single. And Martin with a throw down to 2nd to attempt a pickoff after the SB. More effort this year, same result.

    AJ now with 13 batters faced thru 3 IP. 53 pitches – 36 strikes.

  44. “@Pirates

    .@wudeydo34 strikes out 2 in the 3rd & has 7Ks thru 3 innings of work. Bottom three top of the order due up for the Bucs. #OpeningDayPNC”

    Is Time Neverette working the twitter feed tooo….

    He Kd 3 in the 3rd….

  45. I hate umpires. With 2 strikes, batters should be punched out on close pitches (even if they’re not definite strikes). If you’re going to let something that close go by with 2 strikes, you deserve to go sit back in the dugout.

    I’m not a former pitcher or anything….

  46. Bottom of 3rd.

    Marte grounds out on 1st pitch, Jonesy grounds out in same spot as his last AB into the teeth of the shift, and Cutch K’s.

    Still 2-0 little bears.

  47. Couple positives so far….

    1. We have a hit
    2. Only one stolen base given up so far

  48. Huge effort by AJ. Huge.

  49. Well we should get a good look at our new bullpen. AJ has 75 pitches through 4. He will lucky to get through 5.

  50. This umpiring crew is having 1 today….

    Walker punched out by the 3rd base umpire and wasn’t even close.

  51. AJ battling today, need to get to the Cubs pen as Jeff Samardjiza has picked up where he left off with Bucs lineup…dominating it.

  52. Wow AJ made it through the inning on 11 pitches. Sitting at 86 but batting 3rd in the inning. Can’t see him going out for the 6th.

  53. Some where Ritchie is sitting and laughing at this offensive performance. Time to start laying down bunts. Maybe Samardjiza will pull a hammy coming off the mound

  54. Top of 4th.

    AJ gives up leadoff walk, and then a double of the Clemente wall, just over Jones.

    Then proceeds to get 2 K’s from the 7 & 8 hitters, and gets the P to ground out to end the threat. Great digging out of the hole.

    Thru 4 ip; Burnett has 9 K’s and 18 batters faced.

    • Bottom of 5th,

      1-2-3 inning

      Pedro & Gaby ground out.

      Walker called out on a check-swing on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Even the Cubs announcers said they caught a break.

      Still only 1 hit , 1 walk for the Buccos offense.

  55. AJ out for the top of the 5th.

    Someone plays an April’s fool joke on AJ Burnett on the mound. He picks up rosin bag, and taps it against his hip then his left arm, and it explodes with rosin everywhere. Burnett to the dugout, laughing to clean off the excess rosin.

    The lightheartedness works to his advantage as he makes short work of the top of the Cubs lineup, 1-2-3 inning with a K.

    21 batters faced with AJ.

    • Bottom of the Pirates batting order for the real bottom of the 5th.

      Samardzija makes quick work with a 1-2-3 inning; Martin ground out, Barmes pop out, Burnett strike out.

      Burnett batting means the over will win, as AJ will pitch the 6th

  56. Maybe it was a good idea keeping Burnett in. We already had two outs before he came to bat and he has really settled down on the mound.

  57. Somebody wanna go over what just happened?

    • Schierholtz plunked.

      On a 2-1 count, Cubs hit and run. Castillo hits to R-CF, to the left of the Clemente wall bleachers.

      Jones relay to deep 2nd base, caught by Barmes, who throws home too late to stop Schierholtz from scoring. However, Castillo took a wide turn at 2nd, and got caught in a rundown at SS – Martin runs him back towards 2nd, to Walker, to PEdro for the tag.

    • Aj plunked Shierholtz with 1 out, and then gave up another double to this Castillo catcher fella (w/ Shierholtz running on the pitch) so Shierholtz scored but Martin caught Castillo between 2nd & 3rd.

      3-0 Stupid Blue Bears.

    • Thanks fellas.

  58. It’s so nice to hear baseball conversations…real game stuff…going on! I know…Pirates are down, but still…

    Welcome back!

  59. Marte one pitch, Jones 2 pitches, 2 outs.

  60. The first Over/Under is in – the over wins for AJ Burnett – faced 24 batters.

    98 pitchers (including 12 to get 2 outs in the 6th), 61 strikes

    5.2 IP, 6 hits, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 10 K’s, 3 ER.

    Justin Wilson injured with 2 outs, no one on. Wilson gets Valbuena to pop out to Cutch to end the inning.

    Cubs get a run and lead 3-0

    • The other o/u is looking pretty solid for the under, with only 1 hit and 1 BB thru 5 innings for the Bucs defense. Need some real heating up of the bats to threaten 9.5 for the Over/Under

  61. Cubs announcers say that the Pirates Cubs rivalry is the most played rivalry in all of major league sports. 2,401 times played, dating back to 1887.

  62. Cutch with a 2-out double down the LF line!!!

    C’mon Pedro, drive him in and scratch a run away from the lead.

  63. Brent Lillibridge was part of the only decent Littlefield draft. He and Cutch would give the ’05 draft a respectable grade. Perhaps, I’m overblowing it as Cutch was obviously a first rounder and wasn’t he the obvious selection at the time?

    • Wait, I thought Steve Pearce gave the ’05 draft a respectable grade.

      • If he was part of the decent draft that doesn’t say much for the draft; 0-3 with 3 K’s today. I think he has been traded 4 or 5 times already. I remember everyone raising a stink when the Pirates sent him with Mclouth to ATL.

    • Dom,

      I could be wrong but I think he was like the 11th pick or something. He also was also just out of High School. Usually nothing at that point is obvious. I don’t think he dropped like Appel did last year or anything like that.

  64. Samardzija is the beneficiary of some helpful umping in the bottom of the 6th.

    Marte swings at 1st pitch and has his bat sawed off for a week grounder. Jonesy with a rip off the 2nd pitch he sees, but a good defensive play by the 2b in the hole as a result of the shift, and its a quick 2 outs.

    Cutch then rips a double down the left field line off the stands. Alvarez up, and on a 1-1 pitch, Samadzija gets a strike call on a slider that missed the plate. Instead of a 2-1 count, Pedro forced to protect. He takes a ball for an even count of 2-2, instead of a 3-1 count. The next pitch is a low slider, but Pedro has to protect and grounds out.

    • RF

      Thanks for the extra commentary. It really helps to know how it happened. It’s a lot harder to call Pedro a bum when you hear that he fell behind because of a bad call by the umpire.

      • I yelled at the tv when the ump called it a strike, cuz the catcher (not a good defense catcher) relly moved his glove outside to pick it up. Then I saw that the Gamecast showed it as a ball as well. The ump should never have called a breaking ball like that a strike.

        Who knows, Pedro still may have grounded out on that low pitch on the 3-1 count, but I would have liked to see it;

  65. Wilson out again to face the 8-9-1 hitters of the baby bruins in the top of the 7th.

    He strikes out Lillibridge & Samardzija, and then induces a groundout from Castro for a 1-2-3 inning.

    Up for the Buccos is Gaby, Walker and Martin.

    • Bottom of the 7th.

      Gaby pops out. Walker with a VERY hard hit ball in the hole between 2nd and 1st. Lillibridge with a great pick and an even better feed to Samardjiza on his way to first base.

      Martin then grounds out to end a 10 pitch inning.

      Samardjiza appears to be done for the day. 94 pitches, 61 strikes, 7 IP, 2 hits 1 BB, 7 K’s

      Kyuji Fujikawa warmed up in the pen. Funny rhyming. Koo-gee Foo-gee-kaa-waa

      • Well, proved me and the Cubs announcers wrong. They were surprised he came out for the 8th. As am I.

        No chance he gets a CG, and with a 3-0 lead, you would think that the Cubs at least have a good 8th inning and closer.

  66. Why do I even get excited for opening day anymore? This team can totally defalte it’s fans after one game….welcome to continuing the streak folks!

    Ahhh…and yet ANOTHER power pitcher the Buccos cannot hit! Here we go 2013!

  67. If its any consolation the Pirates were shut out 1-0 last year on opening day.

    • Thanks TJ, but it’s really not because they went on to continue the losing streak, but did provide a few awesome months of baseball in June and July which is more then you can say for any of the previous 7 or 8 years.

  68. BTW. About to pass the Pepperidge Farm sign that I snapped and used as an avatar for a few days.

    Bad, um, sign.

  69. 1 game in…..already frustrated with this team.

    • Ditto, how on opening day does a starting pitcher make it through 8 innings?

      Can only hope the Bucs salvage the rest of this series as this is the worst team we play in the month of April.

  70. Boo birds out for Snider/Bucs.

  71. First Tabata sighting of the year. Made it very close at first base on a grounder to the ss-3b hole.

    • Very nice play by Starlin Castro. Back-handed deep in the hole, transfer and throw off his back foot all in 1 motion (so smooth).

      Nice stretch at 1B by Rizzo on the back end too.

  72. It is a cold day against a hot pitcher, but Snider looked awful.

  73. Top of the 8th, Lurch in.

    1-2-3 inning against Castro – Rizzo -Soriano.

    Looks nasty as usual. Did get a VERY generous call from the hp ump on a 3-1 pitch to make it 3-2 on Rizzo, Rizzo then grounded out instead of walking. Alot worse than the pitch I complained about with Pedro.

    • Bottom of the 8th.

      Tabata in for Barmes, makes it close on a grounder to short. Looked very fast down the line. Still out.

      Snider in for Hughes. Swinging strikeout on a very bad outside pitch.

      Marte strikes out on a high pitch on a 3-2 count.

      Samardzija’s line now 8 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 9 K’s. Now at 110 pitches.

    • hey,that’s MY name for him…Lurch ;)

  74. Another shortstop gem uncovered by NH.

  75. Good work out of the pen. 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K

  76. Well at least none of the players we were worried about stepping up this year got a hit….. wait….. oops I guess there is no silver lining.

  77. Got to love striking the other team out 15 times out of 27 outs and still be losing 3-0

  78. Well, gonna win 54 & lose 54….

    At least 53 more to go.

  79. Melancon on for the Bucs in the top of the 9th.

    Has to get 4 outs, but looks good doing it.

    Schierholtz with an easy groundout to new SS McDonald, in for Barmes. McDonald short hops it to 1b, but Gaby oles what should be a fairly average pick by a frist baseman. Scheirholtz safe on the error on McDonald. Schierholtz able to take 2nd without a throw from Martin as Melancon paid no attention to him.

    Melancon settles down and gets a strikeout on a great curveball on a 1-2 pitch. Then gets a fly out to CF, and a strikeout of a rookie on another nasty curveball.

    Marmol, the closer on for the bottom of the 9th. Jones, Cutch and Pedro up for the Buccos.

    • Cubs announcer tell an interesting story that Marmol, the closer, is not allowed to shake off his catcher. If he shakes off the sign, he has to buy the pitching coach and bullpen coach a case of wine. Apparently it happened once last year.

  80. Pedro coming through for the Buccos when it’s needed!

  81. Well at least we scored right?

  82. WOW. Already this year???

    Marmol throws a pitch WAY up and in on Cutch. Thank goodness for his quick reflexes or he might have taken it off the shoulder. It still glanced off his tricep

    We better see a response on Wednesday. Rizzo or Soriano wearing one in the back.

    • I don’t know about that. Marmol can’t find the plate against anyone this inning. Wouldn’t have an out if GIJ didn’t go fishing.

      • True, he has been erratic. But NONE of the other pitches were HIGH and inside. All were low and bouncing.

    • Cutch steals 2nd base on the second pitch to Pedro. Marmol was ignoring him and it was a slider. But it still moved him into scoring position.

      Alvarez had been 1 for 7 against Marmol.

      Now 2 for 8. Love that Pedro improvement!

  83. With a walk to Sanchez, a homer now wins it.

  84. Boston adds 2 in the 9th; likely killing the Hanrahan appearance

  85. well atleast they didnt start 2013 by being shutout.

  86. Cubs relief pitcher’s translator (I’m assuming) has to jog to the mound too!

    Wonder if that was in the job description?!

    • New rule. Translators can come to the mound.

      Cubs announcers joked, does the translator speak spanish AND Japanese, lol (since the catcher is from D.R.

  87. Down to Martin who did hit 21 HR’s a year ago, and had 93 in his career.

  88. Embrace the Suck, ladies and gents…………….
    Embrace the Suck !

    • THIS is your contribution to the game thread?

      No thanks.

      • You’re surprised?

      • Oh, I am so sorry, Great One……..
        What would you like me to say?

        I am happy for Burnetts 10 K’s.
        But not much else to cheer about.

        And lighten up, Francis.
        Get over yourself, please.

        Didnt know this particular blog had “police”.
        Sheesh.

        • No police.

          But no interest in drive-by’s either.

          Didn’t you hear DK? He has no interest in talking about all of that nonsense.

          • Again, I am so sorry my post didnt meet your standards.
            I notice others here post angst about the Bucs, and you didnt go after them, but I guess if it makes you happy, have at it.

            I promise more sunshine and unicorns Wednesday.

            Oh, and please learn more about sarcasm, ok?

            I am a Pirate fan, who has been jaded by 20 years of losing. If I dont want to cry about this, I use humor. “Embrace the Suck” was an attempt at putting a funny spin on this, because their play today was typical of the past 20 years…………. worthy of tears.

            Now please go police other comments.

  89. Wonder if Hurdle has talked with Walker about scrapping his switch hitting?

    Barely broke .600 OPS last year as a righty, and its clear other clubs are forcing him to hit there, just like today.

  90. Bottom of the 9th.

    Marmol is as closer.

    Jones swings at a 3-2 pitch in the dirt for a strikeout.

    Cutch plunked, and HARD, and then steals 2nd.

    Pedro hits a curve into CF, scoring Cutch. Gaby Sanchez walks.

    Marmol relived for a LHP to force Walker to switch back as a righty. Walker flies out weakly to RF. Pedro almost doubled off 2nd.

    Martin up to bat. Fujikawa in as reliever. Martin takes a strike and then flies out weakly to CF.

    Cubs win the opener 3-1

    • I thought that the pitch to Cutch just glanced off of him. Just like you described at 4:34pm.

      Didn’t seem hard to me.

  91. Fun game thread all.

    Hopefully we’ll be raising Jolly Rogers on Wednesday.

  92. Hanrahan pitches a 1-2-3 ninth for the Red Sox on 12 pitches to preserve their 8-2 win.

  93. Gonna be a loooooooooooong and painful season folks!

    • They play 162 games from April over the course of six months, all baseball seasons are long.

      161 left to enjoy how it plays out.

      • +161

      • JRay…I understand that…but as you saw today, they have done NOTHING to improve the issues that hung around last year.

        • Hey I am quick to rip this team when it is warranted….but tough to do so until we see a sample size.

          Listen I question the back part of the rotation, I too think the bench leaves a little to be desired.

          I do believe the track record shows the bullpen can be pieced together and I actually like Wilson, Melancon, Hughes Grilli. And if we are all fair we would all say this is one of the better lineups the Bucs have put out there in the past decade.

          I’m not sure this is a .500 team yet, but regardless of two straight second half collapses the team has gone from 57 to 72 to 79 wins a 22 game improvement in two season under Hurdle….and it is up to them to take another step.

          Samardjiza will not be the only top of the rotation starter to dominate a team this week, we will see many.

  94. Forgot to mention on the Dan Patrick show today he had Harold Reynolds on and was asked name one surprise team in the NL and his team was the Pirates, thought the Bucs were going to give a lot of teams fits this year.

    Well Samardjiza just picked up where he left off, electric stuff today, team really needed to get into bullpen earlier, as we did nick them in the 9th.

    Pros: AJ still looks to have the fire that he brought to the team last season, the bullpen did a very nice job the final 31/3 innings, Marte actually drew a walk, Cutch made steals a base and scores after getting into scoring position, Alvarez a RBI from the 4-hole.

    Cons: 0-2 throwing base runners out from stealing, that trend has to stop this year, 10 K’s from Bucco batters, that number has to improve from last year, and the bench was 0-2 today with 1 K and many question the strengh of those pieces.

    Go get ‘em Wednesday.

  95. Bucs with 3 hits and 2 BB’s so the under for line 2 wins today (vs 9.5)

  96. Oh-fer-two catching base stealers, but then again it was A.J. pitching. Hurdle talked about changing that this year and A.J. said all the right things too, but… We’ll see how Martin does with the rest of the guys pitching.

  97. McDonald’s error notwithstanding, why exactly is it that we need a defensive replacement for Clint Barmes? Defensively at least, isn’t Barmes pretty respectable?

  98. 81 to go.

    • I’m rooting for Bob Nutting to toss TBMTIB out. Whether I root for the Pirates to win or lose, they lose. So might as well get something out of the losing.

  99. Hey, we lost the home opener last year. And the year before that.

  100. Wait Till Next Year!

    • Thank god for that new hitting coach or we may not have even scored a run. You can see the difference Jay Bell is making already.

  101. AJ Burnett’s new walk up music was the theme from The Walking Dead. They should have used it for the other 8 guys.

  102. Samardzija owned us last year. Looks like that’s not going to change.

    Sveum knows his bullpen is terrible. If Samardzija doesn’t go 8, Buccos track them down late. Before I jump off of a bridge into the “Pirates suck” abyss, I’m going to give it a couple weeks. I’d suggest the same for a few of you.

    Jones batting second still has me scratching my head.
    I know Martin didn’t get a good grip on that Shierholtz sb, so I don’t mean to pile on, but one more no throw to second and I might lose it.
    Any guesses as to how many different lineups Clint tries this year? I’m going with 100.

  103. Browns trade Colt McCoy to the 49ers along with their 6th round pick for the 49ers 5th and 7th round picks. You know your bad when your including with a draft pick to get a 5th and 7th in return.

    • Too bad the Steelers weren’t notified LeSean McCoy was being shopped. They would have been bamboozled giving up at least a third-rounder for him.

      Back to the Pirates, if Clint Hurdle was so smitten with Garrett Jones’ OPS or whatever number, why has he never batted him in the No. 2 spot before?

      Hurdle is a blowhard, and like I’ve said previously, this team will be lucky to win 70 games in 2013.

  104. Dallas Stars have broken off talks with center Derek Roy on a new contract. Only 29; he has 22 points in 29 games this year for the Stars. Does Ray call his good buddy Joe again? Maybe we can give the Stars our 4th and their 5th pick… Ok so it would take more than that but we need another center. I have seen enough of Dustin.

    • I think after being questioned about the very situation after Crosby’s injury, Shero hinted at being done making trades. I would agree that after all the players just added to the starting roster, it would probably be detrimental to keep tweaking things even if you can add a player like Roy. Plus, I think Crosby won’t be out as long as some people may think and there’s plenty of skill at top and enough 3rd and 4th line center options currently on the team to get by sufficiently until he comes back. Unless you are not a very good to begin with, I think you can only alter the line up so much before it winds up hurting you.

      Not that I wouldn’t be surprised if he did pick up someone because you never know with Ray, but he’s dealt enough prospects and picks so far that if he were to go after Roy, he’d probably have to give up a current starting player to do it. Not worth it at this point (unless it’s Orpik ;) ), as all the players (minus probably Martin) should be back and healthy in time for the playoffs.

  105. Should I bother watching the game replay?

  106. Great to come home from work and watch MLB.TV

    Reds & Angels tied at 1 in the bottom of the 8th.

    Sean Burnett coming on with the bases loaded and 2 outs….going to face Jay Bruce.

  107. Choking dogs.

    • Hey, it’s Bucky !

      • Post was obvious a tribute to you, Milo. We missed your commentary today but glad you got to go to the game. I’ve only been to one OD game. Cubs/Phillies at Wrigley in 89, but I remember a lot about it despite the alcohol consumption.

        • It took awhile to thaw out but other than the obvious it was a good day. The crappy weather this morning really worked to our advantage, got to park in the normal garage downtown. We changed seats this year & they’re good. And, even with rush hour traffic on 28, I was home in 40 minutes. I’m looking forward to a good season, now if the Pirates would just cooperate…

  108. Biz and I were at the game today. It was COLD, but it was Opening Day and enjoyable. Lots of the commentary after the game on the radio seemed a little silly. I guess it was opening day for them, too. Being in a position to win it in the 9th helped make it a decent game, and also somewhat surprising after the first 8 innings. But it was Opening Day.

    Thanks, Biz!

  109. Well for all those TK fans out there you must be thrilled to know he will be the center on the line that was the most productive in hockey with Dupuis and Kunitz playing on the wing.

    I don’t really know what to say; Shero did his job and got some scoring help; now the guys acquired need to step up and help that top line out.

    • Not a fan of this move in the least. If you don’t want to mess the line configurations, then why are you moving Kennedy from the 4th line to 1st line? Put Jeffrey with Kunitz and Dupuis and be done with it.

      • I don’t like the move at all. I can see with getting the other 2 lines some chemistry; thats fine. But man oh man having TK and Jeffrey as your other options reeks; almost rather see Vitale than Jeffrey. Someone out there has to be available.

  110. Well….That was another dose of reality today from a franchise that has brought you two decades of it.
    Lackluster….Boring….No offense (as usual)….And almost shut out.
    Meanwhile, they are dancing in the aisles of Dodger Stadium where they have a payroll about four times that of the Nutting Regime.
    Bob Nutting sits in his private box like some kind of selfish emperor, and Pittsburgh radio is filled with David Todd interviewing Charlie Wilmoth and Tim Williams.
    Might I say the word Regime?…. Propaganda?…. Over and over again?
    Sick, sick, sick….That’s all I can say about it.

    • When you say sick; are you referring to the game or your ridiculous rambling post?

      • May I please ask what is it with the attacks around here?

        On my 4:50PM post, I had 2 other commenters come out of the woodwork to hassle me, instead of just moving on. Now you call another persons post ridiculous and rambling? Coming from you, who earlier posted about the Cleveland Browns, and Pens?????

        I really dont think that is the way it is supposed to work around here.
        But maybe it is, and I never got the memo?

        Very strange and unusual indeed !

    • The David Todd line is priceless.

      • I’d like to know how a Pirate/Nutting Regime blogadier now has a full time job squawking about Pittsburgh sports.
        Strange and unusual…..To put it mildly.

        • Why is it strange and unusual?
          This is the way they operate, and have operated since 2007.
          I dont know which is worse………… that he has a job squawking about Pittsburgh Sports, or he has a following of “fans”………

          • 2007?

            • When the Nutting ownership became “official”, even though he had final say on matters since at least 2003………

              2007 was when Misters Coonelly and Huntington were hired.

              And fans havent been allowed to question them in any way, without being attacked since then.

              Now THAT is strange and unusual.

    • Bob Nutting was interviewed on the pregame show by Dan Zangranilli

  111. I’m referring to people like you that never want to see the likes of Bob Nutting and Regime questioned.

    • You don’t know me. So don’t dare to try to say what I want or don’t want questioned.

      I don’t want them questioned? LOL. A lot of good questioning will do. Man don’t be so rough on the emperor as you described him. Questioning; that should solve all the problems.

  112. If you wanted them questioned….You most certainly wouldn’t have responded to my post as you did.
    You say what YOU want…And I’ll say what I want.

  113. April 1 and people are at each other’s throats.

    I was surprised how many left the Park early. With Carlos Marmol waiting in the wings, it’s foolish to assume the game is over. Jim Deshaies, who is pretty good by the way, on WGN wondered out loud why the people were leaving.

    • John–it was fricking COLD! Sure, it was 39 degrees at the time, but there was also a wind. The Cubs announcer probably had a heater. Biz and I even commented that we were a little surprised how many people stayed to the end. It was still relatively full.

      :-)

      • I second that emotion.

      • I heard it was cold for Jeff Samardzija and Anthony Rizzo too.

        • Daq–I usually leave you alone, but that is just a stupid comment. In no way, shape or form can you interpret my comment to be trying to provide an excuse for the Pirates. It was clearly a comment on the attendance at the end of the game. its all in your own head, man. Maybe you should see someone about it.

          • Hey….I wasn’t even speaking of the crowd.
            I noticed Russell Martin had a hooded sweat shirt on under his uniform.
            Not sure how much of a swing you can get with that…….

        • Love is in the air everywhere I look around
          Love is in the air every sight and every sound

          • Depending on which version you are referring to……… Tom Jones or John Paul Young……. that will determine how many +’s you get. :)

            I start the +’s at 5……….. how many more to be determined…..

      • Yeah, AW, I didn’t appreciate the chill watching it on my DVR in a heated room. :) Impressed that you all made it through the game.

        Did that Rizzo bomb go over your head, AW? I think Biz said you guys would be seating in that section.

      • Arriba, I am glad you had a good time.
        I have always admired Pirate fans……..20 years of mostly crap and lies, poor baseball, but yet the people come out and support the team………. and like today, they stay. This is not to say the past has always been crap and lies — it hasnt — and there have been some exciting moments.

        I just wish the ownership recognized what they have here in regards to the fanbase……….. instead of taking advantage of that good will.

        • I agree with that, plan.

        • I think Pittsburgh for the most part is one of the most faithful and emotionally involved sports towns in the country. I’m sad to say I’ll be relocating to Charlotte this summer where I will get to watch another AAA team; I mean one thats meant to be a AAA team. I guess I get to see Cam Newton on Sunday’s and closest thing to Hockey is in Raleigh. Ugh; regretting it already.

  114. It’s the Pirates :-)

  115. Reds lose in extra innings. Dusty Baker may have already bown out his bullpen

  116. Just saw a replay of Cutch getting hit and it confirms what I thought from seeing it live. It barely nicked him. Plus, no way was Marmol throwing at him in that situation. No retaliation necessary.

    • Apologist.

    • Maybe Marmol is like the cubs version of TK. He seems to have some very weird angles coming to the plate but every once in a while he gets one right across the plate.

    • I’d say judging by his quick removal from the game that he wasn’t throwing at Cutch.

    • My point was, number 1, he was not hit “hard” which you claimed, and number 2, even if he was trying to throw inside, he wasn’t trying to hit Cutch in that situation, makes no sense. And, I noticed a couple situations where Cutch wasn’t trying real hard to get out of the way of some pitches and wondered if he was going for a higher OBP. No lie.

      • Don’t mean to nitpick, but I didn’t see him ” leaning in” to any pitches like Kendall used to do. What I thought I saw was him not trying real hard to get out of the way of some, if that makes any sense. He was turning/moving away, just not with a lot of conviction IMO. And I thought that before the Marmol pitch.

        • What was the date of the Cincinnati game, Roberto?

        • Thanks. At the time the Pirates were 15 games over .500 and looking like a contender. That’s one big difference. The other is that Cutch was obviously irate over the Chapman hit, and no one responded. He didn’t seem in the least bit concerned today. Didn’t Chapman hit him in the middle of the back? I just don’t see any reasonable comparison.

  117. Leaving work very late now to go home and watch the tape of the Duke/Louisville game . . .

    . . . . followed by watching the Pirate/Cub game. Don’t tell me who won either game. I want to be surprised and happy.

    • I would fast forward through one portion of the Duke game in the first half. All I need to say is think of Joe Theismann on Monday night football.

      Never saw a basketball player vomit on the court due to seeing a teammate injured.

  118. I have officially hired Louis Freeh to question Bob Nutting. I fully expect this questioning to lead to Bob Nutting still owning the team. But the most important thing is that Nutting is questioned. I mean look at where it got Ken Starr when he questioned Bill Clinton. I could certainly see a response from Nutting being something like “it depends on what your definition of win is”.

    But the most important thing for Pirates fans around the globe is that Nutting is questioned. Drag him to guantanamo and water board him if you have to. The problem is that asking Nutting questions your assuming he knows the answers. And making that assumption is a bad one. Could be a long torture process to get those answers out of Nutting. Thank god he had that Navy SEAL training.

    • Good job!
      You’ve made it crystal clear why you responded to my original post.
      Perhaps you can bring in Kyle Stark to conduct the water boarding….

  119. Just finished up the game on the DVR.
    Sucks to lose, but man The Window is happy it’s baseball season again.

    The OVER wins for Line #1 and the UNDER wins for Line #2.
    Thanks again to everyone who played today.

    Here are the current standings
    If I made a mistake anywhere, please let me know. Thanks.

    cmat0829 —- 200
    JRay3 —- 175
    RobertoForever —- 100
    Arriba Wilver —- 75
    JoeyBats —- 75
    fellocolonial —- 50
    tmp444 —- 25
    JohninOshkosh —- 0
    radio wave —- 0
    stuart66 —- 0
    tdb1977 —- 0
    Karen22 —- 0
    Nate83 —- 0
    TCB —- 0
    Pucknutz —- 0
    TK —- 0
    Kevin —- 0
    Lad9 —- 0
    Joey Mellons —- -40
    Jandy —- -150
    JMB —- -200

    Later this week I will post what the prizes for this year’s winners will be.
    Thinking of doing prizes for the winner of each month as well.
    What do you all think?
    Feel free to follow on Twitter at twitter.com/thebuccowindow

  120. Also, just wanted to post the “wagers” for the original line on total Pirates wins for the 2013 season.

    If I got any of these wrong or missed yours, please let me know.

    Thanks again!!

    tdb1977 ~ 250 ~ OVER
    stuart66 ~ 250 ~ OVER
    Kevin ~ 250 ~ OVER
    Lad9 ~ 250 ~ OVER
    cosmo ~ 250 ~ OVER
    Jandy ~ 250 ~ OVER
    Bizrow ~ 250 ~ OVER
    RobertoForever ~ 250 ~ OVER
    TCB ~ 200 ~ OVER
    JohninOshkosh ~ 150 ~ OVER
    Karen22 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    TJ ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    Patrick ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    absolute59 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    Drew71 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    JRay3 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    JMB ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    Jason81 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    tmp444 ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    Pucknutz ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    Bill Born ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    DemonDachshund ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    JoeyBats ~ 250 ~ UNDER
    radio wave ~ 200 ~ UNDER
    buffalo_bob ~ 150 ~ UNDER
    Arriba Wilver ~ 150 ~ UNDER

    • I’m ALL IN on the idea the FO needs to go. But I’m a Pirate fan, at least as much as you are, Roberto.

      • Arriba, I believe most are ALL IN in regards to the Pirates.
        But because some people dont conform to others’ way of thinking, or are newer to this blog, well, you know what I am going to say…………………

        As I stated in an earlier post here, I want the Pirates to win every game……… but that wont happen until the FO stops taking advantage of the fans goodwill, and continues support, and actually tries to win.

        End of rant………

      • I explained when I bet that my head said go the whole 250 but my heart wouldn’t let me. :-) ‘s and ” lol’s” don’t disguise everything. But it’s no big deal. Just commenting.

  121. Hey, Guys! Always great to peruse the party here! For being game one, played in the cold – basically their one good blow vs. our non-production – and Samardzija being a tad better than Burnett, I’m still encouraged that our pen held them down after 3-0. But we’ve been decent in the pen for the past couple years, right? Hopefully our hitting kicks in a little, and even more hopefully a lot – and we win this division going away this year! LOL!

    Actually, I agree with what’s been said about the lineup looking some better than years past.

  122. This lineup is evidence of precisely why I said in the off season we will be able to predict the out come of the season based on the opening day lineup as it exposes all the weaknesses that Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington use to cripple the Pirate’s offense, with one exception…

    So here we are, opening day ant PNC Park, a venue that is especially hard on right handed hitters with little home run power and equally generous to lefties of the same variety.

    A right handed starting pitcher is on the mound.

    Right from the start we have a problem as the lead off hitter is a right handed hitter with little home run power, who hits right handed pitching poorly and has terrible control of the hitting zone and a resultant poor on base percentage. While Starling Marte hitting lead-off in this situation is a scathing indictment of Hurdle, his presence in the lineup is also evidence of Huntington’s inability to fashion a roster properly as instead of having a player like Clint Robinson on it who would at least create and opportunity for the manager to send out a lefty laden lineup, he instead carries a 39 year middle infielder who can’t hit thereby meaning SOME Pirate right handed hitter who can’t hit right handed pitching will be in the lineup somewhere… all season long.

    Garrett Jones hitting second, holy cow where did Hurdle get that inspiration from? Some might argue Walker should hit here and he’s not a bad fit either as both Jones and Walker hit RHP well but absent a decent leadoff hitter Jones’ added power is probably more valuable up top than in the bottom half of the order … a minor point not worthy of too much debate though.

    Andrew McCutchen hitting third, *sigh* this ones right out of the book. In a lineup with the proper left hand hitters accompanying him and a decent lead off hitter (get used to hearing it … all season long) it’s a no brainer, but that’s not the lineup, or the roster, we have.

    Pedro Alvarez fourth, yup another no brainer but my oh my how much nicer (and more productive) would it be to have this lefty hitting with THREE guys who can get on base at respectable rates in front of him?

    Gabby Sanchez, 5th, another righty who can’t hit RHP, in park that hurts him. Shouldn’t be in this starting lineup under any circumstances. Almost the exact same situations made for failure that Hurdle frequently put Jones in prior to mid-season 2012.

    Walker, 6th, of course. One of a small number of guys actually willing to take some walks AND hits better against RHP (should he even be switch hitting at this point??) so naturally Clint Hurdle in his quest to find new ways to hamper the offense has him hitting in the bottom third of the lineup.

    Martin followed by Barmes, 13 million dollars of nothing and more evidence Huntington’s off season work is the biggest obstacle to the Pirates ever fielding a competitive offense.

    Here’s the lineup the Pirates SHOULD have sent out on opening day, one that while not dominating would be far more competitive than anything we can hope to see before the next consecutive losing is wrapped up sometime in early August.

    Travis Snider LF
    Neil Walker 2B
    A. McCutchen CF
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Clint Robinson 1B
    Garrett Jones RF
    Michael McKenry C
    Jordy Mercer SS
    AJ Burnett P

    That lineup playing against every right handed starter would score more runs than any Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle will send out before they’re both fired.

    • Since Robinson is with another organization, as April 2 is upon us, your hypothetical lineup holds very little water.

      I don’t you just pencil Harper or Ike Davis in there, since along with Robinson, they are property of another organization.

      Some of us Pirate fans, just don’t live in the real world, and you my friend, are just one of the minions.

      • It’s not a hypothetical lineup it is what I stated, the one the Pirates SHOULD have opened the season with but didn’t because from the front office down to the manager nobody seems to understand that this team plays half of its games in a park that hinder right handed hitters. Not only is the roster and the lineup heavy with right handed hitters, they’re right handed hitters who are with one exception particularly bad against right handed pitching.

        Davis and Harper were never part of the Pirates’ organization, Clint Robinson was and as such have no bearing upon each other.

        In the real world in which I live the fact that Robinson is with another team while the Pirates and their manager have a roster and line up rife with weak hitting right handed hitters, facing right handed pitchers in a park that is unfriendly to them is simply more evidence that not one of them has the foggiest idea what they’re doing.

        • Oh, and it’s worth mentioning, the fact that Robinson, a player the Pirates traded for, is with the Blue Jays having picked him up with a mere waiver claim, is an example of why the Blue Jays don’t have a 20 consecutive losing seasons streak underway and will contend in some September long before the Pirates’ do.

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