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Final: Pirates 3, Cubs 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (0-1) vs. Chicago Cubs (1-0)

Starters: LHP Wandy Rodriguez vs. RHP Edwin Jackson

Time: 7:05 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. Rodriguez, LHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the scene.

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. First PICK’EM 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.

    What will Pirates pitches Wandy Rodriguez get in tonight’s game?

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

    **The Window is on twitter,, feel free to follow**

    Thanks to all for playing and good luck!!

  2. Biz asked me to put in 100 on the Over for him.

    I’m still cogitating for myself.

  3. For years, people complained that we didn’t have the players that a manager could just put the same lineup out there day in and day out.

    Folks, now we have it!

  4. For those kind enough to offer well-wishes, I’m happy to say my mother’s procedure went extremely well, with what really could be best described as an optimal outcome.

    The downside is that she’ll be annoying me for many years to come, but I’ll take it.

    Thanks again.


    Now all we have to do now is just sit back and relax and wait to hear the na sayers complain about today’s Bucs lineup!!! :)

  6. Again, what’s the logic of Jones at #2 and Walker at #6? Why don’t they just switch those two around?

    • Dom:

      The Cubs announcers the other day liked Jones in the 2 spot. They thought he would get more fastballs to hit with McCutchen and Alvarez following him.

      I’ve seen a few lineups this year with some power guys in the top 2 slots. Theory is potential for an early lead.

      I don’t mind it, and I’m fairly certain the lineups will change throughout the year.

      • I am sure the amazing Hurdle still has big plans for Snider.
        Maybe after Sanchez starts the season 0 for 8, he will give TS the start thursday, vs the lefty .

        Hurdle is a tool, and now he is going to keep Jones in the 2 hole, to prove he is the boss.
        I cannot believe Nutting actually has seen enough of this clown to give him a contract extension.
        It’s not the small market status that will make it impossible for this club to ever win again, in my lifetime.
        No, it is much deeper than that unfortunately.
        It is because he has the wrong people, at all levels, making the decisions on player acquisitions , drafts, and trades.
        No way the Pirates will ever be even a 500 . club, with this current gang of Gibbons , at the helm.
        And this is coming from a fan of this organization, for over 40 years now.
        Rip Bob Nutting all you want for being cheap.
        His problem is, he is clueless when it comes to seeing NH, FC, and CH, will never, ever, ever, ever, get the team back to a playoff contending organization.

        • So, is Hurdle the tool for not playing Snider, or is Huntington the tool for acquiring him in the first place?

          • Well from what i have seen of Snider in a Pirate uniform, he just doesn’t have it, to be a consistent major league hitter.
            Too slap happy of a swing, to be a good hitter, let alone, one that shows consistent power.

            The part i don’t understand is Hurdle gave Snider consistent ab’s in ST, and played Jones in RF 2 games, at the most.
            They are both eggheads, and both should not have returned in 2013.
            I am talking about NH and CH, not TS and GJ.

          • Which came first… the tool or the shed?

          • I’m going with a little from column A and a little from column B.

          • all of the above? ( and for many other reasons….)


        • I thought Gibbons was in Toronto.

        • Tom,

          I think Hurdle is feeling more “safe” that Neal. Hence, Neal isn’t able to insist that Clint play Snider.

          Personally, I’d like to see Snider have a chance to play regularly. He hasn’t had that chance yet. Not that I favor Neal over Clint; I think both should be gone.


      • I’m really surprised we haven’t heard Hurdle use pitch type/protection to justify Marte at leadoff.

        I think if there is any truth to the hypothesis, leadoff is where Marte is going to get the most balls to hit. Nobody wants to walk the first batter.

        • I don’t follow the metrics like you, NMR, but isn’t the pitch type/protection theory somewhat of a myth? It seems I heard that debunking once, anyway.

          I found it interesting that broadcasters are debating how much advanced metric statistics should be incorporated into telecasts. I noticed WGN is using likelihood of runs scoring in certain situations (eg % a run scores with runners at first and third and one out, etc). I think Len Kasper is into it. I haven’t seen a White Sox game yet so unsure what Hawk is doing, although I think I could take a good guess.

          • Ha, yeah, I don’t personally buy into the theory. Just trying not to ruffle feathers since I know some live by it.

            You bring up an excellent point about the metrics, though. Really interests me. There is such a huge knowledge gap (I mean this in the simplest sense, not saying one side is better than the other) between those that follow the metrics and frankly the majority of everybody else that broadcasters have a fine line to walk.

            I couldn’t imagine my Dad giving a crap about Starling Marte’s first-pitch swing%, but personally feel that kind of thing would be interesting to follow.

            I’d say there are enough outlets for stat heads to get their fix. Keep the broadcasts in traditional terms.

    • I’d rather they switch Marte and Walker.

  7. I hope a recent trend is reversed tonight.

    In recent years, the Pirates dont win too often on Buc Night.
    Tonight is a Buc Night.

    May Wandy be good.

  8. A quick look at weather (and I know the interweb is not always accurate) shows Minneapolis at 43 degrees for their matinee game while Pittsburgh is at 37 degrees right now and playing a night game!

    AW-you should have went tonight, as well. I’m sure it will be toasty there.

  9. I was thinking that Jackson is the kind of hard thrower lacking great command that would strike out six or seven tonight but also serve up enough fat one’s to get touched up for a few runs.

    Looked at what he did against us last year…7 IP 3 H 1 2B 2 HR 5 K

    Couldn’t have guessed much better than that.

  10. Playoffs:

    Put me down for 100 on the win


    Go Bucs

  11. I just got caught up on this thread…so let me say to DK….glad to hear good news about your mom. Prayers answered!!

  12. Everything on the win please, mr playoffs sir.

  13. Hey everyone, been away too long. Crazy time at work lately, but only a couple of weeks away from launching this big 3 year long ecommerce project. Until then, the 80 hour plus work weeks will continue. But soon I will have time to hang out and chat it up like I usually do (used to).

    Let’s Go Bucs!

    • I was wondering about you, Joe. Look forward to your posts.

      • Hey Oshkosh b’gosh!

        Thanks for hanging in there so long with the Duke logo. I was surprised it stayed more than a couple days . . . . . . . but it always cheered me up when I came here and saw Duke represented.

        More than once when I got here, I would think: “How did my posts already get here. I don’t remember being here earlier.” Then I would realize it was you, not me.

        I totally understand you now selling out to Wisconsin——they gave you a better shoe contract, didn’t they?——but I seriously appreciated seeing Duke there for a lengthy time.


    • Thanks guys, I still linger sometimes silently, but now that we’re in season, I’m sure I’ll be around a bit more.

      John, I’m still spending a lot of days in Wisconsin myself hanging out at the motorcycle shop in Milwaukee. I plan on hitting the Bucco series in Miller Park in a few weeks.

  14. Dejan,

    They put your head on the body of someone wearing a suit on those newspaper boxes!!

    They should have picked a better body!!!!

  15. Maybe it will reappear in football season!

  16. If I were a good pitcher, playing for a team in major league baseball, and was told that I had just been traded to the Pirates, I would consider retirement instead. The Pirates don’t score many runs because they don’t hit with men on base, as other teams do. It would scare me to think that I would have to pitch near perfect to keep the opposition from
    scoring even one run-probably enough to win the game. But anyway, GO BUCS!!!

    • Man, it’s been one game. Step down from the ledge. :)

      We get back to .500 tonight. (speaking of overreacting)

    • So Chuck, if your contract that would guarantee you, let’s say $5 million per year, would follow you to Pittsburgh – you would still just walk away and retire?

      And you realize, you won’t be getting that $5 million.

      All this because the Pirates don’t score enough and you would be scared.

    • Don’t know every situation but last season Bucs scored with 1st and 2nd no outs 60% of the time, right at league average.

      With RISP Bucs scored 461 runs Reds scored 464

  17. I was referring to last season, buthead.

  18. If I were a wide receiver & I was traded to the Steelers I would just retire. They’re just going to hand it off 50 times a game anyway & that bumpkin of a quarterback’s been around 5 years and he still can’t stop throwing it to the other team. I’m just going to waste my career away blocking or covering a punt that’s sure to come after a 3 and out.

    Oh, I’m sorry. That was 1974.

  19. Actually, there was a pitcher traded to the Pirates a few years ago who did exactly that – retire, rather than play for them. Can’t remember who it was right at this minute. And Derek Lee essentially did the same last year, when the Pirates were the only team that wanted him. Then, there was Raul Mondesi’s unique/clever/bizarre way of escaping the Pirates…
    On the other hand, Doug Mienkiewicz really wished he could have finished out his career here. And here is where A.J. apparently wants to finish (hope A.J. gets treated better than Dirty Doug was). So it takes all types.

    • Darren Lewis quit. He was an outfielder. Traded for Chad Hermansen in 2002.

      • Thanks. Didn’t know that. But I’m thinking of one much more recently. Not Matt Morris, either (who was a class act, by the way, in declining to take any more of his guaranteed $10 mil. contract, that year). Even more recent. It’ll come to me…

        • Ghost, are you thinking of Gil Meche? Retired from the Royals turning down his $12M contract.

          • No. This guy was definitely traded to the Pirates. Only about two(?) years ago… Surprised nobody but me remembers this.

            • This is all I could find.

              (CNN) — The retirement of the pirate leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan, also known as “Afweyne,” has generated much media coverage, but the real significance of his announcement is the indication it gives of how Somalia’s pirates currently view their business model. It appears that hijacking vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is no longer seen as a relatively risk-free affair.

            • How about Chad Qualls ? He retired the side. Once.

        • Ole Matt talked about it, but he didn’t give up one red cent in the end as I recall.

  20. Anyone know anything about new blackout rules? I’m in Columbus, and Root on my Directv is blacked out. Never had that happen in previous years.

    I have as well, but the game is blacked out there because apparently the game is televised as part of the home market.

    I’m one non-happy dude right now.

    • Living in the Astros and Rangers market, the Pirates broadcast team only gets backed out when they play those teams. Forced to then watch the Houston/Texas broadcast with their announcers. Try 659 instead of the MLB 700 channels.

      • Yea, I usually get Root on 659 just fine, always have every year. I pay for the extra regional sports package to get it, but I don’t have to buy MLB Extra Innings.

        But right now is an MLB Extra Innings free preview and I can’t get either home or away feed on there as well, since it is blacked out on both of those too.

        And on, which I paid a lot for as well, it is blacked out because I am in the home team’s territory.

        Something isn’t right, and Directv told me basically to call MLB.

        @DK – could you send me uncle Bud’s phone number please?

    • This came up the other day. Someone else was telling us about the blackout in Columbus, which is closer to Cinci and Cleveland than it is to Pittsburgh.

  21. There we go. Off to a good one.

  22. OK, Bucco Brigade…how do you add an avatar on here? I swear I’m not seeing something.

  23. A lead!

    I’m satisfied for tonight.

  24. Just getting out of a work conference check things out and see Cutch gives the Bucs first lead of year and is 2 for 2 in the SB department. Wandy Rodriguez is dealing through six with a low pitch count.

    I think Wandy will prove to be one of NH’s best moves by adding a solid starter to the rotation, what he has done for the back end, well we can debate that another day.

  25. I thought Cutch was going to be injured on that stolen base attempt

  26. Wandy’s putting in a fine appearance (jinx alert!) and the Pirates are averaging one half hit per inning.

  27. Let’s take a starter who had a real confidence builder going, and leave him in till he gets eaten alive.

  28. Implosion in progress.

  29. Oh great. Tony Watson & his lame arm.

    • You can hide a guy with a sore arm in spring training when every telecast doesn’t have a radar gun. Can’t do it now. Fastest pitch at 91. 3 or 4 mph have disappeared. Red flag. Nice comeback for Tony under the circumstances.

    • Lame Arm gets them out of it.

      My wife calls me Lame Arm.

      Well. Not Ar…

      No. Not going there.

  30. Whew.

  31. Nice outing for Wandy.

    And Barmes has a hit before the third week of the season. Things are looking up.

    • I LOVE seeing Wandy happy as a Pirate now! Good to see that smile on his face after Watson came back from the 3-0 count to get ‘em out!

  32. One decision after another I didn’t get.

    And they all worked.

    Maybe Hurdle is a better manager than I am.

    He must be single.

  33. If the Pirates are afraid to go to the one thing their GM has built well- their bullpen – game’s over.

  34. Anybody wonder why it is Edwin Jackson can be such a good pitcher – by many standards – but has been with 8 teams in 9 years? Bad breath? I mean it’s gotta be something weird.

  35. This guy should have retired before he got here.

  36. Watson’s preseason was beyond terrible, but his box score tonight looks creditable.

  37. Very Nice!

    And fire Bylsma

  38. Is anyone REALLY going to miss Joel Hanrahan’s let’s-see-how-hard-we-can-make-this close theatrics? NOT TONIGHT, BABY! :-)

  39. Does this just automatically become the thread for The Americans ?

  40. Raise it, brethren and sistern! (sorry, just came from church)

  41. And the Root Sports telecast wasn’t as annoying as last year

  42. 1 down, 81 more to go!!

    The WIN gets the win for tonight’s PICK ‘EM.
    Thanks to everyone who played.
    TWO LINE THURSDAY for tomorrow’s game.

    Here are the updated standings:
    Let me know if I made any mistakes. Thanks
    JRay3 ~ 225
    cmat0829 ~ 200
    RobertoForever ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    Bizrow ~ 100
    JoeyBats ~ 75
    stuart66 ~ 75
    Karen22 ~ 50
    KJX ~ 50
    Steve J. Smith ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Arriba Wilver ~ EVEN
    fellocolonial ~ EVEN
    radio wave ~ EVEN
    Nate83 ~ EVEN
    TK ~ EVEN
    Kevin ~ EVEN
    Lad9 ~ EVEN
    Joey Mellons ~ -5
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    JohninOshkosh ~ -50
    TCB ~ -50
    Jandy ~ -50
    TJ ~ -50
    Jason81 ~ -50
    Dom ~ -75
    tdb1977 ~ -100
    Pucknutz ~ -100
    JMB ~ -100

  43. Nice victory, and i see Gaby , Tabata, and Snider, still neck and neck for who will get the first hit of the season between them all.
    Have to go with Sanchez, since he was annointed a position with the starting 8, thanks to his torrid 4 weeks of spring training batting.

    Can’t wait for Inge, after hitting 125. in his rehab assignment , to take Harrison’s job, due to the fact Josh hasn’t reached 35 years of age yet.

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