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Final: Dodgers 3, Pirates 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (1-2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2)

Starters: LHP Jonathan Sanchez vs. RHP Zack Greinke

Time: 10:10 p.m.

Site: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

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. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez3B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Travis Snider, RF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. J. Sanchez, LHP

Here’s the TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is helping Vin Scully pronounce all the names correctly. (No, for real, Vin checks with the visiting beat writer before every game.)

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. So the Jones hitting second experiment or whatever is temporarily over.

    And Snider gets a start.

    • How many games before the Snider experiment is over? At least Presley can run.

      • Snider in twice the player Presley could ever dream of being. But like Jones in 2011 and the first half of 2012 so long and Clint Hurdle in making out the lineups he’ll likely not get enough continuous at bats to show it.

        If Presley were to be brought up it should be to play at the left handed platoon partner to Marte who can’t hit RHP to save his life and should never under any circumstances be hitting lead off against them.

        Now wave bye bye to the Reds folks because that’s what a real major league lineup is supposed to look like and the Pirates are as close in the standings to them as they’re ever going to be this season.

    • It never was much of legitimate experiment and it won’t make much difference who’s hitting second as long as the guy hitting of front of them is piling up outs at the rate Marte is.

  2. Robbie B gets to talk baseball with Vin Scully. Not too shabby.

  3. Tonight: Travis Snider goes 3-4, with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. He won’t be out of the lineup again all season.

    Tonight: Brad Lincoln will do something in the minor leagues.

  4. Let’s Go Pens!


  5. Since ’93 I’ve dreaded seeing the Pirates come out to play in Los Angeles.
    The irritation of watching the Dodgers and their fans “feast” on a lesser team bites at you like an angry fish.
    If one goes to the game at Dodger Stadium with a Pirate hat on, you can almost feel an air of sorrow for you.
    Slaps on the back and words like….”It must be tough being a Pirate fan!”…..”Aren’t you sick of losing?!”….”Why doesn’t your team ever spend any money?!”
    Yesterday….A friend of mine told me he had a couple fairly decent seats for the Sunday game….Maybe I should consider it.
    Last night I looked to see who was pitching on Sunday for the Bucs, and it was Jeff Locke.
    Today…..I told my friend it doesn’t look good for me to make it on Sunday.
    I didn’t bother saying it had anything to do with Jeff Locke because he would’ve answered…..Who?!?!?!!?

    • Trying to sign up for MiLB.TV so I can watch the minor league games.

      Gerrit Cole is pitching tonight. I want to see him get his head handed to him by AAA batters… NH said happens.

    • Someone said they moved A.J. up to Sunday. Better reconsider.

    • No, I’m wrong. They moved him to Saturday, I think.

      • Yes….Saturday against Kershaw.

        • Fourth game of the season and the stench of desperation is already in the air.

          Doesn’t matter who’s on the mound when unless someone in this organization realizes you can’t win games if you don’t score runs and in the modern age of baseball you can’t score runs playing small ball.

          Until such time as that cancerous philosophy is completely excised from the organization top to bottom the Pirates will remain exactly were they are and have been of late; top five in the majors pitching, bottom three in offense and a losing record as a result.

  6. Randy Newman may love LA, but The Window sure as hell doesn’t…
    Time for THREE-PLAY FRIDAY!!
    Let’s open The Window, and as always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Max “wager” is 100 units on each separate 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 HITS + WALKS + HIT BY PITCH for Travis Snider in tonight’s game
    LINE is 1.5

    LINE #2
    Total INNINGS PITCHED by Pirates STARTING PITCHERS this weekend in LA
    Line is 17.5

    LINE #3
    Total WINS by the Pirates this weekend in LA
    Line is 1.5

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

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

    Thanks to all for playing and good luck!!

  7. So of course by the time I get my MiLB subscription set up, Cole is out of the game.

    Cole: 4 innings. 3 ER, 2 Ks 0 BB 63 pitches, 40 strikes.

    He gave up 5 hits: 4 singles, 1 double.

  8. Interesting shot of the Dodger Stadium scoreboard showing Pirates World Series highlights.

  9. Late night baseball… let’s go Bucs!

  10. I have to listen to Vin Scully. A horrible fate. I had to mute it.

  11. Did a pirate catcher just throw a base runner out. Might not see that for another 30 games.

  12. I’m going to make my nightly statement in hopes of a change….This team just can’t hit.

  13. Okay. Here we go. Everybody hits.

  14. Pirates announcers “disappointed” with the crowd turnout. Really? What was the attendance yesterday at PNC- 8,000?

  15. Grienke’s been leaving 89-92 mph fastballs over the plate the whole frickin game.

  16. I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but, I really haven’t been all that impressed with Marte since he was called up last year.

    Yes, I realize it is VERY early in his career.
    Yes, I realize he has tremendous upside.

    But so far he’s been pretty…meh.

    • That one throw last year where he nailed that guy for the D Backs trying for a double was Clemente/Parker-like. I wish they’d bat him somewhere other than leadoff. I like him though.

      • Shouldn’t be hitting lead off ever and shouldn’t be getting at bats against RHP either.

        Can’t do either, never could and never will.

    • I can see that he definitely has the tools, the application of them hasn’t been fully demonstrated. The fear of his arm from RF put the breaks on a run last inning. At the plate have to agree have not witnessed any consistentcy and his plate discipline is still an issue.

    • Marte, I believe, is the last of the big time hitting prospects for a while. I think Bell would be the next one, but he is probably several years away.

    • You can definitely see the potential is there.
      I just hope he’s not another high strikeout / only hits in bunches type of player.
      Consistency at the plate would be really nice to see.

      • Any potential anyone sees in Marte is completely imaginary and the result of the front office hype they piled on him and the local sports media’s willingness to parrot it.

        At no point in his minor league career has he demonstrated the plate discipline or ability to control the strike zone or hit RHP well enough to be a major league starter let alone lead off hitter.

        By the time the Pirates are done wrapping up and putting a bow on their latest losing season, which should be early August, it will be obvious to everyone what was obvious to those who know how to evaluate minor league talent that Starling Marte’s is at best a defensive caddy, platoon mate for a left-handed hitter and a fourth or fifth outfielder.

        And that’s all he ever was.

    • You’re being far to generous with him, he’s been awful and the team’s unwillingness or inability,not sure what it is, to recognize his flaws is major problem.

      The organization is desperate validate their hype around him and that makes it all too likely that they’ll stick with him all the way over the cliff and their demise.

      The Pirates’ assessment and handling of Marte is a striking example of the difference between a failing organization and a successful one when you recall that Marte is the guy the Pirates would not surrender in a deal for Shin-Soo Choo who is now hitting lead off for the first place and eventual division winner Reds and sporting 2 home runs, 1 double, a .500 on base percentage, a 1.300 OPS and has scored as many runs himself as the entire Pirate team has in 4 games.

      The story of these two guys explains everything you need to know about the different philosophies and approaches that separate a winning franchise headed for the playoff again and the one that is about to add another losing season to it pro sport franchise consecutive record.

  17. I’m thinking 2-0 is a tall order to overcome.

  18. Just no margin for error for the guys on the mound, makes it difficult when you feel you must be perfect with each pitch.

    How about some support for these arms that have come out the gates battling.

    • It’s been that way for the previous two seasons and we’d have hope the front office would have realized it and done something in the off season.

  19. The beginning of this season is starting to resemble the beginning of last season, Strong pitching performances by the Pirate starters against the other team’s good pitchers, but little run production and losses.

    • My thoughts exactly.
      Just gotta tread water through the first month.
      Squeak out what you can.

      • In the illustrious words from Top Gun, “Bull**it this thing will be over in two minutes, get on it!”

        The Reds are locked, loaded and already starting to run away with a division that is all but theirs at this point. The Pirates will be out of contention by May if they don’t do something dramatic to reshape their offense, like yesterday.

  20. Sanchez very, very good for 5 innings.

    But how long can a pitcher be perfect with no run support?

  21. The season could be over by the end of April if this continues.

  22. Maybe if Gonzalez was paid more, he could learn not to run to third with a ball hit in front of him with first base empty.

  23. Dodgers get to Sanchez third time through the order…Jeanmar gets three quick outs in his first appearance…this is the part of the bullpen that makes me nervous.

    Lots of base running gaffes from the Dodgers tonight.

    • It wasn’t just the 3rd time through the order. Sanchez left the ball up to all three batters in the 6th. He was out of gas after the 8 pitch walk to the 1st batter of 6th.

      Very good 5 innings! I’m more than satisfied.

      Now: can Bucs HIT?

      • I too am very pleased with his showing tonight…he has good stuff and can really add to this rotation if he returns to form. Really like what we have seen from JMac yesterday and Sanchez today as pitching has to be a strength.

  24. Great to see McCutch still hitting.

    Unfortunately, sad to see nothing has changed with his baserunning ability.

  25. How about some swing protection from Pedro? Pitch and catch and Cutch is gone.

  26. The strikeout numbers are looking gaudy again.

  27. 6 up and 6 down for Gomez.
    Who had that happening?

  28. Josh Harrison pinch hitting . . . . . now THIS is what I stayed up until 12:30 for!!

  29. Fan all my life…this team is horrible…I’ve been patient for…ummm 20 years…yes, I said 20 years, my 18 year old son has never seen a winning team in PGH. I can’t take these bozos any more. We need to get rid of ALL management and start from scratch, new management, new players (minus cutch and ONLY him). Please please please. I went on a tour of the stadium last year for the first time…Pedro is FAT…I saw it with my own two eyes. The old dude leading our tour who has been a Pirate fan for like eighty years said “he needs to get in the batting cage” rolling his eyes (referring to fat Pete). I’m sorry, I love you guys and honestly I love this team, but its over…sorry. 21 is in the hand…

  30. Well, that was pleasant. Thanks for stopping by. (Animal House reference).

  31. Bucs lose!! Bucs lose!!

    2 hits.

    This is the beginning of 2012 season all over again!!

  32. Team B.A. of .127 after this one.

    Collectively, the Mendoza line is wayyyyyyyyyyyy up there right now.

  33. The bad new for the Dodgers is the fact there’s only two more games.

  34. Put Tabata in RF and bat him leadoff. Jones on first batting fifth. Bat Marte sixth in LF. Martin 7th. Everybody else the same. Lumber Company II. You’re welcome.

    • I don’t disagree, Mr. Library!

    • Works for me…great AB from Tabata he has had a different look about him this year and even in spring would like to see him back in there, Snider is just lost.

    • Nay. Put Tabata in right against LHP and only let him hit lead off then, have Jones as his platoon mate, put Snider in left against RHP and have him hit lead off while there and have Marte hitting eight against LHP only…

      And find a left handed platoon mate for Sanchez at first base… some like, oh say, Clint Robinson *pfffth*


  36. Didn’t I see that Pirate-Dodger game before?

  37. During the broadcast, Vin Scully said that he hoped the Bucs would finish above .500.

    “Pity’s very underrated. I like pity. It’s good” – George Costanza

    • so sad…. so very sad

    • I grew up in Southern California, and have literally been listening to Vin Scully my entire life.

      There is no doubt he is the best, period

      Meanwhile, in 1969 at at Dodger game I talked with Luke Walker, a Pirate pitcher, whereby i became a life long Pirate fan

      and…they suck more than ever

  38. What did I say earlier about an air of sorrow surrounding the Pirates?

  39. Bright side is that at least they will crush our hopes early this year and not give us any cause for optimism…let the collapse begin!

  40. Someone should tell Pedro that if the ball bounces IN FRONT OF the plate, it’s OK not to swing!

  41. A couple thoughts:

    1. This shift is now very commonplace. Unless hitters can start moving the ball the other way ala Rod Carew, I think league batting average may be down 5-8 points by the end of the year.

    2. The Pirates, for all their talk of situational hitting, have a team with a lot of swing and miss guys. This is NOT an offensive team destined for success as constituted.

    3. If I were calling a game, I would never pitch Pedro inside or up. he would get a steady diet of down and away.

    4. I think Travis Snider is about to go the way of Brandon Moss. No way Clint is going to play him enough. He’ll be jerked around like a Duncan yo-yo.

    5. The John McDonald late inning defensive sub has to go away since McDonald is not that much better than Barmes.And he can’t hit a lick.

    6. I think Jose Tabata is this team’s hope at leadoff. I don’t see any other 1 or 2 hitters on the Bucs.

    7. Man they are wasting good pitching

    8. This is NOT Jay Bell’s fault, though I believe some will think it is. It is not scouting for the correct abilities.

    9. Someone call me when Gaby Sanchez does ANYTHING worthwhile in a Pirate uniform, or justifies giving up a first round pick for him

  42. Fun fact: The Mariners and White Sox each scored enough runs in the first 9 innings of their ballgame tonight to beat the sum of the Pirates runs so far this season.

    The Reds and Royals each more than doubled it.

    • The lead off hitter for the Reds, the guy the Pirates refused to surrender Marte to obtain last season, Shin-Soo Choo, has scored the same number of runs as the Pirates have in four games.

      Understanding how and why these two players came to be hitting lead off for their respective teams tells us EVERYTHING we need to know about why the Reds will be in the playoffs again this year while the Pirates are adding consecutive losing season 21 to their record.

  43. panic

  44. I’m glad Huntington knows how to build an offense or the Pirates offense might be last in every major offensive statistic instead of being last in all the major offensive statistics with the exception of being next to last in OBP.

  45. i HATE baseball

    • I love baseball. I hate the Pirates trying to band-aid a team every year though.

      • Freaking Jay Bell.

        Last year’s whatzhisname isn’t looking so bad.

        Especially if he can hit a trailing fastball.

        Or if he can hit anything.

        • Thanks Drew, for making my prediction 4 posts up from this come true! ( number 8 of my few thoughts).

          I knew someone would come through and its my old buddy Drew.

          You rock man

  46. Dejan’s 1-31 prediction isn’t looking so bad

  47. At least we don’t have to argue about the Gaby-Snider-Tabata debate.

    they ALL neal. (“neal”, in lower case, is my new word for, you know.)

    Combined .050. For batting average AND slugging percentage. One single, 20 at bats.

    When the brewers are in town, I’ll tell you what “stark” is my new word for.

  48. Honestly, their pitching has looked solid.

    Can’t wait for Liriano, Morton and Karstens to come back.

    Maybe THEY can hit.

  49. I see my plan of going to bed when it was 2-0 & hoping things would be better when I got up didn’t work. It’s sad that they have me giving up 5 days into the season. I’m really starting to believe I’m not over last year after all. Wonder if they are ?

  50. YOu knew a shutout was coming soon. the real question is how long until they are no hit?

    I am going to make the statement again. Offense was a huge area of need (again) heading into the season. what did they do to upgrade it? nothing.
    Wash, rinse, and repeat

    • I guess replacing Rod Barajas’ .625 OPS with Russell Martin’s .712 was supposed to fix everything.

      • I was looking for an argument.

        Please stop agreeing with me.

        Ok. I’ll do it myself…

        “Drew. Relax. It’s a long season.”

        - That’s what I’m afraid of.

        Reminds me of the adage:

        – The optimist sees the world as the best it can be.
        – The pessimist is afraid the optimist is right.

      • I thought dumpster-diving for Brandon Inge was supposed to fix everything………

      • You clearly just don’t understand the process.

        NH’s advanced metrics say this team will finish 159-3.

  51. Pirates pitching, compared to the National League…

    ERA: 5th
    WHIP: 1st (T)
    Batting Average Against: 1st
    Total Bases and Strike Outs: 4th
    Walks: 2nd

    What a waste.

  52. What no wake up call? Well who wants one after that game?

  53. Hey, it was Greinke, things will get better against Kershaw.

  54. JAL’s Beginnings Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Who Should Bat Second?

    Pirates’ Bats Stay Cold in L.A. as Bucs Lose 3-0

    Prospect Watch: Alex Presley Starts the Year With a Hot Bat

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Zack Greinke, Dodgers 2-hit Pirates

    Pirates minor league roundup: April 5


    I feel like the Pirates haven’t won a game in LA in 200 years

    8 Pittsburgh Sporting News

    Pirates offense struggles again; shutout by Dodgers

    9 Rumbunter

    In First 2013 Start, Gerrit Cole Chased After Four Innings

    Zack Greinke Shines In Debut, Pirates Silenced By Dodgers

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Please start hitting…Dodgers 3, Pirates 0

  55. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Neil Walker Should Stop Switch-Hitting

    12 Columbus Dispatch

    Clippers top Indy 7-4

    13 True Blue LA

    Dodgers have owned Pirates in Los Angeles

    14 Bleacher Report

    Power Ranking the Aces of the NL Central Division

    15 WBDJ

    Pittsburgh Pirates – PlayerWatch,0,447168.story

    16 Pennsylvania Independent

    WATCHBLOG: Phillies, Pirates ownership spent $274K on 2012 election cycle

    17 CBS Sports

    Los Angeles-Pittsburgh Game Preview

    18 PBC Site

    Sanchez outdueled by Greinke in Bucs debut

    Locke doing due diligence for Sunday’s start


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Overthinking It This Week In Catcher Framing, 4/5.

    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Swings

  56. This blog cracks me up.

    We have the same record as the Angels. And we didn’t have to sign Josh Hamilton.

  57. The Fan just replayed an interview Neal Huntington did with Vinnie & Cook on opening day. For those of you that didn’t hear it, I’d like to paraphrase it for you.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    You’re welcome.

  58. Pirates are last in runs (6), hits (15), HR (0), and OPS (356). Maybe my 71-91 prediction was too generous.

    Marte is NOT a leadoff hitter
    Snider, Sanchez, and Tabata are AWESOME…

    The pitching staff has done the job with 6th best ERA (2.31) and best batting avg against (.149).

  59. When your team doesn’t win, this the headline you get:

    ‘Snider Gets First Start of the Season’

    I didn’t realize it was really that big of a deal

  60. I’m sure I’m late to this one since it is a few days old but nothing like burying the big statement in a piece responding to an article in which a former minority owner says Nutting should sell the team.

    “They (Pirates) need to have a GM and scouting department that are among the best in the game. They don’t have that.” – by Charlie Wilmoth @BucsDugout

  61. Is it possible to petition the Commissioner’s Office to ask not t play the Dodgers,

    I “season pass” both “NHL Tonight” and “Quick Pitch” on my TIVO. I almost always watch Quick Pitch first, especially during the excitement surrounding opening week. Not today. Starting to get sick of the Pirate futility.

    Now all they have to do is beat this generation’s Sandy Koufax.

    Fire Larry Broadway. Let the heads begin to roll!

  62. I’m asking for calm here. It’s only 4 games. It’s no time to panic. Remember, this offense was 9th in slugging, 10th in runs scored, 14th in On Base %, 14th in batting average & struck out the 2nd most times over a full season. Add Russell Martin to that same group & you can see why Neal Huntington is so optimistic.

    Look, I’m trying.

    • That’s out of a then 16 team National League, by the way.

    • It snowed here last night. Even a veteran Northerner like me finds it hard to be optimistic on a day it snows after Easter has already arrived.

      But I’ll try. My coffee tasted great this morning. Yesterday, I saw a Robin. And the Wood Memorial is today. So I’m starting to feel better.

    • Good try, Milo. I think, to be optimistic is OK. A.J. is pitching tonight. Maybe he’ll buzz someone and show some life. It might stir the offense if he does.

      We can always use the “jet lag” excuse, etc. for the first game of the series.

      And the excuse we’re in a team-wide slump, etc. etc.

      It is disheartening when guys that can hit, Presley and Mercer, are at Indy playing the Columbus Clippers. They started out hot as opposed to Gaby, Snider, Martin et al. I wouldn’t care where they played Mercer is he could get a few hits and not swing at everybody’s crap they throw up there.

      • So Presley has played 2 games so far and the rest of those guys have played 4.

        and you want to start making roster moves already?

        • No. I was just exercising the right to stir up trouble.

        • The moves they needed to make were available to them before the first games but they didn’t and now they’re not even available to them.

          Moving Presley up and putting him in a platoon role with Marte or Tabata and doing the same with Snider and the other can only slow the bleeding at this point. It still leaves the team confounded with the same problem it’s had for several years now…

          The need walks and left handed power at all four corners to succeed and they only have it at third and part time at either right or at first where Jones happens to be playing.

          Until they fix that problem and reduce the number of light hitting right hand, platoon-type hitters in the lineups against RHP, the offense will never do well enough to support the pitching and become competitive over the course of and entire season.

    • you mean it is only 20 years and 4 games………..

    • Yes it’s true that it’s only four games and one should always be careful when using small sample sizes to evaluate player and team performance… but when the small sample is a mirror of the samples turned in previous seasons, it’s simply irrational to expect or assume that things will suddenly change because we hope or wish it to.

      Sure, we know some of these guys are going to start hitting and the team will score more than the 1.5 runs per games it has so far, but just as we know that and for the very same reasons, we also know with just as much certainty that others will not.

      In the end even after Jones, Walker, Alvarez and Snider start hitting as we should expect them to, it won’t be enough to overcome the negative effects of Marte,Tabata, Barmes and Martin hitting exactly as we should expect them to, which is to say very poorly. And all the while Clint Hurdle will continue to make the worst of an already bad situation with his outdated small-ball tactics, misuse of platoon type players and OCD lineup juggling.

      Really, really sad and frustrating thing about this season is that up until March 29th the team actually had some players who if given to a manager who knew what he was with his lineups and understood the modern game, they might actually have had a chance of keeping this interesting, breaking the losing string and creating the conditions for a better team going forward.

      Instead they simply made the wrong choices as they always do.

  63. First Pirate home run (there hasn’t been one yet, has there?), before or after the Trade Deadline?

  64. Related question: Number of “Bucco Blasts” at PNC Park this year? Over/Under 2.5?

  65. Final question: Attendance at PNC Park following 0-6 road trip and 1-8 start: Over/Under 3,125.5?

  66. I’m hoping there are more tales on tonight’s broadcast about Pedro’s legendary batting-practice blast yesterday.

  67. So I just watched the Del Zotto hit on Neal again. I’ve seen some say it was a “hockey play”.

    What play in hockey requires you to leave your feet?

    Del Zotto left his feet prior to making contact with Neal’s head. I’m not saying the elbow was intentional but it was far from a “hockey play”. And even if it was a hockey play the bottom line is that Del Zotto’s elbow made contact with Neal’s head. Plain and simple. Ref’s blew that regardless of intent.

    • Looked like a hockey play to me.

      They’re not playing girls’ lacrosse out there!! Hitting is part of the game, and if Neal had put Del Zotto down with that same play, we would be applauding his “toughness within the rules.”

      Sometimes you’re gonna get hurt!!

  68. I am saving these blog posts. I will paste them back on the blog when the Pirates get back to 16 games over .500.


  69. OK, something positive, because if I focus on what I’ve seen thus far (would ANYONE trade a #1 Pick for Gaby Sanchez today? A number #2? A number #5?), it ruins my whole projected summer.

    Pirates started out last season hitting like this for all of April. They then caught fire and got to 16 games above .500 before they collapsed and died like dogs!!

    There———that’s my positive comment for the day!

    • So we want to repeat last year?

      • Bill Murray will star as Clint Hurdle in the new movie, ‘Trade Deadline Day’.

        • Each year Bucs trade their hottest player for someone else’s suspect/prospect.

          • Really? Seems to me McCutchen, Alvarez and Jones are still on the team and they’re were far and away the hottest players.

            Maybe you meant they trade their hottest prospect … which if true wouldn’t explain why Shin-Soo Choo the best lead off hitter in the game is playing for division rivals the Reds and Starling Marte in still piling up outs at the top of the Pirates’ lineup.

            • Check out the 3 weeks before last year’s trading deadline and tell me who the hottest Pirate was?

              It wasn’t McCutch . . . . he had already started his season ending swoon.
              Garrett Jones was maybe close.
              It certainly wasn’t Pedro, who only produced in spurts all season.

              I STILL would not make the trade Starling Marte for Shin-Soo Choo.

              • And Neal Huntington feels the same way about trading a number four outfielder/right handed platoon player for the best lead off hitter in the league and a left hand hitter with power who’d be an ideal fit for PNC Park to boot.

                And that’s precisely why the Pirates offense is in the shape it is and will remain so and the Reds are going to burn down PNC Park Sherman on Atlanta style on their march the NLC title.

              • North by Northwest,

                You seem to play a little loose with your facts in your never ending love expressions for the Reds and Aw Choo.

                First of all, Starling Marte is not a platoon player or 4th outfielder and never has been.

                2nd, Aw Choo is not the best leadoff hitter in the league. And it remains to be seen if he can even cover center field for a whole season.

                I don’t mind you saying that the Reds are better than the Pirates——they are——but there is no reason for you to exaggerate!

                Geez, the Reds won the division last year: they are supposed to be better.

                Maybe Aw Choo will be playing in the Pirate outfield next season along side Starling Marte, since Aw Choo is a free agent after this season. Bye, bye Reds!

              • Your simply wrong on every point except one.

                True Marte technically isn’t a fourth or fifth outfielder or defensive sub by virtue of the fact that Hurdle continues to pencil him into the lineup as a starter. All evidence however from his limited time in the minors to his performance in the majors say his abilities will never let him be very productive as a starter. Can’t hit RHP to save his life, can’t control the hitting zone, can’t get on base at nearly the rate he’d need to be productive, and as we witnessed again last night his base running and stealing skills so poor that he undermines himself and the offense even on those occasions he does manage to reach base and his power so far in his career is mainly come in the form of the triples which over the course of a season are not numerous enough to make up for the lack of home runs and double a quality, starting major league corner outfield should bring to the table.

                As for Choo, since becoming a starter in the major leagues he has always been part of the discussion as to who is the best lead off hitter in the games. Having moved from the vastly more competitive American League to the much softer National League Central when this season concludes, barring injury, there will be no question as to who is the best lead off in the game today is.

                As for his defense, even if you were correct, it would be a moot point had the Pirates had traded Marte for him because McCutchen would be the center fielder and Choo would be playing in left field as an above average defender at that position while regularly measuring the distance between home plate and the river beyond the right field wall at PNC Park.

        • Or Day of the dead Pirates

        • You can say that because you’re moving to AZ and will get to watch real baseball, right?

    • Their uniforms have looked clean.

      I played for my high school golf team. Every time I took a fluid smooth practice swing, I would get upset. I hated wasting my sweet swings on practice swings. Same feeling I have with Pirates pitching. I hate wasting these sweet starts from the Pirates’ staff.

    • If they continue to play this poorly, they do have some nice assets to trade off at the deadline.

      And if the REALLY play poorly, maybe they’ll have someone new to trade off those assets.

  70. The ONLY ONLY ONLY good thing about the offensive and defensive start of Pirates this year is the possibly of BMTIB getting fired!

    However, what confidence do you have that this will happen?
    ——Why would you thing that the Management Team that hired John Russel
    ——that insisted their corner outfielders play 120 feet off the foul line because statistics said so
    ——that traded for another “prospect” at last year’s deadline to boost the team’s chances
    ——that signed secret extensions denied and/or evaded in the press
    ——that chose Ronnie Cedeno

    What makes you think they will be wise enough to start out again with a new General Manager?
    Who will choose him?
    Does Frank “Mr. Congeniality” choose?
    Does Frank “Mr. Congeniality” go too?

    Do you trust Bob Nutting to make a “baseball decision” in picking a new President or General Manager?

    I wonder if Jeff Clement could be General Manager. I know he’s never “played” there, but it wouldn’t be his first time of learning on the go!!

    • I believe that Bob Nutting DOES care about winning, if only because when the team wins, seats get filled with butts that buy hot dogs and beer. He’s not going to invest much in making it happen, and he’s certainly not going to risk losing money, but he does want to win.

      I believe that the reason NH retained his job last offseason is that he was able to point to the trend over the last few years of improved performance combined with the improved minor leagues. If that record turns south again, I think he’ll be replaced.

      Do I trust that he’ll be replaced by someone better? No. But at this point I have no faith in NH’s ability to build a .500 team, never mind a contender, so I’ll take the devil I don’t know.

  71. If we’re going for positives, Cutch leads the league in stolen bases.

    Imagine how many AAAA players they’ll be able to get for him a few years!

  72. I feel much worse about the ‘wasted’ pitching against the Cubs.

    A lot of knew these games against the Dodgers were going to be tough. The have great pitching and very good players on offense too. Many predicted losses in LA

    So the Bucs go out and do what many expected and now the season is over?

    • If we think these game are tough you’re not going to believe the ones they have next weekend.

      I hope who ever is responsible for maintaining PNC has some spare cash lying around because they may just have to rebuild the right field wall after Choo, Votto and Bruce blow through town.

    • FIRE BYLSMA!!!

    • The season is not over because the Pirates lost to the Dodgers last night, Thunder.

      The season was ALREADY over when they lost to the Cubs.

      Wait Till Next Year!

      • Sorry but you’re both wrong. The Pirates season wasn’t over because they lost to any one team.

        The season was over the moment they set the roster, before the first pitch of the season, letting their best left handed power hitting option slip away on waivers and giving Clint Hurdle the green light to play small ball with a group of mostly light hitting, platoon type right handers.

        This offense never had a prayer from day one.

    • I never expected them to do anything this season, and they’ve done nothing to make me think otherwise. May through July the past two seasons are the only times they’ve done anything surprising in recent history.

      Personally, I’m done getting upset with this team. I choose to laugh at them instead. They’re the proverbial car wreck that I really should look away from and can’t.

  73. Well fellow Buc fans it was just communicated to me from a friend of mine that works for the Dbacks that he is getting me on the field to watch Pirates BP on Tuesday night. So I figure I can relay to Jay Bell the level of panic this start has caused all of us. And while I’m at it make the suggesstion to Clint to stick with a lineup preferably one that will generate a few runs. Nonetheless pretty excited.

    An with that Harper hits his 3rd HR of the year against a Reds team that hit six last night…for the Bucs, crickets. Kershaw tonight that should help awake the bats.

  74. Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
    MLB says McCutchen tested positive for PED substances Methenolone and a metabolite of Trenbolone. 50-game suspension.

  75. Groat;

    I understand what your saying about the no call on Del Zotto and it being a “hockey play”. But let me ask this…

    1. Is elbowing a penalty in the NHL?
    2. Are you responsible for your stick even when attempting a shot; and if your stick makes contact with the face of another player even in the terms of a “hockey play” is it still not a penalty? Why would elbowing be any different?

    • Thomas Jefferson,

      1/ Del Zotto caught him more with his shoulder than his elbow. When he followed through on the hit the elbow trailed, but Neal was already “gone” with the shoulder hit.

      2/ Until the NHL makes hitting heads off limit entirely——just like being responsible for your stick whether there was intent or not——then that hit last night on Neal was legal.

      What you say about stick responsibility makes logical sense, but NHL hasn’t yet made that a rule. In other words, the NHL is not logical.

      I agree with you that it should be, but it’s not. So, Neal’s hit just an unfortunate consequence of playing tough hockey.

      • Groat;

        Not sure if your saying there is or isn’t a rule regarding stick responsibility but there is a rule. Even if your taking a shot your responsible if your stick makes contact with another player above the waist even if in the process of taking a shot.

        And Groat you might want to watch the video again. Go to the 45 second mark of the video below on youtube and tell me that was shoulder contact.

        • Oh he threw that elbow back to hit something and he hit pay dirt with Neal’s chin.

          I don’t think Del Zotto is targeting the head nor could he hit it consistently if he were. Ugly dumb luck.

          It’s careless at best and dirty at worst.

          • If that was matt cooke making that hit all of the sports stations country wide would be calling for a suspension and calling it a dirty play.
            I do not think Zitto targeted Neals head. I think he was bracing himself and looking to dish out more than he was going to take, but make no mistake. if that was cooke, the media would be all over him….. and w/o just cause

        • There IS a rule about stick responsibility. As there should be.

          There is NOT a rule about hits to the head. But there should be.

          Del Zotto’s shoulder hit him first and in the protective follow through by Del Zotto his elbow caught Neal. Clean hit as far as I am concerned, according to present day NHL rules.

          • Sorry but I’ve watched this 100 times and I don’t see how your saying shoulder hit him first. Which shoulder hit him? Cause it wasn’t the same one as the elbow. Again look at the 45 second spot. If there is shoulder contact its Neal’s shoulder right making contact with Del Zotto.

      • I hear you Groat that they’re not going to call it but its not clean and Del Zotto deserves any attention he might garner from hard fore checkers, Englo or any one DZ would square off with.
        Pascal Dupuis is not a tough guy enforcer and not dirty. But he saw a need to run Del Zotto and I think Duper did the right thing.

    • I agree with you TJ.

      Throwing both of your elbows back is not a hockey play. Nope. He’s not doing it to keep his balance. He doesn’t know he’ll hit Neal’s head. He hope he’ll hit something.

      Del Zotto did a similar thing to Malkin later in the game when they were chasing the puck downs the right boards. Del Zotto has a way with throwing his arms back when a player is behind him. Clever but not clean.

      He also dumped Malkin after whistle when Geno poked at puck under Lundqvist.

      I hope Engelland becomes closer acquainted with Del Zotto the next time Pens play the Rangers. Rangers were acting like punk Islanders in the third. All are fortunate that was a one goal game or it would have gotten out of hand.

      How do the Rangers not get a bench minor for engaging Cooke multiple times from bench, Nash (he needs to keep his hand outta the cookie jar with those chubby baby fat cheeks of his) and Callahan shoving Cooke twice.

      And Boyle that 6’7″ goober with his 14 year old ‘look I got facial hair’ mustache could use a few more shots from Murray.

      • Need to just call up Macintyre for a game or two. Glass and Engelland just don’t strike the fear into anyone. Heck Macintyre might not either.

        Teams are starting to take some liberties.

        I’m by no means saying that this would have been an easy call to make but in my opinion it should be reviewed by Shanny which of course it will not.

  76. If it makes anyone feel better the Pirates have scored 3 runs all season. The Royals scored 3 or more runs in one inning twice against the Phillies last night.

    • And the Royals put up 4 more hits last night than the Pirates have all season 19-15.

      • And the Pirates have lost for 20 consecutive seasons

        • That damn Nutting!!

          • And now it’s time for the $64,000 question.

            Through out those 20 years and now into the 21st, what is the ONE and ONLY constant running through them?

            Hint: it’s not a player, it’s not a coach, it’s not a GM, President or owner, it’s not even the age or state of the facility they play in or the amount of revenue it generates or the rank/size of the payroll.

            Answer: it the belief that speed is a legitimate baseball skill and that it can be used to create offense with small ball tactics and a roster and lineup built around that fallacy.

            Every one of those seasons as we’ve approached the start of the season we’ve the people making the decisions, who ever they are at the time, tell us how the organization doesn’t have the power bats other clubs do so they’ll need to create offense with their speed and every they prove again that it can not be done and every season that follows they ignore the results and go about doing the same thing over and over and over again.

    • 6 runs all season. 3 in the win, 3 in the losses.

      The most they’ve scored in a game is 3.

  77. What in the heck is Steel city buzz? Is that a new name for that yapper crap?

    I hope DK isnt going to start beating up on cannibal hookers…

  78. Shin Soo-Choo just smacks his 3rd HR of season off Nationals closer Soriano to pull Refs within one, boy would he look good in Bucs lineup but I digress.

    • So would Hunter Pence; but he at least we got travis snider and gabby sanchez with 2 of our biggest trade chips last trade deadline. Lincoln and that sandwhich pick in the draft were 2 of our best chips. And we literally gave them away. Then again maybe other clubs saw Lincoln like he ended up in Toronto.

      For all the positives we see out of pitchers you wouldn’t expect you have to wonder how much longer Searage is going to stay in Pittsburgh

      • Interesting take with Searage, where would this club be without him? Truly wonder his thoughts as he prepares these guys to go out knowing full well they may have to match zeroes on many nights.

        Reds score 4 runs in last two innings to tie game, boy is that lineup scary.

        • Pitching staff isn’t all that bad either… who would have ever predicted they would have won the bidding on Chapman.

      • Travis Snider would be a good choice to hit lead off as part of platoon and the only obstacle keeping him from contributing the offense is Clint Hurdle’s use, or I should say misuse, of him and his inability to properly manage lineups with the players available to him. This flaw, one of many, in his managerial philosophy was talked and written about constantly back when he managed the Rockies and I feel like it’s a combination of both the incestuous relationship between the local sport media and the pro-sports organization and the fact that by all accounts Hurdle is a really nice guy that everyone like as a person that keeps him from being called out on it.

        As Dejan has stated, Hurdle sees Gabby Sanchez as his regular first baseman despite his historical in ability to hit RHP and Hurdle is going put him in the lineup at every opportunity until he does something that Hurdle can use to justify his action OR until injuries or trades force to play someone else as was the case with Garrett Jones and others.

        Asking a guy to develop while only giving him spot starts and occasional pinch hits and then complaining when he doesn’t produce at a high level is grossly
        unfair to him or any other player placed in a situation tailor made for failure.

        Travis Snider’s production thus far a Pirates is less a reflection of his ability than it is supporting evidence of the foolish, haphazard approach the front office has in acquiring players they clearly have no plan or idea how to use and the manager’s inability to make proper use of the players he’s give.

        If Travis Snider is still not producing after he’s collected 350 or more plate appearances starting against EVERY right hand starting pitcher then it’ll be fair and reasonable to lay blame on him. Until that happens, these results are all on Hurdle and Huntington.

        • Wait a second. On the day after Starling Marte batting lead off gets the ONLY two hits for the Pirates, you complain about Marte batting lead off and suggest SNIDER as lead off? WHOA! Seems like more’s going on here than meets the eye?

          • Having trouble with the concept of a platoon?

            One thing has nothing to to with another because if properly constructed platoons were being utilized by Hurdle, Travis Snider wouldn’t start against the LHP Kershaw and second absent the other options that were available to them up until very recently Marte’s efforts last night only provide MORE evidence of why even if you are starting him against the LHP it should never be near the top of the order let alone lead off.

            He doesn’t have the plate discipline, never has, to generate an on base percentage that warrants getting the extra plate appearances top of the order hitters get in a game or over the course of the season.

            So what does he show us again last night when he does manage to get on base? He shows us that he’s harmful to the Pirates’ offensive efforts when he’s on the base as he is when failing to get on base. If he’s not getting thrown out trying to stretch a hit an extra base and pad his and doubles total, he likely getting thrown out trying to steal in a situation he has no business doing so in or he’s trying to advance to a base in some other way when he shouldn’t and taking a runner out of scoring position in a one run game.

            He doesn’t have any of the skills of a lead off hitter and he’s train wreck waiting to happen when he is on base.

      • Not likely as Pence like Upton and most of the other potential candidates for acquisition who were talked about last season are right handed hitters who while not being as devastatingly unproductive as Staring Marte, probably don’t have the home run power needed to overcome the effects of playing at PNC Park. It’s the same reason Sanchez isn’t and won’t produce as hoped just as McGehee, Matt Diaz and every other hitter with a similar profile who’s rolled through town didn’t. It’s also why poor players like Barmes and Martin have no chance of ever succeeding here.

        What separates Choo from all those others talked about is the fact he hits left handed and that made him and ideal fit to play at PNC for a team that needs walks and power at the four corner sport in order to produce.

        The only right handed hitter who was talked about being acquired who might have been able to do well here as McCutchen has, was Josh Willingham.

    • You’re not digressing in the least, you’re right on point. The fact that Choo is hitting lead off for the Reds instead of the Pirates and Starling Marte continues to find new way burn the offense in the box and at the plate is Exhibit A in explaining why this organization is in the dire straights it is.

      It needs to be brought up, rehashed and recalled at every opportunity until someone in the local sports media grows the stones to point it out in print to Mr Nutting and the Pirate front office.

      DK: Yeah, it’s about time to grow some stones and challenge those guys!

  79. This donut has gotten stale.

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