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Pirates-Cardinals, postponed, rain

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (6-7) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (8-5)

Starters: LHP Jonathan Sanchez vs. RHP Jake Westbrook

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

186 Comments

  1. Good to see that a week of hitting .421/.522/.579 earns you a spot on the bench.

    Great message, Clint.

  2. Dejan….
    Solid intro to the radio show re: PBC. Well said… they definitely have a different look about them. Seems to me that Cutch is lifting the team with his play…specifically that game winning home run Friday night v. Cincy.

    • Funny, I thought the solid intro centered around management’s complete & total negligence in building a competent starting rotation. But I could be wrong. :)

      DK: Everyone hears what they want. I’m guilty of same.

      • DK,

        You ? My friends tell me I’m the most closed minded person they know. I tell them flattery will get them everywhere.

    • Oh I agreed, too, about the pitching… but wanted to highlight the different look about them.

  3. Good article in MLB Rumors today about when players can be brought up and still get that extra year of service.

    The season is past 12 days old now, so Gerrit Cole can be brought up to Pirates immediately and Bucs will still have 6 full seasons of service AFTER this year! He is not on Bucs 40-man roster, but a spot is open.

    If Jonathan Sanchez craps the bed tonight, Gerrit Cole would certainly look good throwing those 31-pitch innings in a Bucco uniform. Maybe Ray Searage, the pitching guru, can help Cole cut that pitch count in half. I would bet on Ray and Young King Cole succeeding together.

    Liriano had his first outing and it was good, but it was only 3 innings in A ball. Cole is in AAA. Gerrit Cole pitches tonight——let’s see what he can do tonight!! If he’s good, put him on a bus to Pittsburgh!

    To bring Cole up, it would cost Pirates an extra year of arbitration, but Huntington told us sending Cole to the Minors had nothing to do with money, right? So . . . bringing Cole up if rotation keeps spinning south should have nothing to do with money!

    • Bringing up Cole before he demonstrates some degree of consistency against Triple A hitters could be a mistake, IMO, and I wouldn’t do it. Not bringing him up if he has a good start tonight doesn’t signal to me that it has something to do with money.

    • If Sanchez pitches another no hitter tonight, it won’t matter. And, if James McDonald just had bad biorhythms last night, it won’t matter.

      However, if Jonathan Sanchez pitches grossly again tonight and Dr. Jekyl JMac is hurt and really Mr. Hyde after all, and Cole puts a number of innings under his belt tonight, there should be nothing holding back Front Office from bringing Gerrit Cole up except $$$$——that 4th year of arbitration.

      • As I said, I think it’s important for Cole to demonstrate consistency at Triple A and until he does, that, IMO, is a legitimate reason to keep him in Triple A.

    • The whole point of the delay is to avoid Super 2 status, which would make him a 4 year arbitration cat. If they wait another month or so, he avoids Super 2 and the Pirates elect what to pay him for the 1st 3 years, arbitration for the last 3 years. Its still a good move to keep him down financially. Even though NH said its not financially motivating, he has to be there. Give him a few more starts at AAA to see how does with that competition.

      However, the wait is on and if these guys continue to flounder like they are, bring him up.

      • According to Dejan, the whole point of delay was NOT super Two Arbitration ($$$$) but to gain that extra year of service. The money supposedly was not the factor.

        Today is April 16: to avoid Super Two Arbitration, Bucs cannot bring Cole up until at least June 15——two months or more. Can Pirates “afford” to keep using baling wire and duct tape to keep this rotation together for 2 more months, just to save a year’s worth of arbitration for Gerrit Cole?

        How many middle relievers can the team go through just to get through the rotation one time? What is this——3 (Leroux, Morris, and now Vinnie Baby) in 4 days?!?!

        • Long term gains, they must keep him down until the June date. Short term, they may need him. I don’t believe he’s proved himself yet at the AAA level.

          Let’s not rush the gold piece of this franchise.

    • It seems that you haven’t noticed that Cole isn’t getting AAA hitters out.

  4. Not an offensive lineup that is going to scare anybody. Spots six through nine are downright anemic, and Neil Walker before them ain’t doing much yet, either.

  5. I agree with NH that Cole isn’t ready yet.
    Dump Sanchez and see if Kris Johnson can keep getting batters out.
    Could he be any worse?

    Looks like they got rid of Maholm just before he hit his stride.
    Nice work by the front office on that one.

  6. Westbrook always scares me.

  7. Let’s open The Window…What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?
    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.

    TONIGHT’S LINE
    Total HITS by Starling Marte
    LINE is 1.5

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!

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

    Thanks to all for playing and good luck!!

  8. CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS. Let me know if I made any mistakes. Thanks.
    TK ~ 500
    Steve J. Smith ~ 450
    theplanisworking ~ 450
    Pucknutz ~ 400
    RobertoForever ~ 390
    cmat0829 ~ 350
    bman ~ 305
    Frankie ~ 300
    Keith ~ 300
    tdb1977 ~ 300
    EricBowser ~ 250
    Jason81 ~ 250
    radio wave ~ 250
    JohninOshkosh ~ 235
    JRay3 ~ 215
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Kevin ~ 200
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    JUCOFan ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
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    Arriba Wilver ~ 75
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    fellocolonial ~ EVEN
    Nate83 ~ EVEN
    pants-n-at ~ EVEN
    Ghost ~ EVEN
    Joey Mellons ~ -10
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Chico ~ -50
    TJ ~ -50
    Dom ~ -75
    cosmo ~ -100
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    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    Jandy ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    steelercrazy ~ -100
    TCB ~ -200
    stuart66 ~ -400
    Bizrow ~ -600
    JMB ~ -600

    ***First Place at the end of APRIL will win:***
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994233155485698

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994373731794947

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES LICENSE PLATE FRAME
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994796970627072

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH STEELERS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996576253087745

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996735837982720

  9. Let’s see how Sanchez pitches tonight in PNC. First game in a pitcher’s park.

    Remember how good Bedard was at home last year?

    • I like Sanchez and I hope you are right.

      Cue the old Girls’ Group: “Wishin’ and hopin’ and plannin’ and prayin’ . . . “

    • Did you happen to see Bedard’s pitching line last night in his first start for the Astros:

      1/3 IP, 2 H 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K

      Ouch…good luck with that Houston.

      • I did not see that. I don’t remember him being quite that bad last year. Bad, but not that bad.

      • How about Correia’s line against the Angels?

        7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO and the Win. Both ER’s were HR’s too.

        • Wish we would have held on to KC, he was serviceable, dependable and cheap, was a great fixture for back end of the rotation….and oh btw he only won 12 games last season.

          Never understood why he fell out of favor with NH and CH, yet we hold on to Morton who has not shown any consistency and would be hurt a good part of this season.

          • Because 5th starters have to come cheaper than $5m/yr for teams like Pittsburgh.

            • Heck on this team as currently constructed he would be a #3 starter.

              • Do you think other team PLAN for three starting pitchers to get hurt?

                DK: Actually, they do. And it’s smart. But you’re missing the ‘crux’ of the argument even though I stated it kind of plainly up there: The pitchers who were signed to be insurance, to be that depth, were ALREADY HURT. And the Triple-A prospects — with a notable exception of Cole — just aren’t there to make up for it, so the signing of real insurance was a must. As it is for EVERY team.

              • I think other teams plan not to sign two pitchers they know were hurt and bank on another with a history of injury problems.

                DK: Exactly. AS INSURANCE. And I’ll reiterate that this isn’t hindsight on my part:

                http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/3727292-74/pitching-pirates-team#axzz2QSD0Gw4U

              • Then name them! Name the teams that have replacements for THREE injured starting pitchers at one time. I’ll be waiting.

                And quit inflating the argument. Morton was never signed as an option for the start of the season.

                The Pirates left the offseason with AJ, Wandy, McDonald, Karstens, Locke, and McPherson healthy.

                What legit free agent is coming into that as depth?

              • Without doing a lot of research I will give you one…the LA Dodgers…Greinke cracks his collarbone and the Dodgers have Lilly or Capuano or up until last week prior to a trade Harang waiting in the wings.

                When you play to win, you ensure you are covered for the what ifs…the Pirates aren’t even covered to start the season.

              • NH tried to get Capuano for Hanny and Colleti didn’t budge.

                Oh, and all three of those pitchers are oft injured and in their mid 30′s. One of them gets hurt and we’re having the same exact conversation.

                Try again.

              • What about the Texas Rangers?

                World Series contenders lose TWO starting pitchers and they’re left filling their places with two guys that have two Major League appearances between them.

                Where is their depth?

              • Try again, the Dodgers swept us, and have no issues with their rotation and still have an arm waiting in the wings.

                The Bucs, what happens when JMac is hurt, or does not regain form, or when Locke shows he may not make it at this level, or when Sanchez continues to implode, or when something happens to one of our older pitchers at the top of the rotation.

                Sorry facts show it was PI$$ poor planning by NH one of the worst GM’s in baseball once again.

                And I will throw in another, the Dbacks, Kevin Towers knows how to run a club…they knew Daniel Hudson was hurt so what do they do acquire Delgado from Braves (who is not even in the rotaion), McCarthy from A’s and have Skaggs waiting in AAA for opportunity.

                There is 2, should I continue?

              • Man I would love to be a Rangers fan…you just said it World Series contenders…not something we can call ourselves or even played in since ’79.

              • Arizona is a great example. Tons of young pitching.

                But how in the world can you use the Dodgers as an example of how the Pirates should be run? There’s about $150m reasons they don’t compare.

        • That was a pretty good lineup that he faced.

          Correia would look good in a Pirate uniform right now.

          But I wouldn’t have signed him for 2 year.

          • Why not two years? Correia in the last four seasons has put up:

            ’09 198 IP, 12 W’s and 3.91 ERA
            ’10 145 IP 10 W’s and 5.40 ERA
            ’11 154 IP 12 W’s and 4.79 ERA
            ’12 171 IP 12 W’s and 4.21 ERA

            He is only 32 years of age, and with no certainty Burnett is back, no certainty JMac figures it out, questions on both McPherson and Locke at the MLB level, Cole a half year away, Tallion a year and a half away at least, and the injury bug that either plagues us or we turn a blind eye towards I guess I just do not understand how he would not have made sense.

            Everyone acknowledges it all comes down to pitching and the Bucs SP is in some serious shambles and could use some more consistent arms.

            • The only thing that makes less sense than giving a 32 yo Correia $5m is giving a 34 yo $5m.

              He averaged a 4.48 ERA as a Pirate. He’s posted a sub 4.5 ERA just twice as a starter. He has absolutely zero upside.

              The team would be spending $10m for something there is a good chance Locke or McPherson could do for league minimum.

              • Tell me when Locke or McPherson have won 12 games at the MLB level?? Their track records to start don’t sniff Correia’s numbers.

                Locke MLB Career: 5.52 ERA and 2 total W’s in parts of three seasons.

                McPherson: three pro starts, zero wins.
                2013 spring numbers: 0-3 8.46 ERA 1.51 WHIP

                Have to plan better than that. But hey we did get Sanchez who is coming off a 1-9 8.07 ERA season but only cost us 1M, money better invested at that rate.

                Sorry KC blows past all of these options and I have not even mentioned Morton who does not have a track record and was hurt going in and Karstens who the team did not want to sign due to injury concerns but did after they found out Liriano was hurt and still signed him.

              • You use two meaningless arguments, wins and spring training stats, to defend Correia over those two.

                At some point, you have to figure out if these two can pitch. Veterans, by default, are always going to have a better track record. That’s obvious.

                And again, Morton wasn’t signed for April so that argument is moot and EVERYBODY wanted Karstens back so that is as well.

                Bottom line is the team isn’t in this situation unless THREE starting pitchers get hurt at the same time. Still waiting on the teams out there that can overcome that with proven, legit starters as “depth”.

            • Good research JRay. Corriea’s stats surprise me.

              Compared to what we have seen from JMac, Irwin, and Locke this year, plus the one start from Sanchez, I would take KC back in a heartbeat.

              But I am still not sure I would give him a multi-year deal.

              Just my opinion

          • Hell, I would’ve given him 3 years. There isn’t a hotter commodity in the game than starting pitchers. Unfortunately, the powers that be thought Correia was better suited as mid-relief.

          • You sound like NH, “meaningless stat…wins”

            No wonder we have had 20 losing seasons in a row, just that type of thinking.

            Can’t make this stuff up.

            • Did you listen to the podcast today?

              If so then you’d be saying I sound a lot like Dejan.

              • No did not get a chance to listen, actually trying to get also get some work in.

              • Baseball people that know far, far more than me have been saying wins are a meaningless INDIVIDUAL statistic for years, Jray.

                I dind’t make this up myself, trust me.

      • He started the year without giving up a run in two appearances, but yeah, any line starting with “1/3 IP” isn’t gonna get better.

        He’s gotta be the closest thing to proof that lefty starters excel at PNC. 3.26 home ERA vs. 6.98 on the road last year.

    • I too would like to see Dirty pitch well. Go back to 2010 (I know, I know) and he did well with the Giants.

      He has great stuff, just no freakin’ control.

  10. The company of former Steelers’ minority owner and current Cleveland Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam is under federal criminal investigation.

  11. at playoffs: Obviously disregard my previous question. all I had to do was scroll down to the next post. I hope my prediction is better than my computer .

  12. I was not in favor of Sanchez making the team to begin with. If he gets bombed tonight, and Cole is not ready and who do we go to fulfill this rotation?

  13. Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

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  14. @Jray

    Just to be clear, if the argument was that the team shouldn’t have gone into the season with Jmac, Karstens, and Lock/McPherson as starters AND found better replacements for all three then I’d have no issue. In fact, I would’ve loved that. (where you get the money is another story, but I won’t even bring that up)

    But it’s not. The argument is that they should’ve had better depth options than Liriano(who will miss just one month) in the event that Jmac struggles and Karstens gets hurt in the first month. Morton never had ANYTHING to do with the rotation at the beginning of the season.

    Wandy, Jmac, Karstens, AND McPeherson all had to get hurt at the same time for this to become an issue. Can’t you at least partially admit that timing has been just as big of a factor as poor planning?poor

    • Sure timing has been a part of the factor…but this is what perplexes me as to the situation.

      Karstens – NH did not want to sign due to health concerns, so it should be no surprise he gets hurt or suffers a setback in spring delaying his availability.

      Liriano – They found out he was hurt, and still decided to move forward and sign him to a two year deal…could have moved on, or needed to make sure we could cover his void for a month or two.

      JMac- There were concerns about him going into the season, he was moved to the bullpen at the end of last year, they are hoping he regains form, need to have a plan in case it does not work out that way, which thus far evidence supports he is not back.

      McPherson – I will give you that no one could have expected he would get hurt this early in the season (although he has had injuries in the past in the Minors- 2 years ago I believe). So I give you this, however, his showing in the Spring does not support he is near ready to throw at this level every five days so may not be an option.

      Wandy – I give you this one as well, no one could have predicted and hopefully he is ok and just misses the one start.

      Locke – He has had parts of three seasons to demonstrate if he can become a fixture. I admit he has a small sample size, and am OK with management letting him earn a spot in the spring and giving him a chance to see if he can make it. I actually like Locke a lot but still he is unproven and you need to make sure there is a backup plan if this cheap option fails and does not make it.

      The point I am making is this organization had to know it only had two proven pitchers in AJ and Wandy it could feel good about, a guy (JMac) that is waving major red flags, a guy (Karstens) who can not stay in the rotation due to health issues, a guy (Liriano) who would not be ready until May at the earliest and two guys (Locke and McPherson) that they maybe force feeding into the role out of necessity which in the fifth spot maybe ok

      Yes they should have found better or more suitable options. But because we do not have internal depth at other positions we have been forced to overspend at SS and at C which further tightens the purse strings on arms, the most important part of the equation. Teams focused on winning now certainly would have as I mentioned above in the Dbacks example, the planned and prepared and have a couple of extra arms and will let performance dictate who goes and who does not.

      And yes I agree the timing of this additional rash of injuries just compounds the already existing issue.

      • Very well stated for all, seriously.

        But back to my point…I didn’t hear many calls for Jmac to be dropped from the rotation and I CERTAINLY didn’t hear anyone saying Karstens should be. Without those two injuries coupled WITH Wandy AND McPherson ALL in the ONE month Liriano is out, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

        Just seems a little much to plan for ALL of that with legit major league starting pitchers as depth. Where do you even store them on the roster?

      • Given its 20 year record of losing, ergo high draft picks, this club has no excuse except GM blindness, for lack of internal depth. You could build the 1929 Yankees from players the PBC passed over in drafts during their long, twisting descent into….(use your imagination, I’m keeping it family friendly).

    • I think even us idiots that pay for the tickets were worried about the lack of depth in starting pitching.

      No its always not just bad luck for the BMTIB

      Seriously, you make your luck or lack of it many, many times

  15. Melancholy Happy Trails – Pat Summerall.

  16. Considering the shape of the starting rotation, a rainout or two wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

  17. And Sanchez ensures we will continue to have to come from behind early in a game by giving up a 2 spot in the first. ERA now a robust 12.54.

  18. Have to give the Bucs lineup credit as they are dinging a rotation that coming in was virtually untouchable…nice job to get two right back.

  19. You know, there’s probably nothing more inane than “Twitter Tuesday”. But if it means we get to see more Katie O’Malley, then I’m all for it.

  20. Maybe Katie can handle the rain delay.

  21. Skies look ominous.

  22. Here comes the rain

  23. There is a storm, a short break, and then a few hours worth of rain.

  24. If this was WGN and I was a teenager, I would be just about ready to watch a “Honeymooners” episode.

  25. So, with a short deck of characters, who comes back on the mound for our club?

  26. Gerrit Cole has only given up 1 hit thru 5 innings at Toledo. Indy up 3-0.

    • Are you at Fifth Third, JD?

      • Oy, a stadium named after the “who’s on first” of banks. Hopefully something’s clicked for Cole at the new level. BTW, this blog’s spell checker flags “oy” as an error. Myron spelt perfectly well, thank you.

      • Nope. I went last night with my son. Matt Hague tossed him 2 balls. Josh Harrison had a nice game. Tony Sanchez had a nice double, but also struck out twice. Our future savior, Brandon Inge, just missed a HR by inches.

        Stopped by BW3 for a couple of beverages tonight and I they had the Mud Hens on. I watched Cole pitch 3 innings. He looked good. Big, strong legs.

  27. Is anyone else concerned that McPherson is headed for Tommy John ?

    • I’d love to know the % of MLB pitchers whose careers ended during the past 15 years, who underwent some form of that surgery. Not that it ends careers, obviously it extends them. But has its availability changed the way people pitch, compared to 1964? And if so, is that a good thing? Just off the top of my head it seems that no position in any sanely organized sport should routinely lead to a need for surgery in order to soldier on. Free agency and massive player paychecks are a double edged sword, perhaps not all roses for remarkably talented athletes motivated by the muse of lucre.

      • In 1964 pitching didn’t lead to Tommy John surgery because there was no Tommy John surgery. In those days, a sore elbow lead to spot starting/long relief, the minors, or retirement, depending on the pain tolerance of the pitcher.

        Pitchers today are no different from pitchers 50 years ago. What’s different is how much money teams have invested in them. There are pitchers out there who could routinely put up 250+ innings a season, but how do you know which pitchers? In the old days you just ran them out there every four days until something broke. You just can’t do that today, when you have a huge amount of money invested in them.

  28. What was the over/under on a rainout?

  29. ALERT The game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds is underway after a 1 hour 31 minute rain delay

    Same system?

  30. If this game gets rained out, a rare bird risks extinction. Pedro has a hit, raising his batting average to a little less than half the Mendoza line.

  31. Wow was scanning 24/7 twitter and he retweeted a post that Felix Pie had to be restrained from going into stands at Toledo. Brandon Inge played peacekeeper.

    • Bad things happen in Ohio, where John Rocker was sent from the Atlanta Braves to the Toledo Mud Hens en route to well earned infamy.

  32. We have our rainout. Thank you, Crash Davis.

  33. Very nice moment at Miller Park during Brewers and Giants game. Played theme from ‘”Cheers” with message on scoreboard to city of Boston.

    Brewers aren’t completely awful.

  34. Did anyone mention that Stetson Allie hit his 6th home run of the season?

    He’s hitting over .400.

  35. Tonight’s line is a WASH!!

    Thanks to all who played, see you tomorrow.

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