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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 6, Phillies 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (12-9) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (9-13)

Starters: RHP James McDonald vs. LHP Cliff Lee

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

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. Brandon Inge, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  5. Michael McKenry, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Jose Tabata, RF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. James McDonald, RHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Travis Sawchik 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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. 21sthebest says:

    Starling leads off with a hit. *Yawn*

  2. Jandy says:

    Hey! wake up!

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Huh? Mphhmpf……….. Oh, did we win yet?

  4. Thundercrack says:

    Inge is the new Melamcon.

    He’s going to get tired if he keeps playing so much.

  5. 21sthebest says:

    Oh I’m awake. It’s just that Marte leading off with a hit is nothing new. In a good way!

  6. Jason81 says:

    That must be why Pedro keeps his ears tucked in his hat. Less wind resistance to leap and snag line drives. :D

  7. Jandy says:

    ahhhh ok…thanks for the clarification ;)

  8. Thundercrack says:


  9. kr70 says:

    he has big ears. he doesn’t want anyone calling him Dumbo…Kedro is bad enough.

  10. Jandy says:

    Uh-oh…you got the Jandy typing disease! :P

  11. Arriba Wilver says:

    Play him while he’s hot.

  12. theplanisworking says:

    Why is that soooooooooo contagious??

  13. Jandy says:

    I wish I had the answer to that!

  14. NMR says:

    Last nights umpire was awful, but isn’t that six guys caught looking in two games?


  15. theplanisworking says:

    Pirates new Spring allergy………. swinging the bat.
    Maybe someone nefariously glued the bat to their shoulders???

  16. theplanisworking says:

    My excuse is that I have fat Hippo fingers, and I am a “dorktard”.

    I cant speak for anyone else.
    Nor would I.

    But I could whistle for ya……….. ;)

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    Demonic Brown.

  18. NMR says:

    Good gravy. Theres another!

  19. radio wave says:

    McDonald creates his own problem and then solves it. Feels like it might be a good game for him.

  20. NMR says:

    Are you watching?

    Doesn’t seem to be many lunatics following along. Must be working.

  21. radio wave says:

    Listening on the radio.

  22. SeanAY says:

    Gametracker only provides so much of a picture. As far as I can tell, he’s pitching a good game. Minimum of base runners, just one walk in three innings.

    Let’s have Tabata stroke this one into the gap and bring in McKenry.

  23. NMR says:

    Same here.

    Just wondering if Jmac is dealing or a product of a pretty awful Phillies lineup.

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    Rube. :-)

  25. pattonbb says:

    Anyone but Tabata.

    Lets go Bucs!

  26. NMR says:

    Disappointing to see that he hasn’t adjusted to his role thus far.

    I’m giving him some slack, though. You even hear good hitters talk about getting into a rhythm, and thats something that’ll be next to impossible for Tabby.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love how some people in the media (Stan, love the show) still insist the Phillies have some powerhouse lineup. They’re terrible. J Mac is throwing the ball well today, however.

  28. Jandy says:

    Sure is quiet. I’m at work, and just following the link Dejan provides, which is always just a bit behind real time.

  29. Jandy says:

    They’re like the Flyers, physically big, but not too….uhhh…talented ;X

  30. Jandy says:

    Nice, wild pitch :eyeroll:

  31. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, they have talent, I think that injuries and age have taken their toll.

    But they have been on top for many years, so they are due for some down ones.

    I just want to see our team on top, thank you.

  32. Thundercrack says:

    Following along on Gameday.

    It doesn’t seem like Cliff Lee has thrown many pitchers faster than 90 mph. That seems to be his max.

  33. Milo Hamilton says:

    That ball needs to be caught, regardless of what the homer color man says. Cutch needs to wake up.

  34. NMR says:

    Old narratives die hard, unlike Ryan Howards career.

    I’ve loved what I’ve seen from Chase Utley this series, though. That short, quick swing still plays.

  35. NMR says:

    If only the team had a better replacement…coughstarlingcough

  36. Nate83 says:

    But Cutch won a gold glove last year. Doesn’t that mean there is no better center fielder in the entire national league?

  37. pattonbb says:

    I mentioned the other day that I’ve never been one of those Tabata haters, but I’ve seen enough. Let somebody else figure him out. I’d take every single OF in Indy over him right now.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:

    As referenced above, he might not be the best centerfielder on his team.

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think I have the slogan for this season.

    Pirates 2013 – Strike Three Called.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    We Will —— Sit Down.

  41. NMR says:

    PITCHf/x has his max velocity down 3-4 mph from last year.

  42. buggee says:

    Murray leads off with a hit!

  43. buggee says:

    “dorktard”??? That’s hilarious.
    Me? I have sausage-fingers. Patties not links

  44. Milo Hamilton says:

    J Mac neglects to cover 1st. Brain cramp.

  45. buggee says:

    and no pointy-headed eye-candy defenseman, eh jandylicious?

  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    Gold, Jerry, gold.

  47. 21sthebest says:

    Ball was hit off the end of the bat. Probably a tough read. Would a better centerfielder have reacted better? I don’t know.

  48. Nate83 says:

    I know. I was joking about how silly golden glove awards are. They are more reputation then they are actual defensive ability. I’m sure Molina is a tremendous catcher but is there any doubt that he will win a golden glove every year until he retires.

    Cutch although good does not go back on balls very good and sometimes makes plays that would be routine look like spectacular plays.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gaby Sanchez is just mashing left handed pitching.

  50. The Gunner says:

    Scabata is his own worse enemy. But, how about Gaby Sanchez – he just tied it up with a dinger!!

  51. Patrick(ri) says:

    At least our brain cramp guys are making chump change(total income for Rollins and Lee must exceed the GNP of most 3rd world counties).

  52. theplanisworking says:

    YAY !!!!!!

  53. NMR says:

    There are so many teams rebuilding right now that you figure there has to be a better opportunity for him out there.

    Cubs, Mariners, Twins, Mets all have outfield openings with payrolls that can support a $4m/yr outfielder.

    Not to mention the Rays who are desperate for offense and have a knack for turning coal to diamond.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Loved you comments about the bunts last night. I like bunting, when the pitcher is up.

  55. JRay3 says:

    Sanchez has now homered in each of his last three starts. Has nine RBI’s in 35 AB’s so far this season that is a lot of productivity as he appears to have regained his form from a couple of seasons ago.

  56. NMR says:

    Isn’t it nice to see a Pirate move actually play out like it is “supposed” to?

  57. The Gunner says:

    I was pretty hard on Joggin Joe Scabata last year. I almost had a heart attack when he almost got picked off of 2B in last night’s game. Although he is in much better shape this year, I still don’t think much of him. Somewhere along the line, he will be a “throw in” type when they make a trade in the future.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    Don’t fire Neal Huntington!!!

  59. Arriba Wilver says:


  60. Patrick(ri) says:

    Thanks. I have been pleased by what seems to be a reduction in bunts this year.

  61. Nate83 says:

    9 RBI’s in 35 AB’s is pretty impressive. He is a plus glove in the field as well. At the very worse he gives us a much more legitimate bench option with power and defense. At best he makes Jones tradeable to a desperate team at the trade deadline.

  62. theplanisworking says:


    Unfortunately, those moments have been scarce.

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now bunting for a base hit to lead off an inning, that’s a different story.

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Simmer Down, now. ;)

  65. Nate83 says:

    Does anyone know Lee’s pitch count?

    It seems as if our recipe for a win is to hang close and then win when we get to their bullpen.

  66. pattonbb says:

    He’s feasting on left handed pitching the last few days.

  67. pattonbb says:

    Gaby, not Tabata


  68. NMR says:

    It’s only taken three years to find a decent platoon mate for Jones.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:


  70. pattonbb says:

    let’s not get carried away….

  71. Nate83 says:


    I’m at work and blocked out of any sports related sites except for this one for some reason.

  72. Jandy says:

    Weird tho…the box tells me the Pirates have 1 run on 7 hits, the Phillies 1 run on 3 hits… hitting isn’t the problem. It’s getting the hits at the right time!

  73. NMR says:

    Watch those splits.

    Gaby has still been pretty awful against righties, as has been the case for most of his career.

  74. NMR says:

    Leadoff walk to Kevin Fransden. Why, James? Why?

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    Give it right back. SMH.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    Still no outs.

  77. Bizrow says:

    Is JMac falling apart right now?

    Just getting tidbits of the game from ESPN

  78. Bizrow says:

    Ok, looks like they pulled him

  79. Dom says:

    It’s wilson time.

  80. JRay3 says:

    Another head scratching, mystifying JMac start…looks really good for periods, ok at times, mental lapses periodically and can only make it 5+ before wheels start to fall off.

    What do you make of him? Possible fixture in rotation or someone who will be looking in from the outside.

  81. TJA says:

    Every year…every time we get to play the Phillies…I bring this up: I love those old battles with the Phillies where we could play them say 12 times a year. And the Mess (oops..I mean Mets), too. Yea, there are some pretty good battles with the Card and Reds, no question, but I am an old guy who loved those great wars with the cross state foes. And, besides, my Sister-in-Law lives in Philly and loves that team and this gives us some to yell about with each other :)

    Go Bucs!

  82. Nate83 says:

    That and the lack of money to sign players like Lee, Hamel, Howard and Holladay are the reason we can’t have nice things.

    If we ever start winning it will be better this way. Much easier to root for team assembled of hard working free agents with something to prove and home grown talent we saw come through the system.

    DK: The Phillies actually are one of baseball’s very best examples of building from within. Their everyday position players all were homegrown through smart drafting and developing. The big money for the pitching came later.

  83. Milo Hamilton says:

    Spent a lot of time on pitching and a defensive miscue here and there. But the constant that has carried over from last year to this is one of the worst offensive teams in baseball.

  84. NMR says:

    Leadoff walk followed by two singles through the hole.

    Would’ve liked to see him have the chance to work out of it, but hard to question the move with how good the bullpen has performed.

  85. Bizrow says:

    + 1, I remember those times well, teams you loved to hate

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    Clint’s not messing around this year.

  87. pattonbb says:

    Anyone watching? Curious why they held Utley at 3rd on Howard’s hit.

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ruled a wild pitch, but an absolute butcher job by McKenry. And it costs them a run.

  89. Dom says:

    Yeah a bunch of those free agents are not worth their production. At the end of last season, that showed there were only two free agents from the prior offseason that had a WAR of 5 or higher. It’s hard to argue in favor of signing high priced free agents when they could be a huge liability for a team like the Buccos.

  90. JRay3 says:

    Ball got to Tabata in a hurry on one bounce and he came up firing….probably also had to do why take the chance with no body out at that point.

  91. JohnH says:

    I turned on the game and it was 1-1 now its 1-3. I am really torn. should I continue to watch or turn it off?

  92. Nate83 says:

    Turn it off fast and go deliver your pepperidge farm stuff.

  93. Kevin says:

    turn it off, obviously. You are the reason they are starting to lose. My friend has the same reasoning with penguins games. He watched the Buffalo game when they’re streak got snapped earlier this season. Decided not to watch anymore games until!.. thats right, until Buffalo came back to town and they lost again. However, I’ve watched every penguins game.

  94. Nate83 says:

    So you’re the one responsible for all 11 losses.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    I try not to look at the standings until May 1st, but I don’t think they’ve lost 11 games.

  96. TJA says:

    Amen, Biz! The times have changed with the MLB scheduling department…

  97. Nate83 says:

    Penguins lost 11.

  98. pattonbb says:

    Always watch.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he was talking about the Pens.

  100. Dom says:

    Cutch coming through.

  101. TJA says:

    Standings watching should not begin, minimum, until Memorial Day. Just my own rule.

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sorry. Reading is fundamental.

  103. theplanisworking says:

    at least you can read……

  104. theplanisworking says:

    Gaby looking good!

  105. JRay3 says:

    Gaby Sanchez doing it all, RBI single on liner up the middle and the Bucs back within one. Sanchez with 10 RBI’s in 36 AB’s now and is 8-15 .533 since April 14th.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    A little blurry. Must have been that last Bloody Mary.

  107. Nate83 says:

    Maybe he was nervous about his taxes and has since relaxed.

  108. JRay3 says:

    FORT!!! And this scrappy Pirates team get two right back and we are tied at 3. Back to back two out hits/RBI’s….that’s getting it done.

  109. Milo Hamilton says:

    Charlie looks like he’s trying to be the 1st manager fired.

  110. JRay3 says:

    Cliff Lee at 118 pitches and counting and still is left in there.

  111. theplanisworking says:

    DK…………. I was poking fun at myself. I wasn’t getting personal with anyone.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    DK: No, my fault. Misread it. Sorry, man. I’ve always got Milo’s back. :)

  112. Kevin says:

    thats right, I was using the penguins as an example of why not to watch pirates so they win. By the way, I am not to blame for the 11 penguins losses… that would be my nameless friend D:

  113. radio wave says:

    Classic case of a manager leaving the starter in for too long.

  114. JohninOshkosh says:

    Read it from Roger Kahn when I was a kid: pennant races don’t start until June 1. I always think you have a good grasp for a team by that date. Except the 2012 Bucs, that is.

  115. Naje says:

    There’s something different about this team. They’re picking each other up. Expectations seem higher and seems like they’re meeting them. And accountability… wonder how much this is a result of the 5 man communication team that meets with Hurdle….

  116. Kevin says:

    No trust in their bullpen I guess. Either that or Cliff really wants a win.

  117. Nate83 says:

    When I first read that I thought it said “this crappy Pirates team”. Amazing what a difference one letter can make.

  118. pattonbb says:

    I was about to say the same thing. Certainly left Lee in there too long.

  119. Bizrow says:

    All right, eyeballing them, now just don’t give them a run back this half-inning.

  120. Patrick(ri) says:

    Right. Bookend decision for last night — Lee is running out of gas, ?halladay was still strong.

  121. JohninOshkosh says:

    You mean, I can’t pick on Groat?

  122. Milo Hamilton says:


    Where were yesterday when that guy called me a drunk ? :) It’s led to a great running gag.

  123. pattonbb says:

    Charlie probably thinks Cliff Lee gives him the best chance to save his job.

  124. Nate83 says:

    It obviously has to do with mental toughness (SEAL training). I’m kidding so please don’t take that literally.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:


  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nothing personal.

  127. theplanisworking says:

    Givin a Hippo a complex here…………. like I dont have enough self-esteem problems.

    Ever seen my cousins at the zoo?
    Nuff said.

  128. NMR says:

    We’re overthinking it if that start was mystifying.

    Pitched well over five innings, then walked the batter in front of the two most dangerous hitters in the lineup. Thats a mistake, certainly, but one thats been made a million times before in baseball. Phils made him pay.

  129. Bizrow says:

    Allright, eyeballing them, now just don’t give them a run back this half inning

  130. NMR says:

    @Milo – DK knows gold when he sees it.

    Left that softball tee’d up for you to knock out of the park.

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hippo’s are supposed to be mean, despite their lovable exterior.

  132. Bizrow says:

    How in the heck did that double post happen?

  133. Patrick(ri) says:

    Hey, is Rollins available? Bunting with 2 outs in 7th — our kind of guy.

  134. NMR says:

    I know McKenry brings a solid bat for a backup, but I can’t wait to have one that can actually catch.

  135. theplanisworking says:


    I guess if you poke something enough, it would be mean, also.

  136. Arriba Wilver says:


  137. NMR says:

    Amazing what happens when you actually construct a lineup correctly.


  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hippos are herbivores but have been observed eating meat and have attacked humans.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    I only learned that recently. And there was also this guy who was killed by his pet (seriously) hippo. And it didn’t sound like an accident. :-)

  140. theplanisworking says:

    Good Lord…….. giving Hippos a bad name. O.o

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    This Phillipe Aumont is the guy that hit Ye Ole Inge in the back that day in Clearwater that put him on the DL.

  142. TJA says:

    Ahhh…you are one of us “Plugger” types John? Wait, I am not calling you old…just you mention Roger Kahn and June 1st and all…

  143. Milo Hamilton says:

    Same thing Aumont did to Inge in Spring Training. Right in the back.

  144. Bizrow says:

    Looks like they got something going?

  145. JRay3 says:

    Ok Jones a Sac fly here would be just fine.

  146. JohnH says:

    Don’t think the major leagers were part of SEAL Training

  147. JohnH says:


  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    Same situation as last night. The big hit would be nice.

  149. Dom says:

    Let’s just get one run.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just like that.

  151. JRay3 says:

    Or a two run double would be just fine….WOW….everybody contributing today.

  152. JohnH says:

    Crap now I have to watch all the game. Oh wait I do anyways

  153. KJX says:

    Under WINS for Inge!!!

  154. Dom says:

    Ask and I shall receive!

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    Too bad Mr. Hasis can’t watch his boy “Cuz” coach 3rd base from the bus. :)

  156. Bizrow says:

    Wow, this could be another come from behind win, but cross your fingers

  157. Bizrow says:

    Would be nice to pick up another one or two, especially with Cutch coming up

  158. Bizrow says:

    Now I need Fort to come through ;-)

  159. KJX says:

    Me too

  160. Patrick(ri) says:

    It is still early, but it looks to me like Snider has figured things out (kudos to JB?). Seems to be more patient and takes what is given.

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    And no Melancon or Grilli today.

  162. theplanisworking says:

    I would humbly nominate for discussion…………… that Hurdle has done a better job of managing so far this year.

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    I prefer John Mayberry Sr..

  164. NMR says:

    After letting his pet cat construct the lineup for the first series of the year, yes, he’s doing just fine.

  165. pattonbb says:

    Any room left on the Gaby Sanchez bandwagon? I’d like to get on board.

  166. JohnH says:

    Lets hope it become a non save situation

  167. theplanisworking says:

    I simply do not understand what he was or wasnt thinking the first 6 games this year.

    But that seems to be a distant memory now.
    I hope.

  168. Kevin says:

    not watching this game, at work. Is this another case of philly’s bullpen failing?

  169. Kevin says:

    Also, good to see McCutch is “off-the-snide”… what was he.. oh – for – 18?

  170. Bizrow says:


  171. JRay3 says:

    That and the Pirates capitalizing on a tired Cliff Lee in the 7th, who was left in way too long and finished with 121 pitches and you could tell he lost steam.

  172. pattonbb says:

    longest hitless streak of his career.

  173. Patrick(ri) says:

    I am a critic(seems to make too many game “mistakes”), but it does seem to be a better team this year — the aforementioned “communication” group may be a factor. My wife may be pleased at the considerably reduced profane descriptive lamentations associated with his name in our living room. The guy should get some credit.

  174. JRay3 says:

    With a win today a 12-4 stretch certainly helps make that a distant memory. And that is against some of the top teams the NL has to offer.

  175. Bizrow says:

    Too bad Pedro didn’t run into one there, could have turned it into a laugher

  176. JohnH says:

    Anybody else see the solomon dodge commercial with the sound that does not match the video

  177. JRay3 says:

    Pirates scored four times in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings last night, have come back today and put up five runs in the 7th and 8th.

  178. radio wave says:

    Philadelphia bullpen has been terrible again. I do not have the latest statistics, but I wonder if they are among the worst?

  179. Kevin says:

    did someone say Grilli’s not available today?

  180. NMR says:

    How a manager paid millions of dollars can buy into the spring training success narrative is beyond me.

    How many of this years spring training all stars – around the league – have actually been successful when it has counted?

  181. Baywatch says:

    I haven’t read the previous posts but did it seem like to anyone else that Pedro got a little too hungry at 3-2 and bases loaded? That pitch he swung at looked like it would have passed for ball four and a 7-3 lead.

  182. JohnH says:

    correct nor the melecon guy whose name I cannot spell

  183. Baywatch says:

    Neither Melancon nor Grilli available today, Kev.

  184. JRay3 says:

    In my opinion too close to take we have witnessed too many times early in the season called third strikes with RISP.

  185. NMR says:

    Makes me wonder how well anyone who believes the team has an awful bench actually knows the makeup of the team.

    Been saying all year that many of the bench players on a given day have significant platoon advantages. Use them the right way and you see what happens.

  186. JRay3 says:

    JMac’s last four starts: 5IP, 1.2 IP, 6 IP, 5 IP….going to need to give more innings than that to warrant spot in rotation. That’s an average of just 4 1/3 IP in last four starts, has to prove he can go at least six at minimum his time up.

  187. NMR says:

    I don’t know how you prefer to judge a bullpen, but they have the 10th lowest ERA in the league.

  188. JRay3 says:

    I’m with you….I don’t think the bench is great by any means but between the Jones/Sanchez platoon you always have one big bat to use, a hopefully more focused and improved Tabata and some experienced guys who have seen and played through much in their careers who add a defensive dimension.

  189. NMR says:

    That guy rung up Martin last night with the bases juiced on a curveball that crossed the plate at his shoulders.

  190. JohnH says:

    I think the outfielder got greedy catching it

  191. Milo Hamilton says:


    Another bunting rule for me – It’s OK for stinky guys to bunt. Like Barmes, for example.

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    Barmes clearly interfered with Kratz there. Charlie had an argument there. Poor call.

  193. NMR says:

    This crew has been sponsored by the video-umpire lobby.

  194. JohnH says:

    He bunted the ball. and was moving forward on the base path when the catcher went to move in front of him. blocking his path. All the catcher had to do was tag barmes

  195. SeanAY says:

    Wow, this “Wolfman’s Brother” from Halloween ’98 has gotten really, really weird…

    Say, how did that baseball game end?

  196. Lad9 says:

    Raise the Jolly Roger! Wow 3 of 4 from the Philthadelphia! Keep it up Buccos.

  197. Patrick(ri) says:


  198. theplanisworking says:

    Being the flag is already raised……… keep it up another day!

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    A 70’s style 2 inning save for Tony Watson.

  200. JRay3 says:

    Behind a three RBI performance from Gaby Sanchez and a big PH double from GI Jones, the Bucs come from behind to down the Phillies 6-4 to take the four game series and there was nooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs now stand a season best four games above .500, have gone 12-4 in their past 16, improve to 5-5 on the road and have a 4-2-1 series record this season.

    The Pirates travel to St. Louis to begin a three game set tomorrow night with Jonathan Sanchez scheduled to take the mound.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  201. Patrick(ri) says:

    Do the Cardinals have any high era rookie pitchers?

  202. NMR says:

    Like a cross between a hurricane and a ship thats run aground. :)

  203. Naje says:

    Nice to see. Recipe to beating really good starting pitching three days in a row: get their pitch count up and crush their bullpen.

  204. NMR says:

    Love the recap, JRay!

  205. JRay3 says:


    Flashbacks to Tekulve, Robinson, Romo and Jackson. Nice effort turned in by Watson to cover the mandatory rested arms.

  206. Patrick(ri) says:

    When i was a kid, Roy Face Would get 5 inning “saves,” and come back the day after!

  207. Nate83 says:

    I never thought they would take 6 out of 8 from the Braves and Phillies.

  208. NMR says:

    No, but there’s a good chance Shelby Miller abuses the Bucs again.

  209. JohnH says:

    It comes down before each game

  210. TJA says:

    impressive couple series w.the braves, first and now the phils. going to st louis and then to a very hot brew town team….can make some noise in the central. keep it going guys…

  211. JohnH says:

    accept it and move on

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mine was Giusti, same deal. When he was struggling, Murtaugh would start him to get him out of his slump.

  213. Baywatch says:

    Heh-Heh. And good points, y’all about the strike zone this week in Philly. Ball was a bit up. If he’d have gone with the pitch, maybe some more productive – but we’ve seen how strong El Torro is!

  214. NMR says:

    Lynn>Westbrook>Miller scheduled to start for the Cards. Same rotation we got last series with them.

  215. PetroSteel says:

    “For crying out loud” DK!!! This team is for real!

    We have many unproven players and I can understand the concern. But, maybe they are answering the questions about their ability? We don’t know their true ability because of the small window that they have had to show it’s true potential. Today it was JMac’s turn!

    I’m a believer.

  216. JHadar says:

    Well JMac may be a little erratic as a pitcher, but his .375 batting average is nothing to sneeze at.

    Nice win. Bullpen gave up a run, but for once it didn’t matter.

    St. Louis and Milwaukee. A little early for a “crucial” series — but it sure wouldn’t hurt anything if we just keep this up.

  217. JHadar says:

    Great song by the Monkees.

  218. JHadar says:

    Who starts tomorrow night?

  219. Kevin says:

    *pokes blog* talk more… I’m literally counting the seconds until I can leave work and go home and plant my hops.

  220. Thundercrack says:

    We are good!

    And the Phillies are not. Listening to the game on the radio, Brown and Wehner made it sound like Charlie Manual stayed with Cliff Lee too long and didn’t have his bullpen ready soon enough.

  221. Awesome!! I kept track of the game at work. Left work and the score was tied, then as I’m in the car I hear that the score is Bucs 6-3. I get home and they held on to win 6-4. Great series victory again. The Phillies may have a below 500 record, but they still have a formidable team. Bucs could have just as easily lost the series, but pulled out the last two from behind. Keep the momentum going into St. Louis and take it from the redbirds. Go Bucs!

  222. Ghost says:

    Yes, we are these days. Everybody in the division but the Cubs are too, however. I don’t know what to make of it all, but I’ll take a good April for us over a bad one any day.

  223. NMR says:

    Yeah buddy. Have heard cascade and centinnial do well in this climate. Whatrya cultivating?

  224. Ghost says:

    After perusing the comments here, I still don’t know what to make of JMac’s performance today? What’s the verdict? The box score says he was one inning shy of a “quality start,” but how did he actually ‘look?’

  225. Arriba Wilver says:

    Double Ugh.

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    Double Ugh.

  227. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t see it, Ghost, but it sounds like he looked pretty good for 5 innings, and then he “hit a wall” (Clint’s description) in the 6th.

  228. JHadar says:

    I was hopin’ they might send out for help…

  229. Ghost says:

    Thanks, Arriba.

  230. NMR says:

    Poor command against the top of the order. Two of three walks ended up scoring. Walked leadoff hitter then fell behind Utley and Howard in the 6th before giving up singles through the hole. Wilson only able to strand one of the runners.

    Nothing to read into, if you ask me. Probably representative of Jmac’s true ability, not either extreme.

  231. NMR says:

    Still don’t see the club any higher than 7th best club in the league, but do think there is a larger gap between them and the bottom six teams than most expected.

  232. Thundercrack says:

    I think this team is not near being a playoff team.

    But I do think it has a good chance of finishing above .500.

    That’s what I’ll be cheering for this year. Just managing my expectations

  233. NMR says:

    It falls on Gerrit Cole’s spot in the rotation. What an awesome message it would send to call him up for a spot start.

  234. Ghost says:

    Alright. Well, he kept his teammates within striking range. Giving them one more inning would have been even better, but it worked for today.

  235. Ghost says:

    And thanks.

  236. NMR says:

    Which illustrates how soft this whole “win or be fired” command from Nutting really is.

    St Louis snagged the 2nd wildcard spot last year with 88 wins. Barring Epic Collapse III, this team could coast to a modest 4-5 game improvement on last years record and be within reach of the playoffs without being legit contenders.

    His version of “contending” could be completely different than ours.

  237. NMR says:

    No problem, buddy. Keep us updated on your daughter. Thought that was a really cool story!

  238. Ghost says:

    Be happy to! Nothing major to report these days, though. She’s starting all three games this week at 1st, but that’s only because the regular is on academic suspension. One-for-four at the plate this week, which is about par for her all season. (The reason for only four at-bats for a “starter” is that her team is so bad they get 10-runned often… Season wraps up next week, then it’s Legion ball through July).

  239. Thundercrack says:


    If they are over .500 -with 88 wins -and are within reach of a playoff spot – I would consider that a type of “contending” that fans and ownership should be happy with.

  240. NMR says:

    I would as well.

    But not 83 or 84 wins like I suggested.

  241. NMR says:

    No shame in getting your starts that way. Just means she’s doing what she needs to do in the classroom.

    Baseball is humbling enough without being the only girl on a bad team. She’ll take plenty of “life lessons” away from this experience.

    Best of luck!

  242. JHadar says:

    What I’d like to see is for all of us to be wrong and for the pieces all fall into place and win 105 or so.

    Just sayin’ …

    That 88 doesn’t look all that impossible, but it’s a long, long, long, long,long, way from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo and from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu is a long, long, long, long. long, way back.

  243. pattonbb says:

    well said NMR.

  244. JHadar says:

    I think JMac is just going to be a spotty on-and-off pitcher with a little improvement from year-to-year in the near future, but never quite there.

    He’ll probably pitch for half a dozen teams before he’s done.

  245. likeabugonarug says:

    Ya’ll are welcome for the delivery of the win. Was there with friends from work, all Phillies fans of course. Top of 7th when it was 3-1, told them that this is just where it was last night at this point. Sweet win! Well, that’s my one game for the year. The rest is up to yinz.

  246. Ghost says:

    Just got back in. Thanks again, NMR. Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of good baseball going on with this team, but my daughter, personally, is getting a lot of those good “life lessons” from it. Just now, when I picked her up after practice, she was waiting for me in the little “club house” next to the field. MAN, did that dingy little room stink of sweaty guys! There’s gotta be some kind of life lesson in being able to hang out in that stink.

  247. We’ve been here before. Before the all star break, before the trade deadline, before the team implodes. But this was a beautiful game. Marte continues to look like the outfield may have two future hall.of famers. Inge hitting a Clememte average
    & playing mid infield. The Legend – remembhim? puts up 2 RBI in a pinch hitting show worthy of Smoky Burgess. Pedro continues his assault on the Mendoza line. Tabata is odd man out,147 batting avg and the only Pirate.batter who stranded a RISP with 2 out.

  248. JAL says:

    Not quite “here” First time since 2002 above .500 after 22 games. Were 11-11 in 2009, 2007, and 2004. 2006 team was 5-17

  249. Ghost says:

    I share you thinking, Officer. (And not quite sure why JAL is finding special significance at the 22-game mark and quibbling with you.) I, too, am enjoying how a number of the Buccos are pitching in and getting it done. We’ve had our hopes built up only to be crushed many a time, as we all to well know. But can’t complain right now about the on-field performances. Let’s keep raising the Jolly Roger.

  250. The Inge UNDER wins and the Fort OVER wins.

    Tie at the top again!!

    fellocolonial ~ 600
    theplanisworking ~ 600
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 550
    tdb1977 ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    bman ~ 440
    KJX ~ 425
    Frankie ~ 400
    Jason81 ~ 400
    radio wave ~ 375
    cmat0829 ~ 350
    JohninOshkosh ~ 350
    Keith ~ 300
    Pucknutz ~ 300
    Steve J. Smith ~ 300
    TCB ~ 275
    EricBowser ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    Joey Mellons ~ 160
    JaxBuc ~ 130
    JUCOFan ~ 125
    JRay3 ~ 100
    Lad9 ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    Karen22 ~ 75
    JD ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Chico ~ EVEN
    Dadtackular ~ EVEN
    DemonDachshund ~ EVEN
    Ghost ~ EVEN
    kr70 ~ EVEN
    Nate83 ~ EVEN
    pants-n-at ~ EVEN
    stickyweb ~ EVEN
    TK ~ EVEN
    blazer ~ EVEN
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    cherokee23 ~ -50
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    steelercrazy ~ -100
    OZ ~ -150
    Brandie ~ -175
    Arriba Wilver ~ -225
    Dom ~ -275
    cosmo ~ -300
    Kevin ~ -300
    pattonbb ~ -300
    stuart66 ~ -500
    Jandy ~ -700
    JMB ~ -800
    Bizrow ~ -1000

    ***First Place at the end of APRIL will win:***

    First Place at the end of the season will win:

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:

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