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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 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.

254 Comments

  1. Starling leads off with a hit. *Yawn*

  2. Inge is the new Melamcon.

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

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

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

    Ugly.

  5. Demonic Brown.

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

    • Are you watching?

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

      • 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.

        • Same here.

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

          • 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.

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

              • 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.

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

            • 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.

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

  7. Listening on the radio.

  8. Anyone but Tabata.

    Lets go Bucs!

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

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

  9. Nice, wild pitch :eyeroll:

  10. 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.

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

    • If only the team had a better replacement…coughstarlingcough

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

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

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

          • 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.

  12. I think I have the slogan for this season.

    Pirates 2013 – Strike Three Called.

  13. J Mac neglects to cover 1st. Brain cramp.

  14. Gaby Sanchez is just mashing left handed pitching.

  15. YAY !!!!!!

  16. 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.

    • 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.

  17. Don’t fire Neal Huntington!!!

  18. 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.

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

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Give it right back. SMH.

    • Still no outs.

    • It’s wilson time.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  20. Is JMac falling apart right now?

    Just getting tidbits of the game from ESPN

  21. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

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

    • 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.

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

  26. 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?

  27. Cutch coming through.

  28. Gaby looking good!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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

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

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

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

  34. 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….

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

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

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

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

  39. Looks like they got something going?

  40. Ok Jones a Sac fly here would be just fine.

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

  42. Under WINS for Inge!!!

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

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

  45. 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.

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

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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?

    • 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.

  47. I prefer John Mayberry Sr..

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

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

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

  53. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  54. did someone say Grilli’s not available today?

  55. 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.

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

    • I think the outfielder got greedy catching it

      • 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!

  56. Patrick,

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

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

    Say, how did that baseball game end?

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

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

  60. A 70′s style 2 inning save for Tony Watson.

  61. 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!

  62. Do the Cardinals have any high era rookie pitchers?

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

  64. 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…

  65. “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.

  66. 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.

  67. Who starts tomorrow night?

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

  69. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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

          • 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.

            • NMR,

              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.

            • 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.

  70. 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!

  71. 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?’

    • 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.

    • 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.

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

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

          • 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).

            • 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!

              • well said NMR.

              • 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.

    • 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

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

    Tie at the top again!!

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