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Final: Nationals 5, Pirates 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (17-12) vs. Washington Nationals (15-15)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Fox (national), 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Locke, LHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Karen Price 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. Skip says:

    Did no one notice Mercy received ball four in his 7th inning at-bat, only to remain at the plate at then strike out on the next pitch? How could Mercer and the entire Pirates team miss that?

  2. Boise Bucco says:

    I wanted to post this, so that it would be preserved forever…last night, I was at a bar in Boise that had the Buccos on the TV on the left and the Pens on the TV on the right. That freakin’ happened. And I was stoked.

    The bar was the Crescent “No Lawyers” Bar, in case anyone’s ever out this way, but yeah, that happened.

  3. tcb says:

    There was a balk called so 1 of the balls did not count.

  4. JAL says:

    Some baseball links to occupy time

    JAL’s Happy Days 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

    Status Quo for Burnett, Bullpen; Mercer Homers in Pirates Win

    Prospect Watch: Nick Kingham and Orlando Castro Continue Strong Starts

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Burnett, McCutchen, Mercer team up to beat Nationals, 3-1


    This is a big series for the Pirates, too

    8 The Green Weenie

    AJ, Jordy, Lead Bucs To 3-1 Win Over Nats

    9 Rumbunter

    The Magnificent A.J. Burnett Dilemma

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 3 Nationals 1

  5. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Washington Times

    A.J. Burnett, Pirates shut down Nationals in series opener

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Willing to Give Jose Contreras a Chance

    13Washington Post

    Nationals bats go quiet again in 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh

    14 KDKA

    Sean Casey Honored With Light Of Life Mission Award

    15 MASN

    Reactions from Detwiler, LaRoche and Zimmerman after 3-1 Nats loss

    16 CBS Sports

    VIDEO: The Pirates’ SNL-style lineup

    Pirates Nationals Game Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    Five things to watch this weekend

    18 PBC Site

    McCutchen, Mercer back Burnett’s sharp effort

    Notebook: Karstens to continue rehab; Morton has setback


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Pebble Hunting: Baseball Out of Context

    20 Fangraphs

    Examining First-Inning Sacrifice Bunts

  6. Officer Mancuso says:

    Expats of the Burgh unite!

  7. JAL says:

    Happy Days Pratt and McClain 1976 Song went to number 5 on the charts. During the first two seasons of Happy Days the theme song was Rock Around the Clock.

  8. Skip says:

    Got it – duh. Thx

  9. Officer Mancuso says:

    This afternoon’s question mark is Locke. Go Bucs!

  10. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Total STRIKEOUTS by Pirates batters in today’s game
    Line is 8.5

    Max “wager” is 100 units

  11. tcb says:

    over for 100

  12. Joey Mellons says:

    25 under.

  13. Pucknutz says:

    100 OVER

  14. Bizrow says:

    100 over, thanks

  15. cmat0829 says:

    100 OVER please, though I hope not.

  16. tdb1977 says:

    100 on the under

  17. cmat0829 says:

    Have to say, watched the game on MASN last night and the announcing team is very very bad, especially today’s Fox analyst FP Santangelo. He was not only annoying but he was flat-out wrong on almost every play he analyzed…. case in point, both of Marte’s steals of 2nd… he said Marte got “great jumps and wouldn’t be thrown out anyway”…that is dead wrong… Marte actually didn’t get great jumps..if La-la-la-Whiff doesn’t bobble, Marte is out and then Mercer doesn’t get to hit that inning….and Suzuki may have thrown out Marte but no one was covering the bag.

    And Carpenter, play by play guy, can’t just call the pitches, he has to try to bridge between the pitch and whatever inane topic he and FP are talking about…

    No matter what anyone thinks of the Bucs announcers, they are good to great compared to these guys….

  18. pattonbb says:

    100 on the over, please.

  19. cmat0829 says:

    This afternoon’s question mark is Strasburg… is he the dominant pitcher the Pirates just can’t touch or is something wrong with either his arm or his mechanics….

  20. Dadtackular says:

    100 under

  21. JD says:

    75 under please. Go Bucs!

  22. JRay3 says:

    A pleasant good afternoon to the window. A great day for the Buccos to take another series.

    Well today’s line features K’s and there may not be a better power pitcher than Strasburg. In 37.1 innings this year he has 36 K’s. Couple that with a motivated pitcher looking to get right from some early season hiccups and it could be a difficult assignment for the Bucs.

    75 on the OVER

    Thanks Playoffs and Lets Go Bucs!

  23. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Playoffs,

    another thought-inducing line today.

    Strasburg is a power strikeout pitcher.
    Pirates hitters do K a lot.

    However, I honestly believe Strasburg is hurt.
    I saw him repeatedly shaking his arm in his last start.
    I am afraid he may have serious damage in that arm again.

    Therefore, I place 50 on the UNDER.

    Thank you.

  24. Lad9 says:

    100 reaal on the over please Mr Playoffs. Thanks for opening the window. Go Buccos!

  25. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed. I muted the sound. :)

  26. tdb1977 says:

    Nice first inning for Locke today. Good morning, good afternoon, and good night Nationals. 1 K for Locke and two 3-1 ground outs. Good start. Now, lets get the bats going and rock Strasburg.

  27. pattonbb says:

    Can’t waste those opportunities against Strasburg.

  28. theplanisworking says:

    well, no Pirates on TV where I live.

    Off to do life stuff. ;)

    Hippo out.

  29. tdb1977 says:

    After looking pretty good in the first, Locke seems to have lost his control in the second, walking the first LaRoche and Moore. Come on Locke, find the strike zone. Nevermind…a double play ends the inning.

  30. JohnH says:

    Go Bucs

  31. pattonbb says:

    safe….oh well

  32. Eric Bowser says:

    Why was Marte’s glove on the wrong hand… monster HR by him to get lead but that… geesh.

  33. JohnH says:

    think he was going to drop it to stop the ball or use it to block the ball

  34. The Gunner says:


    I have no idea what Marte was thinking. Then Laroche with his .154 batting average ties the game.

  35. Eric Bowser says:

    After watching replay that was one damn impressive quick decision to switch hand to grab ball.

  36. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m ready for Day-dro because 2013-dro has sucked again…

    or not… struck out

  37. JRay3 says:

    He is actually 4th in RBI’s for all NL third baseman, 2nd in HR’s for position and one run away from being 4th in that category.

    His BA is obviously near the bottom but his power numbers are in top 25% of all NL 3B. He has also turned the second most double plays from position just one behind Todd Frazier of the Reds.

  38. Eric Bowser says:

    Barmes 2-R HR against Strasburg to deep center … something is wrong with him.

  39. JRay3 says:

    Clint Barmes goes cannon ball! Second two run jimmy jack off Strasburg and Buccos take 4-2 lead.

  40. JRay3 says:

    Jordy Mercer making some quick contributions since being recalled…2-6 HR, 2 R’s, 2 RBI’s.

    Bucs radio just announced Barmes shot at 413 feet, got all of it.

  41. JohnH says:

    nice stat work. I was going to make some sort of sarcastic remark about comparing him to other third basemen, but I will just write that I was

  42. The Gunner says:

    Ha ha, Eric. Let’s hope Mercer has a good run filling in for Walker. Maybe that will force the BMTIB’s hand to do something with Barmes.

  43. Eric Bowser says:

    2012: 85 RBI / 525 at-bats = 16%
    2013: 13 RBI / 99 at-bats == 13%

    2012: 180 K / 586 plate appearances = 30.7%
    2013: 34 K / 108 plate appearances = 31.4%

    If you think he’s playing well because the third baseman overall are worse, that’s fine but I’d rather he play better than he did last year and so far, he’s worse.

  44. JRay3 says:

    Clint not taking any chances, short leash for Locke as he brings in Wilson at first sign of trouble.

  45. Eric Bowser says:

    I agree with move.

  46. Eric Bowser says:

    can I take it back?

  47. JohnH says:

    i guess we cant be good hitters

  48. JRay3 says:

    I just mention that 75% of NL 3B perform at a lower level in some key hitting categories so many teams suffer with far worse and would love to have Pedro in their lineup.

    The Bucs are only 29 games in still plenty of time for Alvarez to improve upon his totals from last season as we all know he is streaky and one hot streak can flip those in a hurry.

  49. Eric Bowser says:

    He has to keep playing, I’m not advocating benching him.

    Point is quite simple… very simple… he has to play better for Pirates to win.

  50. Eric Bowser says:

    How did that get through, was Barmes that far to third base side?

  51. Eric Bowser says:

    He hit it good… but that’s Clint Barmes…

  52. JRay3 says:

    Results not what all were hoping for….too many walks and lead just coughed up.

    Need shutdown innings when offense gets some runs and has momentum.

  53. Eric Bowser says:

    still needing to find a way for 6th-7th inning guys to shut it down like Melancon and Grilli in 8th-9th. I’m hoping Contreras can be that 7th inning guy.

  54. mlrgenuine says:

    The FOX announcers just compared Bryce Harper to Clemente. Bit premature, wouldn’t you say?

  55. Eric Bowser says:

    I don’t think they were comparing career success or anything, it was just a simple illustration of what Clemente did on his swing.

  56. Bob Hasis says:

    As stated here ad nauseum – by me – Barmes has no range and is usually out of position. Most shortstops would have gotten at least one out on that play.

    Kudos to him for his HR though

  57. Bob Hasis says:

    Nothing affects Pedro; he seems oblivious. Striking out with runners aboard, making an error of commission, he still has that unperturbed look of Alfred E. Neumann

  58. JRay3 says:

    Need Morris to bail out Pedro and Wilson, bases loaded and not one single hit…error and walks five and six on the day.

  59. JRay3 says:

    Huge strikeout…let’s get something going with the bats.

  60. Eric Bowser says:

    I bought a special pack of baseball cards with all kinds of cards, the back had a Bo Jackson and I was like, I have to have this card. So I bought it for Perry… lol… ok, me.

    So I go through the cards and look at what I acquired…. Dejan wants this badly.

    DK: Horrific. Four seconds of my life I’ll never have back. I’ll get you for this, Bowser.

  61. Ghost says:

    Not good, sports fans. (“Sports fans:” name the movie character who would say that.) Not only LaRoche put on into a precarious state with that hit, but those like me who bet on him to get more than 4.5 K’s this weekend are going to lose because he’s not going to strikeout four times tomorrow.

  62. Eric Bowser says:

    What was the use of bringing up Jose Contreras, if you weren’t going to use him in 9th inning of tied game?

  63. Eric Bowser says:

    Dejan, imagine the horror I had flipping through those cards and seeing it in my hand.

    I want to know who that photographer was, almost like they wanted that sign to be front and center.

  64. Ghost says:

    Bowser, my boy, ya done good!

  65. Eric Bowser says:

    Why, why, why, why….

  66. Ghost says:

    I’m not even sure I, myself, understand what I was talking about above. Never mind…

  67. pattonbb says:

    Nice play by Bernadina.

  68. Eric Bowser says:

    Suck-dro has 3-0 count, looks at strike one, and then pops up to Zimmerman, no wonder Martin went for the double, he has no one hitting behind him.

  69. Eric Bowser says:

    Missed a little of game having dinner with family but tough way to lose in 9th.

  70. pattonbb says:

    Too funny.

  71. Eric Bowser says:

    Yeah, my wife had no clue why I was disgusted by the card as I got the “are you ok”?

  72. Eric Bowser says:

    LOL… I wondering because I was lost like Pedro on a breaking ball

  73. theplanisworking says:

    Frank Coonelly approved that card! ;)

  74. Patrick(RI) says:

    Missed most of game too. Tough loss, but your bb card well makes up for it — best pimp of the year!

  75. Chuck H says:

    Another loss you can charge to the manager. Why, after the strikeout of Harper in that
    9th inning, why did he let Watson stay in the game to face right-handed batters, when he had both Melancon and Grilli, to get out of the inning. I knew as soon as Watson hit Zimmerman with 2 strikes on him, that would be the ballgame. We need a manager.

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