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Final: Mariners 2, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (18-14) vs. Seattle Mariners (15-19)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Felix Hernandez

Time: 12:35 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. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Michael McKenry, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, RHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Beat writer 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.

412 Comments

  1. No Martin again. Last night 5 thru 9 in the order were a combined 0 for 16 with 8 strikeouts and 6 men left on base. Against future Hall Of Famer Aaron Harang, no less.

    • In fairness to the Fort, he did scorch what should have been an RBI single that got stabbed on a nice play by the 1b. I hope Martin gets back quickly, but Fort can get it done offensively for a couple of days in a row. Now, defensively … that’s another matter if a team likes to run.

  2. WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM LINE
    How Many STRIKEOUTS will Pirates batters have in today’s game?
    0-5 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    6-10 (EVEN ODDS)
    11 or More (EVEN ODDS)

  3. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM LINE

    How Many STRIKEOUTS will Pirates batters have in today’s game?
    0-5 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    6-10 (EVEN ODDS)
    11 or More (EVEN ODDS)

    Max “wager” is 100 units.

  4. This has to be a mistake. Mercer is in the line up again.

    This leaves us with a bench of injured tabata, injured martin, Old MacDonald, Older Inge, JHay and Gabby. So essentially Gabby in terms of any player you would want to come up in an important at bat.

    • JHay – down.
      Welker – up.

    • Ha ha, last year Mercer couldn’t get in the lineup, we complained, now he’s getting playing time and the complaining begins again…

      • It was my attempt to poke fun at Mercer not getting in last year at all. I am happy he is getting his shot. I think his play in AAA and his limited time in the majors warrants a better look especially with no shortstop in 2014.

    • Clint being Clint with his fascination with middle infield guys that can’t hit but at least know how to find their way to multiple positions in the field. Someone please tell me what JHay brings now that several others already on the roster don’t?

  5. Playoff give me 100 on 6-10 ……

  6. Pedro really needs to step it up. And a good place to start would be making contact.

  7. Jeanmar Gomez will start Sunday in New York against Matt Harvey. I wish him all the best.

    • Come on you have to give Gomez his due, he has done all that has been asked of him and than some. He has 2.38 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and has bailed this team out on plenty of occasions in the first 32 games.

      Besides pitchers coming off near no hitters seem to struggle in the game that follows.

      • I’m very happy with Gomez. I will be the first to admit I thought leaving him with the team out of spring training was a bad idea but he has been solid. Oliver has been pretty good as well but is still struggling with control a little. Overall not bad pick ups. You can never have to much starting pitching.

      • wow, 32 games already?

        • Yeah, the season moves so fast. Multiply our current record by 5 and you get 90-70, with 2 games remaining. That would be nice, and definitely in contention for this division with several above average teams. I don’t know that we can keep up at this pace, but with 4 pretty decent teams in the division high 80′s could win it.

    • Doesn’t Lirano come back either Friday or Sat.?

    • Harvey was amazing last night….bloody nose and all.

    • He could pitch a masterpiece and watch Harvey carve us up for a 1-0 victory.

  8. 100 on 6-10 k’s

  9. With these 2 guys pitching, this game might be over by 2:35 PM.

    • I hope we find a way to make KF work today, which is easier said than done. I would love to see him at 105 pitches through 6 even if he is tossing a shutout. As long as AJ can throw about 6 or 7 innings with 1 run allowed (I know that is asking a lot, but can be done vs. this Seattle lineup), I like our bullpen to shut it down late and maybe we’ll touch up their BP late for the W.

  10. playoff give me 100 on 6-10 strikeouts

  11. Duke Welker has been very impressive in Indy….16 IP 3 H, 20 K’s, 8 BB’s 0.00 ERA and 0.68 WHIP. Interesting that he was drafted twice the Mariners without signing before signing with the Bucs in ’07.

    Have to like adding another very live arm to the bullpen equation.

    • Very live, gets the ball up there, I see future closer written all over him. Gotta get his control inline a little better, but can bring some serious heat.

      • Him, Black, Wilson and Morris give us a pretty good group of relievers going forward. Assuming Wilson stays a reliever which maybe he wont if AJ and Wandy are both gone at the end of the year. Something tells me at least one if not both will be back.

        • I wouldn’t mind seeing what Wilson does as a starter, he has some great stuff, but, he also has a little bit of a control problem.

          Hard to beat a power lefty arm.

          • Me, too. If Wilson just gets the BB’s consistently down to 3.5/9 or so, he can be lethal as a starter. The guy doesn’t give up hits, and that off-speed pitch is nasty. Even if he doesn’t start, he will be valuable for years as he slides closer and closer to the 9th inning.

          • Does he have a 3rd pitch? Awfully tough for guys to turn a lineup over with only two pitches.

            • I thought he had a change that he used as a starter, but doesn’t really need as a reliever so much.

              • Interesting. Pitch/fx says he’s only used it seven times this season, which would seem to support your comment.

        • AJ’s contract is up, and he has made so much money, has the young family, etc. that he might just go and enjoy raising his family. He has hinted at that. But, then you watch his competitiveness when he is on the mound and you figure the guy has to want a couple more years with what figures to be a better and better team around him. Supposedly, he and his wife have both said this is the only team he would want to play for after this year. I sure hope he has a couple more years in him, and that it is in Pgh.

          • Assuming he stays healthy, I find it really difficult to believe he’ll hang em up this winter.

            Looks like he’s learning better command as his velocity decreases, which seems to have made him a better pitcher than when he had his best stuff.

            • Yeah, it has really clicked for him the last 2 years. & we definitely need a guy that stands up for himself and his team to continue showing the young players how to do that.

    • I always heard Duke had great stuff, but isn’t he sort of a late bloomer? I don’t mean that he is old, but wasn’t he just an ok prospect before tearing it up the last couple of years and moving up the ranks quickly?

  12. Did anyone see that White Sox pitcher forget he had to bat against the Mets?

    I predict the DH is in the National League as well within 5 years.

    • That was pretty funny……and really, he should’ve just stood there instead of actually attempting a swing…..it was pretty bad.

    • I agree with you on the DH. It is inevitable. A lot of HS pitchers already don’t ever bat where I live. Then, prospects don’t bat much in the minors. Then, they come to the majors and suddenly they have to learn to hit vs. guys like Harvey and Strasburg?

      • Or, the DH will be lifted from the AL, which really won’t happen.

        • I doubt it because the playes assn. sees that as cutting high paying veteran jobs. An extra bullpen arm is often a young guy that doesn’t cost as much as getting rid of a verteran DH. At least, I believe that is the thinking.

      • HS pitchers not batting is a bit crazy to me. It seems to me that often times the best pitchers are the best hitters as well. There was an article in the Trib a few days ago about Brenden McKay from Blackhawk pitching a no hitter. When he’s not pitching, he plays first base because he is one of the best hitters on the team as well.

        • Yes, if a kid is a prospect as a hitter and pitcher, he definitely still hits. But, if a kid is just an average hitter but a promising pitcher, he just pitches. That gives a better hitter a shot to develop as well by batting for the pitcher. I think that is why they do it, since they know the DH is coming for the pitchers anyway. I have a friend whose son is a good pitcher, and he was mad that he spent $300 on a new bat for his son last year, and it never got used throughout the HS season.

    • Easiest way to solve this problem, would to have the DH and allow the pitcher to hit.

      This solves the problem, once and for all.
      So what, you have a 10 man batting order, a team still needs 27 outs to win a game.

      Add 1 more roster spot(or 2) per team, and the stupid debate, whether Pro or Anti DH is put to bed forever.
      There is no way the DH is going away, so Bob Walk, should just put a lid on it already.
      His constant anti- DH rants are falling on deaf ears, but i am sure he realized that a long time ago.

      I think it’s the most logical solution , to a problem that has divided baseball fans for 40 years now.

      And on the subject of announcers, i thought the Mariners pair are possibly the best in the business.
      Maybe the Pirates troupe of clowns, should give them a listen, and learn something.

      • Tempted to agree about the announcers, as they were very honest/balanced. But I also thought they were pretty dull –little spark.

        • I liked the Mariners announcers as well, and thought they were very complimentary regarding their descriptions of Pittsburgh and PNC.

          On the DH + pitchers hitting idea, adding roster spots adds payroll. At an average salary of around $4 million right now (I think), that adds payroll in perpetuity. So, the owners won’t sign up for it.

  13. Uh oh. Smizik just wrote a column titled, “It’s Time For Vokoun.”

    :-)

    • I wish he would have wrote that on Monday or Tuesday morning and the Penguins would have listened.

    • BASEBALL HERE!!!!!!!!!!

      lol, I’m sure the other thread was all over that.

      BTW, not a huge hockey guy, but with all the bench this guy and bench that guy…SOMEBODY, not mentioning any names, might’ve brought up the idea (I’m sure he wasn’t the first or only) that perhaps (John Wehner term) MAF needed a break…I think he showed that last night

    • I agree with him.

      It IS time for Vokoun.

      It’s time for Vokoun to stay on the bench as Fleury stays in goal.

      • Fleury, and the team, need a break. Gotta be Vokoun in game 5.

        • Fleury has been a playoff hero for the Pens, but that time was several years ago. He has done nothing but struggle in the playoffs for the past 3 years, pretty much. Some of the goals he has allowed this series are pathetic. He has to be replaced.

          Ok, no more hockey talk on here for me.

    • bandwagonner ;)

  14. I look at this lineup and see extended opportunity for beer-runs (fully endorse Milo’s trepidation for 6-9). Yesterday’s game turned out OK, but you cannot survive for long with 4 automatic outs per 9. I am resolved to be happy, put aside the cynicism and enjoy the game — the point of Pro Sports is to win, but having a good time should be key for a fan.

    PS: the “deep dark depression and excessive agony” seems not limited to the Pirates (look at the stuff on the Pens blog — and they are 2-2 in a playoff series).

  15. I’m hoping Jordy Mercer does something today.

    He’s my pick to click.

    Not because I want him to take over fulltime at SS or anything like that, but he seems like a cool kid that just wants a chance to prove himself.

    I don’t honestly seem him being the second coming of Cal Ripken Jr, though he does have his size, it would be nice for the Pirates to find that Allen Craig, David Freese type of lightning in the bottle player that seems to pop up on every team but the Pirates.

  16. Sawchick reporting Kyle McPherson made it out of Dr Andrews office without Tommy John.

  17. Just read a Jayson Stark article where he names some possible Bud Selig replacements.

    The good news? Frank Coonelly’s name wasn’t on the list.
    The bad news? Frank Coonelly’s name wasn’t on the list.

    • I don’t know if even Coonelly would be as bad as Selig.

      • Selig is bad to fans IMO. I can’t stand the guy. But, the owners have all made a killing since he’s been in there. I don’t know that it was much more than dumb luck brought on by exploding revenues (Internet, apparel, TV) that anyone would have figured out, but Selig gets the credit from the owners. Franchise values are through the roof over the last 10+ years. And, the players have done pretty well from a $$ standpoint. Guaranteed contracts for big bucks!

  18. Got to keep my losing streak going so 100 on the 6-10

  19. you will be able to hear crickets chirping today when the bottom of the lineup is at bat.

  20. Who will replace McDonald in the rotation?

    • Sunday, Jeanmar Gomez gets another start. JMac may only miss two starts. After that you have Morton who could get back on track in a few days, Gomez if he keeps pitching well and Andy Oliver who has thrown well down in Indy.

  21. Hey Now!

    AJ Ks the leadoff man

  22. AJ Burnett uses just 11 pitches, records two K’s to make quick work of the M’s in the first. A lot of talk about Hernandez, but have a feeling we will see AJ rise to the challenge.

    • Ha, you think us fans are aware of pitch counts?

    • What I love about AJ is that he always has that chip on his shoulder. Someone tries to tell him the other pitcher is better, he comes out dealing. The guy does not back down from a battle.

  23. Ho hum another first inning hit for Marte…double to start it off!

    • Would have to double check but I believe that is the 17th first inning hit for Marte?

      Snider really needed to at least move the runner over in that situation.

    • Damm, and I predicted a HR today since one of the league’s best is against us! Well, he’ll probably get another couple of shots at KF – hopefully, not more.

  24. STARling Marte leads off with a 2 bagger.

    Man on 2nd. Nobody Out.

    Lunchbox coming to bat.

  25. Cutch 5 for 5 in this series, singles home the Bucs first run and the Pirates get an early run and lead off Hernandez.

  26. The Pirates are first team to score a run off of Hernandez in the first inning this season, covering eight starts.

  27. Now the soft underbelly. Guess we’ll have to settle for 1.

  28. Here’s a question I have for everyone…

    Who do you prefer as color man: Walk, Blass or Whener?

  29. Morales grounds out, 4-3.

    Ackley strikes out swinging.

    2 down in the top of the 2nd. Still 1-0 Pirates.

    Montero to bat for the M’s.

    • Montero lines out softly to Barmes.

      3 up, 3 down again for AJ.

      We go to the bottom of the 2nd, still 1-0 Pirates.

      AJ’s line so far:

      2.0IP 0Hs 3Ks 0BBs (23 pitches (16 strikes))

      • I like the results as well as the pitch count so far

      • You think AJ realizes not only that he maybe in for a pitchers duel but that the bullpen covered four innings last night due to late spot start?

        Very efficient to start.

        • And, not only that, but it looks like he battled a little at the plate as well, to get KF over 30 pitches through 2.

      • As well as AJ has pitched again this year, 23 pitches through 2 innings seems more like the efficiency of the first half of 2012 for AJ. He was getting very deep into games last year. If he can get back to that with similar pitch counts, he will save the bullpen arms and stack up the W’s.

        • AJ pitched seven innings or more in 12 of his starts last season.

          April – 1
          May – 3
          June – 1
          July – 4
          August – 1
          Sept – 2

  30. AJ another quick inning, soft ground out, K, lineout…so far challenging the M’s lineup, throwing strikes and spotting well.

  31. Alvarez pops out to 3rd. This may be an understatement, but he’s not swinging the bat well right now.

    1 down in the bottom of the 2nd.

    • Even by his early season standards.

    • In other words, he has already hit the peak of his first uphill swing of the season and is heading back towards a valley. That first upswing was pretty short.

    • Mercer grounds out 5-3. 2 down.

      Barmes singles. Man on 1st, 2 down with AJ coming to bat.

      AJ grounds out, 1-3. And that does it for the Bucs in the 2nd.

      Going to the top of the 3rd, still 1-0 Pirates.

  32. Calling the mass media – Clint Barmes has a hit against King Felix! Its a cause for celebration!

    • Clint may be on one of his hot streaks at the plate. You know, the kind where he goes 4 for 13 over 4 games. In fairness, though, he made 2 tough plays look very easy last night in the field. I think he has a few more errors than usual so far, but he seems to be getting it together in the field – and (fingers crossed) maybe at the plate.

  33. If I counted correctly – that was a 9 pitch inning by AJ – 2 strikes outs and a ground out.

  34. First time through the order for AJ – nine up, nine down, 5 K’s and all of 32 pitches to dispose of the M’s in their first AB.

    • Feels like he is about 27 strikes and 5 balls. Very, very impressive to get 9 outs on 32 pitches with 5 of them being whiffs. Nasty stuff apparently, today.

  35. AJ …. Rolling, rolling, rolling – thru 3!

  36. Endy Chavez grounds out, 4-3. 1 down.

    Robert Andino strikes out, the backwards kind. 2 down.

    King Felix strikes out swinging, and that’s 3.

    We go to the bottom of the 3rd, Pirates up 1-0.

    AJ’s line so far:

    3.0IP 0Hs 0Rs 0ERs 5Ks 0BBs (32 pitches (24 strikes)).

  37. STARling Marte out on a close play, 2-3. 1 down.

    Lunchbox flies out to CF. 2 down in the Bucs half of the 3rd.

    McCutchen to bat.

    • Andrew McCutchen strikes out swing. And that’s 3.

      That’ll do it for the Bucs in the 3rd.

      Still 1-0 good guys with top of the order coming to bat for Seattle in the top of the 4th.

  38. Vokoun will start tomorrow. As you were.

  39. AJ allows his 1st baserunner of the afternoon.

    Leadoff walk issued to Saunders.

    Man on 1st, no out.

    JBay to bat.

    • Wild pitch allows Saunders to move to 2nd.

      Man on 2nd no out.

      3-2 count on Bay.

    • And AJ walks JBay.

      Men on 1st & 2nd, no out.

      Seager coming to bat.

    • AJ Ks Seager looking. Big strike out after he’s gotten himself in trouble with BBs.

      1 out in the top of the 4th with men still on 1st & 2nd.

      Morales coming to bat (most GIDPs in the AL so far this season).

    • Morales grounds out to 1st, 3-1. Jones can’t get a grip and the Bucs only get 1.

      2 outs, men on 2nd & 3rd.

      Ackley to bat.

    • Scored as a wild pitch (but McKenry should’ve blocked it) and the Mariners tie it at 1.

      3-2 count on Ackley with Man on 3rd, 2 outs.

    • Aaaaaaaaaaaaand Ackley strikes out looking.

      We’re thru 3.5 innings at PNC with the score tied at 1.

      4, 5, 6 due up for the Bucs in the bottom half of the 4th.

      AJ’s line so far:

      4.0IP 1R 1ER 0Hs 7Ks 2BBs (61 Pitches (39 strikes)).

  40. The only 1st baseman in the league that can’t throw the ball to 2nd base.

  41. Shows missing Martin.

  42. Garrett Jones strikes out swinging.

    1 down for the Pirates in the bottom of the 4th.

    McKenry to bat.

    Mariners 1 – 1 Pirates

    • McKenry hits a can o corn flyball to CF Saunders & flies out.

      2 down in the bottom of the 4th.

      Petey Alvarez coming to bat. He could use a hit.

    • Alvarez grounds out, 4-3.

      That does it for the 4th. We move to the 5th @ PNC.

      Score still tied 1-1.

  43. Montero grounds out, 6-3. AJ started him 3-0, but comes back to get the ground out.

    1 away in the Top of the 5th.

    • Endy Chavez to 2nd on throwing error by Mercer. Chavez hits the ball up the middle, Mercer makes a nice backhand play but cant get enough on the throw and Jones fails to pick it. The ball goes to the fence and Chavez takes 2nd.

      man on 2nd, 1 out. Top of the 5th.

      Still 1-1.

    • Andino grounds out, 5-3, as Alvarez looks Chavez back to 2nd.

      2 outs. Man on 2nd. Top of the 5th.

      Felix Hernandez to bat.

    • Felix Hernandez strikes out looking.

      The M’s are gone in the 5th.

      Mercer, Barmes, Burnett (sounds like runs!) due up for the Bucs in their half of the 5th.

      As we go to the bottom of the 5th, score still tied 1-1.

      AJ’s line so far:

      5.0IP 1R 1ER 1Hs 8Ks 2BBs (77 pitches (50 strikes)).

  44. Why don’t they try Mercer out at short?

    • Right now they need him to play second. Plus, CH’s man-crush on aging no-hit shortstops may prevent that option.

  45. Jordy doubles…………

  46. Jordy Mercer leads off the bottom of the 5th with a double.

    Man on 2nd, nobody out.

    Barmes to bat.

    • Clint Barmes is trying to bunt for a hit with a man on 2nd and the pitcher due up next.

      I’m scratching my head.

    • Barmes gets the count back to 3-2 (after being down 1-2), and flies out to RF. Mercer moves up to 3rd.

      Man on 3rd, 1 out.

      Burnett up.

      Still tied 1-1.

    • AJ strikes out attempting to bunt. 2 down.

      Man still at 3rd.

      Marte to bat in the bottom of the 5th.

      Still tied 1-1.

    • Marte strikes out swinging, and the Bucs waste Mercer’s leadoff double.

      On to the Top of the 6th at PNC Park.

      Score Tied at 1 still.

      Top of the lineup due up for the M’s (Saunders, Bay, Seager).

  47. Flash the Z Jordy Mercer, leads off the fifth fighting ball of his hands and doubles down the line and Bucs in business to start the inning.

  48. Why is he bunting ? Yes, he’s a stinky guy but the pitcher’s on deck.

  49. Interesting dilemma here, suicide squeeze, safety squeeze?

  50. “You need a mind to play mind games.” – Jesse Ventura.

  51. I was thinking I should focus on fun, today. — Bad News Bears were entertaining.

  52. Just want to say, I love the play by play postings. Much more interesting than staring at the mlb box score on my phone. Good job guys! There, thats my compliment for today. :)

  53. And AJ walks Saunders again to leadoff an inning (Milo, I won’t say anything….)

    Man on 1st, nobody out in the Top of the 6th.

    Jason Bay to bat.

    • Saunders steals 2nd.

      Man on 2nd, nobody out.

      1-2 count on Bay

    • Jason Bay grounds out, 6-3.

      Saunders moves up to 3rd (ball was hit towards the middle, so Barmes only play was at 1st).

      Seager to bat (infield in).

      Aaaaan as I’m typing, Seager grounds out, 4-3 with the infield in.

      Now 2 away, man still at 3rd.

      Morales to the dish.

    • Burnett gets Morales swinging on a nasty breaker in the dirt. McKenry blocks well and throws on to 1st.

      The M’s are gone in the Top on the 6th.

      Snider, McCuthen, Jones to bat for the Bucs in the bottom half.

      Score still tied 1-1.

      AJ’s line so far:

      6.0IP 1R 1ER 1H 9K 3BB (94 pitches (59 strikes)).

  54. Come on AJ. Find the strike zone. The bats are probably going to go silent and can’t afford to give up any more free passes.

  55. Stole that base off the pitcher but that was a terrible throw.

  56. Ball hit to Barmes but runner still advances to third. Infield in and AJ induces the ground out to Mercer, one out away from escaping.

  57. Hey Thunder, something I noticed. Jordy Mercer’s tall.

  58. 9th K by AJ a big one, leaves runner stranded on third and we head to bottom half of sixth knotted up at one.

    If you are a fan of pitching this one has had it.

  59. Burnett threw 94 pitches so I would assume he’ll be done.

  60. And we escape the top of the 6th without giving up a run. Only the one walk for Seattle that half inning. Snider, McCutchen, and Jones due up for the good guys.

  61. so do you think AJ is good for one more? already at 94 pitches.

  62. Travis Snider grounds out, 4-3.

    1 away for the Bucs in the bottom of the 6th.

    McCutchen to bat.

    Aaaaaand, as I’m typing, McCutchen lines out to RF Endy Chavez.

    2 away for the Bucs in the 6th.

    Jones to bat.

    • King Felix throws 7 pitches in the 6th, retiring the final batter Jones on a 4-3 ground out.

      We’re 2/3 of the way through in the ‘burgh, with the score, Mariners 1 – 1 Pirates.

      Ackley, Montero, Chavez due up for the M’s in the Top of the 7th.

  63. Anyone warming up in the bullpen?

  64. Just checking in…Pedro batting his weight yet? No?

    Wanna see my shocked face? :0

  65. Took Felix 7 pitches to get through that inning. Was hoping he’d work a little harder than that.

  66. Carter Capps warming for the Mariners. Anyone know if he is of relation to Matt?

  67. Goodnight everybody. Drive home safely.

  68. AJ has a one-hitter going and once again . . . .

    • I typed that before the home run. I thought the sentence should end with no run support…

      Well, anyway AJ has a two-hitter going and ….

  69. Ackley grounds out to 3rd, 5-3. 1 away.

    Montero HRs to Right Center (was not a cheapy) on AJs 100th pitch of the afternoon. That’s his 3rd of the season.

    2-1 Mariners.

    Chavez grounds out, 4-3. 2 away.

    Andino to bat.

    • Andino walks.

      Man on 1st, 2 outs.

      2-1 Mariners.

      Felix Hernandez to bat (not pinch hitting).

      Hernandez grounds out, 4-3, and that’s 3.

      The Mariners are done in the 7th, but not before taking a 2-1 lead on Jesus Montero’s 3rd HR of the season.

      They’re singing “Take me out to the ball game” as we head to the bottom half of the 7th.

      McKenry, Alvarez & Mercer due to face Hernandez.

      AJ’s line so far:

      7.0IP 2R 2ER 2H 9K 4BB (109 pitches (64 strikes)). Think that will probably be his final line as I don’t see him throwing another.

  70. Just like Sunday, it appears as if they lost this one in the 1st inning.

  71. More bad news, Johnathan Sanchez given his full release.

    If you listen closely, you can hear Federal Street swallowing another 1.35 million

    He pitched just well enough to get the Major League contract, then he went back to his old ways

    • Well, I didn’t mean “bad news”, so don’t take that out of context ;-)

    • I think he’s now officially joined Pete Rose as suspended for life.

    • You can’t always look at things from the FO perspective. Think of it as a good thing for Jonathan. $1.35 million for doing nothing buys a lot of rounds of golf.

      You gotta love the guaranteed contract. I’ve been an at will employee my whole life. I bet Jonathan sleeps better than me when he is unemployed.

  72. Ok, Pedro, go deep

  73. McKenry leads off the Bucs half of the 7th with a base hit to left.

    Alvarez up.

    Man on 1st, nobody out.

    • Alvarez grounds back to Hernandez for the 1-6-3 DP. 2 away for the Pirates in the 7th.

      Get that man a day off.

      Mercer up with 2 outs and no one on.

    • Mercer flies out to Chavez in RF and closes the book on the Pirates in the 7th.

      Headed to the top of the 8th @ PNC Park, it’s Mariners 2 – 1 Pirates.

  74. Poor walk is begging for some semblace of offense from Pedro, just as he hits a screamer to the pitcher — bench this guy for a month.

  75. And there is the 6th K

  76. Doubleplaydro strikes again. Time to think about having him bunt.

  77. Only 5 SO for the buccos so far.

  78. Vin Mazzaro replaces AJ Burnett on the hill as we start the 8th.

    • Mazzaro walks Saunders to lead off the 8th. That’s the 3rd time he’s walked today.

      Man on 1st, nobody out.

      Jason Bay to bat.

    • Jason Bay flies out to CF Andrew McCutchen, 1 away.

      Saunders retreats to 1st.

      Man on 1st, 1 out with Seager coming to bat.

    • Seager strikes out swinging.

      2 away for the Mariners in the 8th, with Saunders still at 1st.

      They still lead 2-1.

      Morales to bat.

    • Morales hits a humpback liner basically right at Snider in RF, and that ends the Top of the 8th.

      Headed to the bottom, with the Bucs running out of opportunities, as they still trail 2-1.

      Barmes, Pinch Hitter (Gaby?) & Marte due up in the bottom of the 8th.

      • What started out so promisingly in terms of both scoring and high pitch count for King Felix, quickly subsided when Fort hit into the 1st inning DP. Once Felix got the lead, we really needed to find a way to work him. But, he’s just so good. Now, he looks like a lock for 8 and possibly the CG. Going to be tough, but not impossible.

  79. Wonder if DK still believes in the “he lives for these moments” line he wrote about Alvarez in 2010?

    Alvarez is approaching epic failure right now. Sit him for the next series. His eyes are reading Chinese, his brain is processing Arabic and his body is speaking Portuguese… NOTHING in sync with him.

    Ego too huge to get better right now. Got to be benched. Cannot continue to run out a .170 hitter, with a .430 OPS with RISP at 3B and in the 6 spot.

    • Reminds me of Adam Dunn from 2 years ago. Everyone says “History says he will eventually snap out in a big way.” Sometimes that doesn’t happen. Ask 2011 Big Donkey, Adam Dunn.

      • Good point Jim. Although 2012 Adam Dunn finished in the top 5 in the AL MVP voting I believe. How do you know which year that will happen with players like Alverez and Dunn? Baseball is a crazy sport.

        • Yes, big bounce back for Dunn last year.

          These guys that hit for a low average but a ton of HR’s are susceptible to the year where they just cannot get out of a slump. That must be murder living with yourself in that situation. Of course, I guess you’d be living with yourself in a mansion. But, still, baseball is a psychologically tough sport when things are not going your way. There is no one to help you at the plate but you.

    • This is satirical, right?

      What exactly has Pedro done this year that he didn’t do last year?

      This is Pedro Alvarez.

      • Well, NMR, eventually he hit .244 with 30 bombs. I just don’t feel like that is coming this year. I know he got off to a terrible start last year, but did it go on this long? If so, maybe there is more hope of a turnaround than I have right now.

        • Yes. Yes it did.

          Go check where Pedro Alvarez was with 100 AB last year.

          It looks an awful lot like where Pedro Alvarez is after 100 AB this year.

          • Last year, May 4

            .260. .295. .603. .898

            This year May 4

            .178. .236. .327. .563

              • Ah, ESPN.

                How bout we compare equal sample sizes and not arbitrary dates after Pedro goes on a 12+26 tear?

              • Baseball Reference

                You think I’m lying?

              • Show me where Pedro has come close to those numbers at ANY time this year. He hasn’t been above a .200 batting average since the second game of the year.

              • And look at the game logs. This isn’t rocket science.

              • Through 116 PA’s last year, Pedro had just 2 more walks, 2 more home runs, and 2 more strikeouts.

                He could make up that difference on any given day.

                His batting average on balls in play was also 60 points higher.

              • Link?

              • Baseball Reference

                This isn’t rocket science.

              • Look. I’ll take your word for it. If I hadn’t looked at the numbers I would have thought the same as you–it’s Pedro, started slow last year, too. But when you look at the numbers, he didn’t start THIS slow. Can he turn it around? Of course. But to ignore the numbers I think is a mistake. (2 homers over this period is arguably the difference between 20 and 30 homers) We don’t know yet who we have here. You can’t assume he will be fine anymore than you can assume he will continue to stink. That’s basically the only point I was trying to make. He’s not in Adam Laroche territory yet where you know what you will get by the end of the season. Too early to panic? Sure, but not for concern.

              • I’m not ignoring the numbers. In fact, I’m looking at them more closely by comparing equal statistical samples.

                23 PA/HR equates to 26 over a 600 PA season.

                Pedro is hitting just .200 on balls in play. His career average on balls in play is .302. He’s not striking out any more often than he was through this point last season and his line drive rate is actually higher than last year.

                I’m not assuming anything. I’m making a judgement based on about 1200 big league at bats.

              • I’m done.

  80. Clint Barmes hits a can o corn fly ball to CF Saunders and is retired.

    1 out now in the bottom of the 8th with no one on.

    Jose Tabata pinch hitting for Vin Mazzaro.

    • The production from the Pirates left side of the infield is staggering.

    • Jose Tabata lines out to RF Endy Chavez. Hit it well, but it stays up long enough for Chavez to come in and make a diving catch (altho the dive was just kind of for show). Tough on Jose, but he’s retired.

      2 outs, no one on.

      Marte to bat.

      As I was typing that, Marte hits a nubber, and beats Hernandez to the bag.

      1 on, 2 out.

      Snider to bat.

    • Why Jose Tabata is still on this team I have no idea. Scratch that. I forgot we signed him to a lifetime contract.

    • Starling Marte stumbles on his wa y to 2nd on a stealing attempt. Gets caught between 1st & 2nd (even tho had he continued, he would’ve had the base stolen b/c Montero didn’t handle it cleanly).

      He’s retired on a quick run down. Things just not going the Bucs way right now.

      We go to the top of the 9th with the Bucs still trailing the Mariners, 2-1.

      Pitching change coming for the Pirates.

  81. Marte really is fun to watch — all aspects.

  82. Only 97 pitches for Hernandez.

  83. Bryan Morris on to pitch the 9th for the Pirates.

    • Dustin Ackley flies out to McCutchen in CF, and that’s 1 away for the Mariners in the 9th.

      Jesus Montero to bat.

    • Montero grounds out, 6-3.

      2 gone in the top of the 9th.

      Mariners still lead 2-1.

      Chavez coming to the plate.

    • Soft lined single to CF for Endy Chavez.

      A 2-out base hit for the M’s RFer.

      Robert Andino coming to bat with 2 outs, and a man on 1st.

    • Andino grounds out to Barmes, 6-3, and Morris retires the side in the 9th.

      No runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, and a man left.

      Last chance for the home team. They trail 2-1 (Montero’s HR still the difference).

      Snider, McCutchen, Jones due up against Hernandez in the 9th, as he tries to complete an impressive performance.

  84. Hernandez is sub-100 pitches heading to 9th. He feasts on teams like the Pirates, who hack away no matter who they are facing.

  85. Hold them here, Bryan. At least the middle of the order, including Cutch, gets another crack at KF.

  86. He makes a lot of teams look bad. Especially ones that don’t see him very much. Him and Verlander in my opinion are a couple steps ahead of all other pitchers.

    • He makes everyone look bad. The only ones with half a chance are the ones that can find a way to foul pitches off, work the count, etc. You have to get rid of him by the 7th. Blass was saying on radio that this guy leads MLB since ’08 with 75% quality starts. And I don’t think he has a lot of the 6 innings / 3 ER variety. He is tucked away in the Pacific NW and the Mariners don’t score; otherwise he’s a consistent 18-22 win guy.

      • On the tucked away in the Pacific NW part, I meant that people don’t always know just how freakin’ good this guy is.

  87. And the Mariners make a pitching change (boy, was i wrong)!

    Wilhelmsen takes over in the bottom of the 9th.

    • Lunchbox grounds out to Ackley, 4-3.

      1 away. 2 outs left.

      McCutchen to bat.

      Need a miracle. Or a solo shot.

    • McCutchen just gets under it, and flies out to CF.

      2 outs. 1 left.

      It falls to Garrett Jones to keep this inning (and game) alive for the Pirates.

    • Jones singles on a line drive to right.

      2 outs.

      With the tying run on base.

      It now falls to Michael McKenry to keep this going (or win it) for the Pirates.

    • McKenry flies out to Jason Bay (fitting no?) on a 2-0 pitch. Was right in his wheelhouse, but, like McCutchen, gets under it and hits a can o corn for the final out.

      That does it for this 1.

      Pirates split with the Mariners, dropping this afternoon’s game 2-1.

      Hernandez & Burnett were as advertised, with Hernandez just doing a little bit extra.

      It’s on the road now for 4 games against the Mets in NYC at Citi Field.

      Seeya next time!

  88. Hopefully Cutch runs into one and sends it 450′ the other direction.

  89. How about back to backs?

  90. Did Hurdle change pitchers for Seattle while Eric whats-his-name was in the bathroom? Wedge, I mean. Almost called him Erik Bedard.

  91. Down to our last out today. Come on Jones. Do something with this at bat.

  92. If the fort some how gets on…it all comes down to Pedro’s bat. *shutter*

  93. Getting interesting.

  94. The Pirates gave up just 32 hits on this homestand (11 of those in one game). That’s 6 per game. And they went 2-3. What a lousy offensive ball club.

    • Detwiler, Strasburg, Gonzalez, Hernandez

      Yep. These guys suck.

    • They do have 2 or 3 guys that have been a complete drain on the entire offense, but even those guys are hitting so badly that you know eventually they will come back closer to what we know or think is their norm. We faced some front line starters in those 5 games as well.

    • Strasburg, Hernandez, Gonzalez and Detwiler are capable of shutting down any offense. Having said that, the offense is extremely top heavy.

    • I think we’re going to be middle of the pack in combined pitching, a little less than the middle in hitting, and toward the top in in fielding and running. We play a lot of close games. It takes a lot of good fortune to consistently win close games. Hard to really get on a roll for very long unless you have lights out pitching and/or you are explosive offensively. We don’t fit into any category yet. But, I think we will hang around.

      It sure would be nice to go through a series where we miss the other team’s ace once in awhile.

  95. This wasn’t meant to be.

  96. Well tough one today, but there is a reason King Felix is one of the best arms in all of baseball. Really would like to have that run on the wild pitch back.

    Reds getting trounced by Braves and Cards losing to Cubs, hope that holds and time to look ahead to the four game set with the Mets.

  97. Damn shame to lose this game for Burnett.

    With the exception of the home run, he couldn’t have been better. What a lousy offensive bunch of losers we have. Too many auto outs.

    • Did you miss the five games prior to this homestand where those lousy bunch of losers put up 32 runs?

    • You do realize Felix Hernandez had only allowed 2 ER in last 30 IP and only 20 H’s allowed. He has shutdown the Tigers, A’s, Blue Jays, Angles, Astros this season and will shutdown a lot more as the season progresses.

    • I also thought he was going to get out of that 4th unscathed. But, then the WP. Ugh! That turned everything around for Seattle. Otherwise, we’d still be playing – our bullpen vs. their bullpen. You give up 2 hits & 4 BB in 7 innings and the guy on the other side pitches better. Wow!

  98. Who would have thought that Playoff’s winning line today would be 0 to 5 strike outs. Congrats to anyone that took that line today. King Felix only told 5 Pirates to #STFD.

  99. 5 K’s, if I was starting a Casino, the first guy I would hire is Playoffs to set up the betting odds.

    A tough one to lose, but we did lose to a good one

  100. The Pirates are 10th in the NL in runs scored and no team has faced harder pitching.

    Everyone put down the sharp objects.

  101. I’m probably in the minority here but I wonder why they didn’t send Jonathan Sanchez to Indy after he cleared waivers. He might straighten himself out a bit and the way this season is going you may need someone to make a few starts later in the season.

    But I guess they’ve seen enough of him to know that he isn’t going to straighten himself out.

  102. What should this team do with Alvarez in the short term? Sit him v. lefties? Sit him a game or two or a whole series? He’s a giant void in the order right now and supporting a .168, terrible swinging, terrible at bats, 6 errors in 31 games 3B is really tough to do. It’s tough enough to deal with Barmes’ at bats and McKenry at bats and even Mercer… but Alvarez is just killing the team… his OPS with RISP is .430… batting average w RISP is .140.

    • Exactly what you did with him last year.

    • Very tough call. Personally, I’d sit him for awhile. Maybe come up with an injury and get him on the 15 day DL. Jay Bell has to wonder what he is supposed to do to straighten out that mess. I guess Jordy would be my #1 candidate to start at 3b while Pedro is out. Please, Clint, no JHay.

    • Can we just copy and paste this conversation into early May 2014?

      • I take this to mean you consider Pedro a slow starter or a streaky performer and that things will even themselves out. I don’t know what to think about him right now.

        • Trust me, I hoped as much as the next guy that the Pedro we saw from June-September was going to be the Pedro we got for the entire year.

          That clearly hasn’t been the case.

          At some point, we’re going to have to accept it the slumps and take the 25-30 home runs or move on. This is Pedro.

          • I’ll say this. If you are right, NMR, and he gets back to .244 with 30 HR this year, I’ll take it because we are in for a pretty strong next 130 games from him.

            • Through the same amount of plate appearances last year, 116, he was hitting .214 with just two more homeruns.

              • Ah HAH — Adam LaRoche redux!

              • I actually never made that connection, but wow, you might be right.

              • Was just playing around. But I could certainly live with Pedro if he turns out to be like Adam. Great glove, great second-half player, and a real leader for the Nats last year.

          • Well the one thing in his favor is that there is not someone in Indy being held down by him. So we can let this play out a bit more. But if “this is Pedro,” he is no long-term answer for 3rd base, especially with his contract being up after next year and his agent being you-know-who.
            If he warms during the summer and the Pirates remain in contention, we should stand pat. If the Pirates are sinking the end of July, might be time to see if he can be shopped. Hey, the Dodgers got us to take Andy LaRoche off their hands, after all.

            • I can’t imagine the team wouldn’t offer arbitration after next year, or even the year after. His last trip through, which I believe would be 2017, might be a different story.

              I wouldn’t be opposed to shopping him in theory, but there’s such a huge chance of it backfiring. Even with the slumps, it’ll be hard to replace his production.

              • That’s true. 30-35 HR potential does not grow on trees – and maybe not even in labs so much any more.

                I still have hope. I keep thinking … any day now, he is going to snap out big time.

              • Well, we’ll have a more clear idea of what hand to play as this year progresses and Pedro either warms up or does not (not that I claim to know how Neal Huntington’s mind works).
                In the meanwhile, I’m going with the ‘Adam LaRoche’ plan and I’m stickin’ to it!

              • Agreed, gentlemen.

                As frustrating as it may be.

        • Neither do I. I had been hoping the way he fought through the tough times last season to put up good power #’s might have helped him turn a corner that would carryover for this year. Doesn’t look like he is even as good as last year. This crap with insisting on pulling pitches off the outside corner has to stop. Leads to a lot of DP’s. I can’t believe Bell is not trying to address that. If he is and Pedro just isn’t listening …. not good.

          • I’ve said before, to some ridicule, that I don’t think he does listen.

            • Just thought of something, Arriba Wilver. If the real Wilver were still alive, I bet he would be the one guy who could get through to Pedro. He would know exactly what he is going through, although even at Stargell’s worst as a kid he was far better than Pedro. But, Willie figured out how to go to LF with power instead of insisting on pulling everything. He might be able to coach and mentor him through it. Alas, gone too soon.

              • +1

              • Must have been really special to play on a team with Stargell. He was not even a once-in-a-generation player. Can’t think of anyone like him who has played for the Pirates since.

              • And Jim S is right. He went from being a home run machine to being close to a triple crown threat at one point.

              • Ghost,

                I do remember the last several years of Wilver, including ’79. He was truly special. He struck out a lot, but not like Pedro. He still got that avg. up into the .270/.280, even .290 range a lot. But, for raw power from a lefty, I have to believe Pedro is the closest to Stargell. Willy had these great, strong and quick hands. You would see him windmilling that bat around, and think there is no way he could get set in time to get around on a fastball, and even if he did you would think he couldn’t turn it around with authority. And, if you thought that for very long, you would be dead wrong. I recall that he had the longest HRs at not only 3 Rivers, but a bunch of NL Parks. Once hit 2 balls over the RF roof of Chavez Ravine in the same game. I don’t think anyone else had ever even hit one before that. Back to your point about being on a team with Wilver, add to that the fact that he paired with Clemente for around 10 years, I think. Amazing!

              • Agree with all above. What I had meant to say in my previous post on Stargell was that he must have been such a special presence. The way even other veterans on his teams could look to him for encouragement and leadership is what set him apart. He was a leader’s leader. I remember hearing Steve Blass affectionately describe how after his own arm betrayed him, Stargell stood in the box at BP when no one else dare would and repeatedly encouraged Blass to keep throwing it in there, contuing to reassure Blass, even though the throws were coming in at Stargell’s head and everywhere else.

            • This is just my opinion and I have no proof that this is true.
              But Pedro strikes me (no pun intended) as a guy who can talk the talk in the batting cage and with the coaches. He listens and says the right things.
              .
              But when he gets into the batter’s box he goes back to being clueless

            • AW,
              I think you were ridiculed because Pedro’s ears were covered by his hat…thus he couldn’t listen.

            • +1

              • Ghost,

                I heard the same thing about Willie and Blass. BTW, I was really young but I have faint memories of Blass during his control problems. This was a guy who was one of the best pitchers in the league at the start of the ’70′s. Totally dominated the vaunted O’s in the ’71 series in 2 different games, including Game 7. Then, just lost it. I would say the closest thing to Blass for the couple of years before he lost it, as best I can tell from a Pirates standpoint, would be Drabek from the early ’90′s. Just a really solid pitcher and great team guy. To lose it like that, and not be able to get it back must have been really tough. He was on his way to 200 wins. Well, at least he always had the ’71 Series, and he had 100+ wins. He just never got to finish off an elite career. I’ve never heard him complain about it. Dealt with it like a man, and I think he’s a great Pirates ambassador.

    • Yeah, a team usually needs production out of its 3rd baseman and we’re just not getting it. Sitting him against lefties for a while or otherwise putting him in situations where he has a good chance of succeeding would be prudent for a good stretch. Because I think this year — once it’s taken it its entirety — is the big fork in the road for Pedro. He’s 26 years old and in his fifth year of pro ball after a previous three years of D1 ball. The time has come for him to figure it out or perhaps get a change of scenery if it still doesn’t happen.

  103. Thanks to Frankie and Patton for getting Playoffs’ lines up, this morning. Thought I’d be able to do it, but wasn’t able to.

  104. Final 2-1, kinda what everybody expected huh? Missed the who game, but I will try to scroll through everyone’s comments to see who needs to be traded, sent down, or DFA’d.

    • or tarred and feathered.

    • Actually, I haven’t seen any of that after this game. Everyone seems to get that we were playing a premier pitcher. Our premier pitcher played him tough. It’s one of those 54 every team loses, and I think just about everyone gets that.

      • It is amazing how the pitcher you face on a given day can change everything. Seattle has this one incredible pitcher, and he is on a hot streak even compared to his usual standards right now. If we had missed him by a day, we probably sweep them. But, you have to face who you have to face, and we just weren’t going to get many runs. AJ showed up, as always, and pitched very well. He just caught maybe the best pitcher in baseball in a groove. Now, whoever gets to face Seattle the next 4 games gets to miss King Felix. That’s baseball. Bucs need to put it behind them, and go to NYM and take 3/4.

  105. When Pedro went on his recent, DK predicted romp, I donned sackcloth and ashes. I’ve now doffed the coarse fabrics and carbon face-paint. 26 years old, 113 plate appearances into his 4th season in the bigs, this guy has not performed as you would hope a #2 overall pick might, is not worth the wealth Boras extorted from Nutting, and falsifies the hypothesis that NH had metrics as reliable as or more reliable than, oh, the GM who drafted Buster Posey that year. In NH’s defense, Posey was the only non-disastrous pick among the top 5 that year – hindsight is 20 20 and infinitely easier than prediction. But Pedro’s a bust. Despite all the practice swings, pitchers are figuring him out way faster than he’s adjusting. Toto, I don’t think we’re in the SEC any more. Ditch the pretentious practice swings, you’re halfway through a failed pro career. Get teachable or go away.

    • Agree on the “get teachable” advice 100%, Officer. It is difficult for lefty power guys to learn to drive the ball to LC … but the good ones do it. Ryan Howard struggled with that and then all of a sudden – boom! If Pedro is to reach his potential, he needs to stop fighting the desire to drive everything to RF. We cannot continue to accept Doubleplay-Dro with 1st & 3rd, one out. He could maybe get away with reaching and pulling outside pitches in the SEC and minor leagues, but these MLB pitchers will continue to make him look foolish if he keeps it up. They are very good at turning lefties with power into platoon players.

  106. Note to Pedro Alvarez: in Pittsburgh, if we’re failing, we adjust.

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