Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 7, Brewers 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (21-16) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (15-20)

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. RHP Hiram Burgos

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

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

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page.

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. Bizrow says:

    Well, let me see, what bet am I going to lose tonight??

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Line #1
    Total HITS by Clint Barmes in tonight’s game?
    Line is 0.5

    Line #2
    Total STRIKEOUTS by Pedro Alvarez in tonight’s game?
    Line is 1.5

    Good Luck!!

  3. JAL says:

    Didn’t have time to write this on the morning thread so will put it here concerning the Grilli-Melacon stats. On the question of can they sustain, the answer is anything is possible. On the question of will they sustain, the answer is not likely because they are both doing better than norm. However, even if thy can’t sustain this pace they can still perform at a high level. Jason Grilli last season was a pretty good pitcher as was Melacon in 2011. Of course sometimes players have seasons out of nowhere. Probably most famous was Norm Cash in 1961 when he hit .361. That was his 4th season in the majors and he played 17 seasons but that was the only one in which he over .300.

  4. Well said.

    Loved Norm Cash. He said his theory on hitting was, “if it’s near the plate, hack at it”.

    Hope Pedro didn’t hear that old interview.

  5. Bizrow says:

    Well, I gotta go with 100 on OVAH for line 1 and 100 on UNDAH for line 2.

    Its tough to root for Barmes going for an ofer and Pedro wearing a sombrero

    But thats why I’m where I am in this race… ;-)

    Thanks Playoffs

  6. Bizrow says:

    I think that is what is called a “career year”

    Can either Grilli or Melacon have one of those? Sure

  7. Dom says:

    Line 1: 100 OVER
    Line 2: 100 UNDER

  8. Karen22 says:

    Line 1. 100 Barmes Bases on the OVER

    Line 2. 50 Petey Prayers on the UNDER

    Let’s stew the Brew Crew!!

  9. radio wave says:

    At the playoffs: I will take 25 on the over for line one. I will take 25 on the under fur-lined too.

  10. blazer says:

    Since Bizrow and I are on the same big losing streak I am going along with his bets…

    100 on the over line 1
    100 on the under line 2

    We are bound to break this streak!

  11. radio wave says:

    Has PA batted seventh before?

  12. NMR says:

    I like.

    Besides, games are not won on stat sheets.

    Grilli and Melancon will both end the season with worse numbers than they have now. Thats almost certain.

    But relievers do not have to be perfect. Unless the Pirates run a 2012-Orioles-like streak of 1-run games, they have room for error. Assuming both pitchers stat lines regress, does not also assume the Pirates lose more games.

  13. JHadar says:

    At the risk of starting a fire — is there a stat guy somewhere who can tell us whether an baseball player’s stats for the next say ten games (for a position player) are more likely to correlate with his numbers for the last 20 or so games, or his previous year, or his lifetime stats — and what sort of variability there might be from player to player across the National League?

    Otherwise you can’t help notice that last night’s win put the Brewers in LAST PLACE by percentage points, and that our 23-17 is 6 over .500 — a season high (can we go 59-63 from here on out) — which would lead either of the other two divisions, but is only good for third in the NL Central which many people were saying was going to be one of the weaker divisions in baseball this year.


  14. theplanisworking says:

    Grilli has had an up and down career. As evidenced by last year, he is currently riding an “up” cycle. Will it continue? Dont know…………. its not like Mariano Rivera is out there. My bet is that he cools off, not a crash and burn, but cools off.

    Melancon, I think he is benefitting from a change of leagues. The batters are not familiar with him, so he is doing well because of his control. Once the season goes along, they may catch up to him.

    But what does this Hippo know?

  15. Frankie says:

    100 on each

    1 over
    2 under

  16. cmat0829 says:

    100 units please OVER on line 1 and UNDER on line 2.

  17. Jandy says:

    well said

  18. Jandy says:

    More than the Hippo lets on ;)

  19. theplanisworking says:

    Hi Jandy!

    Just got home, thought I would chime in.
    Hippos are dumb and simple creatures. I like that.

    I think thats why you and Brandie tolerate me, I remind you of a simpleton cousin, or something. ;)

  20. cmat0829 says:

    Looking at the lineup, no doubt whatsoever this is the best lineup the Bucs have put out there in YEARS. With Pedro and his power at 7, and the resurgent Barmes at 8, there really isn’t a weak spot in it. Light years ahead of even last year when you could write off spots 6-9 and sometimes 5-9 in the lineup. Marte is off to a great start, Snider makes good contact this year..Cutch is Cutch, GI Jones is very solid, Neil batting lefthanded is a tough out… Martin is excellent very disciplined and hits mistakes HARD…and then you have Pedro the Engima. I definitely dont tune out when he is at bat, which makes his inexplicable swing and miss thru 89 MPH fastballs down the middle all the more painful to my eyes. And Barmes is now a serviceable 8-hitter.

    So I know all Bucs fans hold their breath and ask if the solid start to the year is sustainable… and the answer is:

    1) offensively (YES)… Cutch isn’t Cutch yet nor is Pedro and Neil has been out a lot…

    2) starting pitching (YES) We’ve had to endure JMac and JSanchez to this point…so um, yes room to improve.

    3) bullpen (NO) too much use and law of averages coming.

    2 out of 3 ain’t bad, so I say YES the Bucs can compete to the deadline and then it all comes down to who they add… and my focus would be on adding to the bullpen (yes, bullpen)

  21. cmat0829 says:

    JHadar, I suggest any number of fantasy baseball sites where they spend a lot of time on trends and upcoming pitching matchups etc to help geeks set their lineups.

  22. Lad9 says:

    Will take the over on line 1 and the under on line 2. Both for 100 baht. Thank you playoffs. Go Buccos!

  23. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  24. Jandy says:

    Don’t confuse simple with dumb…they are MILES apart, my Hipposter friend :)

  25. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, trust me, I AM confused!!! 8-)

  26. cmat0829 says:

    Pretty clear to me Clint is losing some patience with El Toro (bigger bats and bigger swings sometimes just make bigger pockets of air)… he sat him against RHP Gallardo (and I LOVE his quote…”I’ve been watching Pedro go against Gallardo for 2 years and this is the 3rd year so I’m trying something different”) and is now bumping him to 7th (and yes, friends, that is where he belongs with Walker and Martin in the lineup)…. good for Clint. Pedro has power, got it. He is streaky, got it. He is gonna play 3B almost every day, got it and totally agree. But he also needs to adjust and learn how not to swing and miss on batting practice fastballs. The down and away, paint the black, offspeed pitch? No complaints if he whiffs at those, especially with 2 strikes. But the slightly up and down the middle or middle in 90 MPH fastballs? Can’t happen so often, just can’t. He needs to “wear that” as Clint would say.

  27. Jandy says:


  28. theplanisworking says:


  29. KJX says:

    Line 1: 100 OVER
    Line 2: 100 UNDER

  30. theplanisworking says:

    Just what we need………….. an expansion of replay in MLB………. so they can screw up even more obvious calls.

    But IF they get it right, then I am all for it.

  31. casper in a-town says:

    I’m going to take a little different stance on this one. I’m not surprised that Pedro Mendozarez is batting 7th. But given the lineup, I don’t see it as a demotion but rather an opportunity. The guys in front of him have been pretty good on-base guys as of late and I think CH is trying to give Pedro RBI opportunities. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  32. cmat0829 says:

    Don’t look know, friends (to quote Jim Nantz), but a W tonight in the “can he do it again” Liriano start, and the Bucs take a series from the BeerNuts and take a season series lead 4-3. And it would make 4 out of the last 5 against the hated Brauns.

    A winning season likely means a winning road record, a winning interleague record, and yes, a winning record against this stinky cheese of a team. Let’s get er dun, Bucs!

  33. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Whoa this is tough…….I must think of this one.

  34. cmat0829 says:

    If we have the same arrogant unaccountable human umpires and no change in MLB discipline (even making them face the media to explain calls), then no amount of replay will help.

  35. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    They are managed by stat sheets……with small sample sizes.

  36. Nate83 says:

    I’ll put 50 on the over for line 1 and 100 on the under for line 2. Thanks.

  37. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Agree JAL…The likelihood of these 2 sustaining, is slim, but not out of the relm of possibilities.

  38. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    OK…I think I made my decision.

    Line 1: 100 on the………..OVER

    Line 2: 100 on the UNDER

    Line 1 is tough, GO BIG OR GO HOME!!

  39. Nate83 says:

    I think you are correct in Grilli being up and down over his career but I also believe his recent career shows that he is more then capable of having a season that is better then a league average reliever. Over the last two years he seems to have become a more complete pitcher that makes a lot fewer mistakes. He really makes the opposing hitter work to beat him. I’m pretty certain he will regress but I am confident it will be to something that is still really good.

  40. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was really hoping that this was just a 3 game series. Happy that the Bucs at least secured a split, but I really want a series sweep.

    I hate these guys

  41. TK says:

    Line # 1 – 100 on the OVER
    Line # 2 – 100 on the UNDER

  42. NMR says:

    “Melancon, I think he is benefitting from a change of leagues”

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    Full disclosure: I’ve never faced Mark Melancon. But doesn’t his delivery seem to be difficult to pick up? I feel like there’s quite a bit of deception in the way his shoulders angle dramatically upward.

    But the things that really strike me about Melancon are movement and location. He doesn’t throw a straight pitch in his repetoire and it seems like Martin never moves his mitt. Thats got “sustainable” written all over it.

  43. Nate83 says:

    Agree. Martin has more then earned batting 6th in the line up. He may be our most clutch hitter with RISP this year. Alverez has not done enough to keep coming up in so many situation with runners in scoring position. I also have confidence in Martin to do the right thing such as sac flies, hitting behind the runner or taking a walk if needed.

  44. JD says:

    Line 1- 100 over
    Line 2 – 100 under

    Go Bucs!!

  45. Jim S. says:

    JAL: And didn’t Joe Torre actually lead the NL in hitting one year in the 70’s at about .363? He was actually a good hitter, but that was a ridiculously fortunate season. It happens.

  46. NMR says:

    You guys both nailed it.

    No amount of evidence can fix the incompetence that is Angel Hernandez.

  47. JD says:

    The Brewers are dorks.

  48. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I agree on the shoulders. Something just seems different and if I could actually find time to watch a full game or him in multiple games, I would be able to figure it out.

    Also, he throws a cutter. Designed fastball that moves. Looks good to hitters eyes, only moves a few inches, but isn’t hit on the barrel.

    My 14 year old throws one. He’s not overpowering, but had a 4 hit shutout not too long ago by living with that pitch. It moves 3-4 inches and nobody can barrel it up. Great pitch made famous by Mariano Rivera

  49. theplanisworking says:

    Heartily seconded.

    Or, as Jandy would say……………. dorktards. ;)

  50. NMR says:

    Excellent break down.

    I have no idea why people ALWAYS point out the areas that are due to regress when talking about sustainability, but rarely talk about the areas that have a good chance of improving.

    I do have one quibble, though. Neil Walker’s problem hasn’t been out of the lineup, its been in the lineup. Travis Snider gets crapped on for his lack of power. Guess who has a lower slugging percentage and ISO so far this year?

  51. NMR says:

    Is the cutter supposed to be a safe alternative to the slider?

    I can’t imagine kids at that age can generate enough spin to throw a true cut fastball.

  52. Sisyphus says:

    Coming into this season Melancon had pitched 91 games in the NL vs. only 56 in the AL. The only NL hitter who weren’t familiar with him were 2012 rookies. He might be benefitting from facing teams with no DH, but his success is not coming from hitters being unused to facing him.

    That said, I agree that he’s very likely to cool off as the season wears on. Hard to imagine him maintaining his current pace.

  53. NMR says:

    Anybody going tonight for Francisco’s first start? Looking forward to seeing this new delivery in person.

  54. NMR says:

    ” The only NL hitter who weren’t familiar with him were 2012 rookies”

    Think about what you just said.

    He faced EVERY hitter in the NL? As a one-inning-per-outing reliever?


  55. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Post of the day……

  56. JAL says:

    Torre did hit .363 but he also hit over .300 4 other times.

  57. JAL says:

    Melancon also reworked his delivery. Body not as straight an leg kick not as high. Enables him to catch corners with the cut fastball.

  58. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    2nd start, but I assume you mean 1st start at home.

  59. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    But its OK that NW’s power numbers are below TS’s. He’s not in a power position. Duh

    Total sarcasm.

    I have never viewed Neil as a power hitter. He’s a good hitter, that shows a stroke of power every once in awhile. If he ever hits over 20 HRs I’d be shocked.

    I like him in the #5 spot only because Pedro can’t handle it and he (NW) usually makes good contact on the ball………or atleast contact with the ball.

  60. radio wave says:

    A little help today, Mets beat Cardinals five – two.

  61. NMR says:

    Thus the question of anyone going.

  62. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Does anybody remember during the off season when folks complained about the Russell Martin signing?

    I don’t care if his offensive productions drops some, his defense is amazing. His ability to throw guys out, is amazing.

    So this is what a real catcher looks like, eh?

  63. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nice….need some help to climb

  64. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Understood……..just making conversation.

  65. theplanisworking says:

    I think people were complaining more about his contract. A cardboard cutout would have been better than Barajas. His defense really shouldnt have been questioned. His offensive numbers were in decline for years.

    So far it looks like a good signing.

  66. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window. Great day for the Pirates to earn another series win and gain a game on the Cardinals who finally lost this afternoon.

    Ok on to two-line Thursday…In line one we look at Clint Barmes who actually has a six game hitting streak, who would have thought that? However coming off of his last two games where he sat the night before he was 0 fer in both occasions. I will side with the odds saying Barmes and a seven game hitting streak don’t seem to go well together.

    Line 1 – 100 on the UNDER

    In line two we take a look at Pedro Alvarez, who really is feast or famine and seems to take a lot of abuse from the masses (I want to go on record saying I think he is an integral part of this team’s ability to succeed and believe he will be just fine albeit hit for a lower average than many would like and strikeout a few times). In four of the ten games he has appeared in for the month of May he has gone over the number, making him under six times. I stated I am still a believer, and I believe he will have a good night this evening.

    Line 2- 100 on the UNDER

    Thanks Playoffs and Let’s Go Bucs!

  67. NMR says:

    Our sample size of interaction did not allow me to infer that. I appologize.

  68. NMR says:

    PRNW pretty much blows up the whole theory of needing power to be a run producer.

  69. florida pirate says:

    I agree with you, when you actually go to a game and watch Martin, he is such an awesome defensive player. You almost accept whatever he can do at the plate as a bonus, and lately he’s been ripping the ball.

    Unlike future minor leaguer Pedrokkkkkk Alvarez, who is a good third baseman but when you’re at the park you can just feel the momentum STOP when he walks up to the plate with apparently a five hundred pound bat.

    I can’t believe all this BS from DK about “you can’t send him down”. Why not, he’s horrible and the arrow next to his name is red and pointing down

  70. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    LOL…that’s all I got on this one. Dude gets around as a setup/closer guy.

  71. cmat0829 says:

    Not sure why anyone would complain about the contract the Bucs gave Martin. Seems to me they paid market value. The hardest position to get plus-offensive contribution from is catcher. So yes he gets a decent chunk of our payroll, but where else were the Pirates gonna spend that $$? And let’s not let this be a start of a bash ‘cheap’ Nutting thread.

  72. cmat0829 says:

    You can’t send Pedro down because:

    1) He hit 30 HRs last year and drove in 85 runs. He has the ability to do that and more.

    2) He is best 3B option the Pirates have for this season, by a long margin.

    3) He needs to play so he can continue to develop (yes he is still growing, learning and adapting)…no fat jokes please. Oh ok, fat jokes are welcome if they are funny and original.

    4) See Bautista, Jose. Seems to me the Bucs gave up on him a tad too soon, eh?

  73. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    It is safer than a slider to throw, but I’m not sure if others’ view it as a safe alternative.

    I taught it to my son to get some movement on his pitches and it seems to be a true cutter in my estimation.

  74. theplanisworking says:

    well, they DID pay millions above what the Yankees and other teams were willing to pay. And, based on his past few years, I doubt many people were looking for huge offensive contributions from Martin, they were looking for defensive prowess, and a competent bat.

    Not any “bashing” here.
    I think based on Martins previous numbers, questioning the contract was very fair.

    So far, he has exceeded expectations.

  75. Naje says:

    NMR…. gotta scoot in a few, but posted this on last night’s game thread:

    It was announced Tuesday (I think) that a bourbon tent will be added to Forecastle Festival this year.

    If you’re around, we’ll talk about samples (sizes).

  76. stickyweb says:

    I’ll take

    100 on the UNDER line 1

    100 on the OVER line 2

    And hope the rest of the lineup carries the day. Of course with Liriano chucking it, we’ll only need 2 runs.

  77. cmat0829 says:

    You don’t know that for a fact that other teams weren’t willing to pay 90%+ of what the Pirates spent. Face it, the Bucs have to overpay to sign free agents until such time they prove themselves, but I don’t buy the fact that the Bucs paid way more than a 10% premium or so for Martin.

  78. NMR says:

    Sorry, definitely not questioning your definintion of a cutter. Should’ve worded it deifferently.

  79. NMR says:

    That could get interesting, my friend!

  80. Naje says:

    Going to leave NMR with the words right from Hurdle…won’t be back till much later to discuss. Go bucs…

    On using batter-pitcher data in constructing a lineup, Hurdle said: “It’s a useful tool. If you turn your back on it, you’re being naive.

    “We have a system analysis that’s so unique. We have player batting averages, swing and miss rates, on-base percentage, OPS, it’s all laid out for that pitcher and 15 comparables. Truth be told at times you can get a player that’s 10 for 20 off a guy in real time, and he doesn’t rank maybe in your top batting order if you were constructing one sabermetrically over the long haul. But also, you can get a pretty good feel for what that guy can do against those types of pitchers. It’s a tool, it’s a useful tool.”

    Hurdle also acknowledged that while the data may not always support playing one player over another, good numbers against a pitcher does give the batter more confidence and comfort.

  81. NMR says:

    I can respect wanting to get the most value for your dollar, especially for a team like the Pirates.

    But maybe the lesson is that you get what you pay for?

    If you’re already gonna be paying $4-5m for the Barrabbasses of the world, maybe it makes sense to dish out $3-4m more for a guy with something left in the tank.

  82. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I dont have the exact numbers, but I recall reading the Yankees, and another team offered him in the neighborhood of $14 – $14.5 MM range. So, $17MM would be really above the other offers.

    This link doesnt have any numbers in it, but it has Martin’s words on the offers………..

    And I really dont understand your arguing with me about knowing things for a fact. Neither you or I were involved, so what is your point? I am not accusing you of not knowing facts, so have a smidge of courtesy, ok?

  83. Brandie says:

    Dear Mr. Playoffs,

    Please give me 50 on the over for line 1 and 50 on the under for line 2. Thanks for all the work you do.

  84. cmat0829 says:

    RESOUNDING YES. Neal’s biggest problem (and he has a lot vying for that role) is that he doesn’t take ENOUGH RISKs… he tries to cheap out with veteran pickups like Matt Diaz and Nate MClouth and Chris Snyder and Rob Barajas and…….. much better off ponying up some more bucks but getting talent that is more of a sure thing. Great article in SI about A’s signing of Cespedes… took a big risk and seems like it will be a big reward and great ROI. Now, contrast that with the Angels idiotic granting of a 10-year contract to Pujols…. there is smart and then there is just rich and stupid.

  85. NMR says:

    “Hurdle also acknowledged that while the data may not always support playing one player over another, good numbers against a pitcher does give the batter more confidence and comfort.”

    I agree with this completely. It’s more a matter of confidence than statistical probability.

  86. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Exactly…I do think he could be a 100 RBI guy without hitting 20 HR’s. Gotta have guys in front of him.

  87. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been saying since the start of the year that, with Houston gone, we are now in one of the best divisions in MLB in ’13. Cards and Reds should be locks for .500+, we are trending in that direction, and Milwaukee is no slouch. The Cubs are hanging surprisingly well also. No lay downs in this division now.

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    Didn’t you win last night?

  89. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was able to make that determination

  90. Jim S. says:

    Good analysis, although I don’t know I am ready to say Barmes is a serviceable #8 hitter just yet. I like how he has done for the last week or so, but we’ve seen this act from him before. I will say, though, that he is very solid defensively still, and if he really did hit decently for the remainder of the year this is a solid lineup.

  91. cmat0829 says:

    I have complete courtesy in all of my ramblings so apologize if my wording of the ‘know for a fact’ came off as an accusation. It wasn’t and isn’t.

    My point is: $2.5M (17m vs. 14.5M) is about a 15% premium, so to me, it is well within reason that is the number the Bucs had to offer up to ensure Martin would sign with them. I would rake Neal over the coals if he had NOT signed Martin and the reason was that he drew the line at say, $16M and didn’t want to throw in that last $1M. Seems to me we can better spend time pointing out Neal’s inadequacies and bad decisions and the Martin signing (even at the time, not with the good early results) wouldn’t even be in the top 100 things to complain about or question. Martin is/was a proven commodity at a position of desparate need, in many facets…defensively (duh), help with pitching staff (framing pitches, etc), offense, and what isn’t mentioned but should be more veteran leadership, energy, passion.

  92. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    For the record, there is no ROI in Oakland and I will guess, without knowing the contract break down, that he will be traded in the next couple of years.

  93. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nope, not getting sent down……EVER

  94. Jim S. says:

    I don’t even know that I would label that abomination of a call that cost the A’s a tie game in the 9th incompetence. There is no way he didn’t see what was plainly obvious to everyone else. There is also no way the other guys on the crew didn’t see it when they all watched together. They should have all been suspended without pay for 2 weeks for that call. The only logical conclusion I can come up with is he did not want that to be a HR for some reason.

  95. NMR says:

    Do you have anything from someone who actually knows statistical analysis to back up Hurdle?

    We’re still on two different pages if you think it means anything to me to hear Clint Hurdle talk about statistics.

    Just asking, didn’t even a little bit of you wish Garrett Jones was up with runners on 1st and 3rd in a tie game last night? Give Gaby credit for grinding out that walk, but man, that situation seemed perfect for Jones.

  96. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    As do I.

  97. Jim S. says:

    You don’t pull punches. Just get right to it.

  98. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    There will be no “gut” or any other type of feelings……this is statistics man!!!

  99. Jim S. says:

    I’ll admit to being one of those people. I thought his bat was gone after the last couple of years of decline. And I had no idea he throws out tons of guys and seems to have a knack for framing pitches better than everyone else.

  100. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    No offense taken….there are similarities to the pitches. It is a of a hybrid of a fastball and slider.

  101. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Course, that was all up in my head….

  102. DK: This has almost nothing to do with anything, but how about the person in the chat who attempted some psychoanalysis of my recent video interview with Travis Snider?

    Did you see that?

    Wanted to know if Snider or the players secretly hated me because I’ve been critical of the front office.

    Do you know how often I get stuff like that related to any other team I cover?

    Answer is zero.

  103. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Oh I did too….mainly for the bat. He batted .211 last year. Who pays that much for a .211 hitter?

    Heck, he can wind up a .211 hitter this year. I’m just very impressed with his defense.

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    I like the Gallardo quote, too. From the beginning of the year Clint has sounded different. He ain’t messin’ around anymore. Think of what he says of McDonald. He even wasn’t as forgiving with Barmes when he was going bad. Almost no sugarcoating.

  105. Jim S. says:

    Ditto on Clint and statistics. I don’t hear him ever working numbers into his statements in any sort of meaningful way. I think he talks in vague generalities, for the most part.

  106. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I got a little chuckle out of it….honestly, while I waited for the video to buffer, I thought TS looked annoyed, but after hearing it and seeing his facial expressions I realized that he wasn’t at all. Seemed to me he enjoyed talking about it.

    Though he does seem a little……..I don’t know, boring?

  107. Brandie says:

    That is part of your position, to offer critical analysis of our beloved sports organizations. If they can’t understand that or didn’t like it, that’s tough. If I wanted sunshine and an everything I is OK vibe when it’s not, I would watch the Worldwide Leader. They need to grow up and stop being such crybabies.

  108. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And that’s probably not the best word..maybe it was focused, but I would love to see some personality from these guys….

  109. Jim S. says:

    I saw it. Thought it was a bizarre question in the context of what you said about Snider.

    But, I will say, to the average fan it can seem that your job has a difficult side to it that not a lot of people would embrace. By that, I mean a lot of people do not like confrontation or criticizing, or even the appearance of either of those things. So, they may think that the players don’t get that writers have to often ask tough questions, and that the players might want to take a swing at you every time you write something about them that could be construed as negative in any way. I know it really doesn’t work that way, and the players prety much all get the relationship. But, regular people don’t write articles for publication about the successes and failures of professional athletes. So, a lot of people don’t get it.

    I think he completely missed that the critical things you wrote were not about Snider but about the organization.

  110. theplanisworking says:

    You should be honored Siggy Freud participates in your chat!! ;)

    Seriously, some people live to :

    1) Over-analyze,
    2) Cause trouble, when there clearly is none there.

    Just keep on keepin’ on, DK.

  111. theplanisworking says:


    Well put. 8-)

  112. Brandie says:

    Evening Playoffs, Jandy, Biz, NMR, Hipposter, and Every Lunatic on the face of the planet.

  113. Thundercrack says:

    What does that say about Pirate fans, compared to fans of the Pens & Steelers?

  114. theplanisworking says:

    Greetings from Hippos Pond, Pa. :)

  115. JUCOFan says:

    50 on the under on line 1

  116. theplanisworking says:

    I don’t think he was a fan, Thunder. I really don’t.

    DK: I don’t think so, either, and that’s kind of the point. There’s a segment of the Pirates’ fan base that’s either uninformed or stupid enough to think that criticism of a front office somehow equates hating a franchise.

    No big deal. Just found it interesting.

  117. Jim S. says:

    I will say that I work in a field where it is a wholesale-retail relationship, and I am on the wholesale side. So, part of my job my whole career has been to evaluate the performance of successful people by our standards. That can set up some touchy situations and ill will at times when you need to have tough conversations about their perfomance. But, it is the job. When I was young, it was not so easy to have those unpleasant conversations, then come back again to visit a few weeks later and act as if nothing unpleasant had happened the last visit. A lot of people simply do not like doing that to the point where they find other jobs to avoid it. I thought the questioner was maybe going in that direction.

  118. Brandie says:

    We call those kids “pot stirrers” and they have multiple “look at me”, “it’s all about me” moments. Reminds me of certain umpires.

  119. theplanisworking says:

    There is other blogs in town where pot-stirrers congregate.
    Let them stay there.

  120. Brandie says:

    Amen one million times.

  121. Brandie says:

    Yo Hipposter!

  122. theplanisworking says:

    How is my PR machine?

    Hope you and the hubs are doing well.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–honest, I don’t want to fight, but I have a question. I still don’t think I understand your position on the statistics. Are you saying that if Clint even bothers to look at them and gives any credence at all to them he’s wrong? I don’t think he’s saying he lives by them. It’s a “tool,” which I interpret as one of many in a toolbox. To ask another way, Is it not a tool he should be paying any attention to?

  124. theplanisworking says:

    Is that a call for Jandy?? ;)

  125. Brandie says:

    Rockin’. Just doing what is necessary to improve myself so I can hang with you all in da blog.

  126. Brandie says:

    Yes. We need The Near Ethereal One to round out our humble trio.

  127. theplanisworking says:

    Hanging with the Hippos is easy. We lay around, or swim in the Pond. Like I said, easy.


  128. theplanisworking says:

    Hippos are certainly humble. Thats why you are the perfect PR person. :)

  129. Brandie says:

    Read…Mouthy! :-)

  130. Brandie says:

    You bring me smiles.

  131. theplanisworking says:


    This coming from the animal that has the second biggest mouth! ……… first among mammals!!!


  132. It didn’t look like Snider was stand-offish in the interview. He didn’t even bat an eye when DK asked him about his long swing. The kid did a nice interview. He answered all the Q’s.

    I think the guy was just a pot-stirrer.

  133. theplanisworking says:

    MEEEESTEEEEER Playoffs, lol

    Greetings from Hippos Pond, Pa.

    I would like the following tonight……….

    Line 1 — 100 on the OVER
    Line 2 — 50 on the UNDER.

    Thank you so merry, merry much!

  134. Arriba Wilver says:

    Now Im really going to cause trouble. I wonder if Clint got some feedback from the much maligned Circle of Wisdom ( or whatever it’s called). I could see guys like AJ and Martin saying ” don’t baby these guys, they need to know they HAVE to perform.”

  135. Evan says:

    Give me 100 on the OVER on line 1 and 100 on the under on line 2.

  136. Jandy says:

    Playoffs.100 on the over line 1 and 100 on the under line 2.gracias!

  137. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think the Pirates spend every waking minute thinking about Dejan. At the morning briefing, the front office, instead of pouring over minor league reports, talk about Dejan’s Wake Up call and column-either upset about what was written about the Pirates or upset that he has devoted another column to a team in the playoffs. In the clubhouse his twitter feed and the blog is displayed on a big monitor. Instead of worrying about scouting reports and swing mechanics, Travis obsesses over the archives on the Trib’s site.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    50 OVER on line 1.

    50 UNDER on line 2 please, Playoffs.

    Hiram only gave up 4 hits and had 6 strikeouts in 7 innings against us in Milwaukee., then blew up against Cincy his last outing (10 earned runs in 3 innings). Which one will show up?

  139. cosmo says:

    Line 1 100 under.

    Line 2 100 under

  140. Pucknutz says:

    100 over on both lines.

  141. John Lease says:

    Norm Cash hit that year with a corked bat.

  142. tdb1977 says:

    100 rupies on the over for line 1
    100 rupies on the under for line 2

  143. John Lease says:

    It did make me chuckle though.

    I’m waiting for the ‘Clint Hurdle gave Dejan a noogie’ rumors to start… :)

  144. theplanisworking says:


    I am waiting for the DK joins Pirates FO rumors to start…….. ;)

  145. Dadtackular says:

    line 1 over $100
    line 2 over $100

  146. cmat0829 says:

    DK, my two cents is that some people just like to provoke and I think he/she knew that topic would strike a nerve and cause a reaction. Either that or he/she is conspiracy theory delusional but I will keep politics out of this and spare any colorful analogies of what else he/she may believe is true.

  147. JRay3 says:

    Liriano should be picking up the dinner tab tonight with the early plays he is the beneficiary of, first Martin with great throw to get Aoki attempting to swipe second and than Cutch with a Spidey-Man type catch out in center against the wall.

    The difference solid defense can make.

  148. casper in a-town says:

    While I was somewhat skeptical of the Russell Martin signing, I have to admit that he is worth every penny. A HUGE upgrade at catcher, both offensively and defensively. And on cue, he bobbles a pitch and Segura gets 2nd without a throw.

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    Marte looked safe in real time, but on slo-mo it was a good call.

  150. theplanisworking says:

    Members of the opposite sex look good in a bar in real time also.

    Not so much in slo-mo. ;)

  151. JRay3 says:

    Great stat from Greg Brown after another Liriano K, the Pirates now have 333 strikeouts second only to the Reds in the NL. The Pirates have not finished as high as second since 1983. Last led the league in 1921.

  152. theplanisworking says:

    I saw that.

    I would much rather have a strikeout pitcher than a pitch-to-contact pitcher.

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    You may be mixing up “in bad light with a few drinks” and real time. And slo- mo with the next morning. :-)

  154. theplanisworking says:

    Lights, camera, action, its all the same……… oh wait!

  155. JohninOshkosh says:

    Milo, you need to return soon.

    “Wasn’t Jean Segura in Guys and Dolls ?”


  156. Nate83 says:

    I thought it was funny as well. I also am surprised the guy in Boston is getting flack for asking a legitimate question to Ortiz. He was only doing his job and only asked how he responds to those who say his comeback is aided by performance enhancing drugs. He never implied he attributed the hot start to steroids.

  157. Nate83 says:

    Strikeouts get you out of a lot of jams. We haven’t had power arms in years. I’m going to enjoy it even if it means higher pitch counts.

  158. SeanAY says:

    What, who’s going to Forecastle?

    I’ve been considering it. Do I need to do more than consider it?

  159. Brandie says:

    Travis Snider with a stolen base!

  160. theplanisworking says:

    Where did he take it? Or was he in a hurry to get to the …… oh nevermind.

  161. Brandie says:

    Not home! Thank you Garrett Jones!

  162. Brandie says:

    Are you absolutely certain?

  163. Brandie says:

    A strike out of Rickie Weeks! Delicious! He is such a Update Killer!

  164. Brandie says:

    Update should have said Pirate. Update is not even close. Duh!

  165. Arriba Wilver says:


  166. theplanisworking says:

    Are you updating the Pirates??? ;)

  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought it was a movie I missed, or an episode of Criminal Minds.


  168. theplanisworking says:

    Update Killer, I think that is close to Cereal Killer. 8-)

  169. Brandie says:

    That does sound like a decent thriller, Update Killer. DK could star in it. If he misses a deadline, somebody pays the price.

  170. Brandie says:

    Or code word for Yinzer.

  171. Thundercrack says:

    As I mentioned last night, the Brewers have to lead the league in bone-head plays

  172. Brandie says:

    Circle of Wisdom sounds very Disney.

  173. theplanisworking says:

    No, Hippos are not certain about much !!! ;)

  174. Brandie says:

    Which I for one am grateful for. I will take whatever the Pirates can get.

  175. Brandie says:

    I mean, a beer fueled haze might even make Don Cherry look good to some. A seventies couch wears his suits better.

  176. theplanisworking says:


  177. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I am outta here.
    Eyelids drooping.

    Go Bucs!

    Hippo out.

  178. Ed says:

    O Snider!

    Where have ye power been?

    Wow! What a shot!

  179. Brandie says:

    Time to score more.

  180. Lad9 says:

    Now THAT is a long swing!

  181. SeanAY says:

    I’m all the way in Kalamazoo…but do I hear something dripping?

  182. JRay3 says:

    Travis Snider goes cannon ball, deep to right center out the stadium and the Buccos take their first lead of the night.

  183. Ermine says:

    Dripping with power :)

  184. JRay3 says:

    When Snider’s ball is retrieved from the river it will be dripping!

  185. Nate83 says:

    Clint hurdle can do no wrong. I have never been a fan of his in game decisions but he seems to be pushing all the right buttons this year.

  186. cosmo says:

    and river water

  187. Patrick(ri) says:

    Nah, it was a session with DK that did the trick for Snider.

  188. JRay3 says:

    Snider’s river ball 31st in PNC Park history estimated at 458 feet….#Crushed

  189. Arriba Wilver says:


  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    This may bring back Milo.

  191. Brandie says:

    Makes DK sound magical. The Snider Whisperer, if you will.

  192. likeabugonarug says:


  193. Ermine says:

    Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

  194. Brandie says:

    I thank you for your support.

  195. JRay3 says:

    Time for Liriano to bear down and pickup Barmes who botches an easy one.

  196. Ermine says:

    He was thinking double play, before he got his hand on it :/

  197. JRay3 says:

    Another great outing for Liriano, all of a sudden this rotation is starting to look a little more formidable.

  198. Drew71 says:

    Just joining the fun.

    I’ve been watching a Star Trek movie marathon and texting dialog back and forth with my oldest son in Manhattan.

  199. Brandie says:

    Sounds like a blast.

  200. Ermine says:

    Welcome to the fun. Liriano and Wilson bailed out Clint. Good job.

  201. Drew71 says:

    It’s all about me.

    See? Now I’m quoting you.

  202. Ermine says:

    Unlike the past, there seems to be legitimate depth to step in in case on injury or someone pulling a JMac

  203. Brandie says:

    Such a pot stirrer, but I like you.

  204. Drew71 says:

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

  205. Drew71 says:

    That’s Shakespearean for plunk a freaking brewer

  206. Drew71 says:

    Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

    Lock n load

  207. Brandie says:

    Such a wordsmith. I like you when you’re feisty.

  208. Ed says:

    Let’s add some on here. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out

  209. Ed says:

    Snider doin’ it all tonight!

  210. Ermine says:

    Snider adds another RBI :)

  211. Brandie says:

    Dripping with…wait for it…talent!

  212. JRay3 says:

    Good to see him get back on track.

  213. Ed says:

    Cutch makes it 5-1, drills a 99 MPH fastball off the plate into center for a hit.

  214. Ermine says:

    6-1 cant ever have too many

  215. Brandie says:

    Dang! Way to own it, boys!

  216. Ed says:

    GI Jones makes it 6-1. Keep tacking em’ on!

  217. Ed says:

    Still only 1 out.

  218. JRay3 says:

    I’ve got to admit it sure is nice watching the Bucs beat up on the Brewers for a change, keep piling on, blow them out.

    Best part everybody getting into the act.

    Best part # 2 with Grilli unavailable and Melancon most likely looks like we won’t need them.

  219. Drew71 says:

    Captain’s log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man…where no one… has gone before.

  220. likeabugonarug says:

    We need more of these 4 game series!


  221. Milo would be proud. He’s doubled his HR total as a Buc. Comes at a good time.

  222. Ed says:

    PRNW! 7-1

  223. JRay3 says:

    Bucs with 13 hits and five different players with RBI.

  224. Drew71 says:

    I’m always feisty.

  225. Patrick(ri) says:

    The carnage of Figaro comes to a close. Now steal some more bases!

  226. Ermine says:

    Bury them. No Mercy

  227. Ed says:

    Well breaking the curse this year would complete a long journey from the darkness!

  228. Ermine says:

    Marlins tied up the Reds. Going to the 10th 2-2.

  229. Drew71 says:

    This is the last quote of the last Star Trek movie of the original crew. Where they say goodbye.

    My son and I texted back and forth the goodbye quotes (“So. This is goodbye” and others.)

    Honest. I got choked up. Again.

    It’s a sickness.

  230. Thundercrack says:


  231. JRay3 says:


  232. Oh. I thought maybe Drew was watching Star Trek re-runs and over-did the livations. Again.

  233. Drew71 says:

    Curse smashed.

    Just like when the cubs won the World Ser…



  234. florida steeler says:

    How long can the Pirates afford to play No Hit Alvarez on a daily basis. He is not helping this team getting a hit every four or five days. He is a major albatross for being a #1 choice.
    Inge gets more hits than Pedro and so does Barmes–not good.

  235. JD says:

    What channel?

  236. Arriba Wilver says:

    As long as we’re winning, what’s the harm?

  237. JRay3 says:

    Well the Pirates are on the verge of being seven over .500 with Alvarez hitting .188 with 6 HR, 18 RBI and 13 R. His has the most power on this team and with it comes a penchant to K a bit. Inge is nowhere near the threat today Alvarez is and there is no other 3rd baseman in the system. So you keep running him out there everyday and look forward to the hot streaks when he carries the team on his back.

    It is obvious you don’t like him, but the guy did hit 30 HR’s and produce 85 RBI’s last season and he continues to be in top quarter of NL third baseman in power numbers.

  238. Drew71 says:


    Now First Contact is on

  239. Ermine says:

    The Marlins are pathetic..5-2 Reds, still batting.

  240. Thundercrack says:

    What does his draft # impact the team now? If he had the same stats but was picked in the 15th round would that be better?

  241. JRay3 says:

    You want to talk about ownership running a team into the ground.

  242. Arriba Wilver says:


  243. Drew71 says:


    Honestly. Before the game I was gonna post:

    Clint’s to do list…

    1. Get 6 run lead.

    2. Get to top of 9th.

    3. Put in last pitcher at the end of the bullpen bench.

    4. Start plunking.

    5. Have a Nice Day.

  244. florida steeler says:

    It is not a question of liking or disliking. If he wasn’t a #1 choice, with the Pirates covering themselves for making the choice–he would be in the minors. Last year is good for the history books–a #1 choice should hit better than 180–you cannot defend that BA. He is a rally killer.

  245. Brandie says:

    Gump, You’re a … … Genius!

  246. florida steeler says:

    He would NOT be on the roster if he was drafted #15!!!!

  247. JD says:

    Thanks. I’m in a hotel tonight. That will help pass the time.

  248. Ermine says:

    People complain about building PNC, with tax payer money.. Miami is 10000000x worse

  249. Ed says:

    Yeah, Loria makes Bob Nutting look like Steinbrenner.

    But hey, at least we’re not the Marlins!

  250. Ed says:

    I will say that I wouldn’t mind that Brewers offense that they’re capable of showing up in St Louis this weekend. Somebody needs to cool them boys off.

  251. JRay3 says:

    Adam Dunn is hitting .156 with 9 HR’s and the White Sox run him out there everyday. Carlos Pena hit .197 with 19 HR’s last season and had nearly 500 AB’s, is hitting .231 and run out there everyday.

    There are quite a few hitters in the game hitting low .200’s. If Alvarez continues to out up the power numbers he did last year should be able to deal with him being a .230-.240 hitter which he just might be.

  252. Eric Bowser says:

    Since Pirates broadcast seems to be all nostalgic tonight…. I’m going to harken back 20 years ago when I could throw 75 fastball with a devastating curve….

  253. JRay3 says:

    Lost in the shuffle with all the talk of how good Melancon and Grilli have been is the job guys like Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris have done, they both have such live arms and look to have backend of the pen capabilities.

  254. Ed says:

    I have to go for now.

    Think it’s safe enough to say…… Raise the Jolly Roger!

  255. Thundercrack says:

    So a #15th rounder that hits 30 homers with 85 RBI wouldn’t be on the roster?

  256. Drew71 says:

    My fastball bounced 8 feet before the plate.

    And rolled to a stop 3 feet short.

  257. Thundercrack says:

    And I am of the opinion that if his average is going to be so low he’s going to have many more productive outs

  258. Ermine says:

    Raise It !!!!!

  259. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m pretty confident, Pirates have had hitters that I could strike out… even now.

  260. JRay3 says:

    Behind another solid start from Francisco Liriano, a 3 RBI night from Travis Snider which included a river shot and 13 hits from the Bucs offense the Pirates take the series from the Brewers burying them tonight 7-1 and there was nooooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates are a season best seven games above .500 at 24-17, improve to 4-3 versus Milwaukee and are 9-5 in the month of May. The Pirates have now won their fourth four game series of the year ironically enough overcoming an opening game loss in all four. The Pirates are 3-1 on this ten game home stand which continues tomorrow night when the Astros come to town with Jeanmar Gomez slates to get the start for the Pirates.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  261. JaxBuc says:

    There is very little as satisfying (and rare) as winning a series from the Beermakers.

  262. Arriba Wilver says:

    Eric—I thought you said the only thing that mattered to you was that the Pirates beat the Brewers. The ONLY thing. They just beat them 4 out of the last 5. Shouldn’t you be happy?

  263. JRay3 says:

    I know I am…any Pirate fan should be enjoying this. First series win over Brewers at home since ’09. One by one the Bucs are putting a checkmark by things they need to accomplish.

  264. WaylonFan says:

    The question was referring to the context of noting several scouts have described Snider’s swing as “painfully long” – not a description any player would be flattered by. It was not trying to link the front office’s coverage to Snider appearing standoffish or perhaps just lacking charisma.

    General coverage of Bucs slants negative (but it is focused mostly on the front office) + a very negative & specific comment about the player being interviewed + an uncharismatic interview = is there any relationship?

    Most likely Snider wasn’t even aware of the commentary about several scouts and painfully long swing…

    DK: I didn’t use ‘painfully’ in the questioning.


  265. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m getting worried that they are being overused. :-)

  266. florida steeler says:

    Quit boring me with last years statistics and talk about this year.

  267. florida steeler says:

    What is a productive out?? Please add some intelligence to your comments.

  268. florida steeler says:

    But, he is hitting 180–stick to the facts. A 231 batting average is 50 points higher than Pedro; which is sizable.

  269. JRay3 says:

    And 36 points higher than Dunn if sticking to facts.

  270. Thundercrack says:

    How about when a batter hits a fly ball out that drives in a runner on third.

    How about when a batter hits a groundout that moves a runner from second to third.

  271. Ghost says:

    I’d be all for running some other 3rd baseman out there to see what he can do, but we discussed Pedro on this blog last week and the reality is that he’s the only 3rd baseman we have. And while I am not convinced he will contribute 30 home runs again this year, I wouldn’t doubt he goes out and does it again either. He did it just last year and unless one thinks 2012 was a career year for him, one cannot rule out another 30-dinger year with 80~100 RBI. As you can see, I’m on the fence about Alvarez and want to see much more of his body of work this year before I make up my mind if we should move on from him or tell him to get his house homesteaded.

  272. Ghost says:

    Besides, Pedro steals bases now. Two more than Lloyd McClendon.

  273. WaylonFan says:

    No, you did not – however, the question is wondering if Snider was aware of your previous coverage/context for that question. And could that help explain his appearance of being aloof and disengaged in the interview.

  274. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I personally don’t believe anybody makes Bob Nutting look good as an owner. He is the worst of the worst in my opinion, and remains a giant albatross around the neck of the Pittsburgh Pirate franchise.

  275. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’m continually called a Dodger fan on Pirate related blogs because I reside in the LA area (mainly for business purposes) AND I criticize Pirate management.
    It’s utterly ridiculous and hilarious because I HATE the Dodgers and every other LA team.
    Always have and always will….

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News