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Final: Pirates 5, Astros 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (24-17) vs. Houston Astros (11-30)

Starters: RHP Jeanmar Gomez vs. RHP Jordan Lyles

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. Gomez, RHP

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is covering.

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.

Comments

  1. JAL says:

    What is becoming the standard lineup with Tabata and Sanchez sometimes in

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    THREE-PLAY FRIDAY

    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 INNINGS PITCHED by Jason Grilli this weekend against the Astros
    Line is 1.5

    Line #3
    Total WINS by the Pirates this weekend against the Astros
    Line is 2.5

    Good Luck!!

  3. Keith says:

    Gotta love that everyone’s at least a little scary until Barmes. And even he jacks one every now and then.

  4. Tim Bowers says:

    Doesn’t batting Alvarez 7th pretty much guarantee he will not see any good pitches with Barmes and the pitcher’s spot behind him?

  5. Keith says:

    I’ll take the OVER on Barmes.
    The UNDER on Grilli.
    The UNDER on wins. 2/3 is fine with me,

  6. Keith says:

    Just depends; he’s a LH hitter, so they will still worry about that.

  7. Bizrow says:

    Well here we go again.

    Line 1 – 100 OVAH (sooner or later, Barmes has to get a hit)
    Line 2 – 100 UNDAH (two blowouts where we don’t need him)
    Line 3 – 100 on Sweepsville (OVAH)

    Think I will also go buy a powerball ticket tonight, probably have better luck with that than my picks ;-)

  8. NMR says:

    Does anyone know how to quickly get combined player stats and/or team stats from a given position?

    I’ve been critical of Hurdle for starting Snider or Tabby a few times, then benching one in favor of the other for a few games mainly because I didn’t perceive either player as particularly good in that limitted role last year. But so far this month it seems they’ve produced. I’d like to see what the numbers say.

  9. Kevin says:

    Line #1: 100 over
    Line #2: 100 under
    Line #3: 100 over, come on sweep.
    Mr. Playoffs, sir. Please and thanks!

  10. NMR says:

    Fair question, but at this point I think the book on Pedro is written.

    He’s not gonna get a lot of fastballs or anything inside no matter where he bats.

  11. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Just so everyone knows, I’ll update the standings at some point this weekend.

  12. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I need you to put a unit “wager” on all those.
    Thanks.

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    If the Pirates win against the Astros on a Penguins Playoff night, will Dejan acknowledge it? (Twitter doesn’t count)

    DK: You’ve noticed a difference between the wins and losses?

    Go on …

  14. Thundercrack says:

    I think the book on Pedro is that a lot of times he doesn’t hit the good pitches anyway.

  15. Nate83 says:

    I think it is a misconception that pitchers pitch around the 7th or 8th batter to get to the pitcher or a really bad 8th batter. Wouldn’t they be best served to get the third out and start of the next inning with 1 or even 2 “easy outs”. I’m sure there are situations like 2nd and 3rd and two out with the 8th batter up were they walk that guy or pitch very cautiously to him. I just don’t think it happens as much as a majority of people think it does.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    Good question

    It may depend if more people show up at PNC Park than watch the Pens game outside on the giant screen.

    #freeshirtfriday

  17. Nate83 says:

    Survey says brief mention of it. Today seemed almost like a fun little jab thrown at those on Wednesday complaining about lack of comments about the Pirates game. It achieved some wild roundhouse returns which are entertaining to read all while DK was probably sleeping. It’s the old throw a grenade (or in this case no grenade) and disappear.

  18. John In WM says:

    I love this idea! I’ll play along, if you don’t mind.

    Line 1: 100 Over.
    I figure he’ll get a knock.

    Line 2: 100 Under.
    He’ll save one of the two wins. They’ll have too much of a lead in the other win and lose one.

    Line 3: 100 Under. The Astros are awful, but they can’t lose them all. No way will they go 11-151. ;) Besides, as good as the Bucs are doing, that’d give them a six-game winning streak, and they’re due to drop one at some point.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ron Cook has said that anything less than a sweep against the Astros is a failure because they’re so bad. That is ridiculous to me. I think guaranteeing a sweep of any team is a fool’s errand. (Didn’t Drew say the Pens would sweep the Islanders? Point made). :-)

  20. JAL says:

    Not sure what you want but as a starter Jones is .296 BA .330 OPB .509 SLG with 5 HR and 21 RBI

    Sanchez is .254 .366 .525 with 4 HR and 12 RBI

    Jones has started a few games in RF

  21. Thundercrack says:

    That’s crazy talk because Cook is going crazy working with Vinnie

    And yes, good point about Drew :-)

  22. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–ummm, OK, if they win OR LOSE against the Astros on a Playoffs night, will you acknowledge it? Better?

    DK: Easy answer: I will not. 1. I’ll be really, really busy. 2. No Wakeup Call on weekends.

  23. Nate83 says:

    That is a ridiculous statement. Houston just beat the Tiger and they will probably win 54 games which is about 1/3 of their games.

  24. NMR says:

    Completely agree.

    The game of baseball is simply too random to expect that success against anybody, especially from a team as flawed as the Pirates.

  25. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Line 1: 100 over

    Line 2: 100 Over

    Line 3: 100 Under…

  26. We had trouble with some of their pitching last season. You can’t guarantee anything in baseball, let alone a sweep. Although everyone was looking for a no-hitter from Verlander last season and he almost got it.

    Stay focused and don’t quit and the cream will rise to the top.

    This is cliche Friday, to go along with 3-play Friday.

  27. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window…perfect night to begin the quest for taking an eighth series of the year. Pirates 7-4-2 in their 13 series so far this season after taking three of four from Milwaukee.

    Three Play Friday here goes.

    Got burned last night by Barmes who now has a seven game hit streak going. Can he make it eight? I’ll take my chances against the Astros pitching staff.

    Line 1 – 75 on the OVER

    Grilli has seen action in 20 of 41 games this year and the Bucs have not blown many people out when the win, last night was nice.

    Line 2 – 75 on the OVER

    Tough call here, the Pirates and Astros played five series versus each other a year ago and the Pirates only swept once. Tough to do and the Bucs own only one sweep on the season earlier in April versus the Reds.

    Line 3 – 50 on the UNDER

    Thanks and Let’s Go Bucs.

  28. No trees were harmed with the making of this blog.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    Astros 11 wins
    Angels 15 wins
    Brewers 16 wins

  30. NMR says:

    I’m looking for the combined production from Pirate right fielders, preferably broken down between given dates if possible.

    I would rather not spend the time aggregating the individual counting stats for each player into combined rate stats.

  31. Keith says:

    Sorry. 100 on all three.

  32. Bizrow says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOO

    ;-)

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  34. Bizrow says:

    John, what does WM stand for?

    We’re keeping a list of current residents of lunatics

  35. Bizrow says:

    Now if we lose 2 of 3, that would be the disappointment

  36. tdb1977 says:

    100 on the under for line 1
    100 on the under for line 2
    100 on the over for line 3

    Thanks again Playoffs!

  37. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    WELCOME!!

  38. Nate83 says:

    I will amend my guess to no mention of game based on new information.

  39. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    No worries. Thanks and good luck!!

  40. JAL says:

    I have RF total–.290 .357 .445 4 HR 15 RBI

  41. tdb1977 says:

    +1 definitely

  42. KJX says:

    Line 1: 100 Over – He gets a hit tonight.
    Line 2: 100 Under – One save this weekend
    Line 3: 50 Under – I would love a sweep, but I see something costing them one game this weekend. Hope I’m wrong on this one.

  43. NMR says:

    I find it interesting, relative to Pirate management, that the Astros Front Office has already had one casualty in their rebuilding process with President Tom Pistolos recently “resigning”.

    I have no idea who is in the right and who is in the wrong, and frankly don’t care. What interests me is that it seems natural for at least SOMEBODY not to agree with the rest of the group when undertaking a project as difficult and trying as rebuilding a major league franchise. Refreshing, in fact.

    For all I know, Pistolos was the voice of opposition forced out by whoever holds the keys to the Cadilac in that organization and his removal will only further any group-think going on. But at least SOMEBODY stood out with different thoughts unlike the Pirates hierarchy.

  44. NMR says:

    Wow. Pretty amazing.

  45. NMR says:

    And thank you.

  46. Thundercrack says:

    Yes Biz. But as long as Carlos Lee plays for them anything is possible against the Bucs

  47. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Playoffs or beating the team with the worst record in baseball (tied with Marlins I think)?

    Is this seriously an issue?

  48. Thundercrack says:

    I thought I read where Pistolos area of expertise was more in the acquisition of the team.
    And now that is over.

  49. NMR says:

    If that were the case then he wouldn’t be consistantly pitched offspeed on the outside part of the plate.

  50. Lad9 says:

    Mr Playoffs sir:

    Line 1-Over
    Line 2- Under
    Line 3 – Under (waffled on this one)

    All for 100 rupiah

    Thank you and Go Buccos!

  51. Thundercrack says:

    So you haven’t seen him swing and miss at all those pitches right down the middle of the plate – fast & slow ones? There are plenty of those types that he misses.

  52. NMR says:

    Team acquisition was over in 2011. It is 2013.

  53. bman says:

    @playoffs

    Line 1: 75 on the OVER
    Line 2: 75 on the UNDER
    Line 3: 75 on the UNDER

  54. NMR says:

    I don’t believe you understand the baseball phrase “the book”.

    If “the book” on Pedro was that he couldn’t hit pitches fast and slow down the middle of the plate, teams would consistantly throw him pitches down the middle of the plate.

    You and I both know that is simply not true.

  55. gregenstein says:

    Respectable numbers. I’d guess slightly above league average.

  56. Frankie says:

    1 100 over
    2 100under
    3 50 over

    Thanks

  57. gregenstein says:

    When he’s hitting well, he lays off the junk down and away. He struggles when he chases those sliders off the plate.

  58. gregenstein says:

    Agreed that is faulty logic. The statistical normal would be for the Pirates to win 2 of 3 based on their record and the Astros record.

  59. Thundercrack says:

    In my “book” Pedro swings and misses at a lot down the middle and a lot on the outside part of the plate.

  60. TK says:

    Line # 1 – 100 on the OVER
    Line # 2 – 100 on the OVER
    Line # 3 – 100 on the OVER

  61. NMR says:

    ML RF average triple slash so far this year is .256/.322/.414

  62. Thundercrack says:

    NMR, here is what I read on mlbtraderumors.

    The Astros announced yesterday that president and CEO George Postolos resigned. Postolos’ role with the Astros had little to do with baseball operations, unlike some other team presidents. Postolos “specializes in franchise acquisition,” wrote Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and his skill set no longer matched with the job description. One of Postolos’ tasks involved carriage agreement negotiations, trying to get the Astros and Comcast Sportsnet Houston into Houston homes. CSN Houston is available in “only about 40 percent of Houston’s 2.2 million TV homes,” writes David Barron of the Houston Chronicle.

  63. NMR says:

    You’re missing the story if you read that and still think he’s simply moving on naturally after the buying process was completed.

    One of Pistolos’ jobs was to get Astros games into Houston homes and he was only able to manage 40%? Would you be happy with that as the owner?

  64. theplanisworking says:

    Welcome !!!

    Please tell us where you are from, and Bizrow will add you to the list of places. :)

  65. Thundercrack says:

    WOW NMR you seem to know everything.

    But now I am confused. Which is it?

    “For all I know, Pistolos was the voice of opposition”

    ” it seems natural for at least SOMEBODY not to agree with the rest of the group when undertaking a project as difficult and trying as rebuilding a major league franchise. ”

    Or because of the cable deal?

    What is the story?

  66. theplanisworking says:

    What about Hippos?

  67. NMR says:

    I don’t understand how the two are mutually exclusive?

    Pistolos might’ve thought the cable deal was the best the team could do. Crane et al might not have. I was simply saying that SOMETHING wasn’t fall-in-line status quo.

    Contrast that with the Pirates organization who also had a Team President controlling negotiations on a new TV deal. One that many believe is not a good one. Their Team President still has a job, for some reason. The Astros former Team President does not.

    How is that out of line with what I wrote in my first post?

  68. NMR says:

    Then you should’ve probably stated that to begin with.

  69. Brandie says:

    Dearest Mr. Playoffs,

    On line 1, I would like 50 on the over. On Line 2, I would like 50 on the under. On Line 3, I would like 50 on the over. Thanks bunches.

  70. Brandie says:

    I am Brandie, The Hype Machine, and I approve this message.

  71. Thundercrack says:

    It isn’t about your first post.

    It is out of line with what information I presented after that – his expertise was with acquisitions – and then your response of “Team acquisition was over in 2011. It is 2013.” Which I took as “that can’t be the reason”

    I’m going to stick with Morosi’s reporting for now.

  72. Bizrow says:

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  73. stickyweb says:

    Let’s ride Barmes while he’s hot (I can’t believe I just typed that, both mildly inappropriate and “Barmes is hot” could cause a computer to blow up).

    100 on OVER line 1

    100 on UNDER line 2

    100 on UNDER line 3

    Thanks playoffs!

  74. Ermine says:

    Oil City, Pa

  75. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wish someone would chime in on Biz’ roll call from King of Prussia, PA. One of my favorite town names.

  76. NMR says:

    Hahaha, then maybe you should’ve actually read his entire article first?

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/astros-president-postolos-resigns-051313

  77. Karen22 says:

    1. 100 – OVER
    2. 100 – UNDER
    3. 100 – UNDER

  78. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  79. Bizrow says:

    + 1

  80. Bizrow says:

    The plus is to TC

  81. Bizrow says:

    Welcome to the nation Ermine

  82. Jandy says:

    Good job Hipposter :)

  83. blazer says:

    100 for each all on the over!

  84. Jandy says:

    Line 1 over. Line 2 under. Line 3 under. 100 on all 3 lines please Mr. Playoffs. Thankk you!

  85. Jandy says:

    No Hippos either.

  86. Jandy says:

    Like

  87. Bizrow says:

    Headquarters of the NRC, at least for our region

  88. Jason81 says:

    100 on the OVER for Line 1.
    100 on the UNDER for Line 2.
    100 on the UNDER for Line 3.

  89. Brandie says:

    Hippos…a most precious resource.

  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    What is their high school’s nickname ?

  91. Drew71 says:

    As Dejan once wrote following a Steelers loss when he had predicted a win…

    But they SHOULD have swept. So it counts and I’m right.

    There.

    I’m not Dejan but he predicted this post.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    Vikings. Upper Merion High School.

  93. Milo!

    Where’ve you been? You missed some good over-use discussions.

    :D

  94. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Milo.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve been here. Just eavesdropping.

  96. Someone, please, help me regain a healthier perspective on Pirates fans than those I’m hearing from in recent days. Some of them are just turning my stomach.

    And no, I won’t elaborate.

  97. Patrick(RI) says:

    That ought to keep the lunatics in line . . . for awhile. We all like motherless children, of late.

  98. OZ says:

    Line 1: Over
    Line 2: Under
    Line 3: Under

  99. MadTurk says:

    IF he did it would have been wrong

  100. Brandie says:

    DK,

    I appreciate what has been going on with our boys as of late. Many of us on this here blog, though there have been friendly disagreements, realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint and will appreciate each win on it’s own merit. That said’ we, just like you, will continue to offer well researched criticism balanced with praise when and where each are due. Hope this helps. Thank you for all of your hard work.

  101. JAL says:

    Jose Contreras on bereavement list (death in family). Jared Hughes recalled from Indianapolis.

  102. JAL says:

    Well, I did post a pragmatic response to Grilli-Melacon yesterday but on the game thread, not the morning thread.

  103. cosmo says:

    line 1 – 100 over
    line 2 – 100 under
    line 3 – 100 under

  104. Patrick(RI) says:

    Well put, but there are many of us who need a better balance between reason and “grenades.” Present company included. Baseball, a statistical sport, leaves lots of room for analysis and argument, but there should also be room for lots of fun.

  105. Drew71 says:

    Imperialists, I hope.

  106. Still a 0.00 ERA for Hughes, although he did give up 3 hits in one inning the other night.

  107. I doubt seriously if he’s referring to you, JAL. I would like to know what he’s talking about, though. If he’s talking about some of the FO talk, I guess I’m to blame on that one.

  108. Missed your input.

  109. Drew71 says:

    Here’s a suggestion for a healthier perspective.

    Just refer to them as jerks. But not as Pirates fans. Because they certainly don’t reflect on the other 99.982% of us.

    And block the jerks from your twitter account. That’s good for your health, too.

    DK: Agreed, Drew. Believe me, it’s happening.

  110. Dadtackular says:

    line 1 over 100
    line 2 over 100
    line 3 under 100

  111. Brandie says:

    Even better!

  112. Joey Mellons says:

    Line 1 100 over
    Line 2 100 under
    Line 3 100 over.

  113. JAL says:

    Oh, I know he wasn’t referring to me. Just pointing that a baseball fan, me, made a pragmatic post.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thanks for having my back the other day. It was very much appreciated.

  115. theplanisworking says:

    Senor………………

    please give me 100 Henrietta Hippos on the following………

    Line 1 ……….. OVER
    Line 2 …………OVER.
    Line 3…………UNDER.

    Thank you :)

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    Simple. Read us here. :-)

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was to DK.

  118. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with Drew’s advice. But if you don’t provide some details DK, I really have no solid idea what you are talking about.

    And then I see you post this on twitter:
    “Just nauseating. You want to talk about #Pirates being great, terrible or whatever, bring it in September and October. All else is hot air.”

    What does that mean? No talking about the Pirates?

    I don’t really know what contact or interaction you are having with ‘fans’. But you are a sports columnist whose job it is is to give your opinion. And you don’t hold back. Your opinion on this team included negative opinions a few of the players that are doing well – or have done well recently. So if some ‘fans’ are feeling that they should remind you of that, well that is unfortunate but it is all within being a sports columnist who is on ‘social media’. So you don’t want to find a new job, but maybe scaling the ‘social media’ part back a little…and taking Drew’s advice.

    I may be all wrong. Or the barista at Starbucks may have slipped you decaf.

    DK: Check rest of timeline. Has nothing to do with enjoying what the Pirates are doing. Nothing at all. Everything to do with all the finger-wagging. It’s obnoxious, and it’s immensely unjustified after a quarter of a season.

  119. theplanisworking says:

    :)

  120. theplanisworking says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA !!!!! :)

  121. theplanisworking says:

    Double like.

  122. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You ma’am ! ;)

  123. theplanisworking says:

    Welcome back, sir.

  124. theplanisworking says:

    DK…………. I apologize if I am contributing to your heartburn.

  125. JHadar says:

    Meanwhile Robbie Grossman (remember him?) has doubled and scored the first run for the Astros.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    CUTCH with a HR !!!

  127. JHadar says:

    Much better

  128. JRay3 says:

    Somehow after watching Lyles labor through 32 first inning pitches, it feels kind of empty to just get the one run.

    Time for a bounce back inning from Gomez.

  129. Keith says:

    (From Pirate fans:) We mostly just want the team to win. We would rather blame the management than the players when they lose, because it’s in the players that we hold out hope. We don’t like hearing many negative things about the team, so sometimes we take it out on the messengers. We often have pie-in-the-sky hopes and predictions. (But, hey – did you hear the kinds of things Sparky Anderson used to say about the likes of Chris Pittaro? And he was a professional manager!) Some of us are even such diehard baseball fans that we don’t even like being reminded that other sports exist (in Pittsburgh, even!) during baseball season. I don’t know – we’re mostly all right. Mostly. Don’t give up on us yet!

  130. JRay3 says:

    Talk about efficient, Gomez only 36 pitches thru 4 IP, has retired 10 in a row. He continues to look very sharp in the 5th starters spot of rotation.

  131. Brandie says:

    Wow. The world is just chugging along. :-)

  132. Officer Mancuso says:

    If each comment addressed the point at issue (say, “Pedro was the worst first round pick since Adam”), and steadfastly declined to delve into the posting history of the person to whom you’re replying, we’d be a merrier band of lunatics. I myself have broken this proposed habit of thought repeatedly, but will try to abstain from further vi spent a few moments wondering why the less pleasant moments here happen.
    This is a delightful blog, and we’re here to cross swords about what’s entertainment to everyone except DK and the athletes and organizations.

    Go DK’s blog, lunatics, Pens & Pirates!

  133. Guess I’m a little thick. What exactly does that mean?

  134. Officer Mancuso says:

    Hopefully you can parse the point my senile Android garbled at “abstain from further violations having spent….”

  135. radio wave says:

    Astros radio just described the last play as a Pittsburgh comedy of errors. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  136. florida steeler says:

    Are you serious????

  137. Karen22 says:

    Playing down to the competition. Disappointing so far. Geez!

  138. theplanisworking says:

    Last year, the Bucs were supposed to beat the Cubs and Padres handily. I believe we lost 7 in a row. Or was that 2011? Cannot take any team for granted.

  139. Karen22 says:

    True that.

  140. radio wave says:

    Gomez is not helping the bullpen if you cannot get beyond five innings every time he starts.

  141. Patrick(ri) says:

    I was just thinking that, but bit my tongue. On the other hand, we looked comedic in game one of a couple of series this year and shook it off.

  142. Patrick(ri) says:

    What is the verdict on Iron City Amber? Commercial makes it look good.

  143. JRay3 says:

    They would know, they watch it everyday.

  144. JRay3 says:

    Pirates have stung quite a few balls with nothing to show for it. Astros pen makes this a game within reach.

  145. JRay3 says:

    Bucs cash in on the gift E9 and Jones in scoring position with nobody out after ripping that double, time to get right back in it.

  146. Officer Mancuso says:

    Pens 4 Sens 2 & if the Bucs can chase Lyle my money’s on our bullpen & our batters.

  147. Thundercrack says:

    I think Bob Walk needs a vacation already. And he should be forced to listen to his broadcasts

  148. Jandy says:

    we’ve missed you Milo.

  149. Ermine says:

    Need Gaby to come through. I hope that thrown-away run doesn’t come back to haunt.

  150. Jandy says:

    +1000000000

  151. Jandy says:

    makes two of us Spunky

  152. Ermine says:

    Ugghhhh

  153. Bob Hasis says:

    Another stupid call by Clint (Low) Hurdle to have Neil Walker bunt, and blunt a great inning.

    Worst manager in baseball; go have another wad of gum.

  154. Bob Hasis says:

    Or was it a swinging bunt?

  155. Ermine says:

    I hope that’s not finger wagging..I’m not sure what is appropriate

  156. tdb1977 says:

    Did the Pirates put that many cardboard cuts in the stands and pipe in a lot of crowd noise tonight or is the stadium that packed? Looks like a decent crowd tonight.

  157. theplanisworking says:

    Nice hustle play by Mercer.

  158. Ermine says:

    Yeah, its unbelievable. How can that many people, in Pittsburgh, live without watching a Pens playoff game.

  159. Ermine says:

    easy Inning

  160. JRay3 says:

    Great crowd tonight…even with playoff hockey game in town.

  161. Ermine says:

    29,000 and change

  162. JRay3 says:

    Pirates outdraw Pens, news at 11

  163. Ermine says:

    Finally gets the K. Two more shots to get three runs.

  164. JRay3 says:

    Leadoff single by Walker from right side of plate even…promising start to the 8th.

  165. JohninOshkosh says:

    No problem.

  166. JohninOshkosh says:

    Like this.

  167. Ermine says:

    Walker on 3rd with one out..get him in

  168. Ermine says:

    PEDRO !!!!! WOW

  169. tdb1977 says:

    WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  170. JRay3 says:

    River Shot El Toro that is why Alvarez is out there….Two run bomb! 7th HR 20 RBI’s…tie game!

  171. Patrick(ri) says:

    Perhaps DK would give up his day job and manage this team?

  172. JRay3 says:

    Alvarez haters quiet now….most power on this team bar none. Multi-hit night for Pedro.

  173. tdb1977 says:

    I will trade the strikeouts that he has for shots like that any day of the week. The power that he has is absolutely incredible. Yes, I know he is maddening to be a fan of, but when he sends them that far and that long to tie a game up, WOW!

  174. Patrick(ri) says:

    Nice to see him get a key hit at a key time. Very nice that the Astro mgr preferred this matchup.

  175. tdb1977 says:

    Alvarez – 468′
    Snider – 458′
    McCutchen – 438′

    All in the last two days!

  176. JRay3 says:

    Alvarez shot estimated at 462 feet 10th longest in PNC history.

  177. Ermine says:

    Stargell was just as maddening. Im not saying he’s Stargell, but yeah.

  178. JRay3 says:

    Martin gets another runnerre trying to steal second and Wilson just overpowers Grossman, how about a walk off!

  179. Patrick(ri) says:

    Can you call another one?

  180. Ermine says:

    I’ll buy that

  181. Patrick(ri) says:

    Best bunt ever!

  182. Ermine says:

    Do you have him run?

  183. Bob Hasis says:

    OK bunt NOW

  184. Ermine says:

    Just a fly ball.

  185. JRay3 says:

    Cutch with third hit of night, runners at the corners one out….Inge just get it into OF.

  186. tdb1977 says:

    Anything but a double play Inge. Anything but a double play wins this game.

  187. Ermine says:

    Can you believe that??

  188. tdb1977 says:

    Walker with a really good chance to win this game.

  189. Milo Hamilton says:

    The only fitting way for this to end is on a balk.

  190. Ermine says:

    Wild pitch or a walk

  191. tdb1977 says:

    How about a HBP?

  192. Ermine says:

    Everything changes now…

  193. Steelag70 says:

    Walker you stink this year!

  194. Ermine says:

    Raise it !!!!!!

  195. tdb1977 says:

    OH MY!!!!!!! Did that just happen???!!!!!

  196. Milo Hamilton says:

    … or that.

  197. JRay3 says:

    Behind a Pedro Alvarez game tying river shot and a game winning runin the ninth inning on Astros error the Bucs score a come from behind victory over the Astros 5-4 and there was nooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates improve to a season best eight games above .500 at 25-17 and are 10-5 in May. It is also the Pirates first four game winning streak of they year. The Bucs will look to take the series against Houston tomorrow night with their ace AJ Burnett set to take the mound.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  198. theplanisworking says:

    Nice to be on the winning run on a Bad News Bears play for a change.

    Raise the Jolly Hippo!

  199. Patrick(ri) says:

    This could be the year. Sick.

  200. Lad9 says:

    Raise it. Wow the 62 Mets live on in spirit. Amazin!

  201. Patrick(ri) says:

    +3

  202. Raise it! We’ll take ‘em any way they give ‘em to us.

  203. Brandie says:

    Nice to see you again, Mr. Milo.

  204. Ermine says:

    Are the Stros really that bad?? Carter game them TWO runs with bonehead plays.

  205. MadTurk says:

    Ditto

  206. Dom says:

    Eight Above!!!

  207. radio wave says:

    Yes

  208. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    If the Pirates make the playoffs by one game, this will be one to look back at.
    Wow!….lol.

  209. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Just an FYI…

    I have been informed by Mrs. Playoffs, that tomorrow afternoon and evening I am to attend a party for one of her co-workers.

    If the game thread for the Saturday game is not up by the time I have to leave, I will post the daily line right here.

    Just need one of you kind souls to re-post it in the correct game thread for me.
    Thanks in advance. You all ROCK!!!

  210. js63 says:

    Many have said that last night’s game reminded them of ways the Bucs have found to lose in recent memory, and I totally agree. But, I think the hardest thing to take if you are a fan of the Astros – or more importantly for us, a fan of the Bucs for all of those similar losses – when that happens in Game 1 of a series it always seemed to pave the way for those Bucs teams to be swept in a series. In other words, when you are an inexperienced and not overly talented club, you know you are going to get smoked in at least one of the games of a series, maybe 2. So, when you have a close game within your grasp, you need to win it to avoid disaster. Losing that first one in close fashion can really set the stage for a bad weekend, which is what I hope will now transpire for the Astros. It is nice to be on the other side of the majority of those types of games now.

  211. js63 says:

    Huh? The guy was out for 2 weeks with a lacerated hand, and has actually had some very good at bats since he’s been back. If you are referencing his 9th inning at bat, I would agree with you that he seemed to be out of kilter on basically every pitch. Almost like he guessed completely wrong every time (looking off-speed and getting fast ball & vice versa, looking outside and getting busted inside, etc.). But, he came up big on Thursday, and he started the tying rally in the 8th with a line drive single to LF.

    I’m not saying he is tearing it up this year, but he’s not that far off considering he has missed a lot of action. I think he’ll get back in a groove in the next few weeks.

  212. js63 says:

    I will throw out a random thought about Marte. A lot has been made of the fact that he needs to improve his plate discipline, draw more walks strike out a bit less, etc. to get his OB% up and be a true leadof hitter. I don’t disagree with that, but something i have noticed is that this guy is a very quick study. He does not have the extensive experience that a lot of American kids have at his age, so he has had to pick things up on the fly in the majors rather than draw from as much experience. Anyway, one thing i like about him is that while he seems to be working to draw more walks when they are available, he is #2 in the league in HBP. I think he knows his job is to get on base, and while he is learning the art of working pitchers deep into counts and drawing walks, I think he takes inside pitches for HBP so much because he is a team player, and sees that as a way to get on base. He could easily turn away from some of those pitches like a lot of guys do. But, he takes it on the arm or side and probably thinks of it as a way to supplement his low walk total. Anyway, just thought I’d throw that in. I really love the way that kid plays, and I feel he is just scratching the surface. He seems to really absorb and learn from everything.

  213. Patrick(RI) says:

    +1 for this and your last post. Excellent!

  214. js63 says:

    Chicago, IL.

  215. js63 says:

    Thanks, Patrick!

  216. js63 says:

    Yeah, this year we have an impact batter in LF, a much better hitting catcher, a better platoon partner for GJ, and both guys in the RF platoon are doing their jobs well of late. I have been very critical of NH over the years, and a lot of the mistakes he has made continue to haunt the organization for sure. But, I think an objective, fair person would have a hard time saying that the moves he made last off-season have not paid off more often than not so far this season. I am not trying to get into the whole argument of whether people are for or against the ownership and management. It is fair to say we have not had great representation in those areas for a long time, and I will leave it at that. I am just a Pirates fan who wants things to get better, and for the first time in a long time I feel like not only do we have a good team in Pittsburgh, but I believe we are starting to develop impact contributors for the future again. I don’t care who gets the credit or why it is happening. I’m just happy with how I think things are going.

  217. Bob Hasis says:

    Do you know what Stargell’s lifetime BA is, or his AB to K ratio?

    Pedro’s power is AWESOME, but he needs to understand plate coverage and the strike zone way better than what he has shown. And must hit .270 – at once in a while

  218. Bob Hasis says:

    at least once in a while

  219. Bob Hasis says:

    Wouldn’t you just like to see him hit a pitcher’s pitch instead of only hitting a pitcher’s mistake – again at least once in a while?

  220. js63 says:

    I think maybe they are growing up a bit. Platoons are hard to accept and adapt to for young players, I think, because they are still figuring out to succeed and they are accustomed to playing every day. Maybe Tabby is finally maturing, as is Snider. Or, maybe they are just on a decent streak at the same time. I guess we’ll see if it continues as the season goes on. Two years from now, hopefully, we are going to have the most athletic OF in MLB. At least, I am hoping that is the case when G Polanco arrives.

  221. js63 says:

    Good question. My take would be I don’t think so, as long as the guys in front of him get on base. If he comes up with a couple of guys on base and less than 2 outs, teams will have to go after him.

    I think when Cutch gets in one of those streaks where he starts ripping the ball every time up (which I think he may be embarking on right now, BTW!), if he gets up in the first with 2 outs and no one on, he gets pitched around to some degree. So, it could happen anywhere in the lineup if the guys in front of you are not getting on base.

  222. js63 says:

    I will say I think the large majority of his focus will continue to be on the Pens during the playoffs, as it should. Now, if the Pirates are in the NL playoffs in Oct when the Pens break camp, I think you will see DK reverse it to 90/10 in favor of the Bucs. Maybe we’ll finally find out this year.

  223. js63 says:

    Excellent point. Sweeps are difficult, no matter the competition. Houston may not be a good team, but they will average a win per 3-game series this season.

  224. js63 says:

    I think Nolan Ryan’s son took over, right? I also think Nolan is somewhat on the “outs” or at least semi-retired with Texas now. I wonder if there is some sort of agreement for Nolan to mentor his son if/when he officially retires from Texas.

  225. js63 says:

    Well stated, Keith. I would add some of us love all 3 of the Pittsburgh teams, but no one can love all 3 equally. For whatever personal reason, we probably are all drawn a little more to one team over the others. But, we still love them all. And some of us may even allow our favorite of the 3 to take somewhat of a backseat for a few weeks early in its season to focus more of our attention on the one making a playoff run at the moment. Once that run is over (hopefully with a Cup celebration) we shift almost all of our attention to another team. Others of us choose to do it a little differently, and that should be fine with everyone.

    I also think that as Pirates fans, if we have lived long enough to remember the glory years of our youth, we are hanging in there for the last 20 years while getting our teeth kicked in locally and nationally year after year. Every time we get our hopes up, or start to believe the future will be better, we get sand kicked in our face. But, we continue to hang in there, and in my case, sometimes we get a bit defensive. I’m not one of the ones who is overly exuberant after 1/4 of the season, but why not be happy about what these guys are doing and where they may be headed over the next few years?

  226. js63 says:

    I don’t know exactly what finger-wagging is. If it means taking the best 1/4 of a season in 20 years and saying the Glory Days of Stargell and Clemente are back, well that’s just insanity on the part of any Pirates fan. If it is about somehow putting the Penguins or Steelers down, I don’t get that either. We should be disliking the Reds and Browns and Flyers, not the other teams in our city. I would think 90% of die hard Bucs fans are also serious Pens and Steelers fans.

  227. js63 says:

    And Wandy won the other night. I hated losing Grossman as well, but we got a solid pitcher for him.

  228. js63 says:

    JRay:

    Your remark was prophetic, as it turned out! I love it!

  229. js63 says:

    Hopefully, we only need a few more starts from him. We seem to keep finding a way to win when he pitches, although I agree with you, radio, that even when he is pitching well he does not eat innings.

  230. js63 says:

    Officer:

    Your comment is why I like to look back the next day at the in-game comments. You were so right!!

  231. js63 says:

    1-5 start + 24-12 = 25-17.

  232. Thundercrack says:

    On Wednesday and Thursday nights I posted that the Brewers have to lead the lead in bone-head plays.

    .
    They have some competition

  233. js63 says:

    Definitely. But, the Astros excuse is they are young and learning. The Brewers have a lot of veterans. Personally, I thought the Brewers would be better than they have shown so far. I guess I see all those high batting avgs and power, and I assume they can just bludgeon teams. But, I don’t think they catch the ball well and their bullpen is bad, bad, bad. And, as you say, they make a lot of bone-headed plays. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of guys IMO.

  234. Bob Hasis says:

    Just did a little research on Yahoo, about the fielding prowess of our beloved Barmes.

    The findings are, he is last, tied for last, or is next to last in all of these categories;
    putouts 29, assists 92, errors 5, double plays 17, fielding pct. .960 and the one which I knew all along RF (range factor) LAST at 3.77. (I don’t know the basis for this evaluation

    The arms were rated A,B,C,D,E,F, and Barmes-like. (This is my ad lib to conclude a serious revelation with some humor).

  235. Thundercrack says:

    While watching the game this thought came to me: Bo Porter seems to be using a lot of relievers. I know he needs wins but is he over-managing.

    They had Thursday off, but I wonder what will happen if there are two more long close games this weekend.

  236. Bob Hasis says:

    Follow-up; I think it is about time that the team “bite the bullet” for the remainder of the money we will owe Barmes, and just go with Mercer as far as we can, keeping Barmes out of harm’s way – ON THE BENCH.

    BTW he also has 25 k’s

  237. JRay3 says:

    A lot of quality posts added today @js63 have enjoyed your takes.

  238. cmat0829 says:

    Have to admit I love the blog, post now and then and love to read it… but I really don’t “dig” some of the ‘energized’ back and forth on things that don’t really matter… and most of the time I have no real idea what all the energy is all about… case in point, DK’s posts about “finger-wagging at the quarter point”…no idea what that refers to.

    I’m a Pirates fan, and fan is short for ‘fanatic’… so I watch every game, hope for 162-0 record, am happy when they win and upset when they lose. I think I’m a realist but very much the optimist, i.e. not predicting losing records at the start of every year but winning ones and playoff competition. Suffice to say I’ve been wrong for about 20 years now…and yet, I do the same the next year. That’s part of what being a FAN / fanatic is all about.

    You can keep your fair-weather, come out when the team is in 1st place only to say ‘told ya so, they suck’ when they fall out of contention lot…those aren’t FANS. That describes most of the fan bases in Phoenix and many other cities like that…Pittsburgh is / should be different. Fans stick with the club, win or lose (or lose embarrasingly for 20 years running).

    Sorry for a long Saturday morning post, but seems to me the one group that isn’t finger-wagging or overplaying the good start is Clint Hurdle and the Pirates. He continues to rotate players in the lineup, sit Pedro and Garret against LHP, etc… he isn’t satisfied with where the Bucs are and nor should any of us be. No finnger wagging but at the same time, 1/4 into the season is more than a mirage. This club can contend/compete and needs to add at the deadline.

  239. cmat0829 says:

    Thanks for your opinion, but just the same, I’ll stick with Barmes who plays a very good, professional defense and is hitting very well the last month… not the time to see if Mercer can handle SS at the major league level… thanks again for the input though.

  240. cmat0829 says:

    Porter made some ‘rookie mistakes’… he lets Wright hit (forget what inning) so he can stay in the game to face Walker (and presume Alvarez after Martin)… he gives up a base hit to Walker and then he pulls Wright. I think that is the inning Alvarez hit the b-b-b-BOMB to the water… makes no sense…if it wasn’t important for your left-hand specialist to face Alvarez then pinch hit for him.

  241. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Need one of you kind-spirited people to re-post this for me in the Saturday Game Thread. Thanks in advance!

    SATURDAY GAME LINE

    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.

    Tonight’s Line
    Total RUNS SCORED by the Pirates in tonight’s game
    Line is 6.5

  242. js63 says:

    If the thought is Mercer is the guy at SS next year, then I would like to see him be a starter more often this season – 3b, SS and the occasional start at 2b. He can already out-hit Barmes now, or at least it would appear so. That means Barmes needs to significantly out-field him to be better overall. By the info. Bob H provided above, there is at least some question about Barmes being the better defensive SS right now, although I would probably side with Barmes on that. We need to at least see what Mercer can do on a somewhat extended basis going into the off-season, don’t we? If he doesn’t cut it, then we need to re-sign Barmes or find someone else. I’d shoot for 50 starts or more the rest of the season if he plays well.

  243. js63 says:

    Thanks. I love this forum.

  244. Bob Hasis says:

    There is NO WAY he will be resigned, so your premise of seeing what he can do is correct.
    In filling in for Walker at 2B, he performed quite well, both ways. He also runs faster than Barmes.

    He will not fill in at 3B.

    We seem to have corrected (improved) every facet of this team -except SS. Now is the time for that.

  245. js63 says:

    I’m very late to reply to this, Bob. But, I agree with you. Pedro has the physical skills to be much better than he is. When he gets on those 2 week hot streaks we all love, he seems to go with outside pitches to LF and often with power. When he is in those prolonged slumps we all hate, he tries to pull everything. Maybe, as a lot of people say, this is just who he is. But, some guys “get it” through hard work. Ryan Howard is a guy who was a dead pull hitter with a consistently low batting avg. who could not quite break through. Then, all of a sudden, he was hitting to LF with authority and hitting 45 bombs per year. It can be done.

  246. js63 says:

    Oh, and I forgot. Stargell was mostly before my time, but I have see a lot of clips where he also went to LF with tons of power, and that is probably why he hit .270+ and even close to .300 some years. Pedro needs to adjust. He’s still young enough to do it

  247. Bob Hasis says:

    In last night’s game, his feeble attempt to catch a low through, extended that play and resulted in Walker’s error.
    Barmes isn’t blamed for Walker’s throw to the plate, just the throw he couldn’t receive.

    Barmes can usually make simple routine plays, but as a SS one MUST often make difficult plays. He can’t.

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