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Final: Pirates 1, Astros 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (25-18) vs. Houston Astros (12-31)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Bud Norris

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, CF
  2. Travis Snider, LF
  3. Garrett JonesRF
  4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Michael McKenry, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Locke, LHP

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

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: Lineup changed to reflect Andrew McCutchen’s late scratch due to knee soreness. Marte originally was to have the day off.

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. Drew71 says:

    Another game on May 18? I used to love doubleheaders.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Congratulations to W&J Baseball; Top Showing in School History!

    Stolen and edited from the Washington & Jefferson College web site…

    Presidents’ Baseball Season Ends At NCAA Mideast Regional

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – For the second-straight season, fifth-seeded Washington & Jefferson College saw its season end at the hands of No. 2 Marietta, the two-time defending national champions, as Marietta earned a 6-2 victory Saturday at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional.

    W&J (33-12), playing its third game and 37th inning in just over 24 hours due to 15 and 13 games, placed third in the regional, the top showing in school history. The Presidents’ 33 victories this spring were the fourth-highest, single-season total for the program, and the furthest they have advanced.

    Congratulations Presidents! Sorry to see the historic run end, but WHAT A SEASON. One in which W&J Captured its NINTH PAC Baseball Conference Championship and earned an NCAA Automatic Bid.

    Can’t wait for next season.

    And for the graduating seniors, thank you and very best wishes.

  3. Thundercrack says:

    “I ain’t changing nothing,” Burnett said. “I went seven innings. What do you want?”

  4. Thundercrack says:


  5. Arriba Wilver says:


  6. Arriba Wilver says:


  7. Drew71 says:

    Hey. He went 0-2. With a SO.

    Tell him to Man Up and hit the ball.

    Go ahead. Tell him.

  8. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    BIG THANK YOU to Lad9 for re-posting for me yesterday. YOU ROCK!!


    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.

    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    Total HITS by the Pedro Alvarez in today’s game
    Zero (EVEN ODDS)
    One (EVEN ODDS)
    Two or More (DOUBLE ODDS)

    Good Luck

  9. Lad9 says:

    My pleasure. You do all the work. I will take a flyer on Pedro today and throw 100 units on 2 hits or more. Thank you. Go Buccos!

  10. Brandie says:

    Mr. Playoffs,

    I would like 100 units on 2 or more, please. Thank you.

  11. JD says:

    Pedro is heating up. I’d like 100 on 2+ hits. Thanks.

    Lets Go Bucs. Pens too!

  12. JAL says:

    Lineup change

    Marte 8 Snider 7 Jones 9 Sanchez 3 Walker 4 Alvarez 5 McKenry 2 Barmes 6 Locke 1

    McCutchen scratched with pain in right knee

  13. Brandie says:

    Thanks for the update. Time for the rest of the team to puck him up.

  14. Brandie says:

    Pick him up…too much hockey on the brain.

  15. blazer says:

    100 on the 1 hit line for Pedro please.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    I have to conserve my energy today do I can be awake for The Final Word.

  17. Jason81 says:

    Seems like a good time for Day-dro to make an appearance. 100 on TWO or MORE please!

  18. Karen22 says:

    Very cool! Congrats! Jeff Mountain was my son’s asst. coach at John Carroll University his freshman season – left for the head W&J job the following year and has done a wonderful job with that program. And Marietta was the bane of JCU (and always all of D-III baseball), too.

  19. Karen22 says:

    75 on ONE, please.

  20. radio wave says:

    That playoffs: I will take 75 on one hit today. Thank you

  21. cmat0829 says:

    lets roll the dice… 100 on “Two or More”.

  22. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window, time to take a series today.

    Out and about for lil ones birthday but wanted to squeeze this in.

    25 on ONE hit

    Thanks and Let’s Go Bucs.

  23. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Since tonight be their BASEBALL edition.

  24. cmat0829 says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how Clint is handling the team so far this year… No doubt about it, Marte’s plate discipline has been bad the past few games (he chased pitches outside and around his eyes at least 3 times)… would’ve been great to give him a break and to ‘reset’ to the approach he has used so well this year.

    Love his comments about AJ — AJ is great and as a veteran deserves the benefit of the doubt, but it is not even debatable that he has been inefficient in his starts. Instead of him saying “I ain’t changing nothing”, I would prefer something like “I’m a leader on this team. My pitching approach is pretty much set at this point in my career but I will do what I can to be more efficient and save the bullpen because that is what this team needs most from me right now.”

    I also think Clint is doing the right thing dropping Walker to 7 spot when he hits right-handed… I see a noticeable difference this year in that the obvious glaring issues Clint is addressing aggressively…in year 1 and 2, he would generally (at least outwardly) ignore those things and trot out the same lineup over and over again.

  25. cmat0829 says:

    Oh, and I submit last night’s game tape as Exhibit A in the “Jordy is not as good defensively as Barmes at SS” trial that so many bloggers seem to want to take to the Supreme Court. Anyone want to submit counter-arguments? Didn’t think so.

  26. Bob Hasis says:

    What a pathetic flip to Walker. A DP that went unrecorded

  27. Bob Hasis says:

    A one-hopper to SS who gives a “lollipop” to Walker who then has no further play

  28. theplanisworking says:

    cmat, are you saying he is as good, or isnt as good?

  29. cmat0829 says:

    If you think Mercer right now is better defensively than Barmes then I won’t waste any more text on you. Thanks and good day.

  30. theplanisworking says:

    I thought we were playing the Astros?
    With those orange unis, they look like the Giants.

  31. Arriba Wilver says:


  32. Thundercrack says:

    And you don’t give people much of a chance or time for the counter-argument.


  33. Bob Hasis says:

    cmat has no idea what he is saying or what a good SS is!!!

  34. Officer Mancuso says:

    Geez, a pitcher’s duel so far.

  35. Reading says:

    A base hit would be nice. A continuation of yesterday.

  36. Officer Mancuso says:

    According to the MLB box score, after 4, the Pirates haven’t hit a ball in the air.

  37. Reading says:

    Wrong team.

  38. Reading says:

    The Pirates have a few popups (not sure how many).

  39. JRay3 says:

    Where would the Bucs be I this series without Pedro? Alvarez line drive HR opposite filed, his 8th HR of year and gives Bucs the lead.

  40. Reading says:

    No hitter gone. Shut out gone.

  41. Officer Mancuso says:

    And that dinger sneaks him above the Mason Dixon, er, Maginot…no, the Mendoza line, with a .203 BA. Good thing they don’t count practice swings or he’d be hitting .002. The man does have pop, and pop ain’t nothing, just ask Dr. Pepper.

  42. Officer Mancuso says:


  43. Officer Mancuso says:

    Locke continues to impress. This is the most efficient outing from a Pirates starter in recent memory, 6IP, 2H, 2BB, 78 pitches. The luster would be brighter were these not the hapless hardballers from Houston, but this is another brick in an increasingly noteworthy wall of work from Locke.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    Greg Brown and Steve Blass commented at the beginning of the game (on radio) that they have never seen Locke with so much confidence. Not when he first came up a few years ago and not in spring training. They said he is really confident out on the mound and acting like he belongs.

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep, and as a onetime critic, I am happy to say he has proven me wrong, and been impressive.

  46. Officer Mancuso says:

    Every batter he faced in the top of the 7th was getting a third look at him, and with the double play, he put them down in order. I cringe when I’m rooting for even an experienced ace on his third pass through the order. Something’s happening here (cue Buffalo Springfield).

  47. Officer Mancuso says:

    Amazing the difference confidence makes, when you have a potentially winning skill set.

  48. JRay3 says:

    You always see him sitting next to AJ on the bench seems willing to learn and continue to work on his craft, certainly making things difficult for management in the next few weeks when Morton and Karstens are ready.

    He has a great track record in the minors, glad to see that start to carry over at this level for him.

  49. Thank heaven for decent pitching. We haven’t exactly torn the cover off the ball this series against the vaunted Astros’ staff, other than Pedro.

    Any word on the severity of Cutch’s sore knee?

  50. Thundercrack says:

    When McDonald sat beside AJ all the time he seemed to have more confidence too.

    And yes AW, I know you have told the story of seeing one of Locke’s early starts and he was getting hit – and seemed to be looking into the dugout waiting to be taken out.

  51. JRay3 says:

    Melancon bounces right back and goes a perfect 1-2-3 in the 8th aided by a great running grab by Marte in CF.

    Like how CH throws Melancon right back out there. Also nice to see the starters starting to go a little deeper in back to back seven inning starts.

  52. JRay3 says:

    Behind the superb pitching of Jeff Locke who goes seven innings allowing just three hits, another Pedro Alvarez HR which was the only offense the Pirates needed and Jason Grilli who notches his 17th save of the year the Bucs take their second consecutive series this time over the Astros with a 1-0 victory and there was noooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates return to a season best eight games above .500 at 26-18, 11-6 in May and 5-2 on the current 10 game home stand. The Pirates return to action after an off day on Tuesday night when the Cubs come to town to begin a three game set. Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to make the start in the opener.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  53. Dave G says:

    It’s raised!

  54. Drew71 says:

    Sitting in the Sandbar in Cocoa Beach, almost on Cocoa Beach, watching sports as well as some very interesting people. Women with lots of ink sure do like to show it. No matter where it is.

    I did mention IS a beach bar, didn’t I?

    Some “old” guy, maybe 40, walked by with a jersey with his name on the back.

    Drew Doggy Dog

    Decorum keeps me from writing the jersey’s #.

    But you can probably guess.

    The Cocoa Beach (powerboat) Grand Prix just ended, about 300 feet from here.

    There. That makes this a sports post.

  55. pattonbb says:

    ….fear the Bones….

  56. Officer Mancuso says:

    If I accurately recall the consensus of preseason Pirate prognostications, the hitting would come through, but the pitching staff was suspect. Right now Karstens and Morton as “plan
    B” look pretty good.

  57. Officer Mancuso says:

    Good to see.

  58. Officer Mancuso says:


  59. Karen22 says:

    And it was a BIG ONE!

  60. Officer Mancuso says:


  61. Tom P. says:

    Isn’t it the third straight series: last weekend 3-1 vs. the Mets (away), earlier this week 3-1 against the Brewers and now 2-1 against the Astros. If the Pirates can win the series against the Cubs, that is a very nice 7-3 homestand.

  62. Officer Mancuso says:

    Yeah but you can’t get flourescent green relish on a hot dog, and here in Chacago, we wonder how you can go on living without that.

  63. Drew71 says:

    Just finished fish tacos. Got the order in before 4:00.


  64. JRay3 says:

    You are correct, on the season the Bucs are 8-4-2 in series this year, 8-2-2 since losing first two to open the year.

  65. Your wife with you?

  66. Did I read the boxscore right? McKenry threw out 2 runners?

  67. Officer Mancuso says:

    Sounds like a good topic for an interview. Did Martin or Searage teach him something, or is hpicking it up on on his own?

  68. Brandie says:

    Well, color me surprised. Someone is willing to develop new tools to enhance his game? Wow! Awesome!

  69. Brandie says:

    Thanks Officer.

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    He sounded happy and relaxed, didn’t he? You decide . . . :-)

  71. Drew71 says:

    That’s a great Q and an even better follow up

    She’s 160 miles west

    And I’m VERY relaxed

    Almost comatose

    Heading to Nolan’s Irish pub, which should finish the job

    By the way…all these places are walking distance…so it’s for my health

  72. js63 says:

    It is total pkg (offense + defense) that matters. Barmes is better with the glove, but who is better when you put it all together? I’d like to see Jordy get spots starts at SS/3B/2B (250-300 total ABs) for the remainder of the year to see what we have for next year. If he fails, then we re-sign Clint or find an alternative.

  73. js63 says:

    I keep hearing how he doesn’t have good enough stuff, but he has now allowed 21 hits in the past 37 innings. The Astros only hit a couple of balls hard all day. I know he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, but he seems to get a lot of groundballs – or, at least he did today. I hope he keeps getting better. We certainly need it.

  74. js63 says:

    Excellent point, Officer!

  75. js63 says:

    I liked Pedro’s approach today. Talk about going to left with power, which is when I always feel you can tell Pedro is locked in. If he sees the outside pitch well, he goes to LF. Otherwise, he tries to pull them, and whiffs or rolls over to become DoublePlay-Dro. But, he is looking good now. Not only did he swat that ball inside the pole for a HR, but he very nearly went yard late just a little left of center. And, he drew a walk. All of these are signs of good Pedro lurking! I sense a Pedro roll, just when the rest of the offense is scuffling a bit.

  76. js63 says:

    Yep, yep. I think the Bucs have purposely slow walked the Karstens recovery, knowing they can only get 120 innings from him at most. If he gives us 18-20 healthy starts, that would be great. And Morton is getting stronger and stronger, Officer. I think James MacDonald’s days in the rotation could be numbered. Same with Jeanmar. I’m ok with that, as I think a healthy Karstens and Morton are stronger options.

  77. Thundercrack says:

    I’ll bet she feels the same. Very Relaxed.

  78. Drew71 says:

    She has the four incontinent poodles.

    I’m in an Irish pub.

    I think not.

  79. Drew71 says:

    I’ve been down this road two seasons too often to trust a good first half.

    I’ll enjoy it but not quite ready to sign in blood.

    At least not yet.

    In other words, not quite yet an Absolute Lock.

  80. Thundercrack says:

    On the radio broadcast they kept mentioning that McKenry has been putting a lot of extra early work with Bannister.

  81. 21sthebest says:


  82. Jim S. says:

    That’s fair. We’ve all been burned the last 2 years. But, this just has a different feel to me this year. I hear you, though, and don’t disagree.

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