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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 more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

85 Comments

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

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

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

    SUNDAY PICK ‘EM 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.

    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

  5. 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

  6. 100 on the 1 hit line for Pedro please.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

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

  12. Geez, a pitcher’s duel so far.

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

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

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. No hitter gone. Shut out gone.

  17. 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.

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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.

        • 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?

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

    • 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  21. It’s raised!

  22. 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.

  23. ….fear the Bones….

  24. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

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