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Final: Tigers 6, Pirates 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (31-19) vs. Detroit Tigers (28-20)

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. RHP Justin Verlander

Time: 1:08 p.m.

Site: Comerica Park, Detroit

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Travis Snider, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett JonesRF
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, DH
  7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  8. Brandon Inge, 3B
  9. Clint Barmes, SS

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 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.

396 Comments

  1. Hearing lots of moves today

    Tabby to DL
    Harrison up
    Morris down
    Zagurski up

    All i have for now

    • Oh, and Karstens to 60 day DL which pretty much ends his season

      • Yeah, the decision to bring him back certainly seems like a waste now. Wasn’t there talk about shoulder trouble when they let him walk in the offseason?

        Such a shame. I’m a big fan of the guy. A pitcher’s pitcher.

        • I’m still glad they signed the fellow

          Not sure this completely ends his season though, just the move to the 60 day DL, that is

          • 60 pushes him through June and July. Then has to rehab so at best might be ready by late August or September

          • Why are you still glad they signed him Biz?

          • According to Travis, 60 days means 60 days into the season. Does not mean 60 days from the point he is moved to the 60 day list. Since he is already on the DL, it just stretches out his return date from 15 to 60 days from the day he was put on the 15 day. And since that starts with the first day of the season, there is no DL for spring training, this would make sense.

            Kevin

            • That sounds more encouraging on Jeff. I would hate to see him be shut down for the rest of the season. I still think we could use 100 starter innings or 60 long relief innings from him.

        • I hear you about Karstens. I wonder what happened. I thought he was throwing well. They could really have used him. Now, they really need Morton to be healthy and solid.

    • Am I the only person who doesn’t get the multiple chances for Harrison? He plays very hard, and he’s probably a great kid. But, I don’t see what he brings at all – especially if we continue the Brandon Inge experiment.

      • He made a big impression up here in the recent series against Pawsox. Paper carried a photo of “phenomenal” play at shortstop and he hit an impressive and important HR.

        • I think he’s a AAAA player, with poor plate discipline, little power and hasn’t proven he can handle MLB SS. But, I hope he’s better this time around. Some guys need a couple of chances to stick, and maybe Harrison is one of those guys. But, I suspect he’s just a guy Clint likes for some reason and so he gets more chances than most kids. Clint even gave him a bunch of horrendous starts in RF last year during the playoff chase. I think we are past that point now, fortunately.

          • Do we have any sticks down in AAA?

            Don’t know who else they could have brought up except Sanchez and you don’t need three catchers plus Inge on the 25 man

      • Looking at the Indy Stats my question is Matt Hague versatile enough to handle a utility infield position — because after that the cupboard looks pretty bare; and from what I can see of the outfielders (if its Tabata to the DL you have to look at that) — Brett Carroll has an interesting line .254/.346/.470/.817 — suggesting power and plate discipline but with a typical drop in average for coming up to the big leagues I’d have to put him in the not quite ready category; and then I just kind of like Felix Pie — saw him with the Cubs in the past and he had a good spring training.)

        I’m trying to figure out why they want an infielder to replace an outfielder. Can Harrison play outfield too? Best I can come up with is the real plan is to get more time for both Sanchez and Jones.

    • Looks like an extra lefty move. I would take Morris over him any day.

      • I like Morris, too. He has proven he can deal with MLB hitters pretty well, and should only get better. I think maybe they want to see what they have in terms of lefty options, as Watson continues to hang pitches over the heart of the plate in most appearances. Maybe Zagurski needs to be given his release on 6/1 if he doesn’t get a shot.

      • Same here on both Morris and Harrison. Presley or Pie would have looked better. Hope that NH isn’t trying to show how smart he is by over thinking this. I kinda liked the roster makeup as it was. And are they really going to bring back the elderly McDonald from his rehab stint this week? Please no.

    • What happened to Tabata? I thought it odd he had not been given a start of late.

  2. Need one of you to re-post this in the Monday Pirates game thread for me. Thanks in advance.
    MULTI-LINE MONDAY
    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 Pirates batters in today’s game
    Line is 5.5
    Line #2
    Total STRIKEOUTS by Pirates batters in today’s game
    Line is 11.5
    GOOD LUCK and THANKS!!!

  3. Lightly salted pork on the smoker. With some additional indirect heat, it will be ready in 4 hours.

    Putting out some twice baked garlic-asiago potato skins as an early snack, along with some hummus and lentil salad. Along with pretzel-pita garlic chips and my favorite for dipping, raw portobello slices.

    La Fin Du Monde, Brooklyn Double Chocolate Stout and Kentucky Bourbon Ale in the cooler.

    Around two or so, I’ll make guacamole.

  4. Both for 100

    Line 1 – over

    Line 2 – under

    Thanks

    Happy Memorial Day to all.

  5. I do not understand the Harrison move either. Today is a pitching rehab Monday, McDonald goes at noon in AA. Morton goes at 6 PM tonight for Indy.

  6. McDonald off to an awful start. Walked first two batters, gave up three run homer.

    • Just read that, too. JMac has a long way to go to get back to this team.

      • The hits just keep on coming, first the news on Karstens and now further proof of how far away JMac is.

        Puts more pressure on NH to possibly find another backup arm if team continues to be in race, not much to count on past Morton and Cole and not sure how much longer Gomez can continue at his pace.

  7. McDonald is out of the game in less than one inning pitch.

    • Ugh.
      They should just tell JMac that he should just concentrate on pitching. Don’t be worried about when he’ll be added back to the major league roster. Tell him he’s going to be there a while

  8. Just heard on the pregame show that Zagurski had an ‘out-clause’ in his contract. It was June 1.

    • Thanks for that info, makes sense now have to see what they have especially given his K/BB ratio and performance at Indy.

  9. Absolutely, positively HATE… HATE… decision to demote Bryan Morris just because Mike Zagurski had an out clause in his contract. Zagurski does nothing for this bullpen and Morris was pitching well in his role.

    I realize this is probably a short term thing but this is just stupid.

    • He’ll have an even better “out clause” if he serves up anything in that late inning role–an “out-the-door clause”.

      We’re not used to that and we don’t need it at this point. Sanchez and JMac are not here and starting anymore and we’ve pretty much owned the late innings with who we had.

      Maybe they think he can be better than Watson has been.

    • Like CH just said on pre-game they need to get a look at Zagurski, his numbers were very strong at Indy, gives pen some different balance. Stated Morris pitched well, very professional job.

      They have a feel now what Morris gives them and I’m sure he will be back. My thought is with Watson having ERA around six and back to giving up runs when he is out there maybe they need to assess if they have another lefty option.

      With the way team is playing I think this is a smart move to see what pieces you have and help identify what you may need as year progresses. Right now not sure Watson can stick and with only Wilson virtually a rookie as a lefty option may need other LHP options for pen.

    • As JRay mentioned, I suggest you listen to Clint on the pregame show. He said Morris didn’t pitch himself off the team but he also wants to see Zagurski here and see what they can do with 3 lefties in the pen.

      Plus Clint did mention earlier this year, when guys have minor league options left it is valuable for the team to utilize them.

  10. Starling Marte out of lineup with migraines, Inge in at third, Alvarez now DH.

  11. GOOD GOOD GOOD move to bring Zagurski up and see what we have. He is a strike-out LHP and has performed well in Indy. As to Morris, he will be back.

    You need to think longer term on this, Morris has options, isn’t in the top 4 options in the pen (and I think Mazarro personally is the 5th option, for those scoring at home, Grilli/Melancon/Watson/Wilson/Mazarro)…. I think eventually Contreras might go if he can’t show better command and Morris comes back up, but we need all the bullpen depth we can get so let’s see if Zagurski has what it takes. And besides the Braves are salivating at adding a LH reliever, so maybe we can flip Zagurski for something useful if need be.

  12. Nobody seems to get a migraine when Dillon Gee pitches. Except Terry Collins maybe.

  13. Good to see Harrison dancing in the dugout.
    I feel better about our chances already.

    Bit jealous he dances better than I do……………

  14. Walker lines a triple to CF…

  15. McCutchen sacrifice fly to RF to bring in Walker but outstanding throw by Torii Hunter.

  16. That a way to square one up Walker, crushes one to base of wall in center for a triple. Need any runs we can get early and hope Liriano can match Verlander.

    And with that great AB by Cutch getting sac fly, 27th RBI and 1-0 Bucs.

  17. Productive out!!

  18. 2 batters in, Pirates are flashing the leather

  19. real nice piece of hitting by Russell Martin taking high pitch to RF for single.

  20. wow… horrible call by umpire… if Verlander gets that call all game, long day for Pirates hitters.

  21. The home plate may have a cookout to get to. Wide strike zone. It doesn’t look like he’s having a good day at work so far

  22. Is that Cabrera line for real?!…..385….14 hr…..57rbi & 41runs

  23. Now Neil Walker joins the leather club…

  24. Before claiming left-handed reliever David Huff off waivers from the Indians, the Yankees asked the Pirates about Mike Zagurski, writes George A. King III of the New York Post. The Bucs said no, however, and selected Zagurski’s contract this morning after transferring Jeff Karstens to the 60-day disabled list.
    ———-

    Just saw that on mlbtraderumors

  25. Interesting. Time will tell on that one. Guess Cano wasn’t available.

  26. w/ runners in scoring position
    Cabrera 32-H and 46 RBI in 75 PA’s
    McCutchen 11-H and 15 RBI in 58 PA’s

  27. great defense by Yo Gaby Gaby

  28. These shifts are inane. That was a routine ground ball to the 2nd baseman.

  29. If you ever wondered why Pedro might be sat against a right-hander, his last 2 at bats show why some right- handers eat him up. Two weak swings at off-speed and watch the fastball.

    • He got behind 0-2 and the ump seemed to give Verlander an extra couple inches on the strike zone

      • The ump does seem in awe of Verlander. i hope somebody can prove wrong, but it seems as though Pedro hits .250 with power againstvweak pitchers and .100 w/o power against the rest.

  30. I thought I was safe going with the under on the 11 strikeouts.

  31. Uh-oh…here come the Tiger bats…

  32. Nice job by Liriano…

  33. The Pirates offense is a guaranteed cure for a struggling pitcher.

  34. Stuck with Yahoo! Sports play-by-play screen, my attention is drawn to the pitch counts. Both pitchers are cruising — less than 10 pitches per inning. We need to get Verlander to work harder. Snider’s hit just helped. But only if it’s the start of something.

  35. Verlander had allowed 17 earned runs in his last 3 starts covering only 12.1 innings.

  36. Wow….2 K’s of Miggy today….impressive…

  37. Wonder how this game would change if the umpire called it the same both ways ?

    • Or if we didn’t shift?

    • Not an excuse, but the strike zone has been vastly different for Verlander as compared to Liriano.

      I remember watching Greg Maddux pitch and how upset I would get at the strike zone he was given, sometimes reputation precedes you with the guys behind the plate.

      • I was thinking the same thing. The pitch before he struck Cutch out to end the 7th was low and Verlander couldn’t believe he didn’t get it. Neither could Wehner.

  38. And there is the game winning hit folks…

  39. Can’t give that third run, Snider has to play that ball better.

  40. Another shift hit/run. Should be an easy roller to the 1st baseman.

  41. Nail in the coffin right there…

  42. Liriano was clearly not sharp today. But he got no help at all from the plate umpire. Unlike his mound opponent who on most days needs no help.

  43. Cutch flips bat after walk, as even Tigers announcer were commenting on Verlander body language after pitches he does not get, wonder if Cutch noticed.

  44. Well, we’re down by three, but we still have 4 innings left. Cutch drew a walk. Just keep making Verlander work and see what happens.

  45. The Tigers bullpen has been awful, FYI.

  46. Pirates 6-9 hitters today 0-8 with 6 K’s.

  47. Go Cutch!

  48. Too many “swing-and-miss” hitters in this lineup. It will be the biggest obstacle in continued improvement.

  49. Today’s lineup

    Tigers – 6 hitters w/ .300 average or better
    Pirates – 5 hitters w/ .250 or worse and 0 .300 or better

    • & none of the Tigers can run and they are all butchers in the field. I’m not saying we are better than them, but they have 3 guys who equal our entire payroll and we have a better record than them.

  50. Verlander, with that fastball, outstanding curve, and slightly bigger strike zone than the standard on, is really really tough to hit

  51. Nothing like Jimmy Anderson getting the call

  52. Zagurski found all the good buffets and wing joints in Indy

  53. Lousy Liriano showed up today…

  54. A lot of talk about team chemistry, but one thing management definitely needs to look at is getting another legitimate bat into this lineup.

    With all the power arms in the system this maybe the time to deal from a position of strength.

    • I’m afraid it’s going to take more than one legitimate bat too go where they want to go…NH doesn’t believe in trading for impact bats, remember??

    • It’s when we play games at AL team parks that we get exposed. Our answer to the DH is to put Inge at third so that Alvarez can DH. But if we trade away some of blue-chip pitching prospects and/or Jeff Locke, where do we put this “bat” we’ve acquired? Can’t put him at third. And since we won’t be trading for Joey Votto or Albert Pujols to play first, I kinda like the results of the semi-platoon Hurdle has been using there.

      • How about SS??

        • How would Manny Machado look in this lineup?

          • Thought of that, myself! See if he can play short. But no, that ain’t gonna happen. Orioles are far too well run these days to let that one get away.

        • A shortstop with a power bat that also would be good enough to replace Barmes’ plus glove would be too expensive. Though I am theoretically in favor of becoming “buyers” by the trade deadline, this is only if somebody is doing a salary dump and we can get a steal. Otherwise, the kind of bat we need will cost us too much.
          (Somebody else’s) salary dump or pass.

      • Yeah, it is as much of a disadvantage for NL teams going to AL parks and needing a DH as it is for AL teams having their pitchers bat in NL parks.

  55. This may be the beginning of Verlander returning to form. Probably is.

    But remember when Roy Halladay shut the Pirates down earlier this year with 1 run in 6 innings ? He came into that game with a 6.04 ERA. The ESPN guys were breaking it down and saying Halladay’s back & all’s well in Philadelphia. His next 2 starts (which turned out to be his last 2) he lasted a total of only 6 innings & allowed 17 earned runs.

  56. Snider!!!

  57. Nice job by the Lunch Box. He ripped that. Bring him in Neil!

  58. Hmmmmm…maybe Verlander is not returning to old form…lol.

  59. Walker with nice rip and Bucs give themselves life as they will have some chances against Tiger pen.

  60. Leyland does not want to go to that bullpen.

  61. Impressed by Snider (triple) and Walker (double) to make it 4-3 game and now McCutchen to the plate against Verlander.

  62. I have Walker for my fantasy team too…glad to see he’s coming around.

  63. Verlander has a higher ERA than any of the 5 Pirates starters.

  64. I’m not an expert on how to frame pitches but the Tigers’ catcher doesn’t seem to be very good at it

  65. Uggh!!! No “Clutch Cutch” this year….

  66. Verlander now at 110 pitches (if I can trust Yahoo!). Even Cutch’s K was productive in that it made Verlander work. Whole new ballgame.
    And this Snider at leadoff thing is kinda working out. He ain’t no Starling Marte, but gotta give Clint credit where credit is due.
    Any Bob Hasis sightings, anyone?

  67. Contreras in…uh-oh…

  68. Nice to see old friend American League Francisco Liriano return!

    5 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks. Bases populated, 4 runs in, with only 2 K’s.

    Welcome back, Francisco! There goes the Cy Young Award that Clemson Travis has been calling for you.

  69. And we give a run back…

  70. just got home..What is Hurdle thinking bringing Contreras in??

  71. I think we have seen enough of the Jose Conteras experiment.

  72. Who out there wishes this had been Bryan Morris in there right now ?

    • But, Contreras, like Inge, Old McDonald, etc. brings “veteran leadership.” Don’t you know that is what wins games more than talent?

      • Hurdle has gotten Bucs to 31-19 and you are complaining about him?!?!?!?!

        It wasn’t Hurdle who signed Contreras.

        It wasn’t Hurdle who brought Contreras up to the big leagues.

        • Who complained about Hurdle? He’s done most everything right, but as long as you mention it, yes I think he does have a blind spot for old guys (McDonald, Inge, Contreras). I don’t know whose call Contreras was, but I doubt Huntington said he’s coming whether you like it or not and he better pitch in pressure situations. I think CH has mostly pulled the right strings this year, and for that matter, for the first time so has NH. I’m just Contreras has been awful before today, and should not have been put in the game down 4-3.

    • +1

      Just terrible, team battles back and than has to stand out there and watch this over the hill pitcher walk FOUR guys, enough is enough.

    • Pirates get Neal’d with decision to keep Contreras over Morris….obvious Pirates place more value in keep someone that makes Jimmy Anderson look like an athlete than winning a baseball game today.

  73. Why would yo send down a seemingly competent pitcher in Morris to keep Contreras in the team. Contreras has to go.

    • Jonathan Sanchez all over again, refusal to give up on him is beyond me

    • Really! There’s losing, and then there’s one guy just totally handing the other team the game just when you’re team fights it’s way back into it. I guess there is a limit to how long you can pitch effectively in the major leagues. It’s 45, or whatever is one year younger than Contreras is right now.

  74. Please take Contreras out!!

    • Hurdle should kill two birds with one stone and go ahead and release him right now also. “Let me have the ball, please. And, BTW, you won’t be flying home with us.”

  75. Sends bad message to rest of team when more deserving guys are shipped out to hold a spot to hanger-ons.

    Here’s hoping management sends a message and we see another immediate move.

  76. They scratch back in it, to let it slip back away. This is hard to watch.

  77. Tigers radio crew says you just do not see these type of things in MLB.

  78. Contreras will be gone soon. Pirate roster spots aren’t Halloween candy anymore. This game is annoying though. They have/had a chance to win a road game started by Verlander. Maybe this is Hurdle’s way of finding out about Contreras.

    • If that were the case, they would have not sent down Morris and left Contreras up here…

      • One major blindspot with almost every manager in MLB is that they have a soft spot for old guys. No other way to describe it. They look at all the numbers for all the players, and for old guys the numbers just don’t matter.

  79. +1 ….. Painful

  80. Borrowing from the Mets announcer, I think it was: the Pirayes shoul trade Contraras to Seattle and the could get a new Pirate for an ancient Mariner!

  81. Let get those runs back. It’s bleak, but not over.

  82. Good job Watson…

  83. No reason Contreras should be on this roster. Add his salary with that of Jonathan Sanchez and the 40 year old shortstop that can’t hit over .100 and you’ve got 3mil wasted by a team that claims it has no money to go after players at the deadline. You can add Karstens into that mix as well.

    • Pirates let Karstens walk and then brought him back at a very cheap rate. It was a very reasonable risk worth taking and Karsty still may prove valuable to us down the stretch.

      • Karstens was just moved to the 60 day DL…

        • But, from what I read to day it is not 6- days from today. It is retroactive to the first game of the season. I don’t know when he’s coming back, but I read it doesn’t have to be 60 days from now.

      • I didn’t say that Karstens was not worth the value. I was at 3mil wasted before I mentioned Karstens. This isn’t a team that can afford to waste money; and they have already wasted 3mil plus the 1+ mil on Karstens. Lets see how that goes over at the trade deadline when the team says it has no money to acquire a player. For all the good moves like Melancon, Martin etc they are quickly offset on this team because the supposed lack of funds.

        • Yes, I was only speaking of Karstens, who may or may not pan out for us. But I just think it was a wise signing at the time, especially after letting him walk when it looked like it would take more to sign him.
          As for the “supposed lack of funds” you mention, I don’t disagree. The FO and Bob Nutting should not let figures in the range you mention be the sole impediment to acquiring a live bat, if one is available. That is, if every thing else in a given trade’s equation is already making sense…

  84. What a great way to bolster a young pitchers confidence. We’re sending you down because Contreras is a better pitcher. Wow.

  85. Yeah, give Pedro a shot at a weak pitcher!

  86. You guys are a little cruel on Ol’ Man River. Yeah, he probably put this game out of reach. And yeah, he needs to be replaced. But we’re talking about the end of a man’s career here. At least treat a man with a little more dignity when you tell him it’s time to go for good.

  87. Steelag,
    You are our good luck charm. Every time you dismiss our offense they make something happen. Keep up the good work! ;)

  88. Wow…Gaby has TWO hits vs righties today?? I need to play the lotto!

  89. Morris should be thinking that when he is a veteran he will get the same benefit that Contreras is getting.

    They seem to be waiting for Contreras to regain his control…and he hasn’t found it yet

    • That could be true, but not in a one run game, on the road. There are better spots.

      • Our starter was out after 5 innings. The only “long man” is Mazzaro and I think he pitched yesterday. People have been worrying about the pen being overused.

        You have to pitch him sometime

      • Exactly! If Searage, Clint & NH think he still has decent stuff, then get him a few innings with less pressure and see if he can get his control back. Otherwise.

  90. I will smile so broadly that you will all see me through the computer screen if Inge gets a hit here to tie this up!!

  91. I don’t believe what I just saw.

  92. Pinch “runner” ?

  93. Welcome back Josh

  94. WTF??? Harrison…geeeezzzzzzzzz

  95. Cut Harrison….not to triple a but out of the pirates. Maybe Inge can drive him away.

  96. And Josh Harrison was contemplating a big lead why?

  97. What a horrible sequence of events, no excuse for Harrison to get picked off second, Inge has 3-0 count and K’s looking.

    The team finding every way to not win a game that has been winnable today.

    • Can’t win them all and they have found ways to win games they should have lost. Not going to be the end of the world

      • Definitely not, but have squandered quite a few chances in a game many didn’t give Bucs a chance in at all.

        • I think we are still just a few guys short at the end of the roster, and it is magnified in a game we play in the AL with a DH. But, there are less holes than every other of the last 20 years. Not over yet today, either.

      • Yes…but at some point, if you see yourself as a contender and improving team, these things cannot happen. I don’t see the Reds and Cards doing these things.

        • How many Reds and Cards games do you watch beginning to end? Telling me in the 60+ games they each will lose this year that they will not have made some bone headed plays that cost them? C’mon.

    • Remnants and reminders of the last 20 seasons!

  98. I thought Torii Hunter was done . . . . I thought he was a bad sign for the Tigers.

    I was wrong.

  99. John McDonald wouldn’t have been picked off

    :-)

  100. For the number of balls that Snider has hit that have been near miss HR’s maybe the comment should have been “dripping with warning track power”

  101. Phillies won game off chapman the other day despite pinch runner cliff lee getting picked off 1st before back-to-back homers, so I’ll keep the faith for the 9th

  102. These umps are a bunch of homers

  103. Watson gets Cabrera to swing and 1B umpire doesn’t ring him up.

    That’s unacceptable.

  104. Wow…3 K’s of Miggy today….impressive.

  105. I think what your seeing with how bad the umpires have been is proof of how steroids impact the game. Wait… its the players that were using steroids not hte umpires. Nevermind!

  106. Ok let’s light up Mr Valverde!

  107. Grande is the Tigers answer to Marc Andre Fleury.

  108. Why does Leyland get a pass in this town.. he was still under contract when he abandoned the team. Then shortly after went to Florida.

    • Because he had seen the team through previous blow-ups and rebuildings and then saw the writing on the wall that it was starting all over again.

      • A contract is a contract

        • “A Contract is a Contract.”

          Obviously you have NOT been paying attention to sports in the last 15 years!

          Ask James Harrison! Ask John Russell. Ask Michel Therrien! Ask High Octane! Ask the New UCLA coach!

          • Justifying bad behavior with more bad behavior isn’t a compelling argument..None of those people ended up being folk heroes in this town.

            • I reject that it was bad behavior by Leyland to in essence say, you know what? Get somebody else to do your dirty work for you. I’ve already paid my dues.
              Leyland is highly regarded, both in Pittsburgh, and around the country, for being a great manager. You’re certainly entitled to disagree. But count me among the many who appreciate what he did for the Pirates and what he continues to accomplish.

              • Integrity still means something, or should…He quit in Colorado also. Great managers usually have great players. He wasn’t so great when he didn’t.

    • I think he only left because they refused to spend any money, and he wanted a chance at a title.

  109. Snider…3 hits today? Wow…

  110. If there ever was a time for big swing of the bat Cutch, this would be it.

  111. Is Starling Marte getting Wally Pipped by Travis Snider?

  112. UGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  113. Randazzo has been the President of the Verlander Fan Club all year, and Hurdle has finally had enough.

  114. “No clutch” Cutch?

  115. McCutchen doesn’t come through…. again.

  116. Way to go Cutch….having my doubts about you now after getting paid…

    • One at-bat. Relax. Cutch is fine.

      • It’s been more than just one at-bat. It’s been all season.

        • Avg. 297
          Runs 35
          HR 7
          RBI 26
          SB 12

          Part of the reason the Pirates are 30-20 are because of him.

          • For what he just got paid, he should be getting even better….

            • Who cares what he is getting paid?!

              That’s a sissy excuse!! Is it your money?

              • Excuse me sir….it is my thought and I am entitled to it.

              • And he is gettting better! Contrary to popular belief, they really can’t control when they get hits and when they don’t. They just do the best they can, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. If they could control it, they would all choose to hit 1.000 in pressure situations. Over the course of their careers, nearly every player ends up with similar stats in pressure situations as non-pressure situations.

                Cutch has actually put the ball in play a lot more this year than last year, but he has not found as many holes. But, he’s still hitting almost .300. Last year was just amazing for a couple of months. Expecting that every season is not realistic. Today was a bad day at the plate for him. Doesn’t mean anything in the big scheme of things.

              • I guarantee you that Cutch would be the first one to tell you that he should have comethrough in that situation. So why is it not ok for me to expect the same?

              • I have no problem with you calling out McCutch for not coming through more often. That is certainly an area in which he needs to improve.

                My complaint in you throwing salary into the equation, as if $$$ magically changes a player for the better.

                Whether McCutch is making Marte money or AJ Burnett money, he needs to produce!

          • Agree with you but we’re 31-20!!!

          • Yes, except even better for your argument, TS:

            The Bucs are actually 31-20. Cutch had two steals to get to 14. You are so right, though. He’s their best player every year, and is either the best position player or 2nd best (Marte) again this year. Cutch is still getting better, even if he didn’t get a hit today at the end.

    • Guys go up and down from year to year and during the season in clutch situations. Every guy in MLB does it. Cutch is hitting in the .290′s, and he has cut his srikeout rate way down this year. He is hitting in some tough luck, but still producing. Didn’t he just end an extra inning game less than 2 weeks ago with a walk-off HR? Or, is he supposed to come through every single time? C’mon, guys. It was amateur hour on the mound for a half inning, and that is where the game was lost. Let’s not lose perspective. 31-20 looks good, as tough as this one was to swallow. I thought it was great that this team battled back against a great pitcher and a very good team in their park, even if they fell a little short.

      • Jim…he should be coming through in clutch situations more than he has..especially against a horrendous bullpen.

        • I wish he were hitting better in pressure situations this year, too, but we are not quite at the 1/3 mark. I believe he’ll do better as the season goes along. And, yes, you are entitled to your opinion just as I am. We can disagree about the details sometimes and still both want them to win. That’s just passion on everyone’s part, and I’m just glad we actually have meaningless baseball to talk and argue about. I just hope we can continue to take the losses as hard all year, Steelag, because it means the games will continue to be important. Happy rest of Memorial Day, everyone!

  117. That loss is on Hurdle. Left Contreras in way too long. What manager allows his reliever to walk four before yanking him?

  118. Two big AB’s today where Cutch swung at ball four on a 3-2 pitch. Tough one today but team battled all nine innings and made it a game.

    Get after ‘em tomorrow, Happy Memorial day all.

    • More than just today for Cutch I’m afraid….been that way all season.

      • Imagine Cutch doesn’t play for the Pirates. Are they still 30-20? Hell no. Offensively and defensively.

      • Lots of luck with your “Cutch is a goat every game” campaign!

        Huntington could call up every team and get all but maybe 10 everyday guys in MLB for Cutch one-for-one in a trade. Best Pirate by far since non-steroid Bonds.

        • I did not say that. I am just giving an honest assessment. Why is it not o.k. to criticize what I see?

          • It is. I’m just giving you a hard time. Anyone watching has to admit Cutch absolutely had an awful AB to end the game. He let that first called strike affect him, I thought.

            • I agree Jim that it wasn’t a great AB.

              But that home plate ump was calling a lot of pitches that were 2-3 inches off the plate strikes. That cannot help the batter.

              • For sure. When Verlander was pitching, it sure looked like he had an extra 2″ in every direction, Thundercrack. I was thinking it, and then I came on here and all of you were seeing it also.

  119. “But team battled all nine innings and made it a game.”
    This is true. They score three runs off Verlander and five all together. Can’t be too upset about any of that.

    • Considering Verlander struckout 13 I’m amazed they managed to put together 3 runs. And this is the same guy that nearly no hit us a year ago.

    • Agreed.
      In previous years, this would have been a 6-1 game, with no hope.

      Baffling is the only word I can use to describe Harrison and Contreras. i know they are 24th, and 25th players, but you cant have players like that cost you a game.

      Oh well, its only one game against the Tigers ace.
      Better luck tomorrow.

      • In the next round of roster moves it will be time to bring up the dancing Hippo!

      • Agreed. If we pick apart a game, we can always say guys made mistakes and didn’t come through when games are lost. But, this game is impossible to always do well.

        On the other hand, you can’t fall asleep at 2b when they just put you into pinch run AND you can’t take the mound after your team just battled to cut the lead to 4-3 vs. the best pitcher in MLB and not even give your fielders a chance to make plays because you can’t find the plate. Those things should never happen at this level.

        • And you must come through when you are facing a horrendous bullpen.

          • I’ll go as far as to say he needed to hit the ball hard there, or take the walk the guy was trying to give him. He didn’t do either thing, and you are right for calling him on it. I think Cutch got PO’d after the first pitch, and then he tried to do too much. That was ball 4 that ended the game.

    • - Frustrating when you get 5 runs…. you should win the game.

      - Contreras didn’t have it and Hurdle froze… not a good moment for those two.

      - McCutchen has decent numbers but not much of a RBI producer, need more.

      - Walker looks like he’s getting back on track with slow start to season.

      • Eric I agree and I wonder if there isn’t a bit of a moneyball situation here…

        If anyone has seen the movie you’ll remember when the manager and GM were fighting over which pitcher to pitch etc.

        Wonder if Hurdle doesn’t want Contreras around and is showing NH why he shouldn’t be around.

        • If that is the case I would wonder why Hurdle would give away a game instead of trying to win it.

          I’m sorry, but I think that is a bit ridiculous.
          I’m sure Hurdle didn’t have a great feeling as Contreras was throwing ball after ball. But he may have been thinking that all it takes is a grounder to a middle infielder and there is a double play.

        • That is a very provocative thought. I wouldn’t possibly know if there is anything to it, or if it is ridiculous, as Thunder puts it. But it should will be interesting to see what Hurdle says in the post-game about leaving Contreras in. Interesting machinations do happen with bullpens and managers, late in games. And sometimes we never do find out what was really going on.
          Remember in the 2011 WS, the Cardinal’s phone to the bullpen ‘supposedly’ malfunctioned or something and LaRussa didn’t have somebody warming up in the bullpen? That was just weird and the explanation never made sense.

        • I don’t know about that. I think CH and NH actually have a good working relationship, and if CH really thinks Contreras doesn’t have it anymore I think he has earned the right to go to the GM and have him released. My guess is that they all agree Contreras has shown pretty decent stuff, both in the minors and in the bullpen. CH, Searage and NH probably all agree that he can still get it done, so they are trying to allow him to work through it. But, it seems obvious to all of us that he is getting shelled when he throws strikes and he is not throwing a lot of strikes to begin with. So, he is probably getting to the end of his rope. If he doesn’t start pitching better, and probably immediately, he could be released. But, hey, we’re all just guessing. I think CH has shown great confidence in guys like Mazzaro and Jeanmar this year, and it has paid off big time. He has shown confidence in guys like Snider, and he is doing a good job most of the time. CH has earned high marks from me this year. But, no one is perfect. He is just watching, and the players are playing.

    • I can be upset about it. If you consider yourself an improved team and consider yourself a contender, then you have to find a way to win these games…no more “moral victory” games.

      • I’m just saying don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, or whatever that old saying is. They can’t win every close game, and Cutch is human and a really good player. Cabrera was pretty bad at the plate today. He’s the best hitter in baseball.

        • Sorry Jim…just tired of the “moral victory” garbage…

          • That’s fair. They are now at the point where they should be good enough that moral victories are meaningless. I always preach that to my 11 year old after his games, so it surely should apply to a 31-20 Pirates team.

      • They have to find a way to win these KIND of games, which they mostly are. They’re not going to win every last one of them. If a pattern develops, it’s time to worry. But so far, the pattern actually is that they are winning these games.

        • Today was a very good game. And I was encourage how the Bucs kept coming back.

          As Wehner mentioned, that Tigers’ lineup is very good. One good hitter after another….and most of them are veterans.

          I thought the umps helped the Tigers pitchers

          • What I would say is we’ll know they are really putting it together when they start winning a large majority of the 3,4,5,6 run margin games. That is really what the good teams do. They bury the bad teams more often than not. I’m not saying we should be burying tough teams like Detroit. But, the next time we play the Cubs I would like to see less nail biters because they might not keep turning out the same way. You are playing with fire when you allow teams like Houston and the Cubs stick around. It worked out last week, though.

            But, I’m totally nitpicking. This is one of the best starts in team history. No big complaints from me. Tough loss today. They will probably play a good game tomorrow night.

  120. Did Greg Brown just say that they weren’t going to get Harrison in anyways. So you can’t blame that pick off

    • I didn’t hear that but if he did…. wow… what a company shill

    • Gregg Brown is liable to say anything ‘STUPID”. He is awful with his Chris Berman copy of “trip, trip, triple”. He should go back to being the Pirate Parrot when needed!!!!!

      • Earlier, when it was 4-1 and Cutch was on 2nd, Wehner said “If we can get Cutch in here, we can cut the lead in half.” It was a harmless mistake, but kind of funny that he thought cutting the lead from 3 runs to 1 run was cutting it in half since it would now be 4-2. They says thousands of things during a game, and sometimes I’m sure they laugh at themselves after it comes out.

        • Jim, I am laughing right now because I thought the same thing at that time.

          Going from 4-1 to 4-2 doesn’t cut the lead in half.

    • Not exactly.

      Not sure of his exact words but it was more like ‘it wasn’t guaranteed that they would have gotten Harrison home”

      • Still no reason to make excuses for stupid plays. To me it falls in the same line as those who say don’t complain about malkin making stupid drop passes and taking dumb penalties because of all the points he puts up. Just silly

      • I was only paying half attention, to him, but thanks..That’s still bad enough.

  121. Chance to win in the 9th and Walker and Cutch swallow the big apple. Why is Contreraus on a major league roster?? Way to go Hurdle for leaving him in too long.

    • Yup. If we miss out on the playoffs by one game, I’m going to look back on this one. Walker and Cutch in particular.

      • 21
        The burned out bullpen – here in May – will cost us the playoffs.

        Or is the starts that Jonathan Sanchez got? Or the shame of AJ not getting any run support?

        • Did you ring??

        • Well at least Mark and Cheese got a rest.

          DK: Grilli didn’t. Got up in ninth. Ask any reliever, and if you get up and start throwing, your arm didn’t have the day off.

          Grilli also got up Friday with a three-run lead, though without pitching.

      • Well, let’s not forget the bolt of a triple Neil hit, or the 2-out 2B he nailed down the line. Maybe we’ll look back in a week and say this was a big game for him as far as getting his sroke back.

  122. .

    What time is The Last Word on tonight?

    Imagine the tweets and videos submitted about this game!

  123. Nice to see my old friend back here again.

    Just drove back 4 hours listening to Chicago sports talk. Hawks and Pens fans have a lot in common. Team can’t play the power play. Lines are all wrong. Coach Q needs to be fired if he loses, doesn’t know what he’s doing, and the team won a SC despite him. Thought I was driving through Western Pennsylvania.

    BTW, my in-laws just came back from a lengthy bus trip (“the horror, the horror”) to Pennsylvania. Visited Pittsburgh, Amish Country, Gettysburg, and Flight 93 Memorial. Had nothing but superlatives to say about your state and its citizens. They loved it.

    Let’s Go Wings!

    • I live in Chicagoland, Oshkosh, and you are right about the hysteria here. The fans here thought the Hawks would be 16-0 in the playoffs. They are not even aware the Pens won as many regular season games as them. And, they can’t name anyone on our team but Crosby. Lots of bandwagon fans here right now. This dose of humility is good for them. I just hope Detroit finishes it tonight.

  124. Can someone get that turd Contreras out of here?

    For Morris, that is unacceptable.

  125. Charlie Morton getting lit up by the Paw Sox. Update to follow.

    • Morton vs. Pawtucket:

      5-IP 7-H 5-R 4-ER 3-BB 3-SO 1-HBP 3-SB (Sanchez catching)

      88 Pitches / 56 Strikes

      • Milo, is it safe to say that Karstens, Morton, Contreras, and McDonald are done, or is it too soon to say that?

        • I think we’ve seen the last of Karstens. Morton will start in Chicago weekend after next. I think McDonald’s best chance to stick will be in the bullpen. As for Contreras, like I said before, Castro doesn’t even want him back.

      • Looks like Liriano’s line in Detroit today!

        DK: Welcome back, Groat.

  126. Welcome back, Mr. Groat.

    Some here, including myself, have missed you.

  127. My game commentary…

    This was one of the 54.

    There.

  128. I see I missed Groat. Bummer. Hopefully he stops in tomorrow sometime…
    Miss you Groat!

    Bummer to lose the game 6-5 when JHay so screwed up getting picked off. And yes, I was disappointed that Cutch swung at a pitch rather outside…
    ::sigh::

  129. Not a good day for the PIrates.
    Huntington needs to rid this team of Inge, McDonald and Contreras.
    There HAS to be better players than those in many places.

    • As a lifelong Pirate fan, i cannot remember too many more pirates i loathe more than Brandon Inge.

      Being a “good influence” in the clubhouse only gets you so far, when you constantly hit weak grounders(if you make contact), and basically come to the plate with a bat made of paper.

      I do not like the way this lineup is constructed , at the present time, and NO way should Inge be getting 4 ab’s a game, EVER.!!

      He keeps looking like a feeble douche at the plate, and hopefully the Pirates have no choice but to cut ties with this joker, once and for all.
      Even though Harrison’s return consisted of 1 of the most bonehead-ed plays of the season, i would take him over Inge, any day of the week.

      • Inge seemed pretty excited last night at the hockey game with his Red Wings jersey on. Sitting next to Clint. At least, Clint was not wearing a jersey.

        Inge has been awful for the Bucs. Why rob Mercer of at bats to give to that guy? We need to see what Jordy can do this year. We know what Inge can’t do already. He has never hit much in his entire career. Jordy is young and, presumably, still improving.

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