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Morning Java: Game 2 or double-take?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column puts forth some tinkering the Penguins could do for Game 2 tonight, but it doesn’t go too far in that regard. Your own suggestions welcome, as always.

A look at the rest of our coverage this morning …

>> The faceoff factor, by Rob Rossi

>> The importance of Game 2, and by Josh Yohe

>> Matt Cooke gets cleared, by Rossi

>> The third line is coming up empty, by Yohe

>> Complete playoff photo gallery, by our Chaz Palla and Chris Horner

>> More on the Bruins from our news partners at the Boston Herald

I’ll be with the Penguins all day, and I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 12:30 p.m.

And if you missed it last night, here are all four video segments of WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word,’ which included much discussion of the Eastern Conference final with myself, Yohe, Bill Phillips and Richie Walsh.

>> It’s beyond incredible that it took 12 years for the Pirates to hit a ball into the Allegheny. Congratulations to Garrett Jones, one of my favorite humans, on taking that page in the record book.

>> More on the Jason Grilli explosion: By striking out the side yesterday, he has now struck out 10 of the past 13 batters faced. For the season, he has struck out 41 of the 94 batters he’s faced, or 44 percent.

Almost half!

Here’s another one, using a different line of demarcation, before and after joining the Pirates two seasons ago:

Before Pirates in 11 years in minors: 4.41 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 1.98 K/BB

Before Pirates in 10 years in majors: 4.55 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 6.7 K/9 1.98 K/BB

Since joining Pirates on July of 2011: 2.41 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 12.9 K/9, 4.0 K/BB

This year alone just blows the mind: 1.05 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 14.4 K/9, 7.8 K/BB

I’ll say it again: It just might be the greatest transformation in history for a reliever of 35-36 years of age.

>> The Mike Adams story will have legs, I’m guessing, well into the Steelers’ training camp. If he can’t go, Kelvin Beachum is probably right tackle, and it’s pretty clear through OTAs that Tomlin would like Beachum to also serve as backup center. Then again, there’s always Guy Whimper.

(And yes, I typed that entire item just to say ‘Guy Whimper.’ Not above that sort of thing.)

>> Enjoyed Joe Starkey’s Sunday column on the Steelers’ mystery speed merchant.

>> No matter how you feel about the world’s game, I’m confident you’ll enjoy the work of the announcers on these highlights from Saturday’s Riverhounds win …

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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.

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