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Final: Pirates 6, Cubs 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (36-25) vs. Chicago Cubs (24-34)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

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. Russell Martin, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Neil Walker, 2B
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the beat.

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.


  1. Great pitching match up.


    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 Line
    Total Combined STRIKEOUTS + WALKS ISSUED by AJ Burnett in today’s game
    Line is 13.5

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. 100 UNDER thanks

  4. DK, Late reading the morning blog, interesting column. Thanks for all you do covering
    Pittsburgh sports, and doing the blog and chat.

    DK: Thank you.

    • If I’m not mistaken he gets paid for what he does.

      DK: You’re not mistaken. I love that part of the job, too.

      Great to be back among the baseball fans again.

      • DK, I’m closer to what I perceive as to your feelings about the Pirates than not.
        It’s just that people don’t go around thanking people for being a construction worker or a checker in a grocery store. I don’t see where posting a lineup everyday is as difficult as those jobs.

        DK: I thank people in all walks of life, I don’t know about you. And I do so whether they’re being paid or not.

        But if you think what I do is posting lineups, then I can tell you’re not here to have a real conversation, anyway.

  5. 100 units on the over. Lots of strikeouts in that Cubs lineup.

  6. Presley up, Hughes to DL

  7. Baseball links

    JAL’s Dream Lover Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    Francisco Liriano Pitches Seven Scoreless to Stop Pirates’ Slide

    First Pitch: Day Two Reactions – Everybody Loves Cody Dickson

    Draft Day Two Recap: Lefty Pitchers, Shortstops, Groundballs, and Upside

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Francisco Liriano, Pirates shut out Cubs, 2-0


    Game 61: Pirates 2 Cubs 0

    9 The Green Weenie

    Cisco Kid Pitches Bucs To 2-0 Win; Cole Coming Up?

    And the Draft Rolls On…Rounds 3-10

    10 Rumbunter

    Pitching Key To Solving Pittsburgh Pirates Puzzle: A Guest Post

    Where Have You Been All My Life MLB Draft ?

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 2 Cubs 1

  8. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Forbes

    Scott Boras Dominates Day 1 Of MLB Draft, Advising Mark Appel And Kris Bryant

    13 Bleacher Report

    Austin Meadows in Perfect Position to Help Pittsburgh Pirates in Near Future

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Liriano and Co. blank Cubs 2-0,0,5110507.story

    15 Patriot News

    Top prospect Gerrit Cole heats up as Pittsburgh Pirates have sudden need for starter

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cubs Game Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    Breaking down the NL Cy Young race

    18 PBC Site

    Liriano shuts down Cubs for Bucs at Wrigley Field

    Notebook: Bucs lean toward experience, arms on Day 2


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The BP Wayback Machine The Source of the AL’s Superiority

    20 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Pitches

  9. Did anyone hear details about Karsten’s surgery yesterday?

    • Only announcement is had surgery, details not revealed yet

      • I didn’t hear that.

        • Pretty sure that’s a wrap for Jeff’s season. Too bad because we could have used him already, and certainly over the next 100 games. I hope he comes back healthy, and that the Bucs consider giving him another shot. I still like him as a swingman type for this team next season. The guy is efficient as it gets when he’s right.

      • It feels like Jeff Karstens has been healing his injury since I was a senior in high school. Now, finally, surgery.

  10. What did Hughes go on the DL for?

    Dropping like flies

  11. DK,

    Glad to see you on the baseball thread. Thanks for the picture of Donnie Iris on Twitter. Epic.

  12. Karstens had rotator cuff and labrum surgery

  13. Once again, Mercer must have played a lousy game Friday – or Hurdle can’t yet identify talent – so it’s back to the bench Jordy.

    Eventually the light will go on in CH’s brain when that perpetual bubble bursts, on which he is always chewing.

    The most unbelievable decision-maker ever in this position (worse than John Russell)

    When is CH going to be put on DL?

    The fact is Mercer was the spark in yesterday’s win!

    • Now you’re going too far. Comparing him to John Russell (unfavorably) is laughable.

      Maybe eventually the light will go on to you that the SS use isn’t a daily competition. We’re not talking Brandon Moss here.

  14. Conversely Marte was absent yesterday (so to speak) and yet there he is atop the line-up card

  15. It is official

    Gerrit Cole starting Tuesday

  16. In MLB trade rumors reports Karstens out 10 to 12 weeks.

    • Sounds like he’s done for the year. Too bad.

    • Again, thank goodness the Pirates re-signed that guy.

      Want to talk about throwing money away? They cut the guy loose citing arm trouble and took a beating for it. Then, because they didn’t have pitchers in the system ready to contribute, they still re-sign him.


      • I believe they cut the guy because they didn’t like his arbitration number.

        • I seem to recall there being some talk at Piratefest or something that they believed he had arm trouble. I know the arbitration number was the main factor, but I think one of the primary reasons they didn’t like it was because of the arm trouble.

          Does anyone remember for sure?

          • DK had reported from Piratefest that the Pirates may have been spreading rumors that Karstens was injured.

            If they didn’t think JK would be healthy and produce for them then they wouldn’t have signed him. But he never got fully heathy …had a setback or tow

            • Yeah, you can’t really predict those setbacks. I just seem to remember there was some skepticism around the talk of those injuries at that time, like they were doing it to justify letting him go.

              Maybe they were grounded in some truth.

              • Plenty of new arms contributing this year, and plenty more coming the rest of this year and in future years, Sean. I think the Pirates’ system is currently producing as many young arms as just about any system in baseball not named St. Louis.

  17. So it will be Cole vs. Tim Lincecum Tuesday.

    Can’t wait.

    • Can we get a perfect game? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

      • I love the optimism, Brandie. But, considering there have been less than 30 in MLB history, that might be a bit much for his first career start.

        I think we should temper our expectations for Cole a bit. He has #1 potential, but he is not ready to show up and dominate like Strasburg did a few years ago. He has been good, but not brilliant in his minor league career. I think he will end up being very good for the Bucs, but it might take a couple of years. Still, though, he should be ready to help right away.

  18. Now we know…and knowing is half the battle…GI Jones! With a double!

  19. Pedro with the rbi single. Lets Go Bucs!!!!!

  20. Time for another cheap shotbat Barmes: what is he doing on the field in early innings? He seems to be, at best, a late inning replacement, or a get away starter. IMHO.

  21. Barmes is an absolute inning killer, chance to put another run up and he continues to be abysmal at the plate.

    Nice job by Pedro, Jones and Walker to get a run for AJ early, hope more to come.

    Really excited to watch Cole Tuesday, based on available choice most competitive decision made.

  22. Why the H— is Barmes playing? Mercer has earned the right to be a regular. I predicted,
    when Barmes came to bat, that he would make 2 outs on one swing. Hurdle has to go!

  23. Didn’t Clint say yesterday if Mercer “was going to stay here, he’s going to play here”?

    Barmes has to go. I can appreciate the defense. He seems like a great guy, but there’s no way he should get on the field except maybe as a late inning defensive substitution.

    • I hear you about Barmes, Patton. I hate his bat. There is nothing to like about him at the plate. But, maybe Clint has it right with Jordy. He is trying to work him into the lineup a little at a time, getting him good matchups as he gets acclimated, and it seems to be working. And as much as I hate that Barmes may be the worst hitter of any regular starter in MLB, I have to agree that he does provide solid defense. I don’t think you just throw him away completely right now. I think Jordy will continue to get a few more starts as time goes on, and if he continues to contribute with the bat and play adequate to good defense he could be the starter 50%-60% of the time by season’s end. If he excels, he will eventually be the starter 80% of the time.

      • Yea, you’re probably right Jim. I just get tired of watching the guy kill every inning he gets an ab in. Truth be told, I always appreciated what he brought. But his defense is even below average this year. Time to move on.

  24. Refreshing to see the Bucs string a few multi-hit half innings together in a ballgame early.

  25. Today’s Trib poll asks: “Is your lawn regularly nourished or treated for weeds and disease?”
    Yes. Hippo poops on it for nourishment and eats the weeds. Hopefully not in that order. My mind is diseased.

  26. BOOM goes Pedro!!!

  27. What is AJ going to do with 4 runs this afternoon. He might not know what it feels like to have some run support this afternoon.

  28. El Toro really zeroed in today, carrying offense with his bat and 3 RBI day. AJ must be shocked seeing the 4 on the board.

  29. Burnett is at 56 pitches in 5 innings.

  30. Pedro must have liked that talk this week about an extension. Beautiful defensive play to his right. Saved 2 runs.

  31. +1 This could be the year.

  32. This Castro guy has come down to earth. No disrespect to his talent intended.

  33. I wonder if Edwin Jackson is the Cubs’ version of JMac?

    With a much bigger contract

  34. Offensive Explosion!

  35. I hope we can work something out with AJ

  36. Palace Malice wins the Belmont.

  37. I don’t like what AJ did there.

    Don’t make a scene when Searage comes out to the mound and don’t flick you glove toward the dugout when you give up the homer

  38. Behind 8.1 innings pitched turned in by AJ Burnett and some power shots fro Alvarez and Martin, the Pirates take the middle game of the series 6-2 over the Cubs and there was noooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs improve to 12 above .500 at 37-25, 19-10 against the NL Central. The Bucs will look for the sweep tomorrow afternoon in the finale with Jeff Locke scheduled to take the mound.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  39. Sounds like AJ wasn’t very happy with Searage.

  40. Raise it!!!!! Lets go for the sweep tomorrow. Nice to beat Samardzja

  41. It’ll pass. Competitive guys. It’s sports, not Peyton Place.

  42. Anyone following the Mets/Marlins game in the top of the 20th?

  43. free Jordy Mercer

  44. Morton an encouraging rehab start tonight at Indy.

    6.1, 6 hits, 2 ER, 1 W, 4 K

    96 pitches, 64 strikes

  45. Just read an article about the Chicago Sun Times firing all their photojournalists and instructing their reporters to take their own pics on their stinking iPhones.

    Somewhere Robert Capa weeps.

    What a bunch of crap.

  46. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be greedy, but after getting swept and humiliated by the Braves, I want the sweep of the hapless Cubs.

  47. What are the chances the Bucs get the two first rounders signed. I saw that McGuire is going to forgo going to college so he can get into rookie camp. But what about Meadows? Can he be signed and brought into the system?

    • Don’t know the answer to this, but fun food for thought. If I had a kid talented enough to get an actual full-ride baseball scholarship to an elite college, I would point him towards taking that while he matures there and enjoys his time as a college student. But I was actually talking to a dad yesterday who anticipates his son facing this decision in May of 2014. He said that he too, leans towards the college option, if a full-free ride is in the offing, and that it would talk an offer of “big bucks” to dissuade him. But he also said that the specter of injury is always out there and that grabbing money put on a table would be seriously considered.

    • The odds are as close to 100% as you can get without ever being 100% sure, tdb. They picked these two in the Top 14. The only way they could do better is to go to college and be monster players the next couple of seasons, and somehow move up even higher in a future draft. That is difficult to do, especially for position players. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but they don’t have much room to improve their draft position and make more money later. The catcher has already pretty much said he is going pro.

      I believe both sets of parents for these kids know this is their dream, and they have a chance to realistically fulfill that dream – unlike the HS kids that got picked in Round 25 and have that same dream. It is a no brainer for these 2 because even if they ended up never making it, they will have plenty of money to pay for college later. In fact, some guys work a scholarship into their signining package, and teams are usually willing to work with them on that because it shows they care about the kids.

      I’d say there is a 90%+ chance they both sign with the Bucs. I’d say 100%, but nothing is a 100% certainty, except that our taxes will continue to go up and eventually we’ll all … well, you know.

  48. What a great 2 games in Wrigley for the Bucs! Francisco Liriano pitchd a gem on Friday, and AJ followed with another one yesterday. The hitting actually woke up yesterday as well. Good to see Marte hitting 3 hard liners, and Pedro and Martin looked good at the plate. Smardzija has always dominated the Bucs, but they knocked him all around the yard from the top of the lineup to the bottom – except Barmes. AJ was very efficient, saving the bullpen nicely. Today, they can go all out with the relievers, knowing tomorrow is another off day.

    I didn’t like how AJ reacted to being pulled at the end. The thing that makes him such a good pitcher, aside from nasty stuff, is his competitiveness. But, sometimes it spills over a bit and he acts unprofessionally. Not often, though. He is a stud, and a vet. Hurdle and Searage know what a gamer he is, and being the staff leader I think they give him a little extra room to speak his mind. As long as the young guys don’t get the idea it is ok to fight being take out there it is fine. I think CH will talk with AJ, and everything will be fine. He’ll come out next week and toss another gem.

    I expect more TCB, as Elvis would say, today. Sweep this team with Edwin Jackson on the mound and head back home having salvaged what could have been a disastrous road trip.

    G. Cole goes on Tuesday vs. San Francisco. I am tempering my enthusiasm for his start. I think he’ll do well, and I believe he is going to be a really solid pitcher. But, he is not the finished product that someone like Strasburg was when he showed up for the Nats from the minors. It might take him a few starts to get in a comfort zone in the majors. But, once he harnesses that stuff, look out.

  49. FYI
    Clint Barmes @ 5.5 million is the fourth highest salary on the team, behind AJ @16, Wandy @ 13 and Martin @ 7. This seems like a lop-sided value (compared with those three) for the dollar, and no matter how often Hurdle chooses to play him, there will never be equal value for dollar spent. Just more mediocrity.

    I’m sure that Cutch, Walker, Jones, Pedro and even Marte can’t be thrilled with these facts.

    Barmes salary is twice that of Grilli and 10 times more than Melancon. It is also incredibly more than Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke and Liriano.

    Since this is a business (it should be run like a business) and no longer a game, I’m certain there are discomforting feelings about this in the locker room – and agents minds when re-signings will take place.

    The Pirates would do well to eat the 2.5 million remaining on the contract of the unproductive Barmes (they’ve already eaten 8 million) and release him, to make room on the 40-man roster for Gerritt Cole.

    John McDonald or Contreras would also be likely candidates except they are on DL.

    NH or CH don’t need me to tell them this, yet game after game we get the same results as we expect from Barmes – 0.

    Mercer, Inge are here, JHay is available, d’Arnaud is coming, as are others. We have options. We don’t need to be stuck in neutral with Barmes.

    No matter how well Mercer performs in one game, he is usually benched for the next. I suppose CH doesn’t want us to realize how much better off we’d be.

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