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Final: Cubs 4, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (37-25) vs. Chicago Cubs (24-35)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Edwin Jackson

Time: 2:20 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. Locke, 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. Where did everybody go?

  2. JAL’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley 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

    Pirates’ Bats Jump on Samardzija to Support Burnett in 6-2 Victory

    Draft Day Three Recap: Ten Players to Highlight the Day Three Picks

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Burnett, Alvarez, Martin key 6-2 victory over Cubs

    8 City of Champions

    Pedro Alvarez, A.J. Burnett lead Pirates to another win in Chicago

    9 The Green Weenie

    Pedro And AJ Too Much For Cubs; Coles Up, Karstens Out

    Saturday Draft Class

    10 Rumbunter

    VIDEO: Pirates Draft Pick Jacoby Jones Comes Up Huge in Super Regional

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 6 Cubs 2

    • Loreena McKennitt The Wind that Shakes the Barley With the draft, injuries, call up, and send down the Pirates have been shaken a lot so this week the themes is shake. Lorena McKennitt did a good Sunday morning song on the theme.

  3. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Pirates manager Clint Hurdle likes Cubs’ rebuilding plan

    13 Bloomington Pantagraph

    Cubs struggle at plate again, lose to Pirates

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates pitchers dominate Cubs again,0,7207661.story

    15 The Advocate

    As LSU had hoped, JaCoby Jones emerges

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates vs Cubs Game Preview

    17 Sweetspot

    Royals’ can’t-miss prospects have missed

    18 PBC Site

    Burnett’s latest gem continues strong pitching trend

    Hurdle: ‘It’s just the right time’ for Cole’s promotion

    Notebook: Karstens undergoes surgery, further weakening staff


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    This Week in Catcher Framing, 6/8

    20 Fangraphs

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

  4. I’ve not been around enough lately, but I still drop by to read the comments. Just wanted to take a minute to say hello to my friends.

    Let’s get out the brooms and sweep up some sCrUBS today.

    Go Buccos

  5. Nadal cruising to victory in soft Parisian rain.

  6. I’m not sure the headline to one of Biertempfel’s columns today really fits the content of the article. Who besides the Dodgers has had a prospect come up to help their lineup find consistency?

    He sites when Pedro and Cutch got called up. Yes, but those teams stunk.
    And what position would this prospect play? Shortstop of course. Maybe right field? First base?


    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 Pirates in today’s game
    0-4 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    5-8 (EVEN ODDS)
    9-13 (EVEN ODDS)
    14 or More (TRIPLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  8. Watching Barmes yesterday, I can’t see why Mercer isn’t playing today, except for the fact he’s being paid $5 million and Bob Nutting still hates to see a dollar wasted.

    • You actually think Nutting tells Hurdle who to play? No way, no how.

      • No need to tell CH to play Barmes; that’s his boy! What a waste!

        • Now THAT, i believe, is a fair criticism.

          • Friday, Mercer sparks the win with 2 hits and sterling defense, and gets benched.
            Saturday, Barmes goes 0-4 with 2 K’s and is starting today.

            That should tell you all you need to know about Hurdle’s judgment – or whomever makes the lineup

            • And every player has a good day. The question is consistency. And living in Phlly I don’t get to see many games, but is Mercer really that consistent that he deserves to play SS? Barmes seems to be a relatively consistent fielder, which you need as a SS. And especially today with Locke on the mound.


            • Hey, they are getting ready to be without Mercer since Johnny Mac is ripping it up at. .241 clip in AAA and undoubtedly will be returning forthwith. Have to make sure that Barmes is ready to be a full timer again. But there are no real worries there Neal. His .111 batting average in the past 2 weeks is a sure sign that Clint is his old self! God is he awful.

    • I give credit to this regime for releasing so many overpaid veterans in the midst of bloated contracts.

      Overbay and Aki are two obvious of many examples.

      I give blame to this regime for signing so many overpaid veterans to bloated contracts.

      Though to be fair, this past offseason’s signings are ahead of their curve.

      Nutting’s money has little to do with it. Front office ability has almost everything to do with it.

      And NO! I am NOT trying to start yet another round of tiresome FO evaluations.

      Simply trying to dispel the equally tiresome Cartoon Nutting And His Money urban legend.

      • Nutting sucks….

        I won’t change my opinion based on spending money on bad.

        Remember, this is the same owner that employs a man who drove the wrong way on the road while intoxicated and then had it hidden from the public.

        Just like he was fine with the team not announcing the John Russell extension.

        There’s more to dislike about Nutting than simply his limited and extremely wasted money.

        • You wrote that, Eric, as if to dispel my argument. What you wrote has nothing to so with my point. In fact, I mostly agree with you. But saying Nutting is a terrible owner is in no way mutually exclusive with saying overpaid veterans are not kept on the roster because of Nutting’s investment or influence

        • +1
          Won’t go into details because I too, don’t want to restart anything. But will repeat what I’ve been saying lately: the FO appears to be on the rebound. But it’s a DEEEeeeeeepp…. abyss whence they are rebounding.

        • Just like Drew I don’t want to start another tiresome evaluation of the FO.

          But Eric, can you explain just how BN had the DUI arrest hidden from the public? And he really must be terrible because it wasn’t kept hidden.

        • The DUI stuff when talking about Nutting is just a distraction. To add in Frank drove the wrong way just heightens the distraction. It’s meaningless regarding whether Clint Barmes plays and any other player decisions.

          • What do they always say on “Mad Men?”

            When you don’t like what people are saying about you, just change the conversation.

            In this case…if I can’t win the point, make the point about something else.

  9. age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB K AVG

    30 114 389 348 38 79 8 7 6 28 9 2 35 43 .227 .296 .342 .638 79 119 6 0 4 2 14

    So, can you win a WS with a starting shortstop like this? This player also committed 22 errors in 110 games, 526 chances, in the field. His backup committed 18 errors in 379 chances.

    The players name – Gene Alley, with stats from 1971. His backup was Jackie Hernandez.

    So what did Barmes do that was so bad yesterday? Wonder if Alley put up with this much derision when he was playing?


  10. I want Mercer to play more too.
    But I still think Barmes is solid in the field. Not as good as last year but solid.

    And the last time I checked they were 12 games over .500

    Is Locke considered a groundball pitcher? Maybe they want Barmes in there today for that reason.

    • Locke usually a pitch to contact pitcher so good defense a key. So far this season he has 102 ground balls, 51 fly balls, 46 line drives.

    • +1

      One other question. How do you “bench” a non-regular? Still scratching my head on that one.

      • AW are you dealing in hyperbole?

        When a man plays a very good game, he should be rewarded with another, since the dude he is replacing is very modestly average.

        That’s the best I can answer your question.

        • So, when Inge plays a good game (and he has several) he should play the next day? No hyperbole, just the difference between regulars and subs. And I also would like to see Mercer in there more often, and cringe when Barmes comes up to bat in a key situation (if not any situation). But heck, it took an injury to Wally Pipp for Gehrig to start playing regularly.

          • And Babe Dahlgren replaced Gehrig, and later became a Pirate and played with Elbie Fletcher, alternating at 1B.

            In Barmes case, whatever game he once had, has passed him by.

            • That last sentence may well be true. It doesn’t legitimize the approach you have taken to attack Hurdle.

              • He makes the lineup, but I will with pleasure let you know, whether I’m right or wrong, the next time CH makes a great strategic or personnel decision.
                You will be on my mind in this regard, constantly

              • That sounds ominous. You totally miss the point of the problem with your posts about Hurdle. Let me reiterate, for example:

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

                Hyperbole, you say?

      • While I realize that fielding stats are imperfect, the numbers are saying that Barmes is getting to about half a chance less per nine innings than a major league average SS this year, while Mercer gets to about a third more per 9 innings. That adds up to about 130 chances a year more for Mercer. And Mercer’s fielding % is higher than Barmes’. Barmes last year was right on the MLB average for range factor – his range has dropped by 10% year over year. The point is, the numbers confirm what my eyes are seeing. Clint Barmes is no longer a defensive standout – in fact he is on the edge of being a liability in the field. The myth that he is a superior SS is just that – a myth. When you combine that with zero offensive production and no plate discipline, I have a hard time ever believing that he should be in the lineup.

        • I’m not arguing for keeping Barmes in the lineup. I don’t think, though, you can realistically compare the number of MLB chances Mercer has had this year to Barmes’ chances. That don’t work statistically because of the sample size. I’d be perfectly fine if he was inserted as the 1st SS, but this argument that there is no counter-argument is specious, to me. And Clint Hurdle, I don’t believe, is playing Barmes like he did last year. The numbers, I think, would bear that out.

          • Agree on sample size, which is why I compared him to average and last year. I knew that he had slowed down, but I was shocked to see how much. . Also agree that Hurdle has used him much differently. It actually pains me to agree with Bob H, since I am an unabashed Clint Hurdle fan (with the exception of the Barmes usage). And he absolutely makes me crazy at the plate!

    • I think the weather report is more important than groundball defense at Wrigley. Some days you or I could play short and it would not make much difference.

  11. 2:20? What, do they think this is a weekday game?

  12. Happy Sweepday, every one. Let’s get this one done, we are facing a very mediocre pitcher who cost the Cubs a lot. But I’m sure no one is criticizing Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein…..

    I’m surprised Barmes is playing 2 games in a row… I thought Mercer was going to get a shot… but maybe it is giving Barmes a “last chance” to compete to keep his job…. who knows, I know as manager I’d put Mercer in there…..

    But to that blog poster who incessantly criticizes Clint Hurdle as a ‘bad manager’, give it a rest. Before Clint arrived the Pirates were 57-105. They have competed every year, into August in 2011, and into September last year…and have the 3rd best record in the NL this year. And to be clear, Clint isn’t responsible for deadline deals, etc… though he has input.

    Clint is a very good leader… you can kibbitz about game management, though this year it has been MUCH improved…. but on a list of things to complain about the Pirates, it isn’t even on the top 100…. yet it seems to be the only thing stuck in someone’s craw. Give it a rest. For variety, compain about something new, like the Bucs hitting with RISP, everyone from Cutch on down.

    • If you are saying Hurdle is a good manager despite his season ending swoons, then Dan Bylsma must be considered outstanding – by comparison.
      Yet there are many who want Bylsma’s scalp, and maybe because of the players he was provided – by the nominee for Executive of the Year or some such thing.

      • I can offer ample evidence of the improvement of the Pirates in Hurdle’s tenure vs. what others have done in the same job…and I am absolutely confident that Hurdle was then and is now the best choice to lead this team… How would Terry Collins do with this squad? That is who the choice was between….

        I’m pretty sure you just don’t like Clint and will keep spewing whatever passes as your ‘data’ to support your point…c’est la vie. I don’t care what you think, I THINK Hurdle is the best leader this club has had since leyland and I think he is doing a heckuva job. Not perfect but very very good.

  13. One other thought, maybe the Bucs are trying to showcase Barmes for a trade to the Yankees…the Yanks need a veteran shortstop and they seem to like trading with us…. maybe we package Girth and Barmes for a mid-level prospect….

  14. LOVE listening to Clint this year.. .just now in the Neverett interview… he really seems to be on top of EVERYTHING this year (cue the broken record comments about Barmes)… his comment about the offense…”we are chasing pitches out of the zone, swinging at pitches we CANT HIT HARD…no one can hit those pitches hard….” is right on point. It is up to the players to have that command of the strike zone and make it happen…..

    • So he puts all of it on the players and absolves himself and coaches for not teaching better hitting habits AND the strike zone?

      • I didnt say that and neither did Clint. But i won’t waste time debating you about this…your mind is made up, for whatever reason. Have a good day.

  15. Just read an article in the NYtimes about the amazing comeback and stats for Oliver Perez. He has a 1.17 era as a lefty specialist with a 94mph fastball. Good feel good piece and good for him! Plays for Seattle.

    • I noticed his ERA the other day. Good for him.

      • Good for him.. I don’t see how you’d ever trust him in a ‘high leverage’ situation but he doesn’t have many of those in Seattle I bet. Oh, and another GM option some clamored for seems to be struggling out there…Jack Z was one folks wanted as an example of who would be better than Neal. Not to make any other point other than being a successful GM is not easy, it is hard…and sometimes you need to grow into the role….

      • Maybe there is something in the H2O? Bay is reviving his career, too.

  16. Different topic…. Pedro… earlier in his career, his biggest issue was not being aggressive… he would watch hittable pitches go by, fall behind 0-2, and would have little chance after that. He has over corrected somewhat, in my opinion, in that he swings at the first pitch a lot of the time…. per Hurdle’s earlier comment today, what would Pedro look like if he only swung at STRIKES? My guess is he would make more contact, hit for higher average, etc…. I think he will get there, I really do… he adjusted once before and now needs to adjust again….

  17. Jeff Locke has awesome “locks”.

  18. Nice play by Barmes!

  19. YES A very very nice play

  20. Barmes got a hit.

    He should start on Tuesday

  21. Beautiful pick off.

    Hey Bob, that call came from the bench. Still not willing to give CH any credit?

  22. I come for the pitching…I stay for the pick offs!

  23. GI Jones delivers an rbi single.

    1-0 Bucs!

  24. 400 runs for career for Cutch! How about that!

  25. pattonbb, if you are absolutely certain the call came from the bench, I give a resounding OK, and a note to AW of the terrific strategy by CH

    • Of course I’m not certain, but to me it was pretty obvious. Martin stands up right before the play, looks to the bench, flashes signs to the infield, gets in his stance and doesn’t flash any sign to Locke. Yea, I think that came from the bench.

  26. Clint Barmes is my homeboy.

  27. OK, I’ll say it……..Barmes is having a really good game.

  28. Now how about the sticks getting us some runs??

  29. It is that last out in the 5th inning that makes me dubious about Barmes; that is NOT the way the position is taught to be played. He gets away with it – sort of

  30. This is how I know I’m old.

    Sitting on outdoor deck of bar listening to a duo play my era of music. We offered a beer to one but he couldn’t have one because of his arthritis medicine.

    Then he took the beer.

    • I knew I was old when I was older than my doctor, my priest and rabbi, and when my friends started becoming grandparents.

      • A priest that’s a rabbi?

        Boy, that saves time.

        Think of the ceremonies. Babies, for instance.

        Dab a little water on one end. And on the other end, while he’s distracted…

        I think it would be best if I stop now.

  31. Dudes & Dudettes: When was the last time somebody walked 6 and headed into the 6th inning with a 1-0 lead? Maybe Edwin Jackson when he threw his no-hitter? Sheesh! Juan BIZZARO coming to the plate after THAT play where the guy runs from first to third on the groundout? Yep, gotta LOVE some conventional baseball WISDOM!

  32. I think that was an unintentional intentional walk to Soriano.

  33. Love Justin Wilson!

  34. Was Justin Wilson a draft pick, or did he come via trade?

  35. A question for the panel;
    Your pitcher is not sharp at all, but has a no-hitter and a one run lead, and runners on base.
    What is more important – the lead and possibly the win OR the no-hitter? Or both?

  36. Brandie, I hope you’re still here. I wanted to congratulate you on the new job :)

  37. ouch…

    Well, like Meatloaf says…”two out of three ain’t bad”.

  38. It has to be me, I haven’t had time to sit and watch the Buccos in a while. I’m watching and they aren’t doing well.

  39. Those of you that know me well, know that I am about as optimistic as they come in regards to our beloved baseball team.


    The last 3 weeks have been brutal to watch.
    No offense, no runs, every game a struggle.

    All jokes about sustainability aside, June and July are going to be rough months if things don’t change.

  40. Cutch thrown ot stealing down 4 to 1. Bob Hasis is right fire the manager.

  41. Not good when the Cubs announcers are ridiculing the Pirates. Seriously, what was the point in trying to steal that base?

    • That was truly unconscionable! THREE runs down…why on earth was he stealing there?! Little Leaguers know better. GAAAAAAAAAAA!!

  42. Had Cutch not gotten tagged out stealing, he’d have been in. :(

  43. dang…looking…

  44. Darn Hurdle….. I am sure he told Martin to take…if not him Barmes sent the take sign in to Martin

  45. Took 2 out 3, but somehow it doesn’t feel that way.


  46. I’m “pleading the Fifth Amendment” on the decisions made in this game – and the performances.
    Yes, not every game is perfect but. . . . . . . . . . . .!!!

  47. Jeez! Talk about hiding from the obvious…this was asked of Sidney Crosby

    How were the Bruins able to shut down yourself and the team’s other top stars?

    “I think if we get those chances consistently, there’s no real explanation for it. I don’t feel like we got shut down. I felt like we didn’t score. I feel like the chances were there. In Game 3, I think [Malkin] had 21 attempted shots. You don’t see numbers like that. To think that we had those chances and it didn’t go in or that it hit posts, it’s hard to explain that.”

  48. John Wehner is all over Ransom, when getting picked off 2nd base, but he loses his tongue when Cutch gets thrown out , down 3 runs in the 9th.

    Got it call it fair, Snaggle -Puss!.

    Another reason why the Pirates announcers are tough to listen to, even though i am 1 of the biggest fans of all.

    At least the Giant announcers should give an interesting take to the 3 game series.
    No “tips to win” until the Dodgers series!!.
    It’s going to be a good week.

  49. It was my fault. I was napping when Wilsin gave up the homer. That’s what happens when you mix beer & arthritis medicine…..very sleepy.

    My guess is that Andrew ran on how own and Clint ain’t real pleased

  50. Judging by DK’s tweets to the right, some baseball fans must be tweeting hockey. :-)

    “Advice to sensitive types who don’t like my tweets about #Pens today: If you get squeamish around critical coverage, please look elsewhere.”

    (I’m innocent—I don’t tweet).

  51. Can’t blame CH, it’s Cutch under the bus; can’t blame Hurdle it was a “learning process” for Locke, and so it goes when an important decision NEEDS to be made

  52. Someone hit a homer in Wrigley Field off a pitcher with a .94 WHIP, so they only win 2 of 3? Fire the manager and bring back John Russell!

  53. I wonder when the NBA Finals thread goes up.

  54. In AAA news….Andrew Lambo hits a walk off hr in the 13th to give Indy the win today.

    • It is painfully clear that RF is the biggest need going into the trade deadline.
      Although Snider seems like a good team player, and is very good in RF, the bat doesn’t work , and he leaves a bunch to be desired with his approach at the plate.

      What would it really take to land a guy like Stanton?.
      That would be shooting for the stars, but their are other options that will be available by the trade deadline.

      1- Rios, Willingham,Carlos Quentin, Aoki. Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist(possibly), could all be had, without killing the pipeline.

      No more Tabata, no more Presley, keeping Snider as a 4th or 5 th outfielder is fine by me.

      A contending team needs a guy hitting better than 240 . with 2 hr’s to play RF.
      Get on the horn, Huntington, and bring back a winner this time.!!!

      • Respectfully disagree… oh…

        Well, maybe I don’t necessarily disagree. Just checked Snider’s game log and see that he has been in descent since early May. A bit early to write him off, but does bear monitoring. Either way, my firm belief is to wait until selling teams start calling us, not the other way around. It’s always a buyer’s market as the trade deadline draws near. That’s why we always used to get fleeced, that’s how we became the ‘fleecers’ and got the Yanks and the Astros to pay for A.J. and Wandy to pitch for us.

        Patience is our friend. Either Snider gets hot again, we pick up a steal at somebody’s salary dump — or both.

        • I think it will be very interesting to see who are Buyers and who are the Sellers.

        • Obviously your definition of the word “decent” is different than mine.
          The guy is hitting 250, and you think since early may that he has been better than poor?.

          Sorry, but his approach at the plate, most of the time, is quite absurd.

          That taking the called 3rd strike to lead off the 9th(when he got a break on the previous pitch) is what i shake my head about.
          If you have 2 strikes on you, gotta swing the bat, for better or for worse.

    • Lambo has been in AA for about 3 seasons with a cup of coffee in AAA in which he struggled.

      Hopefully, he can continue to improve and reach some of that “potential”.

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