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Final: Pirates 12, Giants 8

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (38-26) vs. San Francicso Giants (33-30$

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. LHP Barry Zito

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jordy Mercer, SS
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Neil Walker, 2B
  8. Brandon Inge, RF
  9. Liriano, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel is on the beat. I’m here, too, for the Wednesday column.

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.

377 Comments

  1. IngeTangibles

    • Ha! Excellent.

      Sadly, I can’t really argue with the start. The lunchbox has been empty lately.

      • I might go with Presley there for a rare appearance. He or Jones. Zito throws those lollipop loopers and those guys, even LH, could get hold of one of those.

        Maybe Pedro will. He really rose to the occasion last night.

        • Good call on Pedro, he is actually hitting 7-27, .259 with 4 HR’s in the month of June to raise is average up to .216.

          With Cutch hitting .310 in June thus far if these two continue to heat up and get some additional support we may just see this offense perk up a bit.

          • These 2 catch on fire will put a real rise in this lineup. They are keys to it all, offensively. The rest are fillers.

          • Pedro’s OPS in the last 28 days is 1.028.

            • +1, great stat

              • yep that is all that really matters and he leads the team in RBI’s batting out of the 6th and 7th hole. His strike outs often come with bases empty and he has had more hard outs of late.

                We need to stop getting hung up on the average. Yes .190 is not going to work but .240 to .260 will work if it comes with 35 HR’s and 100 RBI’s. Many teams throughout the league would take that production.

              • I don’t see the high end (.260) of your range, Nate. But, I’ll be thrilled if he gets back to .244 again as that probably means he needs to hit .260 or so the rest of the way. I think you might be right about the 35 bombs. In fact, that may be light. The Big Man is hitting the ball to LC again. Good things happen when he does that. He almost decapitated G Cole’s future B-I-L last night.

              • If Pedro hits .260-.270 he’ll have over 40 HRs and 100 RBIs.

                Though I don’t see him hitting for these figures.

            • If you got that from Smizik I don’t accept it. ;-)

        • Would love to see Presley in as well. Why watse the hot bat he was having just t sit for weeks.

      • I can. GFJ should be playing RF tonight. Zito shouldn’t overmatch anyone. Even if your track record against LHP is abismal.

        No reason to put Brandon Inge in RF, even if to get another RHB in the lineup.

      • I agree..and AP might be even worse against lefties. Tabby’s injury really hurts us in the lineup against a LHP.

        Especially one with Zito’s Uncle Charlie.

        Worst ERA on the road from any starter in the league.

        Which means; 7 shutout innings

    • Inge can’t hit much at all. He’s a good back-up infielder, defensively. Seems like a double negative to put him in RF, where he’s awful. Clemente must be rolling over in his grave every time we throw an infielder in RF as though the prep work for that defensive position consists of shagging a few dozen balls during batting practice for a week.

  2. WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM LINE

    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!!

    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    Total Combined HITS by Mercer + Sanchez + Inge in tonight’s game
    0-2 (EVEN ODDS)
    3-5 (EVEN ODDS)
    6-8 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    9 or More (TRIPLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. Good stat of the day – Gerrit Cole became just the fifth Pirate pitcher aged 22 years or younger to win his debut. The last was Jose De Leon in 1983.

    Well seeing Inge out in RF, has me pining to see Jose Tabata to get healthy quickly, as there is just no right handed OF options on this team.

    Interesting that I read Francisco Liriano has lowest ERA of any NL pitcher with at least 4 wins. Zito on the other hand has given up four or more runs in four of his last five starts to see his ERA balloon from 2.75 to 4.06. Seems ripe for the picking.

  4. Sad to point out (unless someone did it last night) that Cole’s 1 win in 1st ever start matches Bryan Bullington’s 1 career win.

    Additionally, anyone have Barmes stat line against lefties? Would Barmes against a lefty with Mercer at 2nd be a better option than Walker against lefties?

    • Nevermind. Looked it up. I’ll take Walker tonight.

      • Walker doesn’t usually fare well vs. lefties. But, he did hit a near HR to LC last night. It was one of those “probably a HR anywhere but PNC” shots.

        • It was a nice swing. He needed five feet of Pedro’s bomb to get it out of the park. Hopefully it gives him some confidence. I feel like Walker is the offensive key to hanging around. Cutch is going to be right where he needs to be. Pedro will be at 30 and .245ish by years end. Walker getting back close to .300 with quality ABs is what we need.

          • I think Neil is slowly getting back in shape with the bat. The injury at the end of last season, and then the one this year has knocked him off stride. His real problem is when he is forced to bat righty. Last night he had the long out, and tonight he ripped the liner to RF on his first AB.

    • You aren’t counting his wins for the Hiroshima Lake Carp or whoever he’s pitching for now?

      ;)

    • NO! With apologies to Henny Youngman: “Take my wife (and BARMES)…PLEASE!”

      Barmes nearly got booed out of PNC last night! And some of the crowd was chanting his name, a la “Fleury” – but in his home venue!!

  5. I admit, Cole’s start last night really got me excited for the rest of the season.

    Liriano is pitching well. AJ is AJ. The depth is there and I like it.

    • Hard to cry offense when they put up 8 against the World Champs.

      And yes, I had fun last night rubbing everybody’s noses in it…

    • Now just get Wandy back fully healthy and not missing too much time and this rotation certainly does begin to look formidable top to bottom.

      • Exactly. I do worry that his injury may be more than just a strain, or whatever they are calling it.

        • The Wandy injury does start to concern me as well. Will have to see how it shakes out. But not sure what they do when he is healthy. Cole is going to force them to keep him in the rotation I think. Morton is out of options. Depth is a nice problem to have until you can’t “hide” guys anymore. Do you send Locke down if the control problems continue or until Morton proves his trade value and gets you something decent in return?

          • My vote would be to move Morton into the pen into a long reliever role. There are a couple of guys in the pen, Reid, Zagurski who should not be there long term and more than anything were brought here to give a breath to the other guys.

            Between the days off the team has had and are upcoming, coupled with AJ going 8.1 the other night, Cole pitching into the seventh, and the starters starting to get deeper into games, the team is in a position to retool the pen.

            You go with your top five guys in the rotation – AJ, Wandy and Liriano are locks if healthy, Locke deserves to keep his spot based on performance and results, but that could change. As long as Cole pitches well you keep him here. Cutch said it best last night, he is a guy that can pick a team up. The guys on the club feel he belongs and feel he can help.

            • Completely agreed.

              Morton to the pen is a dream scenario, if you ask me. Takes some stress off that reconstructed elbow, allows him to focus on incremental improvements, and also shields him from his noted lefty splits.

              More than anything, he’s a cheap rotation option for next year. Should find a way to keep him for that alone.

              • I agree, NMR. I do think, though, that someone else will break down at least for a while, and Charlie will be starting for some portion of this season. But, he needs to wait his turn. I wonder if he can handle the demands of the pen right now. Maybe Locke is more suited for that. Decisions, decisions.

            • Couldn’t agree more.

            • I like that it keeps all 6 guys on roster because injuries are the reality of the game. Only question would be Charlie’s effectiveness in long relief. Gomez was good in the role but we would have to see about Morton. Does Gomez have options left? Don’t think you put both guys in pen when he is healthy also. I do like that we have some arm options for later in the season to reinforce pen as guys become healthy. I still think that Hughes and Vic Black could help the pen later in season once healthy and clicking again at AAA.

          • No. If this becomes an issue I think Cole goes back down. Might depend on his next start or 3

            • Any benefit from a Super 2 standpoint to sending him back down? ( if Bucs think that the official day wasn’t reached) If not, then it’s going to be hard to send Cole back down unless he goes through some real troubles which is entirely possible.

    • The highs and lows of the long MLB season. After watching the Bucs in Atlanta, I was wondering how we were going to stay afloat. A week later, and it’s “Bring it on. We’re ready for anybody.” I have to avoid the wild swings and just accept that this team will keep battling.

  6. Ryan and JRay, things are looking up. Although we have been “burnt” many times in the recent past, I still feel optimism.

    Stuart

  7. I was thinking that baseball looks pretty easy when a team scores 8 runs in a game. Even having two runners thrown out on the bases does not hurt too much.

  8. Time for a “killing the bullpen” update.

    Chapman 28.0 IP
    Mujica 27.2 IP
    Grilli 27.2 IP

    All together now – WE’RE DOOMED !

    • Let me tell you something.

      It’s very hard to screw up a grilled cheese.

    • They better rest him we wouldn’t want his arm falling off. It would be the most terrific thing my son has ever seen during a baseball game while being the most horrific thing I ever saw.

    • July is right around the corner. Arms are about to hit the fan.

    • Melancon has pitched 2 innings this month. Grilli 3.

      I’ll ask again, anybody out there care to explain why projecting reliever innings by assuming consistant usage makes any sense?

      • It’s not because the amount of 1 and 2 run games the Pirates where playing was above the normal amount for any team. I could be wrong but I think one of Melancon’s innings may have been just to give him work and keep him sharp since he hadn’t pitched in a while.

        This debate is not sustainable.

      • I think you may need to go to Twitter for that.

      • I can’t speak to innings pitched, but Grilli has been run out there less frequently this month. He had 15 appearances in 28 games in May (or 27 — didn’t we have one unfinished rain delay???) Just three appearances this month. Haven’t checked for Melancon. But it does seem both are being paced more this month. (Don’t know how many times each has gotten up to get warm without entering games.)

        Some pitchers, like Salomon Torres, could throw everyday. Some, like Franquelis Osorio, could also (albeit, very poorly). Don’t know what kind of arms Grilli and Melancon have — maybe they actually thrive on frequent use. But though DK has been needled often for bringing up the “sustainability issue” with our two bullpen aces, figuring out each’s appropriate pace and not running them out there too much is what I, for one, would actually prefer.

        What is an appropriate pace? Beats me. In Clint do I trust.

        • The point is that an “appropriate pace” is a complete and utter myth. No manager in baseball history has purposely used relievers an equal amount of innings per month.

          They are used AS THE GAME DICTATES.

          This entire issue has been soooo overthought that the most obvious aspects are forgotten. The only way Melancon and Grilli were “on pace” for the ridiculous amount of inning and appearances people were playing the exact same type of games the entire season. That doesn’t happen. Ever.

          • How good was Morris last night? He looks ready for a spot 8th/9th inning to me, if need be.

          • “…playing the exact same type of games the entire season. That doesn’t happen.”
            That is true. And “pacing” pitchers also has as much to do with overwork as underwork (a point Jim brings up). But fatigue can be accumulated, as can stress on the arm (or any other part of the body if overtaxed). One hundred and sixty-two games will not all play out the same, of course. But it IS conceivable we have another stretch like we did in May. Or that the simple volume of work placed upon our late relievers finally exceeds what they could bear.

            I’m not deeply worried about this, however. Like I said, I think Clint knows what he is doing and won’t callously blow out anybody’s arm.

        • You all do realize … if the offense heats up and we start winning games by 6-2 and 8-3 scores more often, the argument for July will be …. wait for it …. “Hurdle’s an idiot. He absolutely has to get Melancon and Grilli more innings, just to keep them sharp. I don’t care how big of a lead we have. Doesn’t he see that?’

    • I actually heard what I thought was a knowledgeable Bucs fan on MLB Radio on the way to work today – until he started with the overworked bullpen stuff. He actually started with Grilli. Not only is Grilli at a reasonable amount of innings, but he gets out of innings on 12-15 pitches quite often. They have a deep bullpen. I think the manager and GM are handling it quite well right now.

    • Attendance is the new bug a boo.

      Unsustainable bullpen is old news

  9. Cole pitching Sunday…according to some of those useless twits

  10. Playoffs

    You should have done and over/under on the attendance for tonights game. It seemed to dominate over half of this mornings blog on a day after the Pirates moved 4.5 games ahead for the wildcard spot and their most anticipated pitching prospect since Benson had a successful start.

  11. One of these days soon will be Inge’s last as a Pirate.

    It’s just not today, I guess.

    • DFA him around 8:45, during the stretch.

      Better yet, as he walks to the plate for his first AB, pull him for Jones.

      When Inge walks back to the dugout with a confused look, tell him then.

    • Just a guess but I think he’s on the team for the entire year. I don’t see Harrison or Presley staying up instead of Inge when Tabby gets healthy. It seems as if they have 42 or 43 players for 40 spots when everyone gets healthy. I think Contraras and Legurski will be gone and if there isn’t a trade I assume they try to sneak someone through waivers but I don’t see anyone that would make it. I would have thought Mazzarro at the beginning of the year but no way he makes it now. Maybe someone pulls a hammy and goes on the 60-day DL.

  12. Why couldn’t they pitch Cole again tonight?

    Good for attendance.

    But not good enough.

  13. I’ll take the 3-5 hits for 100….even though Biz did take the same bet..

  14. The Reds are allowing Aroldis Chapman pitch in the broad daylight of Wrigley Field. Don’t they know about harmful UV rays ? DOOMED I tell you.

  15. Dejan just called. He’s at the turnstile, counting walkups.

  16. By the way, Playoffs. Dejan wants to know.

    Can you start setting lines on the attendance?

  17. Drew is full of it today.

  18. Add this one to the close call department…

    Through 222 PAs, Chase Headley is hitting .222/.333/.368.

  19. Ha Ha…its funny, not only do the Pittsburgh writers talk about over use of the pen, but so do the Giants. Here’s a little tidbit from their blog:

    “Kontos was a key member of the World Series team last year and started well this year, but he has struggled with his key pitch, the slider. You have to wonder if overuse played into his struggles.”

    And here, we all thought this was a new concept.

    • Kontos was sent down today.

      • His control was letter perfect when he was trying to hit our guys.

        • I found it hilarious, when Bob Walk, who had been at the game all evening, purportedly watching the events on the field, insisted he wasn’t throwing at our guys on any of those 5 pitches until he finally clipped Cutch.

          Then, on MLB Network this morning, I heard a replay of Blass saying, “Nothing will be done tonight about this, but you can be sure it will be filed away.”

          One of them got it right. I know which guy I think it was.

          • I thought Walk even said he wasn’t trying to hit Cutch on the pitch he hit him with.

            It was kind of interesting after the game, too, that both Walk and Teke were saying they didn’t care about velocity. Finally, Rob King interrupts and says ” I like velocity” and Brown wholeheartedly agreed. Put me in Rob’s and Greg’s corner on that one. The velocity is exciting, like when Cole threw a pitch 97 mph in the 7th.

            • So you’d side with the 2 guys that never pitched?

              • I never pitched. (Well, I did once).

                Yeah, I’m a fan, not a former pitcher who couldn’t throw 95, let alone 99-100. Call me crazy.

              • Crazy!!!!!

                I think Greg Maddox did well without velocity.

                Don’t get me wrong, I like a 99MPH FB as much as the next guy, but I don’t see it as vital.

              • I didn’t say “vital,” I said I liked it and it was exciting. Which is what King and Brown said. Walk and Teke were poo-pooing it as even being relevant. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest you didn’t see any of the comments I’m talking about?

                Greg Maddox? Really? No one said velocity was the only way to pitch. Are you upset because the Giants lost?

              • I side with AW on this.

                And the velocity was exciting. The atmosphere last night was much different than the night I attended Zach Duke’s debut.

              • Ha Ha…normally I would be upset if they lost, just not this time around.

            • I didnt say the velocity wasn’t exciting, of course it is. Its not everyday (especially witht the Pirates) that you get to see this kind of heat.

              • And I think Teke and Walk were missing that in their commentary, and I welcomed King interrupting, and Brown’s backup. Pretty simple, really.

              • Agree. I think, but I didn’t see it, Teke and Walk were speaking in baseball terms. That a pitcher doesn’t need the velocity to be successful epsecially since neither one of them had it.

              • They overdid it, and I saw it.

              • If you lined up all the pitchers who throw hard on one side and the ones who don’t throw hard on the other side, there would be a big difference in success. Walk knows that. He started out a flamethrower, but I think he lost it quick. To his credit, he learned how to pitch and carved out a nice career. Teke never had any velocity. Just had that submarine delivery. He was good also. But, who are they kidding?

            • You are right, Arriba. I meant to say including the pitch that hit Cutch. What was Walk thinking?

              Yes, velocity is always preferred by me.

  20. And btw, their blog really, really sucks…….

  21. George Kontos has been suspended 3 games & Bruce Bochy 1 game for last night’s shenanigans.

  22. Don’t let me forget, AW, we got another game to go to, we can either go on a Saturday, or use my season ticket freebees during the week

    Glad you got to the game last night

  23. 100 on the 6-8 please. Thanks!

  24. Thought For The Day:

    You can’t please everyone. DK is danged if he does and danged if he doesn’t, with every blog entry, Twitter Post, or podcast. When you think about it, that is part of the engine that drives this here blog. You don’t always have to agree with him, thus spurring debate. To be honest, I come for the jokes, I stay for the debates.

    Have a great game, Yinz.

    DK: So these two Navy SEALs walk into a bar …

  25. I’ve seen on different sites that a good many 1st round picks have signed or agreed to terms already. Does anyone know where the PBC stands with their 2 1st rounders?

  26. Aw crap……..

  27. Liriano with a 26 pitch 1st inning.

    They’ll be calling the bullpen early tonight.

  28. Nice crowd here for a Wednesday night I’m sure the storm threat killed the chance at 8000

    Lots of SF Giant fans in my section.
    I think Groupon was probably invented in Northern California.

  29. Dear Starling,

    Nice hustle down the line. Now that you’re on 2nd, with no outs, please remember one thing; If the ball is hit to 3rd, do not run into the tag.

    regards,
    Armchair Baserunning Coaches of America

  30. The bats are starting to stir…..

  31. The walk up crowd at my softball game tonight is incredible.

  32. Almost as bad, what was Cutch still doing on 1st base ?

  33. Impressive throw by Perez. Very impressive throw.

  34. Mercer costs team a run with costly tag up out. Have to be sure in that situation you will make it, and that ball was not that deep.

  35. Was Mercer safe at 3rd?

    I thought Cutch should have tagged and tried for second

  36. Another base running goof. What gives?

  37. Just one run on four hits, missed opportunity that half inning.

  38. I see Cam Bonifay in the stands scouting for Cincinnati. He’ll report back to Walt Jocketty & Dusty Baker on how the Giants went about beaning Andrew McCutchen.

  39. This Mercer kid might be able to hit.

  40. Cutch is getting locked in.

  41. A question perhaps already put forth: if lefty hitters bat at .370+ against Zito, what is Presley doing on the bench? Defensive replacement for Inge???

  42. Pirates 1-5 hitters are 8-10 tonight while the 6-9 hitters have gone 0-8 this far. Bodes well for the next half inning.

  43. Am I the only one who has been watching MLB forever and can honestly say I have never seen a right handed batter get down the line on a routine grounder to 3b as Marte did in the first inning? The guy threw it away, but he was safe by a wide margin even on a great throw. I have never seen a guy get down there that fast. I had to watch the replay 3x with my son to believe it.

  44. Liriano’s innings are numbered I would say.

  45. Yup, it is a good thing we are not “overexposing” this Mercer guy.

  46. Mercer!

    He should learn to play the OF too

  47. Martin drills that one for RBI and lead back than El Toro keeps up his torrid June with double to chase Zito, 6-4 good guys.

  48. 14 runs in 14 innings against the defending champs…not too shabby.

  49. Every position player minus Inge with a hit tonight, Bucs with 24 hits in first 14 innings of this series with Giants, good majority against former Cy Young and 126 Million dollar pitcher.

    Great to see the offense break out a bit.

  50. Pitchers best friend – DP.

  51. wow..look at that

  52. Hello Alex Presley.

  53. I like Alex Presley. He’s spunky.

  54. *blink* Alex Presley with a home run!

  55. How about that…pinch hit HR for Presley and the dismantling of the Giants continues.

  56. I don’t know who the “dude” is playing SS or from where they dredged him up, but he looks really good and I think they should give him a shot.

    I do know that NH will have a much more difficult decision to send him back to Indy tomorrow. Let’s just wait and see who gets jettisoned – probably Presley.

    Oh no a pinch -hit homer by Presley, now the decision is even tougher. But I have confidence in NH that he’ll botch this and make the wrong choice

  57. The only reason why the offense is hitting the way they are in the last 2 games is because Cole showed them how to actually put the ball in play in his first AB yesterday. They were all kinda embarassed by it actually. Secret team meeting they called during the inning break!

  58. Marte is 4 for 4 , with no HBP….yet

  59. SUSTAIN!

  60. I’m out another 100 units, but hey, we’re winning so, it’s all good

  61. Now if Pedro can nail one…..

  62. Grilli is going to get bored in the bull pen if they keep piling on runs tonight.

  63. Justin Wilson is learning what every rookie finds out at some point. It ain’t that easy.

  64. nice walker :)

  65. That’s a HR… How many of these close reviews can the Pirates have?

  66. That is why love Clint

    The old manager would still be napping in the dugout

  67. Mets beat the Cards 5-1. Dillon Gee shuts down the Redbirds & the Mets beat Shelby Miller. You just can’t figure this stuff.

  68. Did he just pinch-hit for Presley?

  69. Yes but Cincinnati killed Cubs again. Can’t make any ground up with the Reds. :(

  70. I have my sound off – due to the presence of Blass – or was it the pitcher’s spot

    Excuse my ignorance please

    • Blass is alright. Plus, he’d be a fun guy to have a few beers with while he spun some yarns about the good ol’ days. . He’s better than Jim Rooker.

      • I can say he’s alright too, and I would accept having a beer with him, but as a color man, he has a profound propensity to speak to the listening audience as though we are all 10 year olds.
        He blathers on about the obvious – which we have already perceived – and tends to make everything a humorous little tidbit or anecdote.

        How about just simply talking baseball, or did I just accurately describe what a “color man” is?

        And don’t always tell us when the opponent has runners in scoring position “we need a strikeout or a one-hopper to short” in an overly verbose manner.

  71. I see Blues Traveler is concerting Saturday Night.

    Isnt Zagursky their lead singer??

    • Hippo -hope all is well. Welcome back. I have only been able to post sparingly lately. This work thing is interfering big time plus my #2 son is moving to – gulp – Seattle tomorrow to go make his fortune with Microsoft. And no way I can catch up on over 1,200 posts today! Hope the pond is in order.

    • They must be doing an all baseball stadium -has been tour this summer.

      Watching the Nationals game the other day, i noticed a banner advertising they are playing in D.C. , the saturday after being at PNC park.

      Maybe Bud gives “the Traveler” a package deal.

  72. Grilled Cheese is warming up.

  73. 20 runs on 30 hits these past two games, can’t say I expected that but sure is fun to witness.

  74. Raise it! We are making the defending champs look bad. Keep it up Buccos!

  75. GRILLED CHEESE!!!!!

  76. Another Marte Par-Tay tonight!!

  77. #RaiseIt!! #WorldSeriesChumps #PowerofColeaid!

  78. I would say raise the Jolly Hippo, but I am still cleaning up.

    Nice win tonight.
    All those runs and hits, hope they saved some for tomorrow.

    Got to see Ron Howard make an appearance in the broadcast booth.

  79. Behind an 18 hit 12 run outburst that included five players with multi hit games and HR’s from Walker and Presley, the Bucs give Liriano his fifth win of the season downing the Giants 12-8 to take the series versus the defending champs and there was nooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates improve to 13 above .500 at 39-26 while gaining a game back on the Cards in the Central and building on their WC lead. The Bucs are now 23-11 at home winners of nine of their past 11. The Pirates have now won 14 series on the year, two consecutive and are 14-6-2 in series this season. The Bucs will go for the sweep tomorrow when Charlie Morton makes his return from Tommy John surgery in his season debut.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  80. I am getting tired of Brandon KrINGE taking Ab’s away from anyone on the team.

    I just hope he is gone by the 4th of July.

    Next to Brandon Moss, Inge is my least favorite Pirate in a long , long, time.

  81. Glorious, explosiver win at PNC last night. When the Giants evened the score at 4-4, the Buccos’ bats responded. The top four in the order, Marte, Mercer, McCutchen and Sanchez scored 8 runs and had 13 hits between them.
    Pirates’ bats have come around nicely in the past five games, giving the team four wins and one loss. The team has scored a total of 29 runs in those five games and given up 16. Yet, the Bucs are 5-5 in their last ten games after losing the series to the Reds and being swept by the Braves earlier in the month. With the addition of Cole and Morton to the pitchng staff, more quality starts would seem apparent. And if the hitters continue to do well, a long string of victories may be beckoning.
    Looking at the season overall, the team batting average is only .240 (12th in the NL). But pitching and fielding have been outstanding. The Bucs have held opponents to a collective BA of .226, lowerst of any team in the Major Leagues. Pirate pitchers rank 3rd in the ML with a combined ERA of 3.29. The team is also first in the Majors with the fewest runs given up: 225 in 65 games. But the number of runs scored – 249 – ranks 10th in the NL and gives the team a low positive run differential of plus 0.37 per game. That has improved considerably in the past five games but is still down on what it was three weeks ago.
    It looks as if the Pirates have resumed their winning ways from April and May. The Cardinals and Reds continue to do the same.

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