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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Giants 10, Pirates 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (39-26) vs. San Francicso Giants (33-31)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Matt Cain

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. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Neil Walker, 2B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Michael McKenry, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Morton, 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, 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.


  1. cmat0829 says:

    YEAH, MERCER gets to start vs. a RHP!! And boo, Martin is out and he can’t be the positive influence on Charlie’s first start back…..

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    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 INNINGS PITCHED by Charlie Morton in tonight’s game
    Line is 5.25

    Line #2
    Total HITS by Andrew McCutchen in tonight’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Please Note – This must be an official game in order for both line to be valid. Any postponement, cancellation, or suspension of tonight’s game will void both lines.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. KJX says:

    Line 1: 100 OVER
    Line 2: 100 OVER

  4. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    First time caller, long time listener…

    Russell Martin has the highest career batting average against Matt Cain of anyone on the active roster with at least 5 plate appearances against him.

    Check out who is catching tonight…

    I’ll hang up and listen to your answer, thanks.

  5. JAL says:

    AJ will miss his next start with a right calf problem That leave Locke as the only pitcher in the rotation who was there when they broke camp.

  6. 21sthebest says:

    RB reports A.J. is skipping his start Saturday and may be DL bound with a right calf injury.

  7. cmat0829 says:

    Ross Ohlendorf is starting for the Nationals. Yes, that Ross Ohlendorf. Let’s keep hope alive for JMac, maybe he can come back and get it together.

  8. Lad9 says:

    Mr Playoffs sir. Will wager 100 sand dollars on both lines. Line 1 is under and line 2 is over. Thank you and go Buccos!

  9. cmat0829 says:

    100 OVER on both counts. Thanks

  10. NMR says:

    Hahaha, top notch comment right there…

  11. NMR says:

    What happened to all that pitching depth good teams like the Nats are supposed to have?

  12. NMR says:

    Not sure I understand the sense in starting a guy who you isn’t believed to be a major league quality shortstop on an extreme groundball pitchers first outing of the year.

  13. JRay3 says:

    Astonishing to think this team has rid itself of the Sanchez experiment, placed JMac on the DL only to continue to watch him struggle in his minor league rehab, see Wandy placed on the DL and now potentially AJ and have just been able to put next man up into the fray and not miss a beat.

    At some point this could end up catching up to them. All season the key has been avoiding big losing streaks (minus the 1-5 start), that is about to get seriously tested.

  14. Milo Hamilton says:

    If they DL Burnett, he would only have to miss one more start in addition to Saturday.

  15. cmat0829 says:

    the best example of pitching dept is STL, though that comes with lack of track record at the ML level… Tigers rotation is very very good. But outside of that, can’t name another team that doesn’t have some weak links in the rotation, though I look forward to other bloggers educating me on this….

    The Jays, who have a GM that hasn’t proved a THING, were crowned champs after their big trade with the Fish, are starting Wang this week, their 13TH starting pitcher this year.

  16. Naje says:

    Here’s an answer to why McKenry is catching: RussMart has never caught Morton before. There’s a lot of value in the familiarity a pitcher has with a catcher. And with Morton taking the mound for the first time in a year, I’ll take McKenry in this role. Yeah, he stinks, but there’s logic behind the move.

  17. JRay3 says:

    Couple of record keeping tidbits on this Thursday.

    Pirates are 39-26, currently holding a 4.5 game lead of final WC spot, 0.5 GB of top WC spot, and 3.5 back in the Central.

    At this point a season ago Bucs were: 34-31 (five game lead on that pace)

    Pythagorean Record: 36-29 (playing three games ahead of that pace)

    Fangraphs Projected Final Record: 87-75 (has Bucs going 48-49 remainder of year, which also would be good enough for last playoff spot).

    Date last season team won its 39th game: June 27th.

    Now let’s get the sweep.

  18. Naje says:

    Locke will be the only opening week starter left who has not hit the DL. Burnett getting a 15 day breather, whether it’s DL or CL, doesn’t bother me…come back in 20 days or so a little refreshed for his next 17 or 18 starts.

  19. Matt hoffman says:

    Line #1: 100 over
    Line#2: 100 under
    Thank you:)

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s the story. Can’t wait to hear how this happened. It smells non baseball related.

  21. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    YOU GOT IT!!

  22. JaxBuc says:

    Please sir, may I have 100 Electric Charlie Units on the OVER for Line 1?

    I think I’ll skip Line 2.

  23. NMR says:

    Not to mention losing the teams 4th starter (Jeff Karstens) for the entire year, the guy who was in the drivers seat to take the 5th spot (Kyle McPherson), or the guy who earned the initial spot start for Wandy (Phil Irwin).

  24. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window. Great day for the Buccos to earn their third three game sweep of the season.

    Time for the two line Thursday. Well I certainly believe they will give Morton every opportunity to throw 100 pitches today, the question is can he avoid trouble long enough to reach that point? As for Cutch, he has been torrid of late, he is hitting .353 in June on 12-34, and has three consecutive multi-hit games. However I just saw Cain pitch this past weekend in Arizona and outside of a rough first he seemed to pitch like the Cain of old. Tough line.

    Line 1 – 75 on the OVER

    Line 2 – 50 on the UNDER

    Thanks and Let’s Go Bucs!

  25. NMR says:

    How in the world did Cole and Locke survive without the familiarity of throwing to someone that has caught them before?


  26. JRay3 says:

    The whole – “He made us aware of it” line from CH certainly is a dead give-away this was something away from the field.

  27. Naje says:

    Sheesh my arse…. Martin caught him during Spring Training. And maybe they’re planning Martin to catch three straight v. the Dodgers. Just think a little bit before sheeshing.

  28. JRay3 says:


  29. NMR says:

    Word is that his children have been recently startled.

  30. radio wave says:

    At playoffs: I will take 50 on the under for both choices. Thank you.

  31. NMR says:

    Haha, yep, you’re right man. That makes up for McKenry being half the catcher Martin is.

    The Pirates are undoubtedly a better team tonight.

  32. Naje says:

    Martin caught both Cole and Locke in ST and not Morton as he didn’t really pitch in ST. And don’t discount Morton’s opinion as to whom he’d like to catch. There’s value in knowing the guy you’re throwing to is a guy you threw to last year and for a half year in 2011.

  33. NMR says:

    Oh, I don’t think bloggers are the only ones tooting that horn…

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Slammed it in a cab door in Atlanta.

  35. NMR says:

    So tell me, is McKenry now Morton’s persdonal catcher? Or do you think Martin’s gonna catch bullpen sessions?

    Come on man.

  36. OZ says:

    Line 1: 100 over
    Line 2: 100 under

  37. theplanisworking says:

    SEE!!!!! THEIR ARMS ARE FALLING OFF !!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  38. Naje says:

    Sometimes NMR you act like, well, you’re just trying to start something. I didn’t mention whether or not the Pirates were a better team tonight. And that really can be said any night when a regular gets a day off. Catcher’s can’t catch every day, no matter how much you want a guy to do that. Yes, Martin is twice the catcher McKenry is, but there’s more to the decision than meets the eyes.

  39. Naje says:

    No, and stop being such a literal translator of one game. NMR, he’s starting tonight and throwing to a catcher he’s known for 2+ years. It happens. I’m just offering you some reasons as to why it’s happening. If you don’t like the reasons, whatever… that’s what they are…some explanations for why a guy who stinks is playing over a guy who’s pretty good.

    I’m sure Martin will get a read on him and get some opportunities to catch him.

  40. JAL says:

    15 day DL doesn’t mean you are back in 15 days, only that you can’t come back for 15 days. A player cab stay on the 15 longer than 15 days. Karstens was on it for a month before they finally moved him to the 60.

  41. theplanisworking says:

    Busy kicking his dog due to lack of run support………..

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wouldn’t it be priceless if he hurt it somehow at the big sporting clays event on Monday ? I think I’m going with that one. Wanna start a rumor ?

  43. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    His side session day was yesterday, I believe.
    May have happened then?

  44. Their arms aren’t on their calves, Plansky.


  45. NMR says:


    By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard on this blog as when I read you compare Zagurski to Blues Traveler front man. I’ll never be able to look at John Popper again the same way!

  46. NMR says:

    Oh yes, please! Use your connections. I want this to take off.

    First question: do you have twitter?

  47. Like maybe some dead-eye shot him with one of those skeet guns?

    Probably Coonelly.

  48. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    That could single-handedly shut down the blogoshphere-twitterverse.
    It would be epic.

  49. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t do the twitter. I’m just a twitter lurker. But this wouldn’t be hard at all.

  50. theplanisworking says:

    My biggest Zagurski(y) laugh is this past weekend when my cousins fiance screamed he liked him because he is short and fat like him. Imagine taking care of funeral related things, then hearing him scream that. Priceless!!

    And, my apologies to John Popper. :)

  51. JHadar says:

    I don’t know. Muscles are like that. Every once in a while you wake up and something hurts and you don’t know how or why it happened. You can blame on some strenuous activity or bump, but it could be as simple as stepping on a stone or catching a stair step wrong.

    Occurs more frequently with age (as I well know — but that’s a whole other story).

  52. Bizrow says:

    100 nukes on OVAH for both lines

    Thanks Playoffs

  53. Thundercrack says:

    They did go shooting at 7 Springs this past Monday.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Well, since Hippos dont have arms, I think I deserve a mulligan. ;)

  55. NMR says:

    Hahaha, Mike Zagurski has earned his keep in my book, thanks to your humor.

    Totally worth it.

  56. Bizrow says:

    Whatever the reason, this one hurts more than the others

  57. stickyweb says:

    I’ll take

    100 OVER line 1

    100 UNDER line 2

  58. NMR says:

    Haha, you know what, I do, and I don’t even know why with you. I like you, I really do. Just for whatever reason I get a kick out of when you go for the logic that nobody else thinks of and then defend it to the death.

    Part of me must just want to see how far you’ll go.

  59. NMR says:

    See above. Can we still be friends? :)

  60. NMR says:

    Ah, as am I…one of those hashtags would do this wonders.

  61. Frankie says:

    Line 1. Over

    Line 2. Under

    100 on both…thanks

  62. stickyweb says:

    At least he’s giving Jordy a shot in back to back games.

    Barmes has .164 OPS in 18 ABs vs Cain. That’s even worse than his usual career numbers, though not by much.

  63. Lad9 says:

    Great stuff!

  64. cosmo says:

    line 1 – 100 under

    line 2 – 100 over

  65. blazer says:

    I’ll take the over for both at 100 on each.

  66. JRay3 says:

    The Pirates have promoted OF Gregory Polanco to AA Altoona. Nice to see, as this kid was doing very well in Bradenton and is probably the Pirates best hitting and fielder prospect as well as a Top 50 prospect in all of baseball.

    Glad to see him inching that much closer to the big league club.

  67. theplanisworking says:

    So the Bucs have had 20 runs, and like 34 hits the past 2 games, after scoring 20 runs the previous 7 games or so. Man, I hope they save some of this recent explosion for later in the season.

    Burnett got hurt skeet shooting with C..C..Cooooonelly and the boys? Or is this another CL issue?

    And I cant wait to see Mike Zagurski sing Saturday night. ;)

  68. Jim S. says:

    Clint is giving Mercer a little more rope, a little at a time. That way, he doesn’t overwhelm the guy by labeling him the starter. The more he earns, the more he gets. If the thought is he will be our starter next year, Clint can’t be afraid to let him start just because there might be a lot of ground balls hit his way tonight.

  69. cosmo says:

    If he was shooting, wouldn’t his shoulder hurt ? Unless someone accidently shot him
    in the calf. Was Dick Cheney there?

  70. cherokee23 says:

    100 under both

  71. 21sthebest says:

    Okay now everyone review their options and practice for tomorrow.

    A. “That was $2 million very well spent ”

    B. “What a waste of $2 million.”

    C. “I don’t care. It’s not my money.”**

    ** For my former friend, Thundercrack.

  72. Jim S. says:

    “though not by much”

    Also hysterical.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Not to mention Jeff Karstens, either.

  74. Jim S. says:

    Sorry, NMR. I missed Karstens in your note.

  75. Lad9 says:

    Thanks for the info JRay. That is good news. Methinks that Stetson Allie needs to bump up a level too….

  76. Jim S. says:

    Any relation to jalapeno popper?

  77. Jim S. says:

    & they could retro it to his start last Sat. if this is short term thing.

  78. Jim S. says:

    Spring training.

  79. Jason81 says:

    100 on the OVER for Line 1.

    100 on the UNDER for Line 2.

  80. Jim S. says:


  81. Jim S. says:

    He was there. I saw footage of it last night.

  82. Jim S. says:

    Correct on both of your posts. Great info., JRay. And great point about Stetson, LA.

    Didn’t I read recently, JRay, that Polanco is up in the 20’s on some of those lists now? He has a rocket attached to his back side right now.

  83. Milo Hamilton says:

    An hour and a half before 1st pitch & tonight’s starting pitcher still isn’t even on the 40 man roster.

  84. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    YOU GOT IT!!!

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    Line 1—100 on the UNDER

    Line 2—50 on the OVER

    Thanks, my friend.

  86. theplanisworking says:

    Why yes, he is related to jalapeno popper…………. thru Sauerkraut Saul’s Uncle’s cousins side of the family.

  87. Bob Hasis says:

    R. Ohlendorf pitched Wednesday night and got the win; 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 K’s and 2 BB’s

    Final score was 5-1

  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    They’re trying to outsmart SF.

  89. Jim S. says:

    If Martin hasn’t caught him before, including spring training, it seems logical to me that his first start back should be with a guy that he knows and who knows him. Fort is a MLB catcher, right? I know he’s not Martin, but Martin can’t start every night. Morton may have requested this. I don’t see the big deal.

  90. Bizrow says:

    Now move Stetson to high A

  91. Arriba Wilver says:

    &$#%$ Clint! :-)

  92. JRay3 says:

    Baseball America had him at #51 at start of the season, but I do believe there have been some others with updated lists that have moved him into the 20-30 range.

    A few weeks back there was discussion on scouts watching him play and comparing him to Dave Parker…since I was a bit young during his time I would certainly be excited to see a re-incarnation of that type of play.

  93. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  94. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’ll take 100 on the OVER!!!!

  95. JRay3 says:

    Is management privately doing a rain dance back in the offices?

  96. theplanisworking says:


  97. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Jameson Taillon for a spot start……, why not

  98. Arriba Wilver says:

    Parker for a short period was considered the best player in baseball.

  99. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Zagurski makes every Steelers fan dream of pitching in the bigs.

  100. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Got a question, though I’m getting waaaaayyyy ahead of myself on this, but I was thinking about this during the shoot out last night.

    OK, Marte continues to hit the way he has, move him to #3 and Cutch to #4 in the lineup.

    AP (who hit a HR right after I said I’m not a fan) or Tabby in the leadoff spot?

    Just thinking of other options. I’m not a huge fan of my own idea, but its a possibility.

  101. stuart66 says:

    100 on the over for line #1 and 100 on the under for line #2


  102. Dadtackular says:

    line 1 over 100
    line 2 under 100

  103. Bob Hasis says:

    You not succeed as a salesman!

  104. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    He’ll never be cool like Cobra was…

  105. Bob Hasis says:

    You will not. . . . .

  106. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Another question I’ve been waiting to ask for the game thread. Though early, simple question, simple answer:

    Starling Castro
    Giancarlo Stanton

    Ready, set, GO!!

  107. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Good think I am not a salesman…or have any desire to be one

  108. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Mind you, both are currently sturggling with their perspective teams.

  109. JRay3 says:

    If going on talent of player, hands down I would take Stanton, if going on perceived position of greater need for the Bucs I might bite on Castro, but not overly a huge fan of his.

  110. Vinny Giardina says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with his logic…

  111. JRay3 says:

    I don’t mind eventually moving Marte down in the order, not a huge fan of Cutch in the #4 spot.

    At some point would really like to see this club find a “true” lead off hitter, high on base guy, with the speed to boot. Plate discipline, ability to draw a walk, all of those characteristics.

    Marte has done admirably in the role but there are some variables to him that just don’t make him up top a perfect fit.

  112. JRay3 says:

    What is with the Jason Voorhees look-alike shots? He actually played games with that mask? For what?

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    You wanted more – Starling Marte out with discomfort in his rib cage. Presley in.

  114. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Line 1: 100 Over

    Line 2: 100 Under

  115. JRay3 says:

    Marte removed from lineup with rib cage discomfort, Presley inserted into lineup.

    Is this a team mutiny? Dropping like flies.

  116. JRay3 says:

    Per 24/7 – Contreras released, Burnett to DL, Morton activated.

  117. Milo Hamilton says:

    Burnett on 15 day DL. The hits just keep on coming.

  118. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nobody wanted more…man these guys need to take a week off.

  119. JAL says:

    yep, can make it retroactive

  120. theplanisworking says:

    Stan, Playoffs love the show!

    I think McKenry brings things to the table Martin doesnt.

    Like, he is too short for Grilli to hurt in the hug…………… ;)

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Darn that skeet shooting at 7 Springs!

  122. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Playoffs…………………….

    Please give this Hippo the following:

    Line 1 — 100 on the UNDER.
    Line 2 — 100 on the UNDER.

    Thank you so very mucho.

  123. JRay3 says:

    Retroactive to June 9th. Eligible to come off on June 24th. Well definitely have no shot seeing him out in Anaheim….bummer.

  124. JAL says:

    Marte scratched, rib cage discomfort Presley in

  125. Bill Born says:

    May I have the under on both for 50.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    Or they are kicking a lot of dogs……………. ;)

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    And I was chided by some for saying he was a convenience list casualty.

  128. Drew71 says:

    Happy to see you raised your standards

  129. Lad9 says:

    Stanton in a walkover. He will have a couple of 40 HR seasons down the pike.

  130. theplanisworking says:

    If the injuries continue, will they become the Pittsburgh Indians?

  131. Milo Hamilton says:

    Some good news ?

    The Rockies lost.

  132. Lad9 says:

    As long as they aren’t the Cleveland Indians….

  133. theplanisworking says:


  134. Bob Hasis says:


  135. pattonbb says:

    Line 1 – 100 OVER
    Line 2 – 100 OVER

  136. Bizrow says:

    That sucks

  137. Thundercrack says:

    I will go with “At least they still have him under control for next year”.

    And you asked if I had friends…………

  138. Thundercrack says:

    For total selfish reasons, they better not move Cole from his start on Sunday

  139. Thundercrack says:

    Regarding Ross O and his start for the Nationals, apparently he has a new windup.
    It is much slower. And apparently is much better at getting the ball over the plate.

  140. JRay3 says:

    Team closest to Pirates in standings for second WC spot. Pirates now have 5 game lead for that position.

  141. Drew71 says:

    Wild card

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes, for the same reasons.

  143. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Way too early to worry about that

  144. JRay3 says:

    Added bonus to an already great Cole vs Greinke match-up….TBS picked up the game to air Nationally for their Sunday afternoon game of the week. Dick Stockton and Dennis Eckersly will be on the call.

    Nice to see the Bucs getting some more National attention.

  145. Drew71 says:

    Reminds me of new golf clubs.

    They always work great for two weeks.

  146. JRay3 says:

    And on to the 13th inning they go at Wrigley in the Reds-Cubs affair. If nothing else, nice to see the Reds bullpen innings add up a little.

  147. Drew71 says:

    What’s the record for innings? I think they should go for it.

  148. Drew71 says:

    I suppose we have our answer

  149. JRay3 says:

    True, but way more fun to look at when you are near the top. Too many seasons where the team has been out if it at this point of the season similar to where the Marlins and Cubs are at, playing out a long summer string.

  150. Joey Mellons says:

    Line 1. 100 over.
    Line 2. 100 under.
    As always thanks.
    Lets go bucs.

  151. Karen22 says:

    100 on each line: OVER

    Let’s SWEEEEEEEP!! :)

  152. Drew71 says:

    Is he still arbitration eligible?

    One more win and he breaks the bank.

  153. Karen22 says:

    WHAT??! Starters coming apart at the seams…joints…whatever!

  154. cmat0829 says:

    He’s a nice guy and maybe he’s discovered something… he always seemed to put out so much effort with his delivery just to throw the ball low 90s and in bad spots.

  155. Karen22 says:

    Oh, he can…for half a game. :(

  156. JRay3 says:

    I’d go for a repeat of that 26 inning classic between Brooklyn and Boston back in 1920.

    To the 14th they move to out at the friendly confines.

  157. Drew71 says:


    Now we’ll all get to see Thunder and Milo carted off the field in cuffs.

  158. Playoffs, I’m here tonight, so let me try this one out. Let me have OVER for both lines for 100 each. Thanks.

  159. Karen22 says:

    STOP TALKING ABOUT THE PLAYOFFS!! One game at a time, and that is TODAY! I’ll never project anything on a Pirates’ season again. I’m enjoying the NOW.

  160. Drew71 says:

    They don’t weight the value of wins and losses by date.

    (This isn’t hockey)

  161. cmat0829 says:

    You are way ahead of yourself on this. LOL. Marte would have to really SUSTAIN this streak to grow into the 3 role, and puting him there would pretty much curtail his running game (you dont steal bases in front of 4/5 power guys)…. Plus Cutch is really built for the 3 spot.

    IF they were to acquire a leadoff guy (or AP/tabby do something they haven’t proven they can do, which is be an effective ML leadoff hitter), then I can see Marte in the 2 spot….

    this is a quandary the Pirates find themselves in, and there are no easy answers… Marte has great potential, probably isn’t a leadoff hitter, but he really has to hit there based on the lineup as it stands. Marte isn’t there yet in terms of being a plus player in either power or leadoff abilities…. but you can’t bench him….

    again, Bucs will go ‘all in’, but that scares me WAY MORE than the Bucs saying “we’ll add but do so carefully”….

  162. Keith says:

    100 on the UNDER.
    100 on the OVER.

  163. Karen22 says:

    I mean, seriously:

    “Right-hander Charlie Morton will make his season debut Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants. However, less than three hours before the game was set to begin, the Pirates still were working through a way to get Morton on their 25- and 40-man rosters.” – Biertempfel

    You can’t make this stuff up!

  164. Drew71 says:

    And by the way. Enjoying the loss of a competing team doesn’t qualify as “worry”

  165. Karen22 says:

    And if Charlie has to wait in the “wanding” line, perhaps Zagurski will have to start tonight.

  166. Drew71 says:

    Yeah. Freaking Biertempfel

  167. Karen22 says:

    OMG! What a circus!

  168. Brandie says:

    Popper has lost a ton of weight. I saw him at a festival in New York last year.

  169. Drew71 says:

    I’d pay real money for both events.

    (Thunder. I need to borrow some money)

  170. pattonbb says:

    Didn’t AJ just get a new tattoo on his right calf? I thought I read he was getting something from Godzilla tattooed all around his lower right leg.

    Not trying to stir any pots, just asking a question.

  171. Milo Hamilton says:

    Welcome back Charlie. Let the walks & wild pitches begin.

  172. 21sthebest says:

    And at the driving range.

  173. cmat0829 says:

    The Dravecky Award Update (bullpen usage through 6/12/13):

    Pirates: Grilli 28.2 innings
    Melancon 31.1 innings
    Watson 30.2 innings

    Reds: Chapman 29 innings
    Broxton 26.1 innings
    Hoover 26.2 innings

    Cards: Mujica 29.2 innings
    Rosenthal 33 innings

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    Awesome, that might even be better than the skeet shoot.

  175. Drew71 says:

    That didn’t take long

  176. Drew71 says:

    Which reminds me of mr honeym…


  177. Frankie says:

    Not a good start

  178. JRay3 says:

    Walk, HBP, single and the Giants jump on Morton about every way possible in first three batters.

  179. Milo Hamilton says:

    And the stolen bases, I forgot those.

  180. Keith says:

    Depends on who asks more. I’d love Castro for the stretch run, but Stanton has longer-term upside.

  181. Drew71 says:

    Good thing the Pirates have found their hitting stroke

  182. Drew71 says:

    Distract us. What’s going on in the reds game?

  183. JRay3 says:

    Cubs get out of jam in top of 14th, Broxton on to pitch for Reds in bottom half of inning only Chapman left in pen. Castro, Rizzo, Soriano due up.

    As I research that, Morton does a very nice job getting out of the inning striking out to LH batters (not where his splits have been good historically).

  184. Drew71 says:

    Crap. A 9.00 ERA.

  185. JD says:

    I think he broke his jaw in a home plate collision.

  186. Drew71 says:

    Eventually they’ll put a starter in. Which is good, too.

  187. Brandie says:

    Three cheers for incompetence!

  188. Brandie says:

    Good Evening, Lunatics or Loonsters!

  189. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    For the record, even with the PH HR last night……..I’m not an AP fan.

    Just sayin’ Hope I’m wrong.

  190. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    SEND HIM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  191. NMR says:


  192. cmat0829 says:

    He SHOULD be a slap hitter, use all fields, etc. but he’s nothing but a dead pull fastball hitter. Period. Sorry, he doesn’t have enough power to be that player.

  193. Keith says:

    In every possible way except multiple or extra-base hits and scoring multiple runs. Sheesh.

  194. theplanisworking says:

    Brandie! Hippo Hi !!!! ;)

  195. JD says:

    He ain’t nothing but a hound dog.

  196. cmat0829 says:

    Um, was 24/7 in the back room when the Bucs were white boarding this, or is it more likely: “…three hours before game time, the Pirates had not yet announced corresponding roster moves….”

    It might have been they wanted to make sure they told contreras before announcing (maybe they were trying to trade him instead of releasing him and waited until last minute to release him)…. and of course AJ threw a wrench into things as well… they’d have sent down a reliever vs. the DL spot, but all changed now.

  197. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He has some pop, but you’re right.

  198. KenKopp says:

    The original lineup I saw had Marte starting. Anybody know what happened?

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cubs win. Cubs win. Holy cow !

  200. Brandie says:

    Hippo, Hippo, Hooray!

  201. JRay3 says:

    Let’s see in the first three batters the Giants reached base by getting a walk, than being hit by a pitch, and than by getting a base hit. Three different ways amongst the first three men to step to the plate.

    No there was not an extra base hit, which still would have been a hit, not sure what category was missing….catcher’s interference?

  202. Keith says:

    Check out earlier posts.

  203. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Scroll up

  204. theplanisworking says:

    Milo, Holy Cow was Rizzuto for the Yanks.

    You have to channel your inner Harry Carey, tie 12 on, and slur Hooolleeee Caaaauww.. ;)

  205. Milo Hamilton says:

    I really missed this.

  206. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Love the Fort, but I think its time for Tony Sanchez.

  207. theplanisworking says:

    How is you tonite?
    You are the backup catcher, incase they steal 9 on the fort.

  208. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sorry Hippo, my brain has returned to mush after just 2 innings of Charlie.

  209. Brandie says:

    I am okay. Glad to talk to you. Good Night…Where Is Russell Martin when you need him? :(

  210. theplanisworking says:

    He is visiting the Pond. ;)

  211. KenKopp says:

    Sorry, just got home from work and was being lazy. You Lunnies are a hard bunch.

    Morton’s off to a rough start, but I have confidence in our bats against Cain on the anniversary of his perfecto. Uh, maybe not so much.

    Lets go Bucs!

  212. theplanisworking says:

    its OK.
    We will all need group therapy tonight…..

  213. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cain seems relaxed knowing there’s no chance he’ll face James McDonald.

  214. cmat0829 says:

    it could be worse, this could be JMAC

  215. Brandie says:

    Just to clarify…The Regular Pond and not The Convenience Pond!

  216. Brandie says:

    JMac could not find the strike zone with GPS. At least Morton is getting some strikes. We will need to give him time to find his groove. He had Tommy John Surgery.

  217. Arriba Wilver says:

    The Fort’s still doing a Barajas imitation.

  218. theplanisworking says:


    + a whole bunch!!

  219. cmat0829 says:

    its tempting but Martin will catch 6 days a week, so doesnt make sense to call up Sanchez quite yet…. unless the CL is called upon….

  220. Brandie says:

    Lol!!!!! Though that is unfortunate.

  221. theplanisworking says:

    AW, I dont know who gets the bigger insult there………….

  222. Brandie says:

    Nutting better give me back up catcher money. Got me wearing lots of hats…blog’s resident Muppet, world’s greatest personal hype machine, and back up catcher (my pick of move is quicker than Barajas).

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    But we have our secret weapon—Inge.

  224. Brandie says:

    Real catchers everywhere.

  225. Milo Hamilton says:

    No Brandie, he hasn’t missed a beat. It’s as if he never missed a start. Comforting really.

  226. Brandie says:

    Who can we DFA to the Convenience Pond?

  227. Brandie says:

    To quote Milo…

    WE’RE DOOMED!!!!!!

  228. Brandie says:

    My point exactly.

  229. theplanisworking says:

    1) Its Nutting……… you will get nuttin’.

    2) You are a great Muppet and Hype machine!

    3) Dead turtles have better pick-off than Barajas………. ;)

  230. theplanisworking says:

    Zagurski…………. ;)

  231. Brandie says:

    With apologies to dead turtles!

  232. As seems to be the case when they score big a couple games in a row – they used up all their alotted hits and runs for the series. Cain currently throwing a no-no against them.

  233. Milo Hamilton says:

    He pitched a perfect game on June 13th last year.

    We’re doomed.

  234. Milo Hamilton says:

    As Joe Garagiola used to say, “He’s pitching like he’s double parked.”

  235. theplanisworking says:


  236. theplanisworking says:

    Once there were these 2 Navy SEALS……….. ;)

  237. Milo Hamilton says:

    The announcers have no idea they gave them the run there.

  238. JRay3 says:

    Game quickly getting away from Bucs, six hits allowed, three hit batsmen, walk, just too many base runners.

  239. How is Pedro being on the INFIELD GRASS and being run into by the runner who is supposed to be in the baseline interfering with the runner? Again the umps screw the pooch.

  240. Lad9 says:

    They finally got it. That was a pathetic run down. If my Colt Leaguers did that they would be running.

  241. JRay3 says:

    Don’t know if I agree with that call, Alvarez seemed to have a legitimate gripe.

    Bigger concern is Morton unraveling, too many base runners and command leaving him again.

  242. At least we won the series, but they needed to take advantage of Cincy finally losing a game.

  243. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    HELL YEAH!!!


  244. Lad9 says:

    Not sure i agree with it either but it never should have gotten that far. Too many throws.

  245. Lad9 says:

    Hey Brandie! How goes?

  246. Milo Hamilton says:

    That was the right call. Pedro was standing on the foul line without the ball when Crawford bumped into him. And it was brought about by a terrible rundown. McKenry botched it. Threw it to Pedro too soon. Anything bad that happened there they deserved.

  247. Milo Hamilton says:

    And a real heads up play by Crawford looking for contact there.

  248. Dave F. says:

    The correct term for defensive interference is OBSTRUCTION. There is no ‘out of the baseline’ because the runner is not running around a tag. This is the real danger for the defensive team on a rundown. Alvarez should have been schooled on this in defensive drills.

  249. theplanisworking says:


  250. Lad9 says:

    Yeah it was. And Pedro was definitely in the base line, which is a no-no without the ball. My only question was did Pedro jump out in time and did Crawford go out of his way to initiate contact. However my son the former umpire tells me good call.

  251. 21sthebest says:

    Where exactly would you say the baserunner established the baseline to be?

  252. Arriba Wilver says:

    Putting Zagurski in is like raising the white flag.

  253. Frankie says:

    Can Walker have a worst game

  254. A little league team is on the field in black & gold tonight.

  255. Kevin says:

    Pirates suck tonight. It’s not fair but I feel like they’re giving up when they put in zagurski.

  256. Frankie says:

    How can he be on the major leauge roster

  257. theplanisworking says:

    He should stick to singing……..

  258. What game are you guys watching. Pedro was in the grass and jump into the baseline ONLY when Crawford was running at him while he was way in the grass – not the baseline.

  259. Frankie says:

    Clint Hurdle gave up. Bob Hasis is correct

  260. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m the 1st to celebrate nostalgia with the Pirates. It’s all we have. But tonight feels too much like 2010.

  261. Lad9 says:

    Appropriate. Their big hit was Run Around and that is what the Giants are doing on the bases against him. Please DFA him before the game is over.

  262. JD says:

    If he grows a cheesy porn ‘stash nd throws on a plaid sports coat, he’d be a dead ringer for John Candy as a police officer in The Blues Brothers. Orange Whip?

  263. dave says:

    now THAT’s funny!

  264. Kevin says:

    Good question. Seemed like he ran way outside the baseline on the turn before. Just like that the umps give SF double their runs.

  265. JD says:

    If he grows a cheesy porn ‘stash nd throws on a plaid sports coat, he’d be a dead ringer for John Candy as a police officer in The Blues Brothers. Orange Whip?

  266. Meatballs by Z has really made this one look bad even though it was already that way before he got in there. Let him give up more runs pitching the rest of the game, then release him after the game.

  267. Frankie says:

    Put Steve Blass in to pitch. At least I will not have to listen to him

  268. Karen22 says:

    I said “circus” before the game started. How prophetic…:(

  269. theplanisworking says:


  270. theplanisworking says:

    Anytime you mention John Candy, you get many pluses. :)

  271. theplanisworking says:

    With his size, its more like a bedsheet…………

  272. Karen22 says:

    WOW…this game is certainly reflecting the “incompetence.” Chaos in PNC!

  273. Frankie says:

    Question….Will Zagurski. be a Pirate tomarrow?

  274. 21sthebest says:

    Yes. He established the baseline initially on the dugout side of the chalk line. It can’t change. The question is, did he jump more than three feet away from it when he went to the other side of the chalk line.

  275. florida steeler says:

    Where did they find him?? Wholey’s Fish Market?? They don’t have better in the minors?? If so we are in deep trouble.

  276. Karen22 says:

    No, Zagurski just needs to go away permanently!

  277. chethejet says:

    I will give Morton a pass on this outing. He had better pick it up as he is still mentally weak, and looks clueless in what he is trying to do pitch to pitch. He is the type where you tell him where he stands and what will happen if he doesn’t compete harder. Hopefully Hurdle has seen enough of this cap and will come down quickly on him. He let JMAC flounder and it cost this team and him with needed performances in July. Burnett, Locke, Wandy, Liriano, Cole are the five assuming both AF and Wandy return next week.

  278. florida steeler says:

    I second that recommendation. The only thing worse is when Blass is with that babbling Gregg Brown. did you see him gushing over Huntington last nite???–sickening.

  279. The Gunner says:

    I agree, why is someone like Zagurski on the team – they might as well let Barmes pitch? After Morton’s so-so performance tonight, let’s hope Wandy & AJ get back on the active list ASAP!!

  280. Karen22 says:

    No one knows…

  281. theplanisworking says:

    I thought that was Ron Howard………….. ;)

  282. Karen22 says:

    He’d best NOT be.

  283. florida steeler says:

    Ha-ha–very good one!!!

  284. Arriba Wilver says:

    Steve was a little out to lunch on his Chevy Chase reference. I think Neverett was referring to Seinfeld’s Newman.

  285. Kevin says:

    They say hitting is contagious. But what does that say for starling marte? Clearly we’re missing the spark.

  286. theplanisworking says:

    Mike Zagurski’s ERA is my shoe size.

    That is not a good number…….

  287. Barb says:

    They made it retroactive to June 9.

  288. Keith says:

    A pretty good outing by Morton, all told. Too bad we have Zagurski.

  289. Bob Hasis says:

    Bob Lanier had a size 22

  290. Barb says:

    Nope that was Dopey oops I mean Opie.

  291. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I’m disappointed that Zagurski won’t be on the team much longer. He’s a walking punch line. High comedic value.

  292. JD says:

    It was Noonan from Caddyshack, so Blass was ok.

  293. JohninOshkosh says:

    Was out playing golf-what’d I miss?

  294. Lad9 says:

    Thought of the same person….

  295. theplanisworking says:

    I am not 6 foot 10, but I have a 15EEEEE.

    Like I said, not a good number for an ERA.

  296. Lad9 says:

    The Buccos have looked less healthy than your avatar. Butt ugly tonight.

  297. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks for the correction.

  298. theplanisworking says:

    Well, Oshee………….

    Charlie tried, but he just cant cut it.

    Zagurski tried, but I dont know what he was trying to do.

    Tonight was one of the “54”.

  299. JohninOshkosh says:


    What Bucco is your a avatar?

    Hard to tell on my crappy phone.

  300. Drew71 says:

    This mess is on Dejan.

    He announces a vacation and the Pirates thought he meant them.

  301. Lad9 says:

    Finding the 5E shoes are brutal. I have to order them online.

  302. Lad9 says:

    Maz. I think I need a different picture though. I can barely tell on my I-Pad.

  303. Drew71 says:

    By the way. I hear Manitoba is beautiful this time of year.

    Temps above freezing. At least during the day.

    Well. Most days.

  304. The Gunner says:

    Let’s be honest here……Morton’s outing was a bit below average, like a C minus or a D plus. I agree with most everything else you said. The good news is at least he wasn’t a total mess like that freakin’ JMac.

  305. Thundercrack says:

    When does training camp start in Latrobe?

  306. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it’s the second beginning of a June swoon ( if you ignore the record.) :-)

  307. Barb says:

    July 26!

  308. Milo Hamilton says:

    I have that card.

  309. theplanisworking says:

    When do the River Mutts play?

  310. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey, they’ve picked it up lately. They even scored 3 goals once.

  311. Keith says:

    At least I’d rather see a three-error, three-hit game when we obviously are losing. No mistakes tomorrow!

  312. theplanisworking says:

    In the same game?

  313. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Plan.

    Good to see you back here.

    I always say about my late mother that it was an honor to just know her.

  314. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Osh.

  315. Brandie says:

    To the Convenience Pond.

  316. Brandie says:

    Or his underwear!

  317. Brandie says:

    Might as well get rid of Zagurski then. That is not the name of a pitcher anyhow. Sounds more like a lineman to me.

  318. Brandie says:

    Mike Zagurski stars in “A Fridge Too Far”!

  319. Brandie says:

    Mmmm. Meatballs.

  320. Lad9 says:

    Awesome Brandie! :)

  321. Brandie says:

    Like AFridge Over Troubled Wters? How about Fridge on The River Kwai? Or The Fridges of Madison County?

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