TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Final: Pirates 5, Angels 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (43-30) vs. Los Angeles Angels (33-40)

Starters: RHP Gerrit Cole vs. RHP Jared Weaver

Time: 10:05 p.m.

Site: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.

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. Russell Martin,  C
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, DH
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  7. Neil Walker, 2B
  8. Travis Snider, RF
  9. Jordy Mercer, SS

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page.

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.

186 Comments

  1. When’s Tabby due back?

  2. Go Pirates!!!

  3. When do they have to make a decision on JMac?

    • No idea, but I truly believe he has bigger health problems in his shoulder. I suspect he’ll go on the 60 Day DL.

      The problems he has, its more physical than mental, I believe. But that does not mean that I think his head is on straight either.

  4. Longest day of the year

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

    Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Alaska – Anchorage
    Australia – Mackay
    Brazil – Vitoria
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka
    China – Beijing
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera), St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, Hallandale Beach
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Savanna
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin, Chicago, Naperville
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt
    Ireland – Dublin
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Georgetown
    Kuwait – Relyks76*
    Louisiana – Slidell
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead, Elkridge, Frederick, Bowie
    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
    Minnesota – Yinzer
    Mississippi – Biloxi
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Montana
    Nebraska – Omaha
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE – added 5/21
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, blazer
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo
    Nevada, Las Vegas
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE – added 5/21
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, DuBois, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Green Castle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Phillipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Greencastle, Natrona, Charleroi
    The Phillipines
    Rhode Island
    Singapore
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*

    365 locations represented in the blog,
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Beano
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin Mcclachety
    Mike Emerick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Blier*
    First Responders***
    20 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 5 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Two planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    6/21/2013 6:27 PM

    • Josh Gibson?

    • Why is Honus Wagner not on here? Or did I miss him?

    • Where is the country of “Unknown”?

    • Why does Palm Beach Gardens get listed twice in Florida?

    • Currently St. Paul, Minnesota, but my rooting for the Pirates began in Lincoln, Nebraska, where our Western League (defunct, Class A when classes went as low as D) Chiefs were a Bucs’ farm team. The unforgettable Dick Stuart spent at all of the 1956 season with the Chiefs, cracking 66 homers (523 at-bats in 141 games, an HR every 7.92 AB) in 1956. In 1957, after 23-game stints with the Hollywood Stars and the Atlanta Crackers, he returned to Lincoln for 97 games and 31 home runs. After clouting another 31 four-baggers for Salt Lake City in 80 games in 1958, the big club called him up and my allegiance was cemented.

      • Thanks for checking in

        Big Stu

        We are old, aren’t we?

        Somehow, I would not trade that for anything

        I like seeing Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto, etc

        A simpler world back then

        Thanks for posting Buster, do it more often

  5. TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE PLAY FRIDAY!!!

    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!!!

    Line #1
    Total INNINGS PITCHED by Gerrit Cole in tonight’s game
    Line is 6.25

    Line #2
    Total HITS + WALKS by Tony Sanchez this weekend against the Angels
    Line is 1.5

    Line #3
    Total WINS by the PIRATES this weekend against the Angels
    Line is 1.5

    Please Note – All games must be considered official games in order for line(s) to be valid. Any postponement, cancellation, or suspension of game(s) will void line(s).

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  6. It figures, I’ve got the free-est evening I’ve had in a looonngg time and the Bucs don’t play until 10 pm.

  7. TOP SCORES IN JUNE
    Dadtackular ~ 1000
    Jason81 ~ 900
    Nate83 ~ 800
    Lad9 ~ 700
    Frankie ~ 650

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2000
    bman ~ 1500
    JRay3 ~ 1425
    Frankie ~ 1375
    Pucknutz ~ 1200
    stickyweb ~ 1100
    Nate83 ~ 1075
    theplanisworking ~ 925
    Dadtackular ~ 900
    Jason81 ~ 900
    JUCOFan ~ 900
    blazer ~ 800
    tdb1977 ~ 785
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    radio wave ~ 700
    Bill Born ~ 685
    KJX ~ 600
    cherokee23 ~ 550
    Ermine ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    JohninOshkosh ~ 450
    Karen22 ~ 350
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Matt hoffman ~ 300
    TCB ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Keith ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    OZ ~ 150
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    JaxBuc ~ 45
    Arriba Wilver ~ 25
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Chico ~ 0
    Joey Mellons ~ 0
    Lad9 ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    TK ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    buggee ~ -50
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    steelercrazy ~ -100
    cosmo ~ -200
    kr70 ~ -200
    cmat0829 ~ -250
    Ghost ~ -250
    Brandie ~ -325
    pattonbb ~ -400
    Dom ~ -475
    Steve J. Smith ~ -600
    stuart66 ~ -600
    JD ~ -775
    JMB ~ -800
    Kevin ~ -1030
    Jandy ~ -1175
    Bizrow ~ -3200

    ***First Place at the end of JUNE will win:***
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994233155485698

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994373731794947

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES LICENSE PLATE FRAME
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994796970627072

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH STEELERS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996576253087745

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996735837982720

  8. Evening all…..8:05 start here so not to bad..

    I will take the over on lines 1/3 and the under on line 2 for 100 each please.

  9. Line#1: 100 under
    Line#2: 100 over
    Line#3: 100 over
    Thanks

  10. I’m really glad Gomez will be back soon, but I doubt he’ll go in the rotation at all. After demoting Cumpton, the Bucs have three days off in their next three times around the rotation, meaning they can and should go with a four-man rotation for a while. By then Wandy should be ready to go, leaving them with Cole, Liriano, Morton, Locke and Wandy, with the odd man out the guy leaving when (and if) AJ gets back. The other reason they should go with a 4-man for a while is that the current starters are all healthy and well-rested. I mean, Cole is only going about 85 pitches before they pull him. That’s the case with most of these guys.

  11. Hey Dejan! 43-30!

  12. When are the Pirates going to get rid of Inge? I can’t remember when he last had a hit. We keep sending Presley back to Indy, even though he has a decent batting average. I thought the reason for demoting a player was if a player wasn’t performing up to expectations. Just curious!!

    • Yes. Inge should go and they could bring up, say, Hague, keeping in mind he’s mostly a PH. Or maybe Goedert, since he’s probably RH.

    • Actually, they could really use a ML bench utility guy who can PH.

    • Maybe that’s part of the Sanchez callup plan: Hurdle has used Martin at 3B and RF. Shall we be seeing more of him at these positions?

    • Chuck:

      If your agent gets NHL playoff tickets to the Hawks-Wings for you and Clint, you apparently get an extra month of suck-age before you get jettisoned. For some reason, CH has a soft (and blind) spot for this guy.

  13. Not a lot of aces being missed by the Bucs this year. Weaver tonight.

    Hernandez (again) in the last game of the Seattle series. Hernandez is just about the best pitcher in baseball, and we will face him in 2 of the 4 games we play vs. Seattle.

    I know we have to beat whomever is on the mound. But, I’d say we have had pretty tough match-ups all year.

    • Yeah – in the stretch of playing three Cy Young winners in Lincecum, Greinke and Kershaw, we also beat Cain, who is arguably the best of the four. More quality wins than probably any other MLB team.

  14. Nice hustle by Cutch!

  15. Bucs fit in nicely to interleague games with Jones as DH.

  16. Strand Cutch at 2 as first half of 1 ends. No score.

  17. WOOOOOOOO!

  18. Big Bull gettin’ hot!! 1-0 good guys as Pedro homers!!

  19. 17 homers for El Toro! Nice to see that. Hope he can continue this hot hitting for the next few weeks and help this team rack up more wins than loses.

  20. Wow. Did you hear that gasp from the crowd when Pedro made contact? Sweet!

  21. Still daytime there!
    Daydro!

  22. That was an absolute towering bomb Pedro hit…high and deep into RF stands, even the Angel fans in section in awe. Believe he is 5th in NL in HR’s with 17.

  23. Cole has a nine-pitch first inning including a K of Pujols. Kid’s good.

  24. Nice heat by Weaver. Deposited in RF stands by Pedro.

  25. MERCER !!!!

  26. Bye bye, Weav!!

  27. Where were these home runs in the band box in Cincinnati? Sweatness is west coast baseball.

  28. Jordy going deep for two run bomb!! 3-0 now. Keep it going!

  29. Pedro must feel comfortable hitting in the 5 hole. Gone 4 for 5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI’s since being placed there yesterday.

  30. Don’t look now Alvarez up to .227, maybe that will quiet the haters a bit on him. Great move by CH to finally play Mercer, hitting .279 and giving some pop and bat at bottom of order.

    Weaver not fooling many tonight.

  31. Really want to watch this game tonight, but will need to crash soon as I have to work at 6 AM tomorrow morning. UGH! Of all Friday nights to have to get to bed early.

  32. Did I just see 100 mph on that fast ball from Cole? Wow!

  33. 101 gun reading. Nice.

  34. #VoteMercer

  35. Here comes Pedro. Do it AGAIN!

  36. 5 for 6 for Pedro in the 5 hole. CH is a genius for moving him there yesterday.

  37. So, this is where the FBI was hiding the Pirates bats that were in the Witness Protection Program. They were on the west coast. Glad to have finally found them through 3 innings tonight.

  38. How often to you pitch a big league game while staring directly at your agent ?

  39. That was a nice gift triple. I will take it.

  40. Weird happenings, again. Could be the year.

  41. Gift triple as Bourjous had no idea where ball was in twinight sky and lights. Bucs making Weaver labor thus far.

    Cole peppering the radar hitting 101 a few times but constantly pounding strikezone. Things are going to get interesting when Gomez, Wandy and AJ all return.

    • Cole will probably be sent down to avoid super 2 status.

      • Tough decisions will have to be made, but they should be made with emphasis on winning with this year’s team and what is best for that. If Cole goes because others give team better chance to win fine, if it is for Super 2 shame on management.

        Cole ERA now 2.87 and has thrown just 50 pitches to get through four.

        Cards lose, Reds tied great chance for Bucs this evening if they close out.

        • JRay, I agree with you 100%. I posted as much in the Morning thread.

          I see them sending him down, because they called him up early due to injuries. I agree shame on management, but it would give them an extra year of control. They have demonstrated through the years winning isnt priority #1. Not slamming them, just observing their actions.

    • Even allowing for “down” year for Albert, that was impressive pitching.

  42. Something’s not right with Weaver.

  43. That ball Jones hit for double came right at me, Bucs stinging the ball tonight.

    • Did you duck? ;)

    • Great stuff-reports live from the Left Coast. Thanks JRay

      • Anytime, great game and enjoying the masterful performance Cole is delivering. Mixing in his slider at 90-92 to go along with fastball that has sat 96-101 Angel batters struggling with him.

        Added bonus is seeing the bats break out a bit.

        Seventh inning stretch and Reds are down four, nine outs let’s close this out.

  44. DRAT!!!

    But that was a nice play by the Fish…….

  45. Of course, that will be number one in ESPN Top Ten. Marte’s similar catch the other day- lost in the cricket/soccer highlights.

  46. I love a good cricket highlight.

    “And he’s gone out! The wicket keeper has whipped his bails off!”

  47. Jordy – 5 hole.

  48. Jumbotron out here showing dancing rally monkey.

    And with that Pujols says you may have fooled me twice rookie but not a third time, that was a shot. Knew he would have a big hit or two this series.

  49. Albert says, “You’re good kid, but I am still the Pirates Daddy.”

  50. Another solid effort for Cole in what turns out to be a scary seventh as he takes one off the leg and the Angels start to hit him. Nice to see the Buc fans in attendance stand and applaud as he left field.

    Time for Mazzaro to get out of this inning

  51. Bring home this sweet win JRay3

    Counting on you ;-)

    • How about Mazzaro saving pen going 1.2 innings in tight situation. Maybe this will help CH trust his guys. Grilli time in the ninth!

      • Yes, Maz was impressive

      • I’d like to say I’m excited about that but all it tells me is that Melancon isn’t physically able to pitch.

        • He was tossing the ball around in bp and running with Grilli, maybe CH just made him unavailable for tonight.

          • I think CH was maybe holding Melancon out in case he needs him to close once this weekend. He might be thinking he has to find a way to give both Melancon and Grilli a day off this weekend in a game he might usually use them.

        • Hurdle declared Melancon unavailable for two days right after Wednesday’s game. I didn’t think anything of it because he said that Wilson and Grilli also were unavailable, albeit only for Thursday. I hope it is strictly for rest reasons….

  52. Someone tell DK the game is not over, don’t jinx it posting a final.

  53. JRay—

    I don’t know if you are a sushi fan.
    But every time I venture into the Anaheim / Costa Mesa area I always stop at this little sushi joint in Tustin called Sushi Wasabi.

    I believe it is right on Newport Ave.
    Been a few years since I was last there, but it has always been a great meal.

    Just a warning, it can be a little on the pricey side.
    But if you enjoy sushi, do yourself a favor and sit at the bar.

    • Love sushi, thanks for the tip will try to head over tomorrow.

      • Sweet.

        It’s a little hole-in-the-wall place.
        But it’s run by a husband and wife duo.

        I always sit at the bar and let the chef serve whatever is fresh.
        Like I said, it can get pricey, but I’ve always enjoyed the place.

  54. Behind another sterling performance by Cole, power from Alvarez and Mercer and league best 26th save from Jason Grilli, the Bucs defeat the Angels 5-2 to take the series opener and there was noooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win, the Pirates match a season best 14 over .500 at 44-30 and improve to 3-2 on this nine game roadtrip. The Pirates should move into second place in the Central 3 GB the Cards. The Pirates will go for the series win tomorrow night with Francisco Liriano taking the mound.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  55. Bucs win.
    Reds and Cards lose.

    Perfect night.

    Well done JRay.
    Get us another WIN tomorrow!

  56. Raise The Jolly Hippo!

    But, not too long in LA…….. rough crowd out there.

  57. Raise it. Lots of good stuff tonight. And the Cheese was “extra sharp” tonight. Thanks JRay for the awesome reports. Much appreciated!

  58. Root could at least get correct pic for Cole. Appear to show Mercer in the picture they ID as Cole.

  59. For the armchair GMs, too bad Cole only has one pitch.

    DK: And that was said by … exactly no one? Anywhere? Ever?

    Why not just enjoy the W?

  60. With Mercer hitting up a storm at SS and Pedro’s bat as hot as a branding iron, this team now looks like a legitimate, well-rounded contender. Can’t say too much in praise of the others, especially the pitching staff. Martin looks a little awkward batting second because of his legs, but Mercer, Walker and possibly Snider could do a rotation there depending on who’s hot. I really don’t think Cincy is going to get back into second place, as good as they are. CH and his staff are going to have a pleasant headache when all their starters are healthy and ready to go. This is as confident as I’ve felt all season.

  61. I’m in MI with my son for a baseball tournament, but stayed up late texting with my daughter watching at home in IL. That was fun, even if I didn’t get enough sleep!! Go Bucs!

    Random observations:

    We have seen Day-Dro, Night-Dro, Doubleplay-Dro. Last night we were introduced to Twi-Dro. I sure hope he returns tonight.

    Jordy Mercer appears to be a guy who is not interested in allowing the likes of Clint Barmes to take back over at SS. It seems every time he slips a little with the hitting, he finds a way to rebound and get back on track. He’s not a sure thing, by any means yet but he has a chance to stick.

    Nice job by Mazzaro. 1.2 huge innings.

    I was watching MLB Network the other night and Mitch Williams (yeah, him!) made the obligatory statement to the effect of “Let’s see how Grilli responds now that he has blown a save.” Of course, Williams is a former close – usually not all that good of a closer, either – so that apparently gives him license to continue the myth that the 9th inning is some magic place where mere mortals dare not pitch until … well, until some other former closer deems them ready. Anyway, your question was asked and answered, Mitch. Grilli shut down the Angels in their park. Newsflash: He will blow a few more saves this year, as all closers do. But, anyone that thinks this guy is not mentally up to the job has no idea what they are watching. His performance could falter, but it won’t be because of his mental toughness.

    Cole must have been nasty. I only saw some highlights, but he had some nasty stuff. He is now adding in more of the arsenal, and that is a very good thing. It is sort of odd that in all 3 starts, he went from totally dominant to getting knocked around from one instant to the next. I don’t think it means anything long term. It may even just be a coincidence right now, for that matter. Or, more likely, it is something simple like failing to stay totally locked in, and will be improved upon over time. Or, maybe he has to learn to keep the mechanics together through the game. Maybe his fastball flattens out if he doesn’t keep his form? Who knows? I just know that he is very, very good already and he still has so much room to get better. That is a great thing. I won’t even get into the Super 2 status stuff. I’ll wait to see. This team has a lot of interesting options at starting pitching — and many more in the years to come are developing right now.

    Gabby Sanchez has proven he cannot hit RHP. Then, again, most of us already knew that before the season. We need a better option off the bench than him and Inge. That is one needed upgrade.

    Walker walks on water for some, and others immediately dismiss everything he has done in his Pirates career. Both of these are often for the same reason – where he was born. I think we need a back-up option for him vs. tough RHP, but he is an above avg. hitter vs. LHP, he is improving on his plate discipline, and he is an above avg. fielder. His one-handed play on the liner off Cole in the 7th was huge. That inning could have gotten ugly fast!

    Way to go Bucs! Keep it up tonight! Enjoy your Saturday, everyone. I’m sure you are somewhere more exciting than Battle Creek, MI with me this weekend.

  62. Good stuff, Jim. I didn’t watch the game,had to get hubby up for work early this morning. Happy with how the boys are playing and pulling wins out of their butts :) Good luck to your son at the tournament!

    • Jandy!!!

      • Thanks, Jandy. We had a really tough game this morning, after getting started with a nice win last night. We played a very good team this morning, fell behind 5-0 and our boys easily could have laid down for a beating. But, they got up off the deck and battled hard. Lost 9-7, but had the bases loaded when the game ended. My son, Nate, had a really nice game with a single, double and HBP. He’s a little guy, so I love when he gets hold of one and smacks it over an outfielder’s head like he did today. But, he flew out with the bases loaded at the end. So, it doesn’t always work out. One minute you are sky high, and the next you are back down. I love that about baseball. We have another tough one later this afternoon. A dad like me could not ask for more than to be able to spend this time with my son, watching him grow up right before my eyes. He thinks he’s just playing baseball, but there is so much more going on in those games. Life’s lessons to be learned all over the field every day. I love this game.

        • Jim

          I took my daughter all over the eastern half of the country for AAU basketball for six years. Literally the greatest parenting experience of my life. She played in college and when she gave her senior speech at the banquet, she said that her only wish would be to have one more AAU trip with her dad. I cried like a baby and am sniffling now.
          Jim, you have exactly the right attitude. Enjoy, no embrace these days. They pass soooo damn quick. I envy you my friend.

          • Wow, Lad. What a great story. Brought a tear to me eye just reading it.

            Yeah, we have 3 kids – 17, 15, 11. The 2 oldest are girls, and Nate is our baby. Our oldest is a soccer player, who has a scholarship to U of IL starting in 2014, so we have criss-crossed the country with her and it has been great. The daughter in the middle plays softball, and we are all over the midwest with her. Now, it is our time with Nate also. He absolutely loves baseball. I am so thankful for the time my wife and I have gotten with them doing this stuff. Some people think we’re crazy, but I would not have changed anything about my life and these times with the kids. Glad to hear you feel the same!

            • Congrats on the scholarship! Makes such a difference. I have 4 kids, (3 boys) one a non-athlete who just graduated and starts at Microsoft in Seattle on Monday. The other two boys love sports but were not elite level talents. Every minute spent with all of them were the best times of my life, and people thought I was nuts too. I put over 100,000 miles on two cars in 4 years of going to my daughters college games. I even drove through that blizzard a few years ago and showed up in Buckhannon by god West Virginia as one of 8 fans at the game. I saw Amish people walking past my stopped car in a storm literally down the middle of I-80 wearing snowshoes one night and morning. So yeah, they thought I was crazy too. Was worth every second.

  63. I stayed up to watch the whole shebang last night because I was mesmerized. Great effort by Cole, Mazzaro, & Grilli in the pitching dept. And how about Jordy Mercer’s bat?? Great win for the good guys!!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News