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Final: Cubs 4, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (53-32) vs. Chicago Cubs (36-48)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Edwin Jackson

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Michael McKenry, C
  7. Jose Tabata, RF
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Morton, P

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

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. Bizrow says:

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

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  2. JAL says:

    McKenry catching, Cubs will be running if they get on base.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Is the wind blowing in or out??

  4. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, yeah, before I forget……………..


  5. theplanisworking says:

    After reading JAL’s #a9 link this morning, I truly believe some writers are so out of touch with reality, they should be medicated.
    Lee, and his $50MM coming here? And we would have to give up a key prospect or two?


    I want to upgrade the roster, but I dont want the boys in white coats coming after me either!

  6. cmat0829 says:

    Who was the “writer”? An actual credentialed media type or someone with an online blog?

    Zero chance we go and get Cliff Lee… makes less than zero sense… maybe the article was ghost written by Ruben Amaro, Jr.? BTW, I don’t think Amaro is faring all that well as a GM..he has held the cheese too long it is starting to stink.

  7. cmat0829 says:

    I am rooting for Tabata to ‘keep it going’ in RF… until then I’m looking more for ‘under the radar’ right hand hitter types, like Marlon Byrd… another thought came to me yesterday, what about Scott Hairston?

    Hairston can also play infield I believe, so I like him for the veteran Inge spot even if Tabby claims RF.

  8. Thundercrack says:

    I stay away from anyone who was suspended for PEDs

  9. cmat0829 says:

    very calm conditions, if anything looks like light IN from left field…like 6 mph

  10. Bizrow says:

    + 111111111

  11. theplanisworking says:


    Just saw the writer was David Schonfeld…….. same guy who said we should trade for Stanton.

    Man, thig guy just wants the Pirates to become the “Dodgers Lite” when it comes to salaries!!!

    Insanity! And, just stunningly bad journalism.

  12. JAL says:

    There is reason writers are writers and not GMs :)

  13. Drew71 says:

    Back in the Varsho days, they used to play two right fielders.

    Now I see they’re playing without a catcher.

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Very good point.

  15. Keith says:

    Maybe Hurdle knows something we don’t about McKenry batting 6th today.

  16. 21sthebest says:

    Friend just told me that someone on Twitter posted that Grilli just got a big hug from his Dad and handshakes from teammates. Hopefully he’s not the only one.

  17. With our talent in the system, that would not be a good deal for long-term.

    But, it depends on how “all in” we are come July 31st and onward. Do we want to go deep into the playoffs and (tongue biting) maybe WS this year or for several years to come?

    Like JAL said, there’s a reason ministers are ministers and GM’s are GM’s. Haven’t figured the second part yet.


  18. theplanisworking says:

    I would rather have a minister than some of the GM’s out there!!! ;)

  19. Thundercrack says:

    He passed another test?


  20. Jim S. says:

    Except they don’t have many candidates. Fortunately.

  21. Jim S. says:

    +1 more than many.

  22. Jim S. says:

    True, but some of these GMs do make moves like that. Think of the talent given up in the past few years by the Rangers, Angels, Blue Jays, etc. Frightening. Amaro, Jr. has been known to go “all in” as well. I’ll never understand giving up so much for one shot.

  23. With you 100%, Jim. We’ve got many years of good baseball ahead.

    One season at a time.

    No reason to give up the store. If the Cards can be competitive year after year and let a guy like Pujols walk and the Astros of the past and even the Twins at one time, we can, too.

    The plan is finally working.

  24. Jim S. says:

    I sure hope so. He is way overdue to pop one!

  25. 21sthebest says:

    I was thinking he got traded.

  26. theplanisworking says:

    You call? ;)

  27. 21sthebest says:

    When in doubt look at pitcher v hitter splits.

    McKenry is 4-7 v Jackson.

  28. radio wave says:

    Sunday already?

  29. 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.


    Today’s Line
    Total STOLEN BASES by Cubs runners in today’s game
    Line is 2.5

    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!!!

  30. Bizrow says:

    100 on the over

    Thanks, Playoffs

  31. Keith says:


  32. You guys are both hilarious. Drew almost choked on his sand crab bisque when he read those 2 comments.

  33. Keith says:

    100 on the OVER. Yawn.

  34. Lad9 says:

    With The Fort behind the dish and Charlie throwing the sinker, gotta put 100 on the over Mr Playoffs sir. Thank you and Go Buccos!

  35. tdb1977 says:

    100 on the under.

  36. Matt hoffman says:

    100 on the under please.

  37. Vette60 says:

    A tempting line in deed with the Fort behind the plate…

    I’ll place a bet for 50 units on the over…

    Randy in RVA (currently Brentwood, PA for the holiday weekend)

  38. Frankie says:

    50 on the under


  39. Jim S. says:

    We definitely agree on how to operate given our market size, Lucky. We have to be smarter than the average team, as the Cardinals and others have done. Cincinnati has done a very good job of it also.

  40. Jim S. says:

    Maybe Bochy called.

  41. Jim S. says:

    & I am assuming he had to make several calls to the Bucs at Wrigley today. Of course, Bochy didn’t exactly help us out last time. If you recall, Clint & others pretty much had to shame him into taking Cutch, and he only did it very late when all the injury backouts, came.

  42. Jim S. says:

    Overheard in the clubhouse after the lineup was posted. Charlie to Clint: “Skip, are you trying to make it harder on me?”

  43. Jason81 says:

    100 on the OVER, please.

  44. JaxBuc says:

    Is that per inning?

    Please sir, may I have 100 shuttlecocks on the OVER?

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    I figure injury blackouts are Locke’s only chance. Like Correia a cople of years ago.

  46. pattonbb says:

    100 on the UNDER

  47. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going with 50 on the OVER. The Fort behind the plate and Charlie is tied for second behind AJ for most SB’s given up, and he just started. Why 50? He’s only given up 6 total.

  48. Arriba Wilver says:

    Backouts. #%*&$ iPad.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cople’s on me.

  50. bman says:


    50 on the UNDER please

  51. Dadtackular says:

    100 Lou Brock’s on the over!

  52. Joey Mellons says:

    100 on the under.

  53. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Playoffs……….

    This is truly a great line, or a sucker line, depending on one’s view.
    Fort cant throw anyone out, Charlie cant hold anyone on.
    BUT……. the Cubs have to get runners on to be able to steal.

    I may have to get the “Leadership Council” to help me on this.

    May I please have 50 Heat-stroked Hippos on the UNDER please?

    Thank You.

  54. cmat0829 says:

    hmmmm…. tempting to sit this one out, but that’s no fun….lets go 100 units OVER

  55. pattonbb says:

    11 game hit streak now for Marte…..

  56. Jim S. says:

    I don’t even think these managers should get to do it. Just take the decision away from them. I always thought Torre & LaRussa abused the privilege. Then, they all do it. Posey should be the only Giants player on the team. I don’t know how the fan balloting went, but I hope he doesn’t load up the lineup with all of his mediocre players.

    It will be interesting to see how Clint handles it next year!!!

  57. Ghost says:

    The legend of Fort McHenry’s arm will grow after that beaut.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Nice throw, Fort. Oh my!

  59. Lad9 says:

    Looked like an errant rocket at the real Fort McHenry…

  60. radio wave says:

    Doumit jr.

  61. Lad9 says:

    Without the bat

  62. JoeyBats says:

    ………..sheesh…can we get Tony Sanchez on speed dial, please?
    …..McKenry HAS to do better!!!

  63. tdb1977 says:

    Its time to see what we have in a catcher with Sanchez. The Fort has to many holes in it.

  64. Jim S. says:

    Maybe just eat it and save a base next time?

  65. radio wave says:

    It was not a bad reply. They run on the run on him the same as they used run on Dalmut. Without Russell or wide-open for this stuff

  66. Jim S. says:

    He’s definitely in there for the 4-7 match-up vs. Jackson because Morton throws everything with sink and is not fast to the plate. So, that is a tough assignment for a good throwing catcher – which Fort is not.

    Cubs announcer just said the Bucs are 15-7 with Fort in the lineup. What?

  67. theplanisworking says:

    Can we DH for him? ;)

  68. Jim S. says:

    I think we need a DF for Fort.

    But, he can’t hit any more, either.

  69. Lad9 says:

    Agree. You get bad defense just like Doumit but without the benefit of a good stick. Fort just dropped under .200

  70. Jim S. says:

    Umm … Who told .071 Charlie he could swing on a 3-1 pitch? Ball 4, at that. I really don’t get that. Leading off the $%@$? inning. Ugh!

  71. Jandy says:

    What’s this I hear about Spunky running for GM? :D

    And that talkin to Gabby gave Marte a couple weeks back paid off :)

  72. Keith says:

    I think Marte is trying to make up for all the SB we’ll give up today.

  73. radio wave says:

    Cubs catcher is as bad as ours is.

  74. Jandy says:

    He’s doing a fine job of it lol…well he was till he got nabbed

  75. pattonbb says:

    Made a nice throw there.

  76. theplanisworking says:

    I nominated him………. he would be better than most of the current GM’s.

    How the heck are you? Havent seen you since Fort threw out a runner. ;)

  77. Jim S. says:

    He got lucky, I thought, because the pitch was so horribly high and outside that it set him up perfectly for that throw to 3b.

  78. radio wave says:

    True: spoke too soon.

  79. Jim S. says:


  80. Jim S. says:

    Their pitcher is very slow to the plate. Maybe slower than Charlie, if that is even possible.

  81. theplanisworking says:


  82. pattonbb says:

    Yea, the pitch was terrible, but he still threw a dart down there. You know what they say about sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

  83. Jandy says:

    Well, Hipposter, hubby is pushing to get the ’68 chevelle up and running, and he’s busting my butt lol. My hands hurt from scrubbing things down, and I ‘m the gopher and the HOLD THIS WHILE I TIGHTEN IT UP person lol
    Made 1/2 lb hamburgers and corn on the cob for late lunch and sat down in time to see the start of the game.
    Morton and Jackson are both struggling. Hope Charlie gets it together, and seeing the last 2 Ks I have hope :)

  84. Jandy says:

    Jim stole my Zing, but it’s all good :D

  85. Jim S. says:

    Bucs seem intent on forcing things today, for some reason. They aren’t facing Harvey. They are facing Edwin Jackson. I am still incredulous at Charlie leading off an inning, with his .071 average, and swinging at a 3-1 pitch. And, to top it off, it looked like ball 4. That is not bright at all.

    I will say, though, that Charlie seems to have some pretty nasty stuff today. If he finds the plate consistently, I think he could have a nice day.

  86. Jandy says:

    Yup, looks like Charlie is settling in!

  87. Jim S. says:


  88. Jim S. says:

    Here, Jandy. You can have custody back of your zing.

  89. radio wave says:

    If the Pirates win today, it will be eight road wins in a row. They last did this in 1987.

  90. Jandy says:

    Nah, I share with cool people :)

  91. Jandy says:


  92. JRay3 says:

    El Toro belts #22 = ALL-STAR

  93. JRay3 says:

    +1…great stat

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Sounds like fun.

    I may be moving past you…….. literally.
    May be returning to the Motherland.
    Keeping Hippo fingers crossed.

    Cubs always seem to be a good tonic for what ails us.
    Pedro boomed another. :)

  95. Jandy says:

    Motherland is where? Refresh an ol Mom’s memory!

  96. theplanisworking says:

    Jimmy cricket…………………

    if you are going to steal the zing, capatolize it!!

    ZING !!!!

  97. theplanisworking says:


    Investigating things…….. friends helping out with leads…… talked to a few people……. would be nice.

  98. Lad9 says:

    El Toro! Called that one. Jandy welcome back!. The blog is a pleasant place today, which hasn’t always been true in your absence. Thank goodness for our genial Hippo. :)

  99. theplanisworking says:

    And the video goes POOF!


  100. pattonbb says:

    Charlie’s breaking stuff isn’t breaking anymore.

  101. radio wave says:

    I would be surprised if he makes all-star because of the low batting average.

  102. Jandy says:

    Mother Theresa will send up prayers for additional help. Also sending lots of good vibes your way for success :)

  103. Dave G says:

    Ouch. 2-1 Cubs.

  104. Jandy says:


  105. Jandy says:

    dang they’re smacking Charlie around :(

  106. JRay3 says:

    When he leaves ball up, batters make him pay and he has left a few up this inning,

  107. pattonbb says:

    Morton missed the plate by 3 feet that time. He needs to get his composure back.

  108. Dave G says:

    HBP. Placed his ankle right in the path of that pitch.

  109. matt says:

    Why is mckenry batting in the sixth position?

  110. JRay3 says:

    No other 3B in NL touches his HR, SLG, and OPS numbers….take away his slow start in April and he has been a .280 hitter.

    .245 is not awful for a power hitter who has racked up 57 RBI’s in the process.

    Would be a shame if he is not part of the NL team.

  111. theplanisworking says:

    Anyone else lose root?

  112. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks Jandy.
    This next week will be important.

  113. Jandy says:

    Hey Lad! I’m glad my friends missed me :)
    I know how contentious this place can be!
    Hippo is a good friend for both of us to have.

  114. Jandy says:


  115. Jandy says:

    Nope I got mine

  116. Jandy says:

    Adding some Memorare’s to that prayer list!

  117. theplanisworking says:

    Thank you both for that. :)

  118. theplanisworking says:

    Mine is gone.
    And I cant find it on any other station out here.

    Darn Comcast…………. they suck!

  119. Jandy says:


  120. Jandy says:

    I have Dish

  121. theplanisworking says:

    Oh well…… just have to go by what is here, or worthless ESPN Gamecast. :(

  122. pattonbb says:

    What happened to Walker?

  123. Jandy says:

    that sucks man

  124. Jandy says:

    that’s what I want to know

  125. Lad9 says:

    + a Hippo’s worth!

  126. Keith says:

    Anyone noticed that Morton is 5/5 in allowing the leadoff batter to get on?

  127. Lad9 says:

    Fervently hope it is nothing serious. Definitely do not like our options there if it is longer than a couple of days.

  128. pattonbb says:

    What in the hell?!?!

    Kerwin Danley grants the runner time in the middle of Charlie’s delivery?

  129. JRay3 says:

    Working from the stretch all game, jus a very uneven performance by him today.

  130. Lad9 says:

    Love my DirecTV…. Except during heavy rain

  131. Jandy says:

    I HATE Soriano!

  132. pattonbb says:

    Not the outing Charlie needed to have today.

    Soriano absolutely crushes another one.

  133. Dave G says:


    Nuff Charlie for today.

  134. Jandy says:

    yeah that’s my dish too. Heavy rains knock it out

  135. Jandy says:

    for sure!

  136. theplanisworking says:

    I used to have DiretTv. Loved it.

    Funny thing is…. Root is the only channel out right now.

    I blame Drew.

  137. JRay3 says:

    Not sure Morton can be long for the rotation when he struggles to go six, and pays for each pitch that does not sink for him.

    Six hits, three walks just too many base runners once again in his start.

  138. Thundercrack says:

    Charlie doesn’t have enough control. Way too much movement that he doesn’t know where the pitch is going to end up. And too often it drifts over the heart of the plate.

  139. twentytwo22 says:

    Absolutely inexcusable to give Soriano anything he can hit there with 2 outs and 1st base open. Stupid pitching.

  140. JRay3 says:

    Cards a winner, Reds up 6-3, could be giving a game back to each of them today.

  141. theplanisworking says:

    Got the game back, finally, and we are down 4-1.

    What in the blue hell……………………. ?

  142. Jandy says:

    yeah that’s whack

  143. Jandy says:

    We can’t seem to do anything right today :(

  144. Dave G says:

    Is that Kris Letang pitching for the Cubs right now?

  145. tdb1977 says:

    I see on twitter that the Bucs have 4 all-stars – Grilli, McCutchen, Locke, and Alvarez. Won’t be official until 6:30, but this is what I’m seeing right now.

  146. JRay3 says:

    Awesome, four Bucs headed to AS game, congrats to each of them.

    When is the last time the Pirates have had four all-stars? And could have made case for 3M- Martin, Marte and Melancon.

  147. JRay3 says:

    Cubs broadcast said Walker left game with right side discomfort, sounds like oblique.

  148. tdb1977 says:

    If these are in fact the Buc’s representatives to the game – next Sunday when they get their Jersey’s before the Mets game is going to be pretty awesome to see.

  149. Thundercrack says:

    I heard the All Star Game is going to be played on twitter this year.

  150. Jandy says:


  151. Jandy says:


  152. JRay3 says:

    Sweet I will be lucky enough to see it in person as I will be out at PNC next Sat and Sun. Great moment indeed, glad to see these guys get the recognition they deserve.

  153. Jandy says:

    TC says BOOM!

  154. tdb1977 says:

    Molina is an All-Star…he is injured. Could this be a spot for Martin to get a call into the game?

  155. Lad9 says:

    But will be limited ton160 fans…

  156. theplanisworking says:

    But what if no one “follows” it? ;)

  157. Dave G says:

    I think the groupon limit is 5, so he might have a shot.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    What’s up with Snider? TERRIBLE at bat again.

  159. Thundercrack says:

    The Pirates’ hitters must have reservations at nice Chicago steakhouses

  160. Thundercrack says:

    He may be dripping with power but he has a very poor approach

  161. tdb1977 says:

    Or Snider has reservations to fill his round and pudgy belly.

  162. twentytwo22 says:

    Here’s the HWHIP (Hits + Walks + Hit Batters per Inning) of the starting pitchers

    1.175 A.J. Burnett
    1.176 Jeff Locke
    1.180 Jeanmar Gomez (1.075 as starter)
    1.181 Wandy Rodriguez
    1.234 Francisco Liriano
    1.382 Gerrit Cole
    1.404 Brandon Cumpton
    1.583 Charlie Morton
    1.753 James McDonald
    2.143 Phil Irwin
    2.561 Jonathan Sanchez

    The 5th spot should be Jeanmar Gomez or Gerrit Cole.

    It’s time we move away from players like Charlie Morton who don’t have a toolbox.

  163. pattonbb says:

    Dripping with Al’s Italian Beef maybe…..

  164. theplanisworking says:

    Snider strikes me as a Golden Corral type of guy.

    Dripping with crumbs……….

  165. theplanisworking says:


  166. JRay3 says:

    Stats do tell a story, sure hope Wandy can return, but also why I have stated the need to add a starter at the deadline.

  167. JRay3 says:

    The Pirates have four all-stars for first time since 1981 when Dave Parker, Mike Easler, Bill Madlock and Phil Garner were selected to the team.

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    Some guys are going to be upset. Were saying we had maybe 2. Good to see Locke and Pedro rewarded along with our 2 locks.

  169. tdb1977 says:

    #SayNoToPuig Get this trending!

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was just waving at stuff way off the plate.

  171. JRay3 says:

    Well tough day to lose as Reds and Cards pick up game. Need AJ to pick team back up and get the series tomorrow.

  172. theplanisworking says:

    Lower The Jolly Hippo.

    We need to bring up Sanchez to see what he can do.
    Love the Fort, but he needs to go.

    Jeckyll and Hyde offense tanks again.
    As giddy as we are about the Bucs and their record, keep in mind consistency will be the only way this is sustainable.

  173. theplanisworking says:


  174. Jandy says:

    ehhh I want to see what AJ brings tomorrow….need some offense to back him up tho

  175. pattonbb says:

    I thought they’d get 2, maybe 3. Great for Locke and Pedro to get recognized. Very easily could have had two more named (Marte & Melancon).

  176. diehard says:

    Fan voting – Say no to Puig!

  177. Chuck H says:

    I see another loss to blame on the manager. Why did he leave that batting practice pitcher. Morton in there after the Cubs got to him for 3 straight hits in the inning before Soriano lit him up again. Looked like he just poured it down the middle for Soriano, who hates curve balls and usually strikes out on them. Hurdle just doesn’t seem to know when a pitcher doesn’t have it anymore. I know, we can’t win them all, but holly cow, we should at least try to win them all.

  178. theplanisworking says:

    Jeckyll and Hyde, Jandy.

    Have a great evening……….. see you tomorrow. :)

  179. tdb1977 says:


  180. Patrick(ri) says:

    He can start by backing Soriarno off the plate. A comfortable Albert is a dangerous albert.

  181. diehard says:

    For players with so few games played this year, Puig isn’t even the best on his own team! Hanley Ramirez is beating him in almost every category (1 less HR, .004 lower BA – but otherwise better across the board) – and for straight numbers based categories, doing it in 30 less AB’s.

  182. WVStarship says:

    Signs of The Collapse III are already showing.

  183. Patrick(ri) says:

    Cannot, but my feeling is that CH is better about that tendency this year. I guess the innings put in by the Pen would support my view. The second home run seemed to a large mistake by Morton, not CH?

  184. Andrew Yoho says:

    You can add Oregon (town of Roseburg) to your list

  185. diehard says:

    Essentially, Charlie threw 2 really bad pitches in 6 innings, and it cost 4 runs. Not really a Hurdle mistake necessarily – who called the pitch? (McKenry or the bench?)

  186. Thundercrack says:

    Soriano’s first home seemed to come on a pitch that drifted back out over the plate.

  187. Patrick(ri) says:

    Cannot believe I am defending managerial in-game moves, but perhaps CH wanted Morton to get some work since this was another just -back -from- injury start, and especially since his last one was cut so short?

  188. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m sure whoever it was didn’t order a meatball. :-)

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep. If Clint would have taken Charlie out they maybe would have lost 2-1 instead of 4-1.
    Maybe. Wait . . .

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