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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Cubs 4, Pirates 3, 11 innings

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (53-33) vs. Chicago Cubs (37-48)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva

Time: 2:20 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jose Tabata, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Russell Martin, C
  7. Brandon Inge, 2B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Karen Price 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. Erik nist says:

    I hope that Neil is ok and back in the line up soon. As well, I hope that today, or however long Neil’s injury lasts, proves to be the end of the Inge experiment. I just don’t get it. More importantly, I hope it doesn’t hurt our record. I’d much rather see DeJesus. He’s doing very well in Indy. Free DeJesus.

  3. 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 Pick ‘Em Line
    Total Combined HITS + WALKS + HBP by Brandon Inge in today’s game
    0 (EVEN ODDS)
    1 (EVEN ODDS)

    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!!!

  4. bman says:


    I’ll go with 40 on 2


  5. JD says:

    100 on 2 please. Go Bucs

  6. Jerry Bevil says:

    Munster,Indiana.Let’s Go Vices

  7. Lad9 says:

    Mr Playoffs I will go with 100 latinum on 1 please. Thank you. Go Buccos!

  8. John Lease says:

    I’d rather see Barmes playing second, than Inge.

    And I REALLY don’t care for Barmes.

    But if they win, I won’t care.

  9. Matt hoffman says:

    100 on 2 please.

  10. Joey Mellons says:

    100 on 2.

  11. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I kind of figured that Barmes would be a short and Mercer would be at second.

    But it appears that Hurdle wants Mercer to stick at short, and he doesn’t want to move him around the diamond.
    I like that.

  12. Lad9 says:

    Informal lunatic poll: assuming that Neil Walker’s injury is not serious enough to merit a DL stint, would your preferred short-term solution be:

    A) Use Inge with a BA of .198 and an OPS of .483 or
    B) Slide Mercer to 2B and use Barmes with an average of .200 and an OPS of .502

    option C (any of the three middle infielders at Indy, or anyone else) is not a valid choice unless we DL Neil. If interested, reply in the box and I will tabulate and report back.

  13. theplanisworking says:

    Option D : Punt.

  14. pattonbb says:

    What the heck..

    100 on 3 or more

  15. Bizrow says:

    Welcome Jerry, thanks for signing in

  16. Bizrow says:

    I feel lucky today

    100 on 3 or more

    Thanks, Playoffs

  17. Dadtackular says:

    100 on 0

  18. Jandy says:

    Sign me up!

  19. theplanisworking says:

    See you later for the game, J-Girl.

    Root on dem Bucs!

  20. tdb1977 says:

    100 on line 3 :) I’m feeling lucky today!

  21. tdb1977 says:

    Option E. Put ME in coach, I’m ready to play. I can hit better than Inge and Barmes combined! :)

  22. Jandy says:

    Don’t know if I’ll be around but if I am I’ll check in…enjoy the day, Hipposter, my friend <3

  23. Jason81 says:

    100 on 1, please.

  24. Thundercrack says:

    I say we play Inge for this coming week. Kinda like a tryout.
    If he stinks, then everyone will see it and we can move on to replacing him.

    But I did hear Clint Hurdle’s pregame Q&A and he acknowledged the challenges a player faces when he goes from being a regular all his career to a bench guy that doesn’t get a lot of at-bats. Plus Inge is changing leagues. Clint does like Inge’s glove

  25. kr70 says:

    100 on 1 and THANKS

  26. The Gunner says:

    NIce to see FC getting an early start on his beer drinking today while he was talking to Hurdle’s dad.

  27. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window, perfect day to win another series and see AJ retake the hill. Tough line today so will tread cautiously here.

    25 on 1

    Thanks and Let’s Go Bucs!

  28. JRay3 says:

    Justin Smoak just smokes one on Arroyo and it’s 3-0 M’s over Reds on the out of town.

  29. Boise Bucco says:

    Not sure if anyone remembers, it’s been a few years–maybe when Locke was in either Lynchburg or Altoona; someone wrote an article about how he might and up being the real “get” out of the McLouth trade. Don’t know if it was in relation to Morton pitching well, I don’t think it was mentioned in the Morton-Halladay piece.

    Anyway, solid +1 Internet if anyone can dig it up. I couldn’t even tell you if it was Trib or PG tbh.

  30. Irish says:

    50 on 2,Thanks!

  31. radio wave says:

    At playoffs:
    75 on a total of 1.

  32. theplanisworking says:


  33. BostonsCommon says:

    Definitely prefer Barmes at 2nd over Inge. Neither can hit for squat, but Barmes has the better glove. I really can’t even think of a situation where I want to see Inge in the lineup, maybe as a late inning defensive replacement, but isn’t that what Barmes is for at this point? This is an incredibly weak bench and there’s no reason both of those guys should be on it. Pick one (Barmes) and replace the other with someone who might actually be a threat to pick up a late inning, pivitol, pinch hit. This is something that clearly needs to be addressed by the deadline.

    1-8 the pirates stack up pretty well against most teams, but 22-25 is a real problem that can be exposed. It doesn’t help that Barmes and Inge are both Hudle’s guys and you know he wants to keep them around, but I think Neil needs to step in and do something about it.

  34. theplanisworking says:

    Did the Bowtie Bar go to Wrigley? ;)

  35. theplanisworking says:

    Mr. Playoffs………….

    sometimes your lines are worse than the 95 degree heat I have here. ;)

    I would like 50 Heated Hippos on 2, please.


  36. cmat0829 says:

    lets gamble, 100 on 2 please

  37. Thundercrack says:

    So what?
    I’m going to have one soon too.

    And I hope he didn’t get yelled at by the usher.

  38. The Gunner says:

    FC is a disgrace given his position, he needs to use a little discretion

  39. pattonbb says:

    Inge made a really nice play on that last out.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    You are right. So What.

    I am sure Nutting has a DD for Frankie. :)

  41. cmat0829 says:

    He certainly made a very nice play there…

  42. 21sthebest says:

    Nice interview with Grilli’s Dad sitting down.

  43. cmat0829 says:

    Here we go with ANOTHER pitcher that throws mostly junk…fastball max around MPH… Bucs typically stuggle with pitchers like this…they aren’t patient enough and lunge at pitcher’s pitches….will they prove me wrong today?

  44. theplanisworking says:

    Yes. Didnt see any ushers.

  45. Thundercrack says:

    You’re right. He should have kept it in a flask or poured out a soda and hid the beer in that cup

    Is eating a hot dog before the game OK? I’m guessing peanut are too messy

  46. Thundercrack says:

    Robbie is a quick learner.

  47. MadTurk says:

    Hey Hippo you are everywhere. If you get the WILD channel you are about to save a baby Zebra fro drowning.

    Please apply the same winning spirit to the Pirates today and always.

  48. The Gunner says:

    He just made up for it, lucky for him his miscue didn’t cause more issues

  49. The Gunner says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but was is a DD?

  50. 21sthebest says:

    This is surprising. He’s from Philadelphia.

  51. pattonbb says:

    That’s what I get for saying anything nice about Inge.

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Designated Driver.

  53. tdb1977 says:

    Designated Driver

  54. theplanisworking says:


    Ok, I will certainly try!
    Nice to know I save zebras. :)

  55. Bizrow says:

    We need a couple of big outs right now

  56. The Gunner says:

    ha ha / that’s great!!

  57. JRay3 says:

    Error by Jones leads to a second Cub run, defense a little shoddy of late. Bats are going to need to wake up against a starter just pulled from bullpen.

  58. JRay3 says:

    Tabata continues with hot bat since return, leadoff double for middle of lineup.

  59. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Pirates offense needs to stop hitting the snooze bar, and get up already.
    3 runs against this team shouldn’t be such a chore…..

  60. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Time for the “All-Stars” to step up this inning.

  61. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    and……right on cue

  62. JRay3 says:

    Big gapper by Cutch and Bucs answer right back, chance to tie game back up. Second time through order and bats having some success.

  63. Patrick(ri) says:

    Nobody but Tabata.

  64. Lad9 says:

    Cutch swinging the bat well. The average has been climbing. Maybe our long awaited hot streak….

  65. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    That at bat by Alvarez, is what will ALWAYS drive me nuts about his hitting.
    Runner on third with one out, you don’t strike out.

  66. Thundercrack says:

    That is the part of Pedro’s game that drives me the most crazy. Yes he strikes out a lot , but there is a lot of room for improvement with getting the runner home with less than 2 outs. Sac fly – grounder to the right side!

  67. Brandie says:

    Good Sunday one and all. Just back from 8 days in the woods. Hope everyone is well.

  68. Thundercrack says:


  69. JRay3 says:

    i wouldn’t so much mind the strikeout as he is going to K, but I do mind leaving the bat on your shoulder. A sac fly in that situation is all that was needed.

  70. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    AMEN, just make contact.

  71. JoeyBats says:

    Inge needs to take more BATTING PRACTICE! :-(

  72. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Just make contact.

  73. JRay3 says:

    Welcome back to civilization, but entering this place I guess that could be argued.

  74. Keith says:


  75. Parrothead01 says:

    Why is Inge on the team, let alone playing. Hurdle and Huntington are supposed to be arter than this. There are ten guys at triple A that I would be more hopeful of getting a hit.

  76. Keith says:

    Maybe he can take it in the Frontier League.

  77. Patrick(ri) says:

    +1. Look to Cmat’s comment above re junk throwers — directly applicable.

  78. JRay3 says:

    Inge needs a permanent rehab assignment.

  79. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Inge being, well, Inge sure didn’t help there.
    But, that inning was lost by Alvarez.

    In my opinion, Alvarez is NOT an All-Star caliber player.
    Can’t keep striking out with runners in scoring position.

  80. Keith says:

    I guarantee that after this series we’ll see Matt Hague or Josh Harrison filling Inge’s roster spot. Hopefully Hague; Barmes can still play MI.

  81. JoeyBats says:

    Yep…he needs to RETIRE !

  82. Keith says:

    Inge just felt a tweak in his hammy, according to someone in the front office.

  83. florida steeler says:

    How he can stand there and look at a pitch right down the middle of the plate defies all logic. And, then argues with the umpire who is horrible but not on that pitch. How this guy is an umpire is beyond me.

  84. Keith says:


  85. Keith says:

    I just love that Martin stole that base. He’s been doing that all year: stealing a base solely to prevent double plays, not because he’s showing off blazing speed. Smart, smart player.

  86. JRay3 says:

    I would like Harrison due to his versatility, but it amazes me that he hits very well down at Indy and just has not got anything going when up with the big club.

  87. Brandie says:

    Good one. Nice to know that the Bucs still have a stellar record. I guess that’s why there has been so much rain. Must be one of the signs of the apocalypse. :-)

  88. Bizrow says:

    Well, as my Playoff pick was 3 or more hits for Inge, now I’m hoping we play till Tuesday, if he stays in, with say 25 at bats, he might reach it

  89. Brandie says:

    Greetings Rad Lad!

  90. theplanisworking says:

    Welcome back, Muppet!!!
    Jandy was looking for you the other day!

    Hope the camping went well.
    Now that you are back……….. cheer on the Bucs! :)

  91. JRay3 says:

    Kerwin Bell and his strike zone is just all over the place, Burnett was half way to dugout before realizing that pitch that was all over the corner to Castillo was called ball four.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    + many.

  93. JRay3 says:


  94. Thundercrack says:


  95. Brandie says:

    Let’s get it done, boys!

  96. Lad9 says:

    Brandie! Welcome back to the asylum. You were missed. How goes it?

  97. Brandie says:

    Goes okay. Got all eaten up by mosquitoes.

  98. Brandie says:

    Dangerous Sean Burnett with the single.

  99. Brandie says:

    Meant AJ…adjusting to civilization. Sounds like I fell into a time work.

  100. Lad9 says:

    He is the one who called that horrible time out yesterday too. He is really bad.

  101. theplanisworking says:

    Now that ball was SPANKED !!!

  102. Brandie says:

    Tabata Love.

  103. JRay3 says:

    Jose Tabata welcome back, crushed double into ivy ties game at 2!

  104. Dadtackular says:

    Thanks to Soriano’s Defense!

  105. Lad9 says:

    Tabby! That ball sounded like it was a shot and it was. He is actually looking good!

  106. theplanisworking says:

    You come back from camping, and are all confused.

    MadTurk above saw me save a zebra today on the WILD channel. :)

  107. Patrick(ri) says:

    Too bad his swing is so lazy.

  108. Lad9 says:

    It has to be the mosquitos… :)

  109. Brandie says:

    Hippo Hero! Give me a t shirt with a super hero hippo avatar.

  110. Lad9 says:

    Fist bump to Cutch for not expanding the zone and accepting the pitch-around.

  111. Brandie says:

    Gave me a scorching case of the dummies.

  112. Patrick(ri) says:


  113. Lad9 says:

    I just hope the zebra was not Phil Luckett …

  114. theplanisworking says:


    Can you imagine the amount of material needed to make a cape for me?

  115. theplanisworking says:

    4-legged, not 2 legged. ;)

  116. florida steeler says:

    Garrett Jones is starting to hit like Snider.

  117. chethejet says:

    Outside of Pedro, the Bucs just can’t hit the long ball to score or change a game. Jones is down and Sanchez has no real bang. Tabata just hasn’t developed into a HR threat and Marte will surprise every once in awhile. Walker either the back or the quad seems to linger and he just doesn’t have the juice of two years ago. NH go get a bat.

  118. JRay3 says:

    Hitting .296 now after he has produced seven hits since return from DL.

  119. theplanisworking says:

    Not good.

  120. Jag7 says:

    Why can’t anyone on this team hit a sacrifice fly? They can’t get a runner home from 3rd with less than 2 outs if their lives depended on it. Pathetic.

  121. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    So this Mercer guy…
    Why does everyone insist that he play everyday?

    He’s looked very pedestrian the last week or so.

  122. diehard says:

    Gee, runner on third breaks on contact on a grounder to short. Happens to often. One thing almost every one of those incidents has in common – NICK LEYVA. We played better when Nick was home sick.

  123. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Yes, there you go.
    It is Nick Leyva’s fault that Mercer couldn’t hit a fly ball to the outfield.

  124. florida steeler says:

    Base Running 101–is there a worse base running team in baseball???

  125. theplanisworking says:

    Because he is better than Barmes?

  126. Patrick(ri) says:

    +1. Their most consistent weakness.

  127. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Why doesn’t this team need to make any trades again?

  128. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  129. 21sthebest says:


  130. Patrick(ri) says:

    The 2nd most consistent flaw.

  131. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I’m not sure he is THAT much better.

  132. Patrick(ri) says:

    No matter how this turns out, it was a fine return for AJ.

  133. Jag7 says:

    Do they know they’re allowed to hit the ball the other way?

  134. Keith says:

    Well, Tabata is making it look like a new RF isn’t a high priority, but, again – this BENCH! Come one, folks – we have to be able to do better than Gaby vs. a RHP.

  135. florida steeler says:

    If they sit still–they will NOT win; maybe wild card or if pitching falters a little, out of playoff picture. They need to pick up a bat. Snider, Jones, Barmes, Inge and Gaby on the border,and Mercer are weak.

  136. theplanisworking says:

    True. But he IS better.

    But that is not saying much at all.

  137. JRay3 says:

    Nice easy 1-2-3 inning of work by Watson, aided by the nice play by Mercer on high chopper. It comes down to battle of pens today, have to think advantage Pirates.

  138. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    True and Truer.
    Well said my hippo friend.

  139. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    + 1

  140. 21sthebest says:

    I wouldn’t count on Tabata staying healthy.

  141. florida steeler says:

    Not if we don’t start getting a hit or a damn fly ball or grounder to the right side. Real hard for major league players to do??

  142. JRay3 says:

    +1, unfortunate the way order went out he was at an efficient 66 pitches and probably could have went back out there. Great to have him back as anchor to rotation.

  143. Arriba Wilver says:


  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good thing for Tabby the 1st plate ump was napping.

  145. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    This game has all the makings of a bitter loss.
    Inspire me to thin otherwise :)

  146. theplanisworking says:

    DK blew it on his stance that no moves need to be made.

    A bat is needed.
    I am not saying trade Taillon and Polanco, and every prospect for it. But neal HAS to investigate it. Seriously investigate it.

  147. Patrick(ri) says:

    The kind of game you lose to a weak hitter’s monthly HR. inam trying to put a cursebon Darwin V. Now.

  148. Patrick(ri) says:

    It worked!

  149. Ghost says:

    Just me, or did the Cubs announcers practically give that Illinois basketball coach the silent treatment while he was in the booth?

  150. florida steeler says:

    What a terrible pitch!!!

  151. Patrick(ri) says:

    Exactly what feared. I guess he averages 1.3 per month.

  152. florida steeler says:

    You called it!!!!

  153. Parrothead01 says:

    Cubs might not be a good team, but it must be nice having cuts on the bench that can actually get a hit. All the pirates have on the bench are two hundred hitters.

  154. War Horse says:

    Here come the tying and go-ahead runs.

  155. florida steeler says:

    This Neal Huntington bench will be their downfall.

  156. Bob Hasis says:

    On that rundown play, the runner on second immediately comes to third – and stands one foot short of it. If a blessed miracle occurs whereby a runner like Pedro scores, or in the more likely event he gets tagged out, in EITHER CASE Martin merely steps on third and is safe. By not touching third, the base is still open for Pedro.

    In the event Pedro gets back to third safely, then Martin retreats toward second creating another rundown allowing the batter to get to second if he’s not already there, again standing one foot short of it in case Martin needs to or can get back to second.

    Leyva doesn’t know that yet, but Martin should.

    In this event, the worst case scenario is the same as before the ball was hit with another out

  157. Patrick(ri) says:

    Hairston reminds me of Matt Stairs in his last few seasons. Inagree almost every team seems able to outgun us in “Bench Warfare.”

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hairston was batting .163. (But 7 homers)

  159. Ghost says:

    That’s preposterous and wouldn’t work anywhere past Little League.

  160. Bob Hasis says:

    . . . . .with the presumption Martin or Mercer will have been tagged out

  161. Bob Hasis says:

    No Ghost it’s baseball. Introduce yourself to it

  162. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I could see it happening if John Russell was still managing.

  163. Parrothead01 says:

    Inge is totally worthless.

  164. Ghost says:


  165. JRay3 says:

    Cards sweep Marlins, Reds lose two of three at home to Mariners, looking at giving two game lead right back to Cards if no ninth inning magic.

  166. Ghost says:

    Silly me again.

  167. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Here’s the way I look at it.

    When you win 9 in a row, you are going to endure a 2-4 week at some point.

    Keep Calm & Break .500

  168. Bob Hasis says:

    Is there an explanation to this one-liner, because you have Ghost all excited?

  169. Lad9 says:

    Good inning for Mazzaro. He looked really bad the other day when he came in with runners on base. It seems to me that has bothered him in the past – I would only let him start innings. Now lets at least tie this thing up.

  170. Ghost says:

    If we ARE on the verge of acquiring a bat, enjoy that last inning by Mazzaro. I figure he — and possible Tabby, if he’s playing because he’s being showcased — are most likely to be how we pay for a rental.

  171. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Ghost said it wouldn’t happen past Little League.
    I countered that I could see a John Russell team allowing it to happen as well.

  172. pattonbb says:


  173. Bob Hasis says:

    You are looking at it incorrectly. Where is it written going 2-4 is OK anytime?

    Winning teams NEVER think that way!

  174. Thundercrack says:

    Tabata is our rightfielder. Especially after that at bat by Snider

  175. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Jordy Ripken Wagner Mercer with a whopping 2 hits this entire week.
    Let’s all get angry when he doesn’t start on Monday.

  176. pattonbb says:

    Just sounded really awkward, like they didn’t know what to talk about.

  177. JRay3 says:

    All teams will, Reds scuffling of late, Dbacks went through losing streak, Braves have dropped a couple of series…it is how you respond that determines your fate.

    Glad to have six at PNC before break, good time to get back on track.

  178. theplanisworking says:

    MARTE PARTAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  179. tdb1977 says:

    Marte Parte!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    Woo Hoo!

  181. JRay3 says:

    Starling Marte…MARTE PARTE, never give up on this team, battling Buccos!

  182. War Horse says:

    Okay, that’ll do. Now the winner.

  183. Patrick(ri) says:

    He should have thrown it in the dirt. Hooray for Marte!

  184. Lad9 says:


  185. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Hey check it out, Bob is right and someone else is wrong.

    Go bully someone else.
    I don’t want to get into it with you today.

  186. JRay3 says:

    What an amazing AB, future star…that pitch was off plate and swing he put on it just incredible.

  187. Ghost says:


  188. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Elvis just sat back down!

  189. Patrick(ri) says:

    Dantley has been pretty accurate today. I am surprised.

  190. Dadtackular says:

    Fat Lady told to get out of the aisles by the ushers…

  191. pattonbb says:

    Tabata with another really good at bat. Pretty soon I’ll start feeling bad about being the only Pirate fan to ever say anything negative about him.

  192. Bob Hasis says:

    Accepted, except he as well as Leyva aren’t aware of how a rundown play – by the offensive team – should be executed.

    Which reminds me of one of my three very favorite quotes in sports, when after Tampa Bay Bucs were going through their 0-16 season, after a particular game a reporter asked John McKay ” even though you lost today coach, what do you think of your teams execution?” To which he replied, ” I think it’s a great idea!”

  193. pattonbb says:

    It’s Wrigley, there’s hundreds of them.

  194. Patrick(ri) says:

    +1. Very droll.

  195. Ghost says:

    Today, he is. Tomorrow brings no guarantee, nor should it. As for Snider, he’s our fourth outfielder.
    There are a lot of corner outfielders out there that are better than either of these guys and all it takes is for one club that knows they will be out of it at the end of this month to do a tango with us.

  196. Dadtackular says:

    true… but it’s also true that it’s not over till the fat lady sings… (and she was told to get out of the aisle)

  197. Playoffs by 2012 says:


  198. JRay3 says:

    He is injecting life into lineup that needs it and has shown great hustle since his return. Makes all the difference if he can return to the .300 hitter he showed as a rookie.

  199. JRay3 says:

    Melancon mows Cubs down on just 7 pitches in ninth. How was he not an All-Star, his numbers are just off the charts.

  200. Patrick(ri) says:

    Putting up at least the appearance of being open-minded, can someone explain the double switch, since I cannot imagine Melancon pitching 2 innings?

  201. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, here are your 3 SS choices. Choose well.

    1) Mercer.
    2) Barmes.
    3) Harrison.

    Not exactly the ’27 Yankees.

  202. Bizrow says:

    Chuck Tanner used to say, you win 54, lose 54 and the other 54 make the difference

    This one could make a difference if we pull it off

  203. Brandie says:

    Love the never say die attitude.

  204. Lad9 says:

    Same here. It makes this a special team for me.

  205. Ghost says:

    Can hippos turn the double play?

  206. pattonbb says:

    That wasn’t even close. Wow…

  207. pattonbb says:

    I’m far from open-minded, but will admit I’m scratching my head too.

  208. Ghost says:

    Did you see an accent mark and interpret that as excitement? BTW, you also bungled the John McKay quote.

  209. Eric Bowser says:

    Russell Martin, the overpaid free agent (man, do I and others look bad with those comments) is my no doubt Pirates team MVP. He’s eliminated the running game against the Pirates while he’s behind the plate, handling the pitching staff with greatness, and had some important hits.

    Oh… only 11th inning, this is going 16.

  210. theplanisworking says:

    Every turn we make is a “double” …….. ;)

  211. Patrick(ri) says:

    It’s enough that my wife teases me about Martin every time he throws out a runner. I am one of your “others.” +1.

  212. Lad9 says:

    Second base poll results:

    Barmes 2
    Inge 2 (interpreting liberally)
    Jandy 1
    Tbd 1977 1
    Play without one 1

    Will try to come up with a more interesting topic if we ever do this again

  213. Ghost says:

    Well played!

  214. War Horse says:

    Step One: The manager puts in a pinch-hitter to hit for the pitcher (or another player).
    Step Two: The pinch-hitter makes his at bat.
    Step Three: In the next half inning, the pinch-hitter takes over for a position player in the field.
    Step Four: The pinch-hitter takes over the place in the batting order of the position player he replaces in the field, rather than the pitcher.
    That’s a double switch.
    Make sense?

  215. florida steeler says:

    Snider is AWFUL. How do they keep him, Inge, Barmes, McKenry on a major league roster?? And, where was Snider playing the leadoff hitter that couldn’t hit a golf ball to the warning track??

  216. Ghost says:

    Don’t feel bad guys. I had been patiently biting my tongue on Pedro forever, letting others call him “K-dro” and “rally killer.” Then I finally swayed into the “time to move on camp” and posted it. That same evening Pedro emerged from a telephone booth with a “S” on his chest and hasn’t looked back.

  217. Ghost says:

    FS, I’d like to introduce you to a “good” friend of mine, Bob Hasis.

  218. Reading says:

    Need to somehow get to the 12th when the real hitters come up.

  219. pattonbb says:

    Hi Clint, this is the point in the game where you walk out of the dugout ….

  220. Eric Bowser says:

    I take it back… Russell Martin is LVP

  221. Patrick(ri) says:

    Eric, we jinxed Martin!

  222. theplanisworking says:

    And one punt. :)

  223. Brandie says:

    Get out her Green Weenie, Rad Lad.

  224. Patrick(ri) says:

    The Pirates can’t score in this situation. Take heart.

  225. diehard says:

    Yes, a fly ball would have been nice (not that it’s so easy to intentionally hit a fly ball to deep left – probably easier to dink it into right, but anyway…)
    Not just talking about this time. This has happened frequently over the past 3 years with Leyva coaching third. Boneheaded running mistakes between 2nd and home – which we saw both happen on that play – Martin should have been on 3rd IF Pedro was running, which he shouldn’t have been.

  226. Patrick(ri) says:

    What is a “sacrifice fly?” Is that legal?

  227. theplanisworking says:

    Lower The Jolly Hippo.

    Offense was offensive again.

    Defense was offensive also.

    Need to pick it up with Oakland coming to town.

  228. Brandie says:

    This team is perfectly flawed, stellar record not withstanding.

  229. tdb1977 says:

    Can I still get a big league uniform?

  230. MadTurk says:

    Yep like predicting Pens wins in the playoffs

  231. Brandie says:

    Ugh again! Stuff happens. This team will take its lumps to be sure. What matters is how they come back.

  232. tdb1977 says:

    Plus, I probably have little to good power, and will probably strike out a lot. And the little pop that I have in my bat, you could say I am dripping with warning track power! My range is nile and I might wear my hat over my ears. Give me 4 or 5 pieces of gum to chew at a time, and I would fit in just right with this team.

  233. theplanisworking says:

    Muppet !!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, time to organize my house.
    Clean then cook.

    Hope everyone has a great night………… hope the Bucs do better tomorrow.

    Hippo out.

  234. Reading says:

    Is there a Groupon for tomorrow? Otherwise, dropping back-to-back series against teams with losing records is probably not going to inspire a large walkup crowd. Moss will probably go yard several times asserting the “ex-Pirate” factor.

  235. chethejet says:

    Martin has been an upgrade at catcher. Mercer is a upgrade over Barmes. What the Bucs see in Snyder escapes me. He is clueless at the plate, his reaction time in right field is so slow he makes Tabata look average. The Pirates have pitching and AJ looks like he is back to good form. This team just can’t score enough runs to win games like these. The cubs are a bad team and to lose a series is on the hitting. Cash flow being what it is, I don’t envision the bucs taking on any contracts of note. NH will continue to defend his platoon with Hurdle need for flexibility. Quick translation, our owner has a payroll of 72 million net 62 million and that is enough to make things do.

  236. diehard says:

    Actually, it DID happen under Russell. Someone got in a rundown, ended up on 3rd at the same time as Andy LaRoche. The lead runner got tagged, Andy got confused and stepped off the bag – double play. Anyone else remember that painful moment?

  237. Ghost says:

    On the other hand, you get to tease your wife.

  238. twentytwo22 says:

    Bob Walk’s laying the wood to the offense on the post-game show. Good for him. If you look at their OPS+ for each of the positions compared to other teams they measure up. The runs aren’t there because they don’t get the job done when it matters. RF must be upgraded. If you look at 2012, the LF OPS+ was 68. The last I checked, the 2013 RF OPS+ was 76. If you measure the impact Marte in LF has had on the team, the Pirates could benefit from an equal impact by a new RF.

  239. Patrick(RI) says:

    Riskier than trying to steal 2nd on Martin!

  240. Drew71 says:

    I have a few adjectives for the offense.

    And for tomorrow’s soccer column.

  241. Thundercrack says:

    The offense is tired

  242. Drew71 says:

    Sick and tired.

    Who can we fire?

  243. The Gunner says:

    Tired is an understatement

  244. The Gunner says:

    Tanked Frank for drinking beer on camera today

  245. Lad9 says:

    The punt was the ” play without one”. :)

  246. Thundercrack says:

    Was FC in the broadcast booth being interviewed while he was drinking a beer? Or was he sitting in the stands like a lot of the other fans?

    Was Robby Inc interviewing him on camera?

    Do you know how many he had – or is one too many for you?

  247. One’s too many.

  248. Chuck H says:

    We lose 2 of 3 to the lowly Cubbies? Is this the start of the annual swoon? Again, we have quit hitting with men on base. Pedro hits with the bases empty, but put a man on first and you can count 2 outs from his bat. Still not convinced this team is for real. For one thing, we have no bench to count on when we need a hit in the late innings. We have a few players who don’t belong on a contending team. I call them automatic outs, and they aren’t in the same league as Mendosa even. Inge is probably the worst of the lot. Let’s get some real hitters before it’s too late. GO! BUCS!!

  249. John Lease says:

    I’m feeling very sad.

  250. Thundercrack says:

    What still gets me is how we do nothing against these “sub par” starting pitchers that we face.

  251. WVStarship says:

    Well, you have to remember that these sub par pitchers are facing sub par batters–so that evens things out.

    We just have to face reality here–while it’s been great that the Bucs have won a slew of 2-1 and 1-0 games this season the lack of offense is bound to start catching up with them. How far and how hard they fall is the big question that will determine how this team is ultimately remembered.

  252. The Gunner says:

    Before the game, they showed a shot of Tanked Frank among the group of Pirate Dads that were in Chicago for the weekend. And, it appeared he had a can of beer in his right hand.

  253. The Gunner says:

    Folks, the Bucs should have beat up on both the Philthies & the Cubs. Now, we have 3 against the A’s (a good team) and 3 against the Mets (a not so good team). If the Bucs go 3-3 (or worse) in these 6 games, we should all be concerned.

  254. Ghost says:

    Tomorrow’s a new day, gang. True, we’ve fallen back into a tie with St. Louis. But it’s still a tie for the best record in baseball. I think a bat is on the way to Pittsburgh in a few weeks, and even after a trade for that we’ve still got the best pitching in all of baseball.

  255. Arriba Wilver says:

    Speaking of soccer, Off with their Heads!

  256. Good example to the kiddies.

    At least it wasn’t a martini.

  257. WVStarship says:

    Sick, sick, sick.

    Funny, but sick. :)

  258. Chuck H says:

    Let’s check out a couple of Baltimore orphanages. Maybe there’s another Babe Ruth in
    one of them.

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