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Final: Pirates 3, Mets 2, 11 innings

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (54-36) vs. New York Mets (40-48)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Jeremy Hefner

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jose Tabata, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  8. Clint Barmes, 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 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.


  1. For PLAYOFFS:

    The Window is off to make the 275 mile or so journey to PNC Park. Need one of kind souls to re-post this in today’s game thread for me. Thanks in advance.

    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 5.75

    Line #2
    Total HOME RUNS hit by the Pedro Alvarez this weekend against the Mets
    Line is 1.5

    PICK ‘EM Line #3
    Total WINS by the PIRATES this weekend against the Mets
    2 (EVEN ODDS)
    3 (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!!!

    P.S. – Anyone going to tonight’s game who wants to say hi is more than welcome to.
    I’ll be down in section 6.
    Just look for the guy with the slicked back hair sitting next to a Mets fans.
    Come on down near the front and yell out “HEY WINDOW!”
    I’ll know it’s one of my lunatic brethren.
    Offerings of IC Light will also be accepted ;)

  2. Decent lineup today. Let’s hope that 5 run momentum from the last A’s game carries over.

    Shame that if they could’ve spread those 5 runs throughout the series they would’ve swept, but I digress

  3. I think this has come up as a question but past homerun derby participants that weren’t selected to play in the All Star Game were:

    Rafael Palmeiro – 2004
    Hee Sop Choi – 2005
    Ryan Howard – 2007

    And by way of reminder, Brandon Inge participated in both in 2009.

    • That guy used to be an all-star… what happened? :\

      • Had a lucky year. He has always struggled hitting for average. I always thought he played solid defense, though. But, I think he has just lost it.

        Guys that do not hit for a high average and don’t have good plate discipline, two things that have generally been weak for Inge, slip pretty quickly.

        • Actually, Inge had horrible tendinitis in both knees in 2009, and basically just ground them down playing 3B everyday down the stretch as an imperfect Tigers team limped to a 162 game tie with the Twins, and lost a one game playoff to the Twins. Hitting ~.280 at the all star break, he finished, I think, in the .240s; his defense kept him in the lineup. Despite knee surgery(s) after the season, he was never the same afterward.

          However, I would not quibble with Jim S’ broader point that Inge’s hitting skill set was made up of qualities that would not have aged well under any circumstances.

  4. I’ll take the over for lines 1 & 2 and take the 3 game sweep on the last line for 100 each.

  5. Is RF still our biggest starting lineup need? With Tabata playing well, maybe we should add a 1B or someone who can platoon at the trade deadline.

    • Garrett Jones will be the 1B improvement the Pirates get for the second half.

      Honestly. Does anyone think he’s finished? After hitting .312 in April, he just forgot how to hit righties?

      He has absolutely been a disappointment. Currently in the longest slump of his career. But unless he’s finished as a major league hitter, he’s bound to come out of it.

      Nobody on the trade market can come close to matching the Jones-Sanchez platoon when Garrett is hitting.

      • No, he’s not finished. He’s very streaky and will hit the upside of that streak soon.

      • “Nobody on the trade market can come close to matching the Jones-Sanchez platoon when Garrett is hitting.”

        Completly agree. They are a great tandem, when on all cylinders.

      • Isn’t my boy Nate looking better and better with the improvement of Tabby??

        • I’m changing my thought process.

          I was cool on guys like him and Ibanez because their history suggested that they probably aren’t gonna be as good as this in the future. Which, in hindsight, was pretty narrow minded since neither will necessarily be part of the Pirates future. I could care less what they do two years from now.

          If Nate can come in and mash righties for the last couple months like he did for the first three, then sign me up.

          • Agree, I am admitting I was wrong…isn’t that the first step??… Ibanez would be a good pickup, you don’t have to play him every day, you can mix and match with Tabby…and either one is a much better bench option than what we have today.

            • I just don’t trust Hurdle to pull the plug on Ibanez when he eventually cools.

              Guys given over 100 AB’s to Inge without showing the slightest sign that he can still hit. Ibanez is basically selling out for homeruns at this point. He stops hitting homeruns, or even regresses back to career norms, he’s worthless.

          • That’s all I was talking about. A rental guy. I wouldn’t even mind having one that can be used in the same situation next year, if there’s a possible out there.

            I figure 2015 is Polanco’s year to take over RF.

            • Oh, I know you were. One of these days I’ll just listen to you and save myself the trouble. :)

              • Dont think that’s in your nature. You gotta break it down. That’s cool, cause I don’t usually do the numbers thing.

      • I’m not certain that he’s heading for improvement. His BABIP is already at .311, which is 21 points HIGHER than his career average. Even over the past 30 days during his “slump”, its at .280 which is about league average. Too many swings and misses, too many K’s (K% is just a tick under 25%).

  6. Line #1: 100 over
    Line #2: 100 under
    Line #3: 100 on 2 wins please

  7. Pirates get Russ Canzler from Orioles. Say goodbye to Brandon Inge.

    • Sorry, I noticed your message right as I clicked submit.

    • Word is, Canzler mashes lefties!!

    • Minor league filler.

      I have a higher chance of being hired as a GM than a career minor leaguer has of supplanting a veteran on Clint Hurdle’s team.

      • Right, nothing to see here, move on.

      • We only need him to be better than Brandon Cr-Inge vs. lefties for now. How can he be worse.

        • Who said he’s Inge’s replacement?

          • I don’t know that he is, but I think it is a possibility at some point. Inge’s job is to hit lefties (failing), PH (flailing), and be a back-up at 3b, 2b & RF.

            And also the veteran influence BS, if you buy that.

            This guy’s bio is that he is a 1b, but also has played some 3b as well as LF/RF. I don’t know what he does in the field, but Inge certainly is not a RF.

            If this guy can hit lefties, wouldn’t you get rid of Inge for him? It is at least worth considering for the time being. I don’t think Tim (Sandy) Alderson was in the long term plans.

            • No.

              I would go find a Major League player that can hit lefties, not a 27 yo minor leaguer.

              • But, what if he can succeed in a limited role (hit LHP)? Why do we have to be searching for the next Gregory Polanco? We already have him.

                We need a guy that can do what Inge should but can’t. Until something better comes along, I think you go with this guy …. and keep searching. Maybe he makes us incrementally better for a few weeks. Maybe he really can hit well against LHP if that is all he is asked to do.

              • Hahaha, how in the world do you get the looking for the next Polanco out of that?


                It’s really too much to ask to acquire an actual major leaguer?


    • Looks like a semi-solid player, little bit of pop. Kinda like a R/H Garrett Jones.

    • Alderson was having a good year at Indy, albeit he lost last night.

      Sorry to see him go, but he’s like Lambo. Needs a chance somewhere.

      • I was pulling for Alderson. Saw him pitch when he was in A ball for the Giants. Totally dominated. Really thought he was on his way to big things.

        • I was, too. He was so messed up with his delivery after they tinkered with it when he got here, it seemed like he’d never make it to the bigs.

          Hope he has some success with Baltimore.

          • Alderson just went from an organization with a solid homefield advantage for pitchers to a bandbox. Yikes for him!

            • So ends the illustrious Pirate career of one Tim Alderson.
              SF got Freddy Sanchez and a World Series trophy….And the Pirates got a perennial minor leaguer.
              Sounds like Huntington got the best of this trade….If he was looking to stock Altoona’s team on a yearly basis.

  8. Does anyone read the Oakland A’s version of this blog? Were their fans upset and ready to storm Billy Beane’s office with pitchforks when the A’s optioned Straily to AAA for a 15-day break taking advantage of the AllStar Game period to get him more, ahem, ‘work’ so he wouldn’t have a long break?

    Did their fans decry their ownership as cheap Nuttings and their FO as incompetent boobs that only care about salary stuff and future and are not ‘all in’? Maybe they did, or maybe Billy Beane deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  9. It’s only one trade, but if that’s the kind of deadline swap Huntington thinks is a big time deal, then the Pirates are in deep doo doo.

  10. Canzler plays 1b, some 3b, some RF/LF. He has a history of hammering lefties. I’d say it’s worth jettisoning Cr-Inge. So much for veteran leadership.

  11. JMac to 60 day DL so won’t see him again this season and Canzler put on the 40.

  12. For those of you around in the early days of the baseball blog over at PG.

    Learned that one the early members of the blog passed away in February. Margaret (Moody) Hook, more often known as Marda, and on the blog as Cap’n She attended several of the early gatherings.

  13. Lets see if we can go streaking starting tonight! I wish they would have kept Canzler hear and sent DFA’d Inge. Anything is better at this point than the current bench. I want to see Ivan Dejesus Jr. Just bite the bullet and put him on the 40 man and get him called up.

  14. Gee people boo the first round pick at the NFL draft, Booed Mario, boo Sid and others all the time what’s with the no booing of Mr. got it wrong Wright if that is what people want to do? I could care less if Pedro was in the contest or not anyway.

  15. No booing the lineup that is about the best we have.

  16. Hopefully Wright goes 0-12 this weekend….that’s all that matters to me about him.

  17. I agree with obtaining Ibanez. Rios has a higher OBP but ½ the homers and about the same strike outs. Plus, Ibanez can also play first if we need him to. In my mind, Ibanez is clearly the better of the two.

    • I don’t want either one, but Rios scares me. And, trust me, if you have ever seen a game at US Commiscular, the ball flies in every direction. Rios won’t hit nearly as many HRs in PNC’s LF/LC.

  18. Numbery stats n such that probably only interest me…

    -Jordy Mercer is hitting just .143 over his last 10 games, yet striking out about 8% less than in his first 41. His average on balls in play over this mini slump is just .167.

    -Before giving up two homeruns to Alfonso Soriano in his last start, Charlie Morton had given up just one to a right handed batter since September 27, 2010 – a string of 43 starts and 195.2 IP.

    • I can see your Mercer numbers. though he’s slumping, I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been striking out.

      So to me that’s a statistical slump, just needs to find some holes.

      • I would say that as well, except that I’ve seen most of his ABs and he has not been driving the ball well for awhile now. Seems like a lot of soft outs to me. I do think he’ll come out of it, though. He had an awesome, long AB the other night vs. the Oakland lefty. 10+ pitches, I think. The guy was already laboring forever, and Jordy toasted what was left of him that night. I don’t even remember the outcome of the AB, but it was sweet how he kept fouling off pitch after pitch.

      • I refuse to use the wonky “L” word when talking baseball and citing numbery stats, but yeah, Jordy could stand to benefit from a few better placed hits.

  19. Adding one player to our bench is not going to make that much difference, bad as it is. We need to clean house with that bench, and I mean replace at least 4 or 5 of the auto outs.

    • Chuck:

      That would be all of them, right? Including either Jones or Sanchez, Barmes, McKenry, Lunch Box?

    • Sounds like a recipe to wait till next year. In other words, defeatist.

      We’re losing close games that can be turned around by a hit or two. No roster blowup needed, or even adviseable, let alone possible.

      • I agree, Arriba. A lot of people don’t seem to want to accept that this is not a collapse at the moment. This is a string of tough losses – exactly the kind of tough losses we have been putting on other teams all year. It is just evening out. Close games are games that either team can win, and it isn’t a sign of much of anything when you lose several in a row.

        I’m not saying that makes them easier to take – only that losing 2-1, 3-2, 2-1 might have more to do with tough luck than falling apart. Now, if we were losing every game by 7-2, 8-3, 10-4 that’s a different story. Close games are toss-ups. The pitching has continued to be solid. We do need to score more runs to have more games like Wed. night, though.

        • 100% right. The collapses haven’t started until game #101. Not quite there yet. I’ll have some great numbers for you when we do.

  20. For all you Nate Schierholtz supporters out there, beware. He’s only hitting .229 away from the friendly confines with a .297 OBP. Unless the Pirates move their home games to Wrigley, I’ll pass.

  21. Padres designated Ciriaco for assignment.

  22. As good a time as any for a “Killing the Closer” update.

    Mujica – 39.2 IP
    Grilli – 38.2 IP
    Chapman – 36.2 IP

  23. From my couch, I am booing David Wright

    I’m not sure why, but I am

  24. Well, they boo’d him slightly.

    Good thing they didn’t WOOOOOOOOOOO him, huh? ;)

  25. I am cheering for Pedro.

    Feels good.

  26. What a pleasure and a relief to see that kind of a throw from our catcher!

  27. Shortstop throws Tabata out if Wright doesn’t cut that ball off.

    But looks like up against the wall in the scorebook.

  28. PEDRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No Boo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. The Last Laugh and the Last Word – goes to PEDRO

  30. “How do you like those big apples from the big bull?!”

    My new favorite home run call from my favorite announcer.

  31. AJ looked pretty happy about Pedro’s HR, even for him.

  32. Tabata hit. Pedro dong.

    I’m starting to like that.

    Pedro is such a better hitter when he is not trying to pull everything. So is McCutchen.

  33. I can’t believe I booed someone who has a Foundation.

  34. Couldn’t script a better “response” than PA hr to dead center. That is class.

  35. I am in Louisville watching the Indians and Lambo just crushed. 3-1 fastball over the right-centerfield wall. Just sayin’.

  36. As a critic of his contributions, I have to say I am very impressed with Barme’s response to his situation. He has risen to the occasion, apparently helped Mercer and been a true pro. “Good stuff,” as Blass might say.

    • Yes.

      Maybe he learned something from Corriea’s response last season

      • Appreciate the agreement. Now i have to think of something negative to say, before this gets out of hand.

        • What’s his alternative? He’s signed his last ML contract, he better hope for an invite to spring training next year.

          • Perhaps, but since his contract runs out this year, I am just pleased to see he does his job w/o whining or pouting (a not uncommon response by benched athletes).

  37. I would like to see Lambo in the ‘Burgh. I think he would be a good bat off the bench!

  38. I’ll tell you what I like, is the way Morton is throwing the ball. Excellent control, location, movement and a lot of ground balls. His speed is also very good.

  39. Hey Dejan,

    Any idea what Charlie’s xFIP is tonight ?

  40. Wright provides his own answer.

  41. Tabata needs to make that play.

  42. Uh oh. Mercer saved Tabata on that one.

  43. I didn’t know Tabata had that kind of arm. Pretty good throw to second.

  44. Nice to see Cole hanging out with AJ.

  45. They’re obviously trying to win this game 2-0.

  46. More great D tonight.

    Marte’s throw to second and then Mercer’s play to first.

  47. 3 outs to Melancon. Are we going to make it? Is the offense going to score another run? Stay tuned.

  48. Walk cracks me up. “Sometimes you got to throw something different.”

  49. I hate Root Sports and their broadcast of these home games. All the crowd shots including people getting food

  50. Score some bleeping runs.

  51. Typical Morton–more than five innings is an adventure. Horrible pitch.

    DK: Morton has allowed two runs in seven innings. If that’s an adventure, then three must be ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ or something.

  52. Hook time.

  53. Three bleeping hits.

  54. Not only are they going to lose this game, they’re probably not going to get another baserunner. Pathetic.

    DK: Hefner has been really good for the Mets for a while now.

  55. Is jones 0 for July. I can’t remember the last game he got a hit.

  56. Here’s an easy glass-half-empty prediction: Wright will hit game-winning HR.

  57. Stolmy is pitching brilliantly here in Louisville tonight. Only 1 hit through seven innings. I wonder what trade value he would bring in return?

  58. OK. Maybe I’ll settle for a line drive. Just one.

  59. Quality AB.

  60. Snider is the best our bench has to offer. Bad!!!

  61. Snider down, Lambo up = no brainer. Inge released, ? Added = no brainer # 2.

  62. I’m being too harsh. We have had one base runner since the 1st inning.

    • This is getting tough to take. I am not very confident about Lambo, but something must happen, even if it is further frequent miles for Presley.

  63. An open letter to Snider…

    Dear Mr. Snider -

    You do know that your not suppose to swing at balls at your eye ball level. 9 out of 10 little leaguers know that, why don’t know? I hope the Pirates find a better use for you. I hope they place your butt on the pine and it doesnt move from their again. When you do make contact with the ball, they only manage to make it to an infielder. I think your couple of home runs this year are truely miracles. I hope we don’t have to see you play in a Pirates uniform for much longer.


    • He was neal’s BIG GET in the Lincoln trade.

      He will play frequently because of that.
      Keep this in mind.

      • I liked Lincoln, but he was Brad Lincoln, not Mariano Rivera. Toronto’s getting about as much out of Lincoln as we are out of Snider
        Just my opinion.

        • Oh, I agree, and nowhere did I even speak of how good/b ad he was.

          I was just stating the fact that Snider was the big get, and he will play because of that.
          neal doesnt like admitting mistakes, you know.

  64. We have the guys up who are supposed to do it. I think they will succeed.

  65. Walk-off time. Martay-Partay. Let’s go Ta-ba-ta. Cutch clutch. Pedro.

  66. Somebody’s going to have to hit one out. It’s how they operate. :)


  68. Marte shows great hustle almost all the time since that talk with Gabby!!!

  69. Now, take three shots . . .please!

  70. :) Ha Ha Ha.

  71. walk off alvarez! 3 run blast!

  72. Why did Collins have Aardsma pitching more than 1 inning this late in the game?

  73. How about a bunt now?

  74. I say send Cutch…if for nothing else to stay out of the DP

  75. Sliders are Pedro’s enemy.

  76. Come on Man!! Need the W to keep pace with Cards.

  77. One of the fastest men on the planet on 2nd with no outs–I still say, take three shots. Just an opinionated fan, of course.

  78. Same thing every night with runners in scoring position.

  79. How can he possibly take one right down the middle, only to go after the inside junk. Ugh.

    Up to Russell again . . .

  80. Russell Martin is 1 for his last 17.

  81. Martin is one of our better options in this spot.

  82. Let Jones hit instead of Sanchez.

  83. Just made my wife watch Porky’s

    She didn’t get it

    Sadly, neither do I anymore

  84. Wild pitch or HBP. Either will do.

  85. Still waiting for the Gaby signature 2013 moment . . .

  86. Here’s a plan: put Harrison in for Marte and steal home.

  87. * SIGH *

    Oh, and Booooooooooooo.
    And Wooooooooooooo. ;)

  88. Yes, Gaby certainly is mashing lefties.

    One career walk-off hit is all you need to know.

  89. Earl Weaver just got indigestion with Tabata’s bunt, which set up perfectly the strategy for the Mets.
    If Tabby is such a great hitter to right, why not go for it. He is after all, our “hottest” hitter of late.

    Remember, our closers have been used.

    This is one of those “other” 54 games

  90. Gaby Sanchez absolutely STINKS!!! And, don’t tell me about his phony average against left handers. This lineup is pathetic.

    DK: Behold the ‘phony average!’

    Sanchez is batting .288/.417/.549 vs. lefties. Not for real, of course.

  91. Well, we’re up to 4 hits now.

  92. This is the strangest season I can recall. By far.

  93. So. Just another ho hum game.

  94. The Pirates don’t deserve to win this game.

  95. Gosh, it must be nice to actually have guys on the bench that can actually get a hit. Very team but Pittsburgh seems to have them.

  96. Any predictions what Wright will do?

  97. Uh, oh!

  98. Well, here we go.

  99. And now for the perfect end to the perfect evening, Mr. David Wright ladies & gentlemen.

  100. Hope Wright is not thinking pay-back time.

  101. Can’t let HIM beat us. Should have walked him and let Watson face Davis

  102. This particular moment is great fun.

  103. Pretty dramatic stuff, and Wright always gets a good swing and a good at bat

  104. So far the bullpens are 0-0

  105. Yo lo tengo.

  106. This game has everything(except hitting).

  107. Another Pirates hit. Amazing.

  108. He may be AAAA, but I like this kid.

  109. They should walk Marte.

  110. If they’re just going to walk our two good hitters, then this will go 20.

  111. OK, all the Tabata lovers have got their wish.

    Let’s all see. Pulling for him.

  112. Opportunity, Jose. Grab it.

  113. Seize the day Tabata!

  114. How has this team won all their games?? Hitting with runners on is abysmal.

  115. Uh oh, the reverse closer Vin Mazzaro. The game is going to end now, one way or the other.

  116. For innings 8,9,10 and 11, the game was in the hands of the manager. Now it is totally back in the hands of the players

  117. Who has the advantage in the bullpen at this point?

  118. Start it with a 2 run homer, end it with a 2 run homer ?

  119. I think lead-off walks score about 1/3 of the time. Anybody know what the Pirate average is this season?

  120. Here is Gaby’s signature moment for 2013. This has to be it.

  121. Ouch, Cutch got his fingers stepped on with that steal.

  122. This is what happens when you have several soft spots in your order. Walks galore . . .

  123. I don’t care how many hr’s Pedro has hit. Those last two at bats have been putrid. He has to do a better job there.

  124. They’re walking 1 for 19 to face 3 for 27.

  125. Sissies. Of course, the strategy will work. But still.

  126. Why look at 3-0. You know the pitch is basically going to be right down the middle so they dont walk you on 4 straight pitches.

  127. Did you catch the Walkism about keeping our fingers crossed?

  128. I forgot – managers can still give a take sign on 3-0

  129. Quality, I say, quality.

  130. Gaby is horrible . . . and please save the splits.

  131. MERCER !!!!


  133. Bleeder gets it done!

  134. Needed this win.

    Mercer me? (Brown)

    • You know AW, you bring up a great point.
      They DID need this win.

      Sobering thought……………………

      if it wasnt for the Pirates excellent pitching and defense, they would easily be under .500 right now. They would be down with the Cubs and Brewers.

      Thank god for their pitching and defense.

  135. Vin Mazzaro = decisions.

  136. In the final analysis, it is not “how” — all Ws count the same. With that profundity, I wish a good night to all you lunatics.

  137. Now I’m going to let Vin Scully calm me down for a few innings.

  138. A win is a win is a win….But tonights Pirate game “should have been a win alot earlier.
    Simply incredible that they could not get Starling Marte in, after he doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
    Get this team a some added offense off the bench!

  139. Need one of you kind souls to re-post this in today’s game thread for me. Thanks in advance.


    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.


    Tonight’s Line
    Total RUNS SCORED by the Pirates in tonight’s game
    Line is 4.5

    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!!!

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