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Final: Reds 5, Pirates 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (56-38) vs. Cincinnati Reds (54-42)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Mat Latos

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

TV, radio: Fox (national), 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. Burnett, 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. If a loss can be good, it was a pretty okay one last night. The Buccos came back some, the Reds had some pretty lucky hits, and all in all the game wasn’t terrible. Now comes the winning two to take the series.

  2. 1/ It has been a GREAT season of baseball thus far!!
    2/ Bucs started out this season 1 – 5. Let hope it does not take them as long to start 2nd Half.
    3/ Great column by Dejan yesterday. Bucs have got to hit to win.
    4/ Neil Walker, Garrett Jones, and Mr. Trade-a-1st Round Draft Choice-for-him Gaby have GOT to start hitting for 2nd Half success.
    5/ McCutch has GOT to start hitting with guys in scoring position! How many times has Marte been on 2nd or 3rd via hit or steal and McCutch has left him stranded?!?!
    [Dejan does not believe in "Clutch Hitting" but I sure do! Cutch is not Clutch!!]
    6/ I will, as I have consistently stated for 2 years, consider obtaining Wild Card status a failure!
    7/ Dejan, never apologize or be defensive about writing 10 of 11 columns about baseball. It’s July, it’s summertime, it’s “baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet” time. PNC is sold out nightly, fireworks are flying, and it’s BASEBALL TIME!!

    8/ I hear while I was absent that an edict was issued stating we are to not rag on other sports and supporters. I agree!! However, does this mean we have to consider soccer a sport???

  3. Am heading down to see my Mom who is in the hospital with a broken hip.

    Whatever Playoff posts, please put 100 nukes on the UNDER for all lines


    (Hey, maybe this will work ;-)

  4. It’s still morning here. A fine morning. The Pirates are going to win. No JAL links on a Saturday, so I’ll post a little badass ditty from over forty years old that I’m really feeling today.

    • A belated ‘Get well soon’ to Bizzy’s mom.
      Also, “…forty years AGO…”
      I’m feeling more than forty years old. I AM more than forty years old!

      • Happy Birthday, Ghostie!
        (If it is your birthday).

        • Okay, I royally screwed this up. Not my birthday (though I did have one earlier this month), but THANKS! And I always accept gifts! :)

          • Sorry, Ghostie, I didnt find you listed on the gift registry at Hippos R Us.

            • That post just reminded me that my Dad bought this game for my son years ago.


              • Do not respond to any of my posts.

                This will go on forever until you stop.

              • Wow!

              • Do not respond to any of my posts.

              • It was meant to be a peace offering. But go ahead and stay mean and angry.

                I’ll respond wherever I want to.

              • After the way you have harrassed me, attacked me, threw your temper tantrums on Thursday…….. “no one will ever tell me what to do”……… I want nothing to do with you in any way, shape or form. I understand it was your version of a peace offering, but I reject it coming from you. You have dont this crap to others on other blogs for years………. and those people leave just so they dont have to deal with you.

                By not responding to each other, w e can keep the peace, but you dont want that. You want to stomp your feet, and keep saying “no one will ever tell me what to do”………….. all I want is to come in here and not be bullied by you. It wont work. You cannot bully me, and that goes against your M.O.

                Oh, and by the way, I am not being mean and angry. You feel this way, but all I want is to come in here, and not worry about someone causing me trouble………..I think that is reasonable.

                I know you will respond wherever you want.
                I dont want you responding to me.

                So each and every time you do, I will immediately tell you to stop.
                Not being mean, just wanting peace and quiet.

              • “After the way you have harrassed me, attacked me, threw your temper tantrums on Thursday…”

                Anyone can look for themself and see what the truth is and that description is 100% factually incorrect including the comment that I bullied you.

                Your requests for me to stop should refrain from including information that isn’t accurate in any way.

              • You constantly denying you ever do any wrong is a part of this issue.

                You have attempted to bully me, you told the entire blog that “no one will ever tell me what to do”……….. you said DK can ban you…………

                I understand you think things are inaccurate, but they are the truth.

                Stop responding to any of my posts.

              • I didn’t say I didn’t do anything wrong and I don’t answer to anyone on the blog except for DK.

                If you want me to stop replying to your posts, stop with the completely inaccurate comments.

                DK: How about we just keep it to baseball?

                If anyone wants to go after someone personally around here, go after me. At the same time, as 21 says, anyone is free to respond to anyone about actual content.

              • They are not inaccurate.
                They are only inaccurate to you.

                I understand you only answer to DK.
                I just want you to leave me alone.

                Saying things are inaccurate, is just your excuse for continuing to cause me trouble. You can say anything is inaccurate, just to keep going.

                I understand you think everything against you is inaccurate. But it isnt.

                Stop responding to any of my posts.
                For the sake of the blog.

                Unless you just want to keep causing trouble forever.

              • That works for me DK. Are you saying that all of the Hippo and pond talk must now cease?

                DK: I’m saying let’s limit the personal stuff to bashing me.

            • Allow me to be the Rodney King here. You are both good people and add much to the blog.

            • I don’t understand most of that post but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

              DK: Baseball, guys, baseball. If you want to debate personal stuff, there’s always email. Thanks.

              • 21 – I’m not sure what you two are arguing about, but if it somehow limits the Hippo and hippo pond comments to less than 21 a day, I’m all for it.

        • Hippo! Good to see you in the house. You were missed yesterday. You add value by your presence, not your absence. A day in the pond can be cleansing. :)

          • You are just too much.

            But thank you.

            • Mr. Lucky. How are you, sir?

              I need all the lucky, and amens I can get for Monday/Tuesday.

              And no, not for the Bucs. ;)

              • We’ll lift you up, brother. That’s what ministers are for. (That’s what we do, in other words).

                I don’t believe in luck or “gettin’ lucky in Kentucky” or anywhere else. But it sounds better on a sports blog than “Believing God in KY”.

                I would run folks away with that moniker and I don’t want to do that with spiritual talk or not being a soccer fan or anything else. (Might get another bold reaming).

                But the spiritual part, I can handle. You came to the right guy.


              • Thank You Lucky. Seriously.
                I am just a simple Hippo, that tries not to ask for many things in life. I dont really like asking for things, including prayers………… if someone wants to help, I will accept, but I am not an attention hog for stuff.

                I just want to live a simple peaceful life, both inside this blog, and out.

                I just worry for your back, trying to lift me up. ;)

    • I can do that! ;-)


    Hoping for a speedy recovery!

    Today’s Line
    TOTAL RBI’s by Pedro Alvarez in today’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Max “wager” is 100 units.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  6. 50 on the OVER, Playoffs.

  7. I’ll take 100 on the OVER, please. Big win today!

  8. 100 river hounds on the under

  9. AJ Burnett has cooler tattoos than Mat Latos.

  10. I’m horribly worried that when Walker returns, Barmes will still be starting.

    Now, he actually has hit since being re-inserted into the lineup. But even Steve Kemp had some mild hot streaks.

  11. Sitting in Phoenix, expecting to have to listen to game on MLB At Bat audio, turned to Fox just in case…and the Bucs-Reds is on!! Assume Yanks-Sox is rain delayed??

  12. Getting Bucco game here! Please let it rain all afternoon in Boston!

  13. Pedro, would it KILL you to hit a pitch right down the middle?

    I’m dieing here, I’d LOVE a big lead for Burnett.

    For AJ of course, that’d be one run.

  14. Noooooooooooooooooooooo!

    That dump, Fenway Park, is on my TV. It’s off to XM land!

  15. Is it raining in Cincy?

  16. I swear, I’ve seen this movie before.

    • I believe it was called Groundhog Day.

      • My. What should we do at the deadline to fix it, Playoffs.

        I want to remain positive, but lately, more and more issues creep up.
        I am wondering if a bat is enough, if the pitching goes south.

        • I’m thinking a host of priests, shamans, and voodoo doctors MIGHT work.

          But I doubt it.

          Just scratch and claw to 82. That’s all I care about.

          • +1.

            I wonder how much the younger players on the team think about the last two 2nd halves. I know they are professionals, but one wonders.

            Here is to 82……………. and beyond. :)

            • Here’s a question…How long before Grilli gets to 35 saves?

              • Hmmmmmm.

                The optimist in me says before the Cardinal series.
                The pessimist in me says August 8th.

                The realist in me says late in the Cardinal series.

                How’s that for waffling??

  17. Their .220-.244 hitters drove half their runs. Lets see what ours can do?

  18. Hope someone points out to J-Hay – that’s what you do on a 3rd strike wild pitch. Horrible swing, HEADS UP running by Barmes.

    • With as MUCH practice as Barmes has at striking out, he SHOULD know to run on a dropped third strike with no one on first.

  19. Awesome strikeout by Clint. Swung at three out of the zone and managed to get on base. He has discovered his niche!

  20. I know that was a bad throw from Cozart, but I’m blaming Phillips. It’s more fun.

    • Plus, Phillips made no effort whatsoever to keep that ball from going into right field. Tried (but not very hard buy the looks of it) to keep a toe on the base while the ball ticked off his glove. He leaves the base and the runner is still safe, but the run doesn’t score.
      Blame Phillips.

  21. On gamecast, it looked like Cutch whiffed in about 5 seconds?

  22. The Reds have more talent, but they sure don’t seem very impressive.

  23. Wait, Garrett Jones hits a homer and everyone is jocking Barmes whiffing and making it to first?

    I see an agenda in the ‘bash Jones at all costs’ club.

  24. A big problem is Wandy and Burnett are at the end of big time production. The pitching will depend upon Locke, Morton(yuk), Cole and Jenmar. Not certain if these guys are good enough to carry this woefully inept offensive juggernaut. I agree with above statement–one bat may not be enough. It will NOT be enough and we could be in for a long second half.
    I hope not because it has been fun but are the Pirates REALLY better than the Cards and Reds?? We will know soon.

  25. ….crap.

  26. Jones walks, Mercer doubles, and now Barmes is being intentionally walked.

    I’d take Burnett being nicked on a sleeve for a run…

  27. But can he even muster up enough energy to swing?


  28. It’s situations like what just happened, that make me question why the DH isn’t in both leagues.

    But then I remember that OUR DH would be Gaby Sanchez….

  29. Oh well, I’m off to dinner.
    Here’s to hope that they can pull this one out.

  30. Rios with a slam and 5 ribbies so far today.

  31. Cutch finally connects and makes it a one run game.

  32. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers fellow lunatics

    She was more herself today.

    89, but a strong old bird

    Broke one hip last year, finished the collection a week ago last Friday.

    Ok, so we are in this one, way to go Cutch

  33. This team is going nowhere if they are calling Burnett their best pitcher and counting on anything from Wandy—he is done!!!!!

    • Aside from today, Burnett IS their best starter…

    • Good point – you never want a guy who is top 20 in the NL in ERA, strikeouts, K/BB ratio, K/9 ratio (2nd in the league) to be your best pitcher. He could be the best pitcher right now on about 15-20 other teams, but not for us! Give me a break. Add the clubhouse presence and leadership he brings (and the team acknowledges – especially pitchers), and yes, you should call him your best pitcher. Or at least most valuable.

      • What is his record?? To hell with your statistics.

        • blah blah blah… the hell with logic
          blah blah blah… negative comment after negative comment
          blah blah blah.. you aren’t looking at facts
          blah blah blah… you are an idiot if you don’t agree with me
          signed: florida steeler/ bob hasis

          you guys crack me up

          • blah, blah, blah…………..
            Dad, you hit the nail on the head!

            Good show.

          • Such fine words that mean absolutely nothing. Point well taken, Dad.

          • Hey, you three Pirate Kool Aid sippers–answer the question. What is Burnett’s record?? You don’t get to the playoffs by being a club house leader or any of the stats you throw out.
            You get there on wins and not your worthless stats.

            • florida, florida, florida………………..

              I am by no means a kool-aid drinker.
              I do not like the FO, I do not like the fact the team cant hit, and has many, many holes.
              But I am not going to dwell on things, and get depressed.
              Its only July 20th.

              Still time to do this.

          • You said it Dad, but I would have said more eloquently!

  34. This is killing me.

    Kyle McPherson just had Tommy John surgery July 10th.

    Burnett is getting hit, and we can look forward to McKenry catching tommorow, so we’ll be running out 7 position players and 2 pitchers. At least McKenry is a strong hitting pitcher with some pop.

    Is it too much to ask the Pirates to win for me? Because I’ve been waiting. I’m really looking forward to them jilting me in person in Washington next week.

  35. I’ve been a Pirate fan for over 40 years and I’ve never seen a baserunner crash like Cutch just did.

  36. The Amazing Sniderman.

  37. Hit Marte! Why am I not surprised!

  38. Chapman versus McCutch leading off the 9th!! Down a run.

    Wonder if Chapman buzzes him?!? I would!

  39. Can never get the go- ahead hit. Cards losing 4-0 in fourth. I’m sure they’ll get a few base knocks if they get the bases loaded. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Just like Pedro with guys on second and third last night. At least Tabata put the ball in play.

  40. Chapman goes down tonight

    Book it

    • Sounds good. Channeling Belushi. “Let’s… it!!”

      • FOOD FIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Otter:

          “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

          Said in response. To Bluto’s Animals House rallying speech.

          With the trade deadline approaching, I wonder what that futile and stupid gesture or gestures will be?

          Thanks to Hippo for putting Animal Hose in my head.

    • At least we have the best 3-4 guys up with a chance against Chapman.

  41. Cards get guys on second and third, one out, Craig drills a liner to center. Now 4-2. (I’m blacked out for Pirates game).

  42. At least Clint hasn’t managed himself into a corner, for once.

    We still have Inge on the bench… Not to mention McKenry…

  43. Bunt-time, CH?

  44. Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

  45. Come on Fort. You are way overdue!

  46. JD says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm
    21 – I’m not sure what you two are arguing about, but if it somehow limits the Hippo and hippo pond comments to less than 21 a day, I’m all for it.

  47. Too much, too little, too late…

  48. Dang!! McCutch on 3rd and nobody out!

    102 to end it! That dude can pitch!!

  49. I love the bunt idea against Chapman. Might not be successful but you get his attention.

    Raze the jolly. Reds 5-4.

    • I’ve found myself hoping for bunt call most times lately with a runner on third and less than 2 outs. Like to know our % compared to other teams for getting that guy on third across the plate

  50. WHY is Inge and McKenry on this team and the AAA , MVP is in Indy?? And, no more crap that he needs to play everyday. Martin is headed toward his 221 average and we need someone who can get a runner in from third with no outs.

  51. Can’t anyone on the Bucs hit a sacrifice fly??

  52. First and third, no outs, and nobody can come through. What’s the point? Collapse III well underway. Since the starting pitching is now going to give up 4-5 runs a game, trade for a new starter also while searching for that RF/1B.

  53. Crap, tomorrow is big

    • I am not saying Collapse 3 is underway, but 5-9 in July wont get it done.

      Runner on third no outs, and not scoring wont get it done either.

      Man, I didnt expect their earlier winning % to continue, but this is starting to get worrisome.

      Need a W tomorrow…………… meanwhile neal needs to hustle up.

  54. Pirates are 5-9 in last 14 games.
    Pirates have 11 games until MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st.

    Pirates CANNOT go 4-7 in those 11 games.

    They NEED a RF and 1B to push Tabata and Jones to the bench and boom, your bench is better.

    Dump McKenry and recall Sanchez now….

    Walker needs to get healthy now….

  55. I’m not getting a good feeling off the Pirates presently.
    They need help….A week or so ago.

    • I hope you are wrong but the ol’ Gunner is starting to have his doubts

    • Question is………………………….
      do you think neal is up to the task?

      What he does, or doesnt do will have a huge impact on things.
      I just am afraid of what he might do.
      But there are 11 days to worry about that.

      • Well…The first thing he’ll do is work on the cheap.
        As for his decisions….I agree….Scary!

      • Yep, scary. I’m still hopeful. But the Pirates are now 3 and 7 out of their last 10 games. And the reason we lose is almost always the same: weak offense.

        Welp, nothing ambiguous about what the FO needs to do. They either get it done, or everyone will be able to see that they did not.

  56. Getting a little tired of Burnett letting something throw him off his concentration (today he seemed ticked about the way the delay was handled and then the mound), messing up his concentration, causing him to allow a multiple-run inning and putting the team behind the 8-ball right out of the gate. He is too experienced to allow that to keep happening, and if he is indeed the leader of this staff, he has to quit doing that.

    Also, it is also time for McCutchen to step up as a leader more effectively, in two ways. First off, he needs to start hitting with men on base. He was 4-5 today, but 0-1 with men on base. Of his 12 HR’s, 11 have come with the bases empty. It seems that pressure situations are becoming a problem for him. That needs to change. The second thing is that his concentration level is wavering. There’s no way that as experienced major-leaguer as he is should blank out mentally and fall down while simply running the bases. And the fact that he seemed to think it was funny even before he got to the dugout was disturbing. The Bucs need better focus and a more determined attitude from him as a team leader if they are ever to contend. As opposed to the past, these games matter and a grievous mistake (like staying on your feet when running to 3rd base) in a one run game makes a difference and isn’t a laughing matter. Starting to wonder if all the All-Star attention he got in NYC is starting to affect him. One other thing-I wasn’t watching intently, but, after McCutchen’s HR, did Alvarez not shake hands with him? If he did, it was pretty quick and pretty non-descript. Wonder if there’s something going on there.

    DK: Yikes. He goes 4 for 5 and gives a partial handshake … sure hope that contract isn’t guaranteed.

  57. When McCutchen tripped all over himself rounding second tonight, it reminded me how the Bucs kept finding new ways to lose ball games last year during Collapse #2.

    Especially since AJ gave up four quick runs and we never overcame the fifth one. He was left in there one batter too long, which happened to Pirates pitchers frequently late last year as well.

    Also last year, remember the kudos to the FO for the early success (followed by the lynch mob as the season ended)? Eerily the same this season.

    Not ready to call this Collapse #3 just yet. I’m sure we’ll all know when it’s officially underway.

    At this point I certainly expect a winning season, but the playoffs are far from guaranteed.

    • Why would you expect a winning season? I certainly don’t.

      Last year they were 16 games over .500 on August 6 and finished 4 games under. This is only July 20 and they’re 17 games over. They have much more time to drop even father then last year. 85-86 loses is entirely possible..

      • Yeah, I got to agree that we’re going to lose the next series against the nationals and cards. I do feel we will finish above .500 but I think we will miss the playoffs.

  58. I really wish we would have over paid for and landed a solid bench player. We could still part with Stetson A., still have a solid group of prospects and at the same time increase our bench massively.

    • “…wish we would have…”
      Do you mean during the off-season? Because we still have a week and a half before the non-waiver deadline.

      I, along with others, have become increasingly antsy. But I’m not willing to “over pay.” No blue-chip prospects. Don’t know if Stetson Allie is included in that list, but he tore it up at West Virginia and now seems to be doing reasonably with only 116 AB’s in Bradenton.
      .268 .379 .423 .802, and exactly half of his 26 hits have been for extra bases (2HR’s 9 doubles). If he gets us Morales or somebody even better, I would not complain though…

      • I meant at the beginning of the month. I know giving up someone like Allie or Jin-De Jang would be a lot but we’re in a pennant race and have to part with our future for the present/

  59. So, where is all the smarmy whistling past the graveyard?

    I hate being right about the Pirates, and knowing more than the GM of the team.

    Locke needs to be the savior today.

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