Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Nationals 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (58-39) vs. Washington Nationals (48-51)

Starters: RHP Gerrit Cole vs. RHP Taylor Jordan

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

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. Neil Walker, 2B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Cole, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page for all the many moves today. 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. AJS says:

    glad to see that Barmes little hitting streak here hasn’t derailed Mercer since he has been just as productine and done it over a longer period of time. Back to the Bench with good ole Clint. Eigth inning defensive substitution fits him well.

  2. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    Makes my job a helluva lot easier

    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 HITS + WALKS + HBP by Pedro Alvarez in tonight’s game
    Line is 1.5

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

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. NMR says:

    Consider me surprised.

    If Jordy is only just as productive as Clint offensively, don’t we want to default to the better glove?

  4. JRay3 says:

    Vic Black at Indy this season: 35 IP, 20 H, 13 BB, 51 K, 2.31 ERA 3.3 BB/9 and 13.1K/9

    His stuff should play well with the Pirates. Another ’09 draft pick 49th overall getting a shot to help the big league club.

    Inge move long overdue, if team can add a solid bench piece and move Harrison all of a sudden bottom half of 25 man takes a little shape.

  5. pattonbb says:

    Welcome to the big leagues, Vic Black.

  6. JRay3 says:

    Considering Barmes is 9-33, .272 in July I would imagine Mercer will have to step it up a bit as the leash has probably shortened over the course of the Walker DL stint.

  7. Aaron says:

    First game of the season tonight! Lets go Bucs!

  8. Bizrow says:

    Pedro is due

    Biz is due too

    100 on the Over

    Thanks Playoffs

  9. Karen22 says:

    50 – OVER

  10. Bizrow says:

    Bring home a win.

  11. blazer says:

    100 on the over please!

  12. Bill Born says:

    100 on the under 1.5 Please!
    Thank you.

  13. Chico says:


    100 on the over!

  14. Frankie says:

    100 on the under

  15. Stickyweb says:

    Get Barmes in there against every LHP and sit Walker those days. It may even help Neil’s health to have a break once a week.

  16. Dom says:

    50 OVER! THANKS!

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    Scouts might be looking at Mercer also.

  18. Jim S. says:

    Wait. Didn’t Jordy scorch one off the wall last night, and get another hit? He also had a very long AB. He hit well over the weekend as well.

    Barmes has hit ok of late. 9-33 with no power is a hot stretch for him, and that says it all. But, maybe Jordy has his stroke back.

    I hope we see CB in the 8th tonight … helping protect a 3-run lead.

  19. Jim S. says:

    Are you thinking Ramirez, Milo?

  20. Thundercrack says:

    What are the roster moves?!

    I don’t see them on the link provided above.

  21. Milo Hamilton says:

    If you take someone’s shortstop, they might want one back.

  22. JaxBuc says:

    Please sir, may I reluctantly have 100 units on the UNDER?

  23. JRay3 says:

    24/7 Tweets that NH stated Grilli on way to Pittsburgh, has not had MRI yet, but early diagnosis offers hope that it is not major injury.

  24. JRay3 says:

    Inge DFA, Walker added, Grilli to 15 day DL, Vic Black recalled from Indy.

  25. Thundercrack says:

    Thank you.

    Are there any reports that candles have been lit in the Pirate clubhouse for Inge?

  26. Stickyweb says:

    100 on the OVER please. Thanks.

  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    WOW, that would be big. The actions by Grilli, knowing what TJ feels like, did not leave me with much hope, for this year.

  28. JRay3 says:

    Prior to All-Star break Mercer was mired in 8-46 stretch, .173. Yes he had a big game last night and will probably need to build off that.

    CH has already said today that Barmes recent play has earned him some more time, will have to wait and see what that means.

  29. Tom P. says:


    To steal from JAL’s post on the previous thread, “Inge DFA, Walker activated, Grilli DL, Black up”

  30. Nate83 says:

    That can’t happen. I was told during the last chat that nobody on the current team would be traded because that wouldn’t make any sense. When I pointed out Lincoln being traded last year I received no answer.

    I actually agree it is very possible Mercer could be part of a deal that brings Ramirez to the Pirates.

  31. Stickyweb says:

    They said that about Wandy the first day or two also and I fell for it. Not buying it now until Grilli’s on the mound again.

  32. Jim S. says:

    Definitely. I was just wondering if you were thinking along the lines of Ramirez from CHISox. I have not heard of others being available.

  33. NMR says:

    Jim, I’m one who has said that Mercer is a better option than Barmes, so I’m eating crow in my reversal.

    But, IMO, Jordy has to do more than keep pace with Clint offensively – much more. Jordy has two extra base hits in the last month.

    With Barmes hitting well in Walkers absence, I’m riding that til it cools.

  34. JRay3 says:

    Rob Biertempfel adds via twitter – GM said initial prognosis for Grilli was at least 7-10 days down, so DL was easy call

  35. NMR says:

    Is Wandy’s injury major?

  36. Jim S. says:

    Immediately hired as Director, Support Dept.

  37. JRay3 says:

    For every Wandy there is a Jeanmar who was ready after DL stint. Just would be a big break if surgery is not necessary.

  38. Jim S. says:

    I said it earlier … if that is the case, then this could be a blessing in disguise. I am still doubtful, but a little more hopeful now.

  39. NMR says:

    I’m a Mercer fan, relatively speaking.

    That mini slump didn’t worry me all that much since he was still making contact, hits just weren’t falling.

    But the power HAS to come back to justify his defense, IMO.

  40. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sean Burnett reportedly did in the Angel’s clubhouse.

  41. Jim S. says:

    Jordy has 2 XBH since Saturday.

    Barmes is up to a whopping .220. He hit a decent fly ball to CF last night. Jordy had several good AB’s, one of which just missed leaving the park.

    I think we know who is the better hitter and who is the better fielder. The Bucs are still the best fielding team in MLB, and they struggle to produce runs. I say if Jordy is showing signs of getting back in a groove, run him out there.

  42. NMR says:

    Casey McGehee seen hugging his teammates last night before catching the red eye.

  43. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good thought.

  44. Thundercrack says:


  45. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    When he was promoted to the starting SS that’s exactly what he was doing.

    His defense isn’t strong enough to start over Barmes if they are head-to-head offensively.

    More of last night must be there for him to keep the job.

  46. Jim S. says:

    Ho hum … just another young guy coming to the Bucs pen who throws 98 and strikes out half of his outs.

    Glad NH didn’t make any midnight trades for middle relief.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    Brian Giles and Jason Kendall snuck into the clubhouse and glass-encased his locker.

  48. twentytwo22 says:

    Hopefully they don’t go emo tonight with the Grilli injury and Inge DFA’d. They need to win this game.

  49. Jim S. says:

    I guess that depends on the definition of major. He has not pitched in quite awhile, and he won’t be on the Bucs for awhile yet – at best.

  50. Thundercrack says:

    Hey, they don’t want other clubs to know that they may be desperate. (even though they have good depth for the pen)

  51. Jim S. says:

    Agreed. He needs to hit .260-ish with an XBH every 3rd or 4th game.

  52. JohninOshkosh says:

    Inge joins Doumit, Cedano,Bedard and, probably soon , Barmes as NH throwaways this blogverse will continue to ridicule for years to come.

  53. Jim S. says:

    +1. Actually, more of Saturday through last night.

  54. The Gunner says:

    It’s about time they did something with Inge, thank God

  55. Thundercrack says:

    Jesse Chavez also lit some candles

  56. Stickyweb says:

    True, I forgot his injury was described the same way. Grilli being a decade older than Jeanmar doesn’t help, but maybe in this great season, things will go Grilli’s way on the injury.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    NH inherited Doumit, didn’t he?

    At the time I thought the Inge signing was a good one…if he had something left in the tank. And he proved that he was on fumes.

  58. Stickyweb says:

    I’ll reserve judgement until we see if Wandy ever pitches again

  59. Brandie says:

    Just wanted to share this…

    I was driving soon Interstate 99/220 when I heard Brandon Inge had been dealt to the fighting DFA’S. I got so happy I was screaming for joy and almost crashed into exit 52.

    Then I heard Vic Black has been promoted. Vic the Stick.

    Always bet on Black cause Black Don’t Crack! :-)

  60. Stickyweb says:

    I thought Inge was worth the shot too. You just never know how a guy is going to adjust to the bench player/part time role. But he never hit in spring training, the minors or with the Bucs. A pretty quick downfall after being somewhat productive last year with Oak.

  61. theplanisworking says:

    Poor Exit 52!!!!!

    Be careful, Muppet!

  62. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    If that’s the case, I’ll keep Mercer. Ramirez doesn’t bring much to the table, IMO.

  63. Jim S. says:

    He got “Old Yeller’d” Gunner.

  64. kr70 says:

    100 on the over and thanks

  65. NMR says:

    Sure, but who’s counting at this point?

  66. theplanisworking says:

    From the other thread, showing some coaches/athletes have class…….. unlike Braun.

  67. Nate83 says:

    Very few SS are ever available for trade. Especially ones that can help you immediately. He probably is the only one available and you can debate if he would help immediately compared to the current options.

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    100 on the OVER.

    Thanks, Playoffs.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yeah, me too. Always liked Cedano myself-probably the only one here.

    Doumit left under NH’s watch so I included him on the above list, which is by no means exhaustive. Just names I see tossed around on this blog from time to time. :)

    I thought Inge could bring to the Pirates what he did to the Athletics.

  70. Jim S. says:

    I thought the Inge signing was ok at the time. But, it was obvious early on that he was not getting it done.

    Also, I think (although I don’t know for certain) that Inge was a CH guy. I think he requested that NH sign him.

    But, I don’t have an issue with NH or CH this year. Both have done a great job in assembling this team. Inge just didn’t work. My only quibble is that I was ready to jettison him in early June.

  71. kr70 says:

    if the players like him so much make him a bench coach. (Inge)

  72. JohninOshkosh says:

    This was meant as a reply to Thunder above. I messed up.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Just a guess, but I think Brandie liked both moves.

  74. NMR says:

    Don’t take this as being argumentative or anything, but something gives me the feeling that Neil wouldn’t take too well to that situation.

  75. cherokee23 says:

    100 over

  76. NMR says:

    I hate seeing good baseball guys go out like that.

    Hopefully he doesn’t hear fans reactions. He deserves better.

  77. JohninOshkosh says:


  78. Brandie says:

    15 Day DL thus far for Grilli.

  79. Arriba Wilver says:


  80. Jim S. says:

    Why? At some point, he has to realize he will be replaced by a righty hitter if he can’t hit LHP.

    I have not known Walker to be a problem. Maybe I missed something.

  81. Brandie says:

    Like showing a fuzzy picture of Inge’s locker with RIP captioned underneath? Is that too emo?

  82. Jim S. says:

    I agree, Ryan. If the Sox said, we’ll give you Ramirez for Jordy straight up, I’d think about it. But, I would not give them prospects as a sweetener. To me, Ramirez makes some above average plays. But, he also seems to boot some easy ones. He is hitting a pretty soft .285 or thereabouts. Only 1 HR. That is a red flag to me because: a) US Cellular is a band box; and b) I think he is usually a double-digit HR guy.

  83. cmat0829 says:

    let’s go (holding breath)…100 OVER.

    well he doesn’t really walk… so I guess it’s HITs plus HBPs….

    he is way overdue, he did make contact and get a base hit last night, and a rookie is going for the Nats….

    I could see 1-5 with hit being 3run HR… but lets play with the over.

  84. Jim S. says:

    Overall, I think he and Jordy are about even. I think Jordy is going to be a decent hitter as a SS. Not great, but .260’s with 10-12 HR, not great OBP, just average defensively.

    Ramirez usually has similar pop to that. He is a little flashier defensively, but he makes his share of mistakes in the field. Not a great OBP guy, either.

    Ramirez has 20 steals. As we saw last night, Jordy should not be straight-stealing.

  85. Milo Hamilton says:

    I feel the same way about him that I feel about McLouth. Two of my favorites. I really hope it turns out as well for him.

  86. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good line, Plan.

  87. cmat0829 says:

    Doumit is the poster child for the crappy organization the Bucs were for 20 years… he looked good at the time, in a lineup of scrabbled together AAAA talent, but he is nothing more than an American League DH and occasional RFer with a little pop and no glove.

    Nothing wrong with that, and in fact Doumit would be a very decent fit on the bench for this year’s club, he just ins’t worth much more than say $2M per year to do so.

    And he should never ever ever attempt to catch again. He sucked at it.

  88. cmat0829 says:

    only leadership that matters is from best players… the other day, when Gaby chastised Marte for slowfooting it to 1B, the only thing wrong with that was that it should’ve been CUTCH that did the talking to. Glad Gaby did it, and Hurdle isn’t shy either in talking to players, but it really needs to come from best players to take this to another level. AJ does his part… Cutch should do his. Walker is vocal, Martin is a good leader but a few words from Cutch go much farther than a novel-full from scrubs like Inge.

  89. Jim S. says:


  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! He still occasionally catches for the Twins.

    I loved his fire. I remember Dejan writing in one of his chats years ago that he took losing harder than anyone else in the clubhouse.

  91. Brandie says:

    Sad Animal…Good friend, like a sister to me, just miscarried.

  92. Brandie says:

    Drooled on the steering wheel.

  93. JD says:

    100 over please. Go Bucs!

  94. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, cmat, but that just may not be Cutch’s thing. If it is not your personality, you don’t just get in people’s faces because you are the best player.

    Inge didn’t gain his respect by performing ths year, for sure. But, he has been around a long time and had a good career. I bet that gives a guy a little more standing with young players.

    It does help if your best player is also the most vocal leader. But, that is not always how it works out. I also think this team has plenty of veteran leaders to fill the void.

  95. cmat0829 says:

    OK, let’s have a little fun… let’s say the Bucs bullpen falters a bit in the next week and NH feels compelled to trade for help… maybe I’m wacky, but I’d prefer him to deal for a starting pitcher (say Bud Norris) and use either AJ or Cole as a reliever… I think both have the demeanor and in the case of AJ it might really be appealing to him…he has the attitude for it…

    again, it’s wild so go ahead and aim your arrows, but if a ‘desperation move’ is warranted, I’d prefer that to overpaying for a ‘proven’ closer….

  96. NMR says:

    How receptive has Walker been to the idea of scrapping his RH swing?

    And we’re supposed to think he’s going to be fine with not playing all together? Benched?

    Not me.

  97. cmat0829 says:

    yes, agreed, not asking cutch to turn into Hurdle..but a ‘few words, well placed’ would go a long way… maybe he already does it, but case in point would be when Marte jogged to 1B…would have been great for CUTCH there to pull him aside, give him a ‘that ain’t the way we do it’ and a smile, and instead Gaby had to do it.

    that’s all, not expecting Cutch to become vocal.

  98. Jim S. says:

    Cole pitching in Strasburg’s ball park, with Steven S. himself pitching later in the series. Does Cole try to amp it up tonight because of that competitive factor, or is he mature enough to not even think about that?

    I don’t think he even worries about it. Just wondering if anyone else had an opinion.

  99. likeabugonarug says:

    Neil’s in those delicate contract years. He won’t want to have anything hurt his value. IMO, being subbed for against lefties looks worse than performing poorly against them.


  100. John Lease says:


  101. cmat0829 says:

    The Twins are full of AAAA talent, so not sure the point. Nothing ‘wrong’ with Doumit as the 25th guy, I put the value there as 1year deals at around $2m per.

    His catching makes Fort look like Johnny Bench.

  102. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think AJ would do that. He’s the Ace, Top Dog, Alpha Male. He ain’t relieving at this point. I don’t see him going for that scenario.

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    You ‘re wacky.

    Just for kicks–what “proven closers” are available?

  104. NMR says:

    Ha, odd trait for a guy who chose to sign with Minnesota.

  105. theplanisworking says:

    Danka. :)

  106. theplanisworking says:

    Too Much Information, Honey.

  107. cmat0829 says:

    Completely agree, Barmes has looked better since he returned from exile… And count me ‘in’ if Mercer gets a start or 2 at 2B instead of RH hitting Neil… Barmes and Mercer looked good together in the middle infield, though Walker has more range….

  108. Jim S. says:

    I don’t disagree that the talk there was needed. It would be nice if it were Cutch, and maybe, as you say, he does it sometimes.

  109. Jason81 says:

    100 on the UNDER, please!

  110. John Lease says:

    I’m SO glad that Inge finally was tossed overboard, and utterly surprised it wasn’t Harrison going back to Indy.

    I’d rather have Hughes up than Black, this is a pennant race and I want guys with experience. I especially want Hughes for the next time we play the Reds.

  111. NMR says:

    You know, I was going to post that I have a feeling Cole is going to dominate tonight.

    No real reason, especially since the Nats have plenty of guys who can rope a fastball. Just a feeling.

  112. NMR says:

    I’ll do you one better:

    Jameson Taillon.

  113. cmat0829 says:

    Cole was ‘amped’ in his debut but since then i’ve seen more ‘workmanlike’ qualities than rare back and throw it by them stuff… I think we will see more of the same tonight, grind it out, try to get through 6…

  114. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, no, I agree with everything you wrote. I was laughing at your post and laughing at the Twins playing him.

    Maybe someday we will all fondly wax nostalgic about 2010 Bucs like Mets fans used to about the early 60’s clubs.

  115. bizrow says:


  116. John Lease says:

    I think Doumit got his ‘big’ extension under Neil.

    He still was, and will ever remain, better than Barajas. Guys who can barely hit .200 don’t have much value, especially catchers who can’t throw out anyone.

  117. cmat0829 says:

    My blood pressure prefers anyone to Hughes… he does have some good stuff, but good God is he scary to bring into close games…

  118. NMR says:

    Major and pitchers means surgery.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m with you, NMR. I hope we didn’t just jinx him. :-)

  120. cmat0829 says:

    AJ in the Shark Tank, plus leading by example and doing what the team needs….oh, strike that, “he ain’t changing now” not for any reason… never mind.

  121. Brandie says:

    All razzing aside, baseball is a cold business. Hopefully, Brandon Inge handles himself with grace and dignity. He could be a coach somewhere, perhaps.

  122. cmat0829 says:

    if his control was good enough, sure, why not. I think we have lots of options rather than overpaying in a trade… the offense needs help, the bullpen will sort itself out.

  123. Wild Bill says:

    Time to love the Phillies, folks. Their series with the Cards begins tonight!

  124. bizrow says:

    JHay is not much of an upgrade from Inge

  125. Arriba Wilver says:

    Leadership is the last of this year’s team’s worries, IMHO.

  126. NMR says:


  127. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t know if anyone is really available… the Phils would listen to any offer on Papelbon, I’m sure… Huston Street can likely be had from San Diego… both have been closers in the playoffs….KRod was a closer on the Mets playoff team I believe….Axford is likely available and he closed in the playoffs I think…..

  128. cmat0829 says:

    he shouldn’t put away his suitcase..only about 8 days left in the JayHey era.

  129. cmat0829 says:

    they have the pitching and veteran offense to get it done….

  130. Brandie says:

    It will make me feel so dirty to love the Phillies, but I’m willing to take one for the team.

  131. NMR says:

    Speaking of hypotheticals, wasn’t it you and I who had the much-maligned would-you-think-about-trading-Grilli-for-RedSox-shortstop conversation earlier this season?

  132. JRay3 says:

    The good thing here to remember is the team has option(s)….give Black and his 98 MPH fastball and plus curve a chance and see if he can handle the big stage, he was closing at Indy and was lights out.

    If not, Ryan Reid has done well in limited chances, Duke Welker did well in brief appearance, Jared Hughes has done it in the past and has to be close to being able to return if necessary.

    This is one area the team is stacked in. We have guys on the current team who can more than handle moving a little later in the game, and if the team gets good news with Grilli and he can return this year maybe just the break he needs given his age.

  133. Brandie says:

    I would like 25 on the over, please. Thank you.

  134. cmat0829 says:

    a ringing double down the line with RISP would be nice leadership by example… i vote for more of that…talk is cheap.

    that said, this team has earned nothing, and if they dont’ put up the right effort (Marte example) they need to be put in their place quickly. Collapses are made of getting some tough breaks, hittng a rough spot, and then rolling over and taking it. We can’t roll over.

  135. Wild Bill says:

    All’s fair in love, war, and pennant races.

  136. cmat0829 says:

    i can’t remember yesterday much less earlier this season.. i would guess my opinion on that would be it is tempting to deal from strength, but you can’t trade Grilli who is the heart and soul of the team in many ways and they would torch NH if he made that move…..

  137. theplanisworking says:

    Can one’s arm fall off from a lack of leadership??

  138. Wild Bill says:

    All except Braun’s way, that is.

  139. Brandie says:

    If you use it to pat yourself on the back excessively.

  140. theplanisworking says:

    + many!

  141. JRay3 says:

    Good afternoon to the window. Great night for the Battling Bucs to make it three straight.

    75 on the UNDER

    Thanks and Go Bucs!

  142. cmat0829 says:

    No, it comes from blatent overuse early in the season in efforts to avoid regressing to the inevitable mean….

    But my point on leadership was not to say we needed more but to say that leadership from the 25th guy (the reason to keep Inge’s shell of his career around) is trivial…the only leadership that matters comes from the best players. If we collapse again , or if /when we break that crappy mold and make the playoffs, it will be because of what these players do the next 2 months…it will be because Cutch keeps hitting to all fields, Pedro minimizes the weak weeks, Jones has a typical august/september hot streak, Martin’s bat reawakens, and Neil Walker hits wiht some authority… oh and Marte for the love of God learns to lay off the slider low and away

  143. SeanAY says:

    Oh wow, I hope you’re not serious.

    If it were me, I’d look at it as a demotion. “What, all of a sudden I’m not one of your best five starting pitchers anymore?”

    There is no reason, none, to even entertain that thought.

  144. theplanisworking says:

    Any chance we can get the Cardinals suspended for 65 games?? ;)

  145. cmat0829 says:

    my reason, wacky as it is, was IF the bullpen candidates we have now start to falter, what should NH do? Overpay in desparate move for a new closer or do something outside the box and convert a starter.. my examples were AJ or Cole.. people picked up more on AJ than Cole…

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like you’re describing Cutch. My only point was there is plenty of leadership on this team, even without Inge. And Gaby stepped up, no shortage. He is a former All Star with 2 19 homer seasons.

  147. NMR says:

    He’ll be back in September.

    Really no reason to worry about the 40-man at this point, either.

    McKenry, McPherson, Snider, Presley, Oliver, and Sands all would have to be on the 25-man next year. At most I could see two of those guys actually making it.

  148. radio wave says:

    At playoffs: I will take 100 on the over for tonight. Thank you

  149. pattonbb says:

    100 on the UNDER

  150. Thundercrack says:

    He may throw better than McKenry, but the many images of balls getting passed Doumit or clanking off his glove are forever burned on my brain.

  151. pattonbb says:


  152. cmat0829 says:

    Have to say, kudos to NH/front office/Ray/coaching staff for drafting and developing solid arms who can throw with velocity. It’s a proven fact these guys can build a bullpen..they had a plan and they have executed.

    Another thought I had, we are basically riding the learning curve of Marte and Pedro in key offensive positions (leadoff and cleanup)… when they are good, they are really good…and when they are not, they really drag us down… no reason why we can’t ride with Wilson/Morris/Watson et al… we will lose more games because of bad hitting with RISP, or when Marte/Pedro K in key situations than we will because Wilson or Morris or Watson blow a hold or save…. it is just magnified if bullpen fails, which isn’t really fair.

  153. cmat0829 says:

    I’ve borrowed Hawk Harrelson to help me with this set of predictions for next year:

    1. Fort — “he gone”. Sanchez has apprentice year before starting gig full time in 2015.

    2. McPherson — “he gone”.. good candidate to be removed from 40 but sign minor league contract.

    3. Sands — “he gone”. ’nuff said.

    4. Oliver — “he gone”. He isn’t Al Oliver’s son is he? Or Darren’s?

    5. Snider — I really think they should move on from Lunchbox, but I could see him staying on roster….

    6. Presley — “he gone”.

  154. NMR says:

    Another name I think you can add to that list is Stolmy Pimentel.

    I can easily see him being used as Justin Wilson was last year.

    I’m actually looking forward to roster expansion.

  155. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Tall guy, good downward plane. A lot of criticism when he talked about those type of players.

    hope he can produce.

  156. pattonbb says:

    Up until his last start, Taillon had been getting beat like a drum. Heard Keith Law say his fastball is very hittable with little to no movement. The kid is still a couple years away.

  157. NMR says:

    Hahaha, actually laughed out loud.

  158. Pucknutz says:

    100 over

  159. NMR says:

    I think you have that turned around.

    His last start was awful. Take that out and his ERA would be under 3.

  160. cmat0829 says:

    you know, I thought about this the other day.. we are having a lot of debate about the 23-24-25th guys… Inge didn’t have it, to be clear.. JayHey pretty much sucks..Presley is good in Indy but a walking 0-4 in the ‘Burgh, etc… but compared to 2010, we are LIGHT YEARS ahead of that team and roster…. I mean, come down memory lane….

    John Bowker
    Ryan Church
    John Raynor
    Delwyn Young
    Lastings Milledge
    Andy LaRoche
    Aki Iwamura
    Argenis Diaz
    Bobby Crosby
    Jeff Clement
    Jason Jaramillo
    Brian Burres
    DJ Carrasco
    Brendan Donnelly
    Dana Eveland
    Sean Gallagher
    Steven Jackson
    Chris Jakubauskas
    Wil Ledezma
    Joe Martinez
    Hayden Penn
    Justin Thomas

    I have left off the list these “all-stars” only because they have found big league success (to some extent) after 2010 away from Pitt:

    Ronny Cedeno
    Octavio Dotel
    Evan Meek
    Ross Ohlendorf
    Ryan Doumit
    Chris Snyder
    Pedro Ciriaco
    Steve Pearce
    Brandon Moss

    I mean, wow, what a difference it is to go to Indy and bring up the likes of Duke Welker, Ryan Reid, Brandon Cumpton, Vic Black… instead of the filler we used to have to use in the rotation or the bullpen… LIGHT YEARS.

  161. NMR says:

    And Law was specifically talking about his four-seamer, when left high in the zone.

    Just like Cole.

    And he’s doing alright.

    Taillon will be in Pittsburgh next year as soon as the Super-2 date passes and a spot opens up.

  162. pattonbb says:

    I have it on good authority that Hawk Harrelson is a much bigger jerk in person than he appears to be on the broadcast.

  163. Thundercrack says:

    I like Hughes but he was nowhere near as good this year as last year. Of course the injury may have played a part. But I also didn’t think he was that good at the end of last year.

    I do hope he bounces back. I don’t have a problem with Black

  164. Dadtackular says:

    100 PED’s on the under

  165. Dave G says:

    Typically, AJ’s worst innings are his first and his last.

    Either way, not bullpen material.

  166. NMR says:

    Not a lot of people laughing now, eh?

  167. cmat0829 says:

    wow wouldn’t seem to be possible…

  168. theplanisworking says:

    He was a jerk as a player, why wouldnt it be possible now?

  169. cmat0829 says:

    Seriously, anyone who complains about Brown/Neverett/Walk/Blass/Yinzer is hereby sentenced to:

    1 full week watching only Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone butcher a telecast;

    1 full week of listening to John Sterling (“A TEXT MESSAGE from TEXEIRA”) and Susan Waldman (“OH MY GAWD JAWN”);

    and if you act now,

    a long weekend of listening to Thom Brennaman (um, he sucks) and Mark Grace.

  170. cmat0829 says:

    was joking, as in, he seems like a big ass jerk on the telecast, how can be a bigger one off the air?

  171. cmat0829 says:

    yep, no doubt about that…Cole/Taillon/Locke are locks for the rotation….

  172. NMR says:

    Speaking of, who exactly does suck, Mr. Brennaman, if you were not speaking of Mr. Locke?

  173. Keith says:

    100 on the OVER. Agreed. He’s due.

  174. Keith says:

    Hugs! What about hugs?

  175. pattonbb says:

    I hope you’re right. But 4-7 in AA isn’t exactly dominating.You can call it what you want, but he’s giving up a bunch of hits. 105 IP, 108 H.

    He won’t be up until he figures out how to miss some of those bats.

  176. pattonbb says:

    He won his last start.

  177. Keith says:

    Inge knew after that strikeout Sunday.

  178. pattonbb says:

    That’s brutal….

    Thom Brennaman was talking about Dusty. :)

    Actually, I think he was talking about Corky Miller, who was coming up to bat.

  179. Arriba Wilver says:

    I would be shocked if he handled it any other way.

    BTW, Brandie. I wanted to compliment you on your posts yesterday about the Penn State issue. Some of the best, most rational, most realistic, I’ve seen. Very nice.

  180. JohninOshkosh says:

    I enjoy watching “MLB Tonight” from 5:00-6:00 PM CT as they preview the night’s ga
    Kemp says Braun’s MVP should be stripped.

    Current Buccos talk about “The Streak” coming up next.

    Just think about the millions of dollars playing under the Rogers Centre dome tonight.

  181. NMR says:

    Good thing pitchers wins tell you the least of any possible personal stat.

  182. NMR says:

    The start before that he gave up 10 runs in 3 innings.

    Rest of the year he’s been better than Cole was at the same level and doing it a year younger.

  183. theplanisworking says:

    100 Hippers on the UNDER please.

    Ryan Braun’s prison cell thanks you. ;)

  184. JohninOshkosh says:

    “We’re not the team scheduled for the homecoming game anymore.” -Hurdle on MLB Tonight.

  185. pattonbb says:

    OK, if you say so.

  186. JUCOFan says:

    100 on the under. Hope I am wrong. Going to the game tomorrow, so maybe he will ave it all up!

  187. bman says:


    50 on the UNDER please!

  188. BDHumbert says:

    Agree that pedro is due – but not crazy – 50 on the over….

    And in case u missed it Simmie Hill – an old teammate of mine and one of the best ever to play basketball in western pa – heck anywhere passed away recently

  189. BDHumbert says:

    FINALLY – Walk says the silliest things sometimes…

    “They just couldn’t find enough opportunities for Inge”

    I think the found WAY TOO MANY!!!

  190. JRay3 says:

    Marte mired in 0-13 slump, average has dropped from .292 to .282 in past four games. Really need him to get going and be catalyst at top of lineup.

  191. BDHumbert says:


    I would much rather have had Doumit coming off the bench in the first part of the season than Inge. But I would rather have Lambo and Sanchez on the bench than Snider and McHenry – but not my call.

    A better bench of the first 90 games would have Bucs in first place.

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    I met Hawk Harrelson once & he was very nice.

  193. Brandie says:

    Leadership also comes from how teams and their stars deal with injuries. Time to put up or shut up. End the streak!

  194. Milo Hamilton says:

    One of the DC writers calls it “the Bryce Harper keep running until you get tagged out offense”.

  195. JohninOshkosh says:

    I met him once in a hallway at a Chicago steakhouse. I said, “Hey Hawk!”. He pointed at me and made a clicking sound. He asked me where I was from and what I was doing in town. I said, “Just enjoying the City, Beautiful.”. He laughed. It was a nice encounter.

    Actually, the real Milo Hamilton knew my dad. I met him as a kid a few times and he was also very nice to me as well.

  196. Brandie says:

    Thank you, Arrival Wilver.

  197. Brandie says:

    Arriba Wilver, that is.

  198. JRay3 says:

    Russell Martin has now thrown out 50% of the base runners attempting to steal this season. 24-48. That will put the breaks on the opposition and their run game.

  199. Brandie says:

    Thanks for the link. Put a smile on my face.

  200. Brandie says:

    Put the team on the SI Cover.

  201. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve never had the pleasure. I had heard the opposite about Milo from some of the people that worked with him here. But you never really know. Sometimes it’s more timing than anything. I covered the Lemieux golf tournament for years for our little cable channel here & I could tell you stories.

  202. JRay3 says:

    Bases loaded nobody out….over/under on how many runs scored this inning?

  203. JRay3 says:

    Neil Walker welcome back, bases juiced for your first AB back.

  204. Milo Hamilton says:

    Amazing how much our pitchers have improved holding runners in one short year. :)

  205. theplanisworking says:

    Great hard slide by Jones to ensure only one out gotten.

    1-0 good guys.

  206. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nice base running by Jones to avoid the DP.

  207. theplanisworking says:

    Also great to see the Nats comedy of errors continues……… :)

    2-0 good guys.

  208. JohninOshkosh says:

    I bet. Maybe I’ll hear them someday at a Pittsburgh bar!

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    How’s it going Plan ?

  210. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cole could be our bat off the bench.

  211. JRay3 says:

    The Cole Train says I can hit with a RISP….3-0 Buccos as they build another early lead!

  212. theplanisworking says:

    Good Milo, how are you tonight?

    Nice hit by Cole to make it 3-0 good guys. Enjoyable evening so far. :)

  213. Patrick(ri) says:

    Again, a team disintigrates at the mere sight of black and gold. This is more and more likely, the year!

  214. theplanisworking says:


  215. Brandie says:

    Good evening Smurf Village!

  216. Milo Hamilton says:

    Great. Got a “nobody I’m home” situation. Enjoying the quiet.

  217. Brandie says:

    Glad you two are enjoying yourselves.

  218. Brandie says:

    Why not, do the unexpected.

  219. theplanisworking says:

    Those moments are to be cherished, for sure. They dont happen often enough.

    Crack a beer and enjoy, my friend.

  220. Patrick(ri) says:

    How often do you get a chance to hit into 3 double-plays in one inning? Amazing.

  221. theplanisworking says:


    did I read somewhere that a friend of yours miscarried??
    So, so sorry for her loss, and you also.

  222. JRay3 says:

    Heck of a leaping grab by Marte, timed his jump perfectly, nothing but a long out for LaRoche.

  223. Milo Hamilton says:

    Jayson Werth’s grandfather is Ducky Schofield from the 1960 Pirates.

  224. JRay3 says:

    Nice leaping grab by Starling there, timed his leap perfectly on that one.

  225. JohninOshkosh says:

    ‘evening Smurfette.

  226. theplanisworking says:


    If you havent noticed, Hippos are not

    1) small,
    2) blue.

    I will start a collection for you to get your eyes examined. ;)

  227. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s a crack at my height, isn’t it ? :)

  228. Patrick(ri) says:

    Did it seem to you he was paying more attention to the blonde behind home plate than he was to Cole?

  229. Brandie says:

    Marte brings the leather!!!!!

  230. Brandie says:


    I’m 5’3″. When I sit on a curb,my feet dangle over the edge.

  231. tdb1977 says:

    I’m not the type of person to believe in hoaxes and superstitious , but on Sunday, I hung the Jolly Roger on my house and the Bucs haven’t lost in the two games since. With the threat of real nasty storms this evening, I brought it back in but before the start of tonight’s game, it was put back up and the Bucs are up 3-0 on the Nationals in the bottom of the 2nd. Think I’ll just leave the flag up until October now :)

  232. Patrick(ri) says:

    With no drama. Just totally cool as he went up the wall. Love to watch him play ball.

  233. Brandie says:

    Thanks, Plan!

  234. Eric Bowser says:

    Keep it up until November 1

  235. JRay3 says:

    Please do, besides if the storm tatters it up a bit it will give the jolly roger a nice real type look to it.

  236. Brandie says:

    The man is smooth as silk!

  237. Steelag70 says:

    Nice job so far Gerrit Cole…

  238. JRay3 says:

    Sure seems like the team likes giving him run support as well…they have scored 36 runs in his seven starts an average of 5.14 per game and give him a quick 3 tonight.

  239. Steelag70 says:

    Wish they knew what it was so that A.J. could get some of that…

  240. theplanisworking says:

    Johnny Depp thanks you.

  241. Milo Hamilton says:

    In true Richie Hebner fashion.

  242. Patrick(ri) says:

    Not to whine, but the Nats have more offense, tonight, than we do.

  243. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hang in there. Those black jerseys will just intimidate them into missing the ball some more.

  244. Brandie says:

    Boo! Wilson Ramos!

  245. diehard says:

    JHay is not an upgrade from anything.

  246. Brandie says:

    +1 for pulling Richie Hebner out of mothballs.

  247. Brandie says:

    Topped of with analysis by Billy Ripken.

  248. Milo Hamilton says:

    Much like the late day sun, the Giants are slowly setting in the west.

  249. JRay3 says:

    Russell Martin with a multi-hit game for second consecutive game.

  250. Brandie says:

    Russell “Cadillac” Martin…2 for 2!

  251. Patrick(ri) says:

    Not so slowly tonight.

  252. Eric Bowser says:

    Solid 4th inning by Cole

  253. Patrick(ri) says:

    He seemed to get serious that inning?

  254. BDHumbert says:

    Then he needs to suck it up and give management a reason to not sit him against lefties.

    Same for Inge and Snider – MANAGEMENT is not who is missing fat pitches and leaving runner on base – on a personal level Inge and Snider are probably great guys and have lots of friends in the clubhouse.

    But it annoys me as a Pirate fan that we have less than our best possible team on the field – and on the bench.

    This is a business – last I looked my season ticket package did not cost me $200 – it has another zero – and that is for just 2 seats for 20 games.

    Part of what this team needs to get is that it is a two way street – I have been a Pirate fan since the O’brien brothers were around.

    I expect the team and management to care about the product they put on the field at least as much as I do – there are times when I am not sure they do.

  255. theplanisworking says:

    Sorry Horse, I linked that on the morning thread, and also above in this thread.

    But it is so good, link it all you want !

  256. Steelag70 says:

    Not a great start by Cole, but very effective…battling and making the big pitch. He is a gamer….he will be just fine.

  257. Steelag70 says:

    I know the market is thin, but NH has to be able to somehow add a bat to this lineup…

  258. JD says:

    How is it not a great start? 2 hits allowed and 1 run in 6 innings is quite stellar. Plus he just got his 2nd hit.

  259. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Nats are 6 for their last 78 with RISP. It’s an epidemic !

  260. Steelag70 says:

    Just IMO not a great start, but effective…pitch efficiency not good tonight.

  261. Dom says:

    What’s up with marte?

  262. theplanisworking says:

    Cole with 2 hits tonight.

    DFA Snider, Barmes, Harrison, and let Cole play their positions in addition to pitching. ;)

  263. Milo Hamilton says:


    Do you know Alan Bubes ?

  264. theplanisworking says:

    Mercer with the Gold Glove!!!!!

    DFA Barmes. :)

  265. Bob Hasis says:

    I have always wondered about the consensus here to replace Mercer for defensive reasons

  266. Steelag70 says:

    Strong inning Gerrit!!

  267. Milo Hamilton says:

    Some guys are just better shortstops than they are 2nd basemen. I think that’s him.

  268. JD says:

    I’ll take 92 pitches thru 7 innings all year long from him. If he is this “effective” every start he’ll win the Cy Young award someday.

  269. JD says:

    Very “effective”.

  270. Bob Hasis says:

    Tabby’s value is hardly visible these days. We need Presley’s left-handed bat and hustle

  271. Steelag70 says:


  272. Steelag70 says:

    I’d rather have someone totally new…

  273. Bob Hasis says:

    How many 6’3″ 2nd basemen are there?

  274. Barb says:

    El Toro strikes again!

  275. Lad9 says:

    Pedro! Opposite field too!

  276. Steelag70 says:

    El Toro Grande!!! Back on track!! What HR Derby jinx??

  277. JRay3 says:

    El Toro smacks #25…three run Bucco lead, and Martin with his third hit of night.

  278. Milo Hamilton says:

    Good point. There didn’t used to be many 6’3″ shortstops either. Cal Ripken changed that & now there are plenty of guys like that.

  279. Reading says:

    Big fly.

  280. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, there you make an appearance.

    Nice shot from Pedro.

  281. Reading says:

    Wait. What is going on here?

  282. theplanisworking says:

    Ok, we have this game in the bag.
    Gaby with a PH.
    Need to now take my meds…………..

    The Nats, the gift that keeps on giving.

  283. JRay3 says:

    Oh look at that Gaby Sanchez with a PH double off of a LEFTY…just continues to produce against LHP

  284. Steelag70 says:


  285. theplanisworking says:

    Cole giving up only 2 hits, one walk tonight.
    Very strong outing from him…………. nice that the team didnt get down with the Grilli injury last night.

  286. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that McKenry should only catch Locke & Liriano. With them both being lefties it kind of neutralizes his throwing issues. I think Martin should always catch Morton & Cole to call the game for them. And he needs to catch Burnett because AJ likes pitching to him & he can’t hold runners. They’ve set the rotation up so they can pull this off.

    So I’d like to see McKenry tomorrow & Martin on Thursday. We’ll see if they’re thinking the same way.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    .961 OPS vs lefties.

  288. Bob Hasis says:

    A good swing on an 0-2 pitch is worse than a tooth ache to me

  289. Arriba Wilver says:

    Neil is 6’3″.

  290. Bob Hasis says:

    Some wisdom in this; even more if Fort hits a little better

  291. Milo Hamilton says:

    Moves well for a big man.

  292. JRay3 says:

    +1….that stat alone demonstrates his value to this team combined with how well he plays his position in the field.

  293. JRay3 says:

    Have thought about that same thing myself and totally agree with you on that logic.

  294. Milo Hamilton says:

    The problem is only 60 AB’s. I think we have the market cornered in lefthanded starters.

  295. JRay3 says:

    Just not a lot of them in the Central- Garcia is hurt for STL, you have Wood with the Cubs, the Reds have Cingrani when Cueto is hurt.

    But Gaby is a guy you want when you do have to face one like Thursday against Gio Gonzalez.

  296. Milo Hamilton says:

    Plays a really nice 1B too.

  297. JRay3 says:

    So far no help for Bucs tonight – Reds up 9-2 in game one of their DH with Giants and Cards lead Phillies 3-0.

    Continue to gain in WC separation though.

  298. theplanisworking says:

    Would love to see this.

    If McHenry could hit, that is.

  299. JRay3 says:

    These are the moves I don’t fully understand, why is Melancon out there with four run lead? I rather Black get his feet wet and get out there or get Gomez some work.

  300. Lad9 says:

    This is playoff week for our colt team so I will be a poor blogger this week but for a good reason. Got rained out tonight with my kid pitching a perfect game ( ok he threw 2 pitches – get technical on me). :) Doubleheader tomorrow.

  301. theplanisworking says:


    Bucs now 20 over .500 !

  302. JRay3 says:

    Behind a sterling seven innings of work from Gerritt Cole who also had a RBI and two hits to earn his 5th win in his rookie campaign, the Bucs sink the Nats 5-1 and there was nooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs improve to 20 games above .500 at 59-39, are now 8-9 in July have won three straight and are 3-2 versus Washington on the year.

    The Pirates will look to win the series tomorrow night when Francisco Liriano takes the hill for the second time post all-star break.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  303. Tom P. says:

    I think Melancon is in b/c it’s the top of the order. With Werth batting 4th, things could go south in a hurry. I understand the sentiment, though.

  304. Lad9 says:

    Raise it! Don’t look now but the Buccos have played well after the break, losing two by one run to a good team and winning three in a row. Gerritt Cole was excellent tonight. Go like 60!

  305. tdb1977 says:

    Raise the Jolly Roger! Nice win tonight by them. Just got to keep putting up tally in the victory column and everything else will sort itself out. Couple of good pitching matchups the next couple of days. Then its onto Florida.

  306. Lad9 says:

    Woo hoo!

  307. tdb1977 says:

    Also, dont look now, but the Bucs have a 91% chance of making the playoffs at this point of the season. Its nice to be 20 over 500 at this point.

  308. JRay3 says:

    Certainly should quiet the here comes Epic Collapse 3 crowd after the first 2 games in Cincy although they easily could have won the 2 they dropped out there as well.

    Thing you have to admire about this team they are in every game they play, hardly a game they have given away this year minus the Jonathan Sanchez starts in April.

  309. JRay3 says:

    Could be 9 games up at night’s end for WC spot…teams like Nats, Phillies and Dbacks fading really no one else out there if LA wins west.

  310. Lad9 says:

    Brandie! Hey very sorry to hear about your friends miscarriage. We’ve been there 4 times. It might not help your friend, but our doctor told us that when a miscarriage happens, something went wrong at the beginning. Nothing mom could do. Hope she is ok.

  311. Wild Bill says:

    Come on, Phillies! Two runs down and six outs to get them.

  312. Milo Hamilton says:

    Collapses haven’t begun until after the 100 game mark.

  313. tomp says:

    Are we over the Tabata may be the RF after all talk?

    He came back, had 1 good little spell, but has turned into the Tabata of old.

    Swinging at bad pitches, looking helpless at the plate, and every ball hit to him , is an adventure.

    Snider is not much better at the plate, so this team needs to add a part time RF that can hit.

    I would still like them to attempt to get this Aoki guy, and once and for all have a true lead off hitter.

    Milwaukee is in shambles, and maybe they would part with this guy for a fair deal(include Snider or Tabata) , if possible.
    1 of these 2 have to go, and hopefully they can be used as a piece someone may want to take a shot with.

    At least no more Inge !!!.
    I am thinking someone comes here, that was not being discussed in earnest, over the past few weeks.
    They got to fix this bench!.
    Wait until after july 31st , to see what kind of pitching is being dangled out there.
    Get some bats!!! , at least 2!!!.

  314. tomp says:

    That may be true, but the overall pitching staff of those 2 teams is not nearly as strong as this one, IMO.
    Even with Grilli down for an extended period of time, they should be able to survive.

    Much better than calling up a Dana Eveland , Chris Bootcheck, Chad Qualls type from AAA to fill an injury void.
    There will be no collapse this year, this team will lose less than 80 , but how much less?.

    They talked about what the record is when they have scored 5 + runs per game, and it is excellent .
    A little offense, which is out there, and won’t rape the farm, has to be out there somewhere.
    They do nothing, and they are just rolling the dice that the pitching limits teams to 2 to 3 runs a game.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News