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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 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.

322 Comments

  1. 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.

    • Consider me surprised.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

            • Agree.

              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.

        • 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….

      • 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.

        • That’s a good thought.

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

            • 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.

              Kevin

              • 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.

      • Scouts might be looking at Mercer also.

        • Are you thinking Ramirez, Milo?

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

            • 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.

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

              • 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.

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

              • 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.

              • 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.

  2. TUESDAY OVER/UNDER!!!

    PLEASE PLACE YOUR “WAGERS” AS REPLIES IN THIS COMMENT BOX
    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.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!!

    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. 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.

  4. Welcome to the big leagues, Vic Black.

  5. First game of the season tonight! Lets go Bucs!

  6. 100 on the over please!

  7. @playoffs

    100 on the over!

  8. What are the roster moves?!

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

  9. 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.

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

    • 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.

      • Sure, but who’s counting at this point?

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

              • 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.

            • 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.

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

        • Hmmmm

          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.

    • 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.

  11. 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! :-)

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

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9500939/ohio-state-buckeyes-fan-named-cancer-michigan-invited-game-brady-hoke

  13. 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.

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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.

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

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

          • 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

  15. 15 Day DL thus far for Grilli.

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

  17. 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….

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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…

    • You ‘re wacky.

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

      • 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…..

    • I’ll do you one better:

      Jameson Taillon.

      • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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…..

      • 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.

        • I think you have that turned around.

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

          • 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.

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

            • 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.

          • He won his last start.

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

      Either way, not bullpen material.

  18. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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…

  19. 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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

    • Inge knew after that strikeout Sunday.

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

  21. JHay is not much of an upgrade from Inge

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

      • 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.

        • 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”.

          • Hahaha, actually laughed out loud.

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

            • wow wouldn’t seem to be possible…

            • 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.

    • JHay is not an upgrade from anything.

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. I met Hawk Harrelson once & he was very nice.

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  27. 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.

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

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

    1-0 good guys.

  30. Cole could be our bat off the bench.

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

  32. Good evening Smurf Village!

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

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

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

  36. Marte brings the leather!!!!!

  37. 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 :)

  38. Nice job so far Gerrit Cole…

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

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

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

  42. Russell “Cadillac” Martin…2 for 2!

  43. Solid 4th inning by Cole

    • 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 !

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

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

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

  47. What’s up with marte?

  48. Cole with 2 hits tonight.

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

  49. JAL,

    Do you know Alan Bubes ?

  50. Mercer with the Gold Glove!!!!!

    DFA Barmes. :)

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

  52. Strong inning Gerrit!!

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

  54. El Toro strikes again!

  55. Pedro! Opposite field too!

    • Hey, there you make an appearance.

      Nice shot from Pedro.

      • 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.

      • 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.

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

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

  58. Wait. What is going on here?

  59. 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.

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

  61. Gaby!!!

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

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

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

    • 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.

  67. RAISE THE JOLLY HIPPO!!!

    Bucs now 20 over .500 !

  68. 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!

  69. 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!

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

    • 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.

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

  73. 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!!!.

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