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On location: Nationals 9, Pirates 7

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

WASHINGTON — Looking ahead to first pitch …

IMG_1925

Game: Pirates (60-39) vs. Washington Nationals (48-53)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez

Time: 12:35 p.m.

Site: Nationals Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Russell Martin, C
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  7. Josh Harrison, RF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel and I are on the scene.

And here, again, is the Thursday column on guys who can improve internally.

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.

624 Comments

  1. Where is Walker?

    • Lefty pitching. I think we will see a lot more of this in the future.

      • We may, but that I am still dumbfounded by this. I guess recent history is a better indication than career history. I know Walker has always had better numbers from the left side but never like this. I thought for sure they would give thier former all-star second baseman the chance to work through it and come around. Oh how things are different when in the hunt.

        • I expected it, but I don’t like it. If it is to make sure he doesn’t fire up his oblique again I am OK with that, but I think that mini hot streak that Barmes had is still resonating with CH. Course he has been pulling all of the right levers lately, so I would not be suprised to be proven wrong yet again.

        • Walker has not been a productive hitter against left handers since 2010, so this is not recent history.

        • I believe this is only the 20th LHP start against the Bucs this year. Our division is light on LHP outside of the Bucs. So, even if Neil doesn’t start vs. them going forward, it is not as though he is now a part-time player. That would only be sitting 20% or so of the time.

          This is a prudent move. It allows him to get the occasional day off to ensure he recovers fully, and it gets someone in the lineup who is hitting LHP better.

          • bingo Jim. This is 75% performance-based, 25% making sure Neil doesn’t get injured again….

            Clear as a bell that Neil vs. LHP isn’t working… Neil knows it, CH knows it, the PITCHERS know it… also clear that Barmes and Mercer paired nicely while Neil was out…

            I think in today’s lineup, the RF is about as loud a message as CH can possibly send… NH needs to get someone in here to play RF and he has 5 days to do it. Tabby isn’t the answer, Snider isn’t the answer… JayHey sure as hell isn’t but why not give him a shot today…

            • I have to say, the Barmes/Mercer tandem has been doing just fine.

            • forgot tabby’s forearm swelled to the size of ‘canteloupes’ (will refrain from political musings and will leave it at that).. and he likely can’t go today.

              I am NOT an Elvis fan, but I’d go ahead and send JayHey to Indy after this game and recall Presley for the weekend… he can play RF until they make a trade for someone.

            • Tabatha has swelling the size of a baseball on his forearm and cannot throw, or he would be in right and Harrison at third. That’s from Clint Hurdle.

      • As someone who advocated for playing Barmes against LHP just a few days ago, I’m reconsidering. Although he’s been much better career wise against LHP than Walker, this year he’s even worse than Neil! So go with Barmes for a few lefties and if that doesn’t work out, get Walker back in.

        Even better, Get Placido Polanco for a few (non-explosive) rosin bags. He has mashed LHP his whole career, including this year. Then get someone similar for RF and they’re all set.

  2. I guess someone should start preparing my hat for ingestion.

    Mark: Walker is absent from the line up due to his abysmal numbers from the right side of the plate. Probably that and the fact that he is just coming off a stint on the DL so they want to give him a rest as to not over work that oblique.

  3. Walker’s fresh off the DL, and struggles batting right-handed. I like the lineup, especially giving Harrison a chance to start. Was thinking Marte might get a day off soon, but maybe a left-handed pitcher can break him out of his funk.

    • If you’re going to sit Marte, do it against a RHP. He’s killing LHP .412/.452/.632. Like you said, hopefully a lefty, along with him starting the 9th inning rally yesterday (which turned out to be pretty important, no?) can break him out of the slump.

    • I am trying to figure out why giving Harrison a start is a good thing. I am even more dumbfounded that he gets a start in RF. Roberto continues to roll over in his grave when he sees CH treat that position as though it really doesn’t matter defensively. Harrison is not a good offensive player, and he is an infielder. For goodness sakes, go get an outfielder somewhere – if only to avoid Harrison playing RF. I realize they were in a bit of a pickle, since Tabby probably can’t go today. But, I’d still give the start to Snider.

  4. The premise that all of this is relying on is just silly: Walker supposedly can hit lefty pitchers better from the right side (RH BA – .193)? I get that he thinks he’s a legitimate switch-hitter because that’s part of the reason he rose through the minors. But, we’re long past the point of no return of Walker as a switch hitter. Management needs to sit him down and communicate that he’s only batting left-handed from now on.

    • Didn’t this happen to Bonilla as well. he hit switch for a long time and them settled in as a righty for the duration of his career I believe.

    • I’m not sure you need to do that yet. Plus making that change mid-season has a much better chance of screwing him up than helping him out. He’s been OK against LHP before this year, though it’s declined the past few seasons OPS vs. LHP .809 in 2010, .672 in 2011, .602 in 2012 and .435 this year. If he can get back to .600 – .650, there’s no need for a change. It looked like he was at least getting a few singles off LHP before the latest injury (though I could be mis-remembering that). But in a real pennant race, what he’s doing this year won’t cut it.

      • Exactly, Sticky! Walker himself addressed it. I don’t think he is ready to throw in the towel on being a switch hitter just yet, but even if he were, you don’t do it right in the middle of a season. The Pirates would not advocate that and he wouldn’t do it. The better decision for now is to limit his ABs vs. LHP to situations late in games when we have a lead, if possible.

        • Fearless prediction, Walker either hits exclusively LH in 2014 or he is platooned vs. RHP. He won’t have the option of hitting RH and playing. I think he will do that, and I also think he will be better than Pedro and GI Jones vs. LHP as a leftie.

          • Either way, I doubt he starts vs LHP next season. As I said, that is only 20% of the games this season.

            • , That would be quite a shocker.

              Platoon 2nd basemen don’t make $8-10m which is what he’s on pace to grab through arb.

              Almost certainly would be non-tendered after next season.

          • I heard an interview with Neil earlier in the year where he said he absoluetly has no plans of not switch hitting. He did say it is a hard thing to get enough cuts from both sides of the plate in BP but feels he definitely benefits from seeing lefties from the right side.

            As far as platooning…so we want a platoon at first, a platoon in right and a platoon at second? How bout we find some guys that can play every day no matter who is pitching? More than one platoon on a team is a bad sign. three is just out of control.

            • Morse or Byrd could both start against all pitchers, as well or better than Rios, and cost less in both prospects and $$$. Just pointing out that they’re even better hitting LHP, which is preferable in any acquisition at this point.

              Regardless, I don’t mind 3 platoons if they produce exceptional results (i.e. not Tabby against LHP). I know some think it weakens the bench, but I don’t see it. You still have 3 good bats on the bench waiting for their turn against they’re favored handedness. Plus that’s 1 or 2 ABs per game vs. the 3 or 4 ABs you are getting better results against.

        • I didn’t say the switch needed to be made this season, I’m just pointing out the absurdity of what’s going on. And, obviously Walker’s not ready to throw in the towel on continuing to bat righty or he would’ve made the switch on his own accord.

          It’s just unfortunate that he’s going to miss time against lefties down the stretch of this playoff push because he believes that he’s a legitimate switch-hitter when the numbers clearly suggest otherwise.

          If you’re a switch-hitter, you don’t get taken off of the lineup card when a lefty takes the mound. If he was a switch-hitter, Barmes wouldn’t be in the lineup on these occassions.

      • .600 to .650 is okay for a very good defensive shortstop. It’s pretty bad for a second baseman.

  5. TWO-LINE THURSDAY!!!

    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!!!

    Line #1
    Total STRIKEOUTS by Adam LaRoche in today’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Line #2
    Total INNINGS PITCHED by AJ Burnett in today’s game
    Line is 6.5

    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!!!

    60 Down, only 22 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  6. I think I would rather have Walker play instead of Barmes. I get Walker’s numbers vs lefties is atrocious but isn’t he always going to be a better play than Barmes?

  7. Looks like a Sunday lineup on a Thursday.

  8. Does Jay-Hey in RF scare anyone else, or am I crazy? I know those options aren’t mutually exclusive, but humor me.

  9. I wonder if JayHay is the precursor to Tabata to the DL. I hope not. I know most semi-hate Tabata but he is a legit MLB hitter when playing regular.

    • My face is officially blue, John, from saying I would prefer a Tabby/someone new (Aoki, Schierholtz) platoon to Alex Rios.

      But, with Ken Williams roaming around, I think an Alex Dickerson for Rios deal may be in the works. Ugh!

      • Hopefully that Rios for Dickerson talk is just blog nonsense. I’d rather get Marlon Byrd for some 30 year old at high A than Rios for any kind of prospect. And Michael Morse started a rehab assignment a few days ago. I’d love to see Huntington think outside the box and trade for him, even if he’s still on DL (if that’s allowed). It could be for a PTBNL, conditional on him being healthy and getting certain PA levels.

  10. Hey, it might be nothing, but it might be something:

    “9:28am: White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams “has been spotted in Altoona,” home of the Pirates’ Double-A club, notes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.”

  11. Would love to see Lambo in RF!

  12. Just think that is a better option than trading for a overpaid outfielder with attitude who is going to cost at least a B level prospect if not an A

    • I understand your point, but a guy like Rios has proven himself at the MLB level. Lambo, obviously, has not.

      It may take him a month to be worth his weight. Not many pull off a Puig’s start of their career.

  13. Greg Brown on the radio stated that had Tabata not gotten hurt last night it would have been Alvarez who most likely would have sat today and JHay would have gotten the start at third.

    Mark Melancon is not available today. My guess Tony Watson becomes the de facto closer should the Bucs need one today.

    • Tony can handle it.
      And I was thinking Pedro would sit today too. Weird how things work out.

    • Not surprised with MM not available. Shouldn’t have used him the game before last with a bigger than save lead, then he warmed up, sat down, warmed up, pitched last night. All the makings of a day off.

  14. On the CH show he just stated he is looking to get Cutch, Marte and Alvarez all a day off sooner rather than later, cited that Andrew and Pedro did not get break with All-Star game. I would expect some interesting lineups in Miami prior to the St Louis series.

    Also thinks Tabata could hit today if needed, throwing a whole different story.

    • Makes sense. They’ve played a whopping 7 days in a row.

      • Too funny Milo. And how did they not get a break? All Star game was Tuesday, Bucs first game was Friday. I’m no manager of the year, but they would have had to try pretty hard not to get a break in there.

        • The rest had 4 days off, those guys didn’t.

          Seriously, a game here or there will not make or break the season. Give them a day every once in awhile to relax, slow down, and regroup.

  15. This lineup works ok if the Bucs are fortunate enough
    To get to the bullpen early. Then we have Walker
    And Snider available. But ,That’s a longshot

  16. 21 reported that the White Sox are scouting Altoona.

    My question is who are we looking to obtain in return?

    Alex Rios is overrated and awfully streaky at times. He has fewer homers than Ibanez so why overpay for Rios? Ibanez has a far superior slugging percentage. I think I’d also have kendrys morales who can also play first and OF.

    Alexei Ramirez has a lower OBP and homers than Mercer. If we do obtain Ramirez, I sure hope Mercer isn’t part of the deal.

  17. Don’t see Cutch get heated too often, and he had every right as that pitch was closer to Fairfax than the plate.

  18. Mike Winters apparently has an early flight today.

  19. Gio Gonzalez is going to have a great day if his strike zone extends a foot off of the plate.

  20. We should either make a deal for a ,260+ outfielder or give Polanco a shot at the Bigs.
    It’s true, we are winning right now, and we get to play the Marlins for a few, but there’s
    going to come a time or two, when we will need to go to our pitiful bench (now without
    Inge) for a base hit or a fly ball to the outfield. The pitching staff keeps getting better and better. GO, BUCS!!!

  21. 2 on, 2 out…go ahead, Pedro, make our day!

  22. FYI – this game is mlb.com’s free game of the day. You can watch it online.

  23. Good start for AJ. Hits Bryce Harper.

  24. Well, that rundown sucked, eh?

  25. Poor job by Barmes. Needs to give that ball up right away so they can run him back to 2nd.

  26. The keystone cops have returned…..Harper scores on the botched rundown.

  27. Poor 2-2 pitch to Zimmerman by AJ and he singles home another run. 2-0 Nats. AJ not looking good here early on.

    • AJ missing spots like it’s his job today. Hopefully he can get thru this inning, and get things corrected moving forward.

    • Good rebound at bat for AJ vs. Werth. Hit his spot with the fastball and then 2 good sliders to put him away. To bad the 1st 3 batters of the game he looked awful and put himself 2-0 behind.

  28. J-Hay makes me wanna hurl.

  29. Aaaand with that, AJ misses his spot (was supposed to be away) out over the plate to Desmond who lines a single to left.

    Is it possible for AJ to throw less than 20 pitches an inning?

  30. No sweep. Oh well.

  31. Seriously? Just throwing the ball around all over the park. Unreal.

  32. Starring Walter Matthau.

  33. The Nats were trying to run into outs and we just would not take them.

  34. WOW! You can’t give anybody, even the Nats 5 or 6 outs in an inning.

  35. And now Mercer boots a routine bouncer….Calling the Bad News Bears…three errors in one inning. No one came ready to play today.

  36. Aj just with no command of the fastball today. Not normally a recipe for success (unless you are effectively wild).

    Neither is 3 errors in the 1st.

  37. Much like the successes of the first 99 games, this 1st inning has certainly been a team effort.

  38. WE MADE A ROUTINE PLAY!

  39. Hopefully, CH does not chew holes in his tongue watching the defensive farce so far. I blame J-Hay.

  40. Wow, this is pathetic.

    Aj is getting hard. Mercer just committed their 3rd error of the inning. Nats are up 4-0.

  41. Oh man, I’m gonna turn off the feed and go do some heavy paperwork. Maybe that will help turn things around. Check in later.

  42. AJ has to wonder, the team scores for Cole, plays great defense for Locke and this is the effort continuously given to me.

    • Everything worked out splendidly for AJ last year, for the most part. But, not this year. He also has not pitched as well this year, either.

  43. On pace for each Nat to get 8 at bats.

  44. Gaby better hit 2 out today for that awful throw.

  45. Our pitcher needs to stop acting like a baby.

  46. Taking a peek at twitter, sounds like DK had planned to write a Friday article about Bucs great defense. Guessing he’s changing subjects.

  47. Gonzalez shouldn’t be allowed to pitch, seeing as he’s going to be suspended for 50 games.

    • Isn’t that nice? We get beat by Andre the Giant (Bartolo Colon) a couple weeks ago, and now Gio Gonzalez. They could both be sitting the rest of the year any day now.

  48. Now we will see if Jay Hay’s 3 at bats this month got him ready for this “very” spot start?

  49. Alright Gaby, you don’t have to take Gio’s head off! But nice single back up the box.

    Now here comes the GIDP.

  50. Did the batting practice pitcher and the warmup infielders start the game by accident?

  51. Dejan – Is this as ugly in person as what I am “viewing” on Gameday?

  52. I told you Jay-Hey would contirbute to the cause today. cough, cough

  53. Clint just swinging through 93. Looked horrific in that AB. At least he didnt make 2 outs. If AJ can lay down a bunt here, it’ll at least give Marte a chance at a 2-out RBI.

    With the way this game is going, Starling will then bounce out to SS.

  54. AJ failing to get a bunt down. Tries the slug-bunt (squares to bunt and pulls back). Fouled it off.

    Then takes back door curve for strike 3. Looked like it went around the plate. This ump better make these calls both ways.

  55. Another pitch that pitch trax shows clearly out of the zone….AJ turns to Winters and says “Really”?

    • AJ needs to stop the pouting. He had 2 or 3 straight fastballs that he couldn’t get the bunt down with. Winters is calling those pitches strikes. It’s just AJ’s pitches on the outside are also a foot high

  56. Winters better dust off the plate and realize where it is, or Buccos got no chance at a comeback.

  57. Burnett needs to stop this crybaby, immature act now.
    Not exhibiting the qualities of a clubhouse leader at all.

    If he thinks he is being cute…….. he isnt.
    Hurdle needs to stop this crap now.

    • Dude….

      Bit much, eh?

      These guys aren’t robots. They’re going to show emotion every now and then.

      Plus, that could’ve been the Pirates worst played inning all year.

      • Dude……..

        nowhere did I say anything like robots.
        I understand they have emotions, but looking like a baby helps how? Losing your cool helps how? If his antics help, then I am fine with it. I just dont see where acting like that helps.

        But please feel free to show me how it would help.
        Thanks.

        • Taking out his frustration on a cooler is better than taking it back out on the mound.

          And I think you may be the only 1 who thinks he looked “like a baby”.

          • Milo Hamilton says:
            July 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm
            “Our pitcher needs to stop acting like a baby.”

            I am not trying to throw Milo under the bus.
            And, I dont see you coming after him about his statement.
            Selective a bit?

            I stand by my original statement.
            Also, AJ is a team leader. He needs to show that.

            • Sorry, didn’t see his post.

              Not trying to be selective, yours was the 1st I saw.

              So to you, Milo and everyone else who thinks AJ was “acting like a baby” I disagree with you whole-heartedly.

              A guy is allowed to be frustrated. And to show that frustration however he so chooses. Especially when he and his teammates performed so poorly.

              Ok. I gotta go. Enjoy the rest of the game. Hopefully they pull this out. As you can see from my “negative” (I call them realistic) posts below, I do not think that’s going to happen today.

            • There you go Plan, throwing me under the bus again ! :)

  58. And Lombardozzi shows the Pirates what good defense can do as he saves the Nats a run with that diving pick.

    • Let’s calm down here as well.

      The Pirates have played very good defense all year.

      They’re going to have a hiccup or two (or three…)

      • The Pirates have saved more runs than any other team I believe this season due to their defense and I fully acknowledge that.

        Was more tipping the cap to Lombardozzi on a great stab.

        • Ahhh gotcha. I thought your premise was that the Pirates didn’t know what good defense looked like (well, today you MAY have a point….)

      • The Pirates have turned the highest % of balls put in play into outs in the majors. Their defense is good, today aside.

  59. Bucs robbed by great play by Lombardozzi. Marte just snake bit right now. I think you can turn this 1 off. Not gonna be a good day at the park for the Bucs. 4-0 Nats through 1.5.

  60. What did the Nats put on their Wheaties this am? Fielding like a playoff team, running literally wild on bases and hitting withrunners on!

  61. Ryan Zimmerman with the cheapest base hit of the season.

  62. Momma said there would be days like this. Should have been an easy low-pitch inning.

  63. Whoever the producer is for ROOT Pirate broadcasts needs their head examined. Can you at least switch back to the CF camera for the pitch?

    • Are they doing that again? No the first time that has happened this year. They missed a complete out the other night because they were showing a guy in the pen standing around!

  64. Hey, does anyone have any info about the cool black and gold neckware some of the Bucs (McCutchen, Alvarez, etc.) wear? Dejan, any insight?

  65. Would be more than happy to take a few more of those from Gio…just have to try and chip away today.

  66. Gaby and JHay single to start the second. Suppose Barmes gets a single or walk so that we have bases loaded with no outs.

    What do we do with AJ?

    Bunt or hit away? In either case trying to avoid a DP, especially one that would cause a force at home.

    Curiously we are now in the same circumstance here in the third. What do we do?

    • Hope Martin has a three run HR in him?

    • Bob, I’m a little late to the party, but have AJ swing away. With 4 run lead the Nats would have played the infield back and taken easy, traditional DP and allowed run to score. Moot point now though.

      • You’re right, which presumes he wouldn’t have hit to the pitcher.

        Anyway he just did get a RBI

        • True about getting it past the pitcher. Serendipity that he ends up driving in their only run (oops, I meant first run) anyway.

  67. ROOT just flashed a stat: Pirates are 17 for last 112 w/ RISP (.152 avg.) and their record is 7-7.

    And, make that 17 for last 113.

    Good job Russell.

  68. Can we trade for this Lomardozzi guy? I don’t even care if he can hit, it looks like he saves 4 runs a game with his defense.

  69. Lombardozzi robs Alvarez of a run scoring single and actually makes a diving stop on a line drive and gets the DP.

    Don’t turn it off if you don’t want to. I’m just trying to save others time.

  70. At least Vic Black’s mom is going to see him pitch today.

  71. It’s not over yet people…WAAAYYYYYY from being over….

  72. maybe it’s lack of sleep or something, but Gio’s been losing his mind on occasion today also.

  73. Pirates getting ample opportunities to get to Gio today….nice little rip by Barmes for the double.

  74. Jay-Hey strikes out swinging. I told you that guy shouldn’t be in the lineup. I’m getting whiplash with this guy. Barmes double, YEAH. Let’s get 2 runs in here. PLEASE!!!!!!

  75. Gio is doing his best to help.

  76. Popping in for a few seconds. Nice to see Barmes and Gaby hitting the ball…ok…where’s everyone else???

  77. Ok that’s one.

  78. Nice job by AJ….

  79. Marte needs to sit a spell. Grrrr!

  80. Marte is definitely in a big funk right now…uggghhh…

  81. So, mlb umps are the best in the world. The pay must be awful.

  82. I’m listening on radio. How’d that check swing on Marte look? If it was bad, Bud Selig needs to check Mike Winters’ bank account. As for AJ, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean he’s not out to get you.

  83. Defense has been the difference in the game. Gonzalez has pitched worse than Burnett. This game is winnable.

  84. At some point today, they’re going to get the tying run up to the plate.

  85. Four pitch inning for AJ, as he has settled down. Still time to chip away.

    • Walk and Brown are going crazy on Bryce on the radio, for swinging at the first pitch he saw after the first two outs took 3 pitches and his struggling pitcher just ran down the line.

  86. Another good start to the inning with Mercer doubling into corner, middle of lineup has to get him in.

  87. I remember Ted Williams saying he should have played another year, since expansion would put 50 second rate pitchers on rosters and he could have had another .400 season. It occurs to me with all the expansion that has happened since 1960, the talent pool of umpires has been diluted, perhaps beyond repair? Just kidding, I guess.

    An often suggested solution would be replays. If that happens, invest in vendor companies as games will take 5-6 hours!

  88. Screw Alexi, Jordy’s the MAN! Lets get him home Cutch. No? Let’s get him home Martin.

  89. A-Rod is currently being re-re-evaluated. Presumably by Dr. Vinnie Boombatz this time.

  90. Sac fly drought continues, Nats were conceding the run anything but the strikeout there.

  91. Did Greg Brown just say that the Pirates haven’t had a Sac Fly RBI since the middle of June?!

    • Yea & that one was hit to the 1st baseman. Haven’t hit one to the outfield since mid May.

      • I love Jay Bell, but you have to wonder???

        • A lot of the players are the same. We’ve had a few different coaches.

          A lot of these players don’t seem to get the concept of ‘situational hitting’.
          Or they stink.

      • Yeah, they’ve been saying that since the AS break. In a game of stats, that is an incredible one. And it’s not like they’re getting hits in those situations instead, yet they’re still winning at a ridiculous pace

    • I thought it was one since May 27th. Seriously.

  92. Pouting, whining, crying or not, the way AJ’s cruising, he could pitch 9 innings. Or 10 or 11. ;-)

  93. The Nationals do not look interested in winning today, unfortunately the Bucs have not yet been able to seize on that.

  94. This game could be tied with them just making outs.

  95. Who is this Lombardozzi guy???

  96. Werth doesn’t know it, but that was one of the umps best calls.

  97. Now who is whining. Those were pretty good pitches.

  98. Nice job AJ!!! It’s all set up for a comeback by the Buccos.

  99. AJ wiggles out of that mess, hope that momentum can carry over to the offense.

  100. That was the correct thing to do ……….. Hurdle getting in AJ’s grill.

  101. Gaby with the 3-3 day against the LHP.

  102. THAT’S the AJ we’ve come to know and love… :)

  103. Greg Brown just said that CH jumped in AJ’s face big time when he came off the mound. Said that they have never seen CH do it that vehemently before. Anyone see it?

  104. What was Greg Brown talking about with Hurdle getting into AJ’s face after he got out of that bases loaded jam? Didn’t sound good. Please give anything you hear?

  105. Is Gaby 3 for 3 today?

  106. What’s gotten in to Gaby??!

  107. I love this new RF we got, Jay-Hey all the way!!!

  108. JHAY! Two run shot his 1st HR of year and Buccos down just one!

  109. OMG!!!!

    AAAA Harrison with a HR !!!! :)

  110. J-HAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  111. Yeah, this Jay Hay really stinks. Couple more hits and he will lead the team.

    • Happy to eat my hat for saying not only should he not be in the lineup, but he should not be on the 25 man. Keep proving me wrong, JHay!

      I didn’t even have time to get on here this afternoon, but I had to do it after ripping JHay this morning multiple times.

      This game is not over, thanks to our new Silver Slugger in RF. No trades for RF, please NH! We have found the new Clemente!

  112. J-Hay! THere is our power hitting right fielder. :)

  113. Ok. Last year in Washington Harrison hit a 2 run HR against Gonzalez in the 7th to make it 4-3 Nationals. Evan Meek came into the game and gave up 3 runs. Keep Meek out of the game and we have a chance here!

  114. Marte with his 30th SB of the year, third best in all of baseball.

  115. OK boys, now HOLD ‘em!!!

  116. Have to go for the rest of the day.
    You guys are in charge of completing this comeback.

    Save me some hot sauce. ;)

  117. I am not watching the game but did read some of the comments on the blog.

    I really like AJ and think he is a good pitcher. But some of his ‘antics’ this year and his heavy reliance on getting strikeout -over more pitch efficiency – is rubbing me the wrong way.

    But I do hope they resign him for another year if he chooses to play after this season

    • I like the idea of AJ coming back but, realistically, do you think the BMTIB will pony up & spend the money to keep him here?

      • I think they might. Especially if it is for a year —and doesn’t include a no-trade clause.

        I don’t think he’ll expect to get the same money as he did when he signed that contract with the Yankees.

  118. Why do the fans do that shark thing with Bernadina ? I don’ t know the background on that.

  119. NOW ~ our BATS have to come alive!

  120. DK: Hey, did anyone here see the Clint-A.J. thing?

    This place is 5 miles high, and there’s no way to catch such a thing from up here.

    If you did, I could use some details or, better yet, a video clip from a DVR.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Sorry I missed it work got in the way. There are some pretty good descriptions sprinkled here throughout. I really thought Hurdle was annoyed with the way AJ approached getting ready after the delay on Saturday. He’s shown up teammates & coaches more than once this season. I remember one long glare he shot at Marte during a home game earlier this season.

    • DK,

      From what the ROOT feed caught, A.J. motioned towards the bullpen, essentially telling them to sit down. Went down the dugout steps and Hurdle was right in A.J.’s face. Looked like Clint was telling A.J. that it wasn’t his decision whether he stayed in the game or not and he didn’t approve of the hand gestures towards his own teammates. Appeared to calm down rather quickly with Hurdle joking with Burnett shortly after.

      Thinking about it a bit more, you’d have to imagine Harrison’s home run actually kept A.J. in the game anyhow. If there were runners on base when Burnett’s spot in the order came up, I have a hard time believing Hurdle would have let him hit, unless it was to bunt.

      DK: Thanks, Jason.

    • That’s fine. I get ignored at home too.

  121. I think this guy, Stammen, went to my alma mater – University of Dayton. Not exactly a school known for producing MLB players. I think we have another relief pitcher kicking around as well somewhere. Jerry something or other.

    Knock him out, Bucs!!

  122. I’m calling a Pedro bomb here.

  123. Is Russell taking the day off at the plate today??

  124. Hurdle just got thrown by Diaz.

  125. OMG, somebody tell me what just happened on that play with Pedro. This is so frustrating just listening to the game

  126. Wow what a crew MLB has thrown out here for this series, there is nothing better in the minor league ranks?

  127. These teams are well matched in the “bone headed ” category today.

  128. OK so how many SO’s does Adam LaDouch have today?

  129. AJ’s ERA is down to 2.96

  130. Both skippers given the bum’s rush, today. Worst thing for CH is he has to watch the game with the world’s worst broadcasting team.

    • Boy you got that right. And I used to like Bob Carpenter. I swear sometimes the “other guy”, Santangelo in this case, brings down the whole broadscast.

    • Funny, Wisc

    • Like for instance, I didn’t like Greg Gumbel at all with Phil Simms. But I like him just fine with Dan Dierdorf. I like Jim Nantz with Nick Faldo, but not much with Phil Simms. There’s a mathematical equation in there somewhere.

      • I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes with different sports. I like Wayne Larrivee with the Packers but not so much on Big Ten basketball. Odd.

        MASN has done no favors for Carpenter. Before Santangelo, I think he was paired with Ron Dibble.

      • Anybody but Dierdork…….can’t stand him.

  131. Rats, I have to go, have a stinking meeting. I’ll catch up with the end result later.
    C’mon Bucs, pull this one outta your bums for the Skipper!
    later, Loonies!

  132. So in the case of ARod, are Budster Selig and Brian Cashman & the Yankees, allowing the inmate to run the asylum.

    ARod has declared he is planning to play on Friday, irrespective of the legal problems he is facing.

    There is way too much happening there which represents a critical detriment to baseball and its diminishing integrity.

    Answers, decisions and conclusions need to be adamantly announced

    • Wouldn’t quite say the inmate’s running the asylum. If Bud suspends him, he won’t play Friday. For some reason MLB’s not announcing any more suspensions, other than Cryin’ Ryan.

      • My point exactly; Bud hasn’t announced a suspension and AROD is announcing he expects to play. And Cashman is mute.

  133. Its a stupid rule, but if Pedro so much as took a half step towards 2nd, it’s the right call. No doubt it was the make up call. I hate make up calls.

    Think Clint and Davey are sitting together somewhere between the clubhouses, sharing a Gatorade?

    • Johnson might be busy wondering why there are a bunch of empty boxes in his office.

    • I don’t see how it was a make up call if Pedro actually turned towards 2B? Everyone seems to agree he made a turn, and as stupid as the rule may be, he needs to know to get back to 1B if he took a step towards 2nd.

  134. Just getting back……..Do I see that right, Josh Harrison with a 2 run HR?

    W….hhh….aaaa….tttt……

  135. Well there is the ball game. Not often you see a pitcher with a 2.96 ERA sport a 4-8 record.

    Before the series started I would have gladly taken 3 out of 4 from Washington.

    Move on to Miami for the weekend set.

  136. Really, Snider? What should have been a shoestring catch turns out to be a crash-and-miss dive.

  137. PLEASE NH…get us a RF!!!!!!

  138. When JHay hits a dinger, we should probably win the game

  139. For the 2nd AJ start in a row (or is it 3?), the game was lost in the first inning. Certainly, it was not his fault that the defense went all “Keystone Cops” on him. But, he struggled with command early, and the Nats jumped on all of our problems.

    As JRay said, we would have gladly taken a 3-1 series before this one started. In fact, I would have gladly takent a 4-3 start to this roadtrip as well. Barring a miracle comeback in the 9th, that is how it looks.

    Fear not, St. Louis will eventually play another road game and we will get back home to face them after disposing of Miami.

  140. Well, 3/4 on the road ain’t bad…

    Can’t win em all.

    Need some help from whoever is playing the Cards.

  141. Can’t hit and can’t field. What a tough position to be in to be a supposed corner outfielder. No way that should be a triple . Heck I see fifty year old men make that make that Kay routinely on the softball field and a major league rightfielder can’t. Should have been an error.

  142. Hooray for Vic Black. And his mom.

    • That was a great moment last night where they showed him greeting his mom at the stadium. She had just gotten in from TX. Good for him. You only get to have that moment once. Very often, moms do the heaviest lifting as far as getting kids to sporting events after school, etc. That is the case at my house, for sure. But, to be able to hug your mom on the first day on the team – awesome moment!

  143. Nice to see Vic Black get some work…

  144. Very concerned about this weekend against Miami. It would be very easy to get caught looking ahead. Plus, tomorrow is game #101.

  145. And, there’s no quit in this team.

    • Amazing how many times this year in games that you think they are out of it that they somehow send tying or winning run back up to plate.

  146. Dang Cutch!!

  147. Pulling a reverse of Monday and Wednesday, sort of.

  148. Wow, tying run in scoring position single could tie it.

  149. Krol is from my town, Naperville, IL. And he went to the same HS as my daughters go to. Played for the same travel club as my 11 year old. Ok, I’m all out of connections.

    As with Stammen, hammer him!

  150. Good, now we’re only relying on Jose Tabata to pull this one out.

    Should be a cinch.

  151. One time Jose

  152. Seriously, this is coming down to J-Hey with the bases loaded and 2 out in the 9th? I love baseball.

  153. Leaving the bases loaded would be apropo.

  154. No need to fret. My man Josh Harrison is up.

  155. SOmeone tell DK to update the score up top….TIE GAME, JHAY does it again!

  156. I just got goose bumps with Brown’s call on that hit. Not a big fan of his but this is incredible.

  157. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!???!!!!

  158. Well I’ll be a son of a gun.

  159. No way you can play this guy. He clearly can’t hit.

  160. Wow, this team just continues to amaze!

  161. This is that game in Anaheim all over again.

  162. Check my post at 4:03. I knew it all along.

  163. This one, we gotta win, someway, somehow

  164. C’mon GI Jones. Show us the 2nd half will be beter for you.

  165. In one game JHay has lifted his batting average 113 points. Now up to .238.

    • That is what happens when you only get to the plate 12 times all year.

    • I can’t believe you guys all doubted him. Only Jandy, Sticky and I had faith in him.

      • You jest? I have gotten in trouble rooting for him for two years, even with his warts.

      • Sing it brother Jim. Not for nothing, does anyone know how to delete a comment on this board? ;-)

      • Yes, I surely jest. We were the 3 who ripped the decision to play him today. I figured Tabby couldn’t go, but I still think it points to the need for an upgrade on our bench.

        I still don’t think he is a very good player, and the past few years have proven that. But, I have to give him credit for coming up very large today. He really came through, and I can’t in good faith rip him again for at least a couple of weeks.

        Hey, I have my opinions. But, I am happy to say I was wrong about JHay today. He may not be done with the heroics today.

        • JHay did have a good game today. Happens just often enough when he’s up to make someone think he’s worthwhile in the longer term. It was a great day for him. He’s happy. Now send him back to Indy.

  166. I really think this team is for real…W or L today. Ok, I have to run to a meeting…keep it going Bucs and it is good to be back with you fellow Loonies.

  167. All of our native talent just being wasted away at Indy

  168. You know what’s funny? I typed a comment an hour or so ago (when it was 4-3, not 7-3) saying I hope the game goes 18 innings so Mike Winters misses his flight and the next 3 flights after that, but I just went looking for it and I must never have submitted it. Freakin funny.

  169. Remember the Sunday game with the Angels. Eerily similar

  170. This ump just will notncall anything below the waist.

  171. I think Harper just hit a homerun on a pitch right over the plate. Hoping my mlb boxscore thingy is lying to me. :|

  172. Nice bullpen the last couple days.

  173. Guess AJ shouldn’t have hit Harper to start the game, huh?

  174. Credit to Harper. He was ready, “hanging slider,” or not, and he produced. A fine player.

  175. Dang it Morris!!!

  176. BP a little shaky this series…

  177. So if Hurdle stays true to form, J-Hey will sit tomorrow. Has anyone else noticed that when he gives a guy a day off, they seem to be really hot to that point? Or is it my imagination.

    Also, does he have some fetish with bringing in a LH reliever when a LH started and a RH reliever when a RH started? Why not switch things up on the hitters?

    OK, rant over.

    • He’s had one good game in the majors this year. One. Aside from today, he’s 2 for 18. Back to the bench tomorrow.

      • Agreed it’s only one good game. But if Hurdle actually stated that he wants to get Pedro and Cutch (and possibly Marte, though he definitely had 4 days off last week) an day off, why not make Pedro’s day off tomorrow and play J-Hey when he’s feeling good? As others said, the days off better come against Miami and not the Cards.

        • I wonder if next week’s 5-in-4 series brings the Pirate debut of Russ Canzler. He’s on the 40-man and plays 3rd (moreso than Harrison). I doubt many guys will play all 5 in that series.

  178. OK. 60-40. Two games better than last year (58-42). That’s right, just two. On to Miami tomorrow. It’s Opening Day ! I’m ready, are they ?

  179. I know the Cards don’t have that great of a farm system but if the White Sox are going to nix a deal that would have sent their #3 overall minor leaguer in exchange for Alexei Ramirez then what would we have to give up to obtain him?

  180. can we blame this loss on Pedro?… three times with 2 guys on each time and all he does is strike out, line into unassisted DP, and walk. It was a great comeback but did it need to be?

    • Yup, if he could aim those frozen ropes just a little better, he would have been 1 for 2 and reached base 2 out of 3 times.

      (apologies on the sarcasm if it was more of a humpback liner, but I think I remember them saying it was hard hit)

  181. Bullpen since Grilli injury:

    3.1 IP / 8 H / 7 ER / 2 HR / 20.25 ERA

    • I blame the starting pitchers for not pitching complete games.

    • if grilli was available (hypothetically), do you think Melancon comes in to pitch the bottom of the 9th in this game?

      • As long as MM wasn’t used in the past 2 games, Yes, he pitches the 9th. But Hurdle used him with a 4 run lead 2 games ago, knowing a Liriano/Strasburg match up was going to be a close ball game the next day, so who knows.

      • Bullpen is obviously weaker.

        They look stupid for having Melancon pitch in a 4 run game on Tuesday. They held back Watson because he was the closer today and he could have pitched the 10th against Bernadina and Harper.

        Morris has spoiled two 9th inning comebacks – the Marte HR vs Chicago and this one.

        I hate that we have a lineup of players you have to PH for. In the 9th inning we needed to pinch hit for a guy who pinch hit for a guy in the 8th but couldn’t and was left with a mismatch Jones vs lefty.

        • But Melancon would not have pitched last night if the other guys could have held a four run lead (same situation as Tuesday). What happened instead was a single and a homer (by Jayson Werth, his third of the series). Thus, a save situation for Melancon with no outs in the ninth, which he converted.

          Let’s remember that the Nationals were supposed to be really good, so it’s not surprising that they could take advantage of 3 errors and 3-18 RISP to win one out of four. Now it is on to Miami where the most important game is the one the Pirates play that day.

        • I think this should put to rest those on the blog that continually bemoan GI jones not ‘getting a chance to hit lefties’… he can’t.

          As to the bullpen, we can nitpick usage all we want, fact is all 7 have to pitch, and the way the Bucs play, they will all pitch when it matters and in a tight game. Melancon can only pitch so many innings, so if he pitches one game you want him to, he won’t pitch the other one.

          Morris has been very very good, I’m not going to start groaning about a few runs given up here and there.

          Yes this series the Nats did score on the pen, Werth himself was responsible for a lot of it.. and he is scalding and on fire. And LaRoche can definitely hit.

  182. The important question…….what were the final Line scores?

  183. Did we just take 3 of 4? I forget. :-)

    • Can’t blame us for being greedy, A-Dub. It’s just our nature. Starting the series, none of us dreamed of a 4 game sweep and any one of us would have taken 3 of 4. But when you win those first 3, things change.

      BTW, remember all those 4 games series early in the year where we lost the 1st game then took the last 3? If we’re gonna have a bizarro 2nd half, this kind of series is the best to have, if you know what I mean.

  184. Bummer, looks like I called for a lose before it actually happened and missed a good comeback.

  185. Hope A.J. makes good with everybody. Not because I have a problem with him showing his fiery competitiveness, but because I worry. About what Neil the Control Freak might do. Like jettison A.J. at the end of the year. A.J. is A.J. and you get something like the what happened in the 6th as part of the package. From what’s been reported, seems like Clint has it all under control. Hope there’s no lasting repercussions.

    • What I’m more concerned about (though not really) is the nine hits A.J. gave up. Not at all a horrible performance — his teammates made all kinds of errors — A.J. only gave up one ‘earned’ run. But at this snapshot in time, Cole is the better of our two righty regulars in the rotation. If we ranked ‘em today, A.J. would be our No. 4 starter. Still happy with him and the fire he brings. Neal better not do anything stupid.

    • AJ is a free agent at end of year…there will be no JETTISONING. AJ has stated he would most likely retire, but if he came back it would be with Pittsburgh.

      It all depends on how much AJ costs to re-sign. He has done his part, bridged the Bucs to the arrival of Cole (and in June 2014 Taillon). Locke’s emergence and Wandy’s likely to trigger the player option makes AJ not as ‘sure thing’ to retain anyway.

  186. NH wouldn’t, would he?????????

  187. I can’t believe they lost a game.

    Somebody needs to lose a job.

    Thunder?

  188. I love the spirit of this Buccos team. This was a loss but not a setback in terms of how they are feeling as a team. I think they remain a very confident group, and this will onlyh solidify that feeling.

    Bryce Harper is not your ordinary 20 year old. He can be annoying and full of himself at times, but the kid has so much talent.

    • He does have him some talent, but if he keeps running until they tag him, he better have more talent than Babe Ruth. Still gotta know how to play the game.

    • Bryce needs to learn how to play smarter, MUCH smarter… not only the baserunning like a little leaguer, but the abuse he puts on his body by banging into walls, etc. His knees won’t last long if he keeps doing that.

      Good player, he plays hard, that’s great. He’s not that fast and shouldn’t bat leadoff, but Davey Johnson probably has no choice.

  189. I couldn’t pull this one out.

    But the Pirates didn’t deserve to win with that bottom of the first.

  190. Disappointed by the way the game ended. J-Hay made me eat crow. Every time we think he’s done for, he becomes a game hero some how. J-Hay is like a mullet…he never really goes away.

  191. Tough game to watch, really, kind of like watching a little league game in many ways… terrible umpiring, crazy defense, and pitchers meatballing a ton and getting away with it (especially Nats relievers).

    give the Bucs credit, they really don’t quit.

    Mike Winters was pathetic behind the plate. It’s one thing to give pitchers outside the black edge, it’s another to give them 6inches off the plate. He did tend to give the call to both teams, so there’s that. Umpires should say over and over to themselves before the game “I am not the story. I should be invisible. Let today be about the players and not about the umpires”. If I were running the league, umpires who violate this would be ‘back in AAA’ to learn this.

    AJ is AJ. He is fiery and intense. The reaction to the first inning, when he slammed something in the dugout, I truly believe was him being mad at himself, not showing up his teammates. The later blowup, when he motioned to the bullpen to sit down was out of bounds. It really showed up Hurdle and credit to Clint for jumping all over AJ. Clint worked hard to calm the situation down so I doubt there is any lingering impact of this. Great for AJ to give the team the 7 innings (and those of us who went that way on Playoff’s Over/Under)…..

    JayHey can be a sparkplug, plays with a ton of energy and no fear. Good for him. This is why so-called “Sunday lineups” need no ‘first guessing’ like so many on the blog like to do. Leyland, known as one of the best managers ever, loved to go with the Sunday lineups all the time…and they usually worked more than they didn’t.

    Love the decision to platoon Neil with Mercer moving forward. Stats don’t lie.

    A little early to be second guessing the bullpen.

    On to Miami, time for Marte to break out of his slump!!

  192. It was a crazy game in many ways.

  193. “Love the decision to platoon Neil with Mercer moving forward.”

    Was that announced by the team? Or is that just supposition based on today?

    • Clint discussed it as something they may do moving forward, based on the splits… said that “he and Neil talked about it”… this is the pattern for CH this year, he is pretty forthcoming in announcing these things… I dont think Mercer will play EVERY game vs. LHPs, but I’d be shocked if he didn’t play more than half the rest of the way.

      The Bucs have reached a healthy place in their growth trajectory… to get better, decisions like this are part of it. In years past, they had so many holes to plug that something like Neil vs. LHPs was not a priority…now it is.

      Same tough decision may be coming for Fort, as soon as Tony ‘figures out his throwing’. It’s conceivable that if the Bucs acquire a starter (not a priority but they are likely talking about it), then either Cole or Morton would go to the pen and someone else would be jettisoned to Indy…

      These are the types of improvements that the next phase demands… hope the players have the continence for it. I think they do….

  194. cmat0829,
    “…there will be no JETTISONING. AJ has stated he would most likely retire, but if he came back it would be with Pittsburgh…”
    I wouldn’t be so sure. I can easily see “My Way or the Highway” Neal blowing A.J. off even if A.J. wants to return. He did it to Freddy Sanchez, he did it to Doug Mientkiewicz. Whether there is a role for A.J. next year or not is too early to say. We have no idea what’s up with Wandy. And, while a stretch, I personally, wouldn’t rule out that Jeff Locke isn’t traded in some blockbuster deal. The kid’s trade value has to be sky high. And there are teams with serious some serious rotation holes and no help from the farm on the way that need to make the post-season. The Angels are at the top of that list (for Bourjos [YES!] or Trumbo [meh].
    Anyway, too early to dismiss A.J. Hope Neal hasn’t.

    • “My way or the highway”? I’m not sure where he got this reputation. It seems to be out of place. They made an internal observation of what those players were worth and made offers to them. They turned those offers down so they got traded instead of getting nothing for them in return. That is just bussiness especially for a small to mid market team.

      There is no way that Locke would get traded this year. I could see it happening in the off season but even then very unlikely.

      • Nate,
        I’m sorry, but you just have the facts wrong about Freddy, Dirty Doug, and other individuals too, along the way (Trent Jewett, etc.). But it’s too tedious to rehash that tonight. Suffice it to say you have your memory of events and I have mine and we’ll have to just agree to disagree.

        As for a Locke trade, if it’s conceivable in the off-season, then it’s conceivable (possibly more so) now. The urgency for some teams is at it’s highest right now. That said, I’m not putting money down that he WILL be trading. Just indulging in a little speculation banter. However, while we have some players who should be untouchable, I’m not sure he’s one of them and I would definitely take a top-tier OF and/or 1st-baseball with years of control for Locke.

    • I’m confused. Freddy was TRADED at the deadline after they couldn’t agree to an extension. I happen to think it was the right move to trade Freddy and Jack W, but I know emotions run high on these 2 allstars on a playoff juggernaut, so I’ll leave that where it is.

      AJ is a free agent. I have no doubt they will ‘exchange numbers’ if indeed AJ wants to keep pitching. I also have NO problem with NH setting a figure that is affordable and signing him at that or letting him go if it is more than that.

      I don’t think there is any parallel situation that NH has faced.. Freddy and Doug are mere shadows of what AJ is on the field… so I don’t think it makes sense to debate some November hypotheticals now. NH is a different GM now than he was in 2008/2009/2010/2011, so let’s see what happens.

      But let’s shed no tears for a journeyman on a losing team years ago….

      • “NH is a different GM now than he was in 2008/2009/2010/2011.”

        I’ll give you that.
        You’re wrong on all the rest, but I’m just not up for a debate, tonight. I’ll hash it all out with you some time.

    • oh , and what I meant by no ‘jettisoning’ is a trade of AJ during this season… if they simply part ways when AJ is a free agent, then c’est la vie. I don’t consider that to be completely in NH’s control.

  195. I only now realized that DK’s tweets no longer scroll across his landing page. His were pretty much the only Tweets I ever bothered with. Had to Google it to find the clubhouse reaction to the “strategizing” on the steps. When was the landing page de-tweeted?

    DK: Something on Twitter’s end killed the feed. We’re trying to get it back.

  196. Indy just got no hit.

    Some 25 year old jabrone with an ERA of about 4.50. Only a 7 inning game – 1st game of DH.

  197. I know we can’t win ‘em all. but why, in that 9th inning did we not put a lefty in to pitch to
    Harper. Not that he wouldn’t still have done what he did, but everybody knows that a
    lefty pitcher has a better percentage of getting a lefty hitter out than a righty. Also, Morris
    is not the closer, so what difference would it have made to switch pitchers in that situation? There were two out when Harper harpooned us. Maybe we could have scored more runs in the 10th.

    • Gotta agree Chuck. Don’t understand that one

    • My guess on this is that Watson was today’s closer, and you need a closer in a tie game on the road if you are to win…and Wilson went last night so they were trying not to use him…

  198. 841 posts so far for today’s two threads.

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