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Final: Marlins 2, Pirates 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (59-39) vs. Miami Marlins (37-61)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Site: Marlins Park, Miami

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. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Locke, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Travis Sawchik is swimming with the fishes.

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.

380 Comments

  1. Excellent lineup!

  2. TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE PLAY FRIDAY!!!

    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 INNINGS PITCHED by the Pirates bullpen in tonight’s game
    Line is 2.25

    Line #2
    Total HITS by Andrew McCutchen this weekend against the Marlins
    Line is 3.5

    PICK ‘EM Line #3
    Total WINS by the PIRATES this weekend against the Marlins
    0 (TRIPLE ODDS)
    1 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    2 (EVEN ODDS)
    3 (EVEN ODDS)

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

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    60 Down, only 22 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  3. really gabby against a righty? Snider in right and Jones at first HAS to be a better option than that doesn’t it? Even with Snider sucking at the plate he surely is hitting better than Gabby hits righties right?

    Other wise that’s about the best line up Clint can field right now.

    • This hurts saying as someone who has both thought Snider turned the corner and criticized Hurdle for starting Gaby against righties, but I don’t have a problem with this move.

      If nothing else, Gaby at least puts the ball in play more and draws walks.

    • Lambo in right and Jones on first would be a whole lot better!

  4. There are bad teams that lose and don’t play hard for all 27 outs.

    There are bad teams that lose but play hard for all 27 outs.

    The Marlins are the latter. And with those teams you better come to play or you leave town losing a series you should have won.

    • Good point John. Luckily I think this Pirate team comes to play everyday. I have to imagine the last two years convinced them of the need to do that if they didn’t already know that.

  5. As I said in the Morning Java discussion, MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Marlins owner is not interested in dealing Stanton. The Buccos and Rangers have contacted them about him and the discusssion has obviously gone nowhere.

    • Not surprising. Stanton’s a building block for a franchise like Miami. Very good player who is so young he probably will get better over the next few years, which Miami controls and he currently makes very little money. If you trade him, you’re telling the fans to give up for the next few years. They see him and Ozuna anchoring the lineup and a solid pitching staff getting them back to respectability.

      Placido Polanco on the other hand…

  6. What??!!??
    No J-Hay in the lineup tonight!!

    We’ve been Hurdled!

  7. Grilli saw team doctors and Dr. Andrews. Has a flexor strain and is not a surgical candidate. Will be reevaluated in 10-14 days. No throwing.

    • So i guess strain is better than tear correct?.

      I imagine best case scenario is he returns in about 30 days, if he is going to come back at all.

      My Pirates wish list at the trade deadline, in this order is ::::

      1- Aoki
      2- Morales
      3- Adam Lind
      4- and 1 of the following, in no particular order , Michael Young, Jeff Keppinger, Placido Polanco.

      NH can wait after the non waiver deadline to pick up a relief or starter, if he feels the need to.

      Go work the phones NH!!!!.

      • I forgot about Aoki. I’ll take him.

        I would love to have Morales too but seattle just won 9 out of their last 10 so maybe they wont be sellers after all.

      • I am not a big fan of guys from the AL coming over, even though inter league has been forced down our throats.

        I still think an adjustment period is needed to get comfortable facing pitchers and teams you are not used to.

        That is why i adamantly say no to Rios, Ramirez, and Mor-No.
        Morales is a guy i am a little hesitant of, but i think he will require a package that the Pirates would not agree to.

      • Aoki is a good player and would provide the leadoff hitter the Bucs need (and provide Marte insurance also), I just can’t visualize this actually happening without NH overpaying in my view.

        Seattle is in ‘save my job’ mode and finishing .500 actually is a goal there, they want ‘major league ready’ players in return…now if they take Snider for Morales, sure, no brainer. But they won’t.

        Lind? interesting. Jays really should be sellers and the very very very overrated GM up there likes to shake things up with trades; not sure another left hand hitter whos is streaky and strikes out a lot really does it for me, though. I wouldn’t mind Mark DeRosa of the Jays for your category 4 player though. And what about Rajai Davis as a sleeper possibility?

        As to Young, et al… Keppy and Placido, yes,.. Young, um, please no. Too expensive and I don’t think he can play outfield…I could be wrong… Jamey Carroll (dont even know where he is now) is someone that fits that mold very well too.

        • Sheesh. Not too many guys are available. This might be the worst trade deadline for buyers in decades.

          Aoki might be one of the very few available.

          • Yeah it figures when the Buccos finally need to add a piece or two, it’s a terrible trade market. Do we know Aoki is actually available? He’s got a very team friendly contract for next year and I’m not sure why the Brewers would send him in the division unless they were writing off next year or have a better option. Though I’d love to have him, I think there’s 0 chance we get him.

            • Yeah, you’re right. He’s not even going to be a FA till 2018. 0% sounds right to me.

              Someone said they heard that the Mets and Mariners need to be blown away by their deals. Therefore, Byrd, Morales, and Ibanez might not be available. Someone else said in this discussion that the Mariners GM might just want to get to .500 to save his job.

              Meanwhile, Soriano is gone.

              The Sox want an arm and a leg for Rios.

              I know I am in the minority but I might just be very well willing to part with Polanco if that is what is required to get Rios and no other options are left.

              • Also, it was reported that the Marlins are not willing to part with Stanton.

              • Aoki has an out clause in his contract that allows him to elect free agency once he’s arbitration eligible, which is after next season.

                And Doug Melvin has already said his team is rebuilding in the next few years and that Braun, Segura, and Gomez are the only untouchables.

              • Seattle is a different story, GM is fighting for .500 to save his job…but if Sandy Alderson doesn’t trade Marlon Byrd at the deadlline for WHATEVER he can get, then he should be fired for incompetence.

                GMS always say they need to win the deal and be ‘blown away’ to trade someone… then it comes down to 5 mins to deadline and it’s like Garage Sale Saturday AM all of a sudden…”what, will I take $1 for the broken ashtray?”…um, sure, why not…and take a few 8tracks if you want, just go through that basket.”

                And, please, for the love of God or whomever you worship, no Polanco in any trade that doesn’t involve Giancarlo Stanton. Thanks.

              • cmat,

                I love the “take a few 8 tracks if you want, just go through that basket” line.

            • Amen cmat. We only add a Polanco, we don’t subtract one. Unless it’s for Stanton, Miguel Cabrera, Kershaw, well you get the picture.

              And you’re right about the garage sale, only it’s not AM, it’s more like 2:45 in the afternoon, the sale goes til 3 and the lady really doesn’t want to have to pack any of the stuff up again.

              All these older vets that are 2 month rentals and having decent seasons but don;t figure into long term plans, the GMs just need to get what they can and reload next year.

              • Good info NMR. To quote Lloyd Christmas, “So you’re saying there’s a chance!” It might even be better than a million to one.

              • “All these older vets that are 2 month rentals and having decent seasons but don;t figure into long term plans, the GMs just need to get what they can and reload next year.”

                … Michael Young please !!

              • Hahaha, excellent reference!

              • BC, I’ve always liked Michael Young, I’d happily take him, but we’d still need an OF

        • Young may or may not be able to play outfield (I can’t see him being any worse defensively than Tabata and Snider if you really wanted to put him out there against lefties), but he can definitely platoon with Walker at 2nd, or give Pedro a day off at 3rd. The bench also gets upgraded, as one of those three becomes the best PH on the team immediately.

          There’s no commitment after this season. He’s got a $16M dollar contract, with the Rangers picking up $10. That means over the last two months of the season this guy is going to cost about $2M. I would grab him in a heartbeat if the Phillies want to move him.

      • That’s a lot of pieces there. unless you are saying target 1 if you don’t get it target 2, etc.

        I keep hearing some people bring up Polanco. Some people I have talked to think to get Polanco it would likely cost you Hanson. Are you OK with that?

        • Not me. However, I might be willing to part with him for a rental that is performing if nothing else was available. I really think we need to get someone here to be at corner outfield.

        • No way you give up Hanson for Polanco. And no way the Marlins get anything close to that. He’s 38 years old, a 2 month rental and would just be a utility/bench guy for the Bucs. From the Marlins perspective, he either walks after the season or they get a middling prospect now for him. I’m not talking about giving up one of our top 30 or maybe even top 40 prospects.

        • Placido Polanco?

          Who are these people you’re talking to? I wanna try what they’re on.

        • Absolutely not. I wouldn’t trade anything for Polanco.

    • Thanks for the update, so a mid-September return would be very nice indeed.

    • I think Grilli may, emphasize, may become the ‘bullpen addition’ the team needs down the stretch, which would be great news. I would not opppose NH picking up one reinforcement also, but if he doesn’t I won’t complain either.

  8. Does anybody have an opinion as to whether Pedro was out on the play that got CH tossed yesterday? During the game, I suggested it was a make up call for the missed tag the night before, but watching the replay, it seemed clear to me that Pedro did cross first base in the direction of second base before heading down the line. Now, umpires may not call the out all the time on that kind of play, but under the rule, this umpire seemed to make the right call.

    • I saw a quick look at it, and to me, there was no intentional movement towards second, but again, it was a quick glance

      • I think, and I emphasize think, the rule is if a player turns and makes a meaningful move toward 2nd, then he is in play and off the bag and if tagged, out. No doubt Pedro made a slight turn toward 2nd, to see where the ball was, but I think if the ump had ruled safe there, Nats wouldn’t have even argued. To me this was 80% no call, 20% out call, so ump should have went that way.

        • If he made a slight turn, then it’s the right call. Umpire can use a lot of judgment on this one. Rulebook says “attempts to run to second.”

          • I beg to differ. Pedro both made a slight turn and made NO attempt to run to 2nd. So if that’s the rulebook wording, then he should be safe.

            • After seeing the replay, it sure didn’t look like he attempted to run towards second. The slight turn you’re referring to I think was before he even hit first base.

              • Boy it’ll tell ya. That’s tough. He did turn just a little but after passing first. That one could go either way, IMO.

    • that was a bull call, but Alvarez should know better.

    • Little league call by an Ump looking to make the show about him.

      • I agree. I think more and more umpires are trying to create a personality about them. I thinks 24/7 sports news, dedicated baseball channels and especially social media are driving it. Umps know if they do something, then it goes out on twitter and everyone is talking about them. Hurdle should not have been tossed on the play, either. He went out to argue when the game had gone to commercial break.

        Fame is a drug.

        When I was young there were some colorful umps like Ron Luciano and Dutch Rennert so they have always been around. Except now, anything an ump does that is entertaining or controversial is instantly presented to the masses.

        Sometimes it enriches a guy. I call it the Ed Hochuli Syndrome.

        • Laz Diaz………………… worst ump in baseball today.

        • Just one more reason all of this social media garbage has got to stop. I know reporters love it as it gives them news the fastest way possible but sometimes I feel like we were all a lot better off when there were 4 TV channels, broadcast from local affiliates and there was no internet. I mean you actually had to pick up a phone…with a cord…and a rotor…to talk to people. Which means you really needed to have something meaningful to say to them or them to you. Imagine it!

      • But was it the correct call? I didn’t see it. Did Alvarez attempt to run towards second?

        • I didn’t see it either. And I’ve been wondering the same thing as you.

        • I had a bigger problem with the ump running Hurdle, 21.

          • What did Hurdle say to the ump John?

            • I don’t know, for sure. He went out there though as the game was going to commercial break. But he was tossed just as the telecast went to commercial. I don’t think he gave Clint nearly enough time to vent. Had Clint still been out there when the game returned from break (what, 60 seconds?), then sure, ring him up. Otherwise, let him vent with no one (other than the crowd present) watching.

              But, honestly, I don’t know what he said or if he had been jawing at him all afternoon.

        • I haven’t seen it and I don’t know the actual rule. I mean it sounds like people are saying that technically his first move past the bag was into fair territory in an attempt to look over his shoulder to see where the ball was. If that look also caused him to motion into fair territory then it becomes what does the letter of the rule say. If it is any move toward second then he was out. If it was any meaningful motion toward second it becomes a judgment call and at that point any umpire could interpret in any number of ways.

        • All I can find in the rules is the following, not so helpful, wording:
          “A batter-runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base.” Rule 7.08(c)

        • It was not, and he did not.

          Think about who was running. Takes a lot to get the big bull to change direction. If what Pedro did was an attempt to get to second base, then his trajectory would’ve taken him half way into right field on the way there.

  9. I’ll take the over for line 1 and the over for line 2 please for 100 each.

  10. From Pittsburgh Sports report:

    Jason Grilli has been diagnosed flexor strain in his right arm and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, though he is expected to miss between 4 and 8 weeks.

    Hmmmmm.

    • big window between 1 month and the rest of the regular season.
      I guess we will just hope for the best, and hope he is getting the best medical treatment and advice.

      Maybe he can use that guy A rod hired to say 2 to 3 weeks, so we can all feel optimistic .!

      • well, beats what I thought/feared it would be, elbow surgery and gone through midseason next year…. I’d take a midSeptember return to boost the pen down the stretch…but for now, the Shark Tank belongs to Melancon.

        • I thought right away that a month was the best case scenario. I think it is going to be near the end of the season before we get him back. I hope he can help in Oct.

    • About the best news you could expect and hope for. Just the fact he is going to avoid surgery is a huge win. If he is somehow able to help this team in September even a bigger bonus.

    • “strained flexor tendon”

      Is that different than the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) that gets replaced during Tommy John surgery?

      If so, this is huge, huge news. For this year, and even moreso next year.

      • I am not a doctor, I didnt stay at a Holiday Inn Express, but I do know no surgery is a good thing.

        But a word of caution, Wandy went out for a forearm too, supposedly for 15 days.
        He still isnt ready to come back.

        At least his arm didnt fall off……………….

        • That’s true but based on the fact he is having platelette replacement therapy that sounds to me like he had a partial tear of a ligament, a little more serious than a strain.

          • the diagnosis is a strain of the TENDON, doesn’t say anything about the LIGAMENT, so not sure where a tear of the ligament enters into this….

            • I was referring to Wandy not Grilli. And I may have got my ligaments and tendons mixed up. the replacement therapy is usually done to help a tear of some kind heal. It does not appear that there are any tears in the Grilli situation, though it didn’t sound that way at first about Wandy other. It is possible Wandy reinjured it during his rehab ina manner worse than the original injury.

              • oh sorry , misread your post…sorry for the anatomy lesson. Interesting tidbit but back in 2010, Strasburg was initially diagnoes with a ‘strained flexor tendon’ and that turned into torn UCL. Not saying this is the case with Grilli but Rizzo was smoke-screening then and maybe NH is doing so now?? I hope not, and pray not.

                Reading up on the flexor tendon, it makes sense… these go from the elbow to the fingers and are what allows you to move your fingers.. Jason was constantly moving his fingers, trying to get them loose, as he was pitching and then finally the pain became too much to continue. This seems to make sense…as well as Dr. Andrews assesemnt, so we hope for the best!

              • Oh well, just throw him a batch of the platelet stuff, anyway. What can it hurt?

              • Two batches. If one is good, two are better. And throw one in his left arm too…we’re in a pennant race for God’s sake.

      • tendons and ligaments are two different things. Ligaments connect 2 bones together and tendons connect muscles to bone.

    • Here’s to hoping that diagnosis is relatively accurate.

  11. Grilli should celebrate the good news about his forearm the way those wacky tight-ends from New England do.

    http://www.tmz.com/2013/02/04/rob-gronkowski-super-bowl-party-las-vegas-video-broken-arm/

  12. This Marlins weekend is the kind of series that scares me.
    Florida heat…The worst team in the NL…And a big series with the Cardinals right around the corner.
    They can’t afford to get lackadaisical this weekend……

    • + Many worries.

    • They play in a dome, so temp at game time should be around 75 or so I’d think…. don’t disagree the series worries me, but it won’t be because of the heat.

      • True about the dome…..But having lived in Florida for quite a few years, it can wear you down in general.
        Hot, humid, wet….And 10 minutes after you take a shower…..You’d swear you hadn’t taken one in a couple days.
        Reply

        • that’s why I live in Phoenix, the dry heat is key, baby! 106 today and I would have no problem playing a round of golf in the afternoon. Contrast that to a round I played in Tampa area, temp was around 90 but by the second tee I was totally drenched from head to toe and could hardly finish the round.

          • I lived in Tampa for 4 years . In the summer I swear every day they said it was 91 or 92, never changed, and like you said, you sweat gallons just standing outside. Hated those weather guys.

  13. I apologize for harping this over and over today but does anyone have any idea what corner outfielder or 1B would be available this deadline. The more I have been looking at it, the fewer options seem to be on the table.

  14. True about the dome…..But having lived in Florida for quite a few years, it can wear you down in general.
    Hot, humid, wet….And 10 minutes after you take a shower…..You’d swear you hadn’t taken one in a couple days.

  15. I am going to US Cellular on August for the White Sox game.

    Anybody think I’ll see Tabby play or Taillon pitch ? :)

    • *August 7

    • I doubt you will see Taillon pitch. Don’t think Neal will do any deal that includes him. Though he is not having such a great year at Altoona last I looked. That could be because they are having him work on some things he is not that great at yet like developing a new pitch or something along those lines. Really sounds like he is at least two more years away.

      • He got lit up really badly about 2 starts ago, AJS. Something like 10 runs in 3 innings. Other than that, he’s been pretty good.

    • I sure hope you don’t see Taillon pitching.

  16. NMR:

    I apologize for mischaracterizing your Aoki trade proposal on the other thread. I was taking a quick look at the blog over lunch, and I had to interview someone about 5 minutes later. So, I quickly responded. Never a good thing.

    Having said that, I think giving up any one of our #3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 prospects, then 2 others between #11-30 (not sure if that means our choice or Milwaukee’s), is still a bit much for Aoki. I think he is a good player, and would be a great leadoff guy that can play against RHP/LHP. I really like the guy. But, I just think that’s too much.

    That would mean either Glasnow, Meadows, McGuire or Hansen, most likely. Then, 2 more really good prospects. These are not the Milwaukee Brewers’ prospects. They are Pirates prospects, and there are guys in our #11-20 that fit in other teams’ Top 10 easily. Now, if it is Heredia and 1 more from #25-30, I’d think about that. I have already said I’d give up Heredia for Aoki straight up.

    I also realize it may take a crazy amount of talent to get a guy like him. I just wouldn’t do it.

    • Aoki is under contract till 2018 and not even arbitration eligible till 2015, I believe. Would you feel the Brewers would be willing to part with him?

      • Ya I am not sure how Aoki even really got brought into this conversation. But part of the reason he would cost so much is in fact because they would control him for 3 more years.

      • Technically you’re correct, but he also has the same out clause in his contract as most of these Japanese guys that allows them to elect free agency once they reach arbitration.

      • I think they might part with him if they got our #3, #11 & #12. NMR didn’t specify who would get to choose the ones between #11 – 30.

        He’s a nice player. He’s actually a guy I like. But, is he that good?

        I guess it comes down to whether you think of the guys in the minors as prospects or suspects. As Pirates fans, we have been trained to think these guys are all long shots. Rays fans (both of them!) and Cards fans (millions of them) don’t look at prospects that way. My take is we should not, either. I think we have quite the collection of talent in the minors now, and it is there for our roster someday – not Milwaukee’s. We have to think that way given our market size. Just my opinion.

        • If you assume the Brewers would take the top two ranked prospect from 11-20, NOT ABOVE A BALL, then they would get Dilson Herrera and Wyatt Matheson according to MLB.com or Barrett Barnes and Stetson Allie according to Pirates Prospects.

          Think about those players.

          Are they even the best prospects we have at their positions? Are they even close?

          If we can’t use guys of their caliber as trade bait, then I honestly don’t know why one would even bother paying attention to the trade deadline.

          • That would still be a lot but it also would be a done deal in my book.

          • I’m off my game, NMR. I also missed the “not above A ball” part.

            Bad day for me. (Shakes head in shame and endeavors to do better tomorrow).

            Your proposal is not all that far from what I would give up for Aoki. Maybe a little more, but not a lot.

            Go Bucs in Miami!

        • The other team to model against is the Braves… even though Hudson is out, they have no intention of trading top prospects for available starting pitchers… and they are most likely “OUT” of the Bud Norris sweepstakes (really? is that really happening??) because he has “no big game experience”.

          Recall last year, the Braves trades were more minor, Pauly Maholm and Reed Johnson…. not a bad model to follow.

          • I’m pretty sure you violate just about every rule of writing by putting “Bud Norris” and “sweepstakes” in the same sentence. At this rate the only player not to get his own sweepstakes is Jonathan Sanchez. And maybe Ronny Cedeno.

          • The Braves sent the Cubs pitching prospect Aroidyz Viscaino plus another prospect in the Maholm/Johnson deal.

            Viscaino entered the 2012 season as the 40th best prospect in all of baseball according to BA.

            Thats higher than Tyler Glasnow has ever been ranked by any publication.

            • And they lost in the Wild Card game. Sure they still have Maholm, but they don’t have a top pitching prospect.

        • How were those Cards fans thinking when Mozeliak traded for Matt Holiday, Jim?

          What about when he traded for Edwin Jackson?

          You talk like the Cards never make big in season moves. Thats flat-out wrong.

          • I didn’t say they never make big in-season trades. I meant they do not view their top prospects as all long shots. I think some Pirates fans do that because our history is that our prospects do not come through like theirs do. All I am saying is we are assembling a nice system now, and I think we should think like them going forward.

            Aoki is not Matt Holiday. Edwin Jackson fooled them, as he did a lot of people a few years back.

            I don’t think the Cards are infallible. I just think we need to adopt their mindset.

            Was it Jockety that traded for Holliday? I honestly don’t know, but I thought he might have still been there. Either way, no biggie.

            • Oh boy, I really hope I didn’t give you the “suspect” impression. I meant quite the opposite.

              The only reason I would be fine giving up those prospects is because I finally believe the Pirates have built redundancy of legit prospects within their system. Similar, although unfortunately not on par with those same Cardinals we all want to emulate. The Bucs have multiple pitchers, outfielders, infielders, and catchers that offer similar hope as the ones I’ve suggested dealing.

              And fwiw, I made sure to include only Mozeliak trades.

    • He did also so no one over single A from the 11-30 list. That makes it easier to replace them in the next draft since they are so far away anyway. Not trying to devalue your opinion as you make some very good points, but I think the no one above single A part of what he said is very important.

      but to get Aoki the starting point is definitely a Hansen or Glasnow.

    • No problem at all, Jim. I certainly can’t say I’ve never done the same.

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion on Aoki’s value, but if I may present a comparison…

      Three leadoff hitting outfielders from last season:

      .274/.348/.391 10%BB/22%K 42 SB
      .283/.342/.395 8%BB/11%K 17 SB
      .288/.355/.433 7%BB/9%K 30 SB

      Can you pick out Aoki from the list?

      The other two players are Michael Bourn and Denard Span.

      • I would guess Aoki had the highest batting avg. (.288) and Bourne was the guy with the most steals.

        • Got it.

          Still think Aoki isn’t valuable?

          • He is very valuable, including to the Brewers. Melvin will have to ‘win the trade’ as there is no other reason (salary, players blocked, etc.) to make the trade from the Brewers perspective. So that means NH has to overpay to get Aoki? Is it worth it? This is a classic now means more than tomorrow type of move. I lean slightly to NO, on making a lopsided trade just to have Aoki this year and next… but I won’t argue too hard.

            • No other reason?

              If the Brewers don’t plan on contending next year, which they don’t, then Aoki leaves for free agency after the season and they have nothing but a couple more wins tacked onto a losing season to show for it.

              If Melvin plans to rebuild, at some point he’s gotta think like a rebuilder.

  17. I know I’m becoming a broken record, but… the Dodgers, Tigers, and as I’ve been mentioning, the Angels all have had pitching issues this season. In addition to considering the likely suspects to be sellers, don’t overlook ‘buyers’ who also may covet what we have.

    • It just doesn’t seem like contenders hook up with each other very often. I mean I am sure it happens, but no one wants to make another team they may see down the line any better.

    • Angels shouldn’t be buyers unless they are truly delusional. They should sell as much as they can, fire Scoscia to put him out of his misery, then figure out what Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton can do around the Big A to earn some of the riduculous salary they will consume the next 20 years. Maybe they can paint the facade? Groundskeeping? Fireworks handlers?

      • Speaking of Pujols, being mischievous here, but it does kind of make me wonder if the rumor-that-wouldn’t-die about his age might just be true.

        AJS,
        Yeah, you’re right. Though I’m not sure why buyers don’t compare notes and find that they can help each other more often.

    • I think it’s a good thought…. turn over the unexpected rocks and see what can happen… Beyond the obvious sellers, Toronto probably would deal; Yankees if they had anything we wanted; Rays always are creative; Indians possibly?

      I haven’t studied all the rosters but I do think NH has likely called anyone and everyone around the league…

  18. In my always impartial opinion, I believe Pedro made no attempt to go to second. Having said that, what could have entered his mind to even think it, or cause him to look at second?
    If I’m the coach, I’m YELLING stay here, stay here, and I suppose I hope that Pedro understands

  19. Well, here we are. It’s Opening Day. Game #101. This is precisely the point the last 2 seasons when the wheels fell off. 19 wins from this point on in 2011 & 21 from this point on in 2012. Nary a 3 game winning streak.

    They go into tonight with a sparkling 60-40 record, 2 games better than last year (58-42). And just like last year & the one before it, it won’t mean a thing unless they make it so over the final 62 games. It’s all on them, there are no more excuses.

    I love Opening Day.

    • Too bad it isn’t the home opener, Milo. I always loved getting to leave school before lunch for that.

    • great way to look at it… no doubt the 2011 Pirates collapsed, but that team was really not the same caliber as 2012/2013. So I will only really think about last year’s collapse and compare to what we do this year. I don’t think it’s happening this year, but what the hell do I know.

      • I think this year’s team is so much better than even last year’s team. Think of all the upgrades – Locke, Cole, Liriano, Melancon, Wilson, Morris, full year of Marte, Jordy, Inge. Ok, I was kidding about the last part.

    • I just shake my head at that 3 game winning streak stat. Wow.

  20. Interesting that Joel Sherman tweeted that the Pirates (and Rangers) are asking about Stanton. So let’s play the what if game. Considering NO prospect is ever a sure thing… if Miami said they’d give the Pirates Stanton straight up for Taillon, would you make that trade? I would. Remember, this is strictly a what if, hypothetical scenario. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • Yes.

    • I’d pass. I do happen do be in the camp that “prospects” don’t mean much until they’ve proven it on the big-league stage. And maybe we’ll look back and say, “Taillon never turned out to be what we thought he was. We should have traded him back when he had such a ceiling.” But as long as we still have high hopes for him being the next Gerrit Cole, I think he stays off the “touchable” list. As DK wrote about a month ago, guys like Cole and Taillon may well be worth up to $150 mil in replacement value on the open FA market. A low-budget team like us needs to win these bets with its own in-house talent.

      • you know, it’s really not a no-brainer either way. By all accounts, Polanco has the goods to be the RF in Pittsburgh by 2015. If Marte does what he seems to be capable of, Bucs outfield is pretty much set. Stanton would def. bring value this year and next, but we’d be letting him walk at some point in FA…

        The Bucs if nothing else have pitching depth. The emergence of Jeff Locke really is key to being able to get your head around trading Taillon for an impact bat. Cole/Locke are around for a while.. and this regime has proven they can acquire pitching within budget and succeed….not so much on the offense side.

    • Of course.

  21. Last year on July 31, 2012, the A’s record was 56-47 and they were in third place in the AL West, 3.5 games behind Texas. The only move the great Billy Beane made at the trade deadline was trading RHP Fautino De Los Santos to the Brewers for C George Kottaras.

    The Athletics have the best record in baseball since that date.

  22. 21,
    I finally found what you referred to regarding the MLB’s baserunning rule. You are correct. In my own defense, I was citing the wording in part C; you were citing part J, about 1000 words past the part I found. I wasn’t omitting anything (certainly not intentionally), of course, not that I take it that you are implying that. But just wanted to state that I only could find part C, which was less complete than your part J.

  23. The Yankees are considering discipline for Grilli for seeking 2nd opinion..

    • ++

    • Yeah, that was incredible to me. I’m no fan of A-Rod, and I comprehend that these issues are painstakingly ironed out in the MLB labor agreements, but it still rubs me the wrong way that a person is prohibited from seeking out a medical second opinion.

    • I was watching this show, “Lead Off”, last night. It’s a sports discussion show with Doug Gotlieb and some incredibly cute girl, Allie Laforce. I had never heard of it, or seen it before. Anyhoo, Doug Gotlieb said something kinda funny. He said you never see someone go for a second opinion when it is good news. “Sir, you don’t have cancer.” “OK, but I’m getting a second opinion.”

    • That’s MISTER Grilli, Milo.

      Did you see the Cashman statement with all of the “Mr. Rodriguez” references?

    • Milo,

      You are as witty original. :-)

  24. The St Louis Cardinals received Lou Brock OF plus two others, and gave up Ernie Broglio P and two others – in essence Brock for Broglio.

    The Cincinnati Reds traded Frank Robinson OF to Baltimore for Milt Pappas P and two others Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson – in essence Robinson for Pappas.

    In both cases the team receiving the outfielder got the better of it – BY FAR!

    Aside from the fact the outfielders are Hall of Famers, they played every day, the pitchers pitched every fifth day.

    On this basis alone I’d trade Taillon P for Stanton OF, plus considering Stanton is a Major League commodity now and Taillon is still far away.

    • Well I would trade Taillon for Stanton in a hearbeat – but we are wasting our time even talking about it because the Marlins would NEVER even think about this – it will take a LOT more – Tailon, Heredia and Polanco to start…

  25. Not sure if anyone on this blog has mentioned this (don’t check in as often as I used to), but “Knuckleball” on Showtime is a fantastic documentary. You’re granted access to the baseball and personal lives of Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey. Also includes interviews with knuckleballers Wilbur Wood, Jim Bouton, Phil Niekro (GREAT little story about the day the scout came to his house to sign him), Charlie Hough. Good stuff from managers Terry Francona and Jim Leyland. Well worth any baseball fan’s time.

    Not sure if it’s on OnDemand or not, but just thought I’d give it a big two knuckles up.

    • scrapper; man did that bring back memories seeing Wakefield on the mound for the Pirates against the Braves. Would have been the series MVP if not for Barry Bonds and his “I need to take steroids because I can’t throw out Sid Bream” moment.

      Great great documentary. Found it really interesting how Dickey was drafted by the Rangers in the first round and was offered like 800k to sign; but before he signed they put him through a specific test on his elbow all because they noticed how he positioned his arm for a photo shoot for the cover of a magazine. Only to be told after the exam he’s missing a ligament and shouldn’t be able to do a simple thing like turn a door knob. Could have taken the 1 million in insurance money but would have never been allowed to pitch again but never gave up. That guy earned some major respect.

      • Stunning stuff, indeed. Made me like him even more after hearing that story.

        Another thing I loved about it was that it reaffirmed one of my pet peeves regarding sports fans. They played the radio talk show comments where Bosox fans were ripping Wakefield and saying it was time to get rid of him because he basically sucked. Okay, fair enough. But these same fans will play the jilted lover and scream about disloyalty when a guy in his prime leaves a city for more money.

        It’s the typical fan double standard. Once a player is no longer deemed valuable, kick his a** out and good riddance. But let a guy leave one city for another? The teeth start to gnashing and the bile starts to flowing because that scumbag is a disloyal, money-hungry mercenary! How dare he! He should have loyalty to this team, this city, we fans…until he’s no longer productive, at which time I can call some radio show and explain why his useless, washed up a** should be sent packing.

        • When exactly were they complaining about Wakefield…after he gave them 10 or 12 solid years?

          • And from all that I have read Wakefield was big in the community and a class act. One of my favorite Pirates of all time – I know he blew up and had to go – but I was sad when that happened – and very happy when he turned in some nice year for the Bosox…

  26. By the way, I’m not responsible for anything I say here because it’s not a column.

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  28. Evening all…. sorry I haven’t been around in a while I was away on business in beautiful Ft Lauderdale this past week. Actually stayed at the same hotel that the Miami Dolphins were using for many of their players during training camp. Saw Pouncey as he was getting off the elevator… wearing a “Free Braun” hat.

    Ok now on to a serious thought…. I’m sure one of you lunatics probably brought this up already but I’ll throw it out just for kicks and giggles anyway.

    Things have been really really quiet concerning the Pirates and the trade deadline as of late. That being said the Pirates as many have already pointed out have the BIGGEST series in the HISTORY of PNC park and the BIGGEST series in the past 20 YEARS next week against the Cardinals.

    What better time to pull the trigger on a surprise trade and have that player in the lineup for that 5 game series? Why wait till the trade deadline and the series is half over. Get the player or players you want and get them in the lineup come Monday.

    Talk about a shot in the arm if they actually got someone the team knew would help them going into that series and coming off the news of Grilli being out for up to 2 months…

    The only reason I bring up how quiet it has been concerning the Pirates and trades is that last year the Wandy deal came out of no where I believe a week before the deadline. Maybe NH is working another deal… To me; this is the time to make that deal!!!

    • The reasons it is so quiet are :

      Worst deadline for buyers in over 30 years,
      teams are willing to see if they stay in contention for the WC spot (which most wont)
      sellers asking sun, moon and stars knowing it is to their favor,
      teams like Pirates unwilling to pay their prices.

      I am expecting to be underwhelmed by NH this year.
      I know we have decent prospects, and I think Nh is going to hold onto them at all costs.
      Besides, players that might be available, like a Stanton, are too costly.

      Besides, NH needs his sllep. ;)

      • Don’t think I could disagree more. We’ve already seen trades made….

        Garza
        Feldman
        Rodriguez
        Soriano

        Don’t see how the deadline is any different than the last 2 years.

        • Oh, I didnt say no deals were made.

          just look at the GM’s talking, go to mlbtraderumors.com, listen to the “gab shows”.

          Very few teams in sell-off mode this year. That is mostly because the 2nd WC has given teams false hope. In previous years, teams dumped players…….. but not this year. Combine that with the fact that NH just loves his prospects, and the high cost of acquiring players, I see a snoozer of a deadline.

          Besides, the four players you mentioned, arent exactly world-beaters. I would classify those as minor deals.

    • Milo:

      I thought I would let you know that Aaron Rodgers made some classy and meaningful comments about Braun today at camp.

  29. @playoffs:

    Line 1: 100 on the over

    Line 2: 100 on the over

    Line 3: 50 on 2 wins

    Thanks!

  30. Hey, the Pirates are wearing their throwback road gray uniforms tonight. I loved it when they used to wear those.

    • I see what you did there.

    • But, seriously, that leads me to think about next year’s new logo announcement. I think there will be:
      1. A throwback home uni – you know, like the ones they wear at home every other day?
      2. A black, single-letter road uni – you know, like the ones they wear on the road every other day?
      3. A mustard cap to alternate with the black one. The new scheme will be more mustardy (mustardy?).

  31. Marlins Park.

    Loria is so hated, no one wants their name associated with that club.

  32. Hey, everyone – I’ve been trying to find out what’s up with the Pirates’ cool black and gold necklaces (Cutch, Alvarez, Locke, etc.). Anyone have any info?

  33. Great start. Firing on all cylinders.

  34. Since July 6th Jones is 8-45 .177 with just 2 RBI’s. Boy he was not kidding when he self admitted he needs to pick it up.

  35. Dang. Great play at home plate!

  36. Great relay…Marte strong throw to Mercer who fires a strike to Martin and nabs runner by three feet to keep it scoreless.

    That is one area the Bucs have been much improved in, relays from outfield.

  37. Awesome play by Marte, Walker, and Martin to preserve the tie game at 0-0!

  38. Marte web gem?

  39. Root needs to see about getting more Penguins games on Sunday Night Classics.

  40. Brian Wilson apparently just seen at the Pittsburgh airport.

    The pitcher Brian Wilson.

  41. Just tuned in.

    Immediately noticed that the Marlins forced the Bucs to wear away gray unis by wearing their own home blacks.

    Guess I’m just used to seeing the Pirates in black on the road.

  42. Does not appear that the Bucs offense made the flight from DC to Miami.

  43. 265 comments up there so far. Do I really have to read them all before I make one myself?

  44. At the end of the chat, I liked how Dejan compared the blog to “a cockroach in nuclear winter.”. Shows we have staying power.

  45. ESPN reporting that the Phillies are getting “late” offers for Lee.

    C’mon NH pull the trigger and bring Lee and Utley to Pittsburgh

  46. A couple runs would be nice. They can’t lose this AAAA game. Would ruin the most important series in PNC Park history.

    • Completely agree Reading; everyone is talking about the Cardinals series but if they sleep walk through this series they could be 5 games back before that series even starts.

  47. Any truth to the rumor that Kenny Williams from the White Sox was spotted at an Altoona Curve game this week?

  48. The next jersey I buy is a Number 6. Love how this kid plays.

  49. That Marlins – Blue Jay trade isn’t looking to bad for the Marlins right now.

  50. Yikes! we’re not hitting, not even with nobody on base. I have a feeling that we are going to be swept by (horrors) the Marlins. C’mon guys, let’s get some hits. Don’t let Locke
    hanging out to dry. Another no-name pitcher has our number already. GO, BUCS!!!!

  51. so, when is the Hippopocalypse?

  52. The Nunnish side ;)
    Evenin, friend

  53. Locke is not helping himself out with all these baserunners. At least one in every inning so far.

  54. Well best part of this situation is that it chases Alvarez who easily could have went a couple more innings and was near unhittable.

  55. Marlins 12 baserunners so far, while the Bucs only have 3.

  56. Kid is throwing a 2 hitter and you pinch hit for him?

  57. May have been a weak roller, but Locke littering the bases with walks led to that run.

  58. Guess it’s good that St. Louis was losing 2-1.

  59. Play with fire too much you get — BURNED. The Bucs are still at the pool after coming to Florida in that beach gear.

  60. It would be 2-0 without that great throw by Marte.

  61. Offense needs to pick him up; getting out of that with only 1 run is something the Pirates would do.

    Break open the bats already

  62. Bucs maybe glad to trade run for getting that kid out of the game, have to think they will have better shot of Marlins pen.

  63. This nightly “no offense” charade is getting old with the Pirates.
    Something needs to be done….

  64. WTH is wrong with these guys? They can’t hit anything…

  65. Which team is the contender? Being schooled at the plate.

  66. Sitting here reminiscing about our 3 baserunners. Ahh, the memories.

  67. Can’t even make contact. What a joke.

  68. 3-4-5 hitters go strikeout, strikeout and punch out, just zero life from team today. These are games you have to win, unreal.

  69. Just like the media, this team is looking to the next series instead of playing ball tonight. With STL losing 3-1 now, they could take advantage and gain that game back if they just get their heads out of their keaster.

    DK: The ‘media’ is looking ahead to the Steelers’ first practice tomorrow.

  70. Maybe the Pirates should ask about Stanton one more time before next Wednesday.

  71. Ballgame. Embarrassing L. Could have picked up a game- maybe.

  72. Someone wake me via carrier pigeon if they come back.
    Like I said in the morning thread, this team needs leadership down the stretch. If they overlook the Marlins, obviously that leadership isnt working.

    I am afraid if they lose this series, it will force NH to overpay for a bat. I mean, really overpay.

    Good night all.

  73. I hope “Thom” isn’t watching this game.

  74. Uncharacteristic change of entire battery for the Bucs.

    Martin injured?… or did Hurdle do that to save a pinch hitter for later?

    • Marlins broadcast crew seems to think he twinged something during his last AB. He did make last out so not for sure.

  75. Locke with career high nine strikeouts. I know it is a double switch but Marlins broadcast seems to think Martin tweaked something his last AB and stated he doesn’t look like he is moving all that well even coming off of field.

  76. I honestly don’t mind the switch. No one is hitting…so try something else.

  77. Maybe instead of dressing up in beach-bum clothes and bringing inflatable sharks and whales on the plane, the team should have studying the scouting report on the pitcher or reading “The Science of Hitting” by Ted Williams.

  78. An 11 pitch AB that results Ina double, the best AB of the night.

  79. Double for Gaby.

    Bug on the rug with one out in the 8th

  80. Nice, Gaby. 11pitches

  81. Chad Qualls coming in, a guy that you can certainly get to. Come on Jordy.

  82. I felt all along this team was was capable of stringing some hits together and playing small ball. In fact they stink at it. They can’t seem to use any combination of speed and advancing runners on a consistent basis. Not sure what they are doing, but unless they decide what they are, this RF, Sanchez, Walker, Jones lineup will be to little to late to catch the Cardinals and the Reds. They just hit the ball so much better and the run differential will prove to be to much for the buccos. NH can’t due to budget issues can’t make a major moves regardless of who is out there. The price may be to high and they want Rios and payroll relief. Every other club takes him with that number.

  83. There’s 11 K’s on the night. Come on Cutch – hit the ball!!

  84. This pitchers stuff wouldvappear to play to Pdros strength

  85. Wow. Two hits in the ninth and the game rests in the hands of Jose Tabata.

  86. Lets face it, so far only Alvarez and Cole are the only by products of the draft. I believe Marte was signed before NH. Walker, Cutch are Littlefield draft picks. So Mercer who is OK and some bull Pen arms are what constitutes this roster. Unless they trade for a really good bat this off season like Stanton or Cuddyer, this issue will be repeated next year as well.

  87. Come on Tabata – keep the hits going.

  88. Magnificient job of going through the motions. Schedule the World Series Parade.

  89. Raze it. Bucs lose, 2-0.

  90. Hopefully the Braves hold off the Cards and the Dodgers and beat the Reds, then no harm no foul tonight. These guys need some smelling salts to wake the heck up and come out tomorrow against another young pitcher. Go Bucs!!!

  91. A free loss. Don’t let it happen again.

  92. I like the buccos and think with some smart decisions, they can be good for awhile. The issue to me is trading who drops off payroll and who adds payroll. I simply can’t see them coming close to the kind of spending that the Reds and Cardinals spend. As long as that is the case, even with Cutch moving higher 3 million and Francisco adding 4 to 8 with Burnett and Wandy and that represents 7 million net. Even including Barmas and Karstans and Mc Donald which is 8 million, you still have Walker, Alvarez and Morton eating that up. So you have a payroll of roughly 50 and still need two starters or at least one major guy.The good news is the Pirates have 25 million more from ESPN next year. The bad news is so does everyone else. Unless they sign a big time bat or trade for one and pay the going rate, we will be discussing this need next year. The Pirates should be at a minimum 75 million next year based on 180 million in total revenue.

  93. Sorry should read Burnett and Wandy gone.

  94. The Pirates may never win another game again.

    Ever.

  95. Cool stat from Dodgers-Reds game: highest opposing player batting average at Dodger Stadium (minimum 90 at bats)- Roberto Clemente (.377).

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