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Final: Pirates 7, Marlins 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (60-41) vs. Miami Marlins (39-62)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Tom Koehler

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. Garrett Jones, 1B
  6. Michael McKenry, C
  7. Travis Snider, RF
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Morton, 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.


  1. Let’s go Bucs!
    Let’s go Bucs!
    Let’s go Bucs!

  2. Will there be a line on Koehler tossing a no-hitter. With this batting order, a possibility. 5-1?

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    Beat Em Bucs

  4. The Marlins beat the Cardinals 2 out of 3 earlier this year, so the Marlins are able to play well against good teams for short stretches.

  5. Tabata unable to really throw a baseball, Martin tweaks his knee last night, and still no addition via trade yet really limits what CH can do with lineup today.

    Walker and Jones need to step it up.

    • I ‘want’ an impact bat added. Don’t want the team to panic and do a Matt Morris though. Hopefully, we can find a partner for a trade that makes sense.

      • In 2011 they got an impact bat and he hit .327 with 7 HRs and 18 RbIs. Team went 10-18 in the games he played. They were 3 over .500 when they got him.

        • Yeah, but that wasn’t Lee’s fault, nor that of management for acquiring him. Not saying that’s your point; I presume it is that ‘an impact bat is not necessarily a panacea.’ Which would be true. But an impact bat/player at the right time, in the right situation, can make everything fall into place. Just ask the Giants and Hunter Pence. Hopefully, if we go out and get someone, he will be our Hunter Pence.

          • It can but think a big help would be one on the bench who could used in big places. Take last night, down 2, 2 on in 9th and pitcher up–Tabata is what they have. Pirate PH are hitting .197. Not a Burgess or Jerry Lynch on the bench. Atlanta PH are at .281

            • A clutch bat off the bench would qualify as “impact.” I’d gladly take one if we can find it. But the four to five unproductive AB’s per game we’re getting from right field would still be my biggest priority. Five more days before the non-waiver deadline comes. We’ll see what, if anything, happens.

            • I can’t recall the exact situation, but can you tell me why CH pinch-hit for Mercer with Snider.
              Mercer is on an 11 game streak had a hit earlier – and I guess CH is leaning on the standard lefty – rightie myth.

              If not having “wasted” Snider then, he might have been an option with him in the ninth.

    • Not to mention Cutch & Pedro.

    • IMHO, Marte and Pedro are the biggest disappointments right now. THEY need to stay on every pitch, all the way into the catcher’s mitt.

      Their collective heads very often come up, off of the ball, while they are swinging where they thought or hoped the ball was going. This is plainly obvious, and they rarely allow themselves any time to check their swing.

      Hence they look helpless and indecisively wrong.

      I am placing the success – or failure – of the Pirates squarely on them.

      • Pedro–really? He is tied for the lead in HRs in the league. That is what he does. He is power hitter and that is what you get with a power hitter.

        • Everyone continues to say that – but he has much more to offer and deliver, and isn’t.
          Sounds like a lot of satisfaction with complacency or mediocrity.

          You can’t just stand there swinging and hope the pitcher throws it where he is swinging.
          This is what I feel about him and see all too often.

          He will never disappoint me in the field

        • His technique is terrible; if he must strike out, do it with a pitch in the zone or somewhere close to the strike zone – and HEAD ON THE BALL

        • He cannot go to the plate planning to pull a 450 foot HR. He must go to the plate thinking about hitting a pitch to any part of the field – meaning hit it where it’s pitched with HEAD ON THE BALL

    • Would have been the perfect time to DL Tapata and bring up Lambo. DFA Snider and bring up Sanchez until Martin is fully healthy

  6. Found this rumor to be rather interesting… Cubs listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija.

    Price is said to be extremely high but it won’t be long before Theo and his group have the Cubs passing the Pirates.

    NH wants to have a consistent winner; tough to do in a division with a team like the Cardinals who always find quality players, the Reds who have great young talent and the Cubs who are stocking up the prospects.

    • Well I guess it is a good thing the Brewers are in disarray.

      Cubs have lots to do and just gave up their best arm for 3B chip who may or may not develop, vision problems would scare me. If they trade Samardzija who is going to be left in that rotation? They are a little ways away from having a rotation ready to compete. they have some interesting position prospects but also dumped a lot of money in probably the wrong guy as Castro looks nothing like a future star and his numbers are mediocre at best and he is a head case.

      No argument about the Cards and Reds other than to add they are both serious about winning.

    • Cubs have triple A’d themselves past the Marlins and Astros. If they get rid of Samardzija that means two things. They won’t have anyone to build the staff around. Attendance will drop even further.

      The Marlins rightfully brought Fernandez into the major league fold because they play in Little Havana, and they have to put some people in the stands while they rebuild. Samardzija is popular in Chicago with his Notre Dame roots. If they don’t extend his contract and trade him instead, I think the message to their fanbase will result in empty bleachers.

  7. Not sure what kind of offense this really is. Lots of talent, but SO MANY strikeouts. Maybe it’s just because they’re young, but it’s getting difficult watching guys take pitches down the middle, then lunging at low outside balls. No idea what they’re working on.

  8. This looks like a win to me. The Pirates need it.

  9. Miami Marlins:
    1. SS: Adeiny Hechavarria
    2. LF: Christian Yelich
    3. RF: Giancarlo Stanton
    4. 1B: Logan Morrison
    5. 2B: Donovan Solano
    6. 3B: Placido Polanco
    7. CF: Jake Marisnick
    8. C: Rob Brantly
    9. SP: Tom Koehler

  10. Braves just take 2-0 lead on Cards in 8th on bases loaded double, shaping up to have a chance to gain game in standings.

  11. Sorry for the late posting.
    Busy as hell today.


    Tonight’s Line
    Total STOLEN BASES by Marlins Runners in tonight’s game
    Line is 2.5

  12. 100 on the under please. Thanks!

  13. @ playoffs

    75 on the under.


  14. Travis Sawchick is tweeting all kinds of good stuff from CH. If anyone’s on Twitter, give him a follow.

    • Can you give an example?

      • Quick recap- there will be no pipe dreams like Cliff Lee he is not coming. CH said he has given NH a priority list for the trade deadline and that NH is working phones trying to assist those needs.

        CH said he received three emails from NH today with subject trade deadline. Also stated the team just might be what it is hitting wise 100 games in and is aware they have some warts.

  15. I’m at a beer and bacon festival. No fooling.

    The featured beer is Magnum 44.

    It’s a 44 proof Belgian styled ale.

    I may walk home.

    If I remember where I live.

  16. Back to back doubles by Marte and Walker, nice quick start tonight.

  17. Third double of inning this time by GI Jones who snaps a 0-10 funk, and produces the two out RBI with RISP. Two runs in the first that is a rare sight.

  18. What team are we watching?

  19. Fort lashes a RBI single through left side, who are these guys? 3-0 already top of 1st.

  20. It must the the return of the Black uni’s!

  21. McKenry is making his move toward .200.

  22. Watch – Hurdle will immediately replace all LHH with RHH and empty the bench in the 1st inning.

  23. You can obviously tell the Wrigley Field old crab ushers arent working this game. ;)

  24. It was fascinating to listen to the interview Robbie did with Andrew McCutchen’s mother during the last Pirates’ at bat. It was explained that Cutch hired a bus and got tickets for about thirty of his friends to ride down from his hometown in central Florida to Miami to watch tonight’s game. Robbie suggested Andrew got his smile from his mom, and she said much of his personality is from her: outgoing rather than introverted like his dad. She said she will be singing the Star Spangled Banner at PNC on August 7th. Mrs. McCutchen was modest, articulate and focused–not at all short of words.

  25. Marlins telecast is including covering the “pool boy and pool girl” competition at the Clevelander pool inside Marlins Park.

    I kid you not.

  26. Pirates 5-8 RISP tinight.

    What have they done to the real Pirates?
    Who are these imposters?

    I will gladly take it.

  27. Walker, Jones and Fort each 2-2, nice to get that production from individuals who could all pick it up a bit offensively.

    5-1 good guys, would be nice if team could get a game they just kind of coast through.

  28. They just described the upcoming Cardinals series as the biggest in the history of PNC Park. Is it? I have tickets for Tuesday and Wednesday, does anyone know the match ups for those games?

    • Would have to agree, it is pretty big. I so wish I could see the DH on Tuesday, two games, one day a true baseball treat, enjoy!

      Tuesday – AJ and Gomez (most likely) vs. Tyler Lyons and Lance Lynn

      wednesday – Locke versus Wainwright

    • The Cardinals are batting .338 with RISP and only .275 (best in the NL) altogether. The “experts” have been predicting for weeks that the RISP BA would fall back to normal for weeks. I say, “BS.” The Cardinals are doing something extraordinary, probably stealing signals, to give their batters the edge with RISP. I wonder if the Pirates’ management is smart enough to change its signals for the upcoming series, just to be safe.

  29. That hit that Cutch bobbled splashed down in the outfield.

  30. Morton leaving far too many pitches waist high and catching middle of the plate. Quickly giving runs right back, so much for an easy night at the ballpark.

  31. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy…….

  32. Good Charlie, Bad Charlie, tonight we get the latter. if Wandy can return this year I so want Morton to be the guy removed from rotation. He is inconsistent and consistently maddening.

  33. The Wednesday tickets I have are to sit in the Pittsburgh baseball club area of the ballpark. I have never been there, can anyone tell me about it?

  34. Defense has sprung some leaks the last few games….ridiculous…

  35. I’d be ok with Gomez in the rotation right now…

  36. I know this; Alex Presley is worth more to this team than Snider – in every phase of the game

  37. This is the offense we’re used to.

  38. 5 runs and 8 hits in 2 1/3 innings and then the same guy goes through the lineup and gives up 0 runs in 2 2/3 innings. Just awful.

    Travis Snider is an empty box at the plate. 0-3 with a chance to make a difference.

  39. Here we go again…

  40. What’s that mean?

  41. Morton somehow escapes the inning, but I hope CH has seen enough, time for the bullpen to carry the rest of this one.

  42. Try saying something instead of babbling clichés

  43. I have NEVER been sold on Morton. Was surprised to see that he’s actually pitched well several times this season. But I think the real Charlie Morton is what we’ve seen tonight. We have better options.

    • Agree, agree, agree. When Dejan (or was it 24/7) wrote how Morton had finally ‘matured’, I was ready to trade him right then.

      Hey, if he ends up with the win tonight he is 3-2. I think that should max out HIS value.

      No matter how well he pitches, he can NEVER hold a lead. Pirates up 5-1, and he single handedly kept the Marlins in it.

      I sure hope the bullpen can hold this one. I need #61

      • Surprisingly, his line for this year is not bad. It sure doesn’t feel that way though. We need another bat. If somebody fancies Morton, I say we make that trade.

  44. Just like the first inning, Marte and Walker start things off quickly in 6th and Walker rips second double to pick up a huge run.

    Time for middle of order to do their part and get Neil in.

  45. AMAZING…no one on this roster can hit a sac fly.

  46. And then along came Jones…
    (And then?…)
    He struck out to end the inning.

  47. It’s amazing how many on this roster swing and miss pitches on a consistent basis…

  48. One unproductive RF replaces another…lol.

  49. THE FORT!

    4 hits, a couple big ribbies, and that unbelievable grab of a prospective wild pitch literally behind the batter Polanco with a runner on 3rd that saved a run.

    This should quiet the Tony Sanchez screamers at least for 2 games.

    Thank you, Fort.

    • I like the Fort. He’s played badly this year. But just maybe his better play of late will continue. That sure would go a long way towards boosting our offensive woes. Whether he’s in the game or pinch-hitting. If we win today, it will mean that over the past week whenever the Fort hits, we win.

  50. If Stanton is auditioning for a job with the Pirates, he’s sure doing a good job.

  51. Call the doctor, , , , ,

  52. McKenry is 4 for 4. I have no words. Except .219!

    • I believe Jay Bell told him you only have warning track power so forget HR’s, and just hit the ball. In the process you might even get a HR, something Pedro should try – JUST HIT THE BALL

  53. Two out temple by Cutch followed by huge two out RBI, #65 for El Toro staking the Bucs to three run lead. Bucs bats break out for 14 hits tonight.

  54. Two out triple by Cutch followed by huge two out RBI, #65 for El Toro staking the Bucs to three run lead. Bucs bats break out for 14 hits tonight.

  55. Oh wow…
    Here I am goofing around and meanwhile the Pirates are carrying on like they think they’re Murderer’s Row.

  56. Big run after 2 out and nobody on. McCutchen triple, Alvarez opposite field single. 6 outs from a .500 road trip.

  57. It is amazing when you get a good jump on the ball

  58. Pedro in college batted .386 and .361, so he does have some idea how to hit

    • Major league pitchers bring a whole lot more to the mix and are quite a step up in class.

      Nothing wrong with the production that Pedro gives from an offensive stand point. A lot of teams would love to have an All-Star with 26 HR’s and 65 RBI’s from the infield corner position.

      • Every team would – he just needs to work harder on technique and making better contact.

        I like Pedro a lot but he has room and needs to improve.

        You don’t make the Hall if you can’t hit near .300

        • I don’t care whether Pedro makes the Hall of Fame or not. He needs to learn better disciple at the plate. His batting average with runners in scoring position is .231. Allen Craig of the Cardinals hits .485 with RISP. If this team has aspirations of a championship, it needs to hit way, way better with runners on second and third. Tonight’s showing would make a good start, especially with the series starting Monday.

  59. Pirates bullpen doing its job tonight- Wilson, Morris and Watson stabilized the game . This series thus far the Bucs pen has gone: 4.1 IP 1 H 0 R 3 K.


  60. Cannot see the game (don’t have MLB Ticket; watching dopey Yahoo! Sports “Play by Play” for free. I assume, however, Mark “The Mini-Van” Melancon is warming up for the 9th.

    • Melancon in. Of course, he walks the first guy on five pitches.

      • Reading, thanks for above. Not the Mini-Van’s best work, but it’ll go down as a save. And Morton gets the W. Amazing how a little bit of offense can lighten the load for our pitching staff.

  61. I wonder who changes the headline to prematurely “Final” at times.

  62. Behind 14 hits including three from Neil Walker and four from Mike McKenry along with a solid four innings of work from the Pirates pen capped by Melancon’s 4th save of the year the Bucs down the Fish 7-4 to even the series and there was nooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs are back to 20 above .500 at 61-41. The Bucs improve to 5-4 on this ten game road trip and are 10-11 in July. The Pirates are just 1.5 games back of the Cards in the Central and 8 games up in the WC standings.

    The Pirates will go for their second consecutive series win, 20th of the season tomorrow afternoon when the rookie Gerritt Cole takes the ball in the finale.

    Let’s Go Bucs.

  63. Good win , Cards and Reds lose…and the Bucs are now 5-4 on this long road trip and a chance to have a winning trip by taking the series finale.

    Nice job by the bullpen.. and good thing the offense came to play tonight as Morton had zero command.

    Very frustrating that Pedro continues to hack and miss with a runner on 3rd and one out… I know he is a HR hitter, and I forgive all of the other strikeouts, but he simply MUST change his approach with a runner on 3rd and 1 out…his job there is not to hit a HR, it is to simply hit a sac fly… or at very least put the ball in play and take our chances.

    I am encouraged by Hurdle’s comments about a trade deadline wish list and prioritizing it… says that the club has identified their multiple needs and that the GM is working actively to try to address them…. it is very interesting the Cards/Bucs will be battling during trade deadline time… typically those moves come last minute and there is a day or so of roster in flux… this would be a good year to make the trades earlier to avoid that…. if possible…

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