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On location: Pirates 5, Cardinals 4

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (64-42) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (62-43)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Adam Wainwright

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC 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. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Alex Presley, RF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Locke, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel and I are here. I’ll be writing the Thursday column.

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.

555 Comments

  1. WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM!!!

    PLEASE PLACE YOUR “WAGERS” AS REPLIES IN THIS COMMENT BOX
    Makes my job a helluva lot easier

    STANDINGS WILL BE UPDATED AFTER THE GAME THIS EVENING & THE JULY WINNER ANNOUNCED

    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!!!

    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    Total WALKS ISSUED by Jeff Locke in tonight’s game
    0-1 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    2-3 (EVEN ODDS)
    4-5 (EVEN ODDS)
    6 or more (TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE 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!!!

    64 Down, only 18 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  2. Can we please play Mercer. He’s like one of the few who hits with runners in scoring position.

  3. THIRD!!!!!!!

    LETS GO BUCS!!!!

  4. Looks like Bud Norris to Baltimore. Dodged a bullet there.

  5. I will take 100 on the 0-1 line. Perfect control to best another good pitcher.

  6. Agreed. If there’s one year to stand pat, given our record, resilience and paucity of quality acquisitions, this is it. This is the worst trade market I’ve seen in my lifetime.

    • And unlike last year, I think this team would appreciate the vote of confidence if the front office didn’t make a trade.

      • Agreed. Was watching John Kruk this afternoon and he said players for Boston were happily texting friends after the Peavey acquisition, whereas the Pirates players have to be wondering what the front office is doing for them. Fortunately, Tim Kurkjian and Buster Olney pushed back, noting that the deals Pittsburgh made the last two years were followed by tailspins. Think about if you are Tabata and Presley. There is pressure, but there also is the idea that all you have to do is play a little bit better to make a difference (a combined OPS of .720 would provide a lift) and that your teammates want it to be you who does it.

  7. Pirates seen searching a lake outside Bristol Connecticut for a potential trading partner.

  8. There’s an enormous difference between a prospect and a minor leaguer. All these guys they call prospects, aren’t really.

  9. Going to say it again, Pirates have a .660 OPS problem in RF… get an everyday RF or acquire 1B and move Jones to RF. Of all years to NOT do anything at trade deadline and it is their first time after TWENTY LOSING SEASONS being somebody and they don’t have their man yet.

  10. Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 6m

    #Pirates are quiet.

    ^^^^ That’s just great. :\

  11. I wonder what the trade offer was to the Angels for Trumbo? I would have had no problem if they would have offered Polanco or Taillon.

  12. People like to talk about August but there’s one small problem in the Pirates current situation. Every team can block their move. The only guys likely to make it all the way through to them make more money than they’re willing to pay.

  13. 3 minutes. Yawn. It was a lousy trade market and most everyone stayed paat but man, almost anything is an upgrade over the current RF situation. Have to believe that Neil could have talked the price on Rios or Schierholtz down enough to make the deal worth it.

    Guess we will be keeping our eyes open for some of those silly waiver deals.

  14. Witching hour…allll quiet. Vewwy vewwy quiet…..

  15. Just win, baby.

  16. McKenry to have knee surgery.

  17. It’s the BMTIB. Won’t know till 4:30 if they made a deal.

  18. Still waiting on 1 trade.

  19. Oh well.

    At least no one else acq’d Stanton or Pence.

    I guess we will dance with what brung us…

  20. Well if this is it and no other trades are made out of all the players traded (which are very few) the only one I would have liked to see in a Pirates uniform because it would have made them better would be Garza. Maybe Soriano but I’m not sold he would have added much value.

    • Please, not Soriano. He’s expensive and he’s declining. Sure, he won one game for the Yankees right away and he did in the Pirates in Chicago a few weeks ago, but check his numbers with NY a month from now. I fully expect that there will more lowlights than highlights.

  21. Supposedly, the Buccos didn’t meet the demands for either of their two outfielders on the market.

  22. But they tried. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  23. Oh well, guess we’re just stuck with having the best record in baseball. They really failed to improve on that.

    • A few trades made in the AL. Very little in the NL. Almost shocking. Although the NL seems to be shaping up as 6 teams fighting for 5 spots and if the Dodgers pull away from Arizona it is pretty much set as Atlanta, Pirates, Cards, Reds and Dodgers.

      If Molina is out for a long period of time I kind of like the Pirates chances to take the division. That guy is so important to that team.

  24. I don’t like this one bit. I would have overpaid for Byrd or one of the guys from the Cubs, including Soriano as oppose to nothing at all.

    • I also would have paid a huge price for Tumbo. I obviously have no idea who the Buccos were willing to part with but I would be willing to deal Taillon and Polanco for him.

      • Domske,

        That’s why I’m glad you are NOT part of the BMTIB.

        • I know that’s a lot to give up but this is a unique circumstance. We want to win a world series and are in prime position to do so this season. We could very well have a losing season next year, regardless of whether Taillon and Polanco are contributing. Let’s also not forget that Trumbo is signed for the next few years. Those guys don’t get parted for nothing.

        • The Power for Trumbo……….done deal.

    • Soriano would not have come, they had a trade for him worked out and he refused it. He wanted NY or Boston and no where else.

    • oooooo

      This is a toughie…
      Think Jeff will give us one of his better outings – 50 on 2-3

    • Glad you are not in NH’s job…

      Trumbo was an interesting try – but let’s not go crazy – he was less than 2 in WAR and strikes out a ton – some have called him a right handed Pedro – and he might have liked the short RF in Pittsburgh – but I am not giving up on BOTH Talion and Polanco – one maybe – but not both…

      Nobody else would be a real upgrade over what we can have if Jones and Walker regress to their mean in the second half – Jones seems to be hitting the ball hard – still gets fooled more this year it seems.

      I would still like to see them bring up Lambo and DFA Tabatha – put him on First and Jones in right and see what happens

  25. Nuttin’, honey! ONWARD!

  26. I’m going to do this once.

    I’M NOT CRITICIZING THE FRONT OFFICE, I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED THEY DIDN’T ADDRESS A GLARING WEAKNESS.

    And I know what their record is, but thanks for the reminder.

    • Thank god you’re not the GM cuz I don’t wanna sale the farm.

    • I agree it is a weakness and I to wish they could have addressed it. San Fran. is apperntly happy keeping Pence and getting the compensation pick or possibly resigning him.

      I don’t understand what the White Sox are doing. Doesn’t make any sense. Almost feels like the GM is too proud to admit that Rios isn’t worth what he is getting paid and wants a return that would be equal to a player that deserves to get paid what Rios does.

      Seems like Byrd or Schierholtz should have been achievable but maybe they were not as available as we thought. Neither of them was traded anywhere.

      • They couldn’t even get DeJesus from the Cubs…

        • To use one of the many terms you hear non stop during the last few weeks I think they may have been just kicking the tires on him. He would have been a slight upgrade if at all and they may have just been seeing if they could have him for a bag of balls. Theo probably said why should I help you guys. I wasn’t here when you handed us Aramis Ramirez for nothing.

        • Or, is it that the Cubs wouldn’t give him up unless we made a ridiculous offer to a team in our division?

      • Or the Sox just realize that there is no need to settle on a price they weren’t happy getting.

        Think about last winters CF market. Span and Revere became hot commodities when Bourn and Upton’s price was high.

        Heck, think about Juston Upton.

        The Rays have dangled guys at the deadline to judge the market before trading them during the off season as well. Almost certainly will do that very thing this winter with Price.

    • I’m disappointed that Bud Freakin’ Norris is the most interesting player to talk about.

      Baltimore trying the throw-sh*t-at-the-wall approach two years in a row.

      • Is it safe to exhale yet . . . . . we are not past Frank Coonnelly-time, as established in the Pedro Alvarez negotiations: an hour after curfew!

      • I was thinking the same thing….at the deadline, one of the busiest times of the year in MLB, Bud Norris is the big name moved on this day….

        Sad state of affairs we live in….

        Funny how it seems, at least to me anyhow, that the tides have turned on the sport and the wheelings and dealings. Some used to throw top prospects around for 30+ year olds like they had a fountain of youth, now, everybody seems to hang on to those guys, want the younger guys.

        Asking price high on Rios? My guess is White Sox didn’t want to eat a lot of that salary.

    • I agree with you, Milo. I thought several RF’s would be reasonable to obtain, but they didn’t get it done. We needed help there, one way or another.

  27. Still awaiting word from Anthony Weiner on the Hoes trade.

  28. Is NH going to have a news conference to inform us that nothing was done?

  29. Well obviously NH is the anti-Shero.

    We’ll find out if it works.

  30. Who is going to be the first to stick a microphone in Neil Walker’s face and ask if he’s disappointed again?

  31. I’m one that didn’t want a trade just for the sake of a trade, but I did hear that the White Sox wanted a sack of baseballs for Travis Snyder and unbelievably NH wouldn’t budge!!!

  32. Absolutely amazing how in the NHL, where seemingly every team makes the playoffs,
    There can be dozens of trades at the deadline.

    Yet in MLB, where only one-third of all teams make the post-season,
    3 trades get made all day.

    What gives???

  33. BOO!!! NH couldn’t get ANYTHING done? Nothing? I could have understood if we settled for Byrd but nothing? Completely unacceptable.

    You all seem to be taking this a lot better than I am.

  34. Hoping the team’s leadership group (consisting of Burnett, Martin, Cutch, Barmes and some mystery person in Inge’s absence) keeps everything together…

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    7/31/2013 4:59 PM

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60 (only in 60 Joe L Brown made a trade or two at the deadline)

    I’m ok with no deals, there was nothing real exciting available

  36. Every Pirate fan should send Theo an email thanking him for refusing to trade Dioner Navarro to the Cardinals.

    Yadi replaced by Tony Cruz makes St Louis a completely different team.

    • St. Louis obviously didn’t want it badly enough. Don’t they realize they are in a pennant race? This is obviously their first rodeo.

      Sellers were all reasonable; buyers were totally nonsensical and unreasonable. That’s how I saw it – even though I had to read about all of it and don’t really know what happened..

  37. In light of today’s spirited blog, and for its entertainment value alone, I am hoping the following happens.

    RF Alex Presley goes 4-4 with a couple of homeruns.
    RF Alex Presley goes 0-4 with 2 K’s and leaves 6 RISP.

    Either way, I will be elated.

    • I’ll take option 2. I think AP is better than Snider, but that’s about it. Better eye than Marte, but not the threat that Marte is. Good speed, ugly defender. Split time with Tabby, I’m OK with that….I guess.

      At least its not Snider.

  38. McKenry potentially done for the year, had knee surgery.

    Now we really get to see what Sanchez can do, rusting on the bench.

    Does anyone know if Inge took the assignment to AAA?

  39. Well, my Underwhelming Deadline Day party is winding down here.

    Blues Traveler dove head-first into the taco dip.
    Frank stayed at the bar the whole time.
    neal had to take 14 Benadryls…… because he was breaking out in hives fearing he would have to part with any prospect.
    JHay and Snider were celebrating still mattering.

    ==========================================================

    Sadly, I called this last week.
    For those who complained abut the weak crop of players, some years that is the breaks.
    For those who said neal should do nothing, you got your wish.
    For those who said dont ever deal any prospects, you got your wish also.

    Obviously none of us know what was offered for who, but Schierholz probably could have been had. And he WOULD have been an improvement over what we currently have. But we saved the prospects.

    2 things…………………….

    1) All those saved prospects had better ALL have 1st ballot Hall of Fame careers.
    2) All those who support neal, and said no player was an upgrade……… keep Snider, JHay, etc……… please do not come back here next month complaining about how bad RF/1B still is. You got your wishes, now support those who are almost last in OPS.

    As Eric said yesterday in a game thread……………..

    Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, runners on 2nd and 3rd, Pedro to bat. He gets intentionally walked. Now you have a choice of Tabata, JHay, Snider, Sanchez to bat. Do you like those odds? Game over.

    Enjoy, guys.

    • 1) All those saved prospects had better ALL have 1st ballot Hall of Fame careers.

      - Why can’t it just work out to be that the ‘prospects’ that the other teams asked for should turn into productive major league players?

      • For those who said dont ever deal any prospects, you got your wish also.

        Who said that? Who was the person on this blog that said ‘don’t EVER deal any prospects?

        • I predicted you would say that !

        • By sabotaging every single deal available…………. by saying you wouldnt give up this guy, or that guy, is the equivalent of saying never trade any prospects, even if you dont “technically” say that. You have stated multiple times that no player that could be acquired was going to be good enough, and giving up a “top” prospect for anyone was off the table.

          Again, sabotaging every single trade possibility is an excellent way to never trade any prospect.

          • So NH said that?

            • No, you did……… by saying you didnt like any of the players this year, and by saying you wouldnt give up much at all for said players.

              If one always says all the available players stink, and one also says that you wouldnt give anything of value for said players, then the built-in excuse of never trading anyone magically appears.

      • When you protect prospects at all costs, being productive isnt good enough.
        In order to improve your team, you have to give some up occasionally.
        Obviously, the message sent is that our prospects are better than any established player.

        But, you and others got your wish…… we didnt send a prospect away for what you described this morning as “no improvement” players…………. despite the fact that other posters showed that the players had better stats.

        • What prospects???!!! Can you name the names of these prospects.

          We have lots of prospects, but no one but you is continuously is putting out this blanket statement that ‘we don’t want to trade prospects’.

          Taillon is a prospect, I think we should keep him.
          Josh Bell is listed as a prospect. If the deal is right I say trade him.
          Nick Kingham is a prospect. Go ahead, trade him.

          “In order to improve your team, you have to give some up occasionally.”
          Would you say the last year’s trade for Wandy falls into this category?

          • Name the prospects?
            Why? They never get traded, except for Robbie Grossman. Yes the Wandy trade last year did fall into that category, so that is the ONE exception to the rule. Just go back to neals history………….. Robbie Grossman is the only exception……… so when I say we dont want to trade prospects, it is accurate……….. but since you dont agree with my opinion, you come after me. Enjoy.

            • You still haven’t named one prospect you would have traded away and for what player in return.

              • Stetson Allie, Kyle MacPherson, Dilson Herrera …… any 2 of those for Scheirholz. 2 kid-levels for him would be good. It keep the top ten prospects protected (I think)……… there could be others, Maybe Kingham straight up if CWS wanted a top ten.

                Notice NOWHERE did I say trade Taillon, Polanco, Glasnow, etc.

                But why do I get the feeling you are just baiting me into naming names, so you can pick it apart? You have already stated this morning you wouldnt trade for the players available,…………………… I just threw these names out to show you you wouldnt have to sell the farm to hypothectically get something done.

    • Obviously none of us know what was offered for who, but Schierholz probably could have been had.

      ?

      So we don’t know who was offered, but Schierholtz probably could have been had.

      • None of us are GM’s, so we dont know the inner workings. Logical right?

        Schierholz COULD have been had. I didnt say it was guaranteed. It COULD have happened. Sorry you dont understand.

        • No I understand. It could have happened for Taillon or Polanco

          Would you have been happy with that deal? We would have traded prospects

          • See my response directly above.

            I wont answer your strawman about Taillon or Polanco, because they were never mentioned as the players to be traded.

    • All those who support neal, and said no player was an upgrade……… keep Snider, JHay, etc…

      Can the person who said that no player was an upgrade and/or that they should keep JHay please step forward.

      • I believe you were a poster who said nobody was an upgrade, so that is why you sabotaged any deal out there. You also said you were comfortable keeping what we had.

        • Ha! I don’t recall saying ‘nobody was an upgrade’

          I was not thrilled with names like Rios (and his contract)

          • You specifically listed Rios, Scheirhiolz, Pence, and Norris this morning.

            To my knowledge, those were always the players discussed.

            • Right I did. None of those players do excite me (and only one got traded). So why would I trade a top prospect for them.

              But I am glad that you did name names. Kyle McPherson is injured so he is out of the mix.

              Here is the thing that bugs me plan, you are already judging NH’s performance at the trade deadline without knowing exactly who he offered. If we find out that he offered Kingham for Rios then we can continue this debate

              • TC, you consistently bring up the “top prospect” thing.
                No one has EVER said to trade a top prospect.
                I showed you how that could easily be avoided. And there were more names on the list I could have provided, I just pulled a few out.

                We will never know who he offered, he has already stated to a reported he wouldnt name names.

                As usual TC, we will just have to walk away disagreeing on almost everything.

    • For those who complained abut the weak crop of players, some years that is the breaks.

      I blame NH for the weak crop of players available this year.

    • You know, I’m in the middle on this… I’m disappointed the Bucs didn’t pick up a piece like perhaps Polanco of the Fish… and I really did expect DeJesus to be coming here …. that said, I can’t see spewing fire one way or the other, really. I’m very, very glad we didn’t “PANIC” and send out Taillon or Polanco for a marginal upgrade…. I also take comfort that hardly any other buyer made moves, including some minor ones like Cards getting Navarro from the Cubbies….

      This is a new era, folks,created by the 2nd wild card and finally, at long last, sanity sinking in for teams not called the Yankees or Dodgers or Red Sox… that you need to hold onto your top prospects and not ship them out like a drunken sailor…..

      I think to help move along the PROSPECT debate—- some feel strongly that most fail, so be aggressive and trade them, some treat them like their all first-born children… how about we change prospect to CURRENCY as an analogy. Fact is, the currency of the modern major league team is not ownership money (I’m sure the Nutting bloggers will have a field day now), it is prospect depth… so for those who advocate “Neal should’ve spent whatever it took to marginally improve the RF position or the bench”… if that currency is taken out of the business and can’t be used in the offseason or next trading deadline or the next one, is that still what you think?

      Yes, it’s true, many prospects fail, but until they do, while they are still prospects, the highly rated ones have a LOT of value… to the team that has them now in that they may become major league stars but also when the time is right, when the RETURN is right, to trade away for a major league addition. You will always overpay in prospects for major league starters because of the “some don’t make it factor’…other GMs aren’t stupid, they know that… so if one of your prospects you send away is that ‘lottery ticket’ future allstar, you don’t torch the front office, you just say “it happens”… same for the prospects that fail, it is all part of the game.

      Bucs are in first place and are actually in a better position for the playoffs now than before the deadline…reason being the big unknown (another NL club making big, bold moves at the deadline) is now known and the answer is NO.

        • High horse? Dissenting opinions are high horse? Lol – yes, I have been a fan for over 50 years. I want to see the Pirates be competitive for more than one season. Mid market teams like the Pirates need to trade wisely and try to retain as many prospects as possible. I think NH did a good job in a changing market. He could have panicked, but he didn’t . That is my take on it.

      • Good points, cmat. Actually, they do assign a $$ value to each level of prospect based on perceived talent, years of control, etc. Same with every player they consider obtaining. Only the Rangers, Dodgers and Angels now just go buy anyone they want. Even the Yankees had to stop that – well, until word leaked that they could be getting out from under Hank’s A-Rod deal and they promptly blew a bunch of money on Soriano.

  40. I’m so excited… like totally pumped to see Tabata’s .329 OBP batting 2nd and Walker’s .726 OPS as #5 hitter.

  41. Dejan just called.

    He said this proves that 99% of the “reporting” of trade rumors was inaccurate.

  42. Love all the second guessing unemployed GMs that have convinced themselves that they could have gotten a deal done when most of the facts (lack of trades – particularly for bats, extreme overpays for starting pitchers) indicate otherwise. But then that’s what blogs are for – mostly ill informed opinions, rants and the occasional voice of reason. Its always more important to make that BIG TRADE. Ask Dave Littlefield and Matt Morris how those big trades for TODAY work out. – Well, there’s my rant.

  43. I think some of our GMs over the years obtained so little for some of the rentals we dealt because we were willing to take the best offer and if it was relatively nothing. I know that worked out much less than it didn’t but I don’t understand why the GM of other teams were so unwilling to part with guys who will be gone at the end of the season.

    • I’d like to know what the Cubs, Brewers, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, and Phillies were thinking hold onto their aging assets on a bad team.

      • Multiple reasons depending on the players and teams:

        1) they feel they can compete in 2014, especially with 2 wild cards now
        2) they need to keep fan base coming to games, finish strong to save their jobs, etc.
        3) they are delusional (Ruben Amaro, so glad he isn’t our GM)
        4) they have bad GMs (Toronto’s guy is truly awful and no idea why some rate him so high)
        5) they have PR issues post-Braun and need to save face

        You could add the Giants to that list, though Sabean has hardly ever sold, not sure he knows how to do it.

        • Good Post.

          I really didn’t understand why the Mets GM kept Byrd but a number of your points did address it.

          • maybe he will be biogenesis’d and the Mets will save his salary , who knows… but I think the Mets are in the “we can compete in 2014 camp”

    • In hindsight, selling veterans in their free agent years for whatever he could get was probably a flawed approach since at the time, the draft compensation rules handed out free picks for just about anybody.

      Tampa stocked up on early round comp picks during this time period while Huntington was selling low on guys like Adam Laroche.

      • I’m so glad NH finally changed course on that. He came into town thinking he could be the next Billy Beane and outsmart the system and other GM’s. In all fairness, I think that was what he was hired to do by Frank and Bob. But the Moneyball secret was out by 2007 and all Neal was doing was sending away MLB-proven talent for “prospects” like Andy LaRoche whom had been given up upon by the teams that drafted them.

        Nowadays, I think Neal & Co. might even be ahead of the curve. His ‘Moneyball’ is emphasizing pitching and smart defense. And if Neal has decided that “we know the value of our pitching prospects better than we know the value of other teams players,” I can live with that. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses. Neal, Searage and Co. are proving that they DO know pitching and defense.

  44. I’m not overly thrilled that the Pirates added zero offense….But I’d be alot unhappier if the Reds and Cards were able to add.
    It always amazes me how the market is always “the opposite” of what Huntington is looking for…,,.

    • Yeah, like last winter when he obtained Martin, Gomez and Liriano.

      • And Melancon.

        • I was talking about the 7/31 deadline.
          It seems like when the Pirates are sellers….It’s a buyers market.
          When they are buyers….It’s a sellers market.
          Not sure how it seems to work out that way.

          Also..I’m well aware of the Huntington trades that have currently worked out.
          You don’t need to tell me things I know.
          We can debate the good ones and bad ones all night long.

  45. Good evening House of Loonies!

  46. Ryota Igarashi was shocked when he learned that the Pirates didn’t make any moves today.

  47. The same team that has whipped up on the Cards three consecutive games and six of eight this year is the same team that will look to make it four consecutive tonight, I for one am good backing and supporting this group that entering August will have the best record in the game.

    NH is quoted he made offers, forced the issue that made him uncomfortable and was willing to do something stupid according to 24/7. Nothing materialized for many today. And I do not see a team in the NL that improved its lot either. If anything the Cards weakened with the loss of Molina and Robinson. Life moves forward so let’s play it out.

    This team is not perfect and is built on pitching and defense, has been all year to phenomenal results. All I can do now is hope AP, Tabby, a potential Lambo call-up can hold down the RF position (I’m not holding my breath but the team has won without that production all year).

    Great opportunity to move 2.5 games up in the standings, Let’s Go Locke, Let’s Go Bucs!

  48. Have we all backed away from the sharp objects (or in the case of a few of you, please gotten much closer to them for the sanity of us all?) … ha ha, just kidding, it is very entertaining to read some of the passionate OPINIONS we all post here….

    Who’s to say that the quietest July deadline in recent memory (and this will be the new normal) doesn’t lead to a much more than usual August trade market?

    I know folks will say the Yankees will block every deal but fact is August deals do happen and I believe they will happen this year…. when a few more teams wake up and smell the burnt coffee and regret they didn’t sell in July…. no idea if the Reds or Cards will block each and every move the Bucs try to make, but I’m hoping they are IN POSITION to do so all month long…why , you say? Because that means the Bucs will be in first place and ahead of them in the standings. That is what I want more than a marginal upgrade in RF.

    • Thanks for using the word “marginal” in your last line, and may I add the word “dubious”

      • you’re welcome, i aim to please :) and my sharp object of choice was a pair of rusty scissors from 1992… but they are now safely put away.

  49. I know GMs don’t “kiss and tell” but be interesting to know what offers NH made that ‘made him incredibly uncomfortable’… what ‘stupid offers’ he made…and what seller demands were ‘insane’ enough that we didn’t pull the trigger.

    I read Peter Gammons posted that Schierholtz had the 2nd highest OPS in MLB vs. RHPs and that “if you want that, you have to pay”… I’m guessing Theo asked for a top Bucs prospect for Nate and we turned it down…. Gammons is a mouthpiece for Theo at times….

  50. I believe most teams now realize we have a very solid (and deep) farm system, and NH to his credit, I must say, senses this. If they wanted to get into our farm system, and pry something loose, they needed to come with the right commodities and arrangements.

    They didn’t!

    So we are here – and no worse off than before

  51. If anyone read the stories in the morning links this week you would know this was a very weak trade group. Who got much of anything? The two biggest players were pitchers.

    I keep seeing Soriano, as i posted above–they had no chance, he had the Pirates and pretty much every other team on his no trade list. Young would only agree to go the Yanks. There was not much out there.

  52. Worse name: the guy who pitched for the Pirates last night or the guy traded to Houston?

  53. Don’t tell me Richard Cranium went to Houston?

  54. Just got home and was almost afraid to see what happened today. I am quite fine with nothing. I’ve already put my heart in with this group all year, and more importantly they’ve put their heart and souls into each other. I hope I’m not wrong, but this was my wish and I’ll live with the results.

    Really feel sorry for The Fort. Played with gusto the last couple years. Stayed in the game the other night with a tore up knee so Russ could rest his. True team player. Rooting for a good recovery for ya Mike.

    Almost game time.

    Go Bucs!

  55. Game in a delay or is ESPN Gamecast that far behind?

  56. Well, offensive improvement will need to come from within the current group of hitters.

    Marte – .277 avg needs to get back to around .300 as he’ll never be a high on-base guy with the lack of walks.

    Tabata – .329 OBP needs to get to .350

    Walker – .242 avg and .379 SLG isn’t good enough, needs to be .280-.300 avg with around .420+ SLG.

    Jones – .304 OBP and .433 SLG needs to get to .320-.330 OBP and .460-.480 SLG

    …. I’m not asking for anything beyond their talent level and at this point, it will have to happen in order to keep it up.

  57. If any fellow out of town lunatics don’t know, tonight’s game is on espn.

  58. See it, hit it. Cardinals are simply hitting the ball where it is pitched and that’s perfect approach against a pitcher like Locke.

  59. Ugh. Cards look serious tonight.

  60. Good thing they play 9 innings…

  61. Nights like this are why Adam Wainwright makes the big bucks.

  62. Lucky to only give up 2 that inning.

    • That inning was exactly what “regression” looks like.

      Locke pitched no differently on that inning than he has in any recent start.

    • Any possible thought that young, quick, better leaping, 6’3″ SS with longer arms might have speared that line drive off of the tip of the SS glove?

      I/m just asking.

  63. Who are these analysts on espn? Not surprised but they know next to nothing about the Pirates, Locke, etc… awkward listening to them try to sound informed.

  64. WOW, a leadoff walk to MARTE! right after the experts on espn said Wainright never walks anyone

  65. these announcers are making me wish I had Brown/Walk… painful.

  66. Marte averages 3.84 pitches per plate appearance, draws 7 with leadoff walk.

  67. Wainright cost himself a double play…when will Cards pitchers learn?

  68. Walker wasn’t exactly blazing down the line. He’s breaking down physically, not sure anyone really sees it.

  69. Wainwright isn’t exactly on top of his game either in first inning.

  70. Pedro picks up Cutch and gets 70th RBI, cuts STL lead to 2-1.

  71. El Toro gets one right back with his 70th RBI of the year…Bucs making Wainwright work in the first…22 pitches and counting.

  72. Excellent, now we need a zero.

  73. Alex Presley has 1 career HR against Wainwright.

    I think after tonight, he’ll have 2.

    Lets Go Bucs!!

  74. They’re making Wainwright work.

  75. Pirates unlucky so far.

  76. I see that AJ is teaching Locke how to hold runners.

  77. Just out of curiosity. How much would one expect to pay for those seats directly behind home within the center field camera view ?

    • About $250. Paul Christ is back there tonight. I don’t think Calipari’s seats are that good though.

      • Thanks. I don’t know why I was thinking about this but I remember these two clowns sat back there a few years ago wearing umpire masks and making mock ball/strike calls. It was an annoying telecast.

      • Can you use a Groupon? ;)

  78. You’d expect to pay $60, but you’d actually about twice that

  79. According to Twitter account – “@mlbdailydish: #Mariners trade Robert Andino to the #Pirates for a player to be named later.”

  80. Yes. Walker!!!

  81. I want to see more of that from Walker, tonight is a good start.

    3-2 Cards after that HR

  82. WALKER !!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Have to like how the Bucs have answered each time the Cards have scored. Good to see Walker get one, Cutch just missed.

  84. Enough already.

  85. wow, holliday is some good #2 hitter, goes to that 2b hole with regularity….. so much for his power, but that is the key to RISP, not hitting HRs and pulling outside pitches…but going for singles.

  86. Locke…2 rough outings since the ASG…he might be wearing down…

  87. Alex Rios would have thrown him out.

  88. Where’s Bud Norris when you need him.

  89. Robert Andino DFA’ed by Mariners May 24. Cleared waivers May 31. Outrighted to Tacoma (PCL), been there for 44 games hitting .229
    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=435180

  90. Hello all!

    No trades, no up or downgrades. Guess the price was just too high. Don’t want another Jeromy Burnitz or Derek Bell or Raul Mondesi (you all get my meaning…no more scrap heap, Wal-Mart, has been/never was, Roll back, Reject specials). Again, all in is just words. We will see if the whims of the Baseball Gods and Goddesses dictate some later changes.

    No bridge jumping here. I might just land into the Blog’s version of the Snark Tank.

    • No, you are too much of a legend to end up there.

      I just cant picture 63 inches of snark.

    • Brandie!!! Agree totally with your post. And like Hippo, I can’t see you in the snark tank. It’s way too crowded anyhow. How is life in muppet land?

      • Evening, Laddy.

        Go find our Muppet………

        • Good evening my friend! I will put out an all muppet bulletin for her.

          • Thats a good one………… all muppet bulletin.

            Hope you are still enjoying your vacation.

          • LADSTER! It’s good to see ya. Nice to see you are getting some well deserved time off with the family.

            Now Matte with the bunt-single. YEA BUDDY!

            • Muppet located. Can’t hide that fire for long!

              Still having a great time here plan and Branimal. I definitely have not been underwhelmed this week. Other than that dud of a deadline for the entire league. It had to be a great vacation because I wanted to be at PNC Park something fierce.

              • Glad to hear it. Glad to be sharing something special here with my fellow space cadets!

              • Put a Metallica lyric below, speaking of fire!

              • Caught the lyric and it fit you perfect. And this IS something special. We were walking back from the sports bar were we watched the first few innings and passed a restaurant just as Neil homered. I found myself with my face pressed against the glass watching the replay and realized I was getting a few glances, shall we say, from the diners. Could have cared less. :)

              • Just like a kid pressing his face against the toy store window saying…”I want that!”. Only this time, the Buccos do not have to be on the outside looking in.

  91. They have to pinch hit for Locke if Barmes gets aboard here.

  92. Bucs scratching back again. :)

  93. Barmes comes through !! This one is like I thought the 2nd game yesterday would go..back and forth…. Cards outfield defense really is suspect. Holliday is a hack and Beltran isn’t much better.

    • I suggested earlier today that I thought the difference in speed and coverage of these two outfields was striking. Seemed pretty obvious to me, and also explains why we have such a great BABIP against (#1 in MLB) while St. Louis is down the list a ways.

  94. And for third time tonight the Bucs have an answer in their half of the inning as Clint Barmes comes through with two out RBI!

  95. Geoff Baker (reporter in Seattle) is reporting Robert Andino to Pirates for PTBNL

  96. Vin Mazzaro – can he collect yet another decision ?

  97. Surprised no one mentioned the speed of Presley, on a play where scoring from first doesn’t usually happen.

    Hustle, I think it’s called

  98. BTW, I read that NH said that with continued growth, continued adjustments, Andrew Lambo could help in Pittsburgh this summer. So, for those advocating for this (a large % at one time or another), his efforts at AA and now AAA have been drawing notice from above.

  99. Thanks, because feisty can also be a pain in the butt

  100. Well, he finally beat one out. Nice job.

  101. Every team must live in fear of him leading off an inning safely

    • he COULD be a fantastic leadoff hitter, in time…. more plate discipline, more bunting…in some ways his speed would be wasted in middle of the order.

      • Marte is hurt by the extreme lack of LHP the Bucs face. He scalds them. He is not susceptible to the low/away curve from lefties.

        I guess that could be said about a lot of guys.

  102. Sac. fly Milo?

  103. Or a rundown play?

  104. battling Bucs….ANOTHER sac fly…er sac line drive off of the ‘not so ace-like” Wainright…

  105. Third sac fly this series, Cutch ties it! This is one scrappy, battling team, four runs off of the Cards ace.

  106. Why would the 1st baseman cut that off?

  107. Hippo and Ladster and all,

    So good to see the sac fly back and our boys manufacturing runs. That’s fundamentalscat work.

  108. Now the bad news is that Vin can get the loss. He will get a decision, he always seems to.

  109. Walker needs to get that ball, that’s awfully weak

  110. Don’t worry, the vacuum is in CF

  111. Tip of the hat to Vin Mazzaro who turns in two quality innings of work to settle things back down.

  112. So the trade deadline has passed and most clubs passed as well as the PBC

    There wasn’t much out there to be excited about.

    We are eyeballing the RedBirds right now, I’m going to focus on that for now.

    I still say this team has some of that magic dust sprinkled on them

  113. Just saw on espn…CH’s record with the Bucs? 215-215. Best winning percentage through Leyland days I believe..maybe Tanner had a winning record?

  114. Way to swing and miss Presley…

  115. A rare no decision for Vin. Good job holding the fort.

  116. Man Pedro can make difficult plays look easy, but he can make routine plays look difficult.

    • Baseball has many sayings, some of which are completely inane, but “don’t let the ball play you” certainly applied there.

  117. Why do I get the feeling there is still a lot of scoring coming tonight from each team?

  118. Sloppy defense this inning.

  119. Sounds like Walk & Nevrett are sick of each other

  120. Ice cold- Tony Watson gets the K on nasty slider….how about first lead of the night boys!

  121. Tony Watson has a 1.44 ERA since May 17th. Hasn’t allowed a run since July 7th & only 1 run since June 12th.

  122. Things are different this year. We’re getting every call against St Louis.

  123. Text Clint and tell him it’s still July

  124. Wow, what a fun summer this has been.

    I was actually singing “Take me out to the Ball Game” sitting alone in my bedroom. They didn’t show the bouncing cookie on television, but I was eating one of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies instead.

  125. Wow….we really improved RF…

  126. I just want to say thanks to Revvie and Jandy for thinking of me earlier today. I am touched.

  127. Why do we swing at those?? Geeezz

  128. wow, that last pitch says a lot… 3-2 count, wainright throws a pitch that never was a strike, risking the walk and likely steal by Marte unless Marte was overaggressive and swung at the pitch out of the zone…. and voila… he got it.

    • i know i/m asking a lot, but i know marte was thinking…:”oh, let me swing for the fences on this fastball and be the hero” and not “watch out for that curve out of the zone, if he does that, I’ll walk right into scoring position, baby….”

      SO many Pirates have that ” we can only be heros by hitting HRs approach”.,. the only one that is allowed to do that should be Pedro

  129. Alexi Ramirez would have gotten to that grounder.

  130. There is the rangeless defender

  131. this just in…. Pirates bullpen is G O O D

  132. Watson is a beast…

  133. Pirates pen last two days versus Cards- 10 IP, 0 runs…shutdown arms.

  134. Heads up base running by Walker to take a bag from Holliday to get in scoring position.

  135. Neil Walker doing his best impression if the Kool-Aid Man…Crashing through the calm tranquility of the ballgame with a base hit.

  136. MARTIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  137. Yes!!!!!

  138. Walker gets himself in position and Martin delivers, BUCCOS LEAD! how about that?

  139. Walker crisp single, tagged up on deep fly by Pedro to LF and solid single by Martin to knock him in.

    FUNDAMENTAL baseball.

    I love it.

  140. This just in….Buccos are for real America….

  141. Uggghhh….I thought Molina was hurt??

  142. WOW, SMART play by Walker…taking advantage of the Cards DH in left field by getting into scoring position…and bingo, base hit = Melancon time.

  143. Pittsburgh Pirates, 2013

    COME GET SOME!

  144. I believe before this season, I said Pirates would win 65 games….

  145. Raise it!!!!

  146. Raise it!!!!

  147. Melancon…The Dancin’ Machine…Watch him get down!

  148. RAISE THE FAT JOLLY HIPPO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  149. The Mini-Van shuts the door!!

  150. RAISE THAT JOLLY ROGER…. get the brooms out!!!!!

  151. What were the Vegas odds for a Pirates 5 game sweep of the Cardinals before this series started? Someone is going to be a very rich person if they had gone with the 5 game sweep.

  152. Behind five shutout innings turned in by the shark tank, an 8th inning two out game winning RBI from Russell Martin the Bucs win their fourth straight versus the Cardinals 5-4 and there was nooooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Pirates are a season best 23 over .500 at 65-42, are now 7-2 versus St Louis, and close the month of July with a 14-12 mark. The Bucs head into August with a 2.5 game lead over the Birds for first place and 10 game lead for a playoff spot.

    The Bucs will go for the five game sweep tomorrow tomorrow night when Charlie Morton takes the mound for the Pirates.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  153. ….fear the Bones….

  154. RAISE IT!!! I don’t even know what to say. I’m as light as a feather. I’m as giddy as a schoolboy. It DOES feel like Christmas. WOOOO HOOOOO!

  155. Pirates / Indians World Series. Joe Buck would need GPS for goodness sakes.

    • That would be my DREAM Series! My home town Tribe (that gave me as much agita growing up as the Bucs have for the past 20 years) vs. my home since 1985 Pirates! And in the six (interminable) years I lived in Detroit, I had the 1984 Tigers.

      Pirates/Indians – oh YEAH!

  156. Two full calendar months to play and the Pirates only need 17 more wins to end the streak.

    Un-freakin-be-liev-able !!!

  157. Tell you what, if they win tomorrow it’ll rival the Boston Massacre of 1978.

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