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On location: Pirates 5, Rockies 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (66-44) vs. Colorado Rockies (52-60)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Juan Nicasio

Time: 1:35 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. Jose Tabata, RF
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel, Karen Price and Travis Sawchik are on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. That looks like a winning lineup to me. Don’t blow it Burnett!

  2. Beautiful here and lots of people.

  3. Right field security, nothing like waiting to put up metal rails for the lines. I see things never change. Lol

  4. Update on the stat which probably interests only me. To get to 90 wins (which seemed ambitious early in the season), the Pirates need to average 10-8 over each of the nine 18 game stretches of the season. As of the end of Thursday’s game, here are the results of the first six 18 game stretches: 10-8, 10-8, 14-4, 8-10, 12-6, and 11-7. (For those keeping score at home, the Pirates are 1-1 during this 7th 18 game stretch).

    The moral of the story seems to be that, to get to 90 wins, a team does not need to be fantastic. However, a team does need to be able to avoid long losing streaks. Maybe this is a long-winded way of emphasizing the need for a stopper on the pitching staff, and the Pirates appear to have two or three this year in Liriano, Locke and Burnett (not intentionally in that order).


    Makes my job a helluva lot easier when I don’t have to hunt to find everyone’s “wagers”

    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.


    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    What will AJ BURNETT get in today’s game
    Win (EVEN ODDS)
    Loss (DOUBLE ODDS)
    No Decision (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!!!

    66 Down, only 16 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  6. 100 whipped cream pies on the WIN.

  7. Hello Pirates Fans….Anyone else out there sit in the Row A over the Clemente Wall last Wednesday and pathetically watch Neil Walker’s homerun ball fly into your wife’s face as you go all crocodile-arms on it instead of manning up and catching the d*** thing? What? Just me? Gee, now I feel even better about myself.

    I’ve caught 8-10 batting practice homeruns in five different stadiums in my life. I’m talking silky smooth, barehanded, no-bounce snags in the outfield. But the first time a real homerun comes my way after many hundreds of major league baseball games? I can’t even euphemize and say I “dropped the ball.” That would imply I at least made some sort of half-a**ed, Dave Kingman pseudo-effort. Nope. I just helplessly watched the potentially lethal sphere sail right between my brother and me and hit my wife square in the face.

    Now, I can be lighthearted about this only because she had the good sense (and self-preservation instincts…and apparent awareness of her husband’s heretofore unknown tendency to freeze up at those moments when physical courage is called for) to put her hands up to block the ball, something that her chivalry-is-apparently-dead husband was not brave enough to do in the heat of the moment. The only damage was a sore hand for a few hours, a hand that she used to hold the ball that I so valiantly and miraculously wrestled away from a fan (a fan with hamhock-thick forearms and Honus Wagner-sized hands, I might add) after it had dropped in front of my wife’s feet after it had, you know, ricocheted off her face.

    Thank god neither Root nor ESPN had a good closeup of this emasculating moment, as I’m sure it would have made for a terrific gif.

    A Pirate rep checked on my wife and had her fill out a form, then they took the ball and said Walker would sign it and they’d send it. Can’t wait to have the ball sitting around the house as a daily reminder of my unreliability and general incompetence.

    Okay, time to go. Gotta go turn in my Man Card before today’s game. True story, by the way. Go Bucs.

  8. Another huge crowd it looks like…. any word on what type of crowds expected Tues-Thurs for the Marlins? I’d guess 25K or so, midweek and no Cardinals hype…but wondering…..

  9. Based on just today’s lineup, our 6-7-8-9 spots look pretty formidable; no pushovers there in my mind.

    Let’s see what happens

  10. Just watching 10 pitches, the Bucs will break out big time today vs. Nicasio… his command isn’t great… and the Bucs can hit fastballs well….

  11. Another sac fly.
    I could get used to this.

  12. ***ATTENTION***
    Newbies and lurkers, we’d love to chat with you!
    if you post your hometown, bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  13. I swear, sometimes Pedro doesn’t know his own strength1

  14. Liriano is lights out, but AJ is so much fun to watch when in a jam. If we can get to the post-season I will place my money on 2 of the first three.

  15. Got to Inner Harbor Friday, couldn’t check in yet. Parked the car in the Hotel’s parking garage and decided to walk up Pratt st. to find some lunch. All these people were dressed up as pastel colored ponies and fairies. SOme just had ears and wings, others full body costumes. Caught some signs and conversation. Seems it was a “BRony Con” convention for people who like My Little Pony. I kid you not. Full grown young men dressed as little ponies because “it made them feel good”. I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

    • You should have eaten a big lunch, then given them all the dreaded 9Wides!!!

      • Grown men! Weird.

        • Men are never “grown.” :)

          • Karen, you HAD to see it to believe it! What would you think had your son been there all dressed in a lIttle pony suit???

            • Uhhhhhhhh – You don’t know my son! :)

            • Mad Hatter bridal party Tea Party at the Cathedral of Learning on wedding day. You’d have to see the photos to believe it!

            • Careful Jandy. I have 2 sons that are Bronies. One is 18, the other 14. Though the 14 yo is from following his bro. Both of them wanted to go, except for the cost. No, they don’t dress up in costumes

              Do you know who John DeLancie is? He was “Q” on Star Trek TNG. He is writing a book on the phenomenon. And was also at a Con in Lancaster this spring.

              Even “Hot in Cleveland” has built a couple of episodes around Bronies.

              I figure there are far worse things that they could be into.

            • Oh, and John DeLancie also voiced a character, Discord, in a few episodes.

              And my boys do wear MLP shirts. When we paid a visit to where my son is going to college, there were a couple other Bronies out of approximately 20 total kids.

              Yea, I know too much of this stuff. LOL!


            • Jandy – those Bronys are some sick dudes. I’ve seen them interviewed on some tv shows and also on Howard Stern. Some of these dudes have families they hide this weird crap from. Very strange indeed.

              Glad you enjoyed the trip though.

              • JD, my sons are not “sick dudes”!

                And if you are using Howard Stern as a guide….

                And I like Howard for the most part though haven’t listened to him in a long time since he went on XM.


          • Karen, I resemble that remark. :)

  16. MARTIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. MARTIN!!!!!! YES!!!!!!

  18. Gotta love Martin.

    Neverett is bizarre. Every ball hit beyond the infield he makes it sound like a homerun. On a real homerun, he delayed seconds after it was clear on the tube that it was gone to call it,

  19. Just read Scapper’s Tale.

    Scapper, what are you apologizing for? I envy you.

    Would you mind sitting next to MY wife next time?

  20. Talk about old times. Watching Nate McClouth pinch hit for Steve Pearce, with Oliver Perez warming up in the pen. What a hoot. (He struck out)

  21. 37,900 announced attendance today WOW!

    • NICE! We’re going down Thursday afternoon…hoping to walk-up (I have a BOGO coupon). I THINK we’ll be OK, but tickets will be scarce going forward if this keeps up!

  22. AJ doing a great job today.

  23. ….fear the Bones……..and STFD.

    What an outing for AJ.

  24. RAISE IT!!!!!!!

  25. Raise it! Complete game and completely dominant. I love that guy!


    23 games over .500.

    One at a time………… smash 82!

  27. Big comeback after losing the first game of the series.

  28. This version of the Pirates will remember Andrew McCutchen (because superstar hitters always come first) and then AJ Burnett. I hope AJ signs with the Bucs this offseason, because whether or not he pitches like he did this year and last, he’s become this team’s “Pops,” and his legacy will fuel its future.

    • +34. And he clearly has a lot left in the tank.

    • I would like to see him back for another season too, make him the 1 year qualifying offer for $13M and that should do, be a fair value as well.
      As a side note, if this guy not only helps push the Pirates to a division crown and has any type of success he is going to go down as a cult legend in Pittsburgh. I don’t care what people in NYC think about him, he will be revered in Pittsburgh if he somehow gets them to the World Series…. Watch out and STFD!!! RTJR!!!!

      • I think they would have to offer him at least 2 years. I figure 2 years/$20-25 million total.


        • Who can even say that AJ would want to commit to 2 more years at this point? I think the qualifying offer is probably the safest route, depending on how badly they really want him back for next season… But I’m not completely opposed to your offer. You can probably even backload it too so the Pirates feel the brunt of it when Wandy and Liriano are completely off the books.

          I think a lot might depend on what Wandy decides to do. If he elects FA this winter I think that clears $8.5M from next season.

      • I wonder if AJ would give them a one year at a time deal. Sign for one year in ’14 and see how it goes. You can tell how much he loves his teammates and the city. I know he says he is getting to the end of the line, but he’s still a very good pitcher. Would not surprise me if he signed for one year.

        • Is there such a thing as a qualifying offer with a person who is going to be a complete free agent.

          I thought qualifying offers were only for arbitration eligible players.

          • Think this might have been new with the most recent CBA. Now, if you make a qualifying offer to a pending FA, and said player turns down the offer, the team receives a sandwich draft pick following the first round.

          • They’re for free agents. Arbitration eligible players receive tender offers. For your reading pleasure.

            The qualifying offer, which will be determined by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year, is expected to fall in the $12-13MM range for the coming offseason. All qualifying offers are for the same duration (one year) and the same amount ($12-13MM).

            Teams will have until five days after the World Series to make qualifying offers and the players will have seven days to accept.
            Once a team makes a qualifying offer, the player has two choices: he can accept the one-year deal or decline in it search of other offers. If he declines the offer and signs elsewhere, his new team will have to surrender a top draft pick (the selection doesn’t go to the player’s former team).

            Teams that sign free agents who turned down qualifying offers will surrender their first round picks. However, the forfeited picks don’t go to other MLB teams. Instead, the first round simply becomes condensed.

            The first ten selections in the draft are protected. Teams with protected picks will surrender their second-highest selections.
            The player’s former team will receive its compensatory selection at the end of the first round. Teams now obtain one compensatory selection, instead of two.

            If teams don’t make a qualifying offer, the player can sign uninhibited.

            Only players who have been with their clubs for the entire season will be eligible for compensation.

  29. RAISE IT again…and raise it for hard-working AJ Burnett….

    You know, it’s almost easy to forget that NH made the deal with the Yankees to get AJ to the ‘burgh last Spring… what a great move it was….. AJ had struggled in NY and any other MLB team could’ve taken the chance, but we were the ones who did it.

    With AJ, Liriano (another superior offseason pick up), Locke (McLouth trade that the FO was villified for but was the right move), Morton (same deal, he has struggled a bit but still a MLB starter), and Cole (top draft pick)…. NH has really built a nice rotation.

    And the bullpen has as many superlatives…..

  30. That’s baseball.

    I actually liked Brown’s “holy complete game, Batman” call at the end of the game.

  31. AJ was magnificent. I was saying around the 6th that it was his best outing of the season because his pitch count was so low while racking up the K’s. His control was unbelievable today. Superb effort, AJ!

    Martin crushed that HR, which made up for the bad at bat previously when he had bases loaded, no outs and insisted on pulling that curve ball. One thing that is so great about Martin is that even when he doesn’t come through, he finds a way to make up for it later. And a perfect throw on the SB attempt. Love that guy!

    Terrific play by Jordy on the DP, where it took the bad bounce. Made up for his botched play late in yesterday’s game.

    Walker scalded the ball at least 3 times, even though he only had one hit. And his defense is so, so good. No one can make the tag play of the runner going to 2nd as well as Neil!

    That play with the bases loaded when Martin hit it right to 3b sure was a strange one. I wasn’t sure if Cutch was unaware he had been forced at 3b or if he was absolutely brilliant to go to the bag and stay there. Either way, with Walker hustling his tail off to get back to the bag and the Rockies not knowing what was going on, those 2 guys stole us a key run.

    I predicted 6-2 this morning, but I’ll take 5-1. Can’t wait to go to the Burgh tomorrow and see the Bucs in person on Tues/Wed.

  32. Way to go, Buccos! Now it’s payback time for us with Marlins who won 2 games in their ballpark against us. Get out the brooms!

  33. The oddest feeling walking into that place with the expectations of winning a game and not feeling stupid about it. I love going to games with AJ Burnett pitching because he’s THE man.

    Make no mistake about it, he’s the leader.

    Today’s performance was such a team effort from Burnett’s complete game, a few double plays by the infield, Martin’s 3-run home run, and a few key hits along the way.

    THIS is happening.

  34. Jandy – those Bronys are some sick dudes. I’ve seen them interviewed on some tv shows and also on Howard Stern. Some of these dudes have families they hide this weird crap from. Very strange indeed.

    Glad you enjoyed the trip though.

  35. Super tough pitching job by AJ Burnett….Wow!
    I’m very happy for the Pirate fans in Pittsburgh.
    This weekend looked like a blast around PNC Park.
    Keep it going!

  36. 15 more to go on the countdown.

    Keep it up!

  37. Happy mea culpa time. I thought the Pirates would lose 2 of 3 this weekend, the natural let down theory. I was wrong. Isn’t that great ?

    • A lot of that going around seeing as though I had tabbed this team with 65 wins and they’re already at 67 and a legit chance to win 82 by end of this month.

    • Milo, before it started I also felt this was going to be a very telling series. Friday morning I too was afraid of such a letdown. No emotion or adrenaline of the Cards. And our team came through with flying colors. Friday was probably a letdown, but they responded with 2 very good wins. The mark of a good team.

      We are all afraid to speak too early, but hopefully it really is time to start believing……


  38. We are now up to 74 total players!

    Here are the current, up-to-date standings:

    JRay3 ~ 300
    War Horse ~ 300
    Lad9 ~ 300
    bman ~ 275
    pattonbb ~ 200

    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2425
    JRay3 ~ 2275
    bman ~ 2180
    Nate83 ~ 1675
    blazer ~ 1500
    Dadtackular ~ 1500
    JUCOFan ~ 1400
    theplanisworking ~ 1350
    stickyweb ~ 1300
    Frankie ~ 1100
    War Horse ~ 1065
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    KJX ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    Bill Born ~ 680
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    Jason81 ~ 550
    OZ ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    tdb1977 ~ 485
    Karen22 ~ 475
    Irish ~ 400
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 350
    JohninOshkosh ~ 335
    EricBowser ~ 325
    BDHumbert ~ 275
    cmat0829 ~ 250
    radio wave ~ 250
    TCB ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    Keith ~ 150
    MarkV ~ 150
    A1C McG ~ 100
    cosmo ~ 100
    Fish ~ 100
    Joey Mellons ~ 100
    Lad9 ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    Arriba Wilver ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Dom ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    stuart66 ~ 0
    TK ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    DemonDachshund ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    buggee ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Brandie ~ -250
    kr70 ~ -300
    Steve J. Smith ~ -500
    JaxBuc ~ -550
    pattonbb ~ -600
    Jandy ~ -875
    JD ~ -875
    JMB ~ -900
    Kevin ~ -1435
    Bizrow ~ -4100

    ***The Most Points for the end of AUGUST will win:***

    First Place at the end of the season will win:

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:

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