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On location: Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 2, 16 innings

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (72-50) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (63-58)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. LHP Wade Miley

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. Jordy Mercer, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Russell Martin, C
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  7. Jose Tabata, RF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Morton, P

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

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Here are a couple questions I had for Neal Huntington regarding Jeff Locke

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. Greetings, Gang! Am I actually the first poster in the “On Location Thread!” Yee-Ha! Just dropped by to say I’m calling a nice, big multi-hit game for Gaby Sanchez! How great would it be for him to break out a bit!

  2. Locke looks just plain tired, whether he wants to or not needs to skip a start or two. Miley’s been good of late but I think we will rebound strong from yesterday

  3. I’m going to the game today.

    Look for me on TV –I’ll be the one dressed up as “Saint Clint”.

    I’ll be cheering for a Bucco victory and no pitching changes for the Pirates.

    Gotta go, I have to buy 55 pieces of bubble gum before the game.

  4. Reported for the inimitable Playoffs:

    Playoffs by 2012 says:

    August 18, 2013 at 3:57 am

    Big THANK YOU to Johnny Wisconsin for re-posting for me earlier.
    Gonna need one more re-post from one of you fine people today.
    Thank you again in advance.
    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
    Total INNINGS PITCHED by the Pirates Bullpen in today’s game
    0 – 1.66 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    2 – 3.66 (EVEN ODDS)
    4 or More (EVEN ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!
    72 Down, only 10 more to go!!
    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23
    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  5. Geez! Went on vacation at the beach for a week, and something hit the fan. I saw the single win against the Cards on Natl TV. Stayed up late getting game updates on the blog for the Tuesday debacle. Not the best way to follow a game, especially THAT game I don’t have the MLB Gameday. There were some new (to me) trolls out on the blog for that Tuesday game, and it was painful to have to read their tripe while hoping for actual game info.

    Recent Pirate play seems to have brought out some of our more adolescent regulars also. Jandy and JRay, and a few others trying to keep it all together, but that is like herding cats.

    How about that Alfonso Soriano?! 18 RBIs in four games. Nice free agent pickup by the impoverished Yankees.

    Looks like a wakeup call for Walker in today’s lineup.

    Tabata really hot during the recent losing.

    Lets go Ground Chuck


  6. Currently watching Chinese Taipei and Arizona on the Junior League Championship. Chinese Taipei always seems so overwhelmingly dominant here and at Williamsport in the Little League games.
    Question; why don’t we see these guys in the majors? They never seem to progress beyond this level.

    Solution; we should develop an outpost there as we have done in the Dominican, and I have the perfect candidate to run it.

    The problem is – no bubble gum.

    I have another question; why has everyone singled out my man Leyva for that ONE play where he deployed Walker into short right for that fantastic play, and simply overlooked the dozens of traffic jams he has created at third base.

    I think he had time to consider that move, but at third there is no time, the thought reflexes must be a lot quicker than perhaps he is capable of. I’d recommend Jay Bell for third base coach

  7. Thoughts from attending yesterdays game:

    A summer day at the ball park, especially a Saturday day game, is better than most any alternative. A win is preferable, but it was still an awesome day followed by pizza at Beto’s. Mmmmm.

    We got a ball yesterday thrown after the second inning by Jose Tabata. It was fumbled forward from behind us and landed right in my wife’s lap, and I literally had to bat the guy’s hand from in front of us away from that…..region and nabbed it myself. Gave it to my wife and she promptly gave it to the guy’s young son, so I guess we had a ball. But she made the right choice – the smile told all.

    I read the blog last night and I understand all of the arguments for pulling and not pulling your starter early. Don’t want to restart that debate. And anyone who has read anything from me knows I think CH is a very good manager. That being said, I thought letting Locke face Prado was a mistake. I would have pulled him then and said so at the time. He was all over the place and could not locate his fastball especially, and he was done at that point. Just my opinion.

    Worried some about Bryan Morris. He has been wild low the last two outings, and beat the snot out of his catcher yesterday.

    Jordy Mercer looks more confident in the field every time I see him.

    Neil Walker is not just a poorer hitter right handed, he has much poorer plate discipline. He is a sucker for the slider in the dirt as a righty. And his average has fallen 68 points as a righty since 2010. Anyone checking his vision out of the left eye? Just a wild thought, but it can’t hurt.

    The most impressive thing I saw yesterday from the Pirates without a doubt was Cutch sprinting full out on a 40 foot swinging bunt in the ninth with two outs and down 10 runs. If that doesn’t resonate with his teammates I don’t know what would. I hope that was mentioned on the broadcast.

    Lets forget about yesterday and bring one home today. And I hope my avatar comes back……

    • Thoughts;
      Where is Beto’s?
      Agree with you on Mercer.
      I too have questioned Walker’s vision. Not sure if left eye is the only potential problem
      Walker’s swing from the left side is a classic picture, and when he connects, it is beautiful.
      Cutch does that on every at bat – full speed in the field as well

      • Beto’s is on Banksville, on the in-bound side.

        • Thanks for that. I think I need to try them at least once.

          • It’s pretty good Pizza, a little different on how they add the cheese but good (after cooking the pizza). Used to be much better and the toppings, use to get more but still not bad.

            • People either love it or hate it. I happen to love it but there is no middle ground.

              • Lad, sounds like the blog, eh?

                Pizza is a funny food when it comes to loyalty.
                Pizza is a 6 Billion $$$$ industry.
                Millions of pizza shops, and people have their loyalty to one or two. I have had pizza done 30 different ways, and if I would have restricted myself to one or two, I would have missed out on all the others.

                Yes, I love pizza.

              • WE had a similar discussion recently, and the conclusion seemed to be Vincent’s on Ardmore Blvd in Forest Hills and Beto’s were tops.

              • Same here Hippo. The nice thing about pizza is it is all different and very seldom out and out bad. For what it is worth, my Pittsburgh favorites are:
                Aiello’s (Squirrel Hill)
                Burgh’s (Bridgeville)
                Mineo’s (sq Hill and Mt Lebo)

                Outside of the Burgh, I really like Gino’s East and Lou Malnati’s in Chicago. Great deep dish.

      • Cutch does hustle all the time and I never want to take it for granted. Too many players with lesser talent loaf, and it makes me insane. Many things in baseball are out of your control. You can do everything right, hit the ball on the button every swing and go 0-4. The one thing you can control is your effort. Anything less than 100% doesn’t cut it. The Pirates are way better than most if not every team in that regard and I credit Cutch for instilling that by example.

    • Stellar report, Ladster!

      • Thanks Brandster! Don’t know what’s up with the avatar. I have gone in and checked, changed it, and patted it on the head and it still won’t show it’s face. Maybe I should make it A-Rod; he puts his face out there no matter stupid he looks.

  8. So despite the angst in here and in columns. If the Pirates win today, they take a series from a pretty good team.

    And of course they’ll win today. Look who’s going for the Pirates.


  9. I like the line up but Hurdle is managing so we have no chance(:

    • You can say that all you want. What manager, past or present, would have this roster much more than two games in first place?

      I challenge you and anyone else to name a manager and tell us how many more games that manager would have the Pirates (with this offense) significantly more than 22 games over .500.

      Have at it!

      • Hey Big—Nate was joking.

      • You must not read Nate’s posts, BD. Nate is a long time poster with history of solid, rational posts (unlike mine).

        • Thanks John. I’ve had my share of post that are not rational. I thought Mercer would fall flat on his face. He has been solid and consistant. I thought the Karstans signing was good. Don’t tell anyone but I thought the Jonathan Sanchez signing was good (now that is not even close to rational). He helped me win fantasy baseball one year. I think my opinion of him was clouded by his 2009 stats for the ERA TIE BREAKER fantasy baseball team.

          • We’ve all had our fail here !

            Forgot to respond the other day when I was doing P by P on the blog, but I liked your story about your son and the Old Spice commercial.

            How many errors did he come up with ?

            • He found 7 on his own, but there are a few more. He jokingly tells me I’m the worse architect in the world when I don’t let him do something. He always has a smile on his face when he says it so I think I will let him get away with it a few more times and then I’m going to tell him he’s the worse kickball player in the world.

      • Big daddy my happy face didn’t work at the end of my post. It was a joke in response to those who have been hammering Clint over the last couple days. I am firmly on the side of defending Hurdle “hurdle apoligest”. Others (not me) would have had Hurdle lifting starting pitchers at the first sign of trouble the last 8 games.

        In fantasy world where your bullpen can pitch 5+ innings per game on average and we haven’t played two extra inning games that is great.

        In reality you need those pitchers to get out of those jambs and continue to give you 2 or 3 more good innings like Cole did the other day. AJ and Locke failed at that and Hurdle takes the blame. He “overworks our bullpen” and “keeps starters in to long” both at the same time. The guy really is amazing.

        • Nate,
          Sorry. I didn’t realize you we’re joking. I, too, am sick of those jumping on Hurdle. What do these people want? They are 22 over.

      • Showalter and Francona

        • I like both of those guys Bob.

          Francona has gotten just about as much as you can get out of that team. Swisher and Bourne are not the upgrades that many think they are. Both are not complete ball players and have flaws in there games. Good players but not worth what the Indians gave them in free agency.

          Showalter has a good team to work with offensively but has a balancing act to do with that pitching staff. He seems to do a good job of mixing and matching.

          I think Hurdle has done a good job overall. Talent wise I don’t think it is obviuos that this team would be 22 games above .500 so it can’t be to bad of a job.

          • It is difficult to argue the record which speaks for itself. Perhaps that’s how the record came to be – by itself. Just kidding!

            I will tell you what I like about CH________________________!

            Also just kidding!

            Seriously, when he goes out to argue with an umpire, he usually walks away smiling, and leaves the umpire with a smile as well.
            I was thinking maybe they exchanged information so CH could deliver some snake oil after the game.

            I’d have a beer with him just as long as I could talk and he would listen.

            Anyway for what it’s worth, he IS the manager of the 2013 Pirates

            • I actually was very hard on Hurdle last year. I thought he cost the team some games in August when they still had a chance. I think he definately doesn’t rank high for in game decisions but he is hardly the worse at that. He does other things very well so I can live with the occasional questionable in game move.

              • I am not intending to be a sharp-shooter here, but
                your last two sentences are a bit abstract to me.

                The part that “he definitely (correct spelling) doesn’t rank high for in-game decisions” is purely subjective – with which I agree – but I can’t really compare that against another.

                You then say, “He does other things very well. . . . . “, which is what I do not see. I’m sure there are redeeming values he has, in your mind, which allows you to say, ‘so I can live with the questionable in-game move.” is I guess something that bothers me worse than you.
                Hence my scorn. I paid to get in so I’m allowed to boo.

              • What you just did was the definition of sharp shooting. You pointed out a word I spelled incorrectly and you agreed with me saying Clint wasn’t good at in-game decisions which was purely an opinion with no stats to back it up but questioned the validity of the comment. Your post says a lot more about you then me. I tried to find some grey in our discussion and you just made me not want to attempt that ever again.

  10. It is well known that there was little movement by anyone at the deadline. But it was IMPERATIVE that the Pirates get some offensive help at that time. Whether the asking price was too high or the front office merely dropped the ball, it is a moot point until after he season when heads may (or may not) roll.

    What it comes down to now is that this team is (and will continue) paying for that negligence. It is frustrating. We all have waited so long for this season. Can they overcome? Time will tell.

    • Do you think heads will roll? Myself I can’t imagine. It’s not only the record accomplished by the major league team but the suprising development of some minor league players. They hit on two free agents and some under the radar trades. Two first round draft picks are playing really good in low A ball. They correctly read the market on Grille and Karstans.

      When it comes to drafting and trading for prospects I still think much more of this is luck then we like to beleive. Of course teams that are horribly run like the White Sox and KC make moves that just make your head hurt but most teams are drafting and trading just like the Pirates. It’s a guess and sometimes it turns out and other times it doesn’t. In my opinion that all balances out over time. The moves that do make a difference is deciding which free agents to sign and which of your own players to sign or trade when your small/medium market.

      • I only think heads would roll if there were another horrendous collapse. That, I don’t believe will happen. Nate, you make very valid points, here.

  11. I read somewhere that today was “National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day”.

    Maybe Clint can replace his bubble gum?

  12. Going to the game today. Not claiming being a good luck charm or anything, but they have only lost once in the five games we have gone to so far. Hope this works today, they need a win.

  13. Good morning….happy to see the Bucs still in first place and happy to watch today’s game and a good chance to take a series and head out to the coast. Also happy Clint Hurdle is leading this team…he doesn’t just manage he leads….. He, like every manager, makes mistakes, his players make more mistakes….but through it all I like having him be our leader and won’t spend any more time back and forth in a silly debate over every move and decision. You all go ahead though, it’s why they make it easy to scroll past large chunks of discussion threads.

    Agree with DK that an offensive surge is needed to carry us through the dog days …..the top of the order is starting to bust out…..need Jones, Pedro, Martin and or additions? To jump in too. LETSGBUCS…PANICISFORLOSERS.

  14. Kris Johnson – UP
    Andrew Lambo – DOWN

    • Lambo = Lambomb. Don’t know.

    • I guess Lambo did his job—woke Tabby up. ;-)

      • Thats an important job. We just need somebody to do that every two weeks or so. Expanded rosters are in two weeks so we should be good until the end of the year.

    • Lambo, Last Blood…………… we hardly knew ye.

    • Milo- I saw the other day you posted something about TJ being ranked one in HS football. I thought since you cover the football scene and may know this individual I’d share this story with you.

      When I was in Pittsburgh a few weeks back I stayed at John “Hoppy” Mitruski’s home in Jefferson Hills. In fact he is about to become part of my extended family as my father is re-marrying his wife Teri’s sister.

      The night we arrived at his home he shared more Cherpek and Jaguar stories, showed off his rings and we stayed up til 2 am talking football. Through all he has been through a very energetic guy. He sent me home with much TJ swag, so I found it interesting when you posted that info the other day as I guess they have become my adopted team.

      • Heart problems right ? Longtime softball coach. I’m sure Mr. Hasis could tell us some stories. And count me among the Cherpak fans. Great personality. He actually gave up being a funeral director to take up coaching. We had a few interesting conversations about Pitt football during Todd Graham’s reign of error.

        • yes heart problems, a few surgeries as well.

        • These are great stories to read about TJ, Cherpak and high school football.
          I would bore you to tears with all of the adulation I have and the excellence I’ve been told about Cherp’s successes.

          I beg your indulgence on just this one – for now.
          Being that I drive a school bus here, I was given the assignment Friday to pick the players up at Camp Cherpak, the elementary school where they practice, and take them to the high school – about 2 miles away – for team photos.
          On Saturday I also did the same thing prior to their scrimmage with South Park.

          Cherp mentioned we have an O line and a D line bigger and maybe better than the ones on which Tyler Reed ex-Chicago Bears and Lucas Nix currently with Oakland Raiders played on. For you Milo, there is a kid named Jason Inks, 6’5″ and 305. You need to make yourself aware of him. Of course our QB will be Chase Winovich a full ride Michigan recruit. Without boasting, he plays middle linebacker the way Troy Polamalu plays safety. He free lances with great vision and really is disruptive. His scholarship is for linebacker, but since he is 6’4″ and 220, and runs a 4.4 40, we will employ the wildcat to a great extent.

          It should be spectacular. Hope you get a shot at doing a game. We have only 4 home games and must travel to Holidaysburg. I do hope to have that as my assignment however.

          BTW, Mitruski was always involved with football at TJ until just a few years ago. I think he coached the offense.

          Thanks for the opportunity to expound.

      • Welcome back, by the way. Missed your steadying influence.

        • Thanks…funny you mention the conversations about Pitt, Hoppy found out I follow Pitt athletics and so we talked about Pitt much as well and some of the local kids -Boyd, Johnson that are going there. I met his daughter who played ball at Penn State so I’ll try not to hold that against her.

          Yes he was the longtime softball coach and what little I could gather by some of the articles and like he shared with me in his basement, a very good one.

          He had nothing but great things to say about Cherpak and his ability to motivate kids.

          • JRay, your last line is everything about truth. Some great kids have quit over the years which was a big mistake.

            He motivates from a negative posture. He drives them hard and rarely compliments them to their face. But to others he is proud to tell how good any of these players are.

            No “medications” are tolerated. Just hard practice and a lot of lifting – and then during the game only perfect execution is acceptable. When these kids graduate they invariably say, “thanks coach”.

            When he told me about Jason Inks he said, “he’s stronger than he realizes and I want him to play mean on every play” His position is LE on defense on very few wide plays will be successful there. For his size, excellent speed. I can’t recall which position he will play on offense probably LT.

            JRay if you are having heart problems, is that what brought you here? You just made the top of my nightly pray for the sick list. You can’t refuse – you have no choice!

            • Bob – no I do not have any health issues. I was answering Milo that Hoppy was informing me of his heart issues and the multiple surgeries he has endured.

              He looked great however and knows he needs to take it easy. He would be the one that could use the prayers and well wishes.

        • +1 Yes welcome back. I hope you brought back something to swat away all the way over the top negative comments that will happen the next time they fall behind by just 1 run. I wasn’t sure if you got tired of it and just gave up on the blog.

  15. Lambo down? Makes absolute zero sense. Not surprised. We are talking about Neal Suckington after all.

    • Makes perfect sense, after two short starts the pitching needs help. Probably no Morris, Gomez, Hughes, or Mazzaro available today

    • Tabata has played well of late. Lambo looked overmatched. Was a very small sample so it’s hard to tell if that would have continued but he offers very little as a late inning defensive sub or pinch runner. My guess is it’s more about Hurdle having the flexibility to make changes in game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was made by him and not NH. Lambo will be back up in two weeks when roster expands. He doesn’t stay sharp with 5 at bats a week.

    • Victim of circumstance.

    • Actually with at least three pitchers down today due to overuse, seems the me the move mak

    • Johnson taking Locke’s rotation spot?

      Just kidding.

  16. and McKenry to the 60 DL

  17. McKenry has probably played his last game as a Pirate.

    • He has 1 option left. My guess is he sticks as ogranizational depth. You almost always need 3 catchers. Catchers get hurt a lot. I think he still makes the minimum. Low risk insurance against Martin injury. Not unlike what Shoppach is right now.

  18. Holy Crap, it’s a strange day.

    “+1 to TC and Daq.”

    JJ just rolled over in his pizza parlor.

    Even a sighting of my Auntie Pro.

    Next thing you know, I’ll agree with Thunder on something.

    On anything.

    Now all we need is for Foo to compliment Dejan’s column.

    And then say goodbye forever. Again.

    Where’s Jandy? I think I need a good swift kick.

    • After that ThunderDaq Double Plus, Jason Kendall called.

      He said Pittsburgh just froze over.

    • There has been a Foo siting on Travis Sawchik’s blog.

      No word on if any probing went on or if any intelligent lifeform was part of any of this.

  19. Has anyone checked with Bobby Cox recently for an update on Charlie’s xFIP ?

    • You have to corner Dejan in a Starbucks and get that nugget from him, Milo.

      Maybe I can get it out of him if I chance see him in Green Bay in December.

  20. Forgot the Bucs wore the throwbacks on Sundays.

    I think one reason they are so popular, especially for me, is they are the last link to Roberto’s playing days.

  21. I think I saw TC in the crowd.

    Unless someone else would be holding a “Drew Suc$s” sign.

  22. OK what did they do to Charlie Morton? Who is this guy?


    Martin just missed one.

    1-0 good guys!

  24. Hurdle strikes again. Why did he bat Martin clean up……..oh wait……..yeah Hurdle.

  25. Pirate record for most consecutive strikeouts is 7 by Erik Bedard. First guy I would have guessed.

    • Funny. I remember that game. Everyone was so excited. There was a lot of so this is what it’s like to have a Major League starting pitcher comments. If only we knew how that script would end.

    • Talk about statistical anomolies……………..

    • Well he is the current ace of the Houston Astros. Really….wow.

      • He is?

        I thought he was with the Twins…………………

      • That is like being the ace of my son’s little league team.

        He pulled himself out of a no-hitter earlier this year. There was outrage by some national media. He was already at 100 pitches and only done with six innings. The guy has had two arm surgeries and the national guys wanted him to throw 160 pitches.

  26. Baltimore loves Bedard. He made them a contender when he was traded to Seattle.

  27. Mercer, Mercer me….Bucs take 2-0 lead.

    Only shows there is no carry over in baseball, as good as your next day starter and the oppositions.

  28. Mercer with the gapper.

    2-0 good guys.

  29. Hey! Maybe Mac is actually auditioning for Neverett’s spot in the booth! I like Neverett: He does have some charm … and a heck of a lot more polish than Greg “It’s Ding-Dong Dinger” Brown!

    • You like Neverett ? ? ?

      And I used to like you, Bay.

      • I tend to call for his ouster when he gets me all excited over some warning track power. I have more of a love-hate relationship with Greg. But if it wasn’t for him, I’d have never met Greg Brown’s Laugh over on the old P-G blog. Best handle ever!

    • I like Nevvie too, but I’ll admit I’m in the minority there.

  30. Milo and JRay

    You got me so pleasantly distracted above, I didn’t realize it was 2;30 and we are up 2-0

    • Than my apologies as you are missing a great Charlie Morton start. Would be great to close this out, take another series before team heads out west,

    • I made the Hollidaysburg trip last year & it was a hike. I’ll see them week 1 up here. If I see you it won’t be until playoffs but there’s always that chance. Can’t wait to get started. Just about all the pain in the rear behind the scenes stuff is finished so I can concentrate on football. It’s all worth it when the ball goes in the air.

      • Yes you right. I told Cherpak I can’t imagine anyone being more excited about football at this time of the year than he is – but if there is one, I’m in contention.

        Last year Hollidaysburg had the misfortune of losing to us during the season – at TJ – 58-0, then catching us in the playoff draw.

        What I most remember about no insult intended – but they had a majorette who incredibly talented. Truly.

        I’ve been told the trek is more than 1 1/2 hours. As long as the freakin’ bus doesn’t have mechanical problems, I will love it!

  31. Thank you to ARRIBA for re-posting for me today.
    I’ll have updated standings sometime this evening.

  32. Hurdle cannot let this snowball right here.

  33. 5 inning Charley at it again. And, as usual, no offense. Pedro against a left hander makes no sense.

  34. How can Bob Walk talk about the improvement of this offense?? These Pirate announcers are a joke.

    • They are ranked 4th out of 15 NL teams since the all star break compared to 11th before the all star break. That is by definition an improvement.

  35. Where’s Xavier Nady when you need him? (answer btw: toiling on the Rockies AAA team)

  36. Make a move, or are the arms falling off? Maybe they are falling from the sky!

  37. Hurdle should have taken Charlie out before they got the 2 runs.

    C’mon, guys, this isn’t difficult. :-P :-)

    • Good job by Charlie to minimize the damage. Had he not gotten that DP ball though and a 5th straight batter reached, he should have been pulled.

    - Lunatic Mgmt.

  39. Third time facing Miley. Mercer gets on and 3-4-5 go 1-2-3. Weak pop up. Weak strikeout. Weak groundball.

  40. They really can’t afford to let this one get away.

  41. Leadoff walk was inexcusable.

  42. Where’s the intentional BB with a double play man on deck ?

  43. Here we go again. Another lead off walk with often rial to cost Pirates a game. As good as the pitching staff has been It sure seems the Pirates are one off the leaders in giving lead off walks.

  44. Holy cow that called strike was a foot outside….what a gift….then we plunk him :-(

  45. I’d say he bounced back quite well

  46. SEE, our hitters aren’t the only ones who leave the bases loaded.

  47. HUGE K by Charlie to get Goldy and escape the 7th.

    Great start turned in by Morton today!

  48. That was huge for Morotn to get out of that inning!

  49. Huge K in the seventh against a dangerous hitter by good old 5 inning Chuck!

  50. Charlie did his job, again.

    Time for Clint to do his, and get someone to hit for the light weights this inning.

  51. Does Charlie come out for the 8th?

  52. Let’s get some runs. Let’s win a frickin game.

  53. Bob Walk talking about this basically being a playoff game for Arizona. Then what is it for the Pirates ? They won’t even acknowledge that for the Pirates to make the playoffs, this is the team they have to keep out. Sure you want to win the division, but you gotta get there first. And this is the only team that can stop you. This game is every bit as important as the ones they played against St. Louis.

  54. Thanks, Tabata!!!

  55. Did Lambo make it to Indy yet?

    Is it too late to tell him to turnaround ?

  56. Good thing Charlie got through 7 innings. They need to save the relievers that are available for the 12 or 13 innings that are sure to follow.

  57. Watson had an easy out at 2nd there.

  58. Tony Watson with yet another unscored on performance. Nicely done.

  59. Now THIS is a classic baseball game.
    I much prefer this to a 14-9 AL mess.

  60. Nice bunt single by Marteto start things off.

  61. Great bunt, but the strategy sucks. Cutch gets a BB

  62. Can’t say I’m a fan of Jordy bunting here.

  63. Well these are the situations Martin seems to thrive in.

  64. Sigh.

  65. What was that???

  66. They bunted a guy with 2 hits today. They get caught stealing. What a stupid offensive inning.

  67. Vintage Hurdle. No reason for Marte to be running there, as he scores on any hit.

  68. With that speed on base they did NOT need to be running unless you wanted Cutch to score from first on a single.

    The Wizard strikes again!

  69. Man, it would be nice to have just one hitter that could hot with runners in scoring position. I have enjoyed watching the Pirates this year, but they are also so frustrating to watch.

  70. There was no sign there. He went on his own.

  71. If Marte went on his own Then Leyva IS AT FAULT, for not demanding he hold

  72. You know, that the manager/coach has every right to be in control of that situation

  73. Ho hum 2 scoreless innings from Watson.

  74. Watson is the real deal!

  75. Watson = Nails, two shutdown innings now let’s walk this one off.

  76. Score 1 run win a game Pirates. 1 stinking run. You can do it!

  77. Leadoff walk by Alvarez. 5 pitches against the LOOGY.

  78. An opportunity for Walker.

  79. Gotta pinch hit with Jones….

  80. Lou Brock stole 938 bases & never once slid head first. And therefore never hurt his hand in the process.

  81. 270 feet to go. 2 outs to get there.

  82. I was hoping Sanchez had won it, took so long, turns out it was a pitching change…

    C’mon Jones DO something.

  83. I should have been more specific.

    Since popping out is doing something…

  84. Tabata, do it for my mental health, please.

  85. Walker for Barmes when we get there.

  86. It is time for a Tabata walk off

  87. It’s a shame how bad Jones is this year.

  88. Wonder if he is thinking about that photobof him striking out with bases laded? Get even.

  89. I can’t take this anymore. I just can’t.

  90. Who’s left on the bench, just Tony Sanchez?

  91. Should have been ball 3

  92. Marte has to stay in. We’re out of players. Tony Sanchez is it.

  93. Ok, runners going, just get it over the infield.

  94. Maybe we could try to steal 3rd. Sorry.

  95. Well here we go again – all in. I hope we score

  96. Too bad Presley isn’t on the team right now, but maybe Tony can make this game a winner.

  97. 2 called strikes? Watson could do that.

  98. 180 feet to go.

  99. Pinch looking.

  100. I guess he wanted the entire collection.

  101. Tony at least swing at it…would like to see Melancon here with top of our order due up in 10th.

  102. At least Liriano throws a shutout.

  103. What a minor league effort by Tony Sanchez!! Shoppach will be up soon.

  104. So Walker replaces Barmes, and here all along I thought Barmie was the late inning defensive replacement. What gives?

    Cmon, CH be consistent. You know you can’t trust Mercer’s defense

  105. I’m thinking, winning run on second, two outs. How about looking at three pitches. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  106. LET’S GET A FRICKIN RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  107. If Martin goes down does Walker go behind the plate? Lets end this thing, now.

  108. In order to hit the ball, one must swing.
    Pirate batters arent swinging, so they wont hit the ball.

    Even I know that.

  109. Jordy .315/.340/.511 .851 from the 2 spot.

  110. A single! How about that, a 3 hit game for Jordy.

  111. Well, that was quick.

  112. Their anemic bats have put this very important game in the hands of Kris Johnson.

  113. Bell pitched 2, Melancon can pitch two. Let’s wait awhile before Jared Hughes stomps out of the bullpen, please.

  114. Not what the bullpen needed today…this is like playoff baseball, DBacks fighting for their season and to stay in race, Pirates fighting for top billing in toughest division of NL.

    And now welcome to the show Kris Johnson.

  115. Jesus H. Melancon threw 9 frigging pitches.

    Too much I guess.

  116. You doesn’t have to call him Johnson !

  117. Hey, strike 1!
    Welcome to the majors.

  118. I can’t take any more of this! Can we please, please, please get Morneau and Michael Young!

  119. Hmm, no out.

  120. If Mercer fields that cleanly it is an easy double play.

  121. He’s too fast for that to be a DP

  122. It’s not so much the ones you turn, it’s the ones you don’t. – Bob Prince

  123. Welcome to the show Johnson!

  124. I just counted. Somebody check my math. But this is their 142nd extra inning game of the year, right?

    I mean, so far. Season’s not over.

  125. Kris Johnson just pitched a scoreless inning in extra innings of a tie game in his major league debut. LET’S GO OFFENSE DON’T MAKE HIM THROW TWO YOU LIFE SUCKING DOGS.

  126. Gameday blows, but evidently something caused outs 2 and 3. On to the bottom of the inning!

  127. They better hurry up, the subject of dinner just came up.

  128. It’s the unhittable one, De la Rosa.

    C’mon bums, swing hard at least.

  129. The Pirates have made 3 outs on the last 3 pitches they saw.

  130. I like that, 22.

    Bullpen = Shark Tank. And the batters = Life Sucking Dogs.

    Perfect. Animal lovers.

  131. I believe at some point, the Vandy grad has to be smart enough to realize he must hit lefties; otherwise he will fail, or have a very mediocre career

  132. Things I have learned today….. Hurdle and/or Leyva must both be at least mildly retarded for not telling Marte that there was no need or reason to attempt to steal third base in that situation, for not stopping him halfway and sending him back, and for allowing him to slide head first……Morton is only a major league pitcher up to the fifth inning, at which point he should be taken out behind the bullpen and put out of his misery, if only Hurdle was mentally stable enough to make that call….this morning I woke up late and am now convinced that this may well have been Clint Hurdle’s fault, he is an awful manager and coach, but he does it in a way that should be obvious given his teams lousy record and position in the standings with such a stellar offensive line-up. He is crafty at being horrendous, I will give him that… also turns out that trolls are just about as annoying as being forced to watch a flyers highlight video while having a root canal done…….

  133. Really do not want to see the rookie pitching to Goldschmidt. Get a run, give him a win.

  134. A foul! Progress…

  135. The Phoenix counterpart to Bob Hasis just crushed Gibson for that move in the Arizona Republic’s blog.

  136. No question with lack of bats this cripples the ability to score runs and have a couple of easy games. Does anyone really believe Nutting will pony up the kind of jing to sign Alvarez when the time comes or make a big splash in the off season. Martin was the biggest off season FA signing money wise ever. Think about that, 14 million over two years and that is what you hang your hat on. I can’t get behind this franchise LT until I see Nutting spend money on a equal basis with the REDs at the very least.

  137. And, another righty comes in. Tabata can you do something positive?

  138. Milo, this may go 19.

  139. On to the 12th. Pirate killer Wil Nieves in the game too. Uh oh.

  140. Well, lost 100 whatevers on this game now.

  141. Bucco bullpen is earning their money this month…

  142. Well NH did say they would give thought to Kris Johnson making a spot start, just didn’t know it was going to be on his first day with team.

  143. C’mon Johnson. Evidently you got Nieves out, but gameday will never tell.

  144. TC—I hope that isn’t you doing the “Woo’s”

  145. I think the Pirates are finding out that Arizona can hit. What do you think Fish?

  146. Prado, could you roll over on one, please?

  147. Remember, there’s no such thing as clutch.

  148. Well, they’re out of lefties. Got em right where we want em for the last of the 14th.

  149. Outs!?!?!?

  150. May as well find out what this guy has.

  151. Dammit, Kong is up, walk him.

  152. You notice how other teams left handed hitters have no trouble getting hits off our left handed pitchers because they go the other way instead of trying to pull everything. I wish our left handed hitters would occasionly try going opposite field.

  153. Hurdle going with the “there’s no chance Aaron Hill will get 5 hits” theory.

  154. I decided to go to the store during the ninth. Figured I would not miss much, if anything.

  155. Kris Johnson has only had intentional walks in his major league career.

    Small sample size though…

  156. Marte and Cutch cover the outfield better than the Tarpaulin.

  157. Marte caught that with one hand.

    Woo !

  158. Will Johnson be a shark, or will he be chum?!

  159. One heck of a sliding one handed catch by Marte…Johnson two scoreless, and it appears he will also get his first major league AB as well, maybe he will hit one out to end this.

  160. Come ON Neil. Do it for Westmoreland County.

  161. C’mon Buccos let’s end this damn thing…

  162. Glad Marte did not have to make a throw. Nice play, but did you see how he protected his right hand?

  163. YES! Now, bunt him over Johnson.

  164. Way to go, Kris!

  165. C’mon Marte.

  166. Does he have a broken finger or what?

  167. Well, at least he got him closer.

    Time to root for a wild pitch!

  168. Need a wild pitch, or a shaving cream sandwich for Jordy.

  169. Jordy has HOMERED against Colmenter? What are the odds of that?

  170. Walk him Walk him he’s a baaaaaad man

  171. The saddest guy in Pittsburgh is the pilot sitting in the cockpit on the Pirates charter jet at PIT.

  172. Well, Martin seems to end every one of these on Sunday’s.

  173. An intentional walk?

  174. Got our late inning guy up.

  175. C’mon Russ….

  176. See this is what coaches do; they have a meeting and give direct verbal instruction

  177. Sigh again.

  178. Oh for F’s sake.

  179. Do it for Alyssa Milano.


  181. This is the game that wouldn’t end…

    It just goes on and on, my friends….

  182. Does this offense know that it’s allowed to score after the 5th inning????

  183. Not to mention prematurely, but Johnson looks pretty good.

  184. Nice work today by Johnson….

  185. Johnson makes Arizona lefties look like Pirates with RISP. Very impressive.

  186. Well certainly one positive- the situation does not appear to be too big for Kris Johnson. Just great effort and work he has given team today.

  187. KKKKKris Johnson. What a debut.

  188. Alvarez-Jones-Tabata-Walker

  189. I’m calling it now. GIWalkoff

  190. I think I know what the scouting report is on Pedro.

  191. Does Gibson have any more lefties in the pen?

  192. Good Lord….I say Jones needs to go after this season…

  193. I think Garrett has challenged Gabby to see who can get to .200 first.

  194. 3 minor league at-bats.

  195. Damn….can ANYONE not strike out?????????????????

  196. Former Cub alert.

  197. Now it’s gotten to the point that I’ll even be irritated if they win.

  198. One of these teams is going to make the playoffs. I’m not sure if that weighs in favor of or against the second wild card.

  199. The Root Sports camera guy is sitting right behind me

    So , so tempting ………..

  200. I’d say this game is not only important, but may well be a portent – of the rest of the season

  201. I vote for Kris Johnson for the postseason roster.

  202. Eaton remains a non-4 hit guy today!

  203. Collmenter gone, don’t the Diamonbacks have any suck pitchers?

  204. Johnson is a beast….

  205. Walker-Pitcher-Marte

  206. Ok seriously who had Kris Johnson with four shutout innings today?

  207. 2.13 ERA? Geeze.

  208. Ball 1 though, a good sign.

  209. I think Sabermetricians score more often than the Pirates.

  210. 6 pitches. Like they don’t even care.

  211. GI jones said we don’t need to up grade at the trade deadline. And I tell my wife the same thing. pretty much for the same reasons.

  212. God almighty….this offense is putrid….

  213. Anybody want to talk about Morneau, Dunn and/or just about anybody after the game?

  214. The Buccos were playing the Diamondbacks when I started my 20 year nap. I just woke up. How did that game end anyway?

  215. I think to see another team with a winning record, yet have such a horrible hitting team, we would have to go back to the 1906 Chicago White Sox.

    But they did win the WS that year.

  216. I’m glad they brought Johnson up to strengthen the bullpen, but why shorten your bench??

    • In this case, as exasperating as it is, giving up, say, three at-bats in a squeaker is nothing compared to having a guy pitch five innings of shutout ball in extras.

  217. If I’m a Pirate, and I hit a walkoff homer, I pump my fist ala Gibson when rounding second.

  218. I think Kris Johnson could get Chris Johnson out.

  219. Mercer-McCutchen-Martin-Alvarez-Jones

    The lineup is set to score 1 run. No excuses. Get the job done. Win this game.

  220. Did Mercer get a hit last time and then get erased on a DP?

  221. Kris Johnson, filling the traditional role of the long man out of the bullpen, has thrown 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 intentional walk, and 4 strikeouts. All on 59 pitches.

  222. Cmon Andrew!

  223. McCutchen over-swings trying to be a hero and strikes out like an idiot.

  224. Props to the fans who are still there…this is some brutal baseball and beer sales ended what 90 minutes ago

  225. Haven’t scored in 12 innings, 3 and a half hours.


  227. I know they arn’t hitting, but this why I watch baseball.

  228. Johnson may be starting to tire….

  229. Johnson is losing it, so glad the team couldn’t do jack for him too.

    This is why being a Pirates fan is a curse.

  230. This game is very much like the Atlanta loss two years ago. Don’t be surprised if this game is the turn around game for the season. This coming west coast trip could be a disaster and the Bucs may have to struggle to make the wildcard over the diamond backs.

  231. Need a dp. Johnson is out of gas.

  232. How long will CH wait to take him out??

  233. It’s not Kris Johnson’s fault that the team quit 5 innings ago.

  234. Instead of the jolly roger, methinks Hurdle is raising the white flag. Nobody in the pen. It’s all yours rookie.

  235. Would a loss be better than a rain delay?

  236. No matter what happens, Johnson has impressed today….

  237. Game over. Tough loss.

  238. C’mon kid….

  239. Uggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    It burns! It burns!

  240. Well at least they tried.
    Johnson did well today.

    Pirates 2-7 in their last 9 games.

  241. I guess CH didn’t want to use asnyone else this inning…

  242. Buccos will be 1 game up on the Cards and 2.5 on the Reds….

  243. Dang Pedro….


  245. This next road trip should be juuuust wonderful.

  246. Use Cole.

  247. Pinch hit with Cole?

  248. It seems as though collapses one into work traced back to extra innings games. Are we at that moment now for collapse number three? Can anyone bring themselves to root for the Brewers against the Cardinals for the next few days?

  249. What incompetence to shorten your bench….

  250. WTH?????????????/ At least use someone who can hit….where is Cole?????????

  251. Don’t forget. They are all set for that pennant race in 2015. This one doesn’t count.

    I love Dejan’s columns but no columnist should have to write a column about acquiring offensive help on August 18.

    • It’s not 2015 yet. No use writing about something that should have happened by now but is obvious is not going to happen.

  252. We’ll see if this team is any different coming up on this road trip. Liriano and Burnett pitch 4 of the 7 games.

    Last year they were 72-67 and played 14 of 17 on the road. They went 4-13. Right now they are 2-7 in a stretch of 13 of 16 on the road. The offense is to blame for 4 of those losses.

    The offense that we are waiting to come around is filled with players who have choked away two seasons in a row.

    Management is sitting on their lazy ass. They don’t care. So we’ll see what this team is made of.

    The Padres and Giants are way below .500. A 4-3 trip would show me a lot.

    • The Padres? The team that OWNS the Pirates even when they are the worst in baseball. I don’t see anything positive coming out of that series. If the Pirates win one that will be an amazing accomplishment and that’s no BS.

  253. Let the spinmeisters spin this any way they like. But this team has lost 7 out of 9 and looked very sloppy doing it. The pitching, hitting & defense have all been to blame at one time or another. And for the 1st time this season they look beaten, physically & mentally. This ain’t good. It ain’t good at all.

  254. Put Lambo at first base.

  255. Unreal, just an epic failure of the bats today. Going to make the drive to SD tomorrow a longer one. 16, 14, 12 inning losses nothing to show for effor pen has been given.

    Kris Johnson throws 82 pitches and now is no good for four days, so he probably goes back to Indy and someone else up. Great effort by the young man.

    This one stings, team needs to right the ship quickly, upcoming trip will tell a lot. At least Liriano our stopper goes tomorrow hope for another complete game.

    • Agreed on Liriano. Wasted efforts for Morton and Johnson today.

      I just cannot figure why the brains……… aka neal……… havent at least taken a flyer on Morneau, etc.

      This offense is going to kill the Pirates playoff chances, if they keep stinking like they are.
      And, the Pirates historically struggle on the West Coast.

      Oh well, thats baseball, I guess.

      • Since 1958 (the year the Giants & Dodgers moved to the West Coast), the Pirates have consistently had trouble winning games in California.

        PS – this offense is SICK, the BMTIB is in denial!!

  256. And it could be a long travel night setting up excuses for tomorrow. There are no landings allowed at the San Diego airport after 11 PM their local time. If the Pirates charter leaves in say two hours what will they do flight Orange County and bus down? Sounds like the excuses for tomorrow’s loss may already be in place

    • They don’t need a new excuse, they have a closet full of them dating back 20 years now to pick from and any one of them would be acceptable at this point. They are the ones I go to as well and they never fail…unlike this team anymore it seems.

  257. What an effort by Johnson!! But the Bucs look tired and have no gas in the tank. Even Russell Martin looks like he needs 3 days of sleep. His body language looked like a beaten man today. 3 series’ losses in a row and we never play well on the west coast. Still hope we can get 85-86 wins but who knows

    • The last time the Pirates went to the west coast, they won 5 in a row in the midst of a 9 game win streak. As desparate as I’m getting, I’m clinging to the hope that this will be their lucky charm. We’re not exactly facing good teams.

  258. I see the Bucs need 10 more wins to break The Streak.

    Does Liriano have 10 more starts this season? No?


  259. Trade for Morneau and you eliminate one of the choke artists, Garrett Jones. Garrett Jones wasn’t good enough to make the Twins when they were a playoff contender. Jones latches on with a bottom feeder and plays good. As the bottom feeder gets better he gets worse. When they collapsed last year Jones played his best. The roof was caving in and he went unnoticed. Now that they need him, he is a non-entity.

    Get Hunter Pence and you transplant two been-there, done-that hitters into the middle of a lineup of inexperienced chokers.


    I think they would rub off positively on the other hitters. Much more so than the manager or hitting coach.

    The Pirates are starting off at a higher level and the Diamondbacks are way back there. I just don’t know why anyone would want to chance it with the current makeup of the team. Do you really expect hitters who hit poorly with men on base and have a history of choking to figure it out on their own and carry this through successfully? Neal Huntington has brass balls if he says yes.

  260. I don’t know how anyone can look at a winning record at this point as something to hang their hats on. Anything less than a playoff appearance will be a disaster for this season. We’re talking about a team that for much of the season was one of the best – if not THE best – in baseball, a team that was 26 games over .500 on August 6th and yet finishing over .500 is still acceptable and something to fall back on simply because it breaks a 20 year losing streak that will never be beaten by another team anyway? Holy frank and beans batman! You’ve GOT to be kidding me! Good thing humanity had higher hopes and goals, or we’d still be long from inventing the wheel.

  261. Where are the Pedro apologists that think he should play against lefties??? 0-6 today ladies and gentlemen–oh, but I know he has 30 home runs and 81 RBI’s. BFD.

    • Pedro is the only legitimate power threat they have – he needs to play all the time

      • Sorry, Gunner, we should be playing JHay against lefties. It’s the only rational conclusion. Or Martin. :-P

      • How can he go 0-6 with a couple K’s then stride back to the dugout with an indifferent look of nonchalance?

        Man, we’re fighting for a division title, a wild card spot, a pennant and a WS.

        I still love his arm and generally his fielding.

      • Pedro has 3 HR, 9BB and 46Ks against left handers. And a .204 average (which is actually higher than I expected). The guy is the closest thing to an automatic out there is against lefties.

    • That BFHD to you fella, :)

  262. As promised, the updated standings are below.

    76 Total Players now!

    bman ~ 400
    Jandy ~ 400
    War Horse ~ 300
    Dom ~ 250
    Brandie ~ 250

    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2525
    bman ~ 2305
    JRay3 ~ 2175
    blazer ~ 1700
    Nate83 ~ 1500
    theplanisworking ~ 1425
    Dadtackular ~ 1400
    JUCOFan ~ 1375
    War Horse ~ 1065
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    KJX ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    stickyweb ~ 700
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    Irish ~ 600
    tdb1977 ~ 585
    Karen22 ~ 525
    BDHumbert ~ 500
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    TCB ~ 450
    OZ ~ 400
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 350
    JohninOshkosh ~ 335
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    cosmo ~ 200
    Dom ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    The Gunner ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    Jason81 ~ 150
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Fish ~ 100
    Frankie ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    TK ~ 100
    MarkV ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    Bill Born ~ 30
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Brandie ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    steelercrazy ~ 0
    stuart66 ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Keith ~ -50
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Arriba Wilver ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    buggee ~ -150
    cmat0829 ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    radio wave ~ -150
    DemonDachshund ~ -200
    DormontGeorge ~ -200
    kr70 ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    Lad9 ~ -400
    Steve J. Smith ~ -400
    Jandy ~ -475
    JaxBuc ~ -700
    JMB ~ -700
    pattonbb ~ -1100
    JD ~ -1275
    Kevin ~ -1635
    Bizrow ~ -4200

    ***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:

  263. This loss isn’t on Pedro.

    It isn’t even on Hurdle. (Well, maybe.)


    This loss is on Thunder.

    We throw him out there every fifth day. And when he walks out of PNC Park, we expect a win.

    We frigging DEMAND it.

  264. What has happened to Garrett Jones?

  265. We let Wade Miley stick around for 8 innings

  266. The August Arghhh is the prelude to the September Su … Swoon.

  267. The next three games will definitely tell a lot. We have Liriano, AJ and Cole going.

    • And Liriano is likely to be the only pitcher that the offense shows up for. If we’re lucky.

    • Um, didnt we have those 3 in Colorado? Or was Cole skipped a start?

      • And your point?

        • I am just asking.

          Or are questions not allowed anymore?

          Having those 3 starters does give some hope, but they were the same pitchers, (I think) that were swept in Colorado.

          So lets hope the good comes out, and not the bad.

      • Cole was skipped. It was Liriano, Burnett and Locke. If it matters (and it might), Petco Park is more pitcher friendly than Coors. Since the Pirates generally can’t score more than three runs a game, any advantage that the pitchers have is needed.

        San Diego is four games above .500 at home, and the Pirates are 1 game above .500 on the road. From that standpoint, it is fairly even.

        • Thank You for answering that, Tom.
          I honestly couldnt remember who started.

          But that doesnt matter now.
          We just need wins.

          • No problem. I just happened to remember. You are right, wins are needed. On the bright side, the two pitchers who earned the wins in the last 9 games (Liriano and Cole) are starting two of the next three games.

  268. 2012: August 8th – 63-47. Last time at high water mark, 16 games over.
    August 9th on – 16-36.

    2013: August 8th – 70-44. High water mark, 26 games over.
    August 9th on – 2-7.

    I don’t know (shrugs).

    • Not exactly the trend one wants to repeat.

    • Milo, don’t get offended, this is just my own brand of humor.
      My tongue is planted every so firmly in my cheek as I type this…

      2014: August 8th — 80-36.
      August 9th on – 10-36.

      2015: August 8th — 115-0.
      August 9th on – 0-47.

      I for one will try to look surprised when this happens.

      -Playoffs Foo

  269. The best thing about baseball — There is always another game to be played.
    The worst thing about baseball — There is always another game to be played.

  270. Gang, these Bucs are NOT throwing in the towel. Yes, the offense is pathetic but we’ve known that all year long. The team battled for 16 innings, today. Most of their losses this month have been fights that could have gone either way. I know So. Cal has been unkind to us, but SD is a sad-sack team that is just what the doctor ordered. These last few weeks is the test we knew that would come. Though the results have been sucking, it hardly feels like the boys have tucked their tales between their legs and surrendered. For as much losing as we’ve been doing, we still stand in first place.

    • I agree, but one recent similarity between this year’s team and last year’s is an inability to score late in games. Yes, they scored 5 late against Florida, but since then the bats have been quiet. It would be nice to see more runs like Tabata’s homer in the 8th on Friday.

  271. I just saw the replay of the Rays walk-off home run against the Blue Jays today.

    Pitching for Toronto: Brad Lincoln.

    I feel bad for the guy.

  272. Our situational hitting has been atrocious, but we also need a few starters to give us 7 or more innings on this road trip.

    And holding a lead for a couple innings would be nice as well.

    • The leads they have been asked to hold have been too paltry. A.J. and Locke have been conspicuously bad in their last few starts, but overall the pitching has been yeoman-like, as it was again today for all those innings. Four runs over 16 innings works out to be an ERA of 2.25. Can’t ask for any more.

  273. Not sure how many people are still around tonight so I may repost this tomorrow too.

    I like Nick Leyva and think he does a good job. He gets way too much blame. And they way this team hits and runs the bases, knowing when to send or hold a runner has got to be very difficult.

    But I saw something very unusual during today’s game. I can’t remember if it was when we scored in the 1st or 3rd. But he waived the runner around – who went on to score. And then he turned his attention to the batter who had just hit the double and was coming to second. While the play was happening Leyva dropped to one knee, cupped his hands around his mouth as if to be shouting something to the runner. Now there is no way the runner on second was going to hear him. If he wanted the runner to stop & stay at second he could just hold up his hand –the stop sign.

    I just thought it was odd.

    • Didn’t see the game and have know idea if Leyva’s shouting through cupped hands could be picked up by the runner at second or not. But Thunder, regarding Leyva in general, and pretty much all of your posts recently, you have been making too much sense. Is it me? Is it you? Has someone been slipping us Prozac?

  274. Just read Dejan’s excellent Monday column. It was, well, excellent. And it confirmed my suspicions. $$$.

    • Right there with you, Milo . . . and DK. Right there.

    • Thanks for the tip.
      Tend to disagree with DK and others about the bunts Hurdle calls for (in close games with an inept offense, bunting runners into scoring position is what I would do to.) But the spotlight is cast upon “the” issue the Pirates have and what must be done. Other important points tying into this are succinctly covered too. Hope Bob Nutting catches this column, nodding as he reads it. Maybe Neal needs an assuring word from above.

    • Isnt it just incredible that it always about $$$$ with this team?

      Ballpark packed night after hight, and yet there doesnt seem to be any $$$$$? Just amazing.

      And, as usual, 115 Federal Street is silent.

    • I’m not finding DK’s Monday column that you refer to. Can someone link me/point me in the right direction?

  275. If they don’t go get a bat. Even just to do something. And it’s just because of the money. After that placed has been sold out these last few weeks and people like the people on this bog have followed them religiously through this 20 year trail of tears. If NH negligently handles the team like that ?

    Then I might just be done with my life long love affair with the PBC.

    Oh, excellent column. (Both Sun and Mon which seem like companion pieces).

  276. When I look at that short clip of Neal Huntington, I just don’t see a GM.
    Sorry….I just don’t.

    • I kinda liked what he had to say about Locke. Perhaps as much hoping as facting, but now is the time for a vote of confidence from above for Locke.

  277. I agree with Milo.
    Let the spinmeisters spin this any way they can, and trust me, they will!

    Bottom line, while neal was fiddling, the Pirates continued to lose.

    Every excuse in the book has been used NOT to upgrade.
    Its time to use every ecuse to upgrade.

    HI neal !!!


    End rant. :)

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