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Final: Pirates 5, Cardinals 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (77-56) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (78-55)

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. RHP Shelby Miller

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. Jose Tabata, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Garrett Jones, 1B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Liriano, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob Biertempfel 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.

419 Comments

  1. Taillon in the mix to possibly start Sunday per Hurdle.

    DK: No, he absolutely is not. You won’t see Taillon on Sunday.

  2. dejan, I know you cover all the Steeler games. But what happens if the Pirates go on a magical post-season run and make it to the World Series. Would you still cover a Steeler regular season game over a Pirates WS game? Tough call, no? :-)

    DK: No. I’ll be with the Steelers 100 times out of 100. And that’ll start with Sept. 29, when the Steelers are in London to face the Vikings, also the final weekend of baseball’s regular season.

    See below: They’re the Steelers.

  3. DK: If you guys missed this on Twitter, let this end any debate/discussion regarding where the Pirates rank in this town: The Steelers’ almost completely meaningless preseason game drew a 21.3 local rating, while the Pirates playing for first place in August drew an 8.3. The Penguins’ average TV rating — that’s over a full season, including early in the year and West Coast and all that — was 12.6. By the time they were in playoffs, they were around 25.

    That’s not a knock on the Pirates or anything. It’s just fact. They undoubtedly have more fans/followers than last season, but they’re a distant third in Pittsburgh.

    • Wow, thanks for the stats. No doubt NFL is king, not only in Pittsburgh, but pretty much everywhere in the US. Would be interested if you had same info comparing Rams/Cardinals and Bengals/Reds, for example.

      And I think the Pirates local ratings are quite good comparably across MLB but no facts to back that up… but I think they are pretty solid.

      I think if I had to best describe Pittsburgh/Western PA, I’d call it a ‘football hotbed’ first and foremost. Pens have a rabid following, not sure hockey is in the DNA of the whole region like football is though. And I do think PIttsburgh is a great baseball town also, long history and strong following, just abused for years of neglect by management.

      You are not knocking the Pirates, quite possible to be a good baseball town but have the baseball team be a distant 3 in the overall fansphere.

      DK: Good point. Fact is, Pittsburgh’s support for the Steelers and Penguins is extraordinary. They’re the outliers, not the Pirates.

      • I was dead serious about my surprise yesterday that Dejan was not at the Steelers game. Football surpassed baseball as America’s past time decades ago. Even the links to the various team pages above are in order of their popularity. Steelers-Penguins-Pirates.

        I’ve never understood why baseball fans would care about that.

      • I think the city of Pittsburgh’s support for the Pirates this year has been extraordinary. Funny how having a winning team will cause that.

    • Regarding “more fans/followers than last season” it is perceptible where I live that Pirate bandwagoners are on the uptick. Run into Steeler fans quite a bit, but never, ever used to cross paths with Pirate fans. Now, here and there, people are claiming to like the Pirates. Sign of the times.

    • I know Pirates and Pens are on Root Sports, which requires cable, and the Steelers game was on KDKA-TV, which can be viewed “free” over the air. I’m not disputing that the Steelers are King, but doesn’t the cable as opposed to over the air situation have to be factored in when analyzing Pirates v. Steelers or Pens v. Steeleers? Also, it should be factored in that the Pens and Steelers are not mired in a 34-year championship-less streak when looking at the Pirates being third.

      DK: Yikes. The over-the-air edge ended a LONG time ago.

      • Maybe it should make us pause and question the accuracy of those ratings.

        I get that the Steelers are more popular. But wasn’t that game a snore-fest in the second half? (I don’t know – didn’t see it)

        The Pirate game wasn’t extremely exciting and I would bet that the ratings would have been a little hire if the played the Reds or Cards last night.

        • question accuracy of ratings? um, that’s pretty much a scientific fact, yes they are estimates but advertisers who spend big $$ live and die by a tenth of a point on published ratings, so not sure why we’d spend any time questioning the accuracy of the ratings.

          fact is football is king, not even close. pens have unbelievable support. and you know what, so do the Pirates, after all these years of losing, Pittsburgh has great baseball fans and the fan support is on the upswing in all sorts of measurable ways. Not convenient for the ‘back and forth’ element of the blog, but it is indeed possible to have sets of facts that live in and around each other without having to go up against each other. Steelers are king. Pens are king. Pirates are distant 3rd. Pirates fans are great. Pirates ratings are very very good. life is good.

        • That’s a losing argument, TC. The Steelers are king, not if’s ands or buts. I we think that right now the Pirates are more exciting than the Steelers pre-season, it makes not a whit of difference. I remember being in high school and the Pirates were in a pennant race in August. A good friend of mine was on the football team. I asked him if he wasn”t excited about the Pirates, and he said baseball ended once the football season started. And he wasn’t talking about the Steelers (it was pre-Superbowl years), he was on the High School team.

          • I mean (and I didn’t write it clearly) how the ratings are calculated and measured. The Steeler game was almost 3 times larger than the Pirate game. Regular season game vs regular season game – I wouldn’t think much of it. But an exhibition game?

            And I understand ratings, believe me I do.

            • the ratings measurement are the same for any program and on any network. they are estimates based on a pretty good scientific approach, and it doesn’t impact it one way or the other if the program is a regular season game, a preseason game, or a repeat of Honey Boo Boo.

              Not really sure that is the thread to discuss, to question accuracy of the rating comparison. All across US, NFL trumps pretty much all else, no news there. That’s why the TV contracts draw billions of dollars to the owners.

              Pens are wildly popular too…and there are some other markets where hockey is on fire.

              Bucs are distant 3rd. Some games the ratings get close — earlier this year vs St Louis the TV ratings for the Pirates came close to highest Rating Pens received in regular season…. so yes, it varies by game but it is still 1. Steelers 2. Pens 3. Pirates and it matters NOT.

      • Of course, a more “scientific” ratings system would be to compare the number of comments on DK’s Pirates threads, as opposed to DK’s Steelers threads. Of course, an adjustment must be made for the fact that there are only ten commenters or so who rack up all the Pirates comments. But still.

    • True story. I just walked down East Carson Street to go to Starbucks.

      Saw a guy with a mohawk. On the side of his head was a tatoo. It was the Steeler logo.

      Just thought I would share.

      [ And I refrained from using the term 'yinzer' ]

    • Was it the decades of losing that caused them to fall to third? I believe there are some younger Pittsburghers who never knew a winning Pirate season and thereforenever got interested.

      Correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t the Buccos and Pens tied about 20 years ago?

    • dont have a ton of data, but:

      In KC, Chiefs preseason game 22.7, Royals-Red Sox 8.9
      In Hou, Texans 14.6, Astros/Rangers 0.3

    • Baseball only please.

    • DK, I’m not going to disagree that the pecking order is 1. Steelers 2. Pens 3. Pirates; however, 20 games (including preseason); 82 games; 162 games

      I think if the Pirates played less than 162 games a season, the ratings would be a bit higher. My wife knows of my love for Pirates baseball (I purchase the MLB.TV package here in the Atlanta suburbs) but she will not allow 3 hours of baseball at 7PM M-Sat. I have to pick and choose my games to be fair to her. One Steeler game a week…different story.

      Just saying.

    • Something I’ve mulled over recently is how much of a lost generation of fans the Bucs will have. The Steelers have been a powerhouse for 40+ years, the Pens have had the best players in the NHL for about 20 of the last 25 years (excluded years 2002-2006.) But the Bucs could be ignored for so long that a lot of people who should be fans are not. I’m 25 and all of my friends make a point of catching hockey and football games and care about the action but you can get probably half of the guys I know to actively participate in catching a game

  4. Milo, if you are out there, I apologize for the Cutch statements last night. I did not see the play, but from all accounts Cutch did not get a good start on the bases.

  5. Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*
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    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks
    China – Beijing
    Crete – Vlites
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
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    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
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    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt, Maquoketa, Urbandale
    Ireland – Dublin
    Japan – Tokyo
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    Oregon – Roseburg
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradfordwoods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, Erie, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Green Castle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Phillipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Greencastle, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox
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    393 confirmed locations represented in the blog,
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    Nominations are always welcome
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    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    8/30/2013 3:25 PM

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go Like 60

  6. The Window is getting an early start to the weekend, and kindly requests a lil’ help from one of you fine fellow lunatics.
    If you one you could please re-post this for me in today’s game thread, you will have my thanks and gratitude!

    TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE PLAY FRIDAY!!!

    ******PLEASE READ WHAT IS WRITTEN BELOW******
    PLEASE PLACE YOUR “WAGERS” AS REPLIES IN THIS COMMENT BOX
    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.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!

    Line #1
    Total RUNS ALLOWED by Francisco Liriano in tonight’s game
    Line is 2.5
    ***Please note this is Runs Allowed, NOT Earned Runs***

    Line #2
    Total Combined HOME RUNS HIT by Pirates Batters this weekend against St. Louis
    Line is 3.5

    Line #3
    Total WINS by the Pirates this weekend against St. Louis
    Line is 1.5

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    77 Down, only 5 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  7. This 3-gamer with the Cardinals is the most important series in Pittsburgh with the opposition fielding players named Adams and Johnson (Matt/Rob) since the 1925 World Series (Spencer/Walter) with the Sens, hyperbole intended. That year, those “Before the Beltway Bombers” had nothing on Pie, Stuffy, Kiki, and Red.

    Let’s take 3!

  8. Was stuck in traffic last night while heading to Ocean City and spared watching either of last night’s debacles. But now at the beach and feeling Wild for the Bucs to handle the Cards this evening. Liriano is due for a good one and the whole team should be in bounce back mode. I need to find a sports bar, fast!

  9. Imagine if there were only 16 regular season Pirates or Penguins games? what do you think the TV rating would be for those games? Both would be higher than the Steelers. It’s moronic to compare ratings of sports.

    DK: This argument makes no sense. This is one game — and a big one, at that — against what was essentially a practice. They were on head to head. The same number of people were in front of TVs to watch as normally would be. But three times as many chose the practice.

    Number of games played over a year is completely immaterial here.

  10. You can watch the Pirates 162 times a year. If you miss one to watch one of only 20 Steelers games this season, it’s no big deal. You can just watch them the next night and then the next day. If you missed a Steelers game, you missed out on one of the very few chances you get to watch them all year. If there were only 20 Pirates games, the ratings would be ENORMOUS.

    DK: There’s nothing to support any aspect of this argument. Same number of people, same number of households, same number of TVs. That was true last night whether the Pirates’ schedule was made up of 162 games or 16.

    If you think there’s any mechanism in which the Pirates would approach the Steelers’ — or the Penguins’ — ratings based on number of games in a schedule, that’s countered powerfully by the actual data.

    What the Steelers did last night wasn’t even as interesting as a standard practice. At least in a practice, you get to see their best guys. This was four quarters of Landry Jones.

  11. 99% chance Kris Johnson starts Sunday–Lefty and pulled from tonight’s scheduled start with Indy

  12. The ratings are false I tell you…false! Time for uncle Buck and the Byrdman to help us sweep the cards!

    DK: Yes. They’ve been faked to make the “FO” look bad. :)

  13. In reference to preseason Steelers getting more viewers than Pirates… I think it’s as much about football fans vs baseball fans right now. Willing to be this is the case in most cities with teams in NFL and MLB.

    DK There are more NFL fans than MLB, no question, though there are anomalies such as St. Louis where the reverse is true. But that’s missing the broader point here of an incredible gap between two simultaneous events, one of which was a preseason game in which no actual players played.

    • How did they play a game with no actual players? No wonder everyone tuned in to see how that could happen.

      DK: I blame Curtis Brown.

  14. So what you are saying is if there were 162 Steelers games, a game every single night, each one would get a 30 rating and if there were only 20 Pirates games, they’d still be getting an 8? I can’t believe an intelligent person can’t see the difference here, it’s insanity. There is a Pirates game on EVERY NIGHT, people get bored with anything that is on every single night. You only get 20 chance to see the Steelers play a game, so people don’t want to miss it. You can skip 60 Pirates games and still watch them 102 TIMES!

    DK: In this specific case, I really don’t think it applies, Jordan, for the simple reason that it suggests the Steelers’ game was some kind of special event, whether for scarcity or any other reason. It wasn’t. It was garbage, and even the most passionate football would agree with that.

    It was garbage going head to head with a baseball game in which the local team could have been in first place with a W. And the garbage prevailed by a 3-to-1 margin.

    That is some seriously powerful stuff.

    • Jordan, if I’m reading you right, you are saying the Pirates pay a “viewership penalty” because they play so many more games. If that’s your point I think that it pales in comparison to two other factors: 1) The Pirates have reeked for twenty years while the Steelers were in the hunt for titles most of those years and, 2) football is hugely more popular than baseball in most of the USA. It just is, dude.

  15. I guess I am just challenged but I don’t get any arguments that are seriously being put forth that try to say that baseball is more popular than NFL or in Pittsburgh’s case – NHL. number of games, etc. that just doesn’t rate. I mean if you want to go that way, I’m pretty sure any number of NFL studio shows on ESPN during the week probably outrate Baseball Tonight… it’s just a fact. The NFL is the most popular sport in America and is often the most popular TV programming on any given night.

    I’m floored that anyone actually watched the 4th preseason game– and worse yet , listened to it on the radio — there has to be something better to do or better to watch. I’d rather watch Project Runway than a 4th preseason NFL game, but that’s just me.

    DK: I would say that I’m floored, too, except that I watched the Steelers myself.

    • I never watched 1 second of the Steeler 2nd string exhibition game. I watched 9 innings of Pirates.

      And I had listened to 90 minutes of the Steeler Pregame on the radio while driving home.

      That makes me Unique!

    • not a project runway fan I take it? :)

      maybe the nfl owners should put regular folks in team uniforms during the offseason and televise the games in a reality show type of format…. might draw huge ratings.

  16. Try to imagine there being only 8 Pirates home games, what would be the demand for tickets to those 8 games? there would be people fighting in the streets in front of PNC Park for tickets. They could charge 1,000 bucks a ticket. Imagine- 8 Pirates home games. 16 times to watch the Pirates all season long on TV?

    DK: Check the ratings in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Rams, and try to apply that schedule theory.

    Oh, and if you ever charged $1,000 for a Pirates ticket, be completely prepared to lay off all your ushers.

  17. If I lived in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates are playing Game 7 of the World Series, and the Steelers are playing the Bills, I’m watching the Pirates. Cancel the Arbitrons, Nielsens, etc. Case closed. You would too. Everybody, except DK, who would be “On Location at Rich Stadium,” or whatever it is called now, providing updates.

    DK: Reading, you’d watch the Pirates if the Super Bowl were on the other channel.

    If you’ve got to make extreme examples like this to make a case, you’re essentially conceding it.

    And it’s Ralph Wilson Stadium. I’d be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., just south of metro Buffalo.

    • Children are crying. Daisies are wilting. Sunflowers are crawling into the shade.

      Dejan would cover a Steeler regular season game over a Pirate World Series game.

      Aren’t you the guy who deserts us for the Olympics every 2-4 years, saying these are once in a lifetime events?

      Certainly the Pirates in a World Series game ACTUALLY IS a once in a lifetime event for anyone born after October, 1979!!!

      I am disheartened. Oshkosh b’Gosh’s “Rider of the Apocalypse” is coming toward me!

      Dejan, may the ghosts of Roberto and Wilver come and visit you tonight!

      DK: How do I ‘abandon’ anything by going to the Olympics?

      It’s just a different — and huge — readership segment that gets served, particularly women.

    • DK, You had said above that if there was a conflict between a Pirates playoff game and a Steelers regular season game, you would go to the Steelers game “100 out of 100″ times. I’m thinking a work trip to London had something to do with Sep. 29th, but would you really miss a Pirates playoff game? I find it hard to believe that a guy who loves Pittsburgh like you do, would choose a regular season Steelers game over a one-game do or die Wild Card game. The City would be electric, of course, until the 2-hit shutout occurs.

      DK: We’re getting into all kinds of goofy hypotheticals here.

      I just spent a month in London last summer. I don’t see anything special about going there for 2.5 days and turning right back around to come home. It’s just going to be a really long trip to see the Vikings.

      I don’t really think or plan in hypotheticals. Not my personality. You asked about Pirates playoffs vs. Steelers. The one event I have planned right now that might conflict is Steelers-Vikings in London. I’ll be there. If there are other conflicts, they’ll be dealt with at the time. My priority is always the Steelers. If there’s any chance I could cover a Steelers game, even within the context of also covering something else — Penguins-Devils is Oct. 3, and I will be there — I’ll try to make it work.

      We’ll deal with the Pirates as they come.

      • Well said. Just trying to participate in the discussion. To answer, however, your Super Bowl- World Series hypothetical above, I’d watch Game 7 live, and record the Super Bowl for later viewing. Maybe.

  18. One other thing in this little discussion. Look at major college sports – how many fans are in the stands to see baseball vs football?

    DK: Talking attendance is changing the subject.

  19. Ok, how many people watch the World Series, raise your hand.

    How many people watch the Superbowl, raise your hand.

    How many people watch the Stanley Cup, raise your hand.

    The aberration between the burgh and most of the rest of the USA is the Pens being above the Bucs. But look at the amazing talent we’ve had in the past 25 years.

    I haven’t really watched the WS in years, don’t watch the Stanley Cup unless the burgh is represented, but always watch the SuperBowl, even last season when I was pulling for a tie..

    Football rules

    • Yep.

      My boss, the Brewers fan, went to a sports bar to watch the game last night. Twenty or more sets in the joint. He had to ask the bartender to turn the baseball game on. All others were on Packers/Chiefs with free shots on every Packer touchdown. Nothing for a Brewer run.

      Its the NFL. Nothing like it in our culture. Oh, and it’s easy to bet on as well.

  20. I just think its Pittsburgh…other cities have different arguments/discussions. Western PA (most of PA actually) loves football…look how we flock to high school games. The Pens hit the Powerball twice with 66 and 87 to help drive and then re-energize their fan base (look at youth hockey just soaring). The Pirates certainly weren’t helped by the 20+ year Lost Period plus Collapses I and II..but the fact they will get 2m fans this year says Pittsburgh supports them too…they are just a respectable third.

  21. TV Money to the Four Major Sports:

    NFL – 5 Billion
    MLB – 1.5 Billion
    NBA – 930 Million
    NHL – 200 Million

    Average attendance per game in Four Major Sports:

    NFL – 65,043
    MLB – 30,300
    NBA – 17,520
    NHL – 17,460

    TV Rating for Four Major Sports Championships:

    NFL – 48.1/108.4 million viewers
    NBA – 10.4/ 17.42 million viewers
    MLB – 7.6/12.64 million viewers
    NHL – 3.3/5.76 million viewers

    For the Pirates to draw more for a regular season baseball game than the World Series does nationally is pretty telling. Football always has top viewership, it is why it is #1 in TV money and baseball is #2.

    No surprise to the numbers last night it would be more surprising if ANY of the 30 NFL cities did not have higher ratings for their teams preseason game versus an August baseball game.

  22. Sorry to miss so much of an exchange between lunatics and The Man, who exists to annoy people and is not in the business of making friends. Odd, though, how he accomplishes both (many annoyed, many more friends made).

    My 2 cents: gambling and 162 games have to make a difference. BB betting lines are not as compelling as FB lines & as someone who watches mlb pre-season games, I have to assume only 4 pre-season nfl games increases viewership for their fans. No doubt FB is #1 in the USA, but several of the arguments I would make at this point would violate the “no politics” rule if extended.

    • “Gambling” – NFL will never admit it, but pumps the ratings (nationally at least) IMHO quite a bit.
      How many of us watch the Super Bowl (non Steeler) just because we have a square on the pool at the bar or office etc???
      Sittin at a sports bar with a 2nd doubleheader game on that has absolutely no local interest and hearing the howls when some smuck missed a field goal. “I took the over, guys killing me!!! etc.

      Agree w/Eric below Non-Story.

  23. This so stupid, Pirates haven’t won the World Series since 1979, last appeared in the playoffs in 1992, and have lost for 20 straight seasons. In that time, Mario Lemieux saved the Penguins a few times and won two Stanley Cups. Sidney Crosby arrived in time to help keep the team in Pittsburgh and joined by Evgeni Malkin to bring a Cup in 2009. During this 20-year run, Steelers have played in 4 Super Bowls winning twice and have had a number of Hall of Fame talents roam the field.

    I swear…. Pirates fans have to be the most sensitive group of people.

    signed….

    Non-story

  24. Here we are on the “filler to bridge to the Steelers’ and Penguins’ season” blog.

    Enjoy the game tonight, everyone, with your 8.3 share and multiple bold reamings.

    :(

  25. I am a fan of both the Pirates and Rams. I am flying to St. Louis next weekend and will see the Pirates and Cardinals play Friday and Saturday night. On Sunday I am going to the Rams opener against Arizona and bypassing the series finale between the Bucs and Cards, even thought the argument could be made the Pirate game is more important.

    However, like many have stated when there are only 16-20 chances to see your team play football a year it is easy to bypass one regular season baseball game.

    If I wasn’t in St Louis I would watch start of Pirate game until Rams kickoff. So the viewership comparison does not seem odd in the least.

    Now if the Pirates are in the playoffs verses a regular season football game, than I would flip flop viewership and bypass the football game as I would imagine many fans of both sports would do.

    Think this whole viewership numbers topic is much ado about nothing.

    DK: A completely meaningless fourth preseason tripling the Pirates vying for first place is an astounding thing. Definitely not nothing.

    • Right. NFL is most popular thing going now… Pens ratings are better than Bucs on average, but individual games get pretty close…. Pirates are still very popular and their ratings are very very good (meaning Root gets a GREAT DEAL on the Bucs for what they are paying)…..

      Not sure why there really is any argument at all…these are facts. As to what event gets covered, media outlets are a business and they devote resources based on interest/readership/viewership, etc. So I’d expect most media content to lead Steelers even preseason news…and it’s the same in most if not all US cities that have both teams. The Dbacks here in Phoenix are in playoff hunt, but last night all local radio and TV outlets led with wall to wall coverage of Cards – Broncos and speculation on what the final 8-10 roster cuts would be…. sports radio today is not on the Dbacks upcoming series vs the Giants but on the Cardinals roster/schedule/predictions….then college football kickoff, both locally and national games…then a few mins on Dbacks game. It is what it is. If you are a fan of something, then be a fan. The game is still on TV right? Watch it, watch it with pride. I am the same way for tv programs that I love… it matters not if the show is top rated or if only a few people watch, as long as the TV program is available for me to watch. I happen to love Parks and Recreation. Think Amy Poehler is an amazing talent and the comedy is top rate. Based on ratings, not that many people agree with me. Who cares? I don’t take to blogs to cut down on The Big Bang Theory or X Factor or whatever else people watch instead…. who cares? It doesn’t make me less of a fan of the show ….

      DK: The Penguins’ and Pirates’ ratings are not close. Need I remind that, this past year, the Penguins had higher local ratings than ANY MLB, NHL or NBA team. Any of them. Yankees, Red Sox, Heat, Lakers, any of them.

      • sorry, I should have emphasized “individual games get very close”…. better stated ‘ occasionally, Pirates get ratings for individual games that rival Pens ratings’… the Cards game in late July that set records was around a 16 share I think and according to the article at the time was very close to the top rated Pens regular season game. Not needing to nor trying to somehow boost the Pirates ratings beyond where they are….

        No dispute that Pens ratings are off the charts and amazing. You will see larger markets typically don’t lead in ratings, cities like LA/NY/Miami too diverse and sports not as much as a consistent draw in proportion to total housholds, but yes, very much get your point. The support for the Pens is nothing short of astounding.

        • Pittsburgh is definitely an anomaly when it comes to its hockey team and TV ratings, not like that in most other non Canadian cities.

    • DK – when it happens in the majority of cities across the US, it implies it really is nothing. This is not earth shattering news by any stretch. NFL preseason games outdraw MLB regular season games in TV ratings. Happens in Pittsburgh and it happens in 29 other cities around the US.

  26. Is baseball talk allowed around here??

    I see Frankie is starting tonight. He needs to be on point tonight. I also see Barmes is in the lineup, he needs to not be a hitless wonder. How has Byrd done against the Cards?

    Lucky, hope you come back and at least comment.
    Milo, have fun at the football game tonight.

  27. I was able to put together Hurdle’s numbers, year by year, first half and second half, as a manager. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/n8zv85b

    This is no EPIC COLLAPSE like 2011 and 2012, but how can anyone not point to leadership as partly the cause of repeated second-half declines, especially when the manager involved has one over-.500 season in 11 years as a head coach? Not saying every loss is his fault, but the Pirates clearly need a manager who has more leadership to offer during adversity than “shower well”

    DK: Good stuff, Adam. Thanks for sharing here.

    • NO doubt Hurdle endured many tough years in Colorado… I lived in Denver during most of his tenure and the real issue there was the front office and spending on talent, not on the manager and his decision making.

      The Coors field effect should also be noted… it does a number on pitching and that really shows up in August/September much as pitching frays in every city…. times that by about 1000 and you see what happens in Colorado. Jim Leyland got fried his one season in Colorado (1999 I think) and he generally is see as the best manager going in baseball right now.

      All of this said, Hurdle does indeed has as much to prove as does McCutchen, as does Walker, as does Pedro and AJ… this team needs to close strong and prove it on the field… words don’t matter, these next 29 games do.

      But in fear of the anti-Hurdle establishment beginning to warm up for their worn-out overtures, let me make what I think is the more complete point on Hurdle.

      His leadership is noticably different from any manager since Leyland. Lamont, McClendon, Tracy and Russell. His success is greater than any of those gentlemen. He has this team in a position they haven’t been in 20 years (and that includes a few years of Leyland). Does he need to step up in September? Yes. But he is far from ‘the reason’ for 2nd half declines, I’m not sure I’d put him in the top 5 really, but to each his own.

      • Hurdle is an original. Just listen to his comments after ball games–honest, to the point, original. Last year, when Presley was having a hard time in left field after his first few games, Hurdle put his arm around the kid’s neck, pulled him down a little, and talked to him like a father to his grown son. That was impressive. So is most of the man’s behavior. I’m with you, cmat. Hurdle is cut from better cloth than he’s given credit for around here at times.

  28. Not arguing the fact that the Steelers, yuck, are the city’s favorite, but really how can you compare attendance/TV ratings when the Pirates play almost every night and twice as often as the Pens thereby “diluting” the Pirate product.

  29. As a thought to this silly TV ratings stuff here (unreal)………….

    There are devices such as DVR’s and remotes. They have been around for a few weeks.

    When confronted with Steelers/Pirates/Penguins head to head, I switch back and forth. Last night, I watched both games. If ever confronted with a playoff game vs a regular season game, I watch the playoff game every time, being it is more important.

    Those above that said this is a non-issue were correct.
    I apologize for even commenting on this, but I had to stop my head-shaking.

    Carry on.

    • pardon me asking, but what specifically interested you about the Steelers preseason game? Trying to figure out if the NFL uses proprietary subliminal effects on the broadcast signal that draws you in… the same thing that occurs at roadside crashes and any episode of the Kardashians or Honey Boo Boo…. Bud Selig and David Stern want to get their hands on it pronto….

      • Its called being a Steeler and Pirate fan since 1969, and a Penguin fan since 1975. Its in me.

        Specifically to your question, I wanted to see someone distinguish himself enough to make the roster. I wanted to see some football, being we havent had much for 8 months. And, I love both football and baseball.

        Kardashians? Boo Boo? WTH?

        And I dont want Selig , Stern, or Bettman to get their hands on anything.
        They would just ruin it.

        • so players ranked, say 54-65th on the roster, competing against other players ranked 54-65th….rank as compelling tv viewing…. maybe the NFL should have minor league affiliates and can broadcast those games…they may outdraw most other sports content….

          worth a shot.

          • I am so sorry you cant seem to process this info.
            I am a fan of both teams, and will not throw one under the bus at the expense of the others.

            Enjoy your evening.

            • missing my point entirely. not trying to cut down the steelers to pump up the pirates. Im a huge fan of both, but don’t choose to watch one minute of a 4th preseason game.. that’s all. just marvelling at the popularity of the nfl overall. seems they could televise practices at this point and draw huge ratings.

          • They do have minor leagues. It’s called college football and it also outdraws most other sports.

  30. So, the Steelers played once this week and the Pirates played 6 times, so why is it odd that some might take the one opportunity to watch the Steelers play a meaningless game when they can watch the Pirates any night?

  31. Football is most popular sport simply because of how few games they play. People have to wait 6 months to see a football game. You only get one of your team per week. So every game feels like an EVENT, people look forward to the very few times they get to watch their team play football. If baseball, basketball or hockey had that few games, they would all be just as popular.

    Let’s compare tv viewers for the whole year, number of people who watched a Pirate game, number of people who watched a Steeler game. Let’s prepare home attendance for whole season, 2 million for Pirates, a couple hundred thousand for Steelers. Oh, now you want to bring up number of games? Convenient, you can’t have it both ways.

  32. Has the horse been turned into glue already? Can we get on with just some good old baseball talk tonight? Thanks. Go Buccos! Beat up on the Cards this weekend and keep their bats at bay.

    • Horses Turning into Glue is the most popular program on National Geographic, regularly outdrawing Montana Grizzlies games in Butte. It may be because the program only airs 3 times per year, when the broadcast management goes on leadership retreats and the station monkey mascot grabs control of the board. 3 minutes away from the pregame show… what will Walk’s ‘keys to the game’ be? I’m guessing ‘outhitting, outpitching and outdefending the opponent’.

    • T minus 35 minutes….can’t wait, need Frankie to set the tone for this series tonight. Can’t wait to see how PNC looks, place is going to be rocking.

      Go Bucs!

  33. The Steelers are “king” in Pittsburgh, with Hockey coming in second, but with the
    Pirates playing exciting baseball every other game of late, they are sneaking up on the
    Pittsburgh sports ranking. However, if you put any stock in pre-season football, which
    I don;t, then the Steelers might be in for a long season. The Pirates will have to play
    their finest level of baseball to win the Central title and have a shot at playing in the World
    Series, given their schedule for the rest of the season. I read that their chances of being
    in the WS is 6 to 1, but will improve if they can win their coming series with the Cards
    and Reds. I think if their hitting with RISP improves, they have an excellent chance.
    GO, BUCS!!!

  34. here’s the full list of NFL week 4 preseason game local ratings… Pittsburgh near the top… but by no means an anomaly. NFL rules.

    Rams suck and Bengals are blacked out (even in preseason) so hard to compare Pirates situation to Cards/Reds….. I did note that the best local rating for the Cards this year is 14.2 (this Tuesday’s game vs. the Reds) and the Rams drew about 9.7… but Cards weren’t playing Thursday.

    http://www.sbnation.com/2013/8/30/4676264/nfl-tv-ratings-fourth-pre-season-game

  35. Somebody nudge me when the baseball talk begins. Bickering about Pittsburgh’s 3 professional sports team’s tv ratings might be the most boring thing I’ve ever read about on here. People act like watching one sport over another gives you some type of bragging rights.

    In my area of this country, college football blows all professional sports out of the water. What does that mean? Who cares?!?!

  36. so, no problems with the lineup? that’s normally the pregame banter around here…. as for me, I think its the best we have right now… like Mercer but his D is slipping big time… time to give Garrett another try, maybe he’ll go river….

    • My problem with the lineup is: what kind of ratings will it draw on tv

      • depends on whether you are going household rating or share…with HS football in full swing and being a Friday night, hh rating will be lower than midweek…. share will be higher (percentage of TVs tuned to game). :) :) :)

    • I tried to discuss baseball in my 6:03 post.

      It was drowned out by TV ratings talk.
      I tried.

      • i saw that post but nothing to really respond to LOL

        I like Barmes in the lineup, very very underreported story is slippage of Pirates D and impact it is having…. Byrd? he’s the word.

        Love Martin hitting 7th. And I’m ready to love GI Jones again if he’d only give us a reason.

      • sorry, got distracted by an nfl network rerun of the Cards/Broncos preseason game from last night.

  37. First pitch wasnt even thrown, and the “Wooooooooooos” started.

    Great first out by Frankie!

  38. Liriano with a lil extra on the fastball going 95 strong, than drops a slider to open game with a K.

  39. watch the 2-strike approach from the Cardinals… I know they are not ‘power hitters’ but compare that to Pedro and to some extent Jones and even at times Cutch… we are trying to hit 2-strike HRs and they are just trying to foul off pitches that aren’t exactly where they want them. Can we incorporate some of that please??

  40. I wonder what Jandy and her husband are doing right now.

  41. Liriano with two punch outs to start the game off and throws a zero on the board. Time for Tabata to start things off.

  42. tabby auditioning for cards… a 5 bouncer to RF for a base hit….

  43. Here we go!!

  44. cards pretty awful outfield defense strikes again! 2 RISP for Cutch!

  45. Walker with liner, Tabby with hustle to third and now second and third nobody out for the big boppers, crooked number time.

  46. A double? Um, no. thats a 1B and an error in all books folks.

  47. Big inning Cutch! Come on Buddy!!!

  48. nice 2 strike hitting by cutch… he is FOCUSED tonight (just a foul ball, but still)

  49. Cutch K’s on ball three. Dang-it!

    • yep walk spent a lot of time saying how that pitch was tough to even foul off… simply because it was so far outside. it was 97 though and shelby was painting edge of the strike zone up and out, so he had to swing early and hope it was in zone.

  50. well, that will work. was just hoping Pedro didn’t K and a HBP will work nicely! Byrd is the WORD!! let’s go Marlon

  51. Get back behind the plate, Molina.

  52. Bases loaded, Marlon Byrd up, can’t write a better script.

  53. And doubt Miller just accomplished with one pitch what they wanted to do with 4?

  54. NOW would really be a good time for Jones to do SOMETHING!!! DON’T let this opportunity be missed!

  55. shelby seems to want to keep it high…. that may not be a good longterm strategy but working so far.

  56. Tonight’s trend – throw high to the Bucs – they will swing and miss all night due to impacients.

  57. Jones delivers!!!!

  58. JONES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    THAT WILL HELP THE TV RATINGS !!!!!!!!!1

    :D

  59. GI Jones DOUBLE 2 out 2 RBI hit, HUGE!

  60. I was so Jones-ing for something good to happen…good for Garrett…good for the Bucs…2-0 good guys and 2 RISPs still out there

  61. 28 hard-thrown pitches so far in inning 1…. that bodes well

  62. Pirates make Miller throw 29 pitches in the first inning, great start to this one tonight.

  63. Ahem. That’s why you start Jones, instead of beached whale Flabby Sanchez. He isn’t great, he’s just better than Sanchez against righties.

  64. Any one been noticing, especially since DK’s diatribe on “no one catches the ball with two hands,” the number of fielders on several teams and the Pirates catching the ball with TWO hands? Even saw it in the Little League World Series by the US, Japanese, and other countries.

  65. boy pete kozma sure is a great MLB hitter, no? see his August batting average? For this and many reasons, the Cards are not the ’27 Yankees. Bucs can and should be able to go toe-to-toe with these guys… I think the Reds are actually more fearful, but for now the Cards are the target.

  66. Liriano looking good tonight.

    • Plan, went to the National Zoo today here in DC and was looking for your brethren Hippos, but don’t think they have any there. They do have a mock one in the one pond by the Bird House, though – we did see that one.

      • Hahahahaha! Thanks.

        Hippos are expensive to keep for a Zoo. Thats why there are so few zoos that house them. The Toledo Zoo has a wonderful Hippoquarium. Sadly, the $$$ they use for it means they cant have some other animal exhibits.

        But thanks for thinking of us! :)

  67. No luck there for Walker, but he might have done more to get Miller out of the game sooner than we think. We will see.

  68. There is no such thing as statistical bad luck…

  69. Good grief, that should be a three pitch K to Beltran, pitch trax had all those pitches well inside the zone.

  70. What’s up with the strikezone now, ump? Two strikes called balls. He had been pretty good up to that point. At least it doesn’t hurt us. Bats coming to the plate – get more runs!!

    • NO, he hasn’t. Two of the four balls on the previous inning’s “walk” were strikes, too. They didn’t show the box. On both, Martin sat there with his mitt fixed on the corner.

      • Thanks Karen. I may have missed those due to getting dinner for my daughter. My comments about him being pretty good to that point were mainly based off of what I saw him calling on Miller. Most of the pitches he would normally get were not called strikes as they should not have been anyway. THANKS for keeping me straight.

  71. What’s with this ump?? Frankie getting squeezed all over the place!

  72. Too much air under that one, Cutch. Still sitting on 99hr for his career.

  73. Marlon Byrd hustles down the line.

    :)

  74. Nice sliding catch by Tabby, who is having a pretty good night all around.

    Just seven pitches for Frankie to get out of the 4th as he is cruising along.

  75. Loafer Tabata… worst player ever… can’t believe he went to third on Walker’s single in the 1st inning… HE COULD HAVE BEEN OUT with a decent throw.

    Just yinzin’ it up on a Friday night.

  76. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

    TV RATINGS ARE IN FI-YER!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. GI JONES – solo HR, #13,3 RBI night, why not?

  78. JONSEY with the dinger!!!! 3-0 now Buccos.

  79. This power, run production is exactly what Pirates have needed from Jones

  80. MARTIN!!!!!!!!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HA !!!!!!!!!!!!

  81. Jones!!!!!!!
    MARTIN!!!!!!!!

    Wake those bats!!!!!!

  82. Back to Back, Martin takes Millerto center, 4-0 BUCCOS!

  83. now Martin launches HR!!!!

  84. Pirates are showing the cardinals who’s running this division.

    Even if Pittsburghers prefer the Steelers.

    Really hard to believe the ratings thing.

    What’s that saying? Numbers don’t lie? Truly amazing.

  85. NOT going through the motions tonight! Keep it going!

  86. Liriano with two walks in two plate appearances. Nice!

  87. How about Tabata with double to RF corner, two hit night for Tabby.

  88. Tabata has had a good game thus far. Like seeing that.

  89. Come on Cutch. This is where you step up and we all talk about your impending MVP award.

  90. Garrett Jones has dealt with a lot of adversity this year. Always a guy you want to pull for because we all knew what he was capable of.

    Tonight he’s showing what he’s capable of and why the Bucs kept him around.

    That said, its nice to be able to give him some time off. He isn’t an everyday player but he’s a nice complementary piece to the puzzle when the alternative is dangerous.

  91. 11 pitches, 2 K’s (6 total) and Liriano quickly dismisses Cards in 5th. He is dealing tonight allowing just the one hit to Beltran (who should have been punched out).

  92. Happy Birthday MB with that double!

  93. Byrd goes to the base right-center wall for a double and flashes the Z as Bucs continue to rough Miller up.

  94. Happy Birthday Marlon Byrd.

  95. Miller closing in on 100 pitches here in 5th, will get to Cards pen early this evening.

  96. What great piece of hitting by Jones… RBI single… 4 RBI tonight.

  97. Jones 3-3 with 4 RBI’s, who had that? 5-0 Bucs as they are making a statement.

  98. Jonesy only needs the Trip-Trip-Triple for the cycle tonight. 3 for 3 and 4 RBIs.

  99. Garrett Jones will not go gentle into the good night…..

  100. Hey all, who’s the new guy playing first base for the Bucs tonight? I think I like him!!!!!!

  101. Well that was a short 4.1 innings from Miller tonight as the Bucs chase him in 5th as they roughed him up all night.

  102. Just putting this out there. In the last 13 1/3 innings – Opponents 15 Cardinals 0 Just saying.

  103. Liriano is lazy. Doesn’t hustle anything out.

    Stay lazy my friend

  104. Jones and Martin have almost identical offensive stars for the year. I know we expect more offensive production from first base then catcher but one guy is being talked about as team MVP and the other one has been a whipping boy the last month or so.

  105. Hope that these runs left on the bases are not needed.

  106. Two nice defensive plays from Pedro in the 6th as Liriano fires another 0 on the board. Just a dominant performance we witnessing tonight.

    Such a huge offseason signing with what he has done for this rotation all year.

  107. Liriano at 78 pitches should get him another 2 innings as long as he can keep the game clean.

  108. man, Walker is centering the ball tonight.

  109. Ok yinz can all laugh at me as much as you like but……
    I love the way Byrd wears the uniform.
    Leaves about 3 “buttons or zipper or Velcro open down the chest showing the P on the undershirt. I think it is “cool” for lack of better word without going back to my “60′s” vocabulary. LOL
    I have been studying this for the last half hour (with the help or hindrance of about a quart of “aiming oil”) and it looks to me that there are a number of variations as to what “top shirt” the guys wear. Straight V neck, 3 buttons, yellow stripe w/a zipper? etc.
    Ya you can do this silly stuff when the Bucs got a good lead !! LOL

  110. That was anabsolute rocket Walker delivered back at Freeman who is fortunate he did not get hurt by barely getting glove up.

  111. Neil Walker 2 St Louis Pitchers 0

  112. The Buccos have definitely learned how to play and win vs the “big boys”…sometimes the hardest thing to overcome when learning how to win consistently is beating the teans you should beat…

  113. Nice to see on a night when the Pirates 3-4-5 hitters are 1-9, they still are up 5-0 after six. Rest of the lineup picking up the slack.

  114. What do I like best about the 5 runs the buccos put up (so far) tonight?

    That Cutch and Pedro have nothing to do with it.

    Cutch didn’t even come close to that pitch either.

    Nice to not rely on just those 2 guys.

  115. What a play by Barmes putting Liriano into play for a complete game!

  116. Thatwas a sick play from Barmes going deep in the hole and firing across body and diamond to get the out.

    Just seven pitches from Frankie in 1-2-3 7th, may have shot at another CG.

  117. Yeah, Barmes ain’t worth a darn !

  118. Frankie could go 9 tonight….

  119. Francisco Liriano, stopper.

  120. So it looks like the Bucs can beat the Cards without me in the stands… why would I risk jinxing it? Because I feel a little outraged by tha information! :D

  121. As lifeless as the Bucs were last night, they are totally opposite tonight. Great focus..solid defense..efficient pitching..good offensive approaches. Nice to see, nice to see.

    Cards are a solid squad to be sure, but they are beatable. So far, so good…great start to a big series!

  122. Alvarez is due for another solo HR (or something)… 0-for-11 since going 4-for-4 on Tuesday.

  123. We got Pie!!!

    Frankie looks strong even in the 8th.
    This win is just what the doctor ordered.

  124. What is the Cards’ FO doing ? They can’t be serious with Kozma as their starting SS, can they? I mean, our RF has been a black hole for much of the season, but Kozma is as close to an automatic out as there is.

  125. that was just plain Wong, Neil…to rob Colton of a hit there.

  126. Clint Barmes is….. The Smooth Criminal

  127. Defense has been superb, Barmes nice back hand play, Walker a diving play as Liriano goes 1-2-3 in 8th on just 10 pitches.

    Liriano with a two hit shutout, just a filthy shut down effort.

  128. WOW! Playing like champs tonight!

  129. OK, I’d say you MUST send Frankie out there for the 9th. Meat of the Cards order coming up (though they have no power) and to me I only see 2 options… Frankie gets to go for a CG or Melancon comes in. I dont mess around with taking FL out and another reliever to maybe get into trouble.

    If Frankie gives up a hit or 2, then you can bring Melancon in.

    And what great news it seems to be about Grilli…. if and when he gets back, how great will it be to slide Melancon to 8th and have Watson for the 7th… Morris and Wilson are there for depth, matchups and tough outs in the 6th…and Gomez can go multiple innings when and where needed.

    • ok it will be melancon… that is ok, not my top choice but acceptable.

      • Yeah, but in this day and age it would be nice to “someone” pitch 9.

      • It’s all about pitch count, ball game score and saving your innings for the next game Liriano has to pitch. Having Melancon over-rested and ready to go makes it necessary. Smart move to pull Francisco now.

        • right, i’m ok with it… hoping to need a closer tomorrow and sunday too and hopefully mark can go all 3 too, so that’s the balance point. I’d have left it to Frankie but I can see it this way, too. As long as it wasn’t another reliever….

        • I might have gone with someone else.

          But CH is sending a message, all in

        • My mind agrees w/ya but my heart says “do it”.

      • I like it. Clint shouldn’t be sentimental, he should go for the kill. Stayed with Burnett an inning to long, last time. This is the right move.

  130. That was a super DP to end the game.

  131. RAISE THE JOLLY HIPPO!!!!!!!!!

    RAISE THE TV RATINGS !!!!!!!!!!

    :D

  132. ….fear the Bones….

  133. Raise it and do it two more times this weekend!!! 5-0 Buccos. Come on Rockies help out too.

  134. If I weren’t in bed with the flu, I’d raise it.

  135. Frankie says relax.

  136. Behind 8 shutout innings from Frankie Liriano who earns his 15th win in just 21 starts, a 4 RBI night from Jones, and back to back bombs by Jones and Martin, the Bucs take the opener of this big series 5-0 over the Cardinals and there was nooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win, the Pirates improve to 78-56 and move into a first place tie in the Central with 28 games remaining. The Pirates earn their 15th shutout of the season and 4th versus St Louis. The Bucs are now 9-5 against the Redbirds this year.

    The Bucs will go for the series win and sole position of first place tomorrow night when AJ Burnett takes the hill for the Buccos!

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  137. No way the Pirates o 2-26 the rest of the way. Right? RIGHT?!

  138. Outstanding! The Bucs fans in Ocean City say Raise It!

  139. Collapsing the hopes of NL teams everywhere!

  140. What a perfect ball game by the Buccos–as well-played a game as I’ve seen them all season–hitting, pitching, fielding, base-running, on-base coaching and management. FLAWLESS! What a delight to watch (even from nearly 4,000 miles away and at 0230 Saturday). GO BUCS!

  141. In games of interest:

    Final – Mets 3, Nats 2 (Bucs move to 10 games ahead of them)

    Top 4- Reds 1, Rockies 1

    Top 1- Giants 0, DBacks 0

    Hope for some more help.

  142. OK, early call for same lineup tomorrow. Like Barmes’ glove so so so much and if it ain’t broke…… Mercer comes back Sunday with the super new lineup vs. LHPs….and I’m not so sure I don’t sit Pedro Sunday and play Barmes or Walker instead. Harrison 3B – Mercer 2B – Cutch CF – Byrd RF – Gaby 1B – Buck C – Tabata LF – Barmes SS … could sub Walker at 2B for Barmes and in 7th hole…..

  143. What did I miss tonight?
    5-0

    We’re all good now , right?

  144. oh, and go rockies!

  145. Steelers Whho?

  146. Colorado up 6-2

  147. So, I’m reading comments on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and some of the fans feel like the Bucs are fading. Interesting.

  148. Yee-Ha! At least Jones has got one to tell his grandkids about if this was his swan song before Mr. Morneau Comes To Pittsburgh! I think the guy’s gonna have another year or two somewhere in the big leagues. Very happy for him and his game tonight.

    • Speaking of Morneau, the waiver trade deadline is tomorrow. Would NH have any more surprises in store for us?

      • Maybe we won’t need him. According to Sawchik, Byrd has helped Jones change his swing… Looks like it’s working…

        • Yeah, I saw that. Would be nice if all Jones needed was a tweak. Jones has needed a mental reset more than anything else. So, we’ll see with him. Anyway, not really expecting more changes tomorrow. The Byrd move needed to be done. Now we’re swinging back into that “team chemistry” area we might not want to mess with anymore.

  149. Was at the game tonight. Completely electric atmosphere…was totally unreal! This was actually the first game I had a chance to go to this season. Wish I had the opportunity to catch more, but I picked a gem to go to if I do say so myself… On a completely unrelated note, I got my ticket via stubhub. Hands down, the easiest way to get a Pirate ticket. Cheapest too… I had Section 128. Payed less than 12 bucks @ 4:30pm. Maybe I got lucky? Easiest ticket experience of my life for sure…

    So…I don’t know if it was just because Frankie was dealin’ or what, but the Cards just really did not impress me at all. Didn’t even look like they wanted to be there. I think we have their number this year…Here’s to more impressive wins against them down the road…

  150. Looks like I missed a good party here last night…but I had my own party to attend ;)

    Special shout out to Alexandre Geisbrecht to get better fast….the flu sucks!

    Let’s beat the Redbirds today too boys!

  151. I would like to take a few seconds and give a few thank you this morning, August 31, the last day of month 5 of the baseball season.

    Thank you, New York Mets for dispatching the Washington Nationals last night 3-2. This has pushed the Nationals another game back in the wild card standings.

    Thank you, Colorado Rockies for taking care of the Cincinnati Reds and sent them to 3.5 games behind in the standings.

    Thank you San Francisco for handing the Arizona Diamondbacks another defeat and push them in reverse in the wild card standings.

    Thank you Garret GI Jones for having a great night at the plate and driving in 4 runs.

    Thank you Francisco Liriano for putting up 8 strong innings last night to hold the Cardinals to 3 hits all night long.

    And finally, thank you for meaningful and exciting baseball in September this year.

  152. 4 to go. A mere 4.

    Then I can start agonizing over the next step. I really shouldn’t have thrown away the remote control I demolished in October of 1992. It’d have been a great reminder over the years.

  153. With 28 games to go (and every team of interest but the Pirates losing last night), the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 20, to host the wild card is 25 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 29.

    Headed to Pittsburgh today, but alas, no Pirates game. The agenda is the Carnegie Science Center, some shopping and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Have a good weekend, everyone.

  154. Dejan just called.

    He has a prediction but he’s afraid to put it up because, well, you know.

    Dejan’s calling for (I think his words were) a Yinzer Series.
    PittsByrd Pirates take down the Detroit Leylands in six.

    It was a Skype call. He wanted me to see his face paint.

  155. Ah. The Notorious Awaiting Moderation on my last post.

    I don’t blame them.

    I wrote things that should NEVER appear in a post together.

    Dejan and Predictions.

    Had I mentioned Thunder, I’d be one of the Blocked 48.

  156. Good Morning, All! Oh, it’s such a fresh one after a W like last night! If I had the wherewithal – and the gumption – I’d link to the YouTube of Pine-Richland’s … uh, Pittsburgh’s own Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor & Debbie Reynolds singing “Good Morning,” from “Singing In The Rain!” Or maybe one of DK’s favorites: ELO doing “Mr. Blue Sky!”

  157. I’m seeing reports on Twitter that the Pirates have acquired Morneau.

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