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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Cardinals 7, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (79-56) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (78-57)

Starters: LHP Kris Johnson vs. RHP Joe Kelly

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. Neil Walker, 2B
  2. Garrett Jones, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Justin Morneau, 1B
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Johnson, 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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. JAL says:

    put the morning links here for those who did not go to the earlier page

    JAL’s Wake Me When September Ends Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Morneau For Two Players Who Barely Made It Out Of A-Ball

    Pirates Take First Place in NL Central, Beat St. Louis 7-1

    Prospect Watch: Austin Meadows Homers in First Game With Jamestown

    Pirates Notebook: For Garrett Jones, C’est La Vie

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates take over sole possession of first with 7-1 win

    Justin Morneau trade analysis: Pirates get little, give up even less

    6 Rumbunter

    VIDEO: Pittsburgh Pirates Breaking Bad by Benstonium


    Game 135: Pirates 7 Cardinals 1

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Back In First After 7-1 Win

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 7, Cards 1

  2. likeabugonarug says:

    Looks like a nice lineup. Let’s get ‘em boys!


  3. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates bomb Cardinals, take over first place in NL Central

    11 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Morneau traded to Pittsburgh for outfielder

    12 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Justin Morneau For Basically Nothing

    13 Redbird Rants

    St. Louis Cardinals on verge of being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Time is running out for division title run

    15 KDKA

    What Are The Pirates Getting In Justin Morneau?

    16 CBS Sports

    Cardinals-Pirates Gam Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    No joy in Pittsburgh for Birds

    Calling on Clemente

    18 PBC Site

    Bucs erupt early vs. Cards, sit alone atop NL Central

    Morneau energized by atmosphere surrounding Bucs


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What Makes a Good Changeup? An Investigation, Part Three

    20 Fangraphs

    My Simple(ish) Playoff Chances Simulator

  4. JAL says:

    Wake Me when September Ends, Green Day 2004

  5. likeabugonarug says:

    JAL, I don’t want to be awakened when September ends. If this is a dream, I don’t want to know about it.


  6. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Kyle Farnsworth!!??!! Ugh……..


    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 Kris Johnson in today’s game
    0 – 3.00 (EVEN ODDS)
    3.33 – 6 (EVEN ODDS)
    6.33 or More (DOUBLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    79 Down, only 3 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  7. Dadtackular says:

    100 butterflies on 3.33-6

  8. bizrow says:

    Thanks Playoffs

    100 on 3.33 to 6

    Beat Em Bucs

    Go like 60

  9. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Do I see two RF’s in this lineup?

  10. JaxBuc says:

    Please sir may I have 100 Bucks, Byrds and Morneaus on the 6.33 or More?

  11. JaxBuc says:

    Yeah, I hope the Cardinals don’t notice that LF is unoccupied.

  12. Bill Born says:

    110 on 3.33 – 6 line Please
    Thank You

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have to believe Byrd’s in left. No way they put Garrett out there. He’d probably hurt himself. ;-)

  14. Bill Born says:

    Cutch will be able to handle left too-

    Don’t fear, Hurdle always knows what he is doing.

  15. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope we get Marte back. He makes this lineup more potent.

  16. pattonbb says:

    100 on 6.33 or more

  17. pattonbb says:

    I’m with you AW, but for a Sunday afternoon game, this is a nice lineup.

  18. Karen22 says:

    100 Morneau Byrd Bucks on 3.33-6!

  19. Arriba Wilver says:

    True dat.

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    True dat.

  21. cmat0829 says:

    100 on 3.33 – 6 por favor.

  22. bizrow says:

    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,
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    395 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
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    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    9/1/2013 12:26 PM

  23. cmat0829 says:

    i’m ok with the lineup and giving GI a chance, but hard to not feel Tabby is (1) a better hitter at this point, especially for contact near top of the order and (2) a superior LF option to either Byrd or Jones.

    I would not expect this to be the primary lineup.. me thinks more often than not Tabby plays LF and leads off and Jones rides the pine, until Marte gets back.

  24. Brandie says:

    Big Money, Big Money. No Whammies. Stop with 100 units on 3.33-6! Thanks!

  25. War Horse says:

    100 on the 3.33 – 6 line, please.

  26. JRay3 says:

    Ha, my fav game show back in the day.

  27. blazer says:

    100 on the 3.33 – 6 line please.

  28. Jason81 says:

    100 on 3.33 – 6, please!

  29. BDHumbert says:

    Going to be bold!
    100 on the 6.33 or more

  30. JRay3 says:

    Good morning to the window on this Sunday Sweep day. Bucs have out scored the Cards 12-1 in making this weekend statement and at 10-5 have won the season series versus the secon place team in the division.

    75 on 3.33 to 6

    Thanks and Go Bucs!

  31. Lad9 says:

    100 on 3.33-6 please. Thank you. Go Buccos from section 140!

  32. Karen22 says:

    Speaking of Cutch, he’ll break out of his mini-funk today.


  33. Nate83 says:

    100 on 3.33-6.00 innings

  34. Thundercrack says:

    So Wandy has arthritis in his elbow.
    I guess the good news is that he doesn’t need surgery. But is the bad new : how do you get him better to pitch? Treat it with drugs?

    And it’s hard to believe he’s been out since early June.

  35. Tom P. says:

    With 27 games left (counting today), the Pirates magic number to eliminate Arizona is 19, to host the wild card is 24 (vs. Reds) and to win the division is 27 (vs. Cardinals).

  36. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Peter Tomarken

  37. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t hear all of the Thundercrack’s Boy Show. Did he give a status update on Marte?

  38. stickyweb says:

    6.33 or more for 100 please. Thanks.

  39. Brandie says:


  40. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    George Benson, please…….

  41. Brandie says:

    Good afternoon all!

  42. Irish says:

    50 on 6.33 or More, Please.
    Sweep Day! Let’s Go Bucs!
    Thanks, Playoffs.

  43. Drew71 says:

    Sounds like quite a show.

    Do they have dancers?

  44. theplanisworking says:

    Afternoon, Brandimal. :)

  45. stickyweb says:

    Anyone else notice the best offense in the history of the world has scored 1 run in its last 3 games. Not averaging 1 run, but 1 total run. Who’d a thunk it? And while Cutch suffers through a mini slump, the Bucs offense is just fine. Can they put up another touchdown today?

  46. Thundercrack says:

    They still have to wait for the swelling to go down.

    I listened to the show. It’s not like we met for brunch or anything.

  47. Brandie says:

    Seconded again.

  48. Drew71 says:

    I was thinking an after dinner drink.

    (I think we need the game to start. Now.)

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    100 Morneau chips on 3.33 to 6 please.

  50. bman says:


    I’ll take 50 on the 3.33 to 6


  51. theplanisworking says:

    100 “neal Huntington is my Boy” Hippos on 3.33-5 innings, please.

  52. theplanisworking says:


    ’27 Yankees on line 1 for you………………..

  53. Brandie says:

    Hey. Hey. It’s The Plancin’ Machine!

    Watch Him Get Down!


  54. theplanisworking says:

    When you say it that way, I feel like John Travolta on steroids.

    But hello, and welcome to the Pirates Championship March. :)

  55. Thundercrack says:

    It is not sustainable for the Cardinals

  56. 21sthebest says:

    Marte’s hand is still swollen? Wow.

  57. Brandie says:


    Truth be known, you are one of the folks on this here blog who has had such a positive Influence on me. I kid because I care. You make me smile.

  58. Nate83 says:

    I’m still recovering from finding out that Peter Tomarken had passed away. Hopefully Wink Martindale is still alive.

  59. theplanisworking says:

    OK, after reading your first sentence, I now truly realize there is no hope for you. None. ;)

    But, thank you. You’re a fine lass.

    Hope your world is doing fine today.

  60. Brandie says:

    I have been swept away by the magic that is Your 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates!

  61. pattonbb says:

    Kris Johnson looks so nervous you can almost see him shaking.

  62. theplanisworking says:

    He looks as nervous today as he looked calm against Arizona.

  63. Johnson is nervous out there, and it cost the Bucs and still could cost more. Not in the strike zone much today. 1-0 bad guys.

  64. twentytwo22 says:

    He should not be making his first major league start in a first place showdown against the St. Louis Cardinals. They had a week to prepare their rotation. Dumb move.

  65. 2-0 now. Johnson is nibbling too much and when he has to come in it is getting put in the right spots. Long day ahead. Hopefully we hit Kelly this time. He did his Cy Young impression on us last time from what I can remember.

  66. Gomez up. He should have gotten the start today.

  67. JRay3 says:

    What a tough spot for a guy to make his first pro start, pennant race, September baseball, gravity of moment. It has to be nerve wracking, but team can’t give game away time to get pen up.

  68. pattonbb says:

    Get him out of there. Where’s Pimentel or Gomez?

  69. Patrick(ri) says:

    Or at least be in there now.

  70. Patrick(ri) says:


  71. 3-0 now. He has to get Kozma.

  72. Ghost says:

    Ah HAH! I was just telling Lad about you and the steroids. :D

  73. Patrick(ri) says:

    Big chance to take, but if he can get out with only 3, not a disaster.

  74. Scott says:

    Exactly. It was incredibly stupid to throw a kid like that into the middle of a pennant race. The excuses for why Gomez couldn’t start – he can only throw 50 pitches! – were silly. There would have been nothing wrong with starting him and then pulling him after those 50 pitches.

  75. JRay3 says:

    And Johnson finally escapes inning. Pitching won the first two games of this series, and althought the offense was very good, today the bats are going to have to win this game for team.

    Lots of time.

  76. Didn’t follow Buck much when he was a Met, but so far as a Pirate, his defense hasn’t been great.

  77. Yeah. What’s the use of September call ups if you don’t use them.

  78. Dave G says:

    37 pitches for Johnson in that first inning.

  79. Lad9 says:

    BRANDIE! Welcome back. Bad connection here at the ballpark so won’t post much. Lets get those runs back.

  80. Karen22 says:

    OK – that was REALLY bad and Johnson looked like David facing Goliath from pitch one. FIRST sign of trouble in the 2nd, pull him. We can overcome a three-spot. Can’t afford to give up a bunch more.

  81. Brandie says:

    Heartily agree! Bring home the W, Lad Man!

  82. Ghost says:

    Good analogy/imagery. Can’t see the game, but can envision how Johnson must look.

  83. theplanisworking says:


  84. Brandie says:

    That gave me bottle rockets in the tummy!

  85. Brandie says:

    Steroid does sound like a villain from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon!

  86. Johnson was pretty much 2-0 to every batter while, Kelly has been 0-2 to every batter so far. Come on Cutch!

  87. JRay3 says:

    Great hustleby Cutch for infield single, and couple runners on for the power hitters.

  88. theplanisworking says:

    + :D

  89. Ghost says:

    Pedro is kinda due to make some noise.

  90. Ghost says:

    At least he went the other way with that.

  91. Arriba Wilver says:

    I figured you were still recovering from Morneau being a Pirate.
    Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;-)

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    Interesting that now starting Johnson was a dumb move. We’ve known for a little while and not a peep till he flames out in the first inning.

  93. JRay3 says:

    Nice to see Johnson settle down a bit and fire a zero in the second. Pirates were hitting Kelly in the first, they should be able to put some pressure on him.

  94. Thundercrack says:


  95. Patrick(ri) says:

    Listening to Walk analyze/chat with Tim reminds me of listening to Reds analyst during the game Leake pitched, when he got a base-on-balls and the guy said “that’s the first time all year Leake has taken a walk.” Just thought I would lower the level in here.

  96. Thundercrack says:

    Hurdle = stoopid

    He obviously didn’t take Searage’s advice.
    Ray would have never picked Johnson to start this game.

  97. Parrothead01 says:

    Looks like Justin will have no problem fitting in. He likes to pull and roll over on outside pitches also.

  98. JRay3 says:

    In one AB you can make that assessment? He is a former MVP and has hit third most HR’s in baseball in month of August, he is a professional hitter, his numbers and career indicate he knows how to hit.

  99. Karen22 says:


  100. Karen22 says:

    TOO LATE, Clint!

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Must be an Elvis fan, JRay. ;-)

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed so much.

    He was lights out against Arizona.
    St. Louis normally struggles against lefties.
    Starting “The Olive” would be the same thing…….. a rookie starting his first MLB gaem.
    Gomez has a pitch limit.

    Hindsight is always 20/20.
    Truly amazing, huh?

  103. Parrothead01 says:

    Even though they have had a good first two games this series I am frustrated with The Pirates hitting approach the whole season. MLB. Com allows one to watch a lot of games and the number of times they pull outside pitches is very frustrating, especially considering Pedro is the only Pirate that can truly be considered a powe hitter. Seeing Justin’s first at bat was a typical Pirate at bat. Every pitch outside but he still pulls the pitch. I was not making a blanket statement on Justin’s hitting ability, just that he will be right at home if that is the hitting approach he takes.

  104. Patrick(ri) says:

    Too bad they didn’t reverse things and start Jenmar, then bring in the rookie? It is an interesting, if futile, endeavor to play a manager on the internet.

  105. Thundercrack says:

    I blame Jeff Locke

  106. florida steeler says:

    You have Justin Wilson and Gomez on the roster–you don’t call up AAA pitcher the day before a very big game and start him. Bring him up for relief if you must but not start him when two quality pitchers are already on the team.

  107. Patrick(ri) says:

    This game is eerily like #5 of last series here.

  108. pattonbb says:

    I wouldn’t call it a disaster, but he certainly wasn’t ready to compete at this level.

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jones and Byrd are also legitimate power threats, not to mention Cutch on a smaller scale. But I hear what you are saying.

    Morneau will help or he won’t. I’m glad he’s here.

  110. pattonbb says:

    He showed a lot of promise the first time we saw him. This time? Not so much. I’m not criticizing them for starting the guy, but he certainly didn’t look like he was ready.

  111. pattonbb says:

    This is all Nick Leyva’s fault.

  112. Thundercrack says:

    At this point how is Justin Wilson expected to start a game?

    They said that Gomez is on a 50 pitch limit.

  113. Ghost says:

    This Joe Kelly did a number on us the last time he faced us, too. We need to break through against him if for no other reason than we’ll be seeing him again this year in bigger and bigger games.

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    I blame Neal. He’s been getting too much love lately.

  115. theplanisworking says:

    I thought Zagurski was to blame?

  116. theplanisworking says:

    Awww no you dont!!!!

    We must fire ByrdBuck first!!! ;)

  117. Drew71 says:

    I blame Dejan.

    Spillover effect from his 10-6.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    ……….and a bold reaming if you disagree.

  119. Ghost says:

    From everyone. It’s a Neal orgy.

  120. Ghost says:

    Enough! Neau Mor of that!

  121. theplanisworking says:

    He has become “everybody’s boy”.

    Hi Frank.

  122. Ghost says:

    Love it!!
    Everyone waves at Frank who’s on the outside, looking in. (Even at orgies.)

  123. Parrothead01 says:

    I am glad he is here, too, and I hope he can be a positive addition. As for the power threats, Cutch and Jones are power threats, but not true power hitters. My point being they are better hitters when they use the whole field rather than trying to pull outside pitches. Byrd is a new player, so I wasn’t considering him yet. My sons high school hitting coach used to work with Byrd when he was younger so we got to watch a couple of his sessions. I hope he is a huge success for the Pirates also.

  124. Ghost says:

    Calling all would-be Buck-bashers:
    Just let it go.

  125. MadTurk says:

    Agreed it has not helped at all

  126. pattonbb says:

    Zagurski was to likable to blame for much.

  127. Patrick(ri) says:

    How about Molina? Did you see him dog it to first? What a bum.

  128. Patrick(ri) says:

    OK, 10 innings of 4 hit, shutout ball is enough!

  129. pattonbb says:

    maybe 10-6 was his prediction for the score of the first game.

  130. pattonbb says:

    They should bench him.

  131. Patrick(ri) says:

    Or not.

  132. As Timmy-boy just mentioned – “Too many easy outs for the Bucs today.” Kelly once again shutting us down.

  133. Ghost says:

    A Snider sighting! If you blinked, you missed it. (He did say, “Hi Frank,” though.)

  134. Ghost says:

    Alright, we really gotta get this fix. Tired of refreshing the page to reset where my post will go, only to find out it goes inline with a post I previously had been looking at. Grrrrr…

  135. Ghost says:

    To me Justin Wilson has always looked like Leonardo DiCaprio. Though Justin is about twice as tall.

  136. Ghost says:

    Might have been better off with Leonardo, today

  137. Karen22 says:

    Well, POOP. I was all ramped up for a sweep and then this game immediately turned into game five of the previous “sweep the Cards” series. Deflating.

  138. Patrick(ri) says:

    Why do they pitch him outside?

  139. Ghost says:

    And now this game is officially a laugher.
    Hi Frank.

  140. Hopefully the Rockies beat the Reds today, and then the Reds beat the Cards the next couple days. The Bucs also need to take care of their own business and WIN on the road.

  141. Steelag70 says:

    Not a great way to start off September…

  142. Steelag70 says:

    Well…the Cards had scored only 1 run since Tues…unfortunately they were due..

  143. Ghost says:

    This is true.

  144. Steelag70 says:

    Nice to have a consistent, middle of the lineup guy behind Pedro..

  145. Ghost says:

    And Byrd keeps alive his hit streak since joining the Pirates. Way to get through to that Kelly kid, Byrd Man!

  146. Arriba Wilver says:

    I am officially underwhelmed, but also officially under upset.

    Cue Meatloaf.

  147. bucfan59 says:

    They got lucky Johnson pitched well in that long extra inning game, but they shouldn’t have expected a repeat performance now that he’s not a complete unknown. There’s a reason he’s 28 years old and still in AAA. They’d have been far better off managing Cumpton’s starts at Indy knowing Locke was wearing down.

    Admittedly a small sample, but Morneau is looking very Jarome Iginla-over-the-hill-ish. Hits like Garrett Jones and fields like Dick Stuart. They didn’t give up much to get him, but then again it doesn’t appear he’s worth very much.

    DK: Yes. Morneau is a bust. Can’t field, either.

    Also, Iginla was terrible with the Pens. Only had nine goals in 28 games, including playoffs. He just killed them. All his fault.

  148. Steelag70 says:

    Nice hit Morneau…

  149. theplanisworking says:

    I am going out to dinner.
    No Meatloaf for me.

    After dinner, I wont cross any bridges. ;)

    Even with this apparent loss, I still feel a whole lot better than I did 7 days ago.

    Everyone have a great day,.

    Bye, Frank. ;)

  150. Tom P. says:

    I was thinking the same thing. The Cardinals were not going to be held to one run or less for the 4th game in a row.

  151. Three innings to go, folks. Kelly over 100 pitches.

    So far, though, not good for our 8.3 share.

  152. Ghost says:

    Oh please.

  153. Ghost says:

    DK beat me to it. And threw better punches than me, too.

  154. John Lease says:

    A run is better than getting shut out.

    Always look on the bright side…

  155. Mrevo says:

    OK, I need to vent. I hated this lineup for the Pirates from the start. Just because Jones had 4 hits the other night does not mean he has broken out of his season long slump. So put him in fron of Cutch, who has looked lost the past few games and then follow that up with the Strikeout King. A very weak top of the lineup.Tabata should have been playing. And now that we have some options, can we PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE move the Strikeout King back to the six hole. Also thought Gomez should have started. These things seem so obvious to me!

  156. Ghost says:

    Looked up Jones’ previous performances vs. Kelly and there was nothing special there (2-for-8), so I don’t know why he was in the 2-hole and not Mercer. I, too, want Pedro moved down to 5th or 6th, but I guess Clint wants to see if Pedro will start to do better with guys like Byrd and Morneau backing him up. Trying that out for a while makes sense to me too.

  157. Steelag70 says:

    Wow…Cutch is really floundering this series…

  158. Thundercrack says:

    He has the bold print
    Nice touch

  159. Karen22 says:

    Walker looking rather Gold Glove-ish of late!

  160. Baywatch says:

    OK. We got all the new guys in place. The offense looks pretty much the same as it did before when we weren’t hitting. Can we blame Jay Bell? Or is pitching still the name of the game?

  161. 21sthebest says:

    Shocking. Neverett doesn’t know the fair/foul rules.

  162. Brandie says:

    Guess the Pirates have something against completing sweeps!

  163. Ghost says:

    Byrd is officially on a hot streak now that he’s with the Pirates. He’s 7-for-19. And on base 3 out of 4 times coming to bat, today.

  164. Ghost says:

    Bucky Ball!

  165. Ghost says:

    Alrighty, wash this game off and look to tomorrow. We’re in Milwaukee’s erstwhile House of Horrors. Hippo fixed the jinx with his heroic run up their flagpole, so I look forward to winning some games up there and not letting go of first place in the division.

  166. twentytwo22 says:

    It was a 2-2 tie sans Kris Johnson. This game was tryout baseball. Deer in the headlights rookie starter. Barmes and Tabata are playing well and they are out of the lineup because they have to play everybody. Jones has his job taken from him by Morneau and he still gets in the lineup to be nice and play everybody and we don’t have a leadoff hitter. Enough little league crap.

  167. Ghost says:

    Minus many

  168. Thundercrack says:

    I thought the same thing. And for some reason Walk didn’t feel like correcting him

  169. Mrevo says:

    Well the new guys were on base 6 times today….same old frustrating Pirates

  170. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    CONGRATS to War Horse, the big winner for August!!

    Below are the current up-to-date standings:

    War Horse ~ 1000
    bman ~ 800
    Irish ~ 350
    kr70 ~ 300
    JRay3 ~ 275

    bman ~ 2655
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2225
    JRay3 ~ 2175
    Nate83 ~ 1725
    War Horse ~ 1665
    blazer ~ 1500
    JUCOFan ~ 1375
    theplanisworking ~ 1150
    Dadtackular ~ 900
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    Irish ~ 800
    KJX ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    stickyweb ~ 700
    tdb1977 ~ 685
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    BDHumbert ~ 425
    OZ ~ 400
    TCB ~ 400
    JohninOshkosh ~ 385
    Bill Born ~ 380
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 350
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Karen22 ~ 325
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Fish ~ 100
    kr70 ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    MarkV ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Frankie ~ 0
    Jason81 ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    TK ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    The Gunner ~ -100
    radio wave ~ -125
    buggee ~ -150
    cmat0829 ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    Arriba Wilver ~ -200
    DemonDachshund ~ -200
    DormontGeorge ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Dom ~ -225
    Keith ~ -250
    Brandie ~ -300
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    cosmo ~ -400
    Steve J. Smith ~ -400
    stuart66 ~ -500
    JaxBuc ~ -600
    Jandy ~ -775
    pattonbb ~ -800
    JMB ~ -1000
    Lad9 ~ -1200
    Kevin ~ -1635
    JD ~ -1975
    Bizrow ~ -5100

    ***The Most Points for the end of SEPTEMBER 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:

  171. Dave G says:

    Same old tied-for-first-place frustrating Pirates.

  172. Ghost says:

    Great avi, by the way. Forgot the nickname for our Pirate in that image (Davey??), but would love to see it/him back in use.

  173. Mrevo says:

    Yep, Same old tied-for-first-place frustrating Pirates that blew a five game lead because that offense is horrbile.

  174. 21sthebest says:

    That was really odd, IMO, and not fair to the viewers.

  175. bucfan59 says:

    LOL! . The point is, everyone was all hopped up about getting Iginla and him being the missing piece, just like Morneau is thought to be, and he proved to be old, slow and bad fit.

    More seriously, Morneau couldn’t get off the ground to catch that soft liner and let a ground ball, the same type of ball I’ve seen both Sanchez and Jones field, go under his glove. Not exactly above average fielding at first base. He’s a shell of himself which is why MN was happy to let him go for the fairly meager return they got. Maybe he’ll help the team, but based off today’s sample, I’d say that’s only 50-50.

  176. Lad9 says:

    LOL. AW, at the ballpark they did cue Meat Loaf as soon as the game ended….

  177. twentytwo22 says:

    The last game of a series.

    Prior to July 1st
    19-8 .704 104rs 94ra
    Home:10-4 Away:9-4

    Since July 1st
    4-13 .235 48rs 76ra
    Home:3-6 Away:1-7

  178. Dom says:

    The Steelers of the dessert, otherwise known as the Arizona Cardinals, claimed Alameda Ta’amu off of waivers.

  179. Dom says:

    Sorry I meant desert, not dessert.

  180. Dom says:

    Is it just me or does it seem that every year they take one of our guys who couldn’t make the team. Last year at this time they picked up CB Crezdon Butler.

  181. MadTurk says:

    Ta’amu ate the dessert

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    And even accepting your admittedly worst case analysis, the problem is?

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    We are doomed!


  184. Arriba Wilver says:

    How’d they ever get that 5 game lead?

  185. Chuck H says:

    Today’s game could have been a lot closer. As usual, our skipper left his starting pitcher
    in too long, and that’s another point. Why did we use a minor leaguer as today’s starter
    in such an important game. Five runs are a lot of runs to give any team, let alone the Cardinals. Why doesn’t Hurdle wise up and recognize when a pitcher just doesn’t have enough to win the game? We do want to win the division, don’t we? Division winners have a much better chance to go all the way than a wild card team. As much as I hate the Reds, I hope they sweep the Cards, and we have to beat the Brewers. GO, BUCS!!!

  186. 21sthebest says:

    They beat the Mets 3-2. Randy Tomlin got the win and Steve Buechele had two RBIs.

  187. Mrevo says:

    Well for about a week, they actually managed to score some runs.
    Ridiculous argument, how could ANYBODY not find the Pirates offense frustrating.

  188. Bob Hasis says:

    As expected – by me – if we lose Presley it would hurt.

    Well FYI, today Alex Presley the 28-year old “over-the-hill and unappreciated” former outfielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates batted 3-4 for Minnesota, scoring a run and driving in another.

    I wish him well.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who’s arguing the Pirate’s offense isn’t frustrating? We have gotten some new pieces that may or may not help. Byrd seemed to help Weds.

    So how’d the frustrating offense get that 5 game lead? Hmmm?

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hi Bob. Do you think the trade was a bad idea?

    I wish him the best, too, by the way. Same with Steve Pearce.

  191. Arriba Wilver says:

    Ended up in wrong place.

    This was just supposed to be +1

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    Repeated from above:

    Hi Bob. Do you think the trade was a bad idea?
    I wish him the best, too, by the way. Same with Steve Pearce and many other Pirates fringe players.

  193. Bob Hasis says:

    I would prefer to say I didn’t like losing Presley. I saw more upside in him than most others (the ones who matter), and you know how loudly I beat the drum for him.

    I don’t wish anything negative on any player, I just liked this guy in particular, as to how he played.

  194. Arriba Wilver says:

    I respect and appreciate your sentiment.

    Well done.

  195. Bob Hasis says:

    I’d revise my last line this way; jerks like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark Maguire, Ryan Braun, and all of the PED users who lied before Congress will never get my support, a Christmas card or an invite for a beer.

    Presley always had on his game face, and never smiled on the bench. He ran everything out, and simply played baseball

  196. Bob Hasis says:

    Thanks for this!

  197. Thundercrack says:

    ‘Why did we use a minor leaguer as today’s starter in such an important game.’

    -the scheduled big league pitcher, Jeff Locke, has been terrible and was demoted so he could get a break.

    – Gomez is on a 50 pitch count limit. Do you really want him to start and leave after maybe 4 innings….probably sooner?

    – Who would you consider having start today’s game?

    ‘We do want to win the division, don’t we?’ Nah….they just want to break the losing streak

  198. The Gunner says:


    I always liked Presley, too. He just (1) ran out of options and (2) he was one of Littlefield’s guys. And, he never got the number of chances to succeed as compared to the likes of Tabata.

  199. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Never got enough chances??

    19 – Games
    23 – AB

    52 – Games
    215 – AB

    104 – Games
    346 – AB

    29 – Games
    72 – AB

  200. MadTurk says:

    Ditto Bob. I like him as well. Best of luck to him.

  201. JD says:

    I disagree strongly with your #2, in fact, I think it is one if the dumbest posts I have ever read. Why the heck would the fact that Presley was a Littlefield guy enter the equation?

    If that was the case, why are Cutch and Walker and Marte still on the team?

  202. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t think anyone wishes him ill will but, good grief, is there any player in the entire organization that the Pirates could trade without posts complaining about it?

    I learned when I was 4 years old and wanted cherry ju ju coins that the guy at the cash register wanted money for them.

  203. JD says:

    My response was to Gunner, not Bob or Playoffs.

    Go Bucs!

  204. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think being a “Littlefield guy” is in the least bit relevant either. But “one of the dumbest posts” ever?

    Chill. ;-)

  205. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I still haven’t been able to get over the trade of Mike Fetters…..

  206. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I have not ready that Gone is on a 50 pitch count per Hurdle.
    But if so….Today was a day to use those 50 pitches.

  207. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Ahh …iPhones.
    I have not heard from Hurdle that Gomez is on a 50 pitch count.

  208. JohninOshkosh says:

    Something for Nothing performed by an obscure Canadian band:

  209. Bob Hasis says:

    So this is what you – or whom – decide what are enough chances? Why did you leave out the results as compared to Tabby?

    Do yourself a favor and don’t overlook the fiasco which took place in RF in 2012. Presley , McLouth, Tabby and Gorkys were all given cameo opportunities and in the case of Presley many of those AB’s are pinch-hitting appearances.

    Hardly a real chance!

  210. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    I’ll give you credit.
    You stick to your guns.

    Come hell or high water,
    You stick to your guns.

  211. Bob Hasis says:

    Why is it when people can’t defend a position, they make a very weak effort at humor, while trying to belittle the main point of a discussion?

  212. Arriba Wilver says:

    It keeps getting reduced, Daq. I heard earlier this season directly from Hurdle’s mouth to my ears that he broke down after 75 pitches. Lately, on here that’s been reduced to 70, and today it changed to 50.

    I’m not saying he should have started. They were in a bind because Locke has stunk and needed a break. I don’t have the intelligence to decide who should have started today, but I liked Johnson in his debut the other day.

    DK: It’s not that anyone’s tune changed. It’s that Gomez became further and further removed from his last start. He wasn’t an option today, plain and simple.

  213. The Gunner says:

    Presley is nowhere near the caliber of player Cutch & Marte are. And NH’s hand was forced when he finally (& begrudgingly) promoted Walker to replace the unproductive bum Aki Iwamura. Also, your numbers do show AP got plenty of opportunities. However, you’ll have a tough sell convincing me that NH clearly favored Tabata over AP.

  214. Bob Hasis says:

    Just pay attention to his performances henceforth, as I have done with McLouth.

    It could prove interesting.

    How can you not like this guy and the way he plays ball? And better than some (most) of the “slugs” against whom he was forced to compete.

  215. Press Kyle says:

    Presley did do all of that, which is good. However, he takes way too many pitches on a regular basis, particularly borderline pitches with 2 strikes on him. He also hits the ball in the air way too much. Like Willie Mays Hays in the movie, he needs to hit the ball on the ground and take advantage of his speed more often to be a consistently effective hitter. Wishing him well in the future, but since the Bucs have apparently decided to go “all in”, trading him was a sacrifice they had to make

  216. theplanisworking says:

    This might work too……..

  217. Bob Hasis says:

    Right will always be right, no matter which color you would like to paint it – even if only in MY eyes.

  218. The Gunner says:

    Hey man, I am fine with the Bucs trading Presley. Maybe Morneau will help put the Bucs over the top. And, even though I am not a fan of Tabata, JT has performed fairly well as of late.

    Most likely, Tabata or Presley will never be more than a 4th OFer, no matter what team they play for.

  219. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Why is it that some people get WAY too argumentative on here all the time?

    Not everything in life (or the world of the Pirates) requires someone to constantly take and defend positions.

    It’s a joke, Bob.

  220. theplanisworking says:

    AW, thank you for your post.

    We are in a pennant race, and people are arguing over Alex Presley. Really? I mean really???

    And as to JD “chilling”, JD specializes in insults and causing trouble. He did it to me early this morning, and did it to Gunner just now. Not surprised at all.

  221. Playoffs by 2012 says:


    You are always right…in your own eyes.
    Have a good night, sir.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re incorrigible. You’ve been hanging out with Drew too long.


  223. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    I just Thunder-laughed there.
    Well done, both of you!

  224. theplanisworking says:


    The Pirates go out and get 3 pieces for the stretch run, finally adress the hitting woes that have plagued the team most of the year, send a message to both the clubhouse, and their fans that they want to win, and here is what we get for the majority of the blog today……………..

    arguments over the starting pitcher, and Alex Presley.
    Alex Presley, a 4th outfielder at best. Come on.

    Regarding the crucification of Johnson here today, he had a fine outing the last time he pitched against Arizona (granted, small sample size), St. Louis normally doesnt do well against left-handers, and didnt have to worry about a pitch limit. The case could be made to start Gomez, then bring Johnson in after Gomez hit his pitch limit. For those wanting “The Olive” to start, he is a rookie also, who would have made his first start also.

    And Alex Presley. Oy.

    Just my one cent. ;)

  225. The Gunner says:

    Yep, let’s hope the Bucs can peel off a nice winning streak starting tomorrow & those Cardinals can’t find a way to win for a while.

  226. Thundercrack says:

    Holy crap. Some people have no sense of humor.

  227. Big Dave says:

    The Pirates knew they needed a starter for several days and this was a VERY importamt game. Where in the world was Compton in all of this? Don’t tell me it was some sort of financial or contract issue having to use him. HE was the best choice here. As for Presley,
    the Pirates never gave him a proper chance, and by that I mean the guy, with all that speed
    should have been DEVELOPED into a slap/bunt/patient/get-on-base any way you can
    lead-off hitter. They let the fact that he hit a few homers with that low inside left-handed swing get into his head. The guy was used totally wrong.

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