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Final: Cardinals 12, Pirates 8

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (81-58) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (80-60)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Joe Kelly

Time: 8:15 p.m.

Site: Busch Stadium, St. Louis

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. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates pageRob Biertempfel is 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.

185 Comments

  1. 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 Combined HITS by Marlon Byrd + Justin Morneau in tonight’s game
    Line is 2.5

    Line #2
    Total Combined HOMERUNS by Pedro Alvarez + Garrett Jones this weekend against the Cardinals
    Line is 1.5

    Line #3
    Total WINS by the Pirates this weekend against the Cardinals
    Line is 1.5

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    81 Down, only 1 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  2. GO BUCS !!!!

    Need to get these guys while they are a bit down.

  3. Anybody heard anything else about Marte?
    It sounds like this is a much bigger problem than we were led to believe.
    I firmly feel that Marte is a massive key to the success they’ve had this year….And any success they have as this season winds down (playoffs included).
    I hope he gets back AND I hope he’s well enough to contribute if, and when he does return.
    It seems like this is a big question mark.

    • Not sure we were led to believe anything about the injury… when you hear that he can’t swing the bat with two hands, then you know he is not close to being ready to resume playing games. seems to me in the past week the broadcasters have indicated he has tried to swing the bat with one hand, the other day he took a few swings with 2 hands… if he can do that consistently then he may be ready to face live pitching with Indy in the playoffs.

      No doubt Marte is important to this team… a lot of us seem to forget he has been out since August 19th when we post about the Pirates ‘treading water’ since then. That’s actually great to still be in first place despite losing such a catalyst to the offense for 3 weeks.

      • First of all…I’m not suggesting anything “sinister” when I say we were led to believe Marte’s injury wasn’t that bad.
        I think the team felt it would come around quicker, and it hasn’t.
        As far as comparing Marte to Tabata….I feel that is like comparing a seat in first class on a trip to London, to the back end of coach.
        I don’t need cherry picked stats to tell me who the better player is….It’s quite obvious that it’s Starling Marte.

        • Obviously the better player is Marte. Nobody suggested otherwise.

          But I submit that he isn’t yet as good of a hitter as he’s made out to be.

        • i think the aggressive trade for Byrd and then also picking up Morneau told us all we needed to know re: Marte. Be interesting to see who comes back first, Marte or Allen Craig to the Cards… I’m hoping Marte obviously…. but not counting on it prior to the Padres series.

    • When Marte is “on”, I agree.

      But the other half of the time, not so much.

      I bet a lot of people would be surprised to learn whether Marte Tabata has a higher OPS against righties.

      • +1 Marte not as good as perceived. He may end up there eventually but not yet.

      • Since coming of the DL I think Tabata has surprised many. He’s actually putting up decent numbers and is more than adequate backup.

        He’s still a future 4th OFer for this team though. Good problems to have.

  4. ACT LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE.

  5. Too late but I would play Jones and sit Tabata, with Byrd going to Left.

    Bat Neil or Jones first and go from there.

  6. Has DK been on Keith Olbermann’s show as of yet?

  7. • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post
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    • Might I add Paul Shannon to the Hall of Fame? Anybody growing up in the Burgh in the 70′s watched Adventure Time on Saturday morning. If you were a kid you wanted to be on his show.

  8. Hope AJ gets it done tonight. along with Cutch he has been the face of the franchise.

  9. Fixin’ to shove off for work, Gang. Just wanted to let you know I’m linked elbow-to-elbow with each one of you, CLAIMING No. 82!

  10. I posted this on the other thread, silly me. Cutch getting more national attention.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9638751/breaking-national-league-mvp-race

  11. Today’s lineup looks fine with the exception of Sir Whiffs-a-Lotte (Alverez). I would sit him
    until he stops swinging at bad pitches way outside the strike zone. He is most certainly
    an automatic out right now. I thought that I read that he was becoming more focused
    and selective at the plate, but the last at-bat I saw, he looked like the Keystone Cops
    flailing away at pitches in the dirt or way wide. In fact, the last time he was on base, he got
    there by letting a pitch hit him. In the stretch run, we need more hits, not necessarily
    home runs, but good singles and doubles. GO, BUCS!!!

    • How will you know that he has stopped swinging at bad pitches if he is collecting splinters?

      I agree we need more hits from him and dont like his approach at the plate either! I too wish he would use the WHOLE field. I would even settle for a productive ground ball with runners on third!!

  12. Rodrigues is pitching a rehab for Indy in tonight’s playoff game.

  13. Can we move Pedro down to hit like 8th or 9th please.

  14. Could be a tough one tonight. Kelly’s been hard to figure out for these guys.

  15. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies and lurkers, we know you’re out there! We want to chat with you. If you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite :)

  16. Ok…………….

    I have cake, confetti and balloons…… lets get a W tonight.

    Dont want to clean this up for nothing again………….. ;)

  17. Just turned the game on and realized the Cards have sent the dreaded Joe Kelly right back out to face the Pirates again.
    Crazy…..

  18. OH GREAT! Anyone else have the DISH??

    Having major problems, apparently – NO signal, and the radio stations here are broadcasting HS football instead of the Pirates!

    CRAP!!!!

  19. Bases loaded for Alvarez.

    Any bets on how this will end?

  20. Simply cannot leave the bases loaded and get nothing for it.

  21. The guy is killing the offense.

  22. uh oh

    May have picked the wrong week to quit drinking.

  23. Bad play by Cutch.

    They need to wake up before it is too late.

  24. When you walk leadoff batters, bad things happen. Wish Walk would shut the hell up.

  25. Pedro has had probably the worse stretch of at bats I have seen over the last week. He looks clueless at the plate anymore. With multiple opportunities to rise to the occasion he has only wilted.

    • He should be batting 8th until he snaps out of it–IF HE DOES.

      • I could be easily persuaded to 7th, with 8th definitely on the come if we see more of this. He’s been absolutely horrible.

        He is totally out of rhythm, meaning only more so than usual for him. Looks at pitches right down the middle and swings at breaking balls at his cleats. Seemed to start right after Hurdle put Byrd at clean-up and then continued with Morneau bumping him from the 5th spot.

        I would like to see him go up to the plate swinging with conviction but he has none right now.

  26. Morneau isn’t Gaby in the field, that’s for sure. We’re seeing his range, or lack thereof. The ball in the first went right under his glove.

  27. This game is a disaster. The champagne is going to spoil if this crap keeps up.

  28. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind for the Bucs tonight.

    • This is what you get with Burnett. Having an ok year but check his performances in games that count and playoff appearances. Not stellar.

      • It reminds me that some were suggesting we sign him to another 2 years earlier in the season.

        Love what he has brought the last two years to change the team mindset, and how he has helped other pitchers, but would think long and hard about even one more year (at a team-friendly price, not 10 mill) and that’s assuming he decides he wants to play.

        I see him as a bridge to the future, nothing more at this stage.

      • We have to stay positive and hope they can make a comeback tonight. The big boys are due up for the Bucs next inning.

  29. Ok, who do we start in the wild card game now? We’re. Down to one reliable starter, Chollie.

  30. Finally!!!!

  31. Well, after the ump blew the Martin HPB, I have seen enough.
    You guys remaining root for a comeback.
    I have to go.

    Go Bucs. Please go away umps.

  32. Can anybody get a clutch hit? Anyone? Anyone? Beuler?

  33. Cards get hits when they count–Bucs don’t. Reds won again, things looking bad. Cards have five runs on six hits with no homers–pretty impressive RISP batting.

  34. Talk about a frustrating game to watch…

  35. Doom and gloom post: This will probably be the last night the Pirates are in first place. Pitching non-existent. Slumping bats. 82 in a holding pattern. Not good.

  36. It is a great season and happy to be in a pennant race but facts are we are not as good as the Cards or the Reds. But, let’s enjoy–anything can happen. Not sure the 60 Bucs were better than the Yankees, but………….

  37. Bringing in Hughes followed by Morris is the equivalent of waving the white flag.

  38. Had to go out to dinner tonight for a retirement gig for the wifes work. Felt selfish because I couldn’t watch the game. Thank goodness I get to be home tomorrow night when we win and the Reds lose and we are back to rubber game Sunday and the Steelers to boot. Sports is fun. Not so much tonight.

  39. All right, the rest of you guys… I’m here to say, “Stop all this gory talk!” We’ve had the Cards number more than they’ve had ours, this season. Today is a stinker ( a real “pee yew-er”), but tomorrow is another day. Take it from me. The Blog wasn’t letting me log in at all today (possibly because I was being sanctioned?), but I lived to talk about it and grace you guys tonight with my charming presence!! If that doesn’t lift your spirits… !! :o

    • I thought I read this morning before I went to work that Ghost was dead. Must have been dreaming. Now I’m reading from bloggers The Bucs are dead. 12-1 loss (or quite possibly worse) doesn’t matter. Same as 1-0 in the W-L column. We are going to wake up in the am in first place with a game to play. And the score will start 0-0 with Locke on the mound. I’m good and excited for tomorrow to come.

      • Ken…glad you are. This team is still too Jeckyll and Hyde. Cincy is playing the most consistent baseball right now and we seem to take one step forward and two steps back…

      • No, you weren’t dreaming. Hippo thinks he had a hand in killing me, but I’m guessing it was DK. Thankfully, I’ve been allowed to come back and resume haunting you guys. As for Hippo — he’s. all. mine. (Rubs ghostly hands menacingly.)

  40. Molina standing at plate, if I was pitching, next hitter is getting buzzed.

  41. My wife the Cardinals fan will not change the channel. Will the snacks for the 82 win keep until tomorrow?

  42. Circle The Wagons!

  43. Even if the Pirates make the Playoffs (?), and somehow face the Cards in the NLCS, the Cards just need to pitch Clark Kent in 3 games, and find someone else to win 1 of the other 4 games. Ballgame.

  44. Can’t even blame the SI cover jinx, since I got the Alabama cover.

  45. Who knows we could have a tie game if worthless Hughes and Morris weren’t used. Can they both please go away forever.

  46. Let’s face it…we can’t beat Kelly..

  47. What’s up with the 12-3 final posted above the thread? It’s 12-5, and going to the top of the 9th!

  48. Probably already said, but this game was totally lost in the first inning. From not being able to do anything with bases loaded, to the very bad mistake of not blocking that ball from getting by Cutch in the bottom of the inning. Either one of those things goes different, this game may not have been the smelly roadkill that it became. They still have two left against the Cards. All they really have to do is win one to leave STL in first place. I would really like to see it be 2.5 ahead of the Cards by winning both. As happened tonight, the Dodgers will probably take the series off against the Reds in order to keep all the pressure on the Bucs to do something. I really hope Locke straightened his head out by that demotion and that Charlie keeps his good vibes going. Hopefully Wainwright continues to implode and let us score this many tomorrow night. As Iw rite, the bases are loaded with only 1 out, and the game is 12-6, even though DK has given up at 12-3 with a Final above. Come on Buccos!!

  49. Hey the tying run is in the hole….depressing

  50. I’m kinda liking the way the team has kept scrapping and throwing punches long after it became a laugher. Bodes well.

  51. How about some station to station cheap hitting that ST likes to do. It’d be nice to put up another 6 runs to tie this puppy up.

  52. How many guys looked at strike 3 tonight? Unacceptable.

  53. Tabby Dabby Doo!

  54. Here we go Boys!! 12-8! I was at the Giles grand slam in the bottom of the 9th the first year PNC opened against the Stros, and they came back from just as many runs to win that game. How crushing would this be to tie this game up and eventually win it? I say do it Buccos!!!

  55. Nice effort by the bench players. Start them tomorrow.

  56. Get them back tomorrow, Bucs!

  57. If you have the MLB Package, Giants’ guy going for perfect game in 9th.

    • I killed it. I joined in at 3-2 count and Chavez hit the sinking liner for a base hit. Sorry dude. At least he shut down AZ to keep them at bay and Miami put a hurt on Washington tonight to do the same.

  58. 3-2 count, 2 outs, 8 2/3 perfect, line drive drops about a foot in front of Pence. 1 hitter.

  59. Where in the Hell is that panic button? I need to jam that sucker.

  60. No need for any panic buttons. 82 is a Locke tonight. Bet on it.

    Isn’t it about time for Bryan Morris to have a “sore forearm” or something?

  61. With 22 goes to go, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card is 13 (vs. Washington and Arizona), to host the wild card is 20 (vs. Reds) and to win the division is 22 (vs. Cardinals).

    I went to sleep with the score 6-1, so I missed the late inning offense. Two thoughts: I always dislike it when teams score late against the Pirates (but still lose) because I think it does give the other team some confidence. On the other hand, momentum only lasts as long as the next night’s starting pitcher. So, Jeff Locke is in a big spot tonight.

  62. Wait. We scored 8 runs and lost?

  63. It is so easy to lose any regard for R. Biertempfel’s writing when he tries to explain away that MAJOR GAFFE by Leyva, as his little nugget “Leyva leans heavily on percentages”, seems to want to do, in the Trib on 9/7.

    Such malarkey.

  64. 7-run 7th aside, whats happened to our starting pitching lately? I’m not going to be one of those people who will say we will lose out and not break the non-winning seasons streak and not make the playoffs… I’ll just mention it like I just did ;)

    • since we’re just mentioning stuff that has no chance of happening…. I will marry Kate Upton, I will win the Powerball, peace will break out in the Middle East…and gas will return to $1 a gallon by Christmas. Thanks.

  65. I admit I watched the game on DVR last night on a delayed-basis… helped to be able to fast forward through some of the ugliness…but don’t see much discussion on the dueling HBPs last night.

    Morris, to me, was not throwing at Molina, he threw a slider and the ump behind the plate seemed to ‘see, no doubt in my mind’ a lot of things that weren’t there, most notably that he saw for sure that Martin’s bat hit the ball and not his wrist….. then Molina most certainly gloated his HR trot…. so that should’ve been the end of it in my mind.

    For Axford, the washed up butcher of a reliever, to throw and hit Sanchez in the shoulder was bush league in my opinion.

    To me, I’m hoping that is it because I don’t think this ‘unwritten rule’ crap really has any relevance in 2013 (maybe in 1939 it did).. THAT said, I wouldn’t shed a tear if Molina was beaned hard because he earned it.

    As to last night’s game, folks, this is what the Cards do. Yes, they have little power, but when they get on an opposite-field hitting roll, they seem to swarm like vultures over a kill….Hughes wasn’t sharp and Morris wasn’t either… but I’m not going to overreact. Bucs lost to a very good team on their home field after they dropped a big series to the Reds…. whether it was 1-0 or 12-0 or 12-8, it’s a loss.

    Winning ONE of these next two is a MUST though…. I don’t think it really matters which one… obviously would be GREAT to get tonight’s win, coupled with a Reds loss to immediately erase the bad taste of last night.

  66. Happy Trails, JMac.

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