Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Final: Cardinals 5, Pirates 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (81-59) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (81-60)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. RHP Adam Wainwright

Time: 7:15 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. Locke, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Rob 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.


  1. Dear Pirates:

    I have cake that is going bad waiting for #82.
    Please remove your head from certain body part, and get this done.

    Mr. Locke, please return to May-June form.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter. :)

  2. Pirates DFA James McDonald, also call Cumpton up from Indy

  3. Baseball morning links in the afternoon

    JAL’s Old September BluesMorning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Pirates Are Basically in the Playoffs Right Now

    Prospect Watch: Indy Eliminated; Bell and Meadows Power Their Teams On

    Austin Meadows is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month For August

    Jason Creasy is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For August

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates’ comeback bid not enough in 12-8 loss

    6 Rumbunter

    10 Reasons We Love Pirates Charlie Morton

    The Most Understated Pirates Postseason Email in History


    Game 140: Cardinals 12 Pirates 8

    8 The Green Weenie

    Pirates Join Slamfest Late, Lose to St. Louis 12-8

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cardinals 12, Pirates 8

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates’ Starling Marte not close to returning

  4. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Patheos

    Curses, Scapegoats, and the End of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 20 Years of Futility

    12 Time-Life

    Cathedral of Cheering: Pittsburgh Pirate Fans Rejoice, 1960

    13 The Province

    Pirates can’t enjoy a winning season with business left to finish

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Votto snaps skid to put Reds over Dodgers 3-2

    15 ESPN

    Battle still very much on for NL MVP

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cardinals Game Preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards win swinging affair

    Miklasz: Home is sweet for Cardinals

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates fall as Cards gain ground in NL Central

    Notebook: Wandy might be headed for Pirates’ bullpen


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Locking it Up: Does Clinching Early Help?

    20 Fangraphs

    AFL Prospects: Braves, Giants, Mets, Pirates, Yankees

  5. I’m still trying to figure out how that home plate umpire (I don’t even want to know his name) has a job today after saying Russell Martin DID NOT get hit last night.
    Martin was hit plain and clear to everyone….And the umpire (standing literally a foot or so behind), couldn’t get it right.
    A 15 year old dog could’ve done just as well…….

  6. Ahhh J Mac. I had such high hopes for ya. Hope you can get your head around whatever is wrong with it and get your act together somewhere. Au revoir and good luck…

  7. Why did they DFA JMac? Wasn’t Cumpton already on the 40 man? Or are they picking up another player from somewhere?


    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.


    Tonight’s Line
    Total INNINGS PITCHED by Jeff Locke in tonight’s game
    Line is 4.75

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    81 Down, only 1 more to go!!

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & BREAK .500

  9. I hope the Dodgers lose EVERY game they play.
    However…This weekend is a rare occasion when I wanted them to win.
    Consequently….They just dropped the second game in a row to the Reds.
    Thanks alot Dodgers!….You’ve more than cemented my lifetime hate for you.

  10. Not a lot to choose from in hating the Dodgers or Reds. I despise them both.

    But as for today’s game, GD it, can you quit putting Barmes in the lineup Clint?

    PLEASE? His main value is as a defensive replacement. Not as a starter.

    And I am already assuming the Cards are going to tee off on Locke anyways, and this game is lost before it’s played. Last nights game has me suicidal.

  11. You look at the pitching matchup, we’re in trouble.

    That being said, the sticks and the Bucs will come through.

    We have the magic, we have the hidden vigorish

    Biz is all in

    The Bucs are going all the way

    Beat Em Bucs

  12. Headin’ to work again. Let’s get the mojo going to bring this one HOME!

  13. Confession: Pirates-Steelers telecasts conflict tomorrow. I’ll be watching the Steelers and monitoring the Pirates.

    Just wanted to revive the ratings controversy.

    DK: 3-to-1 isn’t much of a controversy, especially when the 3 is for the most meaningless of four preseason games and the 1 is for a game that had first place in the balance.

  14. I would really like to hear from Ray Searage in regards what are JMacs problems?

    Why couldn’t even Ray fix him?

    • Because he’s not a shrink.

    • So much for NH’s comments a few weeks back when he said JMac will be available to pitch in September to help the Bucs for the stretch drive.

      • Now, now, dont go insinuating our Executive of the Year would ever say something like that.

        I have stated many times, I would rather have complete silence from the clowns than statements that are goofy, or controversial.

        One area they still need massive help in.

        • more front office debate/criticism… YAWN.

          What NH said or didn’t say about JMac is about 1,000th on a list of important topics, right around what NH thinks of Miley Cyrus. But we are determined to work it into a blog post. Geeze.

          • More front office debate/defense … YAWN.

            All I was stating was that neal should nave said nothing about JMac, instead of looking foolish. This is something they always do. I dont care about Miley, but this FO seems to outdo themselves when it comes to foot-in-mouth disease.

            • not to debate this, sorry DK, but (1) he could’ve been responding to a direct question about JMac’s status (2) he could have genuinely believed JMac had a chance to right the ship and contribute in September.

              I guess he could just say “no comment” but then folks would criticize him for that. it’s no win.

              anything short of “JMac? Seriously? Have you seen this headcase pitch lately? He royally sucks. He is lost. He has NO CHANCE to pitch in the majors again. He’d be lucky if he can find his way to the bathroom at this point. We just can’t wait to release this waste of space”….probably would’ve drawn ire from many.

              • Who said recently that “not to ___” meant ignore everything after “but?” I think it was Plan.

            • AW, I am going to have you remember my sayings from now on………… you do a better job than I :)

          • +1

            I would rather have NH win Exec of the Year award than have JMac pitch for us in Sept.

          • I’m guessing Neal is into twerking on the dance floor so he probably supports Miley.

      • The comment I remember was that he said it was possible he could be a bullpen arm in September but that he’d have to earn it.

  15. JMac is gone. YAWN. YAWN. YAWN. makes no difference. keep on moving.

    • JMac earned the DFA to say the least. Let’s hope Locke gets off to a good start tonight. The Bucs have to win this game tonight!

  16. Early runs have been the key against the Cards this year. Pirates need to come through early when the opportunity arises.

  17. TC, did you see Puig’s throw to the plate in the 10th?

  18. Larry Vanover off to a roaring start behind the plate tonight.

  19. Jeff, lets not do this again!

  20. This guy sucks.
    - Thom Brennaman

  21. At least Locke was keeping the ball down

  22. Message to Locke, THROW STRIKES!!!

  23. Why throw to third, Cutch? That’s bad baseball by a great baseball player.

    • Simply inexcusable!!!

    • After seeing the quality of the throw — which is pretty much what I expected — I agree. He put his entire effort into it and threw a lollipop to third.

      Love McCutchen but he will never be a 5-tool player, unless the 5th tool is his dreadlocks.

  24. Umpire not giving Locke the inside fastball… such crap.

    McCutchen with another fundamental error throwing the ball to third base allowing runner from first base to advance to second.

    Mental approach for this team needs to get sharp now.

  25. Wainwright has apparently solved his ERA problem. Going to be a long night. Only a matter of time until Cards cash in.

  26. Locke is showing some mental toughness, overcoming a problematic ump and a double to Wainwright. Nice job, so far.

  27. Pedro back to his April sucking….

  28. Pedro missed that first curve by two feet.

  29. And the lead off walks are about to bite in the behind. Doesn’t help when we couldn’t score in the top of the inning.

  30. Locke looks nothing like the pitcher was in the first few months of the season. He looks more like the rookie pitcher he was last year

  31. This game is no different than any of the games Mr. Locke pitched from April to early July.

    Lots o’ walks.
    Lots o’ pitches.

    Bend but don’t break.

  32. 2-0 off of a lead off walk that eventually scores on a sac fly, then a wild pitch gets runner over to score on the infield single. Game-series-second place if no one else besides Cutch can hit the ball. Come on Bats!!!!

  33. need to pull Locke… 4 innings 76 pitches. He’s done, if I’m coaching.

  34. A two-run deficit, in an offensive-malaise game like this, is for all intents and purposes insurmountable.

  35. Johnny Ray III,

    How’s the “talent” level in the crowd tonight?
    Looks decent from what I’ve seen on TV.

    • I blame Johnny for the Pirates performance.

      Pirates swept the Angels in grand fashion when he saw them in LA. Now, the Baseball Gods are taking away what they had giveth.

      I also blame Jandy for messing up Locke’s mechanics when she saw him in Altoona. God knows what she did to the kid.

  36. Bad decision by Pedro not trying for Molina at home, one of the slower runners — if not the slowest — in the league. Zero chance at first.

    Pedro needs to get his head together.

    • Throwing from his knees,
      while going away from the plate,
      with the runner in his direct throwing path.

      Would have been a tough play for Brooks Robinson, let alone Pedro.

      • Pie Traynor makes that play.

      • Sorry, but all based upon game circumstances.

        On this one, Molina turned around and watched to see if it got through before running. If he ran and Pedro through immediately to the plate, he still gets Molina. With the turn-and-look by Molina, he’s out easily.

        • Still would have been a tough play.
          Throwing from his knees, into the path of the runner is tricky.

          In the end it really doesn’t matter.
          Run scored, and we need to start hitting.

          • He didn’t need to throw a rope to home, like he tried to at first. A catcher-like throw to first on a dropped third strike would have done the trick.

            One run could be the difference and we need to hold them everywhere we can, particularly given we are not hitting.

            • It worked the second time around!

              • Yes, saw that.

                Would love to say he’s instinctual (he’s not) but at least he’s a fast learner.

                Here’s hoping Pedro does four things much better next year. First and second, pitch recognition and command of strike zone.

                Third and fourth, reduce the errors to 15 or under and improve his in-game defensive smarts.

        • . . . that would be “threw”

        • Somebody has to tell him to throw home. Shortstop’s call.

  37. The 81st win hangover is still following this team for a third game. Snap the heck out of it already!

  38. First place, we hardly knew ye.

  39. Unbelievable that they can add Byrd and Mourneau and still suck.

  40. It’s hard to win when you put the lead off hitter on every inning and have a WHIP over 2.

  41. Robert Hasis.
    Paging, Robert Hasis.
    The floor is yours sir.

  42. 4-0 here we come after that bonehead play after the lead off hit-batsman.

  43. Pitching and defense carried the Pirates the first 2/3 of the season.

    Now that the pitching and defense are gone, what is going to carry the team the rest of the way?

    So very frustrating to watch how they have imploded.
    Pennant race nerves are destroying them.

  44. Why didn’t they pinch hit for Locke? Why is Locke still pitching? Just curious.

  45. Way to go Clint. You can’t hit and now you make poor errors. What happened to Mercer being the starter. At least he occasionly gets a hit.

  46. Sadly, Locke has fared better that the last 2 starters did.

  47. At this point in the game they should have had the infield in before now. May have gotten a call at home for a change. Still 3-0.

  48. Instant Replay is going to be a god-send to MLB.

  49. Great play by Martin. Time for some runs now!

  50. Pirates do a nice job of limiting the damage.

    Great play by Martin on that play at home by the way. Pedro’s poor throw from his feet to home is why you don’t ask him to try it from his knees.

  51. Where are these high batting average hits against Wainwright?

  52. Looks like ump has loosened the strike zone the last few innings. Very inconsistent since the first two in innings.

  53. Paging Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine! If they are going to hit like Stooges, they might as well bring in the head Stooges.

  54. Someone wake me up when we get our next hit.

    It may be halfway through the Steelers game tomorrow.

  55. Now it’s 4-0.

  56. The Cards and Reds have been in pennant races the past few years.
    The Pirates have collapsed the past few years.
    Tonight we are seeing this in full effect.

    I am happy we hit 81 wins, but I am now re-adjusting my expectations the rest os the year.
    I am praying we make the playoffs.
    No one person to blame for this……… it just is what it is.

  57. Michigan is playing Notre Dame on another network.

    • Did anyone see Mark Harmon on the pregame ceremony for his Dad’s number. What the hell did he do with his hair? He looked like Ben Stiller’s “Simple Jack” character in “Tropic Thunder.”

  58. The weight of 82 has arrived…

  59. No home runs and no RBIs in six games. Nor way has replaced Jones nicely.

  60. Pedro can’t hit crap…. bench him tomorrow.

  61. See that Jay Bell has already taught Byrd the “swing at bad pitches out of the zone” trick and the “ground into DP with 2 on and none out” trick. That happened quickly.

    Wainwright has the Buccos eating out of hs hand. Isn’t helping that the plate umpire is giving him everything after giving Locke nothing. That last strike to McCutchen was ridiculous. This one’s over.

    And, for those of you who don’t think the great slide of 2013 is underway, well, you need to see your optometrist. Starting pitching has imploded, hitting has gotten worse (if that’s possible), mental part of the game is deteriorating (nice throw, Cutch), and the defense is eroding. Look out below. Another collapse of historical proportions is right around the corner.

    Hope you have all enjoyed the Pirates stay in first place, because this will be it for the year. At this point, have to figure out if they can beat the Cubs and Padres. Don’t see them contending with any good teams.

    Time to start debating who will be starting the Wild Card game, which will be played in Cincinnati. If the Bucs manage to hold on to the second spot, that is.

    • What a negative post! I think you are wrong.

      • You are entitled to your opinion, but I’d love to know what you see in the way the Bucs are playing that gives you ANY hope at all. Some shred of hope, some glimmer of possbility, any good sign that might convey the impression that they have the ability to stay in this Division race. Without going back to June, I don’t see how you can.

        At this point,they have to figure out a way to beat the Cubs enough times while the Cards and Reds start falling apart. Pretty unlkely

      • Plus many, Gunner.
        And plus even more for ignoring the bait to further engage with the nonsense.
        A lot of the usual suspects here that only come out to drop poop into the punchbowl. They can have each other’s company. I’ll be back in the morn, looking forward to Chuckles twirling a win.

    • I keep wondering why nobody dares to criticize Jay Bell. I’m starting to feel that feeling again, oh yeah, it’s called embarrassment.

  62. What if they threw an 82 party and nobody showed up?

  63. A bomb could go off in the Pirates dugout right now and none of them would notice.

  64. A Deep Freese for the Buccos.

  65. Keep the faith

    • I am trying, but my eyes dont like what I see with this team.

      Who is going to lead this team the remaining games?
      Where is the pitching? The defense? The hitting?

      I am happy where we have gotten so far, but it wont mean a hill of beans if they sink into October. They need to wake up, and take care of business. Fast!

    • That’s a big 10-4, Biz!
      Those who only come out to pick over and wallow in losses can have each other’s company.

      Myself, I can’t wait for tomorrow!

  66. The one aspect all of the Pirates should be paying attention to is the willingness of Cardinals hitters to take the outside pitch to the opposite field. We do not do that on anything approaching a consistent basis.

    In a losing effort, that’s something each of our players should take with him into tomorrow’s game and beyond, because that’s what professional hitters do.

    • Exactly DJ. Fundamental baseball. I don’tmi nd the Weaver way of playing ball (i.e homeruns or nothing), but when you are behind in games they need to first get on base, and the only real way to do that is with smart ABs. The main reason they K so much is due to trying to KILL the ball each time up and end up swinging at too many actual balls (not strikes).

  67. It means nothing at this point in this game, but all 7 of Grilli’s pitches were in the Gamecast strike zone.

  68. Sunday lineup tomorrow will produce the critical W- maybe. Hard to do worse than 0, count ‘em, 0 runs.

    • Hey, it happened to the Cardinals of all teams for three games in a row when they last played us at home. Though our B squad was the team that came from 12-1 deficit last night and made it a 12-8 game, so I like where your heads at.

  69. This is why I just never got emotionally tied up in the Pirates this year. Still watched, still went to games, but never got excited about them. Deep down, I expected them to crap the bed. And here they go.

    • Yeah, I am a victim of getting into it emotionally. I said I would if the were still in it on Labor Day. When they were, I started getting into the games for the first time all year. Predictably, the Buccos sarted playing like crap. My bad. Time to detach emotionally as the roller coaster starts down.

  70. Cards guarantee themselves a Winning Season! Hey, 82 can be achieved!

  71. It’s table flippin’ time for Hurdle. These guys look lost and it is not good. Like I said last night, all they need to do is win one of the next two games to leave STL in first place. Now they have to win tomorrow for that to happen. Luckily Chuck has been great the last couple starts, so I hope he shows his A game and that the rest of the team follows for a change. Don’t look now, but the Reds are only 1 game behind us and we still have 6 left with them.

  72. Yeah….That team was lifeless tonight.
    No sense wasting time on a fiasco like that.

  73. Wow! 3 in a row, and I don’t mean wins. It took longer this year, but now they are a downward spiral. Did we forget how to hit again? If all they wanted was to finish .500, then their season is over. Why wasn’t Mercer playing instead of Barmes? It looked to me and
    a lot of others that they weren’t even trying. 2 of their runs came in after 1st batter walks
    by Locke who should be done for the season. Nice season, Pittsburgh!!!

  74. They didn’t look good.
    But it was also Locke’s first start in weeks and the starter they faced was good and the ump was terrible

    • We are most certainly in agreement about the ump.
      I’m not insinuating that’s why we lost the game, but early on he established a mouse hole of a strike zone for Locke.

  75. Let me see if I can recap;

    You whined that Pedro MUST play despite his K’s, well you got your wish and K’s too, and with few (no) HR’s or RBI’s
    You demanded Lambo and slow-footed Morneau (who must be slower than Giancarlo Stanton) and are still not satisfied
    You’ve got your snake-oil salesman still writing Barmes name in the starting lineup, and are still disgruntled
    Leyva (his name speaks for itself)
    You’ve gotten Pedro and Martin removed from clean-up and their production has decreased
    Now you’re reduced to berating Jay Bell, forgetting CH was also a hitting coach

    We are now looking at the side view with the instructions; Caution objects are closer than they appear – in this case Arizona and Washington!
    First place is now a distant memory; for that I say, “congrats Hurdle”

  76. Pathetic, listless outing by this team yet again…

    • I am not certain Hurdle deserves blame. It is up to the players to play defense and hit the baseball. Pedro Alvarez stinks, Barmes does not belong on the team and Burnett and Wandy are done. He has few options, Snider, Jones, Gaby, Harrison–you have to be kidding.
      These Alvarez lovers, because he hits a home run every once in a while, have disappeared. He is a liability both at the plate and in the field.

      • Well I personally think CH does not manage very well. His bunting tactics, coaching, handling of the daily lineup, the mishandling of the pitching at critical times, failure to recognize and properly use his talent (i.e. Mercer and Presley) and JHay at certain times, etc, etc. This has been my position ALL SEASON LONG, and here we are at the precipice of failing again under Hurdle’s BS leadership

  77. This team is wilting under the pressure….not looking good…no home playoff game this year folks…

  78. Good thing football season is here…

  79. One last word; let us not forget all of those “maintenance days off” for Cutch, Walker, and others, games which we lost, and he smugly told us they were important going down the stretch. Well here we are – going down the stretch – and we now NEED those games that were sacrificed due to a maintenance day off!

  80. Glad I didn’t take the iPad to the wedding. Finally had to text my son at Pitt to get a score & didn’t like it when I got it!

    Not giving up yet, but starting to look like last two years.

    Go ground Chuck.


  81. I was never aware this was even close………….

    Pedro may win a Triple Crown of a very bad sort……
    He is leading the league in Home Runs, Strikeouts and Errors.

    YIKES !!!!

  82. I hate being proven right.

  83. Crap. I just made coffee and i’m fresh out of cyanide.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News