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Final: Cardinals 9, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (81-60) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (82-60)

Starters: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Michael Wacha

Time: 2:15 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. Neil Walker, 2B
  2. Garrett Jones, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Morton, 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.


  1. I’m going to the game in Dallas tomorrow night. I really wasn’t planning on seeing number 82 in person when I scheduled that. I still hope I don’t. Much rather it be 83.

    Get em today, Buccos!

  2. This must be Hurdle’ s “slowest line up I can put out there” strategy?

  3. My wife has locked up all of our knives and other sharp implements :-(

  4. Finally a Mercer showing, now If they would move Pedro down to 8th then we are only assured 2 outs. Really s that not what you do with weak hitting for average players?

  5. Weak hitter meant for average not power potential. He did hit at least 30 times this year.:-)

  6. IMHO all the railing against Locke is unfair. He is exactly what he was coming out of spring training when he was a surprise to make the rotation – a guy with somewhat ok stuff who hides the ball well and counts on guys to chase. I think the League has caught up to him and aren’t chasing anymore.

    • Plus considering he was dealing with an ump who was squeezing him, I think he actually did quite well last night.

    • +1. I agree he looked pretty much like he did earlier. He needs to get close calls more often tha he did yesterday to put out the low era. Making a high number of pitches is also not new for him. We needed a stopper yesterday, not a decent young guy, although he compared well with the previous two stoppers performances.

  7. Not crazy about this lineup.

  8. Locke did well enough yesterday… reason for the loss was Pirates offense getting NOTHING off of Wainright…. though Wainright looked very good.

    The UMP was NOT GOOD. I will never argue that an ump shouldn’t be able to set his own strike zone, but IT MUST BE CONSISTENT. Locke wasn’t getting ANY borderline calls whatsoever and the ump let Wainwright get away with lots and lots of pitches that grazed the strikezone. In my view that is unfair. Do what you want as an ump and it is up to the pitcher and catcher to recognize the strike zone for that day, but you can’t blatantly favor one pitcher over the other. It was almost like watching Glavine/Maddux circa 1996.

    That said, the Bucs haven’t looked good in STL. The beautiful thing about baseball is that today is another day. If the Reds get Kershaw’d and the Bucs find a way to win today, yesterday disappears and it’s on to the oven of Texas.

    • lmao. Always making excuses. The strike zone was very consistent for both teams. If wasn’t for the bad call at the plate, it would have been a good called game.

    • I swear, every time Locke pitches anymore its the umpire’s fault for his bad outing.

      Is it just possible that it has something to do with Locke being unable to throw a strike?

  9. GO BUCS !!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Pretty ridiculous entry cmat. There is supposed to be ONE SET OF RULES so I thought

    Perhaps you’d advocate that umps don’t really need to observe the foul lines.

    Based on your thinking we could have 120 different strike zones, or maybe the umps can make up their own rules as they go along

    • I agree with you Bob that there should be one set of rules. I agree with your examples too. I differ from you on calling the post a “ridiculous entry”. You can be right. And then you can be lose respectability being right.

    • My entry was just reality, so not sure how it is ridiculous. Umpires pretty much set their own strike zone, everyone knows that, especially the pitchers and catchers. not saying there isn’t an established strike zone but facing reality that umps determine what they will call, etc. Some umps give more of the inside borderline pitches, some the outside. Some high, some low.

      All I am asking is that the umps, whatever their zone, call it consistently, for BOTH teams and both pitchers.

      • oh and where’s my participant trophy for posting on the blog?

      • So then a different zone for every one. What is wrong with the letters to the knees and each side of the plate?
        For 100 years it worked and now you find it acceptable to have individual zones.

        So at the years end, when umpires are evaluated, which zone should be the criterion?

        • has nothing to do with what I find acceptable. The umpires have had their own zones for 100 years, Bob. If you don’t believe me, ask Bob Walk, a former major league pitcher, who always talks about it being the pitcher and catcher’s responsibility to ‘learn what today’s zone is”.

          Again, the real thing umpires should be evaluated on is making it consistent..not calling it one way for one pitcher and the other way for the other, which was my beef with the ump last night. He was squeezing Jeff Locke and allowing Wainwright to get away with everything.

  11. FYI……Today’s game is the free game of the day on, for any fellow out of towners.

  12. You have got to be kidding me.

  13. Here we go again, already in a hole. The Succos are back.

    • Terrible start. This is the critical game of the season. If they fall behind the cards by one and a half they could be chasing the rest of the year. Cards have much easier schedule after today. My wife the Cardinals fan is loving every minute of this.

  14. I wonder how the ratings are in two sucktacular games?

  15. Remember, everyone clamored for Morneau, and because we got him NH became a candidate for Exec. of the Year. Right?

    Maybe this transaction falls into the category of “be careful what you wish for. . . . . . . . .”

  16. Man I am in a real quandary now; watch the Steelers or the Pirates. Wow, not much to choose from there.

  17. Walker’s throw was AWFUL. He rushed it, he had all day with Molina “running”, if he was worried about Holliday, he could’ve stepped 3 steps away and thrown out Yadi.

    Those extra runs with poor defense are starting to add up. Charlie needs to put the foot down NOW and this offense needs to wake up! LETS GO BUCS

  18. pedro has been absolutely terrible of late. If this team fades, it is a Pedro collapse that is part of the problem.

  19. The lead over Washington doesnt look as safe as it did a few days back.

  20. Time for someone to man the freak up!

  21. Well, this has been a great day so far.

  22. Time to get somebody up. Time to get Charlie out of there.

  23. If I was pitching I would make sure Carpenter felt one in his ribs or on his backside. I’m not a fan of his cheer leading on the bases.

  24. Sorry I wasn’t able to post a game line today.
    Had a minor family issue this morning, and just got back now.

    I’ll have updated standings this evening.
    Sorry again.

  25. Well, it was fun while it lasted. But now Gagfest 2013 is in full swing. Swept here, swept at Texas, season over.

  26. I’ve made up my mind; I’m watching the Yankees-Red Sox which is 1-1, and I don’t care who wins this.
    For a moment there, I thought I was on Facebook

  27. Both games are, for lack of a better word, subpar.

  28. This is bad. Real bad.

  29. My wife says the only thing wrong with Charlie is a bruised ego. Frankly the Pirates TV announcers are Bush. They put down the Cardinals fans for reporting a successful sacrifice fly, which eventually led to another run. That is good station to station baseball. I may be rooting for the Pirates, but I appreciate fans who have knowledge. And Charlie didn’t have it today in the bullpen with The text anyway. They should have had someone up in the bullpen before this. It is going to be a long afternoon. I just hope it is not going to be a long three weeks.

  30. 5-0. Way to show up today, fellas

  31. Has any noticed that this team has been totally, 100% non-competitive in the last 4 games? From the first pitch on Friday through the whole 3 game series the Cards have completely owned and dominated the Bucs. And now the number of pitchers they can rely on has dwindled down to zero.

    Can we be looking at an epic 24 game losing streak to end the year?

    Look at the bright side: It’ll give NH something to talk about when he accepts his Executive of the Year Award.

  32. The deadline deals ruined the clubhouse chemistry. Just took a couple weeks for them to realize it.

  33. Morton injured.
    Pitching simply destroyed.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your Pittsburgh Pirates………. The Most Snakebitten franchise for 21 years.

  34. Panic has given way to quiet resignation. If the Pirates blow this again this year, I will NOT be back next year. I have suffered enough.I’m glad I didn’t get around to buying those tickets for the final Reds series.

  35. It’s too bad Barmes isn’t playing today as well, then Wacha would be working on a no-hitter

  36. I predict the first two Pirates released, or not invited back are Barmes and Leyva

  37. Morton gets hurt the day after we release JMac


  38. Charlie hurt his foot somehow. Not arm related.

  39. Morneau starting to look like a Ryan Ludwick pickup. No HR’s or RBI’s after 6+ Danes and getting into bad habit of hitting into double plays when Cutch gets on. Of course the option of using Jones is no better. Jones has become an automatic out.

  40. All hail Stormy Pimento.

  41. Pirates have been pretty lousy since the Steelers picked up Zoltan Mesko.

  42. Here comes that Kellogg cereal – Special K

    • Bob

      I can tell you are upset. But I think both Leyva & St. Barmes will be back. CB will be a utility infielder with a lot lower salary.

      • I’m hoping Mercer is the utility guy and they get a shortstop.

      • They don’t need Barmes for utility. You have a kid – Mercer – hitting 270+/-, whose defensive is way better than depicted here, you have some youth including Chase d’Arnaud whom I love coming up, and those two salaries will be far less than the 5 mill paid to Barmes this year. He will not accept less than that so he will go..

        Leyva has displayed very poor judgment, and reacts too slowly to plays. I don’t know what he does behind the scene

        To me these are the two obvious failures this team has – among a few others, and these are EASILY CORRECTIBLE shortcomings.

        • . . . . if you eliminate friendship.

          • Bob

            Seriously, if Barmes finds a team to pay him $5 million order next year, more power to him. It won’t be here, for sure. I think the guy is pretty much washed up.

            But that is next year & who cares about 2014 right now. The BMTIB has got to quickly figure out how to get this team back on track for the remainder of 2013.

  43. Sure do hope they use Sanchez next time Martin needs a rest.

  44. God awful day to be a Pittsburgh sports fan.

    Both teams laid an egg……… both teams had players injured.
    Now, Pirates off to Texas……… I dont have a good feeling there.

    But, by me switching between both games, I helped both teams TV ratings !!!!

    Get praying, folks. These teams need it.

  45. Now that I have seen Buck catch a couple games, I see why the Pirate Pitchers have been so bad with him catching (26 runs in 3.5) games. Buck sets up with the glove center of the plate almost every pitch. If the center of the plate is the target, we shouldn’t be surprised if the pitcher hits the target and gives up hits. Watch Molina and he sets up on the edges of the plate and the Cardinal pitchers are painting the black.

  46. This is painful. When all is said and done probably worse than Friday night.

  47. How about putting in everyone but Martin. Give em some at bats.

  48. The baseball season is a series of snapshots. The one of the last few days isn’t pretty.
    The snapshot of the season so far is pretty good.

  49. Put the starters and used pitchers on an early plane to Dallas, tell em to find a bar and stay there till the rest of the guys get there!

  50. This day is saving the TV for hockey season.

  51. Choking dogs.

  52. Pittsburgh has become a classical city.

    I’m not sure if it is Troy or Atlantis.

  53. Wow, I just saw the score…they need to regroup…fast…real fast…before heading to Texas. Not good at all…not a good weekend…

  54. I agree with the entry that said the plate umpire last night was vastly favoring Wainwright
    over Locke. I know that Locke normally issues a lot of walks, but he was being cheated
    badly by the ump. I saw a pitch hit the dirt right in front of home plate witch was called a strike for Wainwright, and another that was so outside that Martin couldn’t have hit it with a bed slat. Right now, the Pirates suck, and it looks like they are not even trying. Even the new (HITTERS) we were supposed to count on suck. At least we won’t finish the season
    under .500. Not possible now. The Reds are going to pass us up in a few more games.

  55. Nationals won today.

  56. When Holliday catches every ball hit his way – you know it isn’t going to be a good series

  57. With a loss today, the Pirates will be a grand total of 2 games better than last year’s epic collapse.

    From the magic date of August 8th, where they last reached their high water mark each of the last two years – 16 over in 2012 & 26 over this year – they are 11-17 this year. They were 9-19 last year.

    Looks pretty similar to me.

    • Last year’s team didn’t win 81 … And eventually 82

      • And unfortunately, they don’t hold the playoffs in July.

        • And I’ll answer myself, fortunately they don’t hold them in early September either.

        • I think your post was very sobering, Milo. A week ago I thought there was no way the Bucs didn’t make the playoffs. Now, I’m not so sure. I think they will, but it’s going to be closer than I thought. This team has to prove they can win in September.

          • How they are playing now matters. They are not a very good baseball team right now. In every area. And it’s not just this weekend. This has been more than a month in the making.

      • Well, we will have a new debate at least.

        Collapse III vs. 82+ wins being a good season.

        • It’s a bummer that collapse started in early August but at least Bucs will have a winning season. Playoffs are 45% we make it and 55%

  58. At least a new episode of Breaking Bad is on tonight.

    Walter White needs to deal with the Cardinals and Reds.

  59. Panic button officially pushed.

    I could not be more disheartened. This team is imploding. I’m really, really sad.

  60. We got 81 and will get 82 but the pitching has run its course. We got a littler lucky with Liriano and locke pitching way above what was expected for a few months. I hope Morton is ok but this series was a beat down of a tired Buccos team.

  61. They’ve lost the last game of a series 9 straight times. They are finishing series the way they finish seasons. Feel free to start playing good baseball again at any point here soon.

  62. Can we stop talking collapses and looking for blame and call this what it is?

    A morbidly jinxed franchise.

  63. Biertempfel: “Pirates notebook: Several players pondering winter ball”


  64. As bad as Jones has been , he and Sanchez both got more RBI’s today than Mornaeu has in seven.

  65. As promised here are the updated standings.
    Up to 80 Players now.

    You all rock!

    Bill Born ~ 600
    Rick in Crete ~ 200
    cosmo ~ 200
    pattonbb ~ 200
    Dom ~ 150

    bman ~ 2755
    JRay3 ~ 2150
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2125
    Nate83 ~ 1625
    blazer ~ 1500
    War Horse ~ 1365
    JUCOFan ~ 1300
    Bill Born ~ 1080
    Dadtackular ~ 900
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    Irish ~ 800
    KJX ~ 750
    theplanisworking ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    stickyweb ~ 700
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    tdb1977 ~ 485
    OZ ~ 400
    TCB ~ 400
    JohninOshkosh ~ 385
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    kr70 ~ 200
    Rick in Crete ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    Karen22 ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    BDHumbert ~ 125
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    MarkV ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Fish ~ 0
    Frankie ~ 0
    Jason81 ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Dom ~ -75
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Arriba Wilver ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    The Gunner ~ -100
    TK ~ -100
    buggee ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    Alexandre Giesbrecht ~ -200
    cosmo ~ -200
    DemonDachshund ~ -200
    DormontGeorge ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Big B ~ -300
    Brandie ~ -300
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    toochca ~ -300
    cmat0829 ~ -350
    Keith ~ -350
    radio wave ~ -375
    Steve J. Smith ~ -400
    pattonbb ~ -500
    stuart66 ~ -500
    Jandy ~ -875
    JaxBuc ~ -900
    JMB ~ -1100
    Lad9 ~ -1600
    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:

  66. Morneau is hitting like Jones-except he isn’t even able to pull the ball. His infrequent hits have been opposite field bloops, mostly. Byrd had that early burst and now looks like he’s been talking to Alvarez about swinging at anything out of the zone while taking pitches right down the middle.

    As a team, they had that “walking to the gallows” look as they headed to the plate. Sleepwalking on defense (bad throws, throws to wrong bases, etc.) and the hittig more abysmal than ever. Something has blown out the competitive fire of the Pirates.Whatever happened, I saw a lot of 2011 an2012 attitude today. Maybe 0-24 is a possibility.

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