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Final: Pirates 7, Rangers 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (83-61) vs. Texas Rangers (81-63)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Matt Garza

Time: 2:05 p.m.

Site: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texass

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. Justin Morneau, 1B
  4. Marlon Byrd, RF
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Russell Martin, C
  7. Garrett Jones, DH
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Felix Pie, CF

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.

872 Comments

  1. WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM!!!

    ******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!!

    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    Total HITS by the Pirates in today’s game
    0 – 3 (TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE ODDS)
    4 – 7 (EVEN ODDS)
    8 – 11 (EVEN ODDS)
    12 or More (DOUBLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Wild Card Magic Number: 11

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

  2. Pirates Batters career numbers vs. Matt Garza
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/batvspitch/_/id/28528/matt-garza

  3. Someone had better tell us that Cutch is sick!

    NO days off now!!

  4. Yes and I need answers why Barmes is starting instead of the 4-hit guy?

    I did predict this on the morning thread, however, that Clint Hurdle has no clue!

  5. They have lost the final game of the last 8 series. With that in mind he sits the 4 hit guy & the MVP. Still waiting for injury news.

  6. Alex Presley.

    That is all.

  7. My guess with Cutch is that due being in the midst of playing 20 straight games, CH wants to make sure Cutch gets a day off to recharge his batteries…as for Barmes, I’m sure there are probably some defensive tendencies and such being used here…especially since AJ is pitching.

  8. No problem with the lineup. You have to sit Cutch at some point to keep him fresh for the stretch drive. Winning 2 out of 3 was the goal in this series, so winning today would be gravy. This will probably be his last day off of the season. He’ll pinch hit if needed.

    Often, it’s these weird B-team lineups that end up scoring a lot of runs, for some odd reason. We’ll see!

    • Wins are fungible.

      Barring injury or illness, sitting Cutch today is indefensible.

      • 90 degrees outside in Arlington in ballpark known to be sauna, and a RHP on the hill. I’m OK with Cutch getting *this* day off to keep him fresh the rest of the way. Plus, Felix Pie has a similar OPS to Cutch against Garza in his career.

    • Except he just went 3 for 5 and we get to use a DH today. He can get a day off and still walk up there and swing his hot bat 4 times. Rest for position baseball players is overrated in my opinion.

      • Now that’s an argument I can agree with. Letting Cutch DH would be the equivalent of a day off. I wonder if that crossed Hurdle’s mind.

  9. More Hurdle lineup bashing. Yawn. If this blog were around for some of Leyland’s lineups, I think the servers would have blown up. Players like Wehner, Cangelosi, et al were liberally played in day games, even down the stretch…. but Leyland is on Manager Mt Rushmore and Hurdle is a loser that should be run outta town, I guess.

    I’m not there,but I have to believe there is nothing Hurdle wants to do more than to write Cutch’s name in the lineup. If he’s not playing, then it is because of some fatigue or soreness or based on a conversation the player and manager had, I have to think.

    As to Barmes playing, Burnett’s ground ball rate is highest in major leagues, and even though some on here will never be convinced that Barmes’ D and range are better than Mercer, my eyes tell me they are. Mercer mashes LHPs but Garza is a RHP last time I checked.

    Again, if I were writing the lineup card, Mercer would be at SS and Cutch would be in CF.. but I don’t think we need three scrolls worth of “Hurdle is an idiot”.

  10. Playoffs posted a link for how the our guys have fared batting against Garza. Barmes is 3 for 11, and two of those 3 are Homers. Hmmmm…
    Tabata is 5 for 10, with one of those being a triple…good lead off choice.

    Pie is 2 for 9….and Walker is an abysmal 0 for 9. Ouch.

  11. It is odd that Cutch isn’t the DH, so I’d have to think it is something more than a ‘scheduled day off’ but I have no clue….did someone ask CH? Has 24/7 made the long trip to the ballpark yet? I had to get the Farnsworth news from the ‘other paper’s twitter feed’.

  12. i wasn’t a big Hurdle guy when he was hired. Take away that Rocktober team in Colorado and I wasn’t sure what it was the warranted giving him a big league managing job.

    But I trust Dejan’s reporting, categorically. He said Clint was the reason for the season including his affect on the guys above him.

    So as far as his lineups are concerned:

    In Clint I trust.

  13. Keep in mind that Cutch has played in 141 of the 144 games so far. How tired would you be at this point in the season? He’ll be on the bench, ready to PH. So will be Mercer. Hurdle has taken a team from Wild Card to the World Series as manager, and as batting coach, too. He is not as ignorant as some may believe. He knows from his experience in 2011 and last year that players cannot produce their best efforts when they’re bone tired. Let’s see how it works out this afternoon.

  14. In 1949 or 1950, a guy named Walt Dropo 1B for the Bosox had 12 hits in a row stretching over three games.

    Obviously Clint Hurdle was not the manager

    • I agree Bob, I keep hoping we see the breaking news that Neal has fired Hurdle and replaced him with Jeff Bannister or Nick Leyva for the rest of the year. That will cure what is holding this team back. Or better yet Dean Treanor takes the reigns. Bet we see a very very noticeable difference in how this team is managed. Maybe today is the day? Or after the game in time for the series opener tomorrow vs. the Cubbies? WE CAN HOPE…#FIRETHEBUMHURDLEASAP

      • Cmat, I know you are being sarcastic with this.

        But you represent a part of the blog that allows no criticism of Hurdle, ever. I criticize him when he deserves it, and praise him when he deserves it………… but you do not allow him to be criticized ever, even when he pulls bonehead decisions.

        Yes, there are some people who are over the top in criticizing him, but you are over the top in defending him. Dont understand why, but it is just as annoying as those who criticize him for every move.

        And, ……………….I support playing Barmes today, as it is a “getaway” day. You said earlier we dont need 3 scrolls of Hurdle is an idiot. We also dont need 3 scrolls of Hurdle is God, either.

        • I don’t normally have much bad to say about Clint, ever since Chad Qualls has been a part of somebody else’s roster.

          But when he was here, I could have said a few things. And I like the guy. (Clint) No offense to Chad, but he stinks.

        • Will need to see my posts that can be classified as “Hurdle is a God”. I unequivocably believe Hurdle’s leadership has been key to this team’s success and I happen to think he is a fine manager ..not the best ever, not “God-like” but pretty much manages like every other manager does.

          I don’t spend time criticizing each and every move he makes so my posts on this topic are always in refuting the frequent critiques of his lineups or managerial decisions…and yes, those are probably in defense of the move or at least suggesting the criticism is over the top.

          C’est la vie. I am happy Clint is the manager, others can feel differently and that’s groovy.

  15. Hey Chicago what do you say? The Cubs are going to win today!

    Mike Leake pitching for the Reds. He’ll have plenty of time to get to Macy’s before it closes. (Sorry, I can’t help myself, like Milo with Chapman and the hookers). :)

  16. If you sit McCutchen, fine. Just don’t put PIE in there, unless it is Traynor. You have all those other guys, put guys in the outfield who can hit. Pie is on quite a long 0-fer.

  17. Sorry, but at this point in the season, my best player has to be on a stretcher with a priest preparing last rites for me not to write his name on the lineup card.

  18. Rad Lad in DaHouse :)

  19. I know pitchers get their own personal catcher, but now a personal shortstop too?

  20. Pirates playing 20 games in 20 days, Cutch off is just to keep from getting fatigued. Of course i might played him today and sit him in first game of Cub series tomorrow.

  21. Reds take 2-0 lead on Cubs.

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  23. Playoffs, you are EVIL! This line today is making me nuts.

  24. I think my son, Demon Dachshund is at the game today.

    He’ll bring home the win ;-)

  25. Pirates 14-5 vs. the American League this year.

    That is not a typo.

  26. AJ Pierzynski’s catching a day game after a night game ? In that heat ? Somebody call OSHA.

  27. Bud Selig catches a lot of grief, some of it deservedly so. But they way he stewarded MLB through September 2001, and has remembered it every year since with various directives to the clubs, ought to be applauded.

    He learned from Pete Rozelle’s greatest regret.

  28. Some food for thought.

    AJ Burnett – Home: 2.32 Road: 4.30

    Francisco Liriano – Home: 1.21 Road: 4.14

    Charlie Morton – Home: 2.88 Road: 3.88

    Juan D. Rodriguez – Home: 2.06 Road: 6.26

    ————————————————————–

    Jeff Locke – Home: 4.52 Road: 2.15

    Gerrit Cole – Home: 4.27 Road: 2.29

  29. Wouldn’t be surprised if this one goes about 2 hours 25 minutes.

  30. First inning, both sides 3 up and 3 down.

  31. I found a silver lining today in starting work at 3 AM. I get to go home and sleep for a couple of hours, wake up and watch the Bucs game this afternoon.

    • tdb where do you work that you can start at 3am?

      • I work in IT. When our stores are closed at night – its when we do alot of our maintenance and update any and all software installed on the servers so there is no down time during the business day unless some unexpected happens.

  32. It’s 91 degrees in the shade in Arlington. Cutch has played 141 of 144 games this season. Hurdle was asked why he sat Cutch today and he said (words to the effect) that he didn’t want Cutch to have to play in “150 degrees out there today.”

    • I would’ve played Cutch but I went to a game there once in August and with the entire ballpark being enclosed, you get no air movement. It’s brutal.

    • I’m guessing here but not really. If you asked Cutch if he wanted to play today the answer would have been yes and there would have been zero hesitation. This is the irst time meaningfull ball has been played this late in the year in 20 years. The best team needs to be on the field every day from here on out. MVP candidate plays. No questions asked. He has shown zero signs of being tired or worn down.

  33. All of a sudden, PA’s bat wakes up. At least in Texas, not in St. Louis. And how hot is it there? I understand Bucs are wearing black tops today. In that heat? I went to games there when it was 95 for a night game.

  34. Petey with a double !

  35. Pey-hey-dro.

  36. moving on to the actual game and not Cutch-gate 2013…. boy did Rios look slow going after that fly ball to right by Petey?

  37. Martin called out on strikes. 2 outs. Petey waiting. GI Jones batting

  38. The next update will be Barmes with a runs scoring single. Fingers crossed.

  39. AJ Pierzynski strikes out for the second out,,missed the first one, Phone call

  40. Wow – AJ looks serious today!

    Hope our anemic lineup can give him a run.

  41. Hurdle: “Little Pie, little Pie, you better come in…”

    Garza: “Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin…”

  42. Walker likes Pie!!

    1-0 good guys.

  43. So far, AJ appears to be telling a lot of Rangers to STFD!

    The only Texas Ranger he would never tell that to would be …. Chuck Norris, aka Walker Texas Ranger! Nobody tells him to STFD.

  44. It wasn’t clear on the radio, Walker was thrown out at first when Pia scored? How??

  45. This just popped up in the MLB Gameday for our game:

    That was pitch number 45 for Matt Garza; his effectiveness may start slipping, as he holds opposing hitters to a .207 average in the first 45 pitches but they hit .253 off him after that.

    Let’s hope they’re right. (and I think Pie’s AB was responsible for 38 of those poitches)

  46. Morneau heard everybody here picking on him today.
    He responds with a double.

  47. Walker singles and Pie scores!!!!!

  48. On the radio, they quoted Hurdle as saying if this game gets to a save situation, it will be Farnsworth. Yikes.

  49. No help from Cubs. Reds lead 6-0.

  50. wow bottom of third 3 up and 3 down. that was fast

  51. Batman looking pretty good through 3 today…

  52. I guess with the heat… kinda unlikely for Burnett to go 8 right?… eventhough he’s only thrown 36 pitches through 3 so far.

  53. Was just thinking what Greg Brown just said… Petey is ‘starting to see the ball well’… hope this means he is about to go on a tear… would be a nice thing to have for the long homestand… clear the decks!

  54. Love it when bunt fails.

  55. wow Pedro walked… are there stats anywhere for the day game version of Pedro? 1-1 2B and BB so far today.

  56. Martin singles, Petey to second. 2 on, no outs :)

  57. Bases loaded (for Harry Caray fans) or juiced (for cryin’ Ryan)… need to knock Garza off the horse here, fellas!! LETS GO BUCS!!

  58. He who shall not be named is at the plate….

  59. Good time to break this one open.

  60. Garza got in spot where he cant use his best pitch.

  61. 3-1 count… make the pitch be good, nameless one!

  62. BALL FOUR, RBI for Barmes, Bucs lead 2-0, crooked number is a-coming.

  63. Bahahahaha Barmes walks….a run comes in :)

  64. Minutes to Garza destroying the gatorade cooler, plus/minus 5.

  65. Back in the day, the great Red Barber would have said “meat and potatos on the table.”
    And a bases loaded walk.. Keep it going.

  66. And don’t forget, no outs.

  67. What is Garza so upset about? Those balls weren’t even close.

  68. After meat and potatos we need some Pie.

  69. If it curves, just say no!

  70. Might be safe to say Garza won’t finish this game. 74 pitches in the top of the 4th and nobody out.

  71. Time for dessert. How about some Pie?

  72. Pie was not good.

  73. Why is Pie playing?? Do we not have Lambo any longer??

  74. wow, Pie HAS to swing at that one. just has to. 1 down. Tabby needs to pick up Pie here.

  75. Rangers are beating themselves.

  76. C’mon Tabby!!!

  77. Just wait for his fastball, Walker.

  78. Garza at 85 pitches pitching to Walker.

  79. What did Tabloid do?

    All I can get is Gameday mini and it’s screwed up.

  80. You gotta love self-destructive tendencies …. from your opponent.

  81. ouch. well it’s still 3-0

  82. What is Walker now? 0 for 13 against Garza? His “hidden vigorish” is really hidden.

  83. We got 3 …but 2 poor at bats that inning…Pie can’t take a 94 MPH fastball on 3-2 count down the middle and Neil can’t swing at a curveball in the dirt that wasn’t close to a strike.

    Kinda hope Garza stays in for the 5th…. he has a lot of talent but seems his head gets in the way a lot of the time.

  84. Nice to get Batman more than 1 run in a game…keep it going Buccos!

  85. Ugh! I love you, Bucs. You know that I do. But, for the love all that is holy, why can you never put a team away early?

    • I know! I’m just watching that, and come away sounding like a children’s book: “The Inning That Could Have Been So Much More!” (Sung to the tune of the “Little Engine That Could?”) WHAT THE HECK WAS PIE THINKING? (I know: “Bay, PIES don’t think!”)

  86. Last half inning, Garza looked like he was suffering from heat stroke. Couldn’t find the plate. I suspect it was the Pirates’ game plan to get him to throw a lot in that heat.

  87. so wait.. bases still loaded with no outs after walking a run home to go up 2 to 0 and we only get one more run? *sigh* I guess this is just typical pirate baseball.

  88. RIOS — _” HE GONE” .. he should recognize that from his days with the Sox.

    • What is you bias against Rios? He his hitting 294 between the two teams, with 36 steals.

      Better than 90% of the Pirates, your bias is completely off base.

  89. Just hopped on to catch the score and figured we were losing after reading a bit. Tough crowd today. :)

    Thanks for the score Jandy

  90. hey everybody aj has a NO HITTER GOING.

  91. Ortiz in for Garza…Morneau at bat

  92. I do believe Barmy and Justin make up in defense what they have been lacking in offense.

  93. If the Buccos put a team away early for AJ, it usually messes him up…lol.

  94. And Morneau singles

  95. Petey….c’mon. 2 on, no outs

  96. Petey…ugghhh

  97. Pirates 62-15 when scoring four or more runs. AJ won’t know how to cope with this kind of support.

  98. Well…at least he got ONE run home…

  99. Beltre pops out to Morneau

  100. Would Amac have caught that one?

  101. aww… byebye PG NONO :(

  102. That was a can of corn plus for Cutch!

  103. I have to head out to a meeting…Go Bucs and Go Loonies! See ya all tomorrow…

  104. You guys jinxed it! LOL

  105. OK crew, I gotta go too…stuff to attend to…Keep it going, everyone!

  106. Aj is on today folks…I should have gone to the game today too…haha.

  107. ok so… AJ 1-hitter through 5 w/ 7 strikeouts… 66 pitches thrown. Likelihood to get through 8?

  108. Reds 6-0 final.

  109. Aj 72 pitches, 47 strikes.

  110. I feel like our offense has gone into “we’ve scored all of our runs” mode. Plenty of wasted and near wasted chances again.

    I hope AJ and what’s behind him can keep throwing up 0′s.

  111. The heat may be getting to AJ…

  112. AJ hits the dreaded 6th inning wall.

  113. Time to get someone up.

  114. we are due for a triply play… just sayin :|

  115. CRAP!! AJ wilting fast!!

  116. Bases juiced, no one out. Elvis at bat.

  117. Get him the hell out of the game Hurdle.

  118. The heat in that ballpark at this time of day can be brutal…

  119. Uh oh…AJ throwin a fit not good

  120. Big run sitting there on third. Beltre up.

  121. Phew! I’ll take 4-2, Good Guys, in the 7th! EXCEPT … Not enough of a lead for Farnsworth.

  122. Nice job AJ…way to get out of it….

  123. I know it’s not the same as major league comptetition but how did Farnsworth pitch in the minors after we picked him up?

  124. I bet other teams’ fans hate AJ Burnett.

  125. Morneau finding his stroke again…

  126. Funny, the Penguins use Mike Lange in their advertisements on ROOT sports to sell tickets.

  127. Temperature must have gotten to Ortiz.

  128. Didn’t matter where Barmes was playing when the 1st two batters walked, did it ?

  129. A Byrd in the hand is worth 2 on the bases!!

  130. Marlon Byrd was not on my radar, but I loves the guy now.

  131. SF sighting! Pedro drives in Morneau. 5-2.

  132. woop! Daydro strikes again!

  133. Nice sac fly by PA.

  134. As I said earlier, they’re beating themselves.

  135. Byrd scores on WP. Bucs get back the two they just gave up.

  136. AJ should have told the other AJ to move over.

  137. Pedro has really had some great AB’s this series….hopefully this is a good sign of a streak ready to break out…

  138. That’s the way to respond to two runs by the bad guys

  139. This Tech Sgt. singing “God Bless America” has some pipes on her. Well done. Tricky song to do a cappella.

  140. I might be the only one alive who likes A.J. Pierzynski.

    I follow the White Sox, have since I was a kid, and they would not have a world title without him. Also, he brawled with Cubs, which is always cool in my book.

    • That was the first time I remember rooting for the Cubs. They say Michael Barrett became the most popular player in mlb that day.

      I’ve never heard any former teammates say anything positive about the guy. Jermaine Dye hated him.

      • He got a very warm welcome when the Rangers played at Chicago last week. White Sox fans appreciate him.

        • I’m sure my opinion would be different if he played for my team. I was always a big fan of Jermaine Dye. He played AA ball here in Greenville. Seemed like a really good kid. When I heard they didn’t get along, I immediately joined “Team Dye”.

  141. I bet AJ wants to tell the other AJ to STFD!!

  142. so I guess AJ’s not making it through 8… anyone watching the game that can tell me who we have warming in the bp?

  143. Ok CH…you can go get him now…

  144. also, anyone watching that can explain how you single on a pop-up to Neil Walker? *shakes fist at stupid MLB app*

  145. Should be warm & fuzzy when Hurdle pulls Burnett.

  146. Why is Burnett still in the game? Is Clint trying to give another F’in game away. He needs to grow a set and stand up to A J.

  147. Rangers have 44 comeback wins, most in MLB.

  148. In a battle between AJ and Clint, my money’s on Clint. AJ has brung a lot, but I think we already got the best of what he has, on and off the field. Baseball is a fickle game.

    ICIT

  149. AJ is a Richard plain and simple. Take it or leave it I guess. He’s one of the big reasons they are good again

  150. my phone is telling me that Jenmars throwing lots of balls.

  151. Dangit Gomez…

  152. I see I missed a lot of fun and games today. Had a long day at work.

  153. This feels like we’re going to give this game away. I don’t like it!

  154. come on jeno, throw strikes :|

  155. It’s time like these that the Rangers really miss Nelson Cruz’ pharmacist.

  156. Can we get someone in there who can throw strikes today? Please?

  157. Bryan Morris warming up in pen.

  158. Get Gomez out of there Hurdle!!

  159. I could have hit that last pitch by Jeanmar.

  160. MORRIS!!??? Just turned off my TV!

  161. Morris? Why why why.

  162. Uh-oh…it’s Morris time…

  163. trouble…trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…..trouble been doggin’ my soul since the day I was born.

  164. I think this heat has bothered the BP the last two games….very uncharacteristic of this team…

  165. Well…great. Morris is in.

  166. Oh well. They rarely make it easy on themselves.

  167. So Morris starts off with a ball…uggghhh…

  168. This is getting out of control. And Bryan Morris is now in meaning it is about to get worse.

  169. Big out. Beltre was on deck.

  170. Hey check it out…Morris just recorded an out. No walks. No hits just an out. Amazing feat!

  171. I shouldn’t be shocked that an MLB reliever can retire one batter, but I am.

  172. Brian Morris Anthem…

    Nobody loves me but my mother, but she could be jivin’ too!

    B. B. King

  173. Nice job Morris…BIG out….

  174. Bryan Morris, the Stopper.

  175. Can we pinch-hit for Pie yet?

    • How is he on a roster?? Our minors that deplete of talent that Pie is on the team?? Hard to believe there is not someone better in our system than him???

      • September call ups. All teams have guys like him in September.

      • No one percieved to be ready. Lambo was up already. Couldn’t recall Presley due to the 10 day rule…now he is gone.

        Could have tried to send Pie through waivers when the 10 days were up to recall Presley but he likely would have been claimed meaning that if they lost one more outfielder they’d be aclling up essentially double A guys. Don’t see any of them on teh 40 man either so the contract would have to be purchased…you get the point.

        • Sands was the only other option. If you consider him and option. I have no problem with him being on the team. He wouldn’t be playing so much if Marte wasn’t hurt. He would only be a pinch runner and a possible defense replacement for Tabata if you beleive Tabata is horrible at defense. I personally think he is average.

  176. You know what I hate about Garret Jones as a DH? you can’t pinch hit for him with a lefty on the mound because then you lose your DH!

  177. Or you pinch hit with Harrison and just concede to a pinch hitter every time teh spot comes up I guess?

  178. Was Just popping in…
    See the usual complainers are making noise because Clint Hurdle doesn’t use twelve pitchers per game, swapping each one out just as soon as he gets a ball in the count. Popping back out due to the complainers.

  179. Barmes should get that ball & give it to AJ.

  180. Barmes sucks. :-P

  181. Barmes hits the foul pole. 7-5

  182. And the Barmes bashers need to pop out, too.

  183. CLINT FRICKIN’ BARMES?!?!?!

  184. Barmes loves hitting the foul pole…haha…

  185. Remember when this game started 6 hours ago ?

  186. If Morris falters in the 8th, who do we think cleans up that inning? Wilson?

  187. I think we should re-sign Clint Barmes.

    (Sorry, just throwing a smoke bomb)

  188. Marte in the field. First time since injury.

  189. There is no way this conglomeration of jabronie relievers is going to get this done. Is there ? Maybe ?

  190. How in the world is it just the 8th! The color guy, Grieve, I’ve had about as much as I can take from his milquetoast delivery!

  191. The Rangers have 5 straight lefties up. Why not bring Wilson or Watson in?

  192. Hmmmm…Marte in LF…good sign…hopefully he can get back to the lineup this weekend.

  193. Time for the Italian.

  194. Here we go again Morris….uggghhh…

  195. I try to be objective about Morris, but it seems to me he is only suited for mop-up action.

  196. Wow…CH must be saving Wilson for the 9th (sarcasm involved)…

  197. Between Morris and Lerch…uggghh…

  198. I was going to watch the replay of this when I got home tonight. But, at this point, win or lose I don’t think I could take it.

  199. Can ANYBODY get ahead in the counts now?? Geezzz

  200. Sorry I’m late to the party. Actually had some work to do and didn’t realize today was an afternoon game.

    I’m sure I missed a lot of “why isn’t Cutch in the lineup” and “Barmes sucks” blah blah blah at the top. I just skipped it all.

    On that note: I’m not a fan of Bryan Morris being the 8th inning guy. I don’t like him in the current match up against the best hitters on the Rangers team.

    And without further ado, here’s The Vin Man.

    Fingers crossed.

    • Actually, they didn’t have much choice with all the work from the pen lately, Nor Cal. And, Kyle Farnsworth is today’s closer.

      • Has he shown his face yet since being called up? I like his addition BTW.

        I figured MM would have the day off (gasp) after 2 days in a row.

        I don’t think Grilli is quite right yet, maybe more dust than pain.

  201. Not to be Debbie Downer, but the Bucs have lost at least the last 10 games Morris has pitched in. Sure they’ve trailed in some when he entered, but he also has 3 losses and a hold during that stretch. Pretty amazing.

  202. Nice Vinnie Bingbamboom!

  203. Mazarro….Pittsburgh’s Italian stallion!

  204. Jones doesn’t make that stop that Morneau just made.

  205. The Vin Meister!!

  206. Whew! OK three more runs for Farney! I don’t understand why they wouldn’t let Wilson close it instead, with his crackling fastball! Of course, he’s fallible!

  207. Morneau! Serviceable vs. the lefties today!

  208. Barmes with a HR? Clint Hurdle is a freakin’ genius.

    Farnsworth is pitching the 9th in a close game? Clint Hurdle is a freakin’ idiot!!!!!

  209. I’m goin’ to hide under the bed!

  210. I like JM with a 4-5 game today.

    I do think there is something to the AL hitters switching to NL. Especially for a guy like JM who spent his entire career in the AL. Might be a little more comfortable against guys he may already know.

    Pitchers always have the advantage in a unknown situation like that. Sure, the Pirates have tons of scouting information for him to read and learn, but its nothing like the real thing (giggidty) for a hitter to make the adjustments.

    I think JM is going to have a good turn of events for the rest of the month.

  211. Nice to see Kinsler up there, nobody on base.

  212. What is KF’s fastball velocity these days? I’m watching on GAMECAST so I don’t the MPH.

    Anybody? He used to be big time heat with a good slider.

  213. I absolutely love seeing Marte in left. He makes us a better team.

  214. Killing me being out of town and not seeing this. And the Sirrius is like 10 minutes behind.

  215. ….fear the Bones….

  216. The Farns !! (Exhales)

  217. The Farney & Barmey Show! Raise it!

  218. Get swept in St. Louie and then sweep the Rangers…Baseball indeed is a crazy game. I have tix for tomorrow night at PNC…should be a blast to welcome the Bucs home.

  219. WHEEEEEWWWWW! Raise it! Sweeping the Rangers is a REALLLY big deal. This group never gives in. What a blast!

    • They are gutsy, that’s for sure. So happy for Barmes especially.

      • Barmes is a bum. Mercer would have hit 2 HRs and also positioned himself right where AJ was gonna give up the laced ground balls…. and hitting the foul pole? Amateur. Mercer wouldn’t have had it be so close to a foul ball.

        • Truth seems to really bother you

          • The truth is Barmes shouldn’t even be on this roster. Everything else is pure fiction.

            • Gee, you aren’t hysterical at all…

            • Let me call your attention to the “blazing” lack of speed displayed by Barmes on that muffed DP ball by Andrus. He (Barmes) allowed himself to be thrown out at second.

              Anyone else on this team would have been safe.

              Just another small bit of evidence of his general lack of speed and quickness so vital to playing well at SS.

              Who was right on that confrontation between AJ and Barmes? Was Barmes out of position?

  220. Way to go. A little dicey, but it’s win #84!

  221. Hurdle stinks!

  222. Good win. Strong performance. Showing up with the same will on this homestand is important.

  223. Get out those brooms!!!

  224. RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER. Magic number to clinch playoff spot is TEN. The Nats may be charging hard, but it is only a going away present to Davey Johnson.

    Only the fans who didn’t proclaim the season over on Sunday afternoon can enjoy this sweep… to those that did (you know who you are), I will wag my finger at you until game time tomorrow (and yes since it is September I can legally do that).

    ENJOY THE RIDE.

  225. Stan, Brian, Tony

    2 for Friday Sept 20 if you are interested. Let me know in the next couple of days, will be leaving Saturday at noon

    Biz

  226. I’m stuck in traffic, remember the game is on and what do I hear right before entering the Squirrel Hill Tunnel…. Barmes pulls a 97 mph fastball for a HR.

    Who knew 82 was just a number on the way to bigger and better things? LOL

    84!

  227. I am very happy to say I will be in attendance tomorrow night to welcome the first winning Pirate team in eons to PNC. Somewhat surprisingly, there are lots of good seats at bargain basement prices, so don’t stay away because you think it will be sold out or too expensive.

  228. Actually the first Pirates winning team to PNC. That seems weird to even say,

  229. Evening, Brothers & Sisters!

  230. Good job, Bay! so to speak.

  231. Hey Kiddos. Got home from work about about a half hour ago but didn’t want to jump in and jinx the Brewers lead. Tie game now so I hope its safe. I remember at the top of the blog before I left to work everyone was concerned we had our “B” lineup in and was getting on Hurdle before the game even started. The gum chewer just might have a clue what makes this team click. Just a thought.

    Bucs win! Go Brewers.

  232. Dang, bases loaded Cards, tie game, one out, bottom of the 8th. Pennant races are a blast.

  233. Cards win 5 to 1.

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