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Final: Pirates 3, Cubs 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (84-61) vs. Chicago Cubs (62-83)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. LHP Chris Rusin

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s the Pirates’ lineup …

  1. Josh Harrison, 2B
  2. Jordy Mercer, SS
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Jose Tabata, LF
  9. Locke, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. Travis Sawchik 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. At least I don’t have to wear my Barmes mask tonight.

  2. I like this lineup. Good to see JHay’s energy on the field, leaving NW on the bench for any pitching change, or as a pinch hitter — in fact, the bench looks pretty strong (I have not had that thought since the ’70s).

    • Why no Gaby against a LHP? Morneau’s OPS is .550 against lefties. Other than that quibble, I like it.

      • Stickyweb, I wouldn’t call it good wood but Morneau did get two base hits off the lefty Texas started yesterday. Maybe that’s why Hurdle’s playing him … that and about $10 million other reasons? :-)

        • Thanks Bay, I forgot to record the game so just followed online and didn’t realize 2 of Morneau’s hits were against a lefty. Hope he can continue that today. But I love seeing Gaby hit against lefties.

          • I’m with you, Sticky, I’d like to see Gaby up there on these days. He’s been a big disappointment, I think, but on the other hand it must be REAL hard to get any traction when you’re not getting any more playing time than he is. I really had high hopes for the guy this year, especially after he flat-out RAKED in spring training. He’s got a good eye at the plate, too.

            • Can you explain in what way you think Gaby has been a disappointment?

              • When used correctly he has been about as good as you can expect. I have no problem with him staying with the team after Morneau leaves next year and fulfilling the same role.

              • Exactly. “Used properly” for Gabby means “only against lefties.”

              • I have a hard time understanding this one, Nate.

                Maybe people expected more? Maybe they really liked that supplementary draft pick? Maybe they think he’s ugly?

              • Hey, I like Gaby. Just seems to me he hasn’t really gotten untracked. But, hey, maybe that’s because I’m waiting for him to hit more homers and several more off the wall. I’m probably not being realistic. Plus, when he’s started he’s usually hit behind Pedro when Pedro’s LOOKED bad, so I’m already miffed when Gaby gets up there!

          • 2 hits off a lefty yesterday for Morneau aside, Gabby has to be the guy vs. lefties. I thought that was the whole point of having him on the team.

            That is a head scratcher to me. First, Gabby plays against lefties and righties. Now, he plays vs. neither?

        • two hits off a rookie lefty reliever freshly recalled from AAA, but not like that matters.

          two hits yesterday, ergo three years of at-bats are worthless.

          hurdle math.

    • And we haven’t used Lambo off the bench as a pinch-hitter, I think, since his last time up when he boomed a double into the left-centerfield gap in ol’ St. Lou.

  3. Hope the crowd is pumped up. Since it is on WGN I will be able to record it and watch it later tonight. Now I just got to remember not to check for scores… Hows the rain doing up there?

    • I get to watch it because of WGN as well. Unfortunately they are only showing 2 of the 4 games. I also will get all 6 of the Reds games. I’m really looking forward to watching half the remaining games instead of waiting for MLB Network live look-ins and watching squares moving around on the bases.

      • MLB TV – $24.99 a month – Every game in HD and with the home announcers..

        • I know. Trust me I have thought about it. Hard to justify it with younger kids. Homework, showers, bedtime and anything else that may pop up means I may only get to watch about an hour of each game anyway. I’m just thankful MLB Network does a good job of live look-ins.

    • If I remember the silly MLB-DirecTV rule, I will have to watch it on WGN and not get the Pirates telecast.

      BTW, people have occasionally mentioned on here that Tim Neveritt has no ability to judge the flight of the ball. It was never more glaring, IMO, than in the past week. I think he had one ball in TX pegged as a drive to CF. He sheepishly had to backtrack and say it did not even get out of the infield, as the 2b camped under it.

      I still prefer him and all the ROOT announcers to Len Casper and the guy who used to pitch for the Astros, whose name will come to me as soon as I submit this post.

        • Jim, I actually like Len. Just goes to show how different we all are. And I LOVED Bob Brenly, very sad to see him move on this year.

          I cracked up a few years ago, when we were watching a WGN broadcast one Sunday afternoon. Just before play commenced, a helicopter flew low over PNC. There was this long on-air pause, and from out of nowhere, Brenley goes … “High chopper.” I liked to have got down in the FLOOR laughing! So that’s Jim DeShaies that replaced Brenly on color. Don’t like him. I do have a buddy from back home in Carolina who played minor league baseball with him in the Astros organization back in the early ’80s.

          • Sorry to disagree, Bay. Brenly is an OK guy, but not as an opposing broadcaster.

            Does this disagreement mean Jim and I won’t be getting our free AA tickets?


          • Yes, everyone has different tastes, Bay. I like Brenly, too. With Len, it has bothered me a bit in the past when he puts down the Bucs as being so bad and seemed to think the Cubs should win every game against them – even though I admit he does not do it in a malicious way. I guess he never noticed how perennially bad the Cubs are, though. He has changed his tune this year. Hard not to recognize the Bucs are far superior.

            • I never really noticed those guys being hard on the Pirates. Then again, my favorite football color guy is Cris Collingsworth, and I hear from Steelers fans that say he’s always critical of the Steelers! I never noticed that, either.

      • I agree with you full-heartedly, Jim. (Or fool-heartedly if you prefer a Drewism).

        But, at least it’s not Brenly and Casper. They loved to Pirate-bash in their partnership days.

        I couldn’t get the sound down fast enough on those 2.

  4. Willfully giving outs away….SMH

  5. I don’t know about masks and other strange things at the game tonight. But one strange and needed event at the game is a win by Locke.

  6. I’m just asking Locke to not get blown out.

    6IP, 3ER will be a win for him.

    • I have a feeling we will see a bounceback effort from Locke tonight. The Cubs are not zactly the ’27 Yankees … or the ’13 Cardinals and their fancy Avg w/ RISP.

      • It is pretty fancy. They are still very good but closer to average if you take that one stat away. They still hit for a really good average but don’t have anywhere near the speed or power they would need to get the runs they do without the crazy RISP average. It didn’t seem sustainable but 144 games in they have been pretty solid except for a few hiccups.

        • Guess they’re all just “clutch” hitters, Nate.


        • The funny thing about sustainability is we don’t get to decide when a team comes tumbling back to earth. It always happens, but never on a predictable timeline. Remember the O’s with their amazing 1-run record last year? One of the best ever. Guess who has the worst winning % in MLB this year in 1-run games? I just heard on MLB Network this morning that it is those same O’s.

          I think that may just be the way it is for the ’13 Cards w RISP, Nate. I keep expecting them to slump in that category, but it just isn’t happening. They are still pushing .330, which is ridiculous.

      • Only thing I’m scared of the Cubs on is, from what I understand, they are behind only the Dodgers for best road win record since the All-Star break. I think Sveum has them playing much better ball.

    • Are they gonna get this game started on time? Raining hard at the ranch right now.

      • It’s all supposed to be gone long before game time…but you know we all want that weatherman’s job.

        • I hope so. My phone has it at 40% at 6, then 30% from 7 on.

          Of course, maybe they will delay the game for an hour and a half under brilliantly blue skies. I remember the night DK railed on that during a silly delay. He was quite funny on twitter, with his repeated pictures of a sun-drenched PNC during the delay. Never did rain.

    • 7 IP 1 ER!

      Win #10, at last. Welcome back Jeff Locke.


    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.


    Line #1
    Total HITS + WALKS + HBP by Justin Morneau in tonight’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Line #2
    Total ATTENDANCE for tonight’s game
    Line is 32,100.5

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Wild Card Magic Number: 10

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23


  8. How did Alex Presley do yesterday?

  9. Now, that Harrison is back down to .250, and I believe he has still drawn just the one walk on the season, can I remove my self-imposed moratorium on bashing him? Ok, I said I would not go there again for a long time. I’m ok with him getting the occasional start. But, should he be batting 1st?

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong on this, but I believe the last time a Pirates leadoff batter in the 1st inning reached safely was the Sunday game vs. St. Louis at PNC. I believe Walker led off with a single. I don’t see that streak ending tonight.

    • He has 2 walks on the year. You are off by 100%. Talk about scewing the numbers to support your arguement.

      But yes you are correct. He doesn’t put our best 8 players on the field in any situation.

    • I’ll concede that I don’t really like Harrison leading off. I’d probably flip him and Tabata. I’d even consider throwing Cutch up there, dropping Harrison to like 7, and moving everyone else up 1 spot. Maybe even bat the pitcher #8.

      • Harrison should be dropped to the bench. Oops……that was a little harsh. I generally like everyone but I’m with Jim on this one. The guy gives his all but I see his ceiling as a 5th outfielder. Those guys don’t start. They defensive sub which he doesn’t make sense for, pinch run and pinch hit.

    • Willfully giving away outs.

    • He crushes lefties, Jim, to the tune of .412/.429/.706/1.134. Yes it’s not many AB’s but he also has history of killing LHP in the minors. I think you’ll see him there against all LH starters unless that drops of drastically.

  10. I haven’t even looked yet … no complaints about the lineup, I’m sure. :-) FREE LAMBO FROM OFF THE BENCH!

  11. Listening to the Mets broadcast. What a pleasure it is to listen to Howie Rose. Complete professional.

    • Matteau!
      Stephane Matteau!

    • How did the Nationals manage to have good years from Strasburg and Harper and have a really good bounce back year from Werth and still struggle for so long this year until the last 20 games? They must have some huge holes in their line up and some underperforming pitchers.

      • Harper and Ramos got hurt. Span sucked, Laroche sucked, Espinosa REALLY sucked.

        Detwiler got hurt, Haren sucked, and formerly good parts of the bullpen sucked.

      • But overall, they just didn’t click until it was too late. It happens.

        And they only have to go one game over .500 the rest of the way to post an 85 win season.

        Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them win the division next year.

        • I actually hope they do. I’m not a fan of any team in that division and it will put an end to the you never know when you will get back so they should have pitched Strasburg until his arm fell off or they should have waited until June to pitch Strasburg debates.

          They will need an upgrade from Haren, a more consistant Gio that is closer to the 2012 self then his good but not great 2013 self and a good bounce back year from Edwin Jackson.

          • Would they need to sign or trade for Edwin Jackson first? Isn’t he a Cub?

            • Yes. That is a glaring mistake in my comments. He pitched for them in 2012 and I knew he had a bad year this year. Didn’t realize it was with the Cubs. Should have known that. I think I even posted something about being thankful we didn’t get him and got Liriano instead when he pitched agains us earlier this year.

      • A funny thing happened on the way to the World Series. This was an organization with a collective big head, from top to bottom. You also have to remember that Werth & Harper missed chunks of the season with injuries.

      • I can answer that real easy for you.
        All you have to do is buy some vowels and fill in the blanks.


  12. The real question is when do we get to see Marte again. I’m really looking forward to seeing Cutch, Bryd and Marte running around that outfield. I would match them up agains any outfield in the league both offensively and defensively.

    • Playoff pitching and Starling Marte coming back cold worries me.

      • Marte has been streaky. He easily could disappear during long series. I have no idea what to expect from the pitching. I’m going in with no expectations and hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

        • I meant OPPOSING playoff pitching, as it relates to Starling Marte’s success, fwiw.

          This is one of those annecdotal, non-saber things, but I feel like playoff pitchers so often have laser focus. And I can see him coming on like a bronco out of the gate after this long layoff.

          Not a good combo.

    • Can’t wait to see that too Nate. Remember when they got Byrd, some people said it’s proof Marte is done for the year? It’s like they were so used to only having 2 OFs that could hit for so long, they couldn’t imagine adding a 3rd to have a really good OF. Funny.

      • Those people might be right, as it stands Sticky. He’s been out, what, a month now? Only 2.5 weeks left. As NMR mentioned, coming in cold and going right back in the lineup might not be a great mix.

        • Well it really sucks that they can’t send him on a minor league rehab, but I’ll take Marte with 10 days to acclimate himself back in the lineup than any of their other options starting in the playoffs. Especially with the far superior defense he brings.

          Didn’t he take BP a day or two ago? Has there been any news since then, good or bad?

  13. So, AJ blew up in the pre-game Q/A. Someone asked him about his dust up with Barmes, and he stomped off saying he did not have a problem with Barmes.

    • I’M CALM, D*MNIT.

    • Is his act wearing thin already? For how much good he’s done for the team’s attitude,seems like these tantrums are becoming more frequent. And why would they since the team’s doing so well? I could understand if they were in another collapse like last year, but not when the TEAM (in totality) needs to be so focused on winning this thing.

      • There could lie the cognitive dissonance.

        AJ may very well just be expressing himself as only he knows and is happy with the way things are going with the team, yet has to answer questions every time he shows some emotion.

        That would be frustrating for anyone.

      • He probably should have just said it was heat of the battle….blah, blah, blah….water under bridge. Or he could have went the no issue with Barmes, I overreacted and that’s on me route and continued to answer questions. Denying it happended and leaving was not the best way to handle it but it’s also not the worse way to handle it.

        Refer to Brandon Phillips for the worse way to handle most situations.

    • As Al Davis once said, “Just win baby!”

  14. Righty batters hit .273 against Chris Rusin. Lefties only .217.

    • Are you making a case for Jay-Hay or do you want to see Gaby in there?

      • I play Walker everyday from here on out for his glove alone, but that’s me. If your choice for leadoff is Harrison or Tabata well, there is no choice. I love Josh Harrison & his mother but Tabata has to hit 1st. And I don’t buy the speed thing because nobody tries to steal against lefties these days.

        This is 2 days in a row for me with this lineup stuff I have to stop. :)

        • Good point about stealing against LHPs, but there’s more to base running than stealing, and though Tabby has done well (hitting leadoff or not) since getting healthy, he still doesn’t seem like a good base runner to me. But as a wise man once said, ICIT.

        • I’m with you, Milo!! Play Walker every day!

          His glove is so consistent and he adds stability to the team on the field.

          I hold my breath every time the ball goes near harrison. Maybe players do too.

    • This is the type of guy that creates the “september stats” disclaimer for hitters.

      Pirates need to take advantage of the Cubs and Padres series.

      • NMR, I was ready to post a reply saying how he’s started 10 games going back to July 2 with an ERA of 2.89, so he’s pretty good. But looking closer, only 4 of his starts have been quality according to MLB and his 1.38 WHIP and .260 BAA indicate he may have been lucky up to this point. Let’s hope so.

  15. Nationals out homer the Mets 13-0 in their 4 game sweep.

  16. The Pirates just swept one of the best teams in the AL in their home park, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the lowly Cubbies would sweep the Bucs in PNC. Just saying!!!

  17. Marte maybe Sunday. I hope he has been helped by the time off. AJ is not affordable for next year unless Wandy physically can’t come back and he is covered by insurance and the 5.5 million from the Astros. The key is Morton, if he can become a third starter allows for some flexibility. Cole, Francisco, Wandy if healthy, Morton and maybe Locke is not a bad rotation. I sign Bell if he can play 1st base as well. that eliminates Gabby who will want 3 million in arbitration. Morneau looks like a rental as he wants to go back to the Twins if he can.

  18. Apparently the AJ blowup was directed at Bob Pompeani. Interesting to see if the video makes it to the 6:00 news. If the exact same scene occurred in the Steelers room I think we know what would happen to that video.

    • David Manel, an adult that writes at Charlie’s site, has some great reporting on this. Check his twitter & Buc’s Dugout.

    • AJ also tweeted:
      “Y’all need to figure it out! Clint Barmes is a F@#$ing gamer! Would never be pissed at a man that lays it all on the line day in and day out!

      • I saw that, too. All I have to say is that no one in my household thought AJ’s negative behavior on TV, directed at one of his teammates, was anything but pretty classless. It just looked bad.

        • Agreed Karen, I posted yesterday about observations of AJs attitude towards Mercer and was told I was Illisional.

          For my next trick… Nothing up my sleeve..!!

          • Sir, you were perfectly correct about tantrums, you just had the wrong guy. Barmes has been the target all along for WEAK FIELDING and IMPROPER POSITIONING.

            To my knowledge, AJ never had an issue with Mercer, which was the thrust of my entry to you

            • Hasty Bob,

              It must have ruined your day yesterday that Clint Barmes drove in 2 runs and hit a homer in a 2-run Pirate win.

              Pirates would have probably won by 5 if Manager of the Year Clint Hurdle had been smart enough to start Jordy!

              • Groat, you continually get me wrong. I root for everything and everyone about the Pirates, but maybe with a more critical or analytical eye.

                Somewhere you became disjointed into thinking that .220 is the same as .280.

                BTW, that play Mercer made in the top of the sixth is a play Barmie can’t. Even if Barmie could have gotten to the ball, his weak arm would never have allowed him to attempt the throw.

                He would have simply held it and stared at it

            • Bob,

              Just for the record…
              I’m fine with Barmes or Mercer. Do think Barmes has a better glove and Mercer the better bat.

              • Absolutely not. There is a miniscule difference in their defensive skills – and Mercer has the better arm and far more quickness and range.
                Barmes makes the plays he is supposed to make, and very little else.

                Offensively I’ll let you tell me

      • Yes. That was about yesterday. This is a new tantrum that happened today.

    • Interesting! Just last night Pompeani was defending AJ as “not a jerk,” and said he was just a fiery gamer who just wants to win. He wasn’t bothered by AJ’s latest antics, and also stated he’d never had a problem with him as an interviewee. Hmmmmm…

      • I just watched the KDKA sports segment w/Pompeani and he stated that Burnett declined to be interviewed regarding what happened yesterday. For what it’s worth!

  19. “By the way, Burnett did not want to be interviewed for that story.” – Bob Pompeani. No kidding.

    Guess the video wasn’t running when AJ told Bob he wasn’t talking. :) Channel 2 & Mr. Pomp have been known to sit on embarrassing Steeler video in the past.

  20. JD ( and anyone’s else).

    I’m here, but need to go in.

  21. A list of the bloggers on this site who criticized last night’s Pirates’ lineup (without Cutch) or Hurdle before the game started in Texas yesterday:
    Milo Hamilton
    florida steeler
    Jim S.
    Bob Hasis
    Arriba Wilver

    Such baseball wisdom! Such faith in the manager! Such optimism!
    John Lease

    Those who were positive:
    The Justice Avenger
    SteelAg 70

  22. Wish I could be there to clap with everyone else at the ballpark! Let’s get um men!

  23. Good evening everyone. I hope those at the game have a wonderful time. Bring home the W!

  24. Great welcome by the PNC crowd to recognize the team, even GREATER start to the game by Jeff Locke who may have been best pitcher in the St Louis series. Nice step forward he showed since being sent to Altoona.

    Big thing to watch moving forward with him is command if he gets that back I think he can return to being highly effective.

  25. HBP Harrison. Way to start the game!

  26. This guy reminds me of Matt Ruebel.

  27. WTH?!?!? You know these umps suck big time.

  28. sure would like to see a replay before I call the umpires horrible.

  29. The umpires are horrible

  30. I sure wanted to be on a list, since I make so many of them.

    Then again, I have been on a few.

    Did they get their ovation?

  31. This Junior Lake (that’s my Jon Gruden impression) will be the Cubs shortstop next Opening Day at PNC Park.

    • You think they will trade Castro or move him to another position ? (Pretend I’m asking in Jon Gruden’s John Wayne cadence).

  32. Byrd wasn’t jogging down the line there. He was digging.

    I know it’s silly, but I love seeing that on routine ground balls.

  33. “Wellington Castillo”

    Fridays this fall on NBC.

  34. Is it time to dig up that “Move Pedro to 1B” conversation, or is that horse still dead?

  35. Chalk one up for tall first basemen.

  36. Locke doing his part four innings of one run ball. Hoping second time through the lineup produces some better results for Bucs bats.

  37. I can go to bed now. Kasper just invoked the name of Neal Heaton. I wasn’t sure I would ever hear that name uttered again.

  38. Come on offense…let’s get it going…

  39. To my calibrated eye, that ball came off Cutch’s bat at 276 mph.

  40. Double # 36 for Cutch who has ten game hitting streak and all of a sudden Bucs in business.

  41. Shall we commence 50 consecutive posts about running, not running, on contact ?

  42. You know, if you hit it out of the infield the contact play becomes moot.

  43. Way to get the run home JM…

  44. The Byrd is the word!!!!

  45. WGN announcers just mentioned Operation Shutdown.

  46. El Toro with the long single!

    • Petey had some really good AB’s in the Rangers series…just going with the pitches and not trying to do too much…hopefully he is ready to break out again…

  47. Marlon Byrd’s 9th RBI as a Pirate ties it, and Alvarez belts RBI #90 and the Buccos take the lead.

    And who says Pedro can’t hit lefties?

  48. Byrd is Madlock 2013. Same kind of hitter. Dare I say “clutch?”

  49. I’m not interested in debating the run on contact , but I would really like to understand Clint’s thought process to bat a left handed hitter, that has 0 RBIs. Instead of playing Sanchez who hits lefties very well.

  50. Have to take care of business tonight….Cards have Kelly on the mound so probably no help from the Brewers…

  51. Martin makes the third out constantly. He also is batting like Barajas since the ASG.

  52. In his last seven games, Pedro is 6-21, .285 with 3 doubles, 4 RBI’s.

  53. That was very sweet.

    I hope Angela says “yes” as well.

  54. Just rollin’ right along. Keep it up Locke.

  55. An important 1-2-3 shutdown inning from Locke to quickly fire a zero after gaining the lead. Pitching very sharp tonight.

  56. Anyone see that jimmy johns commercial just now?? Tre risqué, no?

  57. This is the Locke I remember…lol. :D

  58. Nice job by the big guy in yellow.

  59. Too bad Farnsworth won’t be eligible for the post season roster…his veteran arm and experience would be a plus…

  60. Guy was about to break his neck and the fans are still looking for the ball.

  61. Hey, Brandelita! What’s this about Lil Nubber????

  62. Who’s starting at QB for the Jets ?

    • Smith…Sanchez is done for the season…

      • My brother and I as kids used to play a game to pass time on roadtrips. We alternated teams and had to name the starting QB. I don’t think I could do that anymore. I was smarter as a kid and I didn’t even have the internet!

        Once that was done-we moved to pitching rotations-much, much harder.

        • My brother and I used to play games like that too!

          • Used to play the alphabet game during long boring sermons (sorry Lucky). Name a player and the next players name had to begin with the last letter of the first one and so one. Once sat through a 28 minute sermon at my son’s confirmation. Shudder.

  63. Cards down 1-0 in the 1st…

  64. WVU’s Geno Smith!

  65. Jeff is Locke-d in tonight… :D

  66. What a play by Jordy!

  67. Nice throw!!!

  68. Blass went to Paris, lookin’ for answers to questions that bothered him so.

  69. Cutch looks well rested.

  70. CUTCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. Ray Shero in the section next to me. You know I found that out!

    He just left in left at the top of the 7th!!

    And hockey guys are supposed to be tough

  72. Just another highlight reel catch by Cutch, nothing to see here.

  73. I do believe Cutch shaved his goatee when he hit the turf

  74. J-E-T-S

    Stink! Stink! Stink!

  75. 2-0 Brewers now, top 2nd…

  76. Jeff Locke turns in a key seven inning performance on 100 pitches and leaves a game in the second half of the season in line for elusive victory #10. Great effort by him tonight.

  77. WGN was just talking about people talking about mathematical possibility of not having winning season after 81 wins. “Fatalistic” was the adjective used.

    I had to chuckle Deshaies must read the blog too!

  78. I rest my case from this morning on Locke being capable of pitching a good game

  79. Martin has become a bigger automatic out than Jones. He is really on a negative roll.

  80. Love watching Watson sling it…I would love to see him get a chance to close some day…

  81. Just the 16th consecutive appearance for Tony Watson without allowing a run. He is a holds machine coming in from the pen.

  82. Two things; some people think Pedro is a “bad” defensive player, and rave about Barmes. Why?

    Some people are now looking somewhat differently at AJ because of the recent confrontation with “a SS”, but have totally overlooked the very positive influence he has been to Locke, as a mentor if not more.

    Locke has matured with great confidence right in front of us, perhaps due directly to the guidance of AJ

    • Good post Bob…well said…

    • You are spot on about AJ mentoring Jeff, Mr. Hasis. And AJ is full of passion and fire. But when he over rides his managers, it’s time to let him know about it.

    • I am fine with AJ, he is who he is and has been the two years in Pittsburgh and the majority of his career. Asking him to change his approach now good luck, it would be like asking Ndamukong Suh to go a full season in the NFL without getting fined, not happening.

      AJ has meant an awful lot to this club and brought with him a winning and fighting mentality this team so desperately needed.

    • Pedro has like 28 errors, most of them on routine throws. How many errors does Barmes have? I am not about to say Barmes is best fielder in the league or anything but he is a little bit better than Mercer in the field and is above average, which is way way better than the bucs have had for a while (and no, DK, I’m not disrespecting Jumpin’ Jack).

      As to AJ, it is quite ok in my opinion to praise him for his toughness, for mentoring others, for embracing playing for the Pirates since he got here…but to rightfully jump all over him when he acts like a spoiled brat and disrespects the coaching staff as he has a few times this season. He ‘hates the shift’ apparently…. even when (1) it isn’t actually being used and (2) it has resulted in quite a few plays being made for him that wouldn’t have been, but he has a short memory.

      He is old enough to know better… his behavior is not a good example for his mentees. I love AJ for all he has done that is good for the Bucs, but these latest antics are flat out wrong and I will not STFD on the topic.

      DK: In Wilson’s final season with the Pirates — including the completed time with Seattle — the Bill James Fielding Bible named him, based on a broad array of scouting and advanced statistics, the best defensive shortstop in baseball.

      Barmes absolutely has been the best since then. Mercer also has been good, certainly better than I’d heard he would be coming up.

  83. I see most of the team have started their playoff beards. Oh wait a minute wrong sport. :)

  84. Marte…ugghhh…

  85. Relax people, this ones in the bag….
    I got five finger puppets shaking the “Green Weenie” at em!
    Don’t ask how they are holding the weenie and who they are but old liver lip is one of em.
    I really hope this permanent marker washes off!

  86. Tyler Thornburg throwing a gem so far vs the Cards tonight…

  87. That closeup of Barmes running between 2nd and 3rd.. I didn’t think he was going to make it.

  88. Starting to like this Mercer kid.

  89. Apparently the Cubs outfield didn’t get the memo on the “shift”

  90. I know Barmes gets ragged on, but he has done a nice job the secong half…handling the SS situation with Jordy very well…a true professional…

  91. The terrible Leyva waves home the terrible Barmes, who scores the third run

  92. Jordy is on fire!!

  93. Lee Grosscup ?

  94. Let’s go flyin’ Byrd Man….

  95. 8 pitchers in the 8th

  96. Wooo hoooo…Kelly getting touched up tonight by the Brew Crew…4-0, top 4th now!

  97. Ok Shark….time to swarm!!

  98. C’mon Great White Shark….shut them down!!!!!!!

  99. Range, Range, who said anything about range?

  100. Ok let’s roll a pair here Buccos

  101. Ruh-roh…c’mon Shark!

  102. Huge out…now we could use a DP!

  103. Team Sabr bunting ? Ha.

  104. Milo, the floor is yours on bunting….

  105. Ok…two more!!

  106. And the bunt bites another team.

  107. one more out please!

  108. Wooo hoooo…one more now Shark man…

  109. Behind seven innings of three hit ball turned in by Jeff Locke who becomes a 10 game winner, and RBI’s from Byrd, Alvarez and Mercer combined with a Watson hold and a 14th save from Mark Melancon the Bucs sink the Cubs 3-1 in the opener of this four game set and there was nooooooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs are 85-61 and just a 1/2 game behind the Cards pending their outcome with Milwaukee. The Pirates remain 8 games up for a playoff spot with 16 to go. The Pirates are now winners of four straight, 47-25 at PNC and 6-5 in September.

    The Pirates will look to make it five straight wins tomorrow night with Charlie Morton slated to make the start.

    Let’s GO Bucs!

  110. We had em all the way!

  111. Raise it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  112. Raise the jolly Hippo!

  113. Raise it, raise the Jolly Roger!

  114. 85 and counting and go Brewers!

  115. Hoist the colours!

  116. Everyone that had 85 in the pool, you’re gonna lose !

  117. Dear Clint:

    Please forgive me for laughing at you when you predicted 95 wins.


  118. ….fear the Bones….

  119. Great to see Jeff Locke looking good again.

  120. Good night Loonies!

  121. Fun night on the blog. You guys are a joy to watch the game with!

  122. Double digit wins for Locke. Burnett, Cole, and Morton have a chance.

  123. Good time on the old blog tonight! Good night all!

  124. The Pirates are due for some breakout offensive wins, but I like that they have shown they can win low scoring games with Cole and Locke. Those wins require concentration and confidence. When you add those to a stretch when the offense does produce that is what a hot streak is. Good stuff right now.

  125. 2 unbelievable games between the Yankees and Orioles.

  126. Soriano robbed a guy of a homerun. John Sterling pulled a Tim Neverett on the play. Later in the inning, a game tying 3 run homerun with 2 outs.

  127. What a GAME! I offically have no voice to go to work tomorrow morning. It was loud and very energic at the park tonight. The fans were in from the time the Bucs took the field tonight with a standing ovation. Locke was outstanding going 7 tonight. The double play was a BS call. The catch by McCuthen was MVP worthy. After the catch, I was proud to have gotten the MVP chant going in my section. As soon as the catch was made, I was belting M-V-P and the others in my section soon started. When Dale made the pitching change when Barmes came up to the plate, we were like, is he really using a different pitcher for Clint. Clint didn’t leave us with an 0′fer with the double. Then when he made the next change to go up against Byrd, the folks in my section around me discussed, why not bring Walker in and have him hit left handed. Can always put Jones or Snider in to play right at that point. But, Clint did think the same way we did. No matter, it was a great game. The atomsphere felt like a playoff game. If this is how this home stand is going to go, man, its going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to go back on Monday for our next game against the Padres.

  128. TIED FOR FIRST PLACE!! 16 to play. Buckle up, this is going to be fun!!!

  129. Woo-Hoo, I’m buckled tdb! Thanks for the report on the game! I just got home from delivering the pizza pie, and the first thing I did was watch Cutch’s catch – then the “MVP” chant from your section … INSPIRING!

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