TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Final: Padres 5, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (87-63) vs. San Diego Padres (69-80)

Starters: LHP Jeff Locke vs. LHP Eric Stults

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. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Jordy Mercer, SS
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Marlon Byrd, RF
  5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  6. Russell Martin, C
  7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  8. Josh Harrison, 2B
  9. Locke, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates pageRob Biertempfel and Travis Sawchik are 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.

402 Comments

  1. TUESDAY OVER/UNDER!!!

    ******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!!

    Tonight’s Line
    Total HITS + WALKS by Starling Marte in tonight’s game
    Line is 1.5

    Wild Card Magic Number: 6

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

  2. He must have told Locke to STFD.

  3. How does Marte do vs lefties?

  4. 4-3 Braves after 8.

  5. Thunder,

    I just got this e-mail – Groupon has a deal for mlb.com fans. You’ve been working behind the scenes, haven’t you ?

  6. Afternoon, Brethren!

  7. Pedro’s down to #7? That actually surprises me – but again, he’s entering month 3 of a slump. If he starts to hit, we’ll win the division.

    • LHP—I think he’s been there a lot lately against lefties.

    • And Walker. And Martin.

      Frankly fairly amazing how relatively few good individual seasons regulars are having.

      • I agree.

        I expected a hot streak but it is beginning to look like I expected too much.

        • Walker is the most disappoiting to me. Crushed the ball in August and completely disappeared in September.

          • NMR – what do you think Walker’s problem is? He had been a major disappointment all year.

            • Couple things…

              The struggles against lefties. Obviously going to hurt the numbers, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s spent more time working on that swing.

              Nobody likes to hear this, but more than anything I think he’s just come back down to earth. You look at his “peripheral” numbers – walks, strikeouts, power, line drive rate, pop up rate – and they are as good or better than his career averages.

              Except this year he’s only hitting .281 on balls in play when previously he was anywhere between .320-.340. Major league average is around .290.

              Depending on how you want to look at it, the hits aren’t dropping as much this or…or they dropped more than should’ve been expected before.

              • But he hasn’t even hit righties well of late. It looked like he was barreling it up for awhile in August & got his BA up over .260, but he’s just been awful lately.

      • Yes, very little about this team makes one think they would be 24 games above. They do a lot of the little things. They hit enough home runs and give up hardly no home runs, steal bases and prevent stolen bases, hold leads really well until lately and seem to score on other teams relievers and they force a lot of ground balls and play solid defense.

        • That pitching staff alone makes me think they would be 24 games above .500.

          Just think what merely competent offensive production would do.

          • Run differential is still in the 40′s. I would be surprised if many teams have finished the season 25 games over with that run differential.

            I like that they win like they do. Playoff baseball will involve a lot more 3-2 games then 8-5 games. I think the best stat they have going for them is the home runs against.

          • Agree 100% about the pitching. As shown in last nights game, pitching is the name of the game.

        • Especially with the worst manager in the history of the game. ;-)

          (Couldn’t resist)

          If you’re reading, Clint, I’m definitely kidding.

          • He may be a horrible manager but he sure can predict the record of his team. 95 wins seems possible. Just think if he could have just allowed someone else to make game decisions they would have at least 120 wins.

            For what few flaws Clint has I like him a lot and think he is the perfect man for this job. I admittingly was tough on him at the end of last year. It looks like I was wrong.

            • That wasn’t directed at you, Nate. Just a joke (sort of).

              • I knew you where joking. I was firmly planting myself on your side of this particular fence. Clint has done a great job. No manager is perfect but the sum of his parts are pretty darn good. The team isn’t were they are without his leadership. His relationship with players is special and it seems as if they all trust him.

                Speaking of did anyone see Harrison’s reaction last night when asked about Dick Lebeau. He couldn’t even speak except to say he missed that guy after about 10 seconds of silence. I love stuff like that. It’s almost more important then winning games.

    • If he’s entering month 3….it ain’t a slump.

      • Are you implying that slumps don’t last 60 games? He still leads this team in RBI so I personally don’t care what is batting average is. There is no difference between his strike out and Martin, Jones, Morneau, Walker hitting a shallow fly ball or ground out. None of them give us the result we need. The strike out is just more frustrating. I think he has been better of late despite the average not going up much.

        A Pedro 10 game hot streak would do wonders for our chances of winning the division. He is one of 3 players on the team that have the abilitly to carry a team for a period of time with Cutch and Byrd being the other two.

        • Leading the league in HRs and the team in RBIs is built on a really good June. The other 4 1/2 months have been blah. No better than Jones, aside from that month, and he hits lefties as poorly as Walker is this year (or worse).

          • He has had some big hits in the last 15 games. I know he is 0 for whatever in the other at bats but he has contributed more then others not named Cutch and Byrd.

    • Pedro has pretty much been asleep for way too long. We need him to quit being another Dave Kingman & snap out of his funk quick.

  8. Nationals win in the bottom of the ninth.

  9. good for the nats, getting a feel-good win in a city that needs a feel-good moment today. That said, this team needs to pretty much win all of their remaining games and hope the Pirates sweep the Reds to have a shot… too little too late for this squad but will be rooting for them vs. the Cards next week.

  10. Nuck the Fats!

  11. We have really faced a lot of left handers of late. With Marte back it would have been nice to see a line up with Walker and Morneau in to see what I’m sure Clint and the front office envisioned when the trades where made. That being said it will be nice to have a bench that includes those two guys and Tabata.

  12. What about Lambo? :-)

  13. Tonight’s featured Death Match:

    Ronny Cedeno vs. Jordy Mercer

  14. Hate to keep sounding the alarm, but the Nats won again. With 6 games left against Cincinnati, the Pirates better start taking care of teams like the Padres, or the Nats will blow right through the door the Pirates leave open.

    • They still need to make up seven games on the Pirates with 12 left. That’d be one hell of a magic trick. Not impossible or unprecedented, but I don’t think there’s need to sound the alarm.

    • Nats are 7 back with 12 to play. So let’s play what if:

      Nats go 12-0, Pirates would have to go 4-8.

      Nats go 10-2, Pirates would have to go 2-10

      Nats go 8-4, Pirates would have to go 0-12

      Nats still play Braves for two, Cards for three and Dbacks for 3 all above .500 teams. Would be a miracle for them to catch Pittsburgh, just not enough time.

    • I hope you all are right, and that I’m being ultra paranoid. Just can’t forget going from tied for first last year to ten games out over an eleven day period or so.

      • The Pirates were last tied for first place in 2012 on July 18th with a record of 51-40. They did not fall 7 games back (the lead they currently have) until August 15th with a 64-53 mark.

        It took them 26 games last year to lose 7 games and that team was no where close to as good as this year’s squad.

        • Then it was 2011 when the Brewers won 20 out pf 22 and the Pirates lost 10-12 in a row after the All Star break and dropped like a rock in the standings because each loss coincided with a Brewers win. It was a historic fall from first. Of course, I’m probably confusing my epic collapses, but hey.

          • Starting with the Jerry Meals says he’s safe game, the Pirates went from tied for first to 10 games out in 13 days, which was a record for quickest fall from grace.

            • They did, but very different team, they did not have close to the rotation the Pirates throw out there today, and were worse at quite a few positions – C, SS, 1B, LF than they are today.

              The 2011 team was just overall not a very good team that happened to play well over their heads for a brief period early in that season.

  15. If the Nats win out which is unlikely they end with 92 wins. The Pirates would have to go 4-8 to get fall behind them. If they do that they don’t deserve to make the playoffs. If the Nats stay hot they more then likely would go something like 10-3 and end up with 89 wins. The Pirates would have to go 1-11 to miss the playoffs. We just won 6 of 7. Everything will be OK.

  16. This is for Lucky……………

    The Steelers had a 39 rating compared to an 11 for the Pirates.

    Now he has another number than the 8.3 he has been using. ;)

  17. The Marlins might not have a storyline as sexy as Epic Collapse II > Hoka Hey, but they are wayyy more dysfunctional right now…

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/17/3631355/miami-marlins-front-office-takes.html

    • Yeah, Rosenthal called for the Marlins to do the right thing and let Beinfest go. The way Loria d*cks him around is unbelievable.

    • Great read.

      How is Loria still an owner?
      Does he have photos of Bud?

      But the guy has worked for Loria for 13 years, so he had to know what he was getting into……………

    • I disagreed with the whole “who would work for Nutting?” meme on the premise that there’s only 30 of these jobs in the world.

      But even at his “worst”, Nutting never tried to sabatage baseball decisions. Who would willingly take a job under Loria?

  18. Good Evening Romper Room!

  19. The Pirates need to stop making a hero out of pitchers that have no business being a hero.

  20. Insteresting match up tonight.

    To me, the key is Jeff Locke and his walk totals. If he keeps the ball down and continues to nibble at the corners, he could be very effective, like his last start. However, he misses his target and elevates his pitches, we could be in for a looooonnnggg night.

    I dont have a problem with this lineup, especially against the LHP. Nice to see Marte back in the lineup. Will be interesting to see how his timing is. Might take a couple of AB’s to see him actually do something effectively. I wouldn’t mind seeing him try to bunt his way on board, with a LHP, depending on his delivery, push one down 1B line.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

    • Totally agree, when I saw Locke pitch in St Louis upon his return you could see from his bullpen the stuff is there it all comes down to command with him.

      He is a pitcher who wants to stay right on/off the corners so a liberal strike zone helps.

      Really curious about Marte as it seems it is a case of him having to tough it out with this nagging injury so I hope he can deal with pain and has a high threshold and doesn’t try to protect it, has to be able to go all out.

      • Locke doesn’t have overpowering stuff, so needs the “Tom Glavine” type of strike zone.

        The question is, how much pain is Marte in? Personally, if I’m the pitcher, I’m throwing inside, much harder to turn on an inside pitch with a hurt hand. I’d be living inside on him.

    • I cringe at the Jeff-Lockes-problem-with-walks logic, only because the reaction seems to be that he simply needs to throw more strikes.

      I think “just strikes” could make him worse than he is even now.

      Jeff Locke needs to improve his command, not control. Simply throwing the ball over the plate, as to limit his walks, would be terrible for a guy with his stuff. See 2012.

  21. 1. Beware the curve ball!
    2. If you have a seat down the 3rd baseline, be very aware when Marte is at the plate!

  22. Any truth to the rumor that Leyva is down in the storage room looking for leftover Bonds & Kendall body armor?

  23. Article on starting rotations for the Playoffs or the stupid win and your in game.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/40432/how-are-playoff-rotations-lining-up

  24. With return of Marte to the lineup thought it would be fair to post something I read earlier:

    The Bucs went 15-9 during Marte’s absence from the lineup with Tabata getting the lions share of play in LF and hitting lead off.

    During that span Tabata hit 33-109 .302 with 9 XBH’s took his SLG% from .381 to .411 and his OPS from .716 to .743.

    He seems to be another of the perpetual whipping boys but I thought he did a very nice job filling in and not missing too much of a beat.

  25. Bucs wearing the ’71 throwbacks on Clemente Day….nice touch.

  26. Eric Stults is winless with a 5.40 ERA over his last 10 starts. NO excuses tonight.

  27. Just looked up Jordy’s stats against lefties. Wanna talk about crushing? 1.1+ OPS against lefties. Batting over .400

    We all know about Cutch and Gaby’s numbers’ against LHP, but I didn’t pay any attention to the great JM.

    I think Eric Stults is going to have his hands full tonight.

  28. Now I know rehab fails………………
    Just saw the Pirate Santa raising the “Ho Ho Roger”.

    I picked the wrong week to stop taking amphetamines.

  29. 1 pitch to the pitcher?? Way to make Locke work. Thank you!

  30. Stults looks like he is in a slo -pitch softball league.

  31. Gaby starts the inning off with a single through the left side, glad CH has him in the lineup versus the LHP, his numbers all season against the southpaw have earned him these starts.

  32. With every inning they go without scoring, the pressure ramps up exponentially on Jeff Locke. And frankly, he doesn’t need that right now.

  33. Maybe Cashner & Stults will be inducted into Cooperstown the same day.

  34. Get Gomez up. Nice going.

  35. Jed Jurko…What a Jerk!

  36. Positive note: not being perfect-gamed tonight.

  37. The freaking Padres, we need to exact some serious revenge on them.

  38. BYRD!!!

    Assist to the stumblin’ Padres!

  39. Oops, shooting Blanks.

  40. BYYYYYYYYYYRRRRRRRRRDDDD MAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!

  41. I’ll bet the replay shows he got in there.

  42. Glad to see the Padres having a productive batting practice session.

  43. Locke shouldn’t go back out there.

  44. Reds up 4-0 in the first. Yep, that’s what good teams do to bad teams.

  45. 24.2 % of the opening day MLB rosters were comprised of Latinos not born in the USA. One third of tonight’s Pirate starting lineup are Latino.

    Robinson most certainly affected society as a whole greater than any other player. But it is hard to argue that any player impacted the composition of the game more than Clemente, the most significant Latino ever to play the game.

    Maybe it’s time for Selig to reconsider having 21 retired league wide.

  46. He gets pulled if the runner makes it 2nd. Well except for that steal. Now you have an open base. See if he chases.

    • Not a bad inning for Locke there. He’s at 89 pitches.

      Pirates still in the game. 3 walks. A problem he’s had all season.

  47. Wow. Nice bunt!

  48. Nice bunt by Marte. Down the 1b line.

    Good idea

  49. Somebody needs to do something bold, bold and crazy!

  50. Maybe Bryd can hit a 3 run HR.

  51. Making this stiff look like Warren Spahn.

  52. Byrd trying to do a little too much that AB as he swings at ball four twice.

  53. A little reality check from Blass: this should be a shutout.

  54. Cards winning. Reds winning. Nats winning. Pirates … no.

  55. Pirates are averaging 3.26 runs per game in September. Their worst offensive month of the season. And that’s after the trades.

  56. WHERE’S the OFFENSE??!! This is making me nuts! We look DEAD.

  57. who is the a**hole at first?

  58. Out.

    Hurdle should’ve got tossed there. Fire the team up

  59. If MLB is paying attention Tim Wlke will not be permitted to umpire playoff baseball, two missed calls wholly unacceptable, the deterioration of good umpiring.

  60. How many times do you have to pick a guy off before you pick a guy off ?

  61. Padres 4, Welke 1, Pirates 2.

    These guys need to step up, time for the offense to steal one and bail staff out.

  62. At least they’re still in striking distance.

    Though that might be tough tonight.

  63. Thanks Ump for the four, count ‘em, four missed calls that resulted in a guy scoring who should never have been on base. Thanks.

  64. Glad HBs weren’t on the over/under

  65. Presley would have moved out of the way.

  66. That’s BS. We’re losing. Somebody on SD may as well take one.

  67. This is brutal.

    • Yes it is.

      Wonder if those who defended the Bucs today, when someone said they make unknown pitchers look like Cy Young, defend them again tomorrow after yet another unknown pitcher looked like Cy Young?

      Smh.

  68. I love Mark Melancon, but he’s clearly delusional.

  69. You wish the Pirates would take their bats out of cold storage and score some runs, but it doesn’t look like its going to happen. They have put their bats away for the winter to soon this year. To many automatic outs in the line up- Alvarez, Martin, Walker.
    How many times do we see Pirate batters, can’t call them hitters right now, pull outside pitches for weak ground balls.

  70. I changed the channel. Can’t watch this anymore. ‘Nite all. ;(

  71. Kotsay beats the shift!

    That is some total Bull Shift!

  72. wanker strikes again

  73. Just ambarrassing themselves right now.

  74. Really tired of ex-Pirates playing games of their lives.

  75. It is getting hard to watch . Maybe I can get a refund from MLB.com. Morneau is looking more like a Ludwick pick up every day.

  76. About the mathematical certitude that the Nats won’t go 12-0 and the Pirates 0-12 ..

  77. We can’t even get unbroken bat hits.

  78. Oh well. About to watch a motorcycle gang murder, rape, pillage & brutalize their way through Charming, California. That out to make me feel better.

  79. Welke said dude at second was safe. He dissented from the out call.

  80. I’m confident that Morneau will pinch hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to pull it out.

    Since he’s just as good as Byrd, ya know… :)

  81. Routine outs all night long. If dude in RF doesn’t trip, another goose egg.

  82. HAPLESS hasn’t come to mind for awhile in describing the Pirates but it sure bud does tonight! ONE HIT since the third, and THAT a bunt single … Didn’t Eric Stultz star in The Mask?

  83. Need another walk.

  84. Finally! Lambo! Just go ahead and hang 2 more runs up there, Boys!

  85. Tired of that guy, too.

  86. A funny thing happened on the way to the playoffs.

  87. When does Cole pitch again? Need a stopper.

  88. If only Barmes had played the whole game, I’m sure it would have turned out better…

    (sarcasm alert)

  89. Another choke job is in process by the Bucs

  90. I attended the last two games.

    I know our offense has stunk. But also think the Padres have played 2 really good games.

  91. Bryan Morris should not pitch in any inning after the 4th. And he may not even be on a post season roster

  92. Russell Martin appears to have hit the wall. Hard.

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 TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News