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On location: Pirates 4, Reds 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (88-66) vs. Cincinnati Reds (88-66)

Starters: RHP A.J. Burnett vs. RHP Homer Bailey

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. Jose Tabata, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd, RF
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Burnett, P

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates pageRob Biertempfel, 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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Time to hone in on Homer.

  2. MadTurk says:

    Well the Mercer haters get there way, enter the weak hitting Barmes. Now that should wake him and he will hit a homer today.

  3. Karen22 says:

    He’s AJ’s “personal shortstop” and whipping boy.

  4. JAL says:

    JAL’s New Girl in School Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og7LLZEAW4c

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Playoff Races Kind of Suck

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-playoff-races-kind-of-suck.html

    Playoff Race Update: Reds and Pirates Now Tied For the Top Wild Card Spot

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/playoff-race-update-reds-and-pirates-now-tied-for-the-top-wild-card-spot.html

    Reds Stun Pirates in 6-5 Comeback Victory

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/reds-stun-pirates-in-6-5-comeback-victory.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates blow 5-2 lead, lose 6-5 in 10 innings

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/20/4754148/pirates-blow-5-2-lead-lose-6-5-in-10-innings

    6 Rumbunter

    Reds Plunk Pirates McCutchen–You Really Didn’t See It Coming?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/20/reds-plunk-pirates-mccutchen-really-didnt-see-coming/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-154-reds-6-pirates-5.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Mercer Error Opens the Floodgates; Reds Win In Ten 6-5

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/mercer-error-opens-floodgates-reds-win.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Reds 6, Pirates 5

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/reds-6-pirates-5/

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates fans doing their part to pack PNC Park

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/20/pittsburgh-pirates-fans-part-pack-pnc-park/

  5. Baywatch says:

    It’s 2013. It’s OK to have one of those – just for fun!

  6. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Rant Sports

    Francisco Liriano Was Best Free Agent Signing Of Past Offseason

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/20/francisco-liriano-was-best-free-agent-signing-of-past-offseason/

    12 With Leather

    Who Made The Better Catch, Pirates Catcher Tony Sanchez Or This Random Old Lady

    http://www.uproxx.com/sports/2013/09/made-better-catch-pirates-catcher-tony-sanchez-random-old-lady/

    13 Washington Post

    Jordan Zimmermann throws two-hitter as Washington Nationals beat Miami Marlins, 8-0

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/jordan-zimmermann-throws-two-hitter-as-washington-nationals-beat-marlins-8-0/2013/09/20/3b0baf1e-2230-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds stun Pirates with three runs in ninth

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130920/SPT04/309200188/Votto-bomb-caps-late-rally-over-Pirates

    15 Patriot News

    Pittsburgh Pirates open crucial series with Cincinnati Reds: 5 storylines to watch

    http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/09/pittsburgh_pirates_open_crucia.html

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Reds Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130921_CIN@PIT/redspirates-preview

    Playoff-style baseball, heartbreak, back in Pittsburgh for big weekend

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/scott-miller/23756518/playoffstyle-baseball-and-heartbreak-back-in-pittsburgh-for-big-weekend

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Cardinals salvage a win over Brewers

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-salvage-a-win-over-brewers/article_dd1491ca-1ebb-504e-bfa1-75f921910c04.html

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates give win away in stunning twist, fall in 10th

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_20_cinmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Liriano’s 1,000th K sets new Pirates staff record

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130920&content_id=61204246&notebook_id=61277406&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    This Week in Catcher Framing, 9/20

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21855

    20 Fangraphs

    Starling Marte Gets on Base the Hard Way

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/starling-marte-gets-on-base-the-hard-way/

  7. JAL says:

    New Girl in School Jan and Dean 1964

  8. JRay3 says:

    Huge INT by Gordon there…third of the day for Pitt but this came as momentum was turning.

  9. Lad9 says:

    Posting for Playoffs

    Playoffs by 2012 says:

    September 21, 2013 at 9:55 am

    The Window is going to be out for most of today,
    so I will need someone to re-post this for me once the game thread is up.
    Thanks as always.
    You all ROCK!!

    SATURDAY 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 ATTENDANCE at PNC Park for tonight’s game
    Line is 38,401

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Wild Card Magic Number: 4

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    WHAT WOULD ALEX PRESLEY DO….KEEP CALM or PANIC?

    Reply


    Rick in Crete says:

    September 21, 2013 at 11:05 am

    100 on the under.

    And AP would fly out weakly to rt field…

    Reply


    Karen22 says:

    September 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    100 – UNDER.

    Don’t even know why I’m playing anymore. Been as wrong as the Pirates lately.

    :(

    Reply


    War Horse says:

    September 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    100 on the OVER, please.

    Reply

  10. JRay3 says:

    Oops…go bucs!

  11. Lad 9 says:

    100 on the under please. Weather will hold it down, and we probably lost a few bridge jumpers last night…

  12. Arriba Wilver says:

    100 on the Under.

    I think it will be a sellout, but they have a funky way of counting, which I have yet to figure out.

  13. Arriba Wilver says:

    A real tragedy for them with the car accident.

  14. JAL says:

    yes it was

  15. cmat0829 says:

    100 under, will be sellout, 37+ but not over 38K

  16. cmat0829 says:

    No Marte again, I agree with Tabby starting, but starting to wonder if Marte will be able to play a full game again this season… he becomes our version of Billy Hamilton…probably still worth a slot on the playoff roster, but a big gap for the Bucs if hes not able to swing the bat the way he’s capable.

    Figured Barmes would be in for AJ start regardless of Mercer’s play yesterday. I’m comfortable with either of them playing, but much more comfortable defensively with Barmes. This team, like it or not, wins (or loses) with pitching and defense. Main criteria for a shortstop has got to start with defense…and then defense….and then defense… and then offense…and then defense again 100 more times. If our offense is so poor that we are waiting for the 8th hitter to carry the team, we won’t win many games offensively… but we may win many games 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, etc. because of defense. I’m not saying Barmes is 10x better defensively than Mercer, but he is better. And in September you have to go with all the little edges you can muster.

    One other thought…Jones is an awful pinch hitter… makes me wonder if he can really be on the playoff roster.. I may rather go with Pie, who at least gives you the defense/speed option…not sure Jones offers up much value at all on the bench. Hate to say that, I really like Jones, but facts are facts.

  17. Bill Born says:

    Please
    100 on under
    Thank you!!!

  18. cmat0829 says:

    Topic : beanball and what will happen today.

    1) Someone on the other blog posted that Cutch was hit with a “curveball” and there is no way it was intentional. W-R-O-N-G. The pitch was a fastball and it hit Andrew HARD on the arm. LeCure also exhibited exceptional control EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE PITCH. Dusty the Snake knows what he is doing, he threw at Cutch because he has done so many times in the past to great success.

    2) The umps ‘warning’ to both dugouts after Cutch was hit was B.S. Clint was absolutely right..if the ump felt that LeCure hit Andrew with intent, then the move is to EJECT the pitcher. It has same ongoing effect of the warning but if you let the Reds pitcher stay in the game but issue a warning, it takes away the chance for the Pirates to retaliate and not have their pitcher tossed…it gives the full advantage to the Reds and that is wrong.

    3) I have to believe AJ will hit someone today, because (a) he is AJ; (b) the Bucs feel like Cutch was targeted on purpose and they have to protect him; (c) they also want to send a message that they can bounce back with toughness after last night’s loss.

    4) If AJ is gonna hit somebody, he should do it early, because if you let the Reds do it first you run the risk of being ejected. My choice is Brandon Phillips in the 1st inning, but keep it low…

    5) I worry that the umps will just eject AJ immediately (and not just issue a warning) because they have that power… it is what happened to Jonathan Sanchez earlier this year… not sure they’d do that in such a big game, to a vet like AJ, and after not doing that to LeCure last night, but I’m bracing for it… would be unbelievable but I could see it happening.

    LETS GO BUCS LETS GO BUCS…. we’ve wanted meaningful September baseball for 20 years… we have it… we may be out of practice, but just because the Bucs are battling for a playoff spot doesn’t mean we are just granted wins to the final 10 games.. they have to grind each and every W…. and that gets tougher each and every day… it was never going to be easy folks, hang in there…don’t abandon ship now…we’ve come too far…..

  19. Thundercrack says:

    If they can’t get this game in tonight they can’t play 2 tomorrow because of the Steeler home game, right?

    Would they schedule it to be played in Cincinnati next week?
    Do both teams have Monday off?

  20. cmat0829 says:

    One more thought, since I’ve been reading a bunch of Reds fans tweets saying we are delusional about Dusty purposely throwing at Pirates, esp. Cutch…..

    1) Bucs aren’t only team who has taken issue with the Reds’ ways
    2) Hurdle in the press conf. last night pretty much called out Baker… he said something to the effect of “we have a different way of going about the game over here than they do over there”….

    Dusty thinks his Jedi mind methods are the right thing to do and he is right if it keeps working like it has on the Bucs…. the only way to teach him a lesson is to fight fire with fire…. and Phillips and Votto should be the targets…not head-high, but make them feel it like Cutch felt last night.

  21. Tom P. says:

    Both teams have Thursday off. They could play a Thursday afternoon game in Pittsburgh, them travel to Cincinnati for the weekend.

  22. JRay3 says:

    100 on UNDER

    thanks and go bucs

  23. Pucknutz says:

    Radar looked clear to the west. Unless the outfield is really bad they should play.
    They “could” play 2 tomorrow – really make it tough on the Steeler crowd. Gonna be a mess anyway w/parking.

  24. cmat0829 says:

    not sure why they wouldn’t play tomorrow night, there is no rule I know of that you can’t play a baseball game next to a football game…. I think easiest solution is to go early tomorrow, start at 12:35 and run the 2nd game 30 mins after 1st one ends…which starts the 2nd game around 4pm….and finishes in time to not interfere with the actual Steelers game. As to parking/traffic, etc…. people will have to figure it out.

  25. cmat0829 says:

    i think (1) the Reds would protest that big time to have to come back here for 1 game…. and (2) we are giving the NFL way way way too much consideration here. I mean if there were a rule you can’t play both games at same time (and there isn’t) then just move the Steeler game to Monday night.

    DK: This is hysterical. Why would the NFL move a game?

  26. Tom P. says:

    +1 on the last paragraph (and your other thoughts are spot-on too). I just don’t want the Pirates to get so caught up in retaliation that they loose focus on the game. Obviously, it is a dogfight for 27 outs.

  27. Tom P. says:

    Other teams have traveled to a stadium for one game already this this year. Rockies/A’s comes to mind and the Twins vs. somebody. Although I could be wrong on both counts.

    I really think they will get the game in, even if it starts around 8:30.

  28. Pucknutz says:

    Have to agree wya cmat – AJ is AJ – hit Phillips or Votto first at bat. The umps will throw him out for sure. Looooong relief. Bunch of arms out in that pen. Somebody step up an get it done.

  29. cmat0829 says:

    Teams have to agree to the plan, not sure I see the Reds agreeing to that when you can simply play a DH Sunday…. don’t think Dusty and the Reds will care about Rockies/As and Twins/somebody

  30. Karen22 says:

    The game will be played tonight. Rain stops by game time. And I just read somewhere (twitter?) that if it’s postponed it will be played here on Thursday – no day off.

    Not watching tonight, but let’s get the Reds, eh?! Enough of this crap!

  31. Patrick(RI) says:

    Better keep focus on winning the game. As the door mouse said, “keep your head!” Apologies to Lewis and Grace, as the mouse actually said “feed” your head, but a little editorial license is a common thing on the blog.

  32. Karen22 says:

    You are correct. Absolutely a fastball. Don’t know why anyone was saying it was a curve.

    And INTENTIONAL. Just ask Teke.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re joking about moving the 8:30 NBC Steeler game to Monday night, right?

  34. cmat0829 says:

    24/7 tweeted that the Pirates have made Grilli the closer again and Melancon will return to 8th inning role… surprised to hear that and not sure if I feel more or less comfortable hearing this……

    what i find fascinating is if this is the plan, then why go Farnsworth in the 10th last night and not Grilli…. pretty clear we have been trying to avoid Grilli in ‘high-leverage’ spots and today he is the new closer.

    We may end up with Watson closing by the time we get to Wrigley….

  35. cmat0829 says:

    I guess so. Think its funny that we can’t have a DH tomorrow because the Steelers may be playing at same time.. pretty sure fans would figure out a way to get to the Steelers game even with 37K pirates fans still at PNC…

    but I caught a peek at weather.com and I see clear radar over Pittsburgh for game time and most of the night…. so not sure how this doesn’t get played.

  36. bizrow says:

    I’ll go 100 on the over

    Although I do agree with AWs comment on funky attendance counting

  37. Thundercrack says:

    Makes me wonder about the whole ‘mental’ aspect of being a closer , and that it is much more about ‘stuff’

    Mentally Melancon was doing just fine. Recently his stuff has slipped.

    Or after the blown save on Wednesday, he’s mentally in a bad place.

  38. Nate83 says:

    This is obviuosly because it is easier to get 3 outs in the 8th instead of the 9th. Talk about overthinking things. Nothing Grilli has done since coming back gives me confidence that he could do better then Melancon who gives up zero runs last night if the defense does their job. Grilli needed to earn that. He hasn’t.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    That “someone” said he heard Walk say it was a curveball, and didn’t see it himself. He was just going from there. Nothing to see there.

  40. Karen22 says:

    Disturbing if true. We had two all-star closers and now we have none. Melancon’s been figured out and has no time to “adjust,” apparently, and no way Grilli’s yet unrecovered, explosive fastball (now stuck at 91-92) can set up his other out pitches. No way.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have no idea what the agreement is between the Pirates and Steelers about this kind of situation, and neither do you.

  42. Karen22 says:

    Actually, they’ve finally figured out what to do with the cutter he throws 95% of the time. Take it to right. HE has to adjust and not keep throwing the same pitch to RH batters. Same stuff…must use other stuff.

  43. Karen22 says:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  44. 21sthebest says:

    Definitely not a curveball.

  45. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t think teams have a choice in the matter either.

  46. Nate83 says:

    Grille has been getting his pitches up, lost 3 or 4 mph off of his fastball and has had balls hit hard of XBH’s. Melancon has been dinked to death and for the most part has been keeping his pitches down. The opposing hitters have had some good at bats. He may need to use more of the plate and come inside more often but his stuff is better then Grilli right now.

    Nothing Hurdle did last night rivals this decision. Which I think is a bad one. Just my opinion. I hope they both are lights out from here until the end of the year and it didn’t matter which order they pitched in. I would rather see Watson in the 8th and Melancon in the 9th.

  47. Arriba Wilver says:

    I keep seeing a bunch of people saying Melancon has been figured out and everybody is hitting him to right. True on hitting him to right Weds, but the error last night was by the Shortstop and the tying runs came in on a ball off Pedro’s glove. And Jordy threw out a guy earlier in the inning. I don’t recall more than one hit, if that, being hit to the right last night during Melancon’s outing. Maybe my memory is faulty.

  48. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure if one game should have sounded the alarm that he needed to change. Now that it has happened twice he definately needs to regroup and pitch inside to keep hitters honest.

    If I was the Pirates I would just wait for Chapman to get one up it the zone. He does it about once per hitter but the hitter can’t catch up to it by the time they decide to swing. He lives up in the zone more then most relievers I’ve seen. Grilli did this earlier in the year and got away with it as well.

  49. Thundercrack says:

    Melancon was getting them out in the 9th up until this week

  50. Nate83 says:

    One just barely over Walkers head and then one hit sharply where the second baseman usually would be but the Pirates had a slight shift on. But yes not really Tabata hit after Tabata hit.

  51. 21sthebest says:

    I agree but it doesn’t seem like he’s getting the swing and misses lately?

    My only nitpick on Melancon was the pitch Martin wanted to Mesoraco was supposed to be in and I didn’t think it was in enough. I was thinking that maybe he was gun shy after the warning even in that situation.

  52. Nate83 says:

    That was tongue in cheek. Melancon is still capable of getting outs in the 9th and should stay in that role. He got 3 of them before any runs scored last night. Unfortunately he had to get 4.

  53. Nate83 says:

    Yes he missed his spot on that pitch. Mesorasco fouled off 3 or 4 pitches before that were Melancon did hit his spot. It was a good at bat. Your going to miss the spot occasionally. Mesorasco earned that pitch. He unfortunately couldn’t bury one in the dirt at that point with a runner on 3rd.

  54. 21sthebest says:

    Personally, I wanted him to stay outside since Mesoraco kept trying to pull it.

  55. bradthedad says:

    Gutsy call by CH if true and that’s a big if – I wouldn’t bank on a 24/7 tweet. But if so, he deserves credit for making a decision almost guaranteed to leave him open to criticism (just read this blog). The back end has been money all year and now in the last 2 weeks of the year he doesn’t have a whole bunch of palatable options.

  56. Dom says:

    100 UNDER!!!
    THANKS!!!

  57. Frankie says:

    100 on the under

  58. Reading says:

    Radar gun said 87. Kind of a weak fastball.

  59. Dom says:

    I don’t feel Mel deserves to be demoted. He really only had the one blown save.

  60. Reading says:

    Maybe Grilli needs the mental rush of actually closing to regain form. Just like the closer sometimes struggles when he comes in with 4-run lead, allowing Grilli to “rehab” by pitching the 7th or even the 8th is not the same. I think Grilli responds if given a real save situation.

  61. 21sthebest says:

    Starling Marte named his baby boy Smerling.

  62. bradthedad says:

    We tend to forget how dominating he was but this has been going on for awhile – for 3/4 of the season guys weren’t able to get the ball out of the infield on him if they made contact. His money pitch, IMHO, was his breaking ball. Wed he leaned almost entirely on his fastball and last night he had trouble throwing his breaking ball for strikes and guys weren’t chasing. He may be either hurting or out of gas.

  63. Reading says:

    Monday will be reserved for the Pirates-Nats play in game for the right to play the Reds in the one game Wild Card game.

  64. Dom says:

    If the Rob Mackowiak theory is true should have started him the day his son was born.

  65. Dom says:

    Shat was supposed to be a reply to 21 and I meant to say “we should have…” I’m on an iPad.

  66. defil21 says:

    I saw that last night and my buddy and I texted each other at the same time Smerling? WTF?

  67. Eric Bowser says:

    Reminder: Last night, Reds pitcher Sam Lecure entered the game having thrown 1,900 pitches over two years with just one batter hit by a pitch. Yet, his “he was due” moment just happened to be against Andrew McCutchen and it just happened to be a high inside fastball to his shoulder.

  68. bman says:

    @playoffs

    100 on the UNDER please

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    Are we allowed to say “shat” on here?

  70. Dom says:

    that’s also why I said “shat” and not “that” in my last post.

  71. Jandy says:

    100 Barmes whipping boys on the under
    Go Bucs!

  72. Dom says:

    If I leave now, I can hopefully make it in time for confession.

  73. Lad 9 says:

    Cmat one of he best posts of the year. + a multitude LETS GO BUCS!!

  74. Reading says:

    Reason my Pirates pre-game show is blacked out? Are they showing the Oenguins game or something?

  75. Dom says:

    Will Cutch get beamed tonight?

  76. Dom says:

    I’m watching the pre game now.

  77. Reading says:

    It just came on. I’m out of market. Not sure if Pens game ran long or something.

  78. Dave G says:

    No, cuz AJ will bop a Red first and get ejected, and then both teams will be warned.

  79. Karen22 says:

    No, he won’t. The game is more important than his ejection by retaliation and he know it. There will be time…it won’t be in the 1st, though.

  80. Karen22 says:

    Diversion: Dejan Kovacevic ‏@Dejan_Kovacevic 5m
    News: Vokoun undergoes procedure to dissolve blood clot. OUT INDEFINITELY.

    Prayers to our goalie!

  81. radio wave says:

    We were there Wednesday night and last night when they blew the leads in the ninth inning. So we are staying home tonight so that we do not jinx them and they will win. Keep your fingers crossed as we are going again tomorrow.

  82. Eric Bowser says:

    major blow for Pens as Fleury hasn’t had the type of training camp this team expected after his blowup in the playoffs.

    This puts Zatkoff as the backup goalie…

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Not good. Not good at all.

    I have had blood clots dissolved………. it takes a while to come back.

  84. scapper says:

    Seems a certain part of the body continues to tighten up on the Northside…and I’m not just talking about Jordy Mercer’s arm. Any chance the Pirates can win only two more games and the steamrolling Nats can lose only 1? Sounds crazy, but it IS already down to 9 days of games left.

    Thanks for the reassurance.

  85. diehard says:

    Rather than hitting one of the Reds, Cutch will get some chin music, the Pirates will get warned, then he’ll line a foul ball into the Reds dugout, narrowly missing Dusty, and Cutch and Hurdle will get ejected. :-)

  86. Eric Bowser says:

    Vokoun missed ’05-06 season because of this… I’m thinking possible retirement if there’s any risk.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Very possible.
    The more times you have this procedure done, the riskier it gets.

    Very sad to hear this.

  88. scapper says:

    And by the way, regarding that over/under game many of you participate in on this blog: Is there something on there tonight about what inning Marte gets picked off first? Becoming a regular sort of thing on this homestand.

    Okay, enough negativity. GO BUCS!!!!!

  89. Reading says:

    Example one of why Barmes-Mercer debate yesterday was illusory.

  90. Eric Bowser says:

    AJ can’t throw strikes, Pirates don’t get a call from 3B umpire on Votto, and Barmes fails to snag a ball at SS.

    To say that I’m tired of this choking dog theatrics would be an understatement.

  91. irishjim says:

    deer in headlights have nothing on the buccos

  92. radio wave says:

    And the cards are already headed to nothing on another Adams homerun.

  93. MadTurk says:

    May as well hit someone now he sure is not pitching all that well.

  94. Reading says:

    PA guy puts Cards up 2-0. When it rains, it pours.

  95. Reading says:

    Of course, the Reds third sacker makes two fine plays to end the first.

  96. irishjim says:

    He should. All my Yankee fan friends said this is what AJ does in pressure games, wilts terribly.

  97. Eric Bowser says:

    About time Martin is useful at plate… 2-run HR

  98. Reading says:

    Finally a break!! How’s that E feel Votto?

  99. irishjim says:

    That was nice. Too bad AJ is going to give up at least 2 more.

  100. Eric Bowser says:

    I don’t think AJ liked Tabata’s slow jump on that base hit to shallow LF

  101. diehard says:

    Good thing it was such a boot – Pedro slowed down a ton halfway to first. Biggest game of the season thus far (which will apply daily now), and Pedro dogs it?

  102. Nate83 says:

    The shift taketh away.

  103. Pucknutz says:

    What the heck was that “shift” – Pedro on the right side of second ???

  104. Lad 9 says:

    Camera caught him saying “dive”. And he was right.

  105. Pucknutz says:

    Did look a bit slow – don’t think he had a chance anyway. Minor little scowl from AJ – might even been at himself.

  106. Nate83 says:

    They put Walker in short right and leave Barmes in his normal position and move Pedro to just slightly to the right of second base. They have done that against extreme left handed pull hitters. I think they did it against prince fielder earlier this year.

  107. Pucknutz says:

    Sure wish ROOT would show some of these shifts instead of people chomping on Nachos!! LOL

  108. Eric Bowser says:

    AJ righting himself in third and fourth innings after Reds scored in first and second.

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know.

  110. Lad 9 says:

    AJ really dealing!

  111. irishjim says:

    We are approaching “6 inning AJ” territory…..dun dun dunnnnn

  112. Reading says:

    Let’s get some runs.

  113. Pucknutz says:

    Short leash -for sure. But …..

  114. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Now the Pirates have a lead going into the last 3rd of the game. Uh oh.

  115. pattonbb says:

    Smart baserunning by Morneau.

  116. pattonbb says:

    So who will the Reds hit next?

  117. Pucknutz says:

    Good ??? LOL

  118. J Walter Weatherman says:

    That’s the Zach Duke I remember!

  119. diehard says:

    Cutch should be up in the 8th. If the lead holds, I’d look for it. It’s the Baker Way.

  120. Keith says:

    Okay, here’s a question: how many position players do you put on your one-game playoff roster, knowing you can change that roster for the following series? I say 17! 8 pitchers should be plenty, right?

  121. Pucknutz says:

    AJ is dying to plink somebody – not enough of a lead – but who knows.

  122. Keith says:

    Then, don’t we need only 10 pitchers in the playoffs? 4 starters, 6 relievers. Then we can take 3 catchers and one extra PH.

  123. Pucknutz says:

    diehard – I believe you may be right.

  124. J Walter Weatherman says:

    AJ had the curveball working tonight. Very impressive performance, especially after the shaky start.

  125. JRay3 says:

    Byrd doing what team brought him here for, huge RBI on the deep fly to center, than Pedro off the LHP Duke belts RBI #94.

    Reds are the team making the mistakes tonight that have led to Pirate runs. Turn about is fair play.

    AJ gave team just what they needed, seven strong, steading innings with 12 STFD’s and the emotion to let the Reds know to boot.

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not tonight.

  127. Lad 9 says:

    Great performance by AJ! He was the perfect guy to have on the bump today after last night.

  128. Pucknutz says:

    Yes – now they gotta suck it up and hold it.

  129. Nate83 says:

    Nice bounce back game so far by the pirates. Really nice performance by AJ tonight.

  130. Pucknutz says:

    12 STFD’s -new expression for me – love it – AJ 100% Love it !!!!

  131. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  132. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Oh no. Morris. Doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence. Hope for the best …

  133. DJ says:

    Cutch will get a high fastball here . . .

  134. twentytwo22 says:

    Good or bad, I’m posting this before the inning starts. This is because it happened a couple of weeks ago. Watson pitched in the 10-1 win ‘to get work’. He threw 13 pitches. Last night he threw 9 pitches. He is unavailable tonight because of not being allowed to pitch 3 days in a row. The work schedule is to get these guys to this point of the season. Now that we are here. Our best relievers should be used. Watson was used in a 7-2 game. Mazzaro was used for a second inning in the 8th against Milwaukee and gave up the tying run. Snider hit a HR in the 9th to win it.

    Is this going to happen in a playoff series? You can’t use your best relievers because you play 3 days in a row? This IS a playoff series. BS. I don’t like it.

  135. J Walter Weatherman says:

    or hit a high popup.

  136. DJ says:

    . . . there it was, and there it goes. Pop-up.

  137. J Walter Weatherman says:

    preach it, brother.

  138. DJ says:

    If they are bringing in Morris I will be very nervous.

  139. Steelag70 says:

    Morris should not be in the back-end rotation in the BP…

  140. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I can’t say I’m ecstatic about Morris – Grilli. Hope I’m wrong.

  141. DJ says:

    You must throw strikes, Brian.

  142. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Pulling Morris is the right move. Putting him in to begin with was the wrong move.

  143. DJ says:

    Problem with Wilson — in addition to the drastic fall off in velocity — is that he was missing his control when we sat him down.

    He’s got Votto to recapture it quickly.

  144. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Wilson has been a good clutch pitcher, going back to college. Trust him more than Morris in these situations.

  145. twentytwo22 says:

    They got the job done. I don’t care how. fsadagfrvba;gjkl;bjkl jiln54rh5ths;jio;jkl

  146. JRay3 says:

    Yes sir Justin Wilson ramping up to 98 on the gun and get Votto to roll into DP.

  147. Eric Bowser says:

    Sucky Morris gets 1 out and Rusty Wilson gets double-play!

  148. Good to see JW bring his pitch speed back after his layoff…

  149. DJ says:

    I definitely would not take Buck . . . but that’s me.

  150. Anyone catch the announced attendance?

  151. DJ says:

    Had a lot of confidence earlier this season. Not so much after the break.

  152. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Let’s get 3 more runs here. We might need them.

  153. DJ says:

    Small thing but I really like Byrd’s between pitches routine.

    He stays relaxed and focused.

  154. JRay3 says:

    39,425….sellout #22.

  155. twentytwo22 says:

    That wasn’t a bad job of hitting. They were ready to hit Marshall’s curveball.

  156. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Pedro quietly looking better at the plate. Pirates aren’t doing anything in the playoffs without him hitting well.

  157. J Walter Weatherman says:

    A 1-2-3 inning will probably happen, because it’s so unexpected.

  158. Steelag70 says:

    Deja vu….Ludwick leads it off with a single….

  159. DJ says:

    Crazy how Ludwick is coming back to haunt us.

  160. JRay3 says:

    Bruce DP….just one more out Grilli!

  161. Steelag70 says:

    Yes…Chilli Grilli!!

  162. DJ says:

    Neil picture-perfect feeds to Barmes tonight.

  163. JRay3 says:

    2013 Pirates = RESILIENT

  164. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Poetic justice with groundball to SS ending it this time.

  165. Pucknutz says:

    We had em alllllll the way!!!

  166. Nate83 says:

    Thank god those predictions of the Pirates losing out didn’t come true.

  167. Reading says:

    All is right in the World again!!

  168. Arriba Wilver says:

    Looked like Martin told Grilli “you’re back!”

  169. Steelag70 says:

    AJ is da man!!!!

  170. Lad 9 says:

    Raise it! Return of the Cheese. Unbelievably big win for the Buccos. This is excruciating, but it is fun. Go Buccos!

  171. Reading says:

    The troll hit by Ludwick erased by the twin killing.

  172. Eric Bowser says:

    Fitting that Barmes gets the final out…. should have been him last night too.

  173. pattonbb says:

    ….fear the Bones….

  174. Reading says:

    Outstanding observation on my part (with 20/20 hindsight).

  175. diehard says:

    Phhhheeewwwww. So glad to see that win! And to see Wilson ramp it up and Grilli close it. As much as I am not a fan of Pedro’s, I know if he can pull himself together for a few weeks it will make all the difference to this team. And to us fans!

  176. Steelag70 says:

    Raise that Jolly Roger!! The ebb and flow of a pennant chase…it”s been so long for us fans that we forget sometimes how crazy it gets…

  177. Karen22 says:

    Whew!!!! Didn’t watch…glad I checked in to see the good vibes here after the fact, though!

    Deeeeep breath…

  178. Wild Bill says:

    Even in NorCal, we’re saying: Raise that Jolly Rogerrrrrrr!

  179. Drew71 says:

    I think they need a Postgame Piercing Promotion after big wins.

    Seems very Pirate-like.

    Though all the crotchety old men will object.

  180. Thundercrack says:

    Enjoy tonight’s victory. Look ahead.
    Last night was last night. Nothing is going to change it from a loss.

  181. Don’t talk about us like that.

    Piercing what, BTW?

  182. Reading says:

    Nats-Marlins rained out. So, can’t clinch Sunday.

  183. cmat0829 says:

    your yankee fan friends are wrong.

  184. cmat0829 says:

    where was ludwick’s veteran bat in 2011? i can’t stand this friggin loser for mailing it in for us in 2011 and now he’s back to hitting like he has his entire career. He’s the one I hope gets beaned tomorrow.

  185. cmat0829 says:

    Nats will play day-night DH…they can indeed clinch but won’t be in front of the fans, will be when team is in Chicago hotel.

  186. cmat0829 says:

    SWEEEEEEET WIN tonight for the Buccos!!! AJ was awesome. So good to see Grilli back in the saddle…. big, big, big, big HR by Russell after the Bucs fell behind 2-0…..

    Time to win the series tomorrow… hope the Brew Crew gets one vs. the Cards… be nice to see the Bucs 2 up on Cincy, 1 back of STL heading into the final week.

    Also hoping the Nats actually win one or 2 of their games tomorrow…want that team SHARP and MOTIVATED heading into STL… if Bucs take care of business in Wrigley, they won’t need WASHINGTON to lose again this season… let em win out, starting with a sweep in STL…

    LETS GO BUCS LETS GO BUCS LETS GO BUCS … KEEP THE FRIGGING FAITH!

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    Don’t ask.

  188. Reading says:

    Correct. Doubleheader sked after my post. Pirates will have to win.

  189. Mrevo says:

    Hate him, hate him, hate him

  190. John Lease says:

    Me either. I can’t take it.

 
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