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Final: Cubs 4, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (91-67) vs. Chicago Cubs (65-93)

Starters: LHP Francisco Liriano vs. RHP Jake Arrieta

Time: 2:20 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

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. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Garrett Jones, RF
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Tony Sanchez, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Liriano, 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.

636 Comments

  1. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!

    :)

  2. WEDNESDAY PICK ‘EM!!!

    Standings will be updated this evening

    ******PLEASE READ WHAT IS WRITTEN BELOW******
    PLEASE PLACE YOUR “WAGERS” AS REPLIES IN THIS COMMENT BOX
    Makes my job a helluva lot easier when I don’t have to hunt to find everyone’s “wagers”

    Max “wager” is 100 units on any single line.
    All “wagers” must be in multiples of 5 units.
    Play as few or as many lines as you’d like.
    As always, this is for fun and entertainment purposes.

    NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME & ENCOURAGED!!

    Today’s Pick ‘Em Line
    Total Combined RBI’s by Justin Morneau and Garrett Jones in today’s game
    0-1 (EVEN ODDS)
    2-3 (DOUBLE ODDS)
    4 or More (TRIP-TRIP-TRIPLE ODDS)

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Magic Number to Clinch the #4 Seed: 4

    Anything is possible if a person believes
    Mark 9:23

    KEEP CALM & GET HOME-FIELD

  3. I was talking to a friend of mine in Pittsburgh last night, and he told me that Pres. Coonelly was on The Fan yesterday.
    He cited the “Hoka Hey” exercises as one of the reasons that the Pirates are going to the playoffs.
    Did anybody hear this?
    I certainly didn’t rate it in my top 100 reasons…..

  4. No Byrd Man?
    Did he fly the coop?

  5. Pirate hitters averages for SEPTEMBER: AVG OBP SLG OPS
    1 Sanchez, .357 .438 .714 1.152
    2 McCutchen, .338 .467 .554 1.021
    3 Sanchez, G .333 .476 .400 .876
    4 Mercer, J .311 .340 .511 .852
    5 Tabata, J .290 .329 .449 .778
    6 Marte, S .286 .333 .571 .905
    6 Morton, .286 .286 .286 .571
    8 Byrd, M .280 .333 .390 .724
    9 Morneau, J .254 .354 .299 .653
    10 Cole, G (P) .222 .222 .222 .444
    11 Alvarez, P .215 .284 .367 .651
    12 Snider, T .214 .267 .643 .910
    13 Walker, N .203 .276 .418 .694
    14 Locke, J (P) .200 .200 .200 .400
    15 Barmes, C .194 .237 .306 .542
    16 Buck, J .176 .176 .176 .353
    17 Jones, G .148 .179 .333 .512
    18 Lambo, A .143 .143 .286 .429
    19 Martin, R .123 .194 .228 .422
    20 Harrison, J .063 .167 .250 .417

  6. When Alex Presley makes the Hall of Fame he will credit HOKA HEY.

  7. So. Interesting conversation going on in this mornings’ blog….

    Sorry I couldn’t chime in, but was slightly disappointed that not many people mentioned their lineup.

    Enjoyed reading some…….and ignored others. (Its what I do best)

    The WC: Love the idea of Liriano going 6-7 and Cole coming in to close it down. I agree, there isn’t a better pitcher on the roster right now that Cole. Plus, he can mix his pitches less, meaning, heavy dose of that 100MPH heater and throw in a slider here and there. Shut down mode…..

    I drop Travis Snider for sure, I think I mentioned that yesterday. Jeff Locke fo shizzle.

    I also agree that Jeff’s Locke issues isn’t in his head. Arm slot. When a pitcher loses his command, its USUALLY because of arm slot. Charlie Morton changed his arm slot to 3/4 and is the pitcher today because of it. (I won’t start the head case talk again)

    I drop John Buck as well, but perhaps revisit his addition in the WS. Though I think Gaby/Jones make a pretty decent DH combo. Buck adds experience in the AL and could be the DH against LHP. Depends on who they face and their depth of LHP.

    That’s my take. I dont care about the order as much. I think Barmes should get majority of starts at SS. His defense is more important than Jordy’s offense. Except against LHP.

  8. “So that means the players and coaches had nothing to do with the success?
    Its all about Hoka Hey.”

    No. He didn’t imply that at all. He only made reference to “elite training.” The interview is on The Fan’s website for anyone to hear and judge for themselves. When talking about player development in the minors and developing in Latin America, he said this:

    “Elite training in player development system is helping to sustain success.”

  9. Mets take a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Daisy Duke with four strikeouts through 2.

  10. Reds losing 1-0 end of 3rd

  11. Tony Sanchez has pretty much been Liriano’s caddy. I wonder if this will continue should the Pirates be involved in the coin flip game…

  12. Mat Latos has hit 2 guys in 3+ innings. Practice makes perfect.

  13. I said it yesterday too… but we could totally use another laugher going into the final series of the year. I’m going to go ahead and predict the score tonight as 12-1 pirates. I want to see Morneau hit his first homer as a pirate and get every possible monkey off the backs of our bucs.

  14. Mets are fighting so far today. Looks like Latos is going to have to “gut” this one out.

  15. Down goes Frazier!

  16. Washington already has man on second with no outs. Could 20 years of bad play/luck all turn around in a week starting with Morneau plays at the plate to win on Monday night. No jinx, no jinx, no jinx.

  17. I think Matsuzaka is one of those pitchers who is just unorthodox enough that, if you’ve never faced him before, he can give you fits. Seems like he might be giving the Reds fits today so far. Vic Black may have a shot at #2 later.

  18. Nationals up 1-0 still have two on 1 out.

  19. I think we are going to put up a big comment # on the afternoon blog today.

  20. If the Cards and the Buccos have the same record at the end of the season, would the tie go to us?

  21. BREAKING:

    Billy Hamilton caught stealing by some guy named Juan Centeno.

  22. ha! billy hamilton caught stealing. Man, I wish I could watch some of this stuff. Sitting in this here office until 5pm EST staring at the gamecast page on my phone.

    • Gee, I thought he was going to be 1,000 for 1,000 in steals and hit .325 for his career.

      • Yep, him and Puig will go down in history as the best players ever to play the game. Chapmans going to stike out 3000 batters in 1200 innings as well and Santa Clause will be cheered at an Eagles game.

        • The fall from grace of Puig would not bother me. Let’s let these guys peform for awhile before we put them in the HOF.

          Now, Cole, get him in the HOF asap cuz he plays for our team.

  23. Latos is at 95 pitches in the 6th. I’m thinking this could be his last inning. I mean, it is heroic that he even took the mound … mysterious abdominal injury and all. True warrior.

  24. Marte singles to start us off :)

  25. Marte showing what he brings to the top of the lineup.

  26. Marte! Nice start.

  27. Would Tabata be lollygagging if he only got to 1st on a dropped fly ball? Excellent, made up for it with sb.

    Another negative thought — have your hottest hitter screw up things with a bunt!

  28. If my phone is correct, lefties only bat .190 vs. Arrieta.

  29. does anyone have the Day-dro versus Night-dro stats on the year? Did I miss the discussion where we proved that Pedro is better during the day because he can see the ball better/less tired/etc?

  30. I was completely wrong about Daisuke. This is why I don’t bet football.

  31. Cubbies score :/

  32. Cards tie it up.

  33. When I try monitoring 3 afternoon games like this, I feel like I do when I’m watching the Ryder Cup. One minute the US is leading in 3 matches, tied in 3 and losing none. 15 minutes later, we are losing 4 matches and tied in 2. Things change quickly.

  34. UGH…our bats are toooo quiet!

  35. Listening to the reds-Mets game on MLB Network makes out announcers sound good.

    Faint praise.

  36. Hope Cumpton is at least stretching . . .

  37. Frankie is getting whacked a bit. Settle it down!!

  38. Liriano really struggling with his control. Not sharp at all.

  39. does Liriano look as bad as he does on my game cast do-thingy?

  40. No sign of Latroy “zombie” Hawkins yet.

  41. Come on Mets!

  42. I hope this isn’t an every other start thing developing with Frankie. Should be a short leash this time of year.

  43. Cards winning 3-1 yuk

    • DRAT! I really thought the Nats would put up a fight.

      Good on Frankie for getting it together after the double!

      Now – Saaa-Wing batter batter (that would be Buccos)!!

  44. Cards doing what they do.

  45. I think we are playing for home field against the Reds. Hope I am wrong but the Cards have a solid club. too much offense and their pitching is getting stronger.

  46. Reds starting trouble. 2 on and two outs–Votto up and Feleciano throws wild pitch to move up runners

  47. Another hit for Marte

  48. If he bunts Walker this time, they should definitely fire Hurdle. Though he may do it just to piss all you guys off.

  49. Looks like Marte’s timing is back.

    Nice to see. With 2 outs, there’s no point in standing on second….He gets thrown out, so what, NW leads off next inning.

  50. That Reds game doesn’t mean a thing unless we start hitting in our game.

  51. Marte – proving his value! Now get him home!!

  52. fly ball. Still 1-0

  53. did I just hear the Reds lost?

  54. Oh Jeez Cutch walks. Now up to Morneau

  55. So I missed the 1st inning.

    Are you telling me that NW bunted, after Marte stole 2nd?

    Probably the hottest hitter in the lineup, should not drop a freakin bunt down with a runner in scoring position. I understand its a road game, and you do what you can to produce runs, but that sounds backwards to me. If he was struggling at the plate, sure, bunt away.

  56. Morneau can maybe turn some people’s feelings around here.

  57. 1-0 Mets in the 9th. Chapman in for Cincinnati.

  58. Why not a double steal with Walker breaking for second. If they take the bait and throw to second, send Marte to the plate? If either one gets caught – you have Andrew leading off next inning.

  59. Ah, the ol’ bases-loaded walk.

    Surprised he wasnt ordered to bunt there…………… ;)

  60. Walked in a run. wow

  61. WOOT! another RBI for Morneau… even if it is a bases loaded walk.

  62. Just one more for the contest.

  63. I’ll take a walk there….ties it up. Would’ve liked to have seen more-no.

  64. Now it’s up to GI Jones

  65. So glad Jones is batting here and not Pedro! It’s pure science, after all, that Pedro can only hit 6th.

  66. Crap Jones

  67. I seriously would rather see Travis freakin Snider out there at this point.

  68. hate to leave ‘em loaded, but at least we got one…

  69. The decaying carcass of LaTroy Hawkins is in to close. Nooooooooooo.

  70. “Ageless” (Cincy colorman description) is in. His recents stats have been great.

  71. Phillips grounds out on 3-1 pitch. Haha! Nice start, LaTroy!

  72. Nice catch by Dekker!

  73. One more, LaTroy!

  74. CIN-city down to their last out with Frazier to go.

  75. Liriano got outta that one too…whew

  76. FINAL: METS 1 CINCY 0

    If Pirates win today, they only need to win one out of three in Cincinnati this weekend to have home field advantage in the one Wild Card game Tuesday.

  77. Chalk one up for the Undead!

  78. REDS LOSE! REDS LOSE! REDS LOSE !!!!!!!!!!

    Dustball choked on his toothypick. ;)

  79. Now, our game is HUGE!

  80. Now we need the W

  81. Wow this suddenly becomes an important game. Win today and we only have to take one against the Reds for home field. We are seeing today why Liriano needs to pitch at home. He is much better at PNC park.

  82. LaTroy must have had some Hoka Hey training recently ;-)

  83. Very simple now. Two more wins. Play .500 the rest of the way.

  84. Matsazuka pitched a four hitter!

    Lots of empty seats at GABallpark.

    Thank you Mets. We owe you.

  85. WHAT HUSTLE BY ALVAREZ !!!!!

  86. Sure that isn’t Cutch in a body suit?

  87. Stating the obvious: Huge difference between needing 1 out of 3 in Cincy to secure the Wild Card game at PNC, and 2 out of 3. Cannot let this game get away.

  88. Said it before & I’ll say it again. There is no better baserunner on this team than Pedro Alvarez.

  89. Liriano is averaging 22 pitches an inning. Safe to say he won’t be tossing a complete game today.

    Might be a good day for some Sept. callup to show his mettle.

  90. Little League triple for Pedro?

  91. I think Castro makes Tabata look like Pete Rose.

  92. I’m not a real fan of Pedro batting in front of Barmes. Might as well just bat him 8th. He’s not going to see any pitches to hit in that spot.

  93. I’d love to see barmes hit Petey in just to piss off Mr. Hasis ;)

  94. You guys are thinking this the wrong way. Yes, we would be up 2 if we won today. But, would you still feel ok if we lost the weekend series to the reds and then have to play them again on Tuesday? I personally hope we sweep the Reds. And being up by 2 just gives us the low stress condition to do it. Cause really, the pressures would be on the Reds.

    • Nobody said we didn’t want to sweep the Reds. But, you would you really rather go in there up 1 instead of 2?

      • No, I just want them to win. And it shouldn’t matter that we only have to win 1. Although, it does make me curious. If we are up 2 and end up winning the 1st game, how do we approach the next two games… knowing that we will host the wild card on Tuesday against the Reds.

        • Depends on where we stand vs. Cards.

        • If we are down 2 after gaining WC homefield on Friday evening, we still have to play all out on Saturday because the division is still available. If the Cards then win or we lose on Sat., that makes Sun pointless. Stolmy or Straight out of Cumpton can pitch Sunday.

    • I personally only care about the play-in game. I would like to play that game at home but all that matters is actually winning that game.

    • Playoffs are all that matter at this point. The division seems lost at this point. Getting home field in the WC is next. If we have that by winning today and Friday, I wouldn’t care about Sat. or Sun. games at all. Start Stolmy and Cumpton for those and 2 different Sunday lineups those games so everyone can catch their breath for the playoffs.

  95. I’ve come to a conclusion. When you have a guy on 3rd,

  96. Wow, way to screw up an inning.

  97. Theme ALL year long for the Pirates: Runner on third with less than two outs is actually a scoring LIABILITY! (Ripping my hair out by the gray roots)!

  98. Liriano got out of that inning too.
    Now if we could get the bats swinging for hits…

  99. One more inning for Francisco.

  100. Dang, I have to go get this contract out today. C’mon, guys, get the W today…catch Yinz all later!

  101. You do realize the pirates only need 1 win at cincy regardless of what they do here right?

    They win the intra division TB

  102. Uh oh. Neverett is going to start another Cutch 0′fer streak on Friday if he doesn’t get a hit before this game is over.

  103. The first TB is season series…would be 9 all if we win 1….second is intradivision record. Dont know why they arent telling us this info

  104. Junior Lake obviously sees Starlin Castro as his role model.

    • Too funny Milo. On a serious note, isn’t it nice to have Cutch as Marte’s role model (and Polanco’s mid season next year)?

  105. Hi Gang.
    Looking for a temporary team name to use for entering my kid and his teammates into tournaments. Was thinking of “The Lampshades.”
    Any better suggestions???

  106. Our hitters are morons.

  107. Okay, folks, here are the facts:

    The 1st stat to decide homefield choice in the Wild Card playoff game is which team has the best record for 162 games.

    If the two WC teams are tied, the team with the best record against the other has home field for the one game playoff.

    The Pirates-Cincy record against each other as of today is 8-8.

    Figure it out. If we win today, we need only one out of three in Cincy to play off at PNC because we will be one game ahead in the standings.

    If we lose today, we have to take two out of three at GABP over the weekend to have home field for the WC platoff.

    That’s it. If we lose all three in Cincy (God forbid), we playoff at GABP.

  108. For all the good things this team does, we have to be the worst team in MLB at getting runners in from 3b with less than 2 outs.

    • They are also very good at hitting solo home runs. Maybe it is on par with the rest of the league but it seems to me that they hit an unusual amount of solo home runs. Hardly ever get a 2 or 3 run homerun.

  109. Runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs. Your thought is one thing & one thing only – in the air the other way.

  110. Cards win……………….. crap.

    Bucs have left 128 runners on base today………… crap.

  111. so wait, we just got a leadoff double from Morneau and then failed to score him with 2 straight ground ball outs and a K? :(… sounds like we need some Byrd magic.

  112. Why is he still pitching, fast approaching 100 and a very big game possibly looming Tuesday? I’d save him, and trust someone else to shut down the Cubs.

    • I was hoping for another 9 pitch inning… obviously that hasn’t happened :|

    • I’m on the fence with this one Jim. He would still be pitching on 5 days rest which is his normal amount. Maybe keeping him stretched out and pitching what he may have to pitch in 5 days isn’t the worse thing. I wouldn’t want him laboring at pitch 105 next Tuesday because he hasn’t done that in a while.

  113. so wait, we need to win the rest of our games and Chicago needs to take 2 out of 3 from the cards to force a 1 game playoff to determine the “winner” who then has to play the Reds in the WC? :(

    • Yup, that pretty much sums it up. But look at it this way. If they get to that point and lose the 1 game against Cards, they get to play a 2nd 1 game against the Reds, in effect giving them 2 chances to win 1 game to get to the NLDS.

  114. Do we still have John Buck?? Thought we got him to be backup—Sanchez is a horrible hitter.

    • right FS, he’s only the guy with the best batting average on the pirates for the month of September (before today). So yes, he sucks.

      • But, he was hitting .215 when we got him, and had 2/3 of his HR for the year before May 1. He has not hit a ball hard yet, really. He hit several ground balls up the middle in his first couple of starts. Clint probably felt it was just good fortune of where he placed the balls. And, he is thought of as maybe the worst pitch framer and one of the worst throwers of any catcher in baseball.

  115. Milo’s boy, Mazzaro is a-comin’ in. :)

  116. I was planning on yard work tonight. I think this one’s going past dark.

  117. Crap !

  118. I’ll let you guys handle this one.

  119. Good one Hurdle–never ceases to amaze!!!!

  120. Nice taking advantage of Cincy’s loss today….

    Stranding 1,000 baserunners in scoring position and leaving Frankie in too long.

    SH*T!!

  121. What does Brown mean “of all people.” This guy has been drilling Liriano all day. Hurdle’s handling of when to pull or not pull just amazes me, acknowleging it is tough to argue with 90+ wins.

  122. 93 pitches is a tough day for 5 innings. It is not like 93 pitches in 6 or 7 innings. That is why I wondered how he could send Frankie back out for the 6th, knowing he likely needs him completely fresh on Tuesday.

  123. Wonder what the thinking was – I guess you let your ace try and get a win – but this was pretty stupid IMHO….

    Once the Cards put up a win you have to think that you are headed for a one game playoff that you want Frankie to start – and win. Hopefully in the Burgh…

    Winning 2 out of three in Cincy gets you the home field – Liriano clearly did not have it today – get him on the plane back to Pittsburgh and tell him to chill til Tuesday :-)

  124. I hope they come back and win but if they don’t I’m just goint to act like the Reds won today and this game didn’t mean anything. I know that’s not realistic but it helps me sleep at night so I’m going with it.

  125. If I never see Vin Mazarro or Brian Morris pitch again it will be too soon…

  126. McDonald has had FL number all day. Should’ve been pulled.

    • Letting him hit again against Liriano is the stupidist decision of the year — all the signs were obvious, the stakes enormous, the result very likely. Perhaps CH was hoping for a 3rd double?

      • I agree with Hurdle. I would have stayed with Liriano.

        1/ He’s the best you have, even on an uneven performance day.
        2/ The odds of McDonald getting another hit had to be astronomical. I would have bet more on a doubleplay.
        3/ Liriano on a bad day is a better pitcher than Vin Mazzarro.
        4/ Liriano had gotten out of jams all day. Why not one more time?

        Francisco Liriano would have to have a broken arm for me to choose Vin Mazarro over him. [Oh, yeah, he did that, didn't he?]

  127. Done in by JMac’s brother or cousin. Somewhat ex-Pirate factor jinx at work today.

  128. Walk is going gaga over a .250 hitter who hits 20 homers – what has the world come to.

  129. I guess if Tuesday is on the road, they have to go with AJ, Morton or Cole. Liriano not the same away from PNC.

    • Well if they split games one and two in Cincy the Cole has to go on Sunday to get home field for Frankie..

      Otherwise – save Cole for Tuesday in Cincy..

  130. In 9 road starts since the All Star break, Francisco Liriano has a 5.96 ERA.

  131. Is this on purpose? everybody knows that Liriano’s bounce back game is way better… I just hope its at home.

  132. Are the Pirates giving out participaton ribbons now. The pinch hitting over the last few weeks is driving me crazy. Not only the amount of them but the choice of who gets them and when.

  133. we cant even hit a pitcher named Grimm with an ERA of 6+??

  134. Lambo…good choice.

    I’m usually not critical of the manager, but today………….eh, worthy.

  135. I hate listening to Tim Neveritt. He sits spouting inane statistics that have nothing to do with THIS GAME, THE ONE HE IS ANNOUNCING!! Now he is talking about dress code!

    I keep reaching for the remote to turn off the sound, as I do at home.

    Then I remember I am listening on the radio. Turning it off does not help.

  136. Watching Morris pitch is only slightly less painful than a root canal.

  137. Friday will be the 3rd time this year AJ Burnett has made consecutive starts against the same team.

    1st game – 22 IP / 4 ER / 1.64 ERA

    2nd game – 8.2 IP / 10 ER / 10.38 ERA

    I noticed this last year also. The hitters have made the adjustments, he hasn’t.

  138. Did Andrew spit on Tim Neverett sometime or insult his family?

    He’s on his case again today.

    Tim Neverett.

    • I’m on his case, too. Hasn’t looked MVP-ish for quite awhile.

      (But Neverett is annoying and I’m not). ;)

        • True about the not being annoying like Neverett. Not on Cutch.

          He has an OPS of 1.019 in Sept.

          Had an OPS of 1.021 in August.

          Last week or so, yeah, but dang, no one can do what he does day in, day out for 6 months.

          No one.

          He’ll be fine. And he has a legit shot at MVP.

    • I predicted it … and I’m not even watching. Maybe Cutch rested a bottled water on his head around the batting cage or something.

  139. Need Cutch to hit. Not a good week at all for him.

    Saving it for Cincy?? (I said “HIT” – not “Get hit.).

    It’s TIME!!

  140. well just got home and I see it does not matter what the other teams do if we don’t take care of our own business. We need a comeback win here.

  141. Still looking for some lunatics to join our fantasy league

    Dejan’s Lunatics

    On yahoo

    If interested, send my your e-mail, to bisbee1203@verizon.net

  142. Boy, in my opinion, Bucs have gone with their 3 weakest playoff roster relievers today.

    I guess I should note that all “ran through the raindrops” but also gave up NO runs.

  143. Wasting another golden opportunity today. All they had to do was win and they only had to win one game this weekend to get the home game.

  144. Need to get Marte up against Gregg. The Cubs can’t let him face Marte again, can they ?

  145. There one more run and a man on third. More hits please!!

  146. A hustling Tabby gets a HR there. Lolligagger! :-)

  147. HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THREE STRAIGHT STRIKES???????????????????

  148. Can’t wait for a mistake, have to protect the plate. Those were strikes.

  149. 0 – 12 with runners in scoring position, including leaving 3 on 3rd with less than 2 outs!!!

    Now know what they have to do———win 2 of 3 on the road at Cincy. Actually intense way to end the season!!!

  150. Runner at 3rd and left there by idiot hitters.. even in the 9th. I don’t want to watch this at home. Let them go meekly into the offseason on the road.

    • 22 Squared,

      If you were standing in front of me and said that, I would slap you on both sides of your face and challenge you to a duel.

      • Weapons? You get Hurdle, 22 gets Baker. A real duel of the titans. hurdle has great starters, no hitters and a weakening bull pen and no recent playoff experience for most of his troops. Dusty has decent starters, several top shelf hitters lots of post season experience, and a killer closer. 22 should win with the added home field adv., but he has Dusty around his neck. Too close to call.

      • Glad to see everyone is in a positive mood, Groat. (I don’t mean you). :-D

        Can I be your second?

        • Warn him to watch out for the toothpick when he slaps his cheek. On the other hand, 22 will be tied up trying to pull that wad of bubblegum from between his fingers.

  151. Fitting that we get beat by James McDonald’s Cousin today. Division title is pretty much in the bag for STL. Now we need to win two against the Reds. This offense better wake the bleep up in Cincy. With the exception of yesterday, they had been averaging about 5 hits or so the last week, and Cutch has not done too much to help it. He is definitely not the only one though. He has carried this team most of the season, so he will get a slight pass on this one.

  152. Maybe worst defensive series of the year for the Pirates.

    Only the crazy Official Scorer stopped them from having double figure errors in this series. Cutch started it out again in this game by not hustling on that Barney single that turned into a double and an earned run against Liriano.

    Even Monday’s win ending on great defensive plays by McCutchen, Morneau, and Martin started with an error by Byrd.

  153. The NL MVP resides in St. Louis. Matt Carpenter or Yadier Molina. They set a ML record for professional hitting. They will win the division. The Pirates will probably finish third and choke with runners on base. Anybody who votes McCutchen for NL MVP should have the privilege revoked.

  154. My subscription for MLB.TV just paid for itself as I could go back and watch the ‘scrum’ between the Brewers & Braves.

    Carlos Gomez is an idiot…and so are the Brewers.
    Paul Maholm was the pitcher for the Braves. And why does it seem like the Braves are involved in a lot of brawls every year?

  155. Hurdle, you idiot, everything was screaming, take Liriano out, he was done. He was
    tired. You have 20 relievers, why the hell don’t you use them. If I owned the team, you
    would not be back next year. Your bad decisions cost the team another loss. O.K., that
    and the team’s inability to hit with RISP. Get lost!!!

    • I got this one, Wilver Dornel . . . . (still one of your best ever!!)

      Pirates——91 wins
      Hurdle——-67 loses

      • So, how many games do you think Hurdle mis-managed into losses?

        Zero? Even Danny Murtaugh blew games, it happens.

        A reasoned approach is to take the good with the bad. Hurdle is clearly a huge net plus. Doesn’t mean he can’t be plussier, if that is a word.

  156. Did Hurdle lose the morning thread, too?

  157. Pirates blew it yesterday. I caught the end of the game…Marte looking at strikes stinks. Don’t blame Hurdle, like every loss, this was a team effort.

    Pens blew the Wings out 5-1…with Kunitz having two of those five. I am thrilled for the Pirates having this magical season, but still looking forward to hockey.

    Hope Dejan got his Starbucks fix. He’s gonna need it.

  158. Found this real, honest to goodness, no fooling quote.

    “Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind.”

    Eubie Blake

    I have nothing to add.

  159. Finding no morning thread I put the Morning links on the Podcast thread

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