TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

Morning Java: Pick your playoff roster

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> Today’s TribLIVE Radio show at 2-3 p.m. will mix up baseball, football and hockey, with guests, calls, emails and all that good stuff.

Call me at 412-320-7925.

If you can’t call, email sportstalk@tribweb.com

To listen, just click on the link above. It’s free, easy, no signup. If you’re mobile, try the TribLIVE Radio app.

Hope you can tune in!

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

>> Gerrit Cole, that lethal combination pitching/hitting machine, helped the Pirates gain on the Reds by gagging the Cubs. Rob Biertempfel is in Chicago.

Decisions, decisions are looming toward a playoff roster. Travis Sawchik also is in the Confines.

Let’s hear from you on this topic, too, which should be fun if only because it just feels so Neil Armstrong, you know. And bear in mind that you can set the roster one way for the wild card, then do a total revision for the best-of-five Division Series. Do one, do both, take them all they through to the World Series.

My most prominent odd men out, if you must know: Travis Snider, John Buck, Jeff Locke.

Here’s a photo gallery courtesy of the Trib’s Chris Horner.

And a video of a fun talk with Neil Walker

And our full Pirates coverage.

And Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

And official game highlights from MLB.com, which you also could have tracked by the old-fashioned method captured below by Horner …

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

>> The Steelers are Britain-bound and packing more questions than they’ll likely be able to pass through the TSA. Alan Robinson checks in online.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage., including good words for Le’Veon Bell and Cortez Allen.

Here’s Vikings news from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Here’s the NFL’s United Kingdom site, which is pretty nice.

>> Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including two cuts and a Tomas Vokoun update.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Penn State’s getting time off for good behavior. Chris Adamski reports.

>> Tom Savage faces a far bigger test in Virginia. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> Updates will be kind of challenging to produce over the next 24 hours. Taking off tonight for Paris, connecting to London, and it all takes a good while.

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.

267 Comments

  1. Smizik beat you to it.

  2. C: Bugs Bunny
    LF: Bugs Bunny
    RF: Bugs Bunny
    P: Bugs Bunny
    3B: Bugs Bunny
    CF: Bugs Bunny
    1B: Bugs Bunny
    SS: Bugs Bunny
    2B: Bugs Bunny

  3. The lineup should be this.

    Marte
    Walker
    Cutch
    Pedro
    Byrd
    Morneau
    Martin
    Barmes
    Pitcher

    Morneau isn’t driving in runs as a cleanup hitter. Gerrit Cole has as many RBI’s in September as Morneau does. It’s time to give that spot back to Pedro.

  4. After 158 games in the NL, the average positive run differentials per game [total runs scored minus total runs allowed divided by total games played] shake out like this:

    St. Louis + 1.06

    Atlanta + 0.83

    Cincinnati + 0.76

    Los Angeles + 0.39

    Pittsburgh + 0.31

    Washington + 0.18

    Arizona + 0.04

    Only these seven teams have won more games than they’ve lost.

    All the other teams in the NL have negative average run differentials per game.

    The five teams with the highest RPG diffs are going to compete in the play-offs.

    While these simple stats do not predict who’s going to win the NLCS, or even a wild card game play-off, they do accurately reflect which teams did well in the standings by scoring more runs, on average, than their teams gave up throughout the season.

    This is not sabermetrical analysis. It’s plain old-fashioned common sense with a few stats thrown in for support.

  5. With 4 games left, the Pirates magic number to host the wild card game is 4 (vs. Reds) and to win the division is 7 (vs. Cardinals).

    With the win yesterday, the Pirates clinched a winning record on the road. They are now 41-36, and they can finish no worse than 41-40. That’s an accomplishment for a team that went 17-64 on the road a few years ago.

    • Good stuff, Tom P :)

    • And I hope they win all 4 games… but again, if they did, the magic number to host the wild card game would only be 3…. since each win is worth 2 points while playing against the reds? and you figure if the pirates and reds both win tonight or even if the reds win and pirates lose, the number will still be 4. And therefore, two more wins and the pirates host.

      Looking alot less likely that the pirates can win the division. They’d have to win all 4 and hope the cards lose 3. What happens if the pirates tie the cards? Is there a playoff to determine division winner or does it go by w/l head-to-head?

      • Kevin,

        You are right about needing a maximum of three more wins to host the wild card game. If the Pirates win and the Reds lose today, the Pirates would need one more win to host the wild card game.

        If the Pirates and Cardinals tie for the division, the playoff game would be Monday, the 29th in Pittsburgh. The loser would play Cincinnati in the wild card game the next day.

        That scenario creates a whole mess of pitching issues for the Pirates. I’ll save that for tomorrow once we know whether that scenario is even likely.

  6. If you look at September alone, the run differentials on average per game (followed by the team’s won-loss records for the month) look like this:

    St. Louis + 1.48 (15-8)

    Cincy + 1.18 (14-8)

    Atlanta – 0.09 (10-12)

    L.A. – 0.27 (11-11)

    Pittsburgh – 0.57 (12-11)

    Here we see that the two teams with strong run diffs have higher win percentages than the teams with weak run diffs.

  7. http://stuffedwithfluff-ohbother.blogspot.com/2013/09/it-all-began-with-dennis-ribant_23.html

    Link to my blog post on what this season has meant to me. Little embarrassed to post it, so many of you have similar stories, but it was so easy to write. So many memories.

  8. If the Pirates can get one more game up on the Reds, I’ll be happy.

    But even if they do, they still have to win 2 out of 3 in Cincy. If they only win one, the Reds will have the season series 10-9.

    I think it was on sports center that the Rangers are 16-2 so far this year against the Astros. Almost their entire record over .500 is from pounding them.

    I call them the shams of the AL.

  9. JAL’s Have You Ever Seen the Rain Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu2pVPWGYMQ

    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: First to the Majors Doesn’t Equal Best in the Draft

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-first-to-the-majors-doesnt-equal-best-in-the-draft.html

    Gerrit Cole Continues His Ace-Like Month of September

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/gerrit-cole-continues-his-ace-like-month-of-september.html

    Moneyball – The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Version

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/moneyball-the-2013-pittsburgh-pirates-version.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates beat Cubs 8-2, jump in front in Wild Card race

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/25/4768734/pirates-beat-cubs-8-2-jump-in-front-in-wild-card-race

    Pennant Race Flashback: September 24, 1979

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/24/4762906/pennant-race-flashback-september-24-1979

    6 Rumbunter

    Why We Really Think Neal Huntington Is The Man:…

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/24/really-think-neal-huntington-rules-baseball/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 158: Pirates 8 Cubs 2

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-158-pirates-8-cubs-2.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Tame Bruins 8-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/bucs-tame-bruins-8-2.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 8, Cubs 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/pirates-8-cubs-2/

    10 City of Champions

    Great Scot: Pittsburgh Pirates make the playoffs, but could it be more?

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/24/great-scot-episode-26-celebration-pirates-make-playoffs/

  10. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Motor City Bengals

    Congratulations Pittsburgh…From Your First Cousin Detroit

    http://motorcitybengals.com/2013/09/24/congratulations-pittsburgh-first-cousin-detroit/

    12 KDKA

    The Fan Morning Show’s Tribute To The 2013 Pirates

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/09/24/the-fan-morning-shows-tribute-to-the-2013-pirates/

    13 NBC Sports

    It’s great to have the Pirates back

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/09/24/its-great-to-have-the-pirates-back/

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds fall to Mets, 4-2

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130924/SPT04/309240045/Reds-fall-to-Mets-4-2

    15 Rant Sports

    Clint Hurdle Makes All the Right Moves for Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/25/clint-hurdle-makes-all-the-right-moves-for-pittsburgh-pirates/

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cubs Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130925_PIT@CHC

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    No-hitter just out of Wacha’s reach

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/no-hitter-just-out-of-wacha-s-reach/article_98041cfe-ff28-5331-a684-d016cf1a059b.html

    18 PBC Site

    Cole’s surge continues as Bucs control Wild Card

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_24_pitmlb_chnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Locke not included in Hurdle’s rotation plans

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130924&content_id=61601648&notebook_id=61606400&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Nine of Our Favorite Moments Involving Retiring Players

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21885

    20 Fangraphs

    How the Pirates Built a Playoff Team

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the-pirates-built-a-playoff-team/

  11. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Message sent to Steelers young players, ‘Don’t get too comfortable

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/25/4769082/steelers-clubhouse-lockerroom-pool-shuffleboard-week-4-vikings

    Steelers Troy Polamalu is back to his old self

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/24/4765434/steelers-troy-polamalu-is-back-to-his-old-self

    22 Steelers Gab

    RB Bell To Make Debut Sunday In London For Steelers

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/09/24/rb-bell-to-make-debut-sunday-in-london-for-steelers/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    Patrick Barclay: England can stomach the loss of Theo Walcott

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/patrick-barclay-england-can-stomach-the-loss-of-theo-walcott-8838763.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Why Real Madrid broke the bank to sign Gareth Bale

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/gareth-bale-real-madrid

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Can Chuck Kobasew make the Pittsburgh Penguins?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/24/4766256/can-chuck-kobasew-make-the-pittsburgh-penguins

    Penguins training camp 2013: Team split into three groups, hints at future lines?

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/12/4722582/penguins-training-camp-2013-team-split-into-three-groups-hints-at

  12. In the words of that famous Pittsburgh nemesis, Al Davis: “Just win, Baby!”

    I have not given up on the Division. The Cubs/Cards rivalry is a good one and the Cubs will show up in St. Louis this weekend. However, it is imperative that the Nationals show up tonight!

  13. Happy Wednesday Morning Everyone! Have to think on Dejan’s question a bit. Another thought I had last night…This may sound crazy, but Cole reminds me so much of Don Robinson and Rick Rhoden…both really good hitting pitchers. Back in those days, those guys were used in “pinch hitting roles”. Now I realize that this is the playoffs and home field positioning is looming here, but….Cole is developing into a full baseball player…not just a pitcher. The guy can hit, too.

    • He’s a gem for sure….let’s hope it carries over into next season. But I do think he’s the real deal.
      Happy Camel Day, TJA woop woop!

    • I was thinking that last night as well, with the way he attacks his at bats. This has always frustrated me about pitchers. A very small number of them must work on their hitting between starts during the season, while a very large % seem to act as though hitting is beneath them. But, when you think about it, that attitude just hurts you as a pitcher. Why not add an extra bat to the lineup on the days you pitch? That seems to be Cole’s attitude, and I don’t understand why it is not everyone’s attitude. They, of all players, know how hard it is to pitch against a lineup with no automatic outs.

        • + 10 million. I remember years ago Mike Williams had an at bat where he didn’t even pretend to swing, just stood there. It was an outlier then, but not as time went by.

          Morton, one of the worst hitting pitchers ever, has tried to step it up this year. AJ was a decent hitting pitcher when he came up, now he treats it like a joke. It irks me.

    • Cole’s a BEAST!

      • Well said, Karen. After Jordy’s error last night, things could have unwound very quickly. Cole had already thrown over 20 pitches in the inning, with the bases loaded, a run in and nobody out. All he did was dial up his fastball a couple more MPH and blow the next 2 guys away. His 29th pitch of the 6th inning was his hardest pitch of the night at 98. That is an elite arm!

  14. Travis Synder has been their best pinch hitter of late, John Buck has way more experience and the Reds and Cards kryptonite is left handed pitching, I wouldn’t start Locke but I’d keep him around.(too bad we don’t have a healthy Wandy)

    • I persomally disagree about Locke. The Pirates are fortunate enough to have two dominate left handed relievers in Watson and Wilson. Not many teams have that option. There is no need to have a third guy coming out of the pen that is left handed. Especially one that can’t seem to get the ball over the plate right now and has been absolutely horrible at pitching with runners on of late.

      • I’m with Nate on this one. Locke’s head is a mess. Get him to a sports shrink before we have another JMac on our hands.

      • I agree. Locke is TOAST. Thank him for his first half and say sayonara until spring training.

        • Have to agree with Karen, DK, Jandy and Nate on Locke.

          And nobody seems enamoured with Buck defensively and he hasn’t really hit since we got him.

          But Snider has been effective as a pinch hitter. Jones had one last night, too.

          JHay may be out at some point, too, the farther we go.

          Like LAD said down below, we don’t need to carry pitchers that threw a lot of pitches Sunday in that game Tuesday, if we have to play it.

      • I agree with kr’s logic, that a lefty out of the pen that can go 2+ innings is an asset against those teams. Something Watson and Wilson cannot do.

        I just don’t think Jeff Locke is mechanically sound enough to be that guy right now.

        • I think he is “nibbling” because he doesn’t trust his stuff. He feels like if he catches too much of the plate he is going to get rocked. So, smart batters are learning to wait for a strike before they swing at anything from him. He is behind 2-0 way too often.

          • Well, to be fair, he’s right.

            If one at-bat could describe Jeff Locke’s issue, it would be Jed Dyorko in his last start against San Diego. Locke missed his spot on the inside corner twice. Once six inches inside, once six inches over the plate. The first was taken for a ball. The second was sent 400′ into the left field bleahcers.

            Improved control does Jeff Locke absolutely no good. The walks are NOT the issue.

            Jeff Locke needs improved COMMAND. And he’s not going to get it until his mechanics are right.

            • You’re right about his mechanics. My point about connecting confidence to it was that confident guys throw free and easy, assuming they will get outs. That has to help their mechanics, right? In any sport, when I thought too much about doing something right the mechanics were gone. My best shooting nights in basketball were always when, for whatever reason, I was able to put mechanics out of my mind. Same with golf for me. If I think too much about swing mechanics, I am a mess. I don’t that Locke is that way, but I think his contol issues have to be connected to thinking about being too fine.

              • I wonder if he doesn’t trust his mechanics due to issues if fatigue?

              • right…both of you!

                Answer is rest…and if needed, sports doctor. he’s a good pitcher, help him to help himself.

              • Confidence no doubt makes the issue worse, Jim, but doesn’t solve the problem.

                You know how scouts talk about prefering a starter with a body like Gerrit Cole? It’s not because big guys inherently have stronger shoulder and elbow ligaments, its because their bodies hold up better over the course of the season.

                I think what you’re seeing in Locke is a lack of stamina. He wore down, and can’t repeat the delivery he had over the first four months.

                He could be as cocksure as AJ and it ain’t gonna change that fact.

              • He can be as cocksure as he wants, but he still has to throw the ball with his arms and hands ;X

            • What specifically does he need to address mechanically?

  15. Coin flip game:
    Catchers-Martin, Buck, T. Sanchez
    IF/OF-Morneau, Jones, G. Sanchez, Walker, Harrison, Mercer, Barmes, Alvarez, Tabata, Marte, McCutchen, Byrd
    Pitchers-Liriano, Burnett, Morton, Wilson, Watson, Melancon, Grilli, Mazzaro, Gomez, Farnsworth

    After the coin flip game, Gerrit Cole replaces Tony Sanchez. It won’t score any brownie points with most here, but I can’t see cutting loose GI Jones. Plus, a catcher never *must* have an off day in the playoffs. There’s enough travel days that I’m playing Russell Martin everyday. I do think Sanchez is the better catcher compared to Buck, but I cringe at the depth if either Sanchez or Martin gets hurt and Buck has been DFA.

    I’m also strongly considering Bryan Morris over Farnsworth and probably make that switch after the wild card round.

    • I agree with your list greg. I only wonder depending on how the rest of the year plays out of Cole doesn’t pitch game 162 agains the Reds I have to think he is on the wild card roster one way or another. He would be on 7 days rest and I have to think he is our best option if for some reason Liriano struggles early and give up 3 or 4 runs after only pitching 4 innings or so. I’m also not opposed to Morton coming in for 1 batter in a key situation to try and get a double play ball.

      • I like your thinking, but for my taste I’d rather have the extra position players. I like Cole and he’s absolutely one of my 4 starters, but I’d rather have that 3rd catcher (and nice pinch hitter against a lefty).

        I hate to say it, but if Liriano stuggles, the game’s likely over. Still, I could be convinced to keep Cole and drop Farnsworth, and then I’d probably bring Morris up for the next round so that Cole can join the rotation.

    • Couple of things. Since Farnsworth was not on the roster prior to 9/1, he will not be eligible unless you have a DL placement and no one else meets eligibility criteria. And Buck wouldn’t be DFA’d – he would exist in kind of a limbo in which he could be added to the roster for the next round, so you could have Snider instead of him on the roster. It makes sense though in a one game playoff that you won’t need 12 pitchers, especially one who started the day before.

      Good job Gregster!

      • In the case of Farnsworth, the rules are different than they used to be. Anybody on the DL August 31 that is still on the DL when the season ends can be replaced by anybody in the organization. There are at least 4 or 5 of those guys. Just look at the 60 day DL. Farnsworth is eligible.

      • Farnsworth was with the organization in mid August. I believe that he technically could be added to the roster by simply saying that he was an injury replacement for either Wandy or Fort. Sanchez was also not witht he club prior to September 1. He came back with Locke on the 3rd I beleve. So same rules apply to him as well.

    • I agree except I would take AJ off the roster. You don’t need three starting pitchers for the play-in game. Two is sufficient. Liriano starts, and if he gets rocked or gets injured, you have a really short hook and bring in Morton or Cole to try to keep you in the game and save your season. I’d go with Cole, assuming he doesn’t pitch in the season finale (and he won’t if the game winds up being meaningless.)

      For the wild card, I’d replace AJ with Pie, who is the team’s best option as a pinch runner. You have to be prepared for every scenario in a one-and-done situation.

      • I would do that except you can’t take AJ off the roster and still have him around for the next round. The rules of the regular season do not simply go away. AJ would need to be optioned off to make room for Pie, but he has no options left. So, he would need to be DFA, which would be dumb as then he’d be off the roster the rest of the year.

  16. For the Wild Card Game I would leave off all of my starters expcept Liriano (assuming he starts the game) and keep the extra position players…Pie, Snyder etc. No need to fill up 4 roster spots for guys who have no chance of playing.

    As for the NL playoff rounds #1 I would set my roster as follows:

    Starters

    1.A.J. Burnett
    2.Francisco Liriano
    3.Gerrit Cole
    4.Charlie Morton

    While one could argue that you only need 3 starters for the Division Series since there are 2 off days I would not bring anyone back on short rest. Right now the difference between the top 4 is not that drastic.

    Bullpen

    5. Jeanmar Gomez
    6. Vin Mazzaro
    7. Bryan Morris
    8. Tony Watson
    9. Justin Wilson
    10. Jason Grilli
    11. Mark Melancon

    Starters:

    12. C Russell Martin
    13. 1B Justin Morneau
    14. 2B Neil Walker
    15. 3B Pedro Alvarez
    16. SS Jordy Mercer
    17. LF Starling Marte
    18. CF Andrew McCutchen
    19. RF Marlon Byrd

    Bench

    20. Gaby Sanchez
    21. Josh Harrison
    22. Clint Barmes
    23. John Buck
    24. Garret Jones
    25. Jose Tabata

    Notable omissions and why:

    Tony Sanchez-I went with the veteran but either call is correct.

    Travis Snider- While Snider has had a few key pinch hits I don’t have any confidence in his ability to have useful at bats.

    Jeff Locke-Is it really notable? He is the 5th starter and they are routinely left off post season rosters. If he was pitching well you might consider him for a bullpen spot but with Watson and Wilson he is not needed.

    NLCS Roster:

    If we make it to the NLCS I would add Farnsworth in the Pen and drop Tabata. I like Farnsworth’s experience in the pen. He has been a pleasant surprise. He is also insurance for Melancon who has every sign of being worn out and needing a rest. While he is an exta arm, I am quite concerned with Melancon.

    Jose Tabata-it really comes down to whether you think Marte can stay healthy. If so, one can argue Tabata is not needed. I would rather have the lefty bad in Jones off the bench. If you replace Tabata for Jones there are no left handed hitters coming off the bench. Josh Harrison gives you a lot of flexiblity and is a sparkplug. He can also spell Walker at 2nd against a tough lefty like Kershaw. Then again, you could start Barmes at SS and Mercer at 2b and don’t need Harrison. To me this will be the toughtest call between Jones, Harrison and Tabata. Can only take 2 of the 3. No way I leave off Barmes. I want that defense late in the game. Then again, if you don’t want to keep Farnsworth this is a non issue.

    World Series

    If we do make it to the World Series I don’t know that I would make a change from the NLCS. I am already carring the extra arm in the bullpen with Farnsworth. There will be 4 games in the AL park so a DH will be needed but no need for the extra bat off the bench to pinch hit.

    .

  17. Need to be careful leaving all your starting pitchers off the roster for the one gamer. The only ones I leave off are the ones that physically can’t pitch that day. If we go to the 10th in an elimination game & my choices are Jeanmar Gomez or AJ Burnett, I’m using AJ.

  18. I just realized that Gerritt Cole has won 10 games

    ( if we’re still paying attention to that stat)

  19. Reasons to be optimistic today:

    Liriano pitching for the Bucs.

    Jordan Zimmerman can be a 20 game winner if he beats the Cards today.

    Matsuzaka has been excellent for the Mets in his last 2 starts, Latos less so.

    Go Bucs!

  20. This is fun. That is all. I’ve never had the pleasure to pick who I want on my playoff roster. For now, enjoying everyone’s opinion.

  21. Since I will be out of town this weekend and will likely miss all three games against the Reds (bad timing on my annual fall trip to visit a friend) – Flash forward to Friday:

    When does Cutch get nailed and what do we finally do about it when it happens??

    You KNOW it’s gonna happen.

    You also know AJ is on the mound.

  22. All is pretty good in the world. We are discussing post season rosters and the strong future of our beloved Pirates. Do not know what is wrong with Locke whether it is all in his head, he is fatigued, or both. I wonder what a move to the bullpen would do for him?

    I would keep Tabata for the bat then weortk his a$$ off in the offseason to keep him in shape and work on his defense. Talent gets you part of the way, but it is the willingness and commitment to the little things that takes you all the way.

    Good Morning Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood!

  23. The starters assuming it is Latos that goes in teh WC:
    Marte
    Walker
    Cutch
    Byrd
    Alvarez
    Morneau
    Mercer
    Martin
    Liriano

    The bench:
    Gabby
    Tabby
    Sanchez
    Barmes
    Harrison
    Jones
    Snider
    Buck

    Pen:
    Grilli
    Melancon
    Watson
    Wilson
    Mazarro
    Morris
    Burnett
    Gomez

    i carried Burnett into that game as he would be the next days starter and could piggy back Liriano if things get sideways early. It would be really short rest though so I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. If Cole were to not pitch the rest of the way I would use him there instead of Burnett.

    After that you replace Buck and Jones with Morton and Cole.

    I hate Buck behind the plate. Look at some of the absolutely putrid performances by the starters lately. Buck is often back there on those days. I trust tony’sD over Buck. I also would rather have Tony’s bat over Buck’s.

    It was a hard choice as to whether to remove Snider or Jones. Really tough. So I turned to pinch hitting. Snider ahs delivered some very key hits off the bench. 3 PH homers. Jones is sub Mendoza as a PH. I hate leaving Jones out as he is one of my favorite Buccos but this aint about favorites it is about results.

    Locke is out for obvious reasons. Dude is toast. Hopefully it is just fatigue and he can bounce back for 2014.

  24. I don’t recall the last Buc pitcher to come up as a rookie in mid-season and improve so quickly from his first few starts to his last few. Cole certainly has the look of an “ace” now.

    I can’t recall JHay’s last decent at bat. I don’t know how helpful he will be in the playoffs. I hope he gets back to sparkplug status.

    Brilliant decision by Clint/Ray in shutting racheting back the appearances for Justin. He is back to early season form now.

    Jordy’s defense has been alarmingly bad of late. And, to that point, Clint has made more than his share of errors lately as well. We need to tighten up at SS in the field.

    I’m glad Cutch has a few hits the last couple of nights. I was getting tired of Neverett’s Cutch 0′fer update after each at bat. I found that particularly annoying.

    I think this team is loosening up and is poised for a nice weekend in Cincy. They want to atone for last weekend. Just a hunch.

  25. Jones continues to hit well when given the chance. I remember him saying something about Byrd noticing something in his swing and mentioning it to him. Since making the adjustment he said he feels more comfortable at the plate. Too bad Byrd wasn’t on the team a little sooner. Maybe we would have are run producing clean up hitter.

    Morneau has been setting the table with walks and hits with the bases empty but unfortunately nobody has been getting him home on a consistant basis. Martin really struggling of late at the plate except for the home run the other night. Hopefully him and Alverez how looks like he is coming around can start clicking.

  26. Taking a break here Loonies, serious business to attend to…later on!

  27. Is he really batting .148 in September? I didn’t realize that. Wow it felt like he has had some hits of late. Really wish I could delete my post because now it just looks stupid.

  28. I’ll go with (wild card only)

    Liriano, Burnett Cole(SP)-3
    Grilli,Mazzaro,Melancon,Wilson,Watson,Gomez,Morris,Farnsworth(RP)-8

    McCutchen,Marte,Tabata,Byrd,Jones(OF)-5
    Barmes,Alvarez,Mercer,Walker,Morneau,G.Sanchez(IF)-6
    Buck,Martin,T.Sachez(C)-3

    I can be persuaded to drop one reliever for Harrison as a further bench guy. If Pie could actually steal, I’d could be convinced on carrying him as a pinch runner. I’d lop off Morris before Farnsworth, because Farnsworth won’t walk the stadium.

  29. Ooh, I forgot Snider. I’d take him before Harrison or Pie, he’d make the 25 and I’d drop Morris.

  30. The Weather Channel’s “hurricane experts” look like lost puppies that need a hug.

  31. One thing is for sure. The Bucs need to advance far in the playoffs, if only to prolong the time until which, like it or not, we need to confront the reality that appears to be the 2013 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pirates must not lose the play-in game, if it comes to that. I am simply not ready.

  32. My Playoff roster:

    Jandy
    Brandy
    Lad9
    AW
    NMR
    Milo
    Oshie
    Thunder.
    DK

    Bullpen/bench:

    Eric B
    War Horse (gotta have one of them for the playoffs)
    Lucky (if divine assistance is needed)
    Drew.
    JRay

    With all the above knowledge, we will sweep.
    If anyone dares challenge us, DK will throw the “high heat:.

    :D

  33. Today’s lineup:

    MARTE, WALKER, MCCUTCHEN, MORNEAU, JONES, ALVAREZ, T. SANCHEZ, BARMES, LIRIANO in that order.

  34. Clint Hurdle sent a message to Rockies fans regarding the retirement of Todd Helton. Classy move from a classy guy. But take a minute to read the comments that follow and what people seem to think of the guy that their team fired. Speaks volumes.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151884828806113&set=a.10150109506901113.311134.64466991112&type=1

  35. Nobody going to touch the Penn State news?

  36. I say you only need eight pitchers (2 starters) for the play-in game. I’m assuming everyone else will all be in the dugout, regardless. So I load up on position players for the play-in game and then go with (gulp) 10 pitchers for the two series. There are days off between games, so relievers can rest up. If we’re getting shellacked so badly that six relievers are needed per game, give it up! And keep Jones, but try not to use him. Definitely keep Harrison.

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