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On location: Pirates 1, Cubs 0, 10 innings, 128th season opener

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, 128th season opener

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, ESPN (national), 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and I are on the scene for the Trib.

The Sunday column looked toward a new generation for the Pirates.

Today’s column was about the starting pitching.

And here’s an aerial shot taken just now during the national anthem …


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.


  1. hockeymonster says:

    HA! 1st on opening day…you guys should be ashamed of yourselves :) :) :)

    Lets go deep on the deep dishers! :)

  2. What’s your prediction, Vlad?

    I’ll go with 93 wins and a Wild Card.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    This is for Playoffs and Drew.

    LET’S GO BUCS !!

  4. hockeymonster says:

    Hmm…I predict our pitching carries us till the weather gets warm…again. Don’t know enough about our division and definitely have no idea who’s on 1st or in RF. Hope walker, pedro and cutch don’t wait till may or june to heat up.

  5. Nate83 says:

    You will have to change your name to baseballmonster.

  6. hockeymonster says:

    I’ll have to change my avatar to sid bream sliding home…

  7. That’s safe. Everyone said there’ll be a dropoff, so I’ll say a 1-game dropoff for the season. You heard it here first.

  8. AJS says:

    Give me 89 this year. I feel like the starting pitcher ahs gotten worse and the offense hasn’t gotten any better.

  9. Nate83 says:

    If you where to do that then you can consider this response the last time I respond to any of your post. You will be shunned.

  10. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cubs starting nine:

    Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 1h

    #Cubs lineup Bonifacio cf Lake lf Castro as Rizzo 1b Olt 3b Castillo c Schierholtz rf Barney 2b Samardzija p

    Man, does that Garza trade to Texas look like a total winner for the Cubs. Olt already in the starting lineup.

  11. KenKopp says:

    Opening day and I am off work. Sometimes life is grand.


  12. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Curbed enthusiasm would be the words that describe my feelings on Opening Day 2014, and that would be purely based on the lack of effort put forth by the Regime.
    They chose to delete (and not add) to a 2013 playoff team…..A blatant and disgraceful
    lack of effort.

    Some can say I’m negative, but keep in mind I predicted 89 wins this time last year.
    That prediction was considerably more accurate than some self proclaimed saber metric guru’s that ride (what they think is) the “upper crust” of Pirate fans
    Unfortunately, 80-82 is the best I can see for a squad that has been forsaken by upper management..

    This fan will (as usual) pull for the Pirates when they take the field, and complain out loud the first time there is a close call that goes against them.
    But this fan will also continue to make it loud and clear that I’m not happy with an ownership that sits on their duffs and does absolutely nothing to get this team to take the next step.

    Some hope for the plight of the Tampa Bay Rays (or less) for the Buccos.
    That will never be enough for me.
    I’ve seen better from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and that’s what I will continue to expect.

  13. hockeymonster says:

    Ha…yes its a painful memory for me too. Remember watching it on a tiny tv in total disbelief. I don’t think the nuttings would be able to handle baseballmonster.

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirates starting nine:

    Lineup 3/31
    Starling Marte LF
    Travis Snider RF
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Russell Martin C
    Neil Walker 2B
    Travis Ishikawa 1B
    Jordy Mercer SS
    Francisco Liriano P

  15. Jandy says:

    Not too shabby!

  16. Jandy says:

    Lucky you!

  17. Jandy says:


  18. JaxBuc says:

    No Gaby on opening day? Did I miss something?

  19. PetroSteel says:

    Exciting day! I am hopeful. I predicted 89 wins.

    I look at the line-up and I see a team that needs another bat! Hoping Snyder/Tab and the combination of first basemen’s put to rest my concerns. Oh, and everyone else on the team makes improvements.

    Go Bucs! Go and bring home a victory and get this thing started on the right foot!

    My prediction for today…Pedro goes deep. 4-3 Bucs!

  20. PetroSteel says:

    I was also suprised no Gabby.

  21. likeabugonarug says:

    Beat ‘em BUCS!!!

    Liked Locke’s comments re AJ/JA. I think they’ll find someone to replace him on the mound, but not sure about the positive side of his leadership.

    See a digression this season, but still finish above .500. 88-74.


  22. Bizrow says:

    Beautiful day at PNC. But crap, I had to get up at 9 to get here…

  23. Jandy says:

    LOL Biz, you suck! ;)

  24. Karen22 says:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ :)

  25. Matt hoffman says:

    Hey Luckmeister!
    I say Pirates win the Central and 98 this year.

  26. Karen22 says:



  27. JAL says:

    For those who forget what the Bucs once had, here is the opening lineup from 10 years ago

    1.Redman CF
    2.Kendall C
    3.Mondesi LF
    4.Simon 1B
    5.C. Wilson RF
    6.Hill 2B
    7.Stynes 3B
    8.J. Wilson SS
    9.Wells P

  28. Nate83 says:

    Wow trip down memory lane or maybe it’s nightmare lane. I will say I don’t know if they have had a first baseman much better then Simon since. It’s pretty hard to look at this and consider it a real baseball team.

  29. Tom P. says:

    That’s interesting. Who was Hill at 2B?

  30. JAL says:

    Bobby Hill came from a trade with Cubs

  31. Nate83 says:

    Please don’t mention what trade. That truly does bring back nightmares. They could have just traded him for 8 or 9 years of embarrassment because that is what they ended up with.

  32. Dom says:

    I can never show my face on this blog again…

  33. TJA says:

    Ahhhh…here is where the baseball talk is :) Did October baseball in 2013 make us want more? I think so. This is a glorious day, indeed!

  34. TJA says:

    Oh my, JAL. Wow….that is a trip down memory lane. Ugh!

  35. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know how much stock to put in it but MLB Networks 30 in 30 on the Pirates didn’t think leadership would be a problem. Between Grilli, Martin, Gabby and Walker and the lead by example type guys like Cutch, Alvarez and Liriano they seem to have a good leadership group. Most importantly the guy at the top has the respect of the entire team and won’t let them do much more then play one game at a time. The players truly love Hurdle and many brought up his name without being asked during that same report.

  36. Jandy says:

    Don’t be silly Dom, we <3 you, friend :)

  37. TJA says:

    Problem, problems, Biz.

  38. Joey Mellons says:

    Does anyone know if the window is taking any “wagers” for this year? Really enjoyed participating last year. Let go Bucs, take the central this year.

  39. TJA says:

    Frankie and Martin…the battery from the WC game is up again!

  40. Jandy says:

    We put out an APB on the Window…sadly he hasn’t been heard from in a loooong time….


  41. Nate83 says:

    He has not been heard from in a long time. It was a lot of fun and I’m sure it was a ton of work for him. If he’s lurking hopefully he knows how much we appreciated it. Just another part of last year that make it so much fun.

  42. Patrick(ri) says:

    Props to Pirate fans on not much of a ripple over Bonds. Now, on to bashing the Cubs(even if we have to do it with the “your 2004 Pittsburgh Pirates . .”).

  43. Dom says:

    Is it just me or did those guys stink?

  44. Nate83 says:

    I would trade you spots in second. Enjoy the game. Thanks again for your rundown of what the Pirates will and will not be this year. I thought it was an honest and accurate list that nicely summarized issues going into the season without being critical.

  45. Dom says:

    Did they cheer Bonds>?

  46. Patrick(ri) says:

    Watching on tv, hard to tell. That speaks well, I suppose.

  47. cosmo says:

    respectful, more cheers for Wilson and Leyland

  48. Baywatch says:

    A FB friend just posted to me he felt more applause than boos for Bonds. I like that. I’m a big fan of Good Sportsmanship.

  49. cosmo says:

    “LET’S Go BUCS”

  50. Patrick(ri) says:

    ++ Much more important to honor Cutch than to dishonor anybody.

  51. Karen22 says:

    Way more boos than cheers.

  52. Karen22 says:

    Really? Watching on TV, I heard more boos. I was hoping for dead silence.

  53. Jandy says:


  54. Karen22 says:

    Agree with that…

  55. cosmo says:

    ” PLAY BALL !!”

  56. Patrick(ri) says:

    Sitting up here in a “wintry mix,”I am more envious than you guys can believe!

  57. Bizrow says:

    From RF, you could tell there is dislike for BB, but it didn’t seem that bad. Also, I swear I heard Greg Brown introduce the PBC as the 2004 Bucs?? Shades of JAL

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    The differences in the Bonds reaction ? I think people heard what they wanted to hear.

  59. The Gunner says:

    whoops, Ishikawa

  60. Naterosboro says:

    Ike Davis would’ve caught that.

  61. Jandy says:

    Gaby would’ve caught that

  62. Patrick(ri) says:

    Maybe even Dick Stuart!

  63. The Gunner says:

    Dick Stuart would have had a good shot at catching that one, too

  64. Jandy says:

    H*ll I would’ve caught that ;)

  65. Patrick(ri) says:

    Does this make us great minds? Or just really old men?

  66. The Gunner says:

    Brownie probably had a beverage or two with Frank the disgrace before the ceremony

  67. Joey Mellons says:

    @ nate83 and Jandy, it was very entertaining and he had some great lines and over/unders. No doubt it was tons and tons of work and lost personal time hours. It will be missed.

  68. Naterosboro says:

    Let me be fair to Travis….

    Ike Davis would’ve held onto that.

  69. Dom says:

    I just saw the preview for that Movie starring Don Draper about the two pitchers we signed from India.

    That will go down as the only Disney movie with an unhappy ending.

  70. The Gunner says:

    very smart and mature gentlemen, that’s what we are

  71. Naterosboro says:

    Marte hits it right on the nose, but in the range of LF who makes the catch. 1 away.

  72. Baywatch says:


  73. Jandy says:

    I’m holding out hope that he comes back…hopefully sooner than later…

  74. Jim S. says:

    +++, JAL.

  75. Baywatch says:


  76. Naterosboro says:

    And Lunchbox Hero goes down looking. Good FB on inside corner by Smardzija, but he should be protecting with 2 strikes. 2 down.

    And MVP steps in and drills a single to LF. 1 on, 2 away. Petey up.

  77. Jandy says:

    Well, they kept Junior Lake busy.

  78. Dom says:

    I like your avatar.

  79. Nate83 says:

    Pedro batting clean up. I’m really interested how that turns out. I wanted them to put him there last year and leave him alone. How he does batting 4th will be an important part of this year.

  80. Jim S. says:

    I’m still holding out hope that Cutch will hit 1.000 this year. :-)

  81. Jim S. says:

    I think he will bat there vs. righties, but if he doesn’t hit lefties better this year I see no reason to put him there.

  82. Naterosboro says:

    And Petey Pablo flies out to LF to end the inning. After 1, no score, 1 hit a piece.

    We go to the 2nd.

  83. Bizrow says:

    No more free parking at the casino btw

  84. Naterosboro says:

    Back door slider from Liriano for a called strike 3. 1 down.

  85. Naterosboro says:

    4 pitch walk to Welington Castillo. 1 on (1B), 1 away. Top 2nd.

  86. Thundercrack says:

    Just got back from lunch where I was able to watch the pregame ceremony and the top of the first.

    NH should have had a tinge of embarrassment when Travis Ishikawa was introduced as the starting first basemen.
    And that embarrassment should have returned when he dropped the pick off throw.

  87. Naterosboro says:

    Shierholtz strikes out swinging. 1 on (1B), 2 away. Top 2nd.

  88. Bizrow says:

    Rang it up as an E3, don’t think it was originally called that

  89. Jim S. says:

    Can’t recall exactly what I projected for the Bucs record on Travis’ blog last week. I think it was 87-75 or 88-74. I’ll stick with that. This isn’t a perfect team, but like last year, I think they will continue to win more games than they lose in ways traditional measurements don’t always see (defensive range in the OF, inducing ground balls, excellent defense behind the plate, overall defensive positioning).

    I also think that although they won’t really improve with their hitting, they will score more runs. I think they will hit better as a group with RISP and with 2 outs.

    A key will be whether the bullpen allows them to once again do well in close (1 and 2 run) games.

  90. Naterosboro says:

    Barney flies out to LF Marte and that’ll be it for the Cubs in the 2nd. No runs, No hits (1BB), 1 left on. We go to the Pirates half of the 2nd, score 0-0. Liriano at 35-36 pitches.

    I have to step out for a bit so maybe someone can keep the p-b-p goin.

  91. Nothing embarrasses NH. Look at some of the teams he fielded early on.

  92. FlBucco says:

    Craig Wilson was a fave – way under appreciated

  93. Naterosboro says:

    Thanks Dom. It’s from ST 2011 I believe.

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    Someone just told me that Sean McDonough is doing play by play for ESPN. On the day Barry Bonds returns. Kinda ironic, huh.

  95. Naterosboro says:

    Ok. I delayed for the bottom half of the 2nd.

    Russel Martin lines one into RF for a base hit. 1 on (1B), 0 out. Bottom 2.

    Neil Walker up.

  96. Jim S. says:

    One thing that is key for the Bucs vs. Smardzija, as it always seems to be for us, is that we need to find a way to drive up his pitch count. History tells me he won’t give up many hits or runs to the Bucs, so we need to try to get rid of him in 6, at most.

  97. Naterosboro says:

    And Walker grounds into a 4-6-3 DP on the 1st pitch he sees (PATIENCE! Neil…). 0 on, 2 out, bottom 2nd.

    Ishikawa up.

  98. FlBucco says:

    I understand the folks who can’t get over the bad Barry – but he was an awesome player during his time in Pittsburgh and it was very cool of him to agree to come to town for today.

    I am sure he knew he would not get a standing O…

  99. Naterosboro says:

    Travis Ishikawa lines a 2-1 pitch into LF for another base hit. 1 on (1B), 2 out, Bottom 2nd.

    Jordy Mercer up.

  100. Bizrow says:

    24 pitches for Sam thru 2

  101. Jandy says:

    Go Jordy!

  102. Naterosboro says:

    Some things don’t change. Root Sports with the shots of the crowd for no reason.

    Jordy Mercer grounds out to 2B Barney, 4-3, and that’s it for them in the 2nd. 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 left on. After 2 innings, it’s still 0-0.

    We go to the 3rd. NOW, I’m stepping out. Will resume the p-b-p (if I can; all depends on how busy this afternoon is haha!) when I get back.

  103. Bizrow says:

    Liriano 35 to start 3rd

  104. Bizrow says:

    Is Sam. 1 out

  105. Dom says:

    Ah shucks…

  106. Bizrow says:

    Bono favor singles in as hole, steals 2nd as Lake is, grounder to 3rd, 3 down

  107. Bizrow says:

    Stupid spell check :-)

  108. cosmo says:

    that stinks! Liked to park there and ride the T over to the park.

  109. Bizrow says:

    Frankie grounds sharply to pitcher. Marte walks on 10 pitch at bat

  110. Dom says:

    Not a bad at bat for the new $31 million man.

  111. Bizrow says:

    Snyder lines out to center, Marte running, doubled off first After 3 no score

  112. Bizrow says:

    Rizzo whiffs. Olt whiffs. 62 pitches with 2 down

  113. Bizrow says:

    Castillo makes it a trifecta for Frankie, but 68 pitches

  114. Nate83 says:

    68 pitches through 4 innings is a lot. Hopefully he can have a nice clean inning in the 5th and gets through 6 today.

  115. Bizrow says:

    Sam starts with 38 pitches Cutch grounds to short

  116. Bizrow says:

    Pedro caught looking. Martin flies to center. Scoreless after 4

  117. Brandie says:

    Listening on Sirius. Got out early on my first real work day. Felt good. I know I am going to have my hands full. GO BUCCOS!

  118. Thundercrack says:

    Hurry—contract extension for Liriano!!!

  119. Brandie says:

    Check on that during the top half of the next inning.

  120. Bizrow says:

    Shierholtz singles to right, Barney walks on 4 pitches

  121. Dom says:

    Should the cubs pinch hit?

  122. Bizrow says:

    Sam bunts into double play 1-5-3 . 2 out man on 2nd . Wait might have our first teplay

  123. Nate83 says:

    survey says yes.

  124. Baywatch says:

    Pedro with a SEED!!

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    The rest of baseball hits almost 50 points higher against Samardjia than do the Pirates. He’s not as good as we make him look.

  126. Bizrow says:

    We do, the call stands

  127. Bizrow says:

    Bonifacio grounds to 3rd, whew

  128. Jandy says:

    Hey Sistah! Hope all went well!!!!!

  129. Brandie says:

    So far so good Baby Doll! Now let’s get this offense going!

  130. Bizrow says:

    PRNW grounds to 1st on full count. Ishi singles up the middle

  131. Bizrow says:

    No one up in bullpen

  132. Dom says:

    Travis Ishikawa!!!

    Who said first base was an issue for the Buccos?

  133. The Gunner says:

    Ishi is making a nice debut, let’s hope the good 1st impression continues

  134. Baywatch says:

    The name is Searage. Bay Searage.

  135. Bizrow says:

    Mercer grounds weakly to 2nd. Ishi to second. Frankie grounds to 2nd

  136. Bizrow says:

    Saul wins pierogie race

  137. Bizrow says:

    Frank at 80 pitches, Lake singles to left

  138. Naterosboro says:

    Ok. Here we go again.

    Top 6, still 0-0

    LF Lake leading off for the Cubs and he singles to LF.

    1 on (1B), 0 out.

    Castro up.

  139. Milo Hamilton says:

    This will be the last inning for Liriano.

  140. Bizrow says:

    Bullpen is getting active, Castro walks

  141. Naterosboro says:

    Starlin Castro walks. 2 on (1B, 2B), 0 out. Rizzo up. Bryan Morris up in the pen.

    Searage visits the mound for a chat with Frank.

  142. Nate83 says:

    Rizzo is good at two things hopefully he does the one that involves striking out.

  143. Naterosboro says:

    Anthony Rizzo strikes out (caught foul tip) swinging. 2 on (1B, 2B), 1 out. Olt up.

  144. Naterosboro says:

    Mike Olt pops out to SS Mercer in shallow left behind 3rd. 2 on (1B, 2B), 2 out. Welington Castillo up.

  145. Naterosboro says:

    Liriano heavy on the change up rightnow

  146. Patrick(ri) says:

    Great to see him prevail, when clearly tiring.

  147. Nate83 says:

    Nice game by Frankie. Hopefully we can score in the bottom half of the inning and reward him for a job well done.

  148. JRay3 says:

    A fitting end to Liriano’s day….as he gets the strikeout to get out of trouble in the 6th. With that his 10 K’s tie the franchise mark for most punch outs on opening day.

    Performed like a true ace. Now how about giving him a run.

  149. Jim S. says:

    Glad he got out of that. Throwing 104 pitches in start #1 doesn’t seem optimal to me, but that’s why Clint and Ray get the big bucs … and get to coach the big Bucs. :-)

  150. Naterosboro says:

    Castillo strikes out Castillo swinging. And that should be it for Liriano. He’s over 100 pitches (105/6 I believe). Fantastic performance. Got into some trouble but was able to work out. 6IP, 0R, 0ER, 10Ks. Good way to start the seez for the staff “ace”.

    We go to the Bucs half of the 6th, still knotted at 0s.

    Top up.

  151. Naterosboro says:

    Marte leads off the 6th with a 2bagger. 1 on (2B), 0 out. Snider up.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Time to steal 3rd.

  153. Naterosboro says:

    Snider flies out meakly to Junior Lake in LF. 1 on (2B), 1 out. MVP up.

  154. Baywatch says:

    Big Jam workout for Frank, then Marte picks him up. Disappointing show for Snider so far.

  155. Florida Steeler says:

    Snider–some things never change??

  156. Naterosboro says:


    otherwise the Cubs cather is a sneaky devil. Maybe he is!

  157. Jim S. says:

    I thought a key in this game was each team’s ability to run up the pitch count of the opposing pitcher, since neither team traditionally hits the other guy well.

    Cubs ran up Frankie’s pitch count, and he is gone after a shutdown 6.

    Smardzija should have plenty left in the tank.

    Let’s get some runs!!

  158. Naterosboro says:

    McCutchen walks down to first after 5 pitches. 2 on (1B, 2B), 1 out. El Toro steps to the dish.

  159. Milo Hamilton says:


  160. JRay3 says:

    Defensive alignment saves a run for the Cubs as Alvarez blistered that ball up the center of the field.

  161. Jim S. says:

    It hurts that your lefty can’t put the ball in play to the right side there.

  162. pattonbb says:

    Cubs either had Pedro played perfectly, or they just got real lucky.

  163. Jim S. says:

    And, it would appear we bought ourselves at least another inning of Cy Smardzija. He’s a pretty good pitcher, but the Bucs make him look great almost every time.

  164. Naterosboro says:

    Alvarez hits it on the nose back up the middle, but SS Castro is right there to pick it, step on 2nd, and get the 6-3DP. Unlucky for Alvarez, good positioning from the Cubs.

    We go to the 7th. Zeros fill the scoreboard still.

    Shierholtz to lead off for the baby bears.

  165. cmat0829 says:

    underappreciated??? He was a journeyman bench bat at best, terrible defensively, had some pop in the bat but that was about it. YES I will agree that on the putrid Pirate teams of that era, he was a bright spot, similar to Mackowiak in his era. But let’s not say Craig was underappreciated…he was appreciated plenty, far exceeding his actual baseball talent and ability and performance.

    That is the problem with the Pirates of old…. way, way, way too many players who were put in spots they didn’t deserve to be in. The whole lot was marginal bench material at best, and we had them starting and in cleanup spots in the lineup. Woeful.

  166. Patrick(ri) says:

    Feels like I have been waiting all winter to complain, but the bottom of the 6th is probably a blueprint for the season — pitch around Cutch and take your chances with what follows.

  167. Baywatch says:

    Steeler, he’s just holding down a job until Polanco comes up. I’m afraid his MLB may be over if he doesn’t start hitting. If this keeps up, he won’t be worth a bag of balls come June.

  168. Dom says:

    Anyone else afraid it will be a long season after we have had such difficulties against a decent and not great pitcher?

  169. Naterosboro says:

    Tony Watson on to pitch for the Pirates.

    Shierholtz flies out to CF McCutchen. 0 on, 1 out. Barney up.

  170. Naterosboro says:

    Barney grounds out 3 unassisted on a nice little play by 1B Ishikawa. 0 on, 2 out. Jeff S. up

  171. Milo Hamilton says:

    Some of you were talking about being old earlier. I’m so old I remember when you hit a ball up the middle it used to be a basehit.

  172. Brandie says:

    The Blog Whisperer!

  173. JRay3 says:

    Team started 1-5 last year and went on to go 93-63 the rest of the way.

    Long season after just six innings? Samardjiza seems to always have the Pirates number, last year as well. Think it way too early to be worried about much six innings in.

  174. Bizrow says:

    It’s warmed up nicely. Now we need a few

  175. Florida Steeler says:

    Alex Rios just hit a three run homer and we have Travis Snider. Not a good option.

  176. Patrick(ri) says:

    Looks like hitters better learn to hit inside out. Read somewhere that this will take years of emphasis in the minors.

  177. Bizrow says:

    Runs that is :-)

  178. Naterosboro says:

    Dom, it’s game 1. I believe Jeff S. had a similar performance in the opener last season, and as I recall, the offense still ahd a tough time, but things worked out pretty good.

    It’s all about pitching for this team. If they don’t perform, the offense was never going to be good enough to save them.

    No matter what they did or didn’t add in the offseason.

  179. cmat0829 says:

    Hi one and all, been trying to work today with one eye on the game and out of eyes for the blog…. my apologies for underperforming on opening day…..

    1) Outstanding first start for Liriano. 6th inning was excellent, was worried he would tire before getting back in the dugout but fitting to have him finish a fantastic outing.

    2) Yes, Ishikawa dropped the pick-off throw (no excuse) but he also has 2 knocks and has looked good at the plate. So “Tar and Feather” 1, “Give Him a Chance” 1. Team T-shirts upon request.

    3) Snider, in 2nd spot in the order, simply MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST get Marte over to 3rd with 1 out. If he can’t situationally hit (i.e. pull the ball on the ground), then you make him bunt. Runs are scarce vs. this Wide Receiver and it would’ve been Frankie’s run to boot.

    4) Nice to see Watson get a clean inning……

    5) LETS GET SOME RUNS (Channeling Harry Caray)…….and by the way, Smardija spelled backwards, Steve, is “A-jid-a-RAMS”…it almost sounds better that way…..

  180. I remember that, too.

  181. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! I remember that, too! Just turned 60! Heck, I remember when you broadcast the Braves games their first year in Atlanta, 1966! :-)

  182. Bizrow says:

    Attendance 39,833

  183. Naterosboro says:

    Jeff S. lines out to PK Neil Walker. 0 runs, 0 hits, no one left. On to the Pirates half of the 7th, with a stretch along the way.

    Russell Martin due up in the bottom.

  184. Naterosboro says:

    Martin flies out to CF Bonafacio. 0 on, 1 out. Walker up.

  185. Naterosboro says:

    Walker flies out to LF Lake. 0 on, 2 out. Ishikawa up.

  186. cmat0829 says:

    It will be a long season of pointing out woulda-couldas…fact is Rios plays the OF. RF is Polancos. I need not pay Rios for 2 or 3 more seasons beyond this. Really not sure how much of a debate this really is.

    Perhaps time better spent on updating how potential 1B-men are doing around the league… in fact, let’s have it be a regular feature, perhaps weekly… a 1B scorecard with full stats of the various options.

  187. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey Bay ! Holy Toledo !

  188. cmat0829 says:

    With all these teams deploying the shift, what will our friend AJ do? Will he tell Jimmy Rollins to “MTFBTYRP” in his first start at the first shift Sandberg orders?

    that is “move the **** back to your regular position”

  189. Baywatch says:


  190. The Gunner says:

    Then poor Milo ended up getting the boot in Atlanta in the mid 70s & landed here as the great Bob Prince’s successor. Sadly, he could never fill The Gunner’s shoes.

  191. Naterosboro says:

    Ishikawa strikes out looking to end the 7th. 0 of anything. Just Zeros across the board for the most part (except for a few hits and an error for the bucs). It’s on to the 8th…

    Top up for the Cubs.

    Melancon on to pitch for the Buccos.

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    No Justin Wilson for all these lefties ?

  193. Naterosboro says:

    Bonafacio slaps a 2B on a good piece of 2 strike hitting. 1 on (2B), 0 out. Junior Lake up.

  194. Milo Hamilton says:

    “Hey Steve, ever have a seedless grape ?”

  195. Jim S. says:

    Thank you, cmat.

  196. Florida Steeler says:

    Why isn’t Polanco up?? He has to be better than Snider, right now!!!

  197. Naterosboro says:

    Lake with a good sac bunt, hard at Alvarez, who makes the play 5-3. 1 on (3B), 1 out. Castro up.

  198. Milo Hamilton says:

    Wilson at least has to pitch to Rizzo – .189 vs lefties last year.

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    Or walk him.

  200. Naterosboro says:

    Castro grounds into fielder’s choice, 4-2-5-1-6 (i think)-5. Probably need to check that, but nonetheless, Bonafacio out, Castro goes to 2nd on the ridiculous rundown. 1 on (2B), 2 out. Rizzo up.

  201. Milo Hamilton says:

    Or Clint shows me I’m all wet. :)

  202. Bizrow says:

    That was some rundown

  203. JRay3 says:

    And Melancon escapes after giving up the lead off double as he jams Rizzo who softly pops out to Alvarez and the Bucs bullpen keeps it a 0-0 game.

  204. Naterosboro says:

    Rizzo gets jammed and pops out to 3B Alvarez. And the Bucs pitchers do it again. Say what you want about the offense, the pitching staff has straight ice in their veins.

    0 runs, 1 hit, 1 left for the baby bears in the 8th. On to the Bucs half still tied up at donuts.

    Mercer up.

    Not sure of a pitching change yet…..

  205. The Gunner says:

    Let’s hope Veras starts walking everyone like he did when he was with the Bucs.

  206. TJA says:

    Guys and Gals – Been super busy at work this afternoon and have not had a chance to visit the blog or gameday. Just seeing the score. I assume a good pitching matchup???

  207. Naterosboro says:

    Pedro Strop on the pitch for the Cubs.

    Mercer to lead it off, and he grounds out to 3B, 5-3. 0 on, 1 out, bottom 8th. JHay_daman on to pinch hit for Melancon in the pitcher’s spot (Grilli warming for the 9th).

  208. Naterosboro says:

    Harrison strikes out swinging, and the Bucs in danger of going quickly here in the 8th. 0 on, 2 out. Marte up.

  209. Jim S. says:

    Didn’t see the rundown by the Bucs, but sounds like it might have involved an abundance of throws. Did they take too long to get the out?

  210. Bizrow says:

    Well looks like we need a walkoff

  211. Bizrow says:

    IMO, yes

  212. Naterosboro says:

    Marte flies out to CF Bonafacio. And the Bucs go down in the 8th. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on.

    And it’s to the 9th, still scoreless. Possible extras on opening day?

    Grilli on to pitch the 9th.

    Mike Olt to lead it off for the Cubs.

  213. Baywatch says:

    Looked like this boy Strop for the Cubs had some SERIOUS downward plane! :-)

  214. Brandie says:

    Mostly. What I want is a Cutch walk off home run to seal the deal.

  215. Jandy says:

    Looks like we have pitching today, and goo defense. NEED HITS!
    Sounds like last season. I’m all in :)

  216. Jandy says:

    err good* defense

  217. theplanisworking says:

    Just got back from my travels. Listened to the game in the car most of the time.
    Hearing Cy Smardzija stuff the Bucs — yet again.

    But still a great opportunity to win this scoreless tie.

  218. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Mr. Hasselhoff !

  219. Brandie says:

    How tall is he? Does he have supple hands for a pitcher?

  220. Naterosboro says:

    Luis Valbuena pinch hits for Olt, and he walks to lead off. 1 on (1B), 0 out. Welington Castillo up.

  221. Jim S. says:

    For a team pitching a shutout, we sure are flirting with trouble by letting the leadoff guy on so often.

  222. Brandie says:

    I personally like goo pitching!

  223. Naterosboro says:

    Castillo with a sac bunt, 2-3. 1 on (2B), 1 out. Shierholtz due up.

  224. Sarah says:

    You were channelling Brandie!

    And we are ALL thinking about her today on her first day at work!

  225. Sarah says:

    Atta girl!!!

    How was work???

  226. Baywatch says:

    Sorta ironically, as I remember, one of the things that set the stage for his Atlanta departure was when he claimed, on air, that Clemente was a better right fielder than Aaron! In ATLANTA, that was about as bad as John Lennon saying The Beatles were more popular than Jesus!

  227. AJS says:

    Based on pitch trax Grilli looks up in the zone. This is when he struggled last year. I hope he gets back to the lights out stopper he was for most of last year and isn’t stuck as the mediocre closer or worse we saw upon his return last year.

  228. theplanisworking says:

    I was going to say the same thing.
    Very fortunate to keep them scoreless.

  229. theplanisworking says:

    Well, most of us. I can’t think, but I was sending her good juju…. ;)

  230. Jandy says:

    Indeed I was :)

  231. Brandie says:

    Gonna have my hands full, but I like it! :) Thanks for asking Sarahpova!

  232. Naterosboro says:

    Shierholtz flies out to LF Marte. 1 on (2B), 2 out. Ryan Sweeny pinch hitting for Darwin Barney.

  233. Brandie says:

    Get your mojo working Chuck Planner!

  234. Dom says:

    Get some runs already.

  235. JRay3 says:

    Grilled Cheese pitches the scoreless ninth. How about some walk-off heroics in the opener?

  236. Bizrow says:

    Home plate is in shadows right now

  237. Jandy says:

    You can do it :)

  238. Sarah says:


  239. AJS says:

    Lunch Box

    Looking for the walk off.

  240. Naterosboro says:

    Sweeny pops out to C Russell MartAAAAAn. And the Cubs leave another. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 left, and still scoreless as we head to the bottom half of the 9th.

    Snider, MVP, El Toro due up. This is what it’s all about on Opening Day (altho would’ve liked to see more offense before now haha!)

  241. Jandy says:


    I got a new Grilli T shirt from hubby at Christmas time. Also a Cutch Tee. Gonna be wearing them to work :)

  242. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Plan!

  243. Dom says:

    3-0 to Snider.

    Please dont swing

  244. Brandie says:

    I have the Duncansville Darling cheering for me and the blog’s resident Golden Goalie. How can I miss?

  245. spooner says:

    time for a little ninth inning magic!

  246. theplanisworking says:

    Get that rally cap on!

  247. Naterosboro says:

    Justin Grimm on to pitch for the Cubs. Luis Valbuena at 3rd. Bonafacio moves to 2B. And Sweeny stays in the game and goes to CF.

    Snider walks to lead off the inning. Andrew McCutchen to the dish.

    1 on (1B), 0 out.

  248. JRay3 says:

    Hubby has great taste in gifts!

  249. Brandie says:

    Dripping with patience?

  250. theplanisworking says:

    I knew Chuck Planner!
    Most positive man I ever knew.

    New Castle’s finest! :)

  251. Jandy says:

    Dang, gotta jet…later loonies.

    GO BUCS!

  252. Naterosboro says:

    Grimm wastes 2 throws to 1B. Snider’s never stealing haha!

  253. Brandie says:

    Life really is…

  254. cmat0829 says:

    It’s simple. 2 months of Polanco as a rookie NOT CLOSE IN VALUE to a FULL YEAR of Polanco when he is in his prime.

  255. Naterosboro says:

    and he wastes 2 more.

  256. And now, as I watch the 128th Pirates home opener on WGN Chicago down here in Daytona Beach, Florida, I keep asking myself if the Bucs will be able to get any kind of offense going this season, since they’ve shown no evidence of that so far.

  257. Naterosboro says:

    McCutchen strikes out swinging.

    Still 1 on (1B), now 1 out.

    El Toro to the plate.

    A time out for a pitching change as the Cubs play matchups & go to the LHP Jimmy Russell out of the ‘pen.

    Time for Petey to throw this matchup in their face and hit 1 a long way.


  258. cmat0829 says:

    0-0, bottom of the ninth, typical Pirates homeopener… and a game I think we will win. But one of the best signs today was Melancon pitching a good 8th and Grilli’s velocity at 94/95 in the 9th. The bullpen — the GREAT bullpen — is key for this team and so far, so very good.

  259. theplanisworking says:

    Pitching and defense.
    Pitching and defense.
    Pitching and defense.

  260. Baywatch says:

    Sorry, ‘Lita. It’s up to Baydro now! :-)

  261. cmat0829 says:

    just a weeee bit early on season projections, eh?

  262. Sarah says:

    So Peeps I’m sitting at the airport at Fridays waiting on a delay and who should be eating chicken and mashed potatoes next to me but Doc Emmerick!!! Chatting Pens and playoffs and Orpik hits while watching Buccos!

  263. theplanisworking says:

    Pitching and defense.
    Oh, wrong post………

  264. Naterosboro says:

    Alvarez strikes out swinging (chases the slider). 1 on (1B), 2 out now, with Russell Martin up.

  265. cmat0829 says:

    Ugh. Pedro is K-dro in the 9th….not “Pay-dro” as Bora$ would prefer….. Russell didn’t give him anything to hit. Can we have a Mar-TAANN PLAN, walk-off gapper??

  266. theplanisworking says:

    I bet he is a wealth of knowledge !!

    Have fun! Get a picture with him !

  267. Jim S. says:

    Doc loves him some Bucs!!

  268. cmat0829 says:

    Doc is a class act… catch him on Dan Patrick last week? Just a true pro, outstanding broadcaster and seems like a genuinely awesome human being.

    I’m still hoping for a new ABC Reality Show, “Broadcaster Swap”… let Doc do a season of Bucs games, and the NHL can have either Tim or Greg…..

  269. theplanisworking says:

    Does he drive a Subaru, Jim? :)

  270. Brandie says:

    Nice! Feel sorry he has to work with Milbury though.

  271. Jim S. says:

    That was a good one. I think you should trot Chuck Planner out again sometime, Brandie.

  272. Naterosboro says:

    Martin hits it on the nose to LF, but Lake makes a relatively easy running grab, and its on to EXTRAS! How nice of the Cubs & Pirates to give the fans extra baseball on the 1st day. Thought you were only going to see 9 innings after a LONG winter?! Not today folks!

    We go to the 10th, neither team wanting to touch home plate.

    Bryan Morris on to pitch for the Pirates. Ryan Kalish pinch hits for the Cubs.

  273. Wild Bill says:

    Now home to watch. Erase the dvr, nothing to see here. Bats left in Bradenton, I see.

  274. Naterosboro says:

    Kalish hits it hard, but right at 1B Ishikawa, who makes the play, 3 unassisted. 0 on, 1 out. Bonafacio up.

  275. Sarah says:

    He said “Brooks is a lot of things, but he’s not a head-hunter.”

  276. cmat0829 says:

    First time I’m seeing Bryan Morris, version 2014. His velocity noticeably much higher; I can definitely see why he was the keep vs. Mazarro. Looks like he can be a late-inning option based on stuff. Now, relieving is more than stuff, it is the mental ‘stuff’ to strand runners, etc.. he gets his first chance now with a runner on 1B with a seeing-eye slap single.

  277. Brandie says:

    He can hang out with Planny Sanguillen.

  278. Naterosboro says:

    Bonafacio hasn’t hit a ball hard yet today, but he collects his 4th hit, as he slaps a single to LF.

    1 on (1B), 1 out. Junior Lake to bat.

  279. theplanisworking says:

    Wise man.

  280. hockeymonster says:

    I turned on a baseball game and a new jersey devils game from the ’90’s broke out…

  281. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’d be surprised if they overturn that one.

  282. theplanisworking says:

    You are too much!

  283. JRay3 says:

    Looks like he is out!

  284. theplanisworking says:

    She is good, eh Jim?

  285. pattonbb says:


  286. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pleasantly ! :)

  287. theplanisworking says:

    Replay is great!!

    The first time the Pirates lose one, it will stink !!

  288. JRay3 says:

    Proper call made, that is a case study of replay at its best usage there.

  289. Sarah says:

    The guy next to me is trying to buy him more beer lol!

  290. cmat0829 says:

    It’s very early but I like the challenge system… if nothing else, it eliminates the ‘sometimes fun, but more likely tedious’ lengthy manager/ump arguments….. and it should lower the ‘edge’ some of the umps have when their calls are challenged

  291. JRay3 says:

    Heck of a pick off move by Morris.

  292. Naterosboro says:

    Pirates challenge Bonafacio safe on pick off attempt.

    Initial replays look to show that this 1 should get overturned and Pirates should keep their challenge for a 2nd.

    Umpires on the headsets.

    And replay reverses the call!

    Bonafacio picked off 1st. Nice catch and tag by Ishikawa.

    0 on, 2 out. Junior Lake at bat.

  293. Wild Bill says:

    We have witnessed history!

  294. Wild Bill says:

    They’re gonna find out some humbling reality.

  295. Milo Hamilton says:

    And there he is, the new & improved Bryan Morris.

  296. JRay3 says:

    And Morris locks up Lake. Watson check, Melancon check, Grilli check, and now Morris check. The Bucs bullpen picking up where they left off, four scoreless innings turned in.

  297. Jim S. says:

    Seems like a carbon copy of most of the games vs the Cubs last year. Lots of really low scoring games, as I recall.

    1-0 home team sounds good right about now.

  298. Dom says:

    Ishi is up next inning so thats at least one baserunner but I dont like our chances with Mercer and Walker as two of the next three hitters.

  299. Naterosboro says:

    Morris strikes out Lake swinging (check swing & tag by C R. Martin) and we go to the bottom of the 10th. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 left for the Cubs. Still all tied at Zeros! Seems like neither club wants to leave the stadium…they’ve just been away so long!

    Neil Walker due up for the Pirates.

  300. Thundercrack says:

    Trying to follow the game at work on Gameday.
    Can someone tell me how the Cubs got a runner on in the top of the 10th….and who it was?


  301. Naterosboro says:

    Carlos Villanueva on to pitch in the 10th for the Cubs.

  302. Naterosboro says:

    Ryan Kalish stays in the game to play LF.

  303. Naterosboro says:

    Bonafacio slap single thru left side

  304. Baywatch says:

    Milo, that sounded like the carnival barker that introduced King Kong in the OLD movie!

  305. JRay3 says:

    Bonaficio single, was than picked off first.

  306. cmat0829 says:

    seeing eye single to left by Bonifacio… I really liked him as a pickup for the Bucs to replace Harrison in the winter, but c’est la vie……

  307. Nate83 says:

    How long has the reviews been taking. Is it quick like the NHL or is it painful like the NFL or NCAA tournament has been.

  308. JRay3 says:

    Just found out that Chris Stewart will be playing in a game in Bradenton on Wednesday.

  309. Wild Bill says:

    Love it, Neal!

  310. cmat0829 says:

    REAAAAAL DEAAAAAL NEIIILLLLLLLL and RTJR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  311. Milo Hamilton says:

    We had ‘em allllllllllllllllllllll the way !

  312. theplanisworking says:

    WOO HOO!!!


  313. hockeymonster says:

    can jandy get a woop woop

  314. JRay3 says:

    The Pittsburgh kid! Walker blast, Buccos take opener!

  315. Bizrow says:

    Bonafacio got his 4th hit of the day. PRNw goes deep

  316. Dom says:

    Thataboy Walker. I never lost faith in you.

  317. cmat0829 says:

    in between, quicker than i thought. the tournament reviews have been a joke.

  318. Jim S. says:

    Wish I knew, plan.

  319. theplanisworking says:

    Woop Woop ! ;)

  320. Baywatch says:

    The Piksburg Kid!! Pine-Richland’s OWN!!

  321. Jim S. says:

    Kicking myself for not typing that this would be a great spot for the PK to come through!

  322. cmat0829 says:

    2014 looks a LOT like 2013… great starting pitching, out-of-this-world bullpen, close, low-scoring game, and Pirates with a walk-off.

  323. Naterosboro says:



    Pirates win 1-0! as Neil Walker walks it off, and ends it PERECTLY!

    These are your 2014 Bucs ladies and gents.

  324. Barb says:

    Now that’s the way to win a game. Wooo Hooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  325. Patrick(ri) says:

    94 to go!

  326. Milo Hamilton says:

    Well, you can’t win ‘em all unless you win the 1st one.

  327. cmat0829 says:

    got a feeling, just a feeling, that 2014 is Neil’s turn … .time will tell, looooooong way to go, but just got a feeling.

  328. Jim S. says:

    Perfect season intact!

  329. pattonbb says:

    ….fear the Bones….

  330. Brandie says:

    I called walk off with the wrong player, but I’ll take it!

  331. Baywatch says:

    Good to see Teke back after his brush with bad health this spring.

  332. JRay3 says:

    Behind six shutout innings from Francisco Liriano who punched out 10 in his 2014 debut, and a Neil Walker walk-off 10th inning HR over the Clemente Wall the Buccos take the season opener 1-0 and there was nooooooo doubt about it! The win improves the Bucs to 69-59 all-time in opening day games.

    The Bucs bullpen added four shutout innings and Bryan Morris will earn with win for the Pirates.

    With the win the Buccos begin the ’14 campaign 1-0 and are off until Wednesday when the three game series with the Cubs resumes and Charlie Morton will take the hill for the Pirates.

    Let’s Go Bucs!

  333. Naterosboro says:

    It is Raised.


  334. Barb says:

    Brandicita how did your first day go?

  335. theplanisworking says:

    Opening Day.
    Sunny weather.
    Pitcher’s duel.

    Walker with a walkoff.
    @014 is a great year so far!

  336. theplanisworking says:

    Opening Day.
    Sunny weather.
    Pitcher’s duel.

    Walker with a walkoff.
    2014 is a great year so far!

  337. Karen22 says:

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  338. At least Neal Walker came through in the bottom of the 10th! And it was certainly about time!

  339. Karen22 says:

    LOL! Double the pleasure, plan?! :)

  340. Florida Steeler says:

    Do we want to win or save money?? Snider is really bad.

  341. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah. Computer illiterate sometimes………

  342. Sarah says:

    High fives all around the airport bar at Fridays!!!

  343. Naterosboro says:

    Excellent Summary in such short order.

  344. Naterosboro says:

    Neil Walker thanks you for your vote of confidence…..


  345. Thundercrack says:

    I heard that he had a brush of bad health during the offseason. Does anyone one know what it was?

  346. Jim S. says:

    Doc still there?

  347. KenKopp says:

    OK! That was fun!

    Walker with a walk off. Great pitching, solid defense (Not counting Travis I’s dropped pickoff throw) and just enough offense. Sounds like last year. Last year was a good time.

  348. Baywatch says:

    Ya gotta love baseball!! All at once the boringest and most exciting game ever invented!

  349. Sarah says:

    Great story from Doc re Walker….apparently he plays hockey and is pretty good! On Sunday at 1pm he joined a pickup game held by Bylsma and the assistants and some locals,and NBC had their cameras there so they got a bunch of video of Walker playing!….
    So Sunday night Doc wants to show a bit of it …..and apparently Walker has a clause in his contract re playing other dangerous sports and what not….so the video was nixed LOL!

    I bet that skate charged him up for the walk off!!!

  350. Thundercrack says:

    Imagine the feeling for a hometown kid to hit a walk off, extra inning walk off home run.

  351. Sarah says:

    We all high fived and went for our flights lol!!

  352. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks, Sarah.

  353. Baywatch says:

    ++++ Up Here, Buddy!!

  354. Jim S. says:

    If you believe in such stats … he hit a lot of line drives last year, lowered his K rate, increased his walk rate, increased his HR rate, and saw his avg. drop from .280 to .251. You never know what will happen in a baseball season, but I’d say he’s at least a decent bet to bounce back if he stays healthy.

  355. Baywatch says:

    Me & Smokey Robinson second that emotion, Milo!

  356. Naterosboro says:

    …on Opening Day in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

    I’d say that’s the stuff dreams are made of.

    Now, fulfill another dream and do it with 2 outs, in the bottom of the 9th, of Game 7, of the World Series.

    Gotta root for the NL to win the All Star game to get that WS Home Field Advantage………….

  357. Sarah says:

    Made the 3 hr delay worth it!!!
    Doc is a real gentleman. Said i didn’t look old enough to have seen Forbes Field lol!

  358. Jim S. says:

    I thought you were eavesdropping, and you were actually talking with Doc all that time? That’s pretty cool.

  359. Baywatch says:

    He showed a lot of professional restraint in his interview with Robby Incmikowski (sic)

  360. Jim S. says:

    Largest regular season crowd in PNC history. Interesting how the no shows decrease when the team is good.

    They must have also sold some SROs? Or, have they added a few more seats?

  361. Thundercrack says:

    Our bullpen can really use that off day tomorrow.
    It is unsustainable.

  362. The Gunner says:

    It couldn’t happen to a better guy than our own Neil Walker. And let’s not overlook Greg Brown’s radio call of this walk-off……………it was absolutely fabulous – great Job, Brownie!!

  363. Sarah says:

    No, actually chatting thoug the other guy was talking a lot more.
    Shook hands w Doc, he said he would look up my name at Lynah Rink when he gets to Cornell next time…..nice!

  364. theplanisworking says:

    We Lead the Division !!! (for now)……….. :)

  365. Jim S. says:

    I heard a couple of arms look like they could fall off by May.

  366. Jim S. says:

    Sounds like a great day. Good for you!

    And, Cornell. Nice!!

  367. Tom P. says:

    +1. I brought the kids home from school and turned on the radio just in time to hear the home run call. Greg’s timing and delivery really was perfect.

  368. Jim S. says:

    Muy, muy.

  369. Jim S. says:

    @ Bizrow 3:45

    “Well looks like we need a walkoff.”

    From your lips to Neil Walker’s bat, Biz! Good call!

  370. Jim S. says:

    We want to keep him for a full extra year, FL. Every team does it that way now, unless they have no other options.

  371. Thundercrack says:

    I’m sure the FAN will be replaying the call…but on they have Nevrett.

  372. Jim S. says:

    Does anyone with MLB Extra Innings know if the situation will be changing regarding how they handle games in your local market this year? What I mean is, I am always blacked out of ROOT on games where the Bucs play the Cubs since I live in the Chicago area.

    So, do I have a bunch of games of Len Casper complaining about the weather in Pittsburgh to look forward to again this year? Or, will I be able to catch ROOT?

    By the way, it won’t get out of the 40’s here in Chicago for the entire week.

  373. Chuck H says:

    Well, they won’t win 98 games if they don’t hit any better than they did today. They could have won it in
    the ninth if they had a smart manager. With a runner on first and no outs, you have to sacrifice that man to second even if it’s last year’s MVP at bat, or Lew Gehrig for that matter. You’ve got to get the runner to second and scoring position. Yeah! we won, but, next time. do it the right way. GO, BUCS!!!

  374. The Pirates can certainly use the day off tomorrow after today’s indeed trying affair, and I would hope they’ll use tomorrow to try and get that offense going since they can’t count on those favorable calls they got today every time.

  375. rvfcprez says:

    It looks like they still have the silly blackouts on MLB TV so I’m sure it’s the same way on MLB Extra Innings. They really need to do away with that. I don’t know how many more games I can stand listening to the Reds announcers. I live near Nashville, TN and for some strange reason, they have the Reds as one of our local teams. The Braves I understand but how is Cincinnati close to Nashville??? Still, even with that negative, I can’t do without MLB TV since I moved from PA to TN!

  376. The Gunner says:

    The timing couldn’t have been more perfect & spontaneous. For guys like me, who grew up with Bob Prince as the Voice of the Buccos, it was a great tribute to the ol’ Gunner.

  377. Brandie says:

    If you are out there Bodacious…Wonderfully!

  378. Baywatch says:

    Had this thought: Wonder what would be more awesome? That playback of Neil Walker’s walk off bomb – or one of my FACE as it was happening?

  379. It was great to see the Pirates win the opener at home for the first time in years. The weather was great and the pitching and defense couldn’t have been better, especially with Liriano striking out 10. And then, there was Neal Walker’s homer in the 10th. You only wish the offense could’ve come through since the Pirates were lucky to have gotten the calls they got on those close plays. And now, the Bucs will be suitably rewarded with tomorrow’s day off, and, hopefully, the bats will come alive on Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting.

  380. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not from my seat. I’d flip those. Don’t know what it sounded like on TV.

  381. Oh, and I just heard that the Redskins have signed on Ryan Clark.

  382. Was it me or did Bonds’ head look smaller?

  383. Karen22 says:

    Wasn’t you…I noticed, too.

  384. No use for the roids now.


  385. Eric Bowser says:

    How exciting that ONE run was today….. in the 10th inning.

  386. Anyhow, tomorrow, instead of the Pirates, it’ll be the Pens versus Carolina on the road. Hopefully, they’ll do as well as they did against the Blackhawks at the Consol Center last night.

  387. John Lease says:

    It’s the 133rd season for the Pirates, but why quibble.

  388. Arriba Wilver says:

    It was great being there. Would have been a disappointment if we had lost, of course. But a lot of good baseball. And they got the replays right. The one overturned was very clear on replay, and the umpire probably wasn’t able to see the tag based on where he was standing. Lots of people, especially young people, high-fiving on the way out.

    Did NOT like the new scoreboard background. Hard to read for me, but my son had no trouble. Very busy without enough contrast. (Get off my lawn.) ;-)

  389. Jim S. says:

    I didn’t see the game, Arriba. But, the replay of the Walker HR was great. The place seemed electric at that point.

  390. Jim S. says:

    A few days ago, Milo called him the “skinny, 49 year old Barry Bonds.” Great description.

  391. Jim S. says:

    Were they bad calls, James? I was listening to the game on the radio for the play at first on Smardzija’s bunt. Walk and Brown both said they didn’t think the play was particularly close. They wondered why the Cubs even bothered to protest.

  392. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, rvfc. I think you are right about those rules.

  393. Dom says:

    Ryan Clark signs with Washington.

  394. DJ says:

    At home tomorrow, James.

    I need to get you a schedule.

  395. I live close the Nashville, too, and it’s solid 5 to 5.5 hours from Cincy..

    BTW, Jim, had to run this avatar in honor of your boys and the great run. Congrats. I’ll switch back to John’s Badgers later in the week.

    My prayer Wisconsin whips UK. They’re already looking past them here, talking about how UK only lost to Florida by 1 in the SEC tourney. Didn’t mention the other 2 losses to the Gators.

  396. Brandie says:

    Just a pit stop on the road to the four letter network that shall not be named.

  397. Jim S. says:

    That’s where he was before Pittsburgh, right?

  398. Jim S. says:

    Lucky, with the Flyers logo. That’s cool! Thanks, man!

    Wisconsin is a cagey bunch. People think they are not athletic enough to match up with KY. I guess we’ll see. They seem to rise to occasions pretty well.

  399. JohninOshkosh says:


    Tom ‏@Haudricourt 7h

    For those wondering how Ryan Braun would be received by #Brewers fans, he gets a standing ovation coming up for first at-bat.

    Freakin’ fans are so predictable.

  400. JohninOshkosh says:


    Let’s hope that is the first of lets say, oh, 99 fear the Bones!

  401. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is hilarious. Watching the Angels/Mariners game on ESPN 2. The Anaheim crowd booed Robbie Cano at his first plate appearance. Apparently, because of his contract.

    Angels fans booing contracts.

    They even showed some Yankee fan with a sign that read “Cano-it’s only about the money.”

    Big contract guy Mike Trout bats second in the Angels lineup. That’s a lot of coin for a guy in the 2 hole.

    Just homered. LOL at me.

  402. Bizrow says:

    In my area, several older people replacing young uns, seemed like a bunch of turnover, but a beautiful day

  403. Jason says:

    Having one of the best hitters in the game intentionally make an out so that a good but lesser hitter might be able to get a base hit is not what a smart manager would do.

  404. Chuck H says:

    You see what one of the best hitters in baseball did in that situation-he struck out and left the
    potential winning run on first base. I still maintain that the sac bunt would have been the right call. GO, BUCS!!!

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