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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Cubs 7, Pirates 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (5-2) vs. Chicago Cubs (2-5)

Time: 8:05 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

TV, Radio: Root Sports, CSN (Chicago), 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 is on the scene for the Trib.

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. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs, 8:05 P.M. EST
    Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

    LF: Starling Marte
    RF: Travis Snider
    CF: Andrew McCutchen
    3B: Pedro Alvarez
    C: Russell Martin
    2B: Neil Walker
    1B: Travis Ishikawa
    SS: Jordy Mercer
    SP: Wandy Rodriguez

    Chicago Cubs Lineup

    CF: Emilio Bonifacio
    SS: Starlin Castro
    RF: Justin Ruggiano
    1B: Anthony Rizzo
    3B: Mike Olt
    LF: Junior Lake
    C: Welington Castillo
    2B: Darwin Barney
    SP: Jason Hammel

  2. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Step 1: walk Bonifacio.

    Step 2: go after all the rest

    Hoping for a good outing from Wandy tonight.

  3. JohninOshkosh says:

    Castro bounces around the Cubs batting order like a ping pong ball.

  4. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks for posting the lineups John

  5. JD says:

    Is game on WGN tonight?

  6. JohninOshkosh says:


  7. Andrew says:

    NMR will be happy.

  8. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, JD, make sure to let me know when you will be in this year for a game. I owe you a beer . . . Or two.

  9. JohninOshkosh says:

    He’s a good drinking buddy.

  10. Chuck H says:

    Hey, Ryan* No, don’t walk him, pitch him inside close a few times, put the fear of being hit on the noggin . Now we have to watch how we pitch to Castro.

  11. bpn8pitt says:

    What do you lunatics know about JaCoby Jones? Not the WR. Shortstop. Heard NMRs boy Tim Williams talking about him with David Todd.

  12. 21sthebest says:


  13. Brandie says:

    Hoping for a good outing from Wand-ee. Whatever happens, please do not pitch to Bonifacio. Just in case Schlitter comes in for relief…

    1. Schlitt just got real up in here!
    2. Uh oh! Schlitt just hit the fan!
    3. I used to watch The Banana Schlitts on TV.
    4. Pulling on my Schlitt Kickers. It just got real deep in here!

    That should cover it! :)

  14. bpn8pitt says:

    Josh Hamilton continues to fall apart.

  15. JRay3 says:

    Well Jeff Locke is carving up ‘A’ hitters tonight down in Bradenton as he has 10 K’s through six innings of work in his first rehab start.

  16. Brandie says:

    1-0 bad guys! Boo!

  17. bpn8pitt says:

    Emilio Bonafacio Houshmandzadeh…

  18. Brandie says:

    That’s gobbeldygook for annoying. The dude is flat out annoying. ;)

  19. Andrew says:

    I like Hammel as a buy low candidate this off season, but he is not this good.

  20. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Got to get more than one look at a guy before anyone proclaims that he’s Cy Young.

  21. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    What’s with the *?

    And you’re really won’t strike the fear of God in any MLB hitter.

  22. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Terrible grammar there

  23. bpn8pitt says:


  24. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    See, like I said before, just strike out Bonifacio.

  25. Andrew says:

    Effortless power.

  26. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    My wife will back me up in this, but I just said this dude is going to make a mistake to Pedro.

  27. JRay3 says:

    Just so impressed with Pedro’s approach to start the season, using the whole field, he is turning into a very dangerous hitter.

    Opposite field blast tied at 1.

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dang, it looked like Pedro just popped that up, and it was over the fence in left field.

    The good news is he’s going to be great this year. The bad news is no way we’re able to keep him.

  29. Brandie says:

    NightDro… or is that TwiDro?

  30. bpn8pitt says:

    Umpire has been terrible.

  31. JRay3 says:

    Great tweet from Travis Sawchik – Pedro hit 3 opposite field HR’s all last year, he already has 2 in 8 games this season.

  32. JRay3 says:

    Bloop and a blast, Mike Olt’s second off of Wandy this year, just as it appeared that Rodriguez was settling in. Now Bucs have work to do.

  33. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  34. Florida Steeler says:

    If the Bucs have to count on Wandy–they are in trouble.

  35. The Gunner says:

    Wandy is a major concern for sure. A couple more starts like this could force the BMTIB’s hand.

  36. Andrew says:

    Well the decision to bring in Gomez might have put this game out of reach.

  37. The Gunner says:

    Yep, Gomez is getting pounded. Nice double play but it might get overturned. Looks like a tie on the replay.

  38. Nice decision to keep him and dump Mazzaro.

    Too soon?

    Should have waited until morning. Second guessing is best served cold.


  39. bpn8pitt says:

    Yeah, the pitchings been bad. But one freaking hit against Hammel is just unacceptable.

    This is a game that to me exposes the bench. They do not have a player who can provide instant offense.

  40. bpn8pitt says:

    …and on cue, wind aided dripping with power.

  41. Florida Steeler says:

    Harrison is a joke and does not belong on a MLB roster. Passing on Rios last year was a big mistake.

  42. The Gunner says:

    Let’s hope Mazzaro reports to Indy. The Bucs are going to need him, maybe sooner than later.

  43. JRay3 says:

    Now if we can just get four more of those…really would help to have a few men on when the power comes.

  44. Andrew says:

    No, paying $12.5 million this year and $13.5 million next year for a guy who plays the same position as your top hitting prospect is a mistake.

  45. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Another HR here would be nice.

  46. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


    No idea what Rios has to do with Harrison.

  47. DJ says:

    You know what is really crazy with all these bad umps?

    At the end of the night, they’re actually thinking they did a great job.

  48. Florida Steeler says:

    I disagree completely. Polanco has not proven himself in the minors yet. Remember last years flash–Lambo??? You cannot expect Polanco to carry this team.
    They are paying Wandy that kind of money!!! And, we would have had Rios last year and, again, this year to give us a right fielder–which we do NOT have.

  49. Florida Steeler says:

    Harrison may not be on the roster if we had a little offense which Rios provides.

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    Currently 9:14CT. The first 6:00 game just ended. Like this every night so far. Haven’t seen any stats on it, but I gotta believe replay is lengthening games, and in some cases, by a significant amount.

  51. DJ says:

    Patience, FS, patience.

    In a few months we’ll check back and you’ll be doing the Polanco flamenco.

  52. Andrew says:

    I agree on Harrison. The Pirates are paying Wandy $8.5 million the Astros cover the other $5 million, Polanco is a top 25 prospect, any comparison to Lambo is laughable. There are far better ways to spend $12 million in payroll.

  53. Bizrow says:

    Yeah, it was kinda funky, folks sitting around waiting for the call.

    Not baseball

  54. bpn8pitt says:

    What bothers me Andrew, two guys Barmes and Stewart are basically glove only. With Harrison being a lost cause, leaves you with two guys out of four ( Gaby, Tabata, Snider, Ishikawa)….Yuck man. Doesn’t help Mercer hasn’t hit a lick yet either.

  55. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Considering he’s mainly a infielder, probably isn’t effected by adding an OFer.

  56. The Gunner says:

    They should have kept Brandon Moss, FS

  57. Florida Steeler says:

    100% correct. The Brewers got better–we did not.

  58. Andrew says:

    Bpn, I can agree with that, I do not know many utility guys who can hit they could have gotten. What makes Ishikawa so maddening is what you point out, there are questions of offensive of ability at short and right, then a NRI is playing first. I think an outside move is going to have to take place.

    I do not get the Brewers love, no depth, and the worst farm system in baseball.

  59. JRay3 says:

    Pedro is dialed in, second HR of game, 4th of the year. Martin with a two HR day. Unfortunately all five Pirate blasts have been of the solo variety tonight.

  60. Andrew says:

    Total hindsight bias but that Gomez decision looks dumb now.

  61. bpn8pitt says:

    Weird game. Not sure what to think cause it was definitely wind-aided.

    Again, its early but that bullpen doesn’t look as invincible as last year.

    Night, gents and Jandys.

  62. Andrew says:

    Odd game, Bob Walk knows about the wind at Wrigley, can take the series tomorrow.

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