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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Reds 4, Pirates 0

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (7-7) vs. Cincinnati Reds (5-9)

Time: 12:35 p.m.

Site: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

TV, Radio: Root Sports, Fox Sports Ohio, 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. Travis Sawchik 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. tdb1977 says:

    Bucco lineup for getaway day –

    Tabata lf
    Snider rf
    McCutchen cf
    Alvarez 3b
    G Sanchez 1b
    Walker 2b
    T Sanchez C
    Mercer SS
    Liriano P

  2. Jandy says:

    MARTE benched

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’d call it a day off. I hope he didn’t tweak anything with that great catch last night,

  4. Jim S. says:

    That was an amazing play. I was listening to the Reds broadcast on the radio on my way home from work, and their guy described it as “a very nice catch.” Then, I got home and my daughter said I had to see it. It was a bit more than “a very nice catch.” But, I guess when Ludwick is your LF, catches like that must seem commonplace. ;-)

  5. GAWTS2009 says:

    It’s been 14 games and I still haven’t tstarted to not care and wait until the last month of the season to see if we’ll go .500. Maybe one winning season in my concious life has changed the way I approach the MLB

  6. Thundercrack says:

    Marte looked totally lost, frustrated, and impatient at the plate last night.

  7. Arriba Wilver says:

    I only saw 2 of his plate appearances, one when he struck out swinging on a way outside pitch and when he got hit by the pitch.

  8. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if I will have the same opinion of Tabata at the plate after today’s game.

  9. Karen22 says:

    Sure did…that after actually starting the season with a more patient approach. He’s flailing…gotta get him on track.

  10. Stuart says:

    I’m not worried about Marte. He did look lost and frustrated last night, but you know he will hit.

    Mercer is a little different story. He is clearly deficient in the field. Probably OK there if he can be above average hitter. He certainly doesn’t look like one right now. I know it is a limited sample size, but you had to expect he’d come out of the gate strong since he was named the starter before the season. Barmes is even worse as a hitter. Right now I’d trade both of them for a young Mario Mendoza.

    I always thought it was total BS when there were reports in the off-season that the Bucs were interested in Steven Drew. Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe after the draft….

    One added early-season thought, Should Tony Montana be considered for first base conversion? Personally, I think it’s time to talk to Martin about an extension. Defensive Catching too important to Pirate’s system to have Tony S. as the starter next year.

    There is a trace of snow on the ground here, and it is cold as a witche’s ti.. er heart. Good Luck to Pens tonight at the start of their run.


  11. Karen22 says:

    Ditto to all of these points, Stuart!

  12. Stuart says:

    Thanks K. I know a lot of my post was negative, but I’m still feelin’ pretty good about the Bucs in general, also the Pens. I’m looking forward to seeing fleury redeem himself.


  13. JoeyBats says:

    I’m hoping that if it comes down to a Tony Sanchez and Billy Hamilton matchup on the BASES …..that Tony S can keep the ball in the INFIELD, today. ;-)

  14. Nate83 says:

    It currently looks like the only chance for that to happen is for him to physically hit Hamilton with the ball on the throw. He doesn’t seem to know where the ball is going.

  15. Jim S. says:

    I agree. He is striking out well over 1x per game so far.

  16. Jim S. says:

    Good post, Stuart. Lots of interesting thoughts. I have been thinking similarly on some of those points.

  17. Stuart says:

    Thanx Jim. It does seem like so many things can go up or down with the Bucs. The pitching is making me nervous, and I’m getting that old feeling about the bottom of the order where there were frequently three outs in a row as a given. Still we could be surprised positively also. I guess that’s why they play the games.


  18. Arriba Wilver says:


  19. Jim S. says:

    In this so far small sample size, Neil Walker seems to have a rather large sample of HRs – 5 to be exact – including an absolute bomb while batting righty last night. I have projected a nice bounceback season for NW, and he is off to a nice power start. His bat could be key this year.

    Also of note so far, Gaby Sanchez is 5/14 vs RHP with a 2b and 2 bombs. I doubted his ability to hit RHP this year, but I will be happy to be wrong about that if he keeps this up. He has done a great job in stepping up the last few days, as Ish has struggled a bit.

    Jeanmar is pitching like the pre-2013 Jeanmar right now. I hope he gets it back soon. I hope Clint also remembers that he kept Stolmy on the roster this year.

    Maybe that chalk double for Jordy will get his slumbering bat going.

  20. Jim S. says:


  21. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wish Pittsburgh was in the East and Atlanta was in the central. I really hate playing Milwaukee and Cincinnati all the time.

    Much rather have more series in Philly, NYC and DC. More compelling venues.

    Best thing about today is that the Buccos are leaving Cincy. Can’t stand their team, park or cowboy announcers.

  22. The Gunner says:

    I am liking the possibility of converting Tony Sanchez to 1B, he seems to have a good bat. I am worried about him behind the plate today.

  23. 66sports says:

    I see a lot of disgust with the start of certain hitters on the post. Take a look at the box scores and BA. Almost to a man Buccos hitting is horrible, but Cutch gets a pass on history and Pedro due to power. Can someone tell me what the change in hitting coach was supposed to accomplish? This team is lost with the stick. They getter pitch well!

  24. Milo Hamilton says:

    I thought Marte looked cold, really cold. The good news ? The cold is not sustainable.

  25. Milo Hamilton says:

    If he spends the entire year at triple A, his defense doesn’t improve & they really like his bat, a position change at least has to be discussed.

  26. bpn8pitt says:

    Im taking a lot of the offensive numbers at Great American with a grain of salt to be honest. But the points on Mercer above are valid. Not a fan of the bullpen either. Twice as many blown saves, compared to this point last year.

    I think the Pirates are dead last in the NL in doubles. And they have more HRs than doubles. Really weird.

    Willie Parker offense.

  27. Andrew says:

    Pirates position players have a combined BABIP of .273 worst in the NL, that will not continue. The offense has actually been around league average, the starting pitching has been bad, replacement level, they have given up 15 homeruns. Not that any of this is predictive going forward.

  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    Their BABIP on balls that have gone over the fence is 1.000. I say sustainable. :)

  29. JohninOshkosh says:

    Currently 42 degrees in Cincy. High of 54 degrees and fair.

    Per my Weather Channel app.

    That’s right. I have their app.

  30. Milo Hamilton says:

    BABOF – batting average balls over fence.

  31. bpn8pitt says:

    Sorry, Gunner. Im tried of the throwing dumpster dives and failed prospects (ours or other organizations) at 1B. Time to do something different there.

    But I wouldnt dismiss it, seeing how 1B has been treated since Laroche left.

  32. Jim S. says:

    + a million.

    If he can’t throw, he can’t catch.

  33. Jim S. says:

    I believe they lead the league in HR. So, there’s a positive. Of course, not many seem to be hit with men on base. So, there’ a negative.

  34. chethejet1 says:

    Greed allows for mistakes of major proportions. No Hockey team should be south of Charlotte. Building such a costly monstrosity in Miami was a big mistake. Amazing how a latin market who grew up with baseball won’t support them. Hockey playoffs are great. But no question Columbus BJ’s aren’t the Flyers and and a sell out is automatic. The greed has limits and maintaining the fan experience at 100 to 300 a pop is challenging. Owners getting rich is not the best selling point now. Bucs are still the best ticket in town and hopefully they don’t price themselves out of the average fan.

  35. NMR says:

    If Hamilton gets on base today they should save Tony the embarassment and just let him walk across the diamond to 3B.

  36. NMR says:

    You aren’t very aware of where most 1B come from, huh?

  37. Andrew says:

    Number one goal of the hitting coach is to sustain that rate.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:

    Speaking of hitting coaches, I nearly lost my dinner when I saw Don Long is with the Reds.

  39. NMR says:

    Marte is what he is.

    Every season we hear about his improved focus and plate discipline and then two weeks passes and he’s the same player he was 5 years ago.

    This is Starling Marte.

    Why ever right handed pitcher doesn’t throw him anything but sliders on the outside corner is an absolute mystery to me. The Reds certainly understand.

  40. Bizrow says:

    Josh Johnson might need a second TJ surgery, didn’t the PBC try to sign him this offseason?

  41. NMR says:


    Had to make sure I only had my first beverage cracked when I saw that on last nights broadcast.

  42. NMR says:

    He was there #1 target, Biz. Definitely dodged a bullet.

  43. NMR says:


  44. NMR says:

    The bullpen is just fine. Nobody should be expecting any team to do what they did last year. What’s that word everyone was throwing around? So…Se…Si…SAMPSONITE. I was way off!

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    Well, between Don & noted hitting guru Jay Bell I’m sure everything will be just peachy in Cincinnati. Some advice for failed hitting coaches, try to get a job where your team plays 81 games at Great American Ballpark. It’s a guaranteed resume builder.

  46. Bizrow says:

    I’m thinking AJ might be another dodged bullet?

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Evolutionary adaptation did not allow for human beings to throw baseballs really hard and fast, so it seems.

    I guess early primates did not hunt by throwing rocks.

    Geeze Louise, feel bad for these guys.

  48. NMR says:

    Hahah, nailed it.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Lol. Nevermind.

    Go ahead, teach Sanchez first. Waste another year of having Cutch and Alvarez together, while your the rest of your offense sucks.

    Guess you gave up on Lambo already.

  50. cmat0829 says:

    A few early morning thoughts from sunny Phoenix:

    1) Marte’s catch… the FINISH was outstanding.. but did anyone else notice he took a slightly circuitous route to the ball in the first place? Not bagging on him, his defense is a big part of this team, but I thought the route wasn’t as efficient as could be. Nitpicking, so maybe I need another coffee…..

    2) I was saying to myself last night… time for Marte to have a day off… and voila, Clint delivers. His approach at the plate was HORRIBLE last night… it wasn’t just that Leake was getting him out with perfect pitches, outside corner sliders, it was that Marte was swinging at pitches that were CLEARLY not strikes… it was if he couldn’t see the ball at all. Good to get him a day or so of rest and perspective.

    3) Reds are in trouble. Votto is an incredible hitter, Frazier/Ludwick can hit flyball HRs in GABP but will be harmless flyouts everywhere else…. and Phillips is a shell of his former overinflated ego-self. And with Latos likely out for significant portion of the year, they likely lack the pitching to really content. Only thing that would make me happier would be if Dusty were still managing and he could be dumped mid-season.

    4) Gaby is trying to make a statement and it’s good to see. We need to ride him as much as we can… and it’s time to recall Lambo, DFA Ishikawa… give Gaby 70% of the starts (or more) and plug Lambo in here and there… at least until a real 1B option crystallizes.

    5) Please stop on the “move Tony Sanchez to 1B” stuff. If Tony has any value to this team, it will be as a catcher… if he can work out his throwing/defense in Indy, then we’ve got something of value. If he can’t, he’s a backup C at best and we need Plan B for 2015 and 2016 (hoping McGuire can be the plan for 2017)…..
    that said, I’d be shocked if Chris Stewart didn’t join this team in Pittsburgh for the Brewers series.

    6) Oh, anyone notice the Brewers have dropped 2 straight to the Cards, and the games haven’t been close? So much for this team running away with the NL Central. They will compete, no doubt, but let’s not hand them the crown. Brewers up, Reds down, the division is still about 3 teams, with Cards noticeably on top.

  51. Andrew says:

    Cough, Clint Hurdle and Texas, cough.

  52. NMR says:

    Sounds like that’s the case right now. Eesh. I feel like I’m cringing every time a pitcher walks off the mound.

  53. NMR says:

    #5 doesn’t have a shred of logic to it.

    We’ll continue talking about it, thank you.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    Neal’s a genius.

  55. Jim S. says:

    Cards dominate the Brewers in Miller Park the same way the Brewers dominate the Bucs in Miller Park.

  56. Milo Hamilton says:

    Heck. Clint Hurdle Denver.

  57. Jim S. says:

    You see … what Neal did was … he tiptoed right up to the line where he knew his offer wasn’t quite good enough to be accepted. The man’s a genius, pure and simple. :-)

  58. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. It’s a good app.

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to wait to find out what the Masters sponsors think before I comment.

    Except, didn’t see one post on here that said the Brewers were going to run away with the Central. Windmills.

  60. Jim S. says:

    Can’t wait to see what he does with that Votto kid.

  61. Jim S. says:


    (Post of the Morning).

  62. bpn8pitt says:

    “The bullpen is just fine.”-NMR


  63. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m now convinced that James Loney will have a career threatening injury in year 2 of his deal with Tampa, which will make the third year argument moot. ;-)

  64. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s only one game, but it concerns me what Cole went through last night in Cincy.
    The double and HR to Mike Leake is bad enough….But the Reds just picked him apart on the base paths.
    You’d better believe other teams have taken note.
    Ray Searage has some work ahead of him there.
    Very frustrating game last night in general.

  65. NMR says:

    Add it to the spreadsheet. ;)

  66. Jandy says:

    I’m rather puzzled by Jordy’s regression. He was playing SS much better last season. Maybe it’s just a slows start. I’ll give him a bit yet. But the bat must get batter for sure…fasr.

  67. Jim S. says:

    As I listened to the Reds broadcast on XM yesterday, and listened to part of their game on Saturday as well, Marty Brennaman and the other guy he was sharing the booth with both lamented that the Reds are just not scoring many runs this year. They repeated over and over how it is their lack of hitting with RISP that is the culprit.

    Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Shin-Soo Choo led off last year and had 162 hits (57 XBH), 112 BB and 26 HBP. So, he reached base safely 300 times!!

    Billy Hamilton, who replaced Choo, has 7 hits (2 XBH) and 2 walks so far. He’s 2/4 in SB attempts.

    If only their team batting average with RISP were better.

    Brandon Phillips had it pretty nice last year, when Choo and Votto batted in front of him.

  68. cmat0829 says:

    Every time I post something it doesn’t mean that it is in direct response to someone else’s post… unless I state overtly… as in “please stop the Tony to 1B stuff”…. the Brewers comment was more of a general “don’t crown them yet”…

    As to Tony, my objection to this consideration is twofold….(1) in that it is not what the Pirates need at 1B… now (when Gaby is just fine vs LHPs and most glaring hole is a 1B who can mash RHPs… near future 2H14, 2015 and possibly 2016, when we MUST sign or trade for a legitimate 1B…and longer term when we must hope Josh Bell or Stetson Allie make it to the bigs. A decent-for-a-catcher bat, with no history of being able to play 1B at any level, doesn’t strike me as the profile for an upgrade for us at this position, now, next year and long term.

    (2) It is not what I think is best way for Tony himself to be of value to a big-league team. His value, if any, is that he can catch at major league level and hit enough to be of value at the plate and not a liability.

    I just can’t see what possible logic there is in a discussion of moving Tony to 1B. Maybe it’s there and I can’t see it. I’m open eared for evidence of Tony having that skillset or being better suited to be developed than who is already being developed for that spot longer term.

  69. NMR says:

    Infallible logic, bpn. As always.

  70. bradthedad says:

    A smart observer pointed out the other day Tony is soon to turn 26 – well past the age of ‘developing’ defense. Not happening.

  71. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I noticed that.

  72. NMR says:

    The logic is that he is on year SIX of his professional career, after being drfated out of college, and HE STILL CANNOT THROW THE BALL TO THE BASE.

    If the guy can hit big league pitching, put him in a freaking position to hit big league pitching!!!

    What can possibly be difficult to understand about that?

  73. bradthedad says:

    Athletes are loth to make excuses particularly about injuries and conditions. The kid’s from Newport Beach just down US 1 from Surf City, USA and from UCLA. He was blowing on his hand all night. He was cold. Nothing happening here.

  74. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That doesn’t cover for the high leg kick and the Reds taking immediate advantage of it on the base paths.
    That’s the biggest problem.

  75. Jandy says:

    My ears!

  76. Jim S. says:

    I was just pointing out that the Cardinals have won something like 12 of 14 in Miller Pak, cmat. I have thought all along that the Crew could easily contend if health is on their side, but the Cards are the class of the division. I think we’ll edge out Milwaukee in the end, though.

  77. NMR says:

    Great comment, Daq. No question that Cole let the running game get away from him last night.

    Kudos to the Reds staff for clearly game planning for this. I don’t doubt that you could look back on past starts and see him doing the same thing.

  78. Jandy says:

    Phillips is an azz. That is all :)

  79. Jim S. says:

    Shut the garage door! ;-)

  80. NMR says:

    Thank you!

    But by all means, send him back to Indy and let him toil away some more.

    His value!!!

  81. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Seriously…I’m not saying this to stir the pot.
    It’s a concern when other teams look at the film from last night.

  82. Jim S. says:

    Not your cup of tea? I find him delightful. :-)

  83. Jandy says:

    LOL! :P

  84. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry cmat. I obviously misinterpreted “So much for this team running away with the NL Central.”

  85. Jandy says:

    Daq, NMR knows you’re serious, and he complimented you on your observation. He meant it. He doesn’t give compliments lightly

  86. Jim S. says:

    Valid concern, I think. He needs to work on it.

  87. Jandy says:

    I find him delightful when he messes up, which seems to be more often lately ;)

  88. bpn8pitt says:

    Hey. Apparently they havent pissed around with 1B enough for some people.

    Time to go get a player, man.

  89. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you, Daq. Last night concerned me. For the first time, really, with Cole, on both points.

  90. FlBucco says:

    I looked the other day and did not see a ton of really awesome 1st basemen…

    The top 10 are – by WAR
    Kelly Johnson

    Gabby comes in at 17th with a 0.03 WAR

    So my gut is that we see TI get a couple of more starts against RHP over the next week or so – and if he flops we get to go to Lambo for a month or so…

    Still not sure if the team has an end game in mind for the post Polanco call up lineup – Travis is doing a nice job – but probably has very little trade value – and nobody seems to want Tabata.

    Can’t see them keeping five outfielders.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    I suggest that you may want to work on your presentation. There is a way to disagree with someone on a blog and get your point/opinion across.

    A blog-side manner, so to speak

  92. FlBucco says:

    0.3 not 0.03 for Gabby
    Freeman is at 0.7

  93. Jandy says:

    Cracker has spoken!

  94. bradthedad says:

    Oh, I agree they got terrific jumps. I just think conditions caused him to lose focus. But we’ll see soon enough – his next start is Brewers and they do a fair amount of running.

  95. FlBucco says:

    Some other interesting 1st base WARs – early in the year…

    Duda 0.3
    Davis 0.2
    Loney 0.1
    Smoak 0.1
    Ish 0.0
    GI Jones 0.0

  96. JRay3 says:

    Well that was disastrous, have to catch the ball first. Paging Chris Stewart, paging Chris Stewart.

  97. Jim S. says:

    Starling’s 23 whiffs are 2nd in the NL only to GIJ, who has 24.

  98. Jandy says:


  99. Thundercrack says:

    Jandy has commented!

  100. Jim S. says:

    Me, too. I don’t actually find him delightful in the least.

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s funny. Is GIJ hitting fulltime?

  102. Jim S. says:

    He has 66 plate appearances, so I think so. That’s a lot of whiffs.

  103. NMR says:

    I appreciate that, but I fully meant every bit of my tone.

    Don’t come tell us to stop talking about a topic and then provide absolutely no logical basis for it.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Does Cueto look as sharp on TV today as he does on my phone? 24 pitches in 2 innings. 6 up, 6 down. 3 K’s.

  105. NMR says:

    I was going to mention something about Garrett Jones Monday when I noticed he was striking out like 38% of the time. Yikes.

  106. NMR says:

    Say what you will about him, but Keith Law has questioned Tony Sanchez’ defense for years.

    I think once a prospect gets labled something it sticks. I can’t see how one could actually scout Sanchez and call him a good defender right now.

  107. Thundercrack says:

    I haven’t seen anyone call him a good defender now.

    Would like to see those scouting reports when he got drafted.

  108. Arriba Wilver says:

    Doesn’t mean he can play first base, though. I shudder thinking Garrett Jones might be better than him with the throw to second.

  109. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, it isn’t pretty so far.

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    Obviously getaway day for both teams & the umpires.

  111. NMR says:

    Very true AW.

    But even if we assume its a problem, that is a throw made what, maybe a dozen times a year?

  112. NMR says:

    This is nothing new, TC. We don’t have to rehash the yips story from last year, do we?

  113. JRay3 says:

    Well Liriano has righted himself very nicely. Bucs are going to have to protect the plate with what has appeared to be an expanded strike zone.

  114. Milo Hamilton says:

    This ballpark is a joke.

  115. Andrew says:

    Only have the gamecast, so I cannot see these calls but Wolcott has a pretty terrible strike zone, if an ump has areas at 20% different than average that is terrible.

  116. NMR says:

    Almost jinxed them!

  117. NMR says:

    Annnnd Taby’s hurt.

  118. Milo Hamilton says:


  119. Jandy says:

    Oh no, is he really???

  120. The Gunner says:

    you must be mistaken, NMR

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s very wide. It’s probably my imagination but I think this is becoming a trend.

  122. Jandy says:

    I’m sure your glasses aren’t foggy, Milo ;)

  123. Milo Hamilton says:

    Might be headed to the 7 day / Ryan Doumit disabled list. Looked real woozy.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mr. new young umpire sure likes being the center of attention, doesn’t he ?

  125. Thundercrack says:

    I am wondering about when he got drafted. Not last year…or the year before that.

  126. NMR says:

    I stand corrected. I usually find the fat old umpires are the ones that love to be the center of attention.

  127. The Gunner says:

    Poor Jose – everything seems to happen to him

  128. Jandy says:

    what happened?

  129. NMR says:

    He came up with a reputation of being defense-first, which was why I made my comment.

  130. NMR says:

    Made what was described as a great catch running into the wall then went boo-boo.

  131. Bizrow says:

    Made a great catch and then smashed into the left field wall

  132. The Gunner says:

    Milo said he looked real woozy

  133. Bizrow says:

    He was fully extended to make the grab

  134. Milo Hamilton says:

    Why did Joe West suddenly come to mind ?

  135. The Gunner says:

    Did he make the catch?

  136. Jandy says:


  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    And he could carve himself out a nice long career if he actually called the strike zone the same for both sides.

  138. NMR says:

    As long as the Umpires Union is in place, consistancy isn’t even required.

  139. Bizrow says:

    Yes, he held on to the ball

  140. Jandy says:

    I am on the link Dejan supplied above, and linked to GameDay. There is a video of this catch and him falling.

  141. Patrick(ri) says:

    Even with Jones whiffing in Miami, the Pirates are still letting nearly every pitcher they face tie or set personal strikeout records.

  142. Bizrow says:


  143. Patrick(ri) says:

    The Master gets it done, alas.

  144. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s OK to score one now.

  145. Bizrow says:

    Mild concussion symptoms for Tabby

  146. Dom says:

    That’s game.

    Too bad Johnny Cueto didn’t drop the ball this game!

    Get it? That’s a joke.

  147. 2-run homer to lefty Votto, continuing Liriano’s plus 4.00 ERA.

    Wonder if the word “regression” in reference to Francisco Liriano will appear in Travis’ game story?

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    How could they tell ?

  149. NMR says:

    Just make it stop.

  150. Milo Hamilton says:

    The strikeouts or noticing them ?

  151. scapper says:


  152. Patrick(ri) says:

    I think Ishikawa can get on the bus with Gomez and head to Indy.

  153. bpn8pitt says:

    Make sure he gives 1B mitt to Tony Sanchez, cmat. ;)

  154. Jandy says:


    my bad, but you, Milo are worse ;)

  155. Patrick(ri) says:

    Isn’t 6 hits and 3 runs in 7 innings a “quality” start?

  156. Reading says:

    Votto’s HR swing on the whatever (insert sponsor here) slow-motion cam was textbook. His eyed right down the barrel of the bat in the hitting zone, no one-handed follow through. Just crushed that inside fastball.

  157. Milo Hamilton says:

    Stolmy flipping up meatballs. Missing about 5 mph’s today.

  158. Dom says:

    Sounds delicious.

  159. Milo Hamilton says:

    Really enjoying the fellas laser like focus today.

  160. Patrick(ri) says:

    Not much chance of preventing Cueto’s revenge, though surprising Reds Mgr giving them a chance.

  161. Only in Lanny Frattarie’s eyes.

    Not in mine!!!!

  162. Milo Hamilton says:

    Only 3 balls have left the infield.

  163. He talked in perfect English and thought younger women were attractive!

  164. Patrick(ri) says:

    Going for his personal best and got it. Unreal!

  165. Milo Hamilton says:

    That’s a new career high in strikeouts for Cueto, 12.

  166. NMR says:

    Funny you mention regression, Groat.

    Liriano came into this game having allowed 27.3% HR/FB ratio. His career average is 10.6%.

    Regression is exactly why he’ll be better than this, not worse.

  167. It’s almost as if he didn’t really need that 26 inch wide plate from the umpire.

  168. NMR says:


  169. Patrick(ri) says:

    I agree with Milo. He could have thrown the ball underhanded, today.

  170. Thundercrack says:

    4 innings of just pitch & catch

  171. Maybe that’s why he is only throwing 42 % fastballs this year. Nothing on it.

    Liriano thus far certainly isn’t “regressing’ from his pattern of never having 2 consecutive good years!

    Maybe he is setting himself up to be “Comeback Player of the Year” for 2015.

  172. NMR says:

    You really don’t understand this whole regression thing, eh?

  173. Tongue in cheek, National Mart of Records. Tongue in cheek.

    However, I do not think Liriano is or will be as good as he was last year.

    Regression to his own mean. Or, if you will, history repeats itself.

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK, that’s 15 of 162 games. That would be not quite halftime of the 2nd game of the football season. So by all means, panic. :)

  175. Dom says:

    I guess in hindsight it wasn’t a good idea to start a lineup with three legitimate MLB starters.

  176. Jim S. says:

    I guess Cueto was motivated. He’s a really good pitcher. We’ll see if the nasty oblique stuff occurs again.

  177. The Gunner says:

    Last year at this time, the starting pitching wasn’t so great either. Volquez is the ace of the staff at this point.

  178. Punch yourself in the head for saying that out loud!

  179. The Gunner says:

    I agree, it is hard to admit it.

  180. Cueto went all the way and walked noone. That’s today’s game in a nutshell, unfortunately.

  181. Jim S. says:

    So, I had a thought. If Hamilton is at bat, with a runner on 1st and less than 2 outs, and Tony Sanchez is your catcher …. if Hamilton hits a ground ball where you can only get him or the lead runner, which one do you go for?

    I noticed that he grounded out weakly to SS with Cueto on 1b at one point today. I don’t know whether Mercer had a play on Hamilton at 1b or not, since I didn’t see the game. But, wouldn’t you rather have Hamilton eliminated and the 8 or 9 place hitter on 2nd, if it came to that option?

  182. JohninOshkosh says:

    Was listening to the Cubs in the car. Masahiro Tanaka pitched a gem. Cubs announcer Pat Hughes was really impressed with him.

    Cubs franchise has never won at Yankee Stadium-old or new. That includes interleague play and a few World Series last century.

  183. Florida Steeler says:

    And, Tim McClleland the best ball-strike umpire in baseball is out for the year and may retire. Some of these new umps think they are the center of attention. McClleland, calm,quiet and consistent strike zone.

  184. I hate the Yankees!

    I hate their pompous attitude. I hate that they attempt to buy Championships. I hate that they see the other clubs as their Minor League affiliates, preparing their future players. Do a good job with Pedro for us, Clint!

    I also hated Thurston Howell III.

  185. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love the Yankees. I love that they are 100% committed to winning. I love that they spend large amounts of their enormous profits to that end. I love that they don’t treat their fans like suckers. And I love Professor Tanaka. :)

  186. NMR says:

    Fair enough, and my comment wasn’t serious either, for what it’s worth.

  187. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t love the Yankees roster.

  188. NMR says:


    Hank has been cute with this whole anti-luxury tax bit, but at the end of the day you can bet on them doing what it takes.

  189. NMR says:

    Not sure I trust Jordy Mercer to get the ball to 1B in under 3.2 seconds.

  190. Milo Hamilton says:

    They don’t let Hank anywhere near the coffers. He’s a loose cannon. All his dad’s bluster without the smarts. Hal runs the show. All his dad’s smarts without the bluster.

  191. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ve always said that when other teams executives, and even fans, grouse about the Yankees, it comes down to jealousy. Same goes with complaining about the guys in Detroit or Anaheim or that one guy in the NBA in Dallas. People seem to hate it when people spend the money they have. And, they all have it-as proven by the contracts by the non usual suspects last winter.

    Very happy that the Milwaukee Bucks were purchased today by billionaires and not some group of wanna be billionaires.

  192. NMR says:

    I know this isn’t the time or place, but I cannot get this article on how FSU and Tallahassee Police handled the Jameis Winston rape allegation out of my head.

    The whole situation disgusts me, regardless of whether Winston is innocent or guilty, and I cannot believe FSU’s President at the time is the guy Penn State chose to lead their University. As an alum, I’m so completely disillusioned at this point.

  193. Andrew says:

    Yankees infield Today

    1B: Kelly Johnson
    2B: Yangervis Solarte
    3B: Kelly Johnson
    SS: Scott Siezmore

    They need to do more.

  194. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, not make Kelly Johnson play 2 positions at the same time.

  195. NMR says:


  196. NMR says:

    Always kills me when people get defensive about complimenting the Yankees willingness to spend the revenue they take in.

  197. NMR says:

    It seems perfectly reasonable to be able to commend ownership’s willingness to spend their own money while criticizing the General Manager’s application of said funds.

  198. Andrew says:

    Not sure what happen there, but this was their infield.

    1B: Kelly Johnson
    2B: Yangervis Solarte
    3B: Scott Siezmore
    SS: Dean Anna

  199. Milo Hamilton says:

    They don’t operate any differently (cap aside, of course) than the other 2 professional sports franchises in this here town. Dejan talks about the trust factor between fan & team. The Yankees have it. So do the Steelers & Penguins.

  200. Milo Hamilton says:


    There’s a doubleheader today. They weren’t going to play Jeter & Roberts in both. And, Texiera’s on the DL. When your pitcher gives up 2 bunt singles & a walk in 8 innings your infield can look like that.

  201. JohninOshkosh says:

    Leave it to the New York Times to investigate this.

    Pennsylvania should be very proud of Sarah Ganim. That was a local regional paper putting the screws on State College.

    Chilling link, NMR. Thanks.

  202. I have no problem with the Anaheim (nee LA) Angels spending money. I laughed when the Dodgers spent all that money. Boston and Texas certainly spend like crazy and I applaud them. Seattle certainly joined the money spending fray this season and I am hopeful for them. The Phillies continue to print and spend money.

    It’s not the spending: heck, I wish Mark Cuban or Mario/Burkle would buy the Bucs and spend until they drop for the Bucs.

    It’s the Yankee attitude while they spend the money that I mentioned above. It seems they feel that other teams are just training their future players for them.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gotta run, but I promise to read this later when I have some time.

  204. Andrew says:

    Milo, my point, poorly made, was that even a huge financial advantage cannot cover over bad decisions; the Yankees have the oldest roster in the league and spending huge this offseason are on the fringes of contention. There wasn’t a double header Sunday, when the infield was Kelly Johnson, Franscio Cervelli, Dean Anna, and Yangervis Solarte.

    I am fairly agnostic to sports owners in general, and the Yankees ability to spend is the nature of how local dynamics drive revenue in the MLB I am not getting worked up over that, I just find it funny they have any aging injury prone infield, and then they get injured and have an infield that looks like that.

  205. Baywatch says:

    Anybody notice Oliver Perez has turned up on the D-Backs staff? I watched him pitch some against the Mets today. Yesterday he struck out 4 in two innings of work, and today he struck out two the first inning he was on.

  206. Thundercrack says:

    Seeing the stands at Yankee Stadium during some games this year, there is a chance they are treating their fans like sucker.

  207. bpn8pitt says:

    I have to find it NMR, but there was an article on, that painted the accuser in a bad light.

    I will look for it, and try to get back to you.

  208. Chuck H says:

    No, he isn’t sharp at all. The Pirates are not a patient bunch of batters-they swing at too many bad pitches. They made Cueto look good, and the home plate umpire made him look even better. I never saw a worse job of calling balls and strikes in my life. Also, I think they need to bench Pedro for awhile, and work on his throws to 1st base.

  209. Andrew says:

    For all the complaining in the thread, the strike zone was not that bad, Reds got a couple extra strikes on the outside, the Pirates a couple low.

  210. Thundercrack says:

    Looks like Jeff Locke had a rough outing in Indy tonight.

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