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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 6, Reds 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (8-11) vs. Cincinnati Reds (8-10)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: 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 and Travis Sawchik are 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. Lad 9 says:

    Today’s lineups:

    1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
    2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    3. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
    4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
    5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
    6. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
    7. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
    8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
    9. Mike Leake (R) P

    1. Starling Marte (R) LF
    2. Russell Martin (R) C
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    5. Neil Walker (S) 2B
    6. Ike Davis (L) 1B
    7. Jose Tabata (R) RF
    8. Clint Barmes (R) SS
    9. Francisco Liriano (L) P

  2. Baywatch says:

    Leading off … and playing … well, just playing for your Pittsburgh Pirates … Baywatch! AND in minor league news, Michael McKenry swiped a bag last night for Colorado Springs! First time I ever asked for a RETWEET after I announced it to the world this morning, and he OBLIGED!!

  3. Baywatch says:

    Riding out Barmey’s hot bat, I see!

  4. Tom P. says:

    The answers to this morning’s trivia questions are as follows, in 19th century baseball lingo, (a) cranks = fans, (b) behinds = catchers, and (c) strikers = batters.

    Lad 9, you got the same ones right that I did. And on a related note, some of us fans may still qualify as cranks from time to time.

  5. JaxBuc says:

    I’m pretty sure that I could be accurately called a crank after the way six of the last seven games have gone against the beermakers.

  6. Brandie says:

    Silver Lining Monday (for Jandy) …

    The Brewers are history…the Reds…a mystery (or misery) …Let’s make today count! Time to handle your business men!!!!

    GO BUCCOS!!!!

  7. Brandie says:

    “Barmey” Rubble!!!

    Hey Bay Lankford!

  8. Brandie says:


  9. Baywatch says:

    As usual, CRACKIN’ me up, Branj!

  10. Barb says:

    Just read that Wandy was placed on the 15 day DL for right knee inflammation. Jared Hughes recalled from Indy. I think Wandy is train wreck waiting to happen. This is definitely not good.

  11. Nate83 says:

    Hopefully my new Avatar brings the Pirates some good luck.

    Maybe some Bill Madlock patients at the plate and use of the whole field will do this team some good. Hopefully they only use his hitting ability and not his lighting speed on the basepaths.

  12. Arriba Wilver says:

    We could have used him yesterday during the fight. ;-)

  13. Lad 9 says:

    My pleasure Dandy Brandie!

  14. NMR says:

    What a boss.

  15. Lad 9 says:

    To quote the immortal Meat Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad. Thanks Tom. That was great!

  16. Karen22 says:

    How about a double header WIN tonight, for a change?! It was a brutal weekend!

  17. ++++++++++++++++

    Time for Liriano to step up.

  18. scapper says:

    Came by his nickname honestly.

    Guy’s glovework was underrated, too.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    I’ll be at tonight’s game. Look for me on ESPN

  20. The Gunner says:

    Amen, Reverend. Wandy’s on the 15 day DL – did we call that one or what?

  21. We did. And we’ll probably see Cumpton. Next one out the door may be Jeanmar.

  22. Andrew says:

    Alright Pirates, right the ship and stay afloat.

  23. Patrick(ri) says:

    Good shot!

  24. Florida Steeler says:

    Nice throw Pedro. He is so over rated.

  25. Patrick(ri) says:

    Rats! Thought he hit his foot harder(just kidding. I think).

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    So far, the Pirates are ahead of the Pens. They’re only down by 1.

  27. Baywatch says:

    I sure hope TC wasn’t just bluffing about not setting his hair on fire for 20 more games. I’d hate to see him make a fiery spectacle of himself at the game. This is pretty frustrating stuff here!

  28. Baywatch says:

    I HATE a popup! But that was Liriano. But here comes Marte who seems to have in mind to challenge Jack Wilson for all-time most popups. I’d much rather see someone strikeout that pop up. Striking out – swinging – seems much more manly.

  29. hockeymonster says:

    I flipped on buccos just in time to watch marte get picked off. I turned pens game back on.

  30. Florida Steeler says:

    The Pirates should administer the Wunderlich test to Marte. I would hate to see the results.

  31. Baywatch says:

    Man, I’m starting to develop a real bad attitude! Martay and his partays! Think I’m ready for Martay and his part ways. (I got the lighter fluid in my hair) Somebody pick me up.

  32. Baywatch says:

    The Reds guy says “If I’m Clint Hurdle, I’m airin’ him out when he gets back to the dugout. He just wasn’t ready!”

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s looking bad so far, no doubt. I still think his problem is between his ears.

  34. Baywatch says:

    I totally agree. I guess it’s a little late now, but wonder if he was brought up too soon??? I’m sure he has options!

  35. theplanisworking says:

    + many, many for the avatar!

    To think San fran basically ‘fire saled’ him to the Bucs. :)

  36. Thundercrack says:

    Are you talking about me or Marte?

  37. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I didn’t get to talk about the fight yesterday and Gomez’s antics but, before the Pirates start spouting off about how disrespectful Gomez is/was they better hold off on the stupid Z pose, six guns, or the ridiculous Yes, Yes, Yes crap before they worry about anybody else showing up a Pirates pitcher.

    That stuff is just as annoying as watching a ball fly, if not more.

  38. Baywatch says:

    Don’t know who all’s watching the Reds broadcast but I find Sean Casey to be VERY annoying. I’ve always liked the other two guys up there, Brennaman and Welsh. And Brantley.

  39. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Sistah :) Hope all is well with you!

  40. Patrick(ri) says:

    A nice early return on the investment.

  41. Thundercrack says:

    My wife’s new favorite player just hit a homerun that may have saved the Pirates’ season.


  42. Andrew says:

    Penguins should have traded for Ike Davis.

  43. Wild Bill says:

    We like Ike.

  44. The Gunner says:

    Ike Davis goes deep!

  45. theplanisworking says:

    Just got in, Bucs down 2-0.
    Juan D. on the CL. What we as fans hoped was a strength of the team, pitching, has turned south.

    Still early, but the ship needs righted soon.
    Can’t afford to get too far back, especially against division opponents, even though it is only April. need a leader to emerge in the clubhouse.

    At least Ike had a good weekend.

  46. cmat0829 says:

    Anyone who has ever complained about Brown/ Neverett or whomever the Pirates broadcasters is/are/were and are gonna be, needs to be sentenced to watching the Reds broadcast team every night. My ears are bleeding… last time it was this bad was Ernie Johnson Jr. on TBS during the playoffs last year.

  47. theplanisworking says:

    And, as I was typing that, Ike goes deep!

    Ike for Pres! ;)

  48. The Gunner says:

    Casey is annoying. PS – when he played for the Pirates, he stunk!

  49. Jandy says:

    woop woop!!

  50. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Brantley did a really good job. I liked him on ESPN prior to being the Reds analyst.

  51. cmat0829 says:

    Have to say, it’s very early, but I like Ike. LIke his approach in his at bats… kind of Adam LaRoche like, and at this point I’ll take that.

  52. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wait to say something during his next AB.

    You might be on to something here.

  53. theplanisworking says:

    Change of scenery seems to be working so far.

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Wrong day, Jandy. ………..

  55. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Let’s hope so. He sure as he’ll needed it.

    He’s been my pick during the off season. I believe he has the most upside of the others.

    Though I was a fan of Smoak, just because he’s a SC guy.

  56. Florida Steeler says:

    You are correct and Cole needs to keep his mouth shut!!!!

  57. Polanco 2 for 2 tonight so far.

  58. War_Horse says:

    It was 1:15am here in England Tuesday morning as I headed for the bedroom for a (late) night’s sleep, but stopped by my computer just to take a peek at the score in Pittsburgh. I’ve stopped watching every game live this season because it had been so disheartening. I tuned in as Andrew was coming to bat at the start of the bottom of the 4th and was pleased to see him pop a blooper to left. But I was not expecting much more from Pedro when he hit one off the wall in right for a 2 bagger. Then, after Walker got hit by a pitch, I was hoping for something productive from our newest Pirate, Ike Davis, but not expecting anything sensational as when he hit it out. Glorious five minutes of watching live! Way to go Ike! I am going to bed now and not watching any more until tomorrow morning on replay. Go you Bucs! Give me something positive to wake up to.

  59. Patrick(ri) says:

    It is such a relief to see a Pirate hit a home run that matters with men on base.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Pot-stirrer ……… ;)

  61. Baywatch says:

    Sweet, War Horse! You and Ike have both now picked me up. Sleep well across The Pond!

  62. theplanisworking says:

    I take it you Like Ike also?

  63. Baywatch says:


  64. cmat0829 says:

    At this point, mentioned in other blog post, it could be we need Polanco up here to give Marte some extended downtime… I overall resist the temptation to burn his Super2 season, but I really want to get Marte adjusted and send a message.

    On the topic of Polanco and his eventual arrival, it seems that either Tabby or Snyder will have to go (at this point, Gaby, Stewart and Barmes seem locks on the bench….. a 4th OF (Tabby or Snyder) has one spot… and JayHey seems to have his spot secure with his recent play and ability to play IF and OF…. this doesn’t seem to leave any room for Lambo either.

    I know NH said that with the 1B platoon solidified, it may allow CH to use his bench as a real bench and not a platoon bench… I think that statement was more for after Polanco arrives…he will play everyday, as will Cutch, and Marte also…. who better serves us on the bench in that scenario?

  65. Baywatch says:

    LOL! I’m rinsing the lighter fluid outta my hair as we type!

  66. cmat0829 says:

    And Marte is what, 0-3?

  67. Locke pitching into the sixth, gave up only 1 run in first 5 innings, but has given up 2 solo homers so far in the 6th. Isn’t that the problem he had late in 2012? He’d throw a few good innings and give up the store around the 4th or 5th.

    No pot to stir, just the facts sir, just the facts.


  68. cmat0829 says:

    AJ just tweeted that Cole needs to “STFU” (just kidding)

  69. Thundercrack says:

    Pedro is so over rated as a shortstop

  70. Thundercrack says:

    I think Locke gave up a grand slam his last start

  71. theplanisworking says:

    Ladies and Germs, the Reverend Joe Friday. :)

  72. Jandy says:

    Hey hey, it’s War Horse! Hello there!

  73. Baywatch says:

    We forgive thee, Ike. Go, and K no more!

  74. That he did brother ‘crack, that he did. Other than those gopher balls, he hasn’t thrown that badly in AAA. 98 pitches, 60 strikes. 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 1 walk, 5 K’s. xFIP and Whiplash to follow later.

  75. Excellent!

    Where are your accusers, Ike? In New York, right?

    Then we accuse you not.

  76. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I understand the frustration Cole showed, but he needs to realize what his own batters are doing.

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well . . . .


  78. Arriba Wilver says:


  79. cmat0829 says:

    To me, what players do in the dugout is and should be irrelevant to a pitcher. I think the ‘unwritten rule’ is the showing up on the field that matters most to these guys.. They slow trot, the bat flip, the watch the HR go out of the park stuff…. that to me is different than the dugout celebration. And most teams now do some version of their Z or guns blazing … the Brewers were doing the ‘bear hug’ well before the Pirates started the Z… I can remember Prince Fielder doing it constantly when standing on 2B vs. the Pirates.

  80. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Liriano sure knows his place.

    If he hit the gap, would he actually get a double out of it?

  81. Bizrow says:

    Martin is one tough catcher

  82. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gonna blow this one too, aren’t they.

  83. cmat0829 says:

    nope (at least i hope not).. but no offense yet again outside of Ike’s big fly…. a lot of pressure on the pitching.

  84. cmat0829 says:

    wow not watching the pens game but on espn their score just exploded from 1 to 2 to 3 and now 4!!! wow 3 goals real quick.

  85. cmat0829 says:

    Wilson missed his spot by a LOT.

  86. The Gunner says:

    It’s slipping away, Milo

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes Milo, yes they are.

  88. Bizrow says:

    Replay sucks

  89. cmat0829 says:

    If I’m the Reds I see if Mike Leake can play SS the days he isn’t pitching. Cozart is a weak link on this team and not sure why he still gets to play.

  90. cmat0829 says:

    Boy, just caught the camera shot of Jay Bruce in the Reds dugout… is his plastic surgeon the same one Bruce Jenner uses?? yikes.

  91. cmat0829 says:

    needs to be quicker. if it is so close you need to watch in 4 or 5 times, it is automatically inconclusive and you defer to the human call at the game. No real reason to watch it so many times… it is either clearly upheld or clearly overturned or you say inconclusive and move on. It is not meant to take this long on every call.

  92. The Gunner says:


    By any chance, are you going to the Lunch with Clint Hurdle tomorrow at The Hall of Fame Club?

  93. cmat0829 says:

    Bucs still breathing thanks to some idiocy by the Reds. (1) sending the runner with no one out (2) Cozart swings on 2-0 pitch to pop out harmlessly.

    Pirates can take a cue from Jay Bruce, who in a big spot didn’t try to hit a 500-foot homerun, but on a two-strike pitch let it get deep and took it the other way for a double.

  94. theplanisworking says:

    Pirates pitching not the strength it was last year.

    Let’s get some runs, and beat this crappy team!

  95. cmat0829 says:

    cutch HRs and we are tied… another 14 innings ladies and gents (god I hope not)…..

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cutch is Back!

  97. cmat0829 says:

    reds stupidity leaves the door open… lets go bucs, win this game!!

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    And the Reds bullpen, not to be outdone …

  99. cmat0829 says:

    LHP to face Cutch was not a good call…in this case, the ‘Price is NOT Right’.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:


  101. theplanisworking says:

    As I stated …….

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thought the same thing. Seems like they were more worried about Pedro. Bad/good move.

  103. cmat0829 says:

    walker as rh hitter MUCH improved so far this year…. can Ike solve the lefty??

  104. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, OK, worried about Ike, too. I thought Ishi was still here. ;-)

  105. cmat0829 says:

    made zero sense. Price could’ve had Hoover start vs. Cutch…then go to Parra for Pedro/Neil (weaker side) and Ike…. guess bench coach Bell couldn’t point that out either, eh?

  106. cmat0829 says:

    nope.. clint preferred ike vs parra than gaby vs. hoover. I concur, too bad though on the result an Ike popout.

  107. Bizrow says:

    Pens won

  108. Bizrow says:

    Wow look at Sniders black eye

  109. cmat0829 says:

    Snyder making a case to be the bench keeper…so far so good on pinchhitting this year….

  110. cmat0829 says:

    and if Maldanado doesnt miss 5 games, it’s BS.

  111. cmat0829 says:

    didnt watch but sounds like a gut-check uprising in the 3rd.

  112. cmat0829 says:

    clint emptying out the chamber in the 8th… bases juiced (sponsored by Ryan Braun) and Mercer a chance to be a hero.

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like the replay that showed the cheap shot artist, Maldonado. And the ESPN announcers made no bones about it.

  114. cmat0829 says:

    Aaron Boone is an exceptional analyst. His breakdown of what Mercer should have been looking for was outstanding. Mercer doesn’t just take the pitch and flair a single, tries to do too much and Ks with the bases loaded. Will need Marky Mark to hold the Reds in check for the Bucs to ‘top-of-the-order’ the Reds in the 9th.

  115. theplanisworking says:

    If Maldonado doesn’t get at least a week off, something is wrong.

    Bucs need to hold them, then get a run.

  116. cmat0829 says:

    ive ceased most watching of espn but they have done an excellent job on this broadcast. including the fight breakdown.

  117. cmat0829 says:

    Hughes in a tie game????? CRINGING and pacing…. my blood pressure on the rise…….

  118. Bizrow says:

    I am pulling for Lunchbox

  119. cmat0829 says:

    and this isn’t second guessing clint, i am officially FIRST guessing him. hope lurch proves me wrong.

  120. Florida Steeler says:

    Is there no shortstop out there better than Barmes and Mercer available??

  121. Bizrow says:

    Dicey, but lurch came thru

  122. cmat0829 says:

    are you really Scott Boras posting as Florida Steeler? Pretty sure you have a client who is available….

  123. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    In the Pirates system? No. Out there in MLB? Sure, but most are already employed.

  124. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And then you give up a 1st round pick for a guy who has fallen off the last few years.

    No thanks

  125. cmat0829 says:


    Lurch’s line:

    .000 ERA, 180/110 BPI (blood pressure index)

  126. cmat0829 says:

    just answering the gentleman’s question… not advocating, i’m not a drew fan. SS is not what ails this team. Mercer needs a shot to make it happen this year.

  127. cmat0829 says:

    Let’s call it…. how does this end?

    Cutch doubles in Martin?
    Pedro 3-run walk off?
    Pedro single to score Martin?
    Ike singles in Martin?


    My $ on Pedro

  128. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    That’s fine. In the dugout is no big deal, but watching a HR at the plate is no different than the other shenanigans on the bases.

    Pitchers don’t like it? Make a better pitch.

  129. cmat0829 says:

    Pedro swung at TWO balls, including the last pitch. HAS TO BE MORE PATIENT.

  130. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yikes dude. Wish I would’ve seen this earlier.

    Walker or extras

  131. Andrew says:

    Suboptimal baseball right there.

  132. cmat0829 says:

    THAT PIRATES WIN WAS GIFTWRAPPED BY OUR FRIENDS FROM OHIO. SO, my friends, as bad as we might be having it, those frigging Reds have be more miserable. LOVE the fact that cocky Brandon Phillips OLE’D that one from Neil….

  133. The Gunner says:

    Walker gets the job done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Phew….needed that one.

    Catcher catches that and he’s out. Nice to see the Buccos catch a break.

  135. Lad 9 says:

    Raise it!!! Buccos were due for a break. Good night in the Burgh!

  136. cmat0829 says:

    guess i should have added in a “brandon phillips whiffs on a popup, then Mesoraco whiffs on the play at the plate”….

  137. theplanisworking says:


    The losing streak is stopped.
    Just need to keep grinding out wins like this.

    PS- Gamecast is a pretty bad way to follow a game. But, sometimes when in Rome …

  138. The Gunner says:

    We had ‘em allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way!!!

  139. DJ says:

    And Martin with a wrister just inside the left post.


  140. theplanisworking says:

    2 come from behind wins, Lad!

  141. Baywatch says:

    I don’t care how ugly it was, it was beautiful!

  142. Baywatch says:

    Love you, Gun! Up here!

  143. theplanisworking says:

    HEY BAY!

    OVER HERE! ;)

  144. Baywatch says:

    Me, too, Cmat!

  145. Baywatch says:

    UP here, Plan! Suh-MACK!!!

  146. Lad 9 says:

    Good to see Plan. Love the doubleheader wins!

  147. Baywatch says:

    Say what you will about Greg Brown: I love his “Oh Babys!”

  148. Baywatch says:

    (I think Greg willed us to win!) Actually, I’m giving Hughes the game ball for the way he battled. Nice to see Ike getting comfy, and CUTCH heating up. Honorable Mention: Pedro and his double.

  149. Karen22 says:

    How ’bout all that?! Walker walkoff right after the Pens crazy 3rd with three unanswered goals and a hang-on for dear life! A GREAT night in the Burgh! What a difference a day makes!!

  150. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs are lucky to have had excellent announcers over my lifetime like Brownie, Lanny & of course, the legendary Bob Prince.

  151. Baywatch says:

    Ha, Ha Ha-Ha HA!

  152. Baywatch says:

    Up here, Karen!

  153. Bizrow says:

    I feel very fortunate that I was born in the burgh, have my life in the burgh (generally speaking) and have a radio/TV all that time ;-)

  154. Baywatch says:

    Check out my new avatar! Me and tonight’s winning pitcher, Fan Appreciation Day 2011!

  155. Thundercrack says:

    Martin being safe at home saved us from this on tomorrow’s blog: Fire Leyva!

  156. Lad 9 says:

    Well said Biz. For he most part, we have been blessed in that regard.

  157. Cal Hammer says:

    Yea but he got a hole in his glove!!!!

  158. Cal Hammer says:

    And now batting Cleanup and hitting a career high .184 with 2 hits tonight!!!!

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