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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Reds 4, Pirates 1

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (9-11) vs. Cincinnati Reds (8-11)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

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. 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. theplanisworking says:

    Cincinnati Reds Lineup

    CF: Billy Hamilton
    1B: Joey Votto
    2B: Brandon Phillips
    RF: Jay Bruce
    3B: Todd Frazier
    LF: Ryan Ludwick
    C: Brayan Pena
    SS: Zack Cozart
    SP: Johnny Cueto

    Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

    LF: Starling Marte
    2B: Neil Walker
    CF: Andrew McCutchen
    3B: Pedro Alvarez
    C: Russell Martin
    1B: Ike Davis
    RF: Travis Snider
    SS: Jordy Mercer
    SP: Edinson Volquez

  2. theplanisworking says:

    Wonder if Snider is appealing his suspension, being he is in the lineup tonight?

  3. Wild Bill says:

    And Russell Martin as well.

  4. Wild Bill says:

    It would be nice not to get stuffed by Cueeeeeeto again!

  5. Bizrow says:

    Pearce DFA’d by Orioles

  6. Jim S. says:

    I know. This guy owns us … except when it really counts.

  7. Jim S. says:

    Milo said he thinks he would wait until Cingrani (LHP) is on the mound. Makes sense. Martin will also wait for a scheduled off day and drop his appeal.

  8. Jim S. says:

    I don’t get it. 5 games for cold-cocking a guy. Fortunately, Maldonado must not pack much of a punch. If he did, Snider could have been seriously hurt. But, Maldonado’s actions are the same either way. I don’t know how MLB can allow guys to just pick someone out and take a swing at them when they have no idea it is coming, and this is punishable by only 5 games? Then, you can maybe appeal some of it away? Doesn’t seem like much of a deterrant. Seems like something that would only embolden this kind of behavior.

  9. Wild Bill says:

    Ah, thanks, haven’t been on the main thread much today… too much work.

  10. Wild Bill says:

    Agreed. I was hoping for 15 to 20.

  11. Wild Bill says:

    Possible he got less because MLB sees us as having provoked the confrontation by Cole going after their batter?

  12. theplanisworking says:

    Jim, the longer I live, the more I think I, and most fans are just out of touch with how sports leagues handle discipline.

    Look at the NHL. No sanity to suspensions there.
    Now this.

    But at least it wasn’t a fine and a slap on the wrist.
    I would have liked to see 7-10 games myself…….. but see my comment about being out of touch with league offices. ;)

  13. theplanisworking says:

    Or maybe since Snider was holding Gomez?

    Either way, it was cowardly what Moldanado did.

  14. Jim S. says:

    Maldonado – 10. That would have suited me.
    Gomez – 5
    Snider – 3
    Martin – 1
    Weeks – 1

    How does Martin get a game and Weeks doesn’t get anything for his jump on the back move?

  15. theplanisworking says:

    See Selig, Bud …….. Brewers,Milwaukee.
    Wait, that’s not right.

    Try Discipline Office — clueless?

    I would have liked to see:
    Maldonado – 7-10
    Gomez – 6-7
    Snider – 2

    martin and Weeks should have gotten the same # of games. If martin got 1, Weeks should have gotten 1. If Martin got zero, then Weeks zero too.

    I guess I have a “GET OFF MY GRASS” attitude ……..

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    As I said before, I didn’t see a problem with what Weeks did.

    Hard to evaluate the penalties not knowing what the precedents are. Seems to me, not knowing that, that MLB got this right. At least in the order of severity. And, not suspending Cole.

  17. Jim S. says:

    I looked up some Hamilton stats so far. If he is going to pick it up with the bat, I’d like it to be after he leaves this week. But, so far, his offense has been putrid.

    64 AB, 13 hits, 7 runs
    2-2b, 1-3b, 0 HR, 3 rbi; XBH % of 4.2% vs. MLB avg. of 7.4%
    3 BB, 15 K; BB% = 4.2% vs. MLB avg. of 8.0%; K% of 21.1% vs. MLB avg. of 20.0%
    Line drive % = 17% vs. MLB avg. of 23%
    7/9 SB

    Throw him strikes and he seems to get himself out 3/4 of the time.

    I hope I don’t jinx us.

  18. Reading says:

    The ESPN guys last night were falling all over themselves regarding Hamilton’s speed. I don’t care what Hamilton’s time is. I’ll take Cutch in full sprint mode running first to third with afterburners blazing.

  19. theplanisworking says:

    With Hamilton, the old adage is really true……….

    ‘you can’t steal first base’.

    If he ever does discover a hitting stroke, look out.

  20. Andrew says:

    I am going to continue to pile on here, there is a stat created by Bill James, runs created, its updated form credits Hamilton for 3 weight runs created so far this year, 188/199 qualified hitters, but I here Aaron Boone’s version has him ranked much higher.

  21. Bizrow says:

    All Cole did was yell at Gomez, he made no physical move of any kind towards him. Gomez was the first to get physical. IMO Gomez triggered the altercation. Anyone that has played ball knows there is always words being thrown around.

  22. 21sthebest says:


  23. 21sthebest says:

    @ AW

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, Biz.

  25. Karen22 says:

    Let’s not get any ideas…

  26. Brandie says:

    Hoping Snider and Martin resolve their suspensions. What Gomez did he did because he knows the Brewers are in the Buccos heads. Gomez decided to strike while the iron was hot and exploit that short coming. Ferrite Cole needs to find a balance bewtween competitiveness and common sense to work toward his full potential.

    Good evening everyone.

  27. Karen22 says:


  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    Amen, Karen. I think/hope we’re beyond those days.

  29. Karen22 says:

    Yep. Good evening yourself! Last night was fun. Let’s have a repeat performance.

  30. Karen22 says:

    We would certainly hope so!

  31. Another Minor League POY that didn’t cut it full time in the bigs.

    Hope Lambo doesn’t follow suit with that one. He has a foot in the door, though.

  32. Brandie says:

    Gerrit not Ferrite! Sheesh!

  33. And don’t think I miss those morning ones before you sneak out the door, Ms. Project Manager.


  34. Brandie says:

    HA! Revvei! HA!

  35. Some nickname, Ferrite

    fer·rite [fer-ahyt]



    Chemistry . a compound, as NaFeO 2 , formed when ferric oxide is combined with a more basic metallic oxide.


    Metallurgy . the pure iron constituent of ferrous metals, as distinguished from the iron carbides.


    1875–80; < Latin ferr ( um ) iron + -ite1

  36. Brandie says:


  37. The Gunner says:

    I can’t stand this effin Cueto. The Bucs need to chase him out of the game early.

  38. Brandie says:

    Must be channeling my inner Phil Garner (Scrap Iron).

  39. Brandie says:

    I hear ya Untamed William!

  40. Andrew says:

    Thank you PNC Park.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:

    No wonder Votto walks so much, all the calls he gets.

  42. Andrew says:

    Beat me to it.

  43. Bizrow says:

    I don’t want him back, just mentioning news on a former player

  44. The Gunner says:

    Our ace Volquez is keeping us in this game so far. It’s about time the Buc offense steps up.

  45. theplanisworking says:

    If Volquez is the Pirates ‘ace’, then the pitching staff is in much more trouble than previously thought. This is not a knock on Volquez at all ………. I think he has performed way above expectations so far.

  46. The Gunner says:

    It’s hard to believe Pearce has survived this long. He might have to go out and get a regular job at this point.

  47. Bizrow says:

    Prospects, AAAA players

    Well, if he’s smart, he should be able to get on with his life

  48. The Gunner says:

    Geez Plan, at least at this point, he is our ace. Another 1, 2, 3 inning on very few pitches. Who da thunk it????

  49. Andrew says:

    If nothing else this half inning, I would like to see the Pirates put some people on base, if you cannot beat Cueto at least get him out of the game.

  50. Andrew says:

    Didn’t get that corner on Votto.

  51. Reading says:

    Want to get me one of those stylish Pirates fedorad.

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Oh, agreed!

    I didn’t thunk it. ;)

  53. The Gunner says:

    Volquez continues to mow down the Reds. Can the Buccos get our ace a run or two?

  54. Brandie says:

    The Blog Whippin’ Boy is coming up aces. Spring is definitely the time for reinvention and rebirth.

    Good Evening Plan Michael Vincent.

  55. Brandie says:

    21 Gunner Salute…Indeed the offense needs to step up and not waste these stellar performances by The Vulcan Volquez.

  56. APB for John, who might be on vacation from Oshkosh.

    Also, Polanco 1-3, two more RBI (18) tonight.

    Lambo 3-3 with a double and 2 RBI (9).

    Sadler 5 innings of 4-hit ball. ERA 1.80

    All small sample sizes of course.

    DJ and his son ought to be enjoying this.

  57. Milo Hamilton says:

    Lambo is DH-ing tonight. Only has to concern himself with hitting now. That change of positions really affected his hitting this spring. Kind of a shame considering they were never really serious about him at 1st base. As it turned out, Lambo only pawn in game of life.

  58. The Gunner says:

    Thanks, Brandie. Volquez’s line is really good tonight. He has thrown 84 pitches so next inning will probably be his last.

    The offense needs to come alive!!

  59. The Gunner says:

    Lambo is pretty much blocked in Pittsburgh.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    Plan Michael Vincent.
    Gold, Brandie. Just gold.

    Hope you are knocking them dead at work.

  61. Andrew says:

    Cueto got away with one there, middle middle fastball.

  62. Brandie says:

    The Game of Life…By Milton Bradley!

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    This isn’t setting up very well. We’re going to have to go to our bullpen long before they are.

  64. Milo Hamilton says:

    If they get the lead they won’t use theirs at all.

  65. scapper says:

    Lambo like candy.

  66. Brandie says:

    You better believe it Hungry Jack Plancakes!

  67. Andrew says:

    We could debate approaches all day but I don’t like the Pirates against Cueto a lot of first pitch swings.

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just another instance where they are overturning too many calls.

  69. Lad 9 says:

    Good challenge, although I am really surprised they overturned that one.

  70. The Gunner says:

    Yep – the wheels are starting to fall off. Looks like the challenge went our way, maybe it’ll give us a spark.

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    Awful by Hurdle there. Must walk situation.

  72. Brandie says:

    It’s Super Fine Lad 9!

  73. The Gunner says:

    Looks like you can stick a fork in the Bucs tonight – they’re done!!!

  74. Andrew says:

    Maybe take a pitch, just maybe.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least it’s twitter Tuesday.

  76. Polanco another HR. A couple months and we should have some spark to this anemia.

  77. Allie hit his third tonight for Altoona. Maybe someone to platoon with Ike in a couple years.

  78. The Gunner says:

    This offense is absolutely putrid tonight, Lucky

  79. Andrew says:

    Pimentel coming in, pretty much conceding.

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gregory Polanco, the answer to musical question – how long can you hit .400 in triple A & not get the call.

  81. Lad 9 says:

    BRANDIE snifter! Good evening. Looking grim for the local nine this evening.

  82. The Gunner says:

    Yep, you might as well put on the rerun of Monday Night Raw

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Until June 20th is the answer.

  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    They obviously made a deal with the devil. They’re never going to score another run against him. Ever.

  85. Andrew says:

    As frustrating as this is to watch, I’m fine with that Faustian bargain.

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

  87. Andrew says:

    Moral victory.

  88. Steelag70 says:

    This team is not very good right now…

  89. T.S. says:

    How many other teams would Jose Tabata be on the 25-man with? Not many me thinks.

  90. Steelag70 says:

    Quite a few of these guys actually…

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    Some enterprising media member needs to take upon him or herself to ask Coonelly, Huntington or Hurdle about Polanco every single day. Just for the entertainment angle if nothing else.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    And an awful chesty bunch for a team that finished 2nd once.

  93. Steelag70 says:

    That would be fun Milo…just to see how many different excuses that they could give.

  94. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just bombard them with one question a day until they finally break down & tell the truth. Kind of a media waterboarding, if you will.

  95. Andrew says:

    Pitching has been the worst in the NL coming into tonight.

  96. nate says:

    Bucs haven’t won on back to back days all season. Twice they’ve won back to back games with a day off in between, but only one of those times was against the same team. There seems to be a lack of focus over the whole club. Pitching hasn’t been as stingy this year for both starters and the bullpen, with hitting coming around only every 3rd or 4th day or so. It being so early in the season, there is no reason to panic just yet. It does seem that last years magic is all gone, departed with aj Burnett and Marlon Byrd. News of Trillion and tommy john surgery is disheartening with only the call up of Polonco months away to look forward to! It will be tough to wake tomorrow with the bucs struggles and seeing the success of the cheater Braun and this punk brewers! Jack Daniels, you are my only comfort tonight!

  97. theplanisworking says:

    They have lied, spun, and obfuscated comments before.
    What makes you think this would be any different?

    (I always wanted to use the word obfuscate here on the blog).


  98. chethejet1 says:

    Pitching was going to come down a little. Wandy has to get it going or this team needs to make a very hard decision. Polanco is a casualty of the small market system that makes the financial decision the factor. By the third week of June, the Bucs may be in the hunt for a wildcard at best. Grilli blowing two leads hurts. But Bucs are due for maybe putting together a winning streak of sorts. They have to start winning with better hitting.

  99. Chuck H says:

    Yes, Gunner, I don’t know what Cueto is throwing that the Bucs can’t hit. He seems to favor putting the ball on the edges of the plate, and even when they are off the edges, he gets the strike call anyway. GO, BUCS!!!

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