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Pirates 8, Blue Jays 6

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (11-18) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (13-16)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, CTV SportsNet 1 (Canada), 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. Rob Biertempfel and Karen Price 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. cmat0829 says:

    LETS GO BUCS…. Harrison gets a start in RF; Gaby at 1B… both hit knuckleballer Dickey well (righties tend to hit Dickey better than lefties, fyi)…. Mercer gets a mercy benching….. Tony continues to get the starts due to his bat (no argument here)…..

  2. Bill Born says:

    Need to win or fall into cellar.
    Cubs pushed Cards under .500 this afternoon 3 – 0.

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    What’s wrong with Stolmy?

  4. Andrew says:

    I saw shoulder soreness/inflammation he has not had the same velocity as last year.

    Hughes and Mazzaro recalled.

  5. cmat0829 says:

    Probably shoulder ‘soreness’. Glad to have Mazarro back… interesting that they optioned Cumpton… I know they will need a starter for Monday still…. does Cumpton going down mean that Wandy is gonna be able to make that start? Move Monday would be Wandy activated, Hughes back down. I know it could also be Locke recalled, Hughes down, but then they would be using Locke to replace Wandy and not Cumpton (for the following start)…..

  6. Who went off the 40-man for Mazzaro?

  7. Chuck H says:

    We’ve got to win today, but don’t expect a 9th inning miracle like Friday’s game. I don’t know what is the problem with Mercer-he’s become their best automatic out, in fact, their best auto 2 outs.

  8. Jay/Jacksonville via New Castle says:

    Hopefully the bats wake up for good………

  9. Thundercrack says:

    The Bucs only had 39 guys on the roster. So Vin just took the open spot

  10. OK, thanks.

    I see Chris Leroux’s Yankee tenure is over after just a few days.

    They must have seen him pitch.

  11. cmat0829 says:

    we must’ve had an empty spot… piratesprospects reports that with the Mazzaro move, the 40-man roster is ‘now full’. I also counted on the Pirates site that 40 includes Mazzaro.

  12. Tom P. says:

    Today’s Lineups

    Blue Jays

    SS: Jose Reyes
    LF: Melky Cabrera
    RF: Jose Bautista
    1B: Edwin Encarnacion
    3B: Brett Lawrie
    CF: Colby Rasmus
    2B: Steven Tolleson
    C: Josh Thole
    SP: R.A. Dickey


    RF: Josh Harrison
    2B: Neil Walker
    CF: Andrew McCutchen
    3B: Pedro Alvarez
    1B: Gaby Sanchez
    LF: Starling Marte
    C: Tony Sanchez
    SS: Clint Barmes
    SP: Francisco Liriano

  13. bpn8pitt says:

    Marte hitting well after move.

  14. Bizrow says:

    How did we have an empty spot on the 40 man?

  15. theplanisworking says:

    Need another Marte Partay!

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Ishi refusing assignment?

  17. 21sthebest says:

    McClendon tossed. Trent Jewett now managing the Mariners.

  18. Tom P. says:

    I fell asleep in the bottom of the 8th, so I missed the festivities.

  19. Andrew says:

    From Travis Sawchik: Harrison goes from bench to lead-off spot today vs. R.A. Dickey. Why? Clint Hurdle notes his 6-for-14 career line against Dickey.

    I would file that under how not to construct a lineup but its a knuckle baller so I am not sure how you game plan against one.

  20. Bizrow says:

    No, I think Ike took his spot

    Ida sworn we were full

  21. Bizrow says:

    Any bases missing?? :-)

  22. 21sthebest says:

    Ba dum tsss.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    I liked Leroux. Wish he would have done better

  24. Thundercrack says:

    I like Cumpton, but I like what they are doing. Getting the extra relievers in the pen while they don’t need the starter.

  25. 21sthebest says:

    We’ve had 39 for a while. Maybe since the season started when Vin was DFA’d.

  26. theplanisworking says:

    Ida Sworn ………
    is that our new SS ? ;)

  27. Yeah, he was alright. So was Chad Qualls. Just couldn’t get anybody out.

  28. Thundercrack says:

    Things like this usually don’t bother me, but something that the Blue Jays fans did last night did get on my nerves a little bit.

    It was the 7th or 8th inning and the Toronto fans in my section and surrounding sections started to chant “USA, USA”.
    If they started to chant ‘Canada!’ I wouldn’t have cared one bit. ( I think a lot of that stuff is just fun, and gets blown out of proportion anyway). But for some reason I felt like they were mocking us.

    So right after two home runs in the bottom of the ninth I stood up and cupped my hand to my ear and yelled “I can’t hear you now!!! ”

    (and just a footnote the Toronto fans around us were all nice —and made fun of their country. And a lot of them seemed to know that Santos was going to blow it)

  29. cmat0829 says:

    pretty well documented that right handers hit Dickey well and Clint going with Harrison who seems to see him well vs. Tabata… no big issue there…. also like Gaby instead of Ike.

  30. 21sthebest says:

    I thought a number of the Blue Jays fans were being very disrespectful during their own anthem.

    I heard the USA chants and wasn’t sure what that was all about.

  31. Bizrow says:

    Two words, Justin Bieber

  32. Thundercrack says:

    I thought CL could have developed into a late inning guy.

    But then he got hurt.

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Don’t look now but the Brewers are the only team in our division that are over .500

  34. Now that the favorite: California Chrome won today’s Kentucky Derby going away, he’ll likely be the favorite to win the Triple Crown although that hasn’t been done in ages. And now, it’s on to the baseball game, which will hopefully be won by the Bucs tonight.

  35. The world champion Red Sox are below .500 as of tonight as well, so the Bucs aren’t the only team with troubles.

  36. cmat0829 says:

    Yes, the Pirates slow start has been unsettling but the anxiety is amped way higher than the normal ‘it is early’ because of the Brewers very hot start (ahem, unsustainable)…. Bucs need a winning streak and a Brewers losing streak and then we can settle in for the summer.

  37. Arriba Wilver says:


  38. Andrew says:

    Dickey does not have a platoon split. I just hate pitcher vs batter splits, they provide no valuable predictive information.

  39. cmat0829 says:

    i should have said “knuckleballers” not dickey in the assertion about rhb vs. lhb. I didn’t make it up, but agree with you that some metrics have less value than others.

  40. bpn8pitt says:

    Was in Rogers Centre last year…If NFL ends up there they will need new facility. But Toronto is a nice city besides winter.

    Can’t stress it enough. You have to go Vancouver in your lifetime. Fly in during the day.

  41. cmat0829 says:

    Rogers Centre is a D-U-M-P. There are 3 places that need new stadiums that would make a world of difference… Toronto, Tampa and Oakland (San Jose).

  42. Andrew says:

    If the Pirates want to turn this around the starting pitching must get better.

  43. bpn8pitt says:

    The stairwells in garage are absolutely foul.

  44. Andrew says:

    Well, I don’t get the purpose of replay.

  45. Chuck H says:

    I think it’s already too late for the Buccos to win this one. Liriano not himself tonight. Too wild, but also the HP ump
    not giving him the corners.

  46. bpn8pitt says:


  47. Lad 9 says:

    I don’t really want to say the Pirate’s quality of play is well below major league level today, but do we know which player’s parents are bringing the post game snacks today? Sheeeesh

  48. bpn8pitt says:

    Chipped away a little.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Walks and D killing us.

  50. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Glad I tuned it.

    Looks like Frankie lost last years mojo

    Not good

  51. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  52. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Is that Dickeys knuckle ball at high 70’s? Very un-Tim Wakefield like

  53. bpn8pitt says:

    He would be much better in NL. Didn’t understand that trade by Jays.

    Wakefield had some good years in AL East and some bad ones. Give me someone more conventional in those parks. Swing and miss power stuff.

  54. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    This may be the only time I’ve seen a shift on a RH batter.

    Yes, I saw it last night.

  55. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  56. Andrew says:

    And home runs conceded.

  57. bpn8pitt says:

    Joey Bats. For me Aramis was worse, and I know other teams gave up on Bautista.

    But man, he’d be nice at 1B.

  58. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Or in RF, where he’s playing now.

  59. Andrew says:

    Bautista was a fluke, Ramirez was straight organizational incompetence.

  60. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Bautista is proof to hard work. Jose has gotten to where he was by determination.

  61. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    If Marte can take his current approach to the lead off spot, he’d be a force.

  62. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I see Tony Sanchez has a throwing error. Can someone please give me some details?

    Did he bomb a throw to a base?

  63. bpn8pitt says:

    Andrew, what’s Didi doing? Any other SS out there other than Drew? Someone blocked somewhere? If the freefall continues I doubt they make move, but any Ss info would be appreciated.

  64. Andrew says:

    Strikeout, he bombed the throw. Runner would be thrown out trying to score from second by Marte.

  65. Andrew says:

    I think he is languishing in AAA, .282/.355/.464. If I remember correctly the D-Backs wanted pitching in March but they are in a deciding different position now, I am not sure if they will be giving up pieces now. I can live with an all glove shortstop (Barmes) with Martin in the lineup, didn’t think Mercer would be this bad.

  66. Patrick"ri" says:

    Uh oh, bases loaded!

  67. bpn8pitt says:

    He must of heard us Andrew. Lol

  68. Andrew says:

    Can I edit that post?

  69. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Good for Jordy

  70. Patrick(ri) says:

    Best show this season with the bases juiced.

  71. Lad 9 says:

    Jordy breaks out! New game.

  72. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Thank you.

  73. bpn8pitt says:

    What is it with these guys and runs after the 7th?

  74. Lad 9 says:

    Granted that was a nubber of a hit by Marte, but no idea what Gibbons is leaving this guy in there

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    What is Gibbons thinking!?!

  76. Lad 9 says:

    “Why” Oops

  77. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    3 questions from that inning of the Blue Jays.

    1. Why did EE not try and turn a DP on Pedro? Did Cutch have that good of a jump?

    2. Why did Lawrie slide at the Marte hit?

    3. What the hell was Gibbons thinking?

  78. bpn8pitt says:

    Well, good. Getz should have been given hbp anyway.

  79. bpn8pitt says:

    not have. Rule 6.08…lot of little leaguers get beaned bunting.

  80. Patrick(ri) says:

    Jay Hay making important contributions, tonight.

  81. Andrew says:

    That would have been out without the rain.

  82. bpn8pitt says:

    Yup…and Neil Walker continues to make himself more money.

  83. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    What’s the odds of Snider getting a hit here too?

  84. Patrick(ri) says:

    Like 2inches from 8 home runs.

  85. Lad 9 says:

    He has been playing real well. And MLB is not exactly overwhelmed with second base talent. He is a valuable piece – probably more valuable than we give him credit for in his hometown.

  86. Patrick(ri) says:

    1 in 10, or so.

  87. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’ll take the walk

  88. bpn8pitt says:

    Right. He’s an interesting case because of what u said with the lack of 2b available.

    Hometown discount? Test the market? Arbitration number surely goes up at this rate.

  89. Lad 9 says:

    OK, Shark time! Looking at 2-3-4 in the ninth

  90. cmat0829 says:

    Ramirez was traded to get the debt level to within required levels. Benson was preferred trade but he got injured. Not sure why people keep harping on that as a bad BASEBALL trade… it was a bad franchise trade but was one of necessity.

  91. Patrick(ri) says:

    He looks healthier this season. His RH hitting and his abysmal playoff last season lowered his stock, but he looks like Apple this year and the price will be high.

  92. theplanisworking says:

    Glad to see the Jays were just the tonic the Bucs needed.
    Very glad to see 2 wins in a row.
    Would be very, very happy to see this the start of a turnaround for the season.

    BTW, please don’t lump Melancon with the SJ Sharks. ;)

  93. bpn8pitt says:

    Softball defense tonite.

  94. cmat0829 says:

    Two words for the Toronto powers that be:

    1) FIRE the horrible overrated GM. He wasted the ownership’s money with that ridiculous half-the-roster trade a few years back with the Marlins… and he cannot build a bullpen that is even worthy of AAA status. He has done NOTHING in his tenure….ZERO. Why does he still have a job?

    2) FIRE John Gibbons. Why such a quick hook on Dickey who the Pirates really weren’t solving… why be in a rush to get to that absolutely embarrassingly awful bullpen. Pitch counts don’t matter with knuckleballers….. and why in the HELL did he let that ragtag lefty pitch to hitter after hitter with the right hander up and ready????

    3) Way to go Bucs… in year’s past being down a few runs into the 7th was ballgame over….. but this year the 7th is when the Bucs get going….

    4) Very very good for a good guy, Jordy Mercer…. what a big place to break the 0-25 slump and contribute in a big way… hope that gets him going…..

  95. Lad 9 says:

    No chance Plan. He is Mark the Shark. I think we are going to have to find a 6’10 first baseman if this throwing keeps up though

  96. cmat0829 says:

    Tony’s I get… he has Steve Sax disease and needs to solve it asap…. Barmes was a physical error, you can forgive those… but Pedro has got to stop rushing those throws when he has zero need to rush…..

  97. cmat0829 says:

    I’m completely now converted on JayHey… I take back my previous whines for the team to dump him… he is very very useful on the bench… like his energy and he is decent in the field, too.

  98. Patrick(ri) says:

    My wife thinks Alvarez’s first name is “Jesus.”

  99. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m impressed with how Tony Sanchez blocks a ball in the dirt. If he can get his throws down, he’ll be a good replacement for Martin next year.

  100. cmat0829 says:

    yes, his d is noticeably better…though he does bounce around like a candy-full kid with ADD back of the plate sometimes and is distracting……. he just needs to throw the ball and not try to aim it… on the throw to 1st he was trying to aim it and nothing good happens when you do that.

  101. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Eh, I might’ve used a different term.

  102. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He definetly has a different swagger to him.

  103. theplanisworking says:


  104. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I was thinking last night that he was on the Adam Laroche ADD meds.

    Seems very nonchalant at times

  105. cmat0829 says:

    RAISE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the STREAK IS ALIVE .

  106. Lad 9 says:

    Despite a serious attack of the uglies, the Buccos prevail. Raise it! And in honor of the missing Patton, fear the bones!

  107. Andrew says:

    Melancon with a K and four infield ground balls, almost saved two games.

  108. cmat0829 says:

    I just have to wonder… if Hurdle had managed this game like Gibbons did, would he have survived the blogflogging ? What an awful job of managing…. but so so glad to be the beneficiary of it. We need a few more breaks to go our way.

  109. bpn8pitt says:

    You know, they won but that was ugly.

    I’ll take it, but the starting pitching and defense is NOT 2013. Night fellas. Hope we get the brooms out tommorow.

  110. Andrew says:

    I think that is fairly accurate, he was always rated well in pitch framing and blocking, if he can tame the yips he should be fine. Maybe take a walk every once and while when hitting.

  111. cmat0829 says:

    but neither is the late inning offense… if they can keep battling, keep the Ks down, this offense could get it going…. and we know help is on the way (eventually).

  112. theplanisworking says:


    I am stoked to be going to a charity BB game next saturday night ………….
    New Castle championship alumni (82, 93, 97-99) vs. current team.

    That will take my foul mood about the struggles the Pens and Buvs have had. :)

  113. Patrick(ri) says:


  114. theplanisworking says:

    Bucs too.

  115. Lad 9 says:

    Plan, that will be great! You will be smiling for a week!

  116. theplanisworking says:


    ^^^ Already there. ;)

  117. Lad 9 says:


    Gibbons was a horrible manager in his first stint with the Jays, and he seems to be trying to live down to his prior reputation.

  118. And so, the Pirates came from behind again to beat the Blue Jays, and a second straight win vs. a mediocrity like Toronto is indeed most welcome, and I thank heaven that Morris in relief was not wild like the starter Liriano was tonight.

  119. Bizrow says:

    A win is a win = a win

    Beat em Bucs

  120. Dennis G says:

    Did you pay your 2014 prognosticator fee yet? There seems to be some problem with your predictions.

  121. Dennis G says:

    Does anyone know the rule covering incomplete possession of the ball by a fielder that allows a runner to take a base. In the fourth inning Thole was given a single by the first base umpire. The replay showed the ball beating him to the base. However Sanchez seemed to allow the ball to hit in the pocket of his glove before the runner hit the base and then the ball seemed to jump into a sort of “ice cream cone” position after the foot hit the base. The umpire said safe and the replay official said there was insufficient reason to overturn the ump. Could this be because of the slight juggle? The ball never left the glove.

  122. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That was a terribly bad job of managing by Gibbons.

  123. I have noticed that Sidney has been slumping lately, and it showed when the Pens lost on Friday night to the Rangers in overtime, and I would certainly hope that he’ll wake up tonight when playoff action resumes.

  124. Brandie says:

    Good to see our Buccos won. Sending good vibes to both teams today. Happy Star Wars day!


  125. hockeymonster says:

    Win this game we must, Princess Brandie.

  126. Well, win or lose today, at least the Bucs have won their first series in awhile. Also yesterday, AJ beat the Nationals 7-2 to go 2-1, and the Reds beat the Brewers 6-2 on Saturday so Milwaukee will probably not run away with the NL Central after all.

  127. Brandie says:

    Agree with this assessment I do, Jedi Hockey Master Monster! :)

  128. Jandy says:

    Enjoy it, my friend!

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