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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (12-18) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (19-11)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. 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. Bizrow says:

    Wonder if we’re going to get this one in tonight?

  2. Baywatch says:

    From the leadoff spot again? ALRIGHT! This looks to be DAMPER game than last night, light rain all day BUT looks like the game gets played? (and on that note I hear thunder) Last night was cool because our section 116 row was Z – which was just inside the roof line, out of the rain! Tonight: 114, but row M. We shall see.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’m seeing that Wandy is going to start 3rd game of Brewers series, so there is that to look forward too/dread.

  4. The Gunner says:

    I am not one bit surprised about the possibility of Wandy starting vs. the Brewers.

  5. Maybe we can get 3 innings out of him and bring in a long man after that. Wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  6. The Gunner says:


    Wandy’s done…………period. There are much better alternatives in the minors. It makes you wonder about the BMTIB’s commitment to winning.

  7. War_Horse says:

    I’ve come 4,000 miles from Haslemere, England to watch this weekend series with the Cardinals and it could not have got off to a better start that it did last night. My old pal, Dick Wagner and I sat five rows behind the Pirates’ dugout and came within an inch of catching a foul ball, but a toothy teenager got his glove in front of Dick’s hands the instant before he was about to catch it.
    PNC Park is spectacularly handsome and all the fans we met–including the couple who sat next to us and were rooting for the Cards–were friendly and polite. (I’m used to the polite bit in England, but not this Pittsburgh kind of friendliness. )
    How great it felt to watch Neil Walker hit his stride in last night’s game and win it with that blast to right field. Gosh, I hope he stays with the Buccos.
    Welcome to any old timers who are attending tonight’s ballgame. I’m sitting in Section 210, Row B, Seat 5.

  8. JohninOshkosh says:


  9. Bizrow says:


  10. Lad 9 says:

    Awesome! Welcome to the Burgh, War Horse!

  11. scapper says:

    I’m in love with this poster. If there are baseball gods, the Bucs sweep. May he not be impeded by any toothy yanks tonight and may all the Pirates hit their stride during his stay. This guy’s post is all about what makes being a fan of any sports team so special.

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    Rene Rancourt looks like he just walked off the 1960’s set of Lawrence Welk.

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe he is done. And maybe before they decide to cut him loose (along with the money) they want to see if he can be an effective starter again. Or maybe they think he can be an effective starter again.

    And who besides Cumpton is a better alternative in the minors?

  14. The Gunner says:

    If Wandy starts vs. Milwaukee & the outcome is similar to past 2014 outings, how many more times do you continue to run him out there?

  15. The Volquez experiment remains in question as he walks the pitcher and his ERA creeps nearer to 5 than 4.

  16. Cumpton, Sadler, possibly Worley in time, Locke in time, Irwin in time.

    Look, (new famous word) I want Wandy to be Wandy as much as the next, but I haven’t given up on this season, especially with June just around the corner.

    Why can’t he keep working in the minors?

  17. Lad 9 says:

    Yeah Lucky. He is all over the place. The Taillon injury could really end up hurting the Pirates this year.

  18. Florida Steeler says:

    5 million dollar signing by Neal.

  19. Florida Steeler says:

    And, he batted this inning with superstar Morel sitting on the bench with his .215 average. How stupid do they get??

  20. bpn8pitt says:

    No worries. Vance Worley is on the way. :)

  21. Anyone say on the broadcast why Cutch is out? Nothing on 24/7’s tweets.

  22. I said in time, bro.


  23. bpn8pitt says:

    Don’t know. He had a rough one from beginning to end last night.

  24. Thundercrack says:

    I read sore leg or foot

  25. bpn8pitt says:

    Looooong foul.

  26. Thundercrack says:

    I forgot about Locke.

    I think the only way Wandy can work on things in the minors is if he is on a DL assignment.

  27. Florida Steeler says:

    That was a Sportscenter highlight catch.

  28. Patrick(ri) says:

    What in the world did Jordy put on his Wheaties today? Nice play!

  29. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs starting pitching has been spotty so say the least.
    Wandy is now a big liability & we might have to eat his contract a la Matt Morris. Unfortunately, we need effective starting pitching to reestablish ourselves as legitimate 2014 contenders.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    Morneau hit another homer. He’s having a really good year so far.

    I would have bet against that.

  31. Baywatch says:

    War Horse! I just tried to drop by and say “Hello,” but turns out they wouldn’t let me go do that on the Club Level!! I’m in Section 114, Row M, Seat 5! Go Bucs!

  32. Steelag70 says:

    Nice job by Volquez getting the run home…

  33. Steelag70 says:

    I thought he might hit better this year….

  34. Steelag70 says:

    See what happens when we put the ball in play?? Nice job by the Buccos….

  35. Steelag70 says:


  36. Steelag70 says:

    Uh-oh….now Marte is out of the game…

  37. Lad 9 says:

    Marte and Cutch both under the weather. Good thing we have Brent Morel waiting to take their…. Oh, my bad, he is not an outfielder. Whoda thunk it?

  38. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Now what?

  39. Patrick(ri) says:

    Gonna be all hands on deck, for sure.

  40. Steelag70 says:

    Gaby’s in RF…uh-ohhhhh

  41. Steelag70 says:

    Harrison in LF and Tabby in CF….

  42. Lad 9 says:

    I really wanted the Pirates to keep Morneau and I too thought he would do much better this year. However, I don’t think you can underestimate the effect of playing in Colorado on his numbers.

  43. Steelag70 says:

    Looks like Snider picked the wrong week to quit smoking…lol.

  44. Andrew says:

    Single them to death there, and scored three runs without a ball leaving the infield.

    War Horse enjoy the debut of Gaby Sanchez, outfielder.

  45. Thundercrack says:

    Why would they bring up Morel if they weren’t planning on resting Pedro for a game?

  46. Wild Bill says:

    Good thing we brought up a utility type….. Infielder.

  47. The Gunner says:

    Gaby strikes out to end the inning & now he is in right field. He hasn’t played the OF since he was 10 years old. God help us!! Lucky, with your connections, you gotta help us with this upstart RFer.

  48. Patrick(ri) says:

    Looks like Volquez smells blood.

  49. Steelag70 says:

    Also with Snider serving his suspension tonight and Cutch banged up…should have brought up Dekker…

  50. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    This is roster management 101. How in the world did they not bring up a lefty outfielder. Don’t tell me 40 man roster issues. Plenty of dead weight there. Gabby in RF is an abomination. Marte has been hobbled for 3 days. This can’t happen.

  51. Steelag70 says:

    Would have been perfect time to bring up Lambo…

  52. Lad 9 says:

    Yep. He is on the DL though.

  53. Patrick(ri) says:

    Why is Hughes warming up with Adams on deck?

  54. Thundercrack says:

    A close second to the awful camera work/excessive crowd shots by ROOT Sports are the announcers tonight.

    How many more times will the say how beautiful the city looks or the pretty views from the stadium!?!?

    And someone tell Walk that PNC Park has been open for 14 years. We know what is in there. We know people stand on the rotunda.

  55. Steelag70 says:

    Come on Lerch….

  56. Steelag70 says:

    I was thinking the same thing Thunder…

  57. Andrew says:

    Adams career .308 hitter vs RHP, .186 vs LHP, this is just insane.

  58. The Gunner says:


    This friggin Volquez STINKS!!!

  59. Steelag70 says:

    Good job Lerch…

  60. Baywatch says:

    “You rang?” Lurch

  61. Andrew says:

    Bad process, great result.

  62. Patrick(ri) says:

    I agree somewhat with the crowd shots, but the river, stadium & city shots never bore me & the commentary merely follows the camera — beats premature discussion of All Star play IMHO.

  63. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Big out by Hughes there. Now sprint to the clubhouse and please be finished for the night…

  64. Patrick(ri) says:

    A couple of the blimp shots, especially the one showing the fountain and the rivers = spectacular.

  65. Thundercrack says:

    187 camera shots of goofy fans in the stands and not one of Cutch in the dugout…or maybe some players razzing Gabby as he gets back in from RF.

  66. Andrew says:

    I’m with you here, fan shots are the worst, I blame Fox Sports. I love how much they talk about the shifts and Pirates infielders moving but instead we get shots of some guys bicep tattoo.

  67. Thundercrack says:

    They could at least give us a shot of Bay and his wife

  68. Wild Bill says:

    Lurch’s downward movement useful when the outfield is so thin.

  69. The Gunner says:

    How’s about some runs this inning, Buccos! We’re gonna need more than a one run lead here.

  70. Thundercrack says:

    Hard not to root for Hughes.

  71. Carlos Danger says:

    I’m glad they showed us the blimp. I had never seen one before.

  72. Patrick(ri) says:

    Is there one particular pitch area that causes Sanchez to wiggle his butt? Seems like it is mostly on inside pitches. A poker player would certainly call that a tell.

  73. cberry88 says:

    I hope when James Harrison retires the Pirates will hire him for on-field security.

  74. bpn8pitt says:

    Tony Sanchez has some crazy walk up music.

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    I hope NMR was okay there.

  76. bpn8pitt says:

    Anyone know who looks at the replays for the Pirates?

  77. Baywatch says:

    Does EVERY male at PNC look like Gene Kelly and have Joe Paterno-Charles Bronson hair?

  78. Thundercrack says:

    Mercer getting his first game as Super Sub

  79. The Gunner says:

    A couple insurance runs sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?

  80. Baywatch says:

    Mrs. Bay loves his walkup music!

  81. Baywatch says:

    We were ready for the kiss cam!

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    “Let it Go” from Frozen ?

  83. bpn8pitt says:

    Mariah Carey last night.

  84. The Gunner says:

    Thank God the Gaby in RF experiment didn’t backfire – now Mark the Shark has to close ‘em out!

  85. Florida Steeler says:

    He did not make that catch because Bob Walk said the ball was spinning!!!!! Does Walk ever SHUT UP?

  86. Patrick(ri) says:

    Winning a come-from-behind w/o Cutch, Marte, Martin. or Snider is quite an accomplishment. Especially in a key game.

  87. bpn8pitt says:

    Great win.

    Bullpen scares the hell out of me.

  88. TJA says:

    Anyone who says baseball is boring should be required to watch tonight’s game…and specifically the 9th inning. Outstanding!

  89. The Gunner says:

    A great effort by the bullpen tonight for sure – get the brooms ready!!

  90. JohninOshkosh says:

    Raise it high for Bay and Mrs. Bay!

  91. Andrew says:

    They kept making it difficult, bleeding hits.

  92. JohninOshkosh says:

    ….and for War Horse!

  93. Wild Bill says:

    Given the short bench and players missing, this was an excellent win.

  94. Tom P. says:


  95. Tom P. says:

    After 36 games, the Pirates are 16-20. They went 8-10 in both 18 game segments. Last year at this time, they were 20-16, having gone 10-8 in both 18-game segments.

  96. bpn8pitt says:

    Melancon and Wilson just don’t look right.

  97. Andrew says:

    Most strikeouts by the bullpen in some time.

  98. TJA says:

    Thanks, Tom. Next big step is to get back to .500. Huge game tomorrow on national television.

  99. Andrew says:

    I never thought Wilson was that good, or at least as good as the hype, control has always been his limiting factor. Melancon is okay, hasn’t gotten the strikeouts. I think the main issue is that was the Pirates 19th one run game, starting pitching and offense has been asking for a lot of high leverage innings.

  100. Bizrow says:

    My two stars of the game

    War Horse


    Third in memory of Nutting Hostage

  101. Tom P. says:

    You are correct. A big week actually. Tomorrow vs. the Cardinals on national TV, then three each against the Brewers and Yankees on the road. Going 4-3 in those games would be nice.

  102. bpn8pitt says:

    I just wonder how the second half goes, especially with the amount of work Watson has gotten already.

    Not sure on some of the availability for some guys tommorow. Although they are off Mon.

  103. The Gunner says:

    Let’s hope the Bucs are turning the corner. A major cause for concern is the subpar performances by the starting pitchers tonight & last night. It is imperative that Charles Morton has to bring his A game tomorrow night.

  104. The Bucs win 4 straight and take three straight series at home, and it’s about time! The Cardinals got to Volquez early but the Bucs got to Lynn not long after that and held on 4-3, and, hopefully, they’re now shaking off their early season slump. And so, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day weekend and hope that both the Pirates and the Pens can win one more tomorrow.

  105. Andrew says:

    The bullpen will appreciate a quality outing from Morton. The Pirates have shelled Shelby in the past.

  106. Baywatch says:

    +++++ Up here, Biz!

  107. Baywatch says:

    I sat there and watched with my own two eyes the Pirates COBBLE together 4 runs in the 4th – and in the 9th inning God looked at it and said, “It is good!” And I realized this is how we won so many last year. Just enough, and good relief work.

  108. Bizrow says:

    The team showed character tonight

    Meanwhile Slick Frank takes three strikes while looking to find where home plate is

    Fortunately, SF has been quiet ;-)

  109. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    The Pirates have not only looked a lot better this week, but a lot more confident.
    They’ll need it as they prepare to embark to Milwaukee and NY (Yankees) next week.

  110. theplanisworking says:

    And, you helped bring home a win. :)

  111. theplanisworking says:


  112. theplanisworking says:


  113. theplanisworking says:


    and then some.

  114. Baywatch says:


  115. Bizrow says:

    That post was in honor of NuHo

    Never be satisfied

  116. This is probably the luckiest and most unlikely Pirates win in some time since Andrew McCutchen was out with a bad ankle, Starling Marte had to leave with back trouble, and the outfield had to be retooled at the last minute with Gabby Sanchez playing right field for the first time in his career, and Volquez having to be bailed out after yet another lousy start by the bullpen, which was fortunately outstanding for 5.2 innings. And they have a tough enough schedule for the next several games after this. Anyhow, Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

  117. Shu Shumaker says:

    I agree…. Wandy is DONE, Period…….. We have a bunch of players on the Pirates, that are DONE… How about the catchers? What about the guy playing first base? I believe Clint Barmes should be the every day SS. Etc…. Until the Pirates get some decent players on their roster, they might make a run for it… But with some of the players, my goodness, they might as well hang it up now…
    Oh yes, this was going to be the year… Year for what????

  118. Shu Shumaker says:

    Once again, make Gaby a Free Agent and let him goooooooooooo…

  119. FlBucco says:




    Wandy [should be on 60 day DL]

    That team is at least .500 – perhaps 20 and 16….

    The Kool Aid drinkers can make whatever excuses – but
    Saturday night was a win IN SPITE of FO incompetence.

    Cumpton should have been the starter – and Dickerson should have been
    called up – Morel could/should have been dumped to make room on the
    40 man roster.

  120. steelercrazy says:

    Yes, the FO should have known that Cutch and Parte were both going to have tweeks… My head hurts.

  121. The Gunner says:

    The word is Jaff Decker will be added to the active roster for tonight’s game

  122. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    holy cow

  123. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    to hostage

  124. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Nice putting wins together when guys are out…homemade confidence injections for everyone

  125. The Gunner says:

    Decker can at least play all 3 OF positions and certainly makes more sense than freakin Brent Morel!! Don’t let the door hit you in the a** on your way back to Indy, Brent!!

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