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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Cardinals 6, Pirates 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (16-20) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (18-19)

Time: 8:05 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 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. Baywatch says:

    Alright!! Pregame with Mrs. Bay at Primanti’s, Market Square!! YESSSS!!!

  2. theplanisworking says:

    HEY BAY!

    IN HERE!

    Have a pastrami and cheese. And bring home another win!
    You are the good luck charm.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    Since I said the Bucs need to win 2/3 for the rest of the year, they have done just that so far. The beat the Giants 2/3, and are guaranteed to win 2/3 from the Cards, no matter what happens tonight!

    That would put the team on a 97-win season?
    One can dream.

  4. Baywatch says:

    Up here, Plan! Let’s Git It! But too late on the order: I ordered the Rajun Cajun Chicken Breast!

    Addendum: The Fort, McKenry, just hit a ground rule double vs. the Reds!

  5. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Plan – (On a brief football note)….What’s your final grade on the Steeler draft?

  6. theplanisworking says:

    C to C-.
    Like Tuitt, and Bryant.
    Still say the reached on Shazier, and Archer, which a team can’t do with early round picks.

    GO BUCS !!! :)

  7. ken robertson says:

    Rob’s article was way off today. How do you spell CHEAP, – Pirates. To bring him up today would really be dumb when waiting keeps the clock from starting. BUT keeping the clock from starting on your best choice for right field is cheap. He should have been up opening day. Are all small market teams cheap? So now we are in 4th and the Brewers could be the surprise team in baseball. Ah but we stopped the streak and pirate fans are OK with it.

  8. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’d give it an A if it wasn’t for the Archer pick.
    That one is going to come back to haunt.
    They should’ve taken the best Corner on the board at that time.
    Because of that pick, I’ll give it a B….Pushing B-….

  9. 66sports says:

    While I agree Polanco should have been up earlier, I think, at this point, wait the couple weeks and save the bucks. If we endured the RF abyss for this long, a few more weeks won’t hurt too bad.

  10. The Gunner says:

    The reality is the BMTIB is and always will be extremely frugal

  11. theplanisworking says:

    I agree.

    Smaller markets spend more than the Pirates.
    But Mr. Nutting is profit first. There is nothing wrong with that from a business standpoint. But profit first most times interferes with the baseball side.

    But since I am a Pirate fan, and I don’t cheer for any other team, there is nothing I can do except not to cheer for any team.

  12. Baywatch says:

    OK, was hoping to see a few of you on this trip but TONIGHT may be a chance for you to see MOI! We’re sitting in Section 145 Row A, seats 1 & 2, which is Japanese for just above the Clemente Wall, just fair, near the foul pole! I’ll also be wearing my old black catcher’s mitt FRESHLY OILED by Mrs. Bay, ready to nab that JUSTA bomb. I’m all in if there’s a review!

  13. theplanisworking says:

    Did Mrs. Bay oil your mitt with the Rajun Cajun Chicken Breast oil?


  14. Baywatch says:

    Saddle soap and mink oil!

  15. bpn8pitt says:

    Seeing a lot mixed stuff about Shazier, Daq. Like the Archer pick, just not that early.

  16. bpn8pitt says:

    Normally Im right there with Plan and others on calling the Pirates cheap, but in this case I cannot. Polanco had 9 ABs above AA. I think it was fine to give him a few months at AAA. I seriously doubt he’s hitting .370 when he gets here, man.

    If he was a starting pitcher or SS, id be right next to you with the torch and pitchfork.

  17. JohninOshkosh says:

    There must be something wrong with my Time Warner on screen guide.

    I was scrolling down to see what was coming up on ESPN and it said the St. Louis Cardinals play the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:00 on Sunday Night Baseball.

    Must be some kind of misprint.

  18. piratemike says:

    What time zone are you in?

  19. Tom P. says:

    Mike, he is in Central Time, but he is making a tongue in cheek comment that this is the first time that the Pirates have been on Sunday Night Baseball since 2001 or 2002. At the same time, I don’t think that ESPN predicted that both the Cardinals and Pirates would be under .500 at this point in the season.

  20. Tom P. says:

    My post above ended up in the wrong place.

  21. Bizrow says:

    Has everyone signed into the Lunatic Nation??

    A 7-2 home stand is on my wish list

  22. Brandie says:

    I would like to see a sweep. It is good to see decent baseball being played for a change. Good evening all.

  23. Barb says:

    Well let’s just spend the WHOLE time talking about the CARDINALS because this is the only team that matters. GRRRRR!

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Tom.

    Just a joke, Mike. Very happy they are on national television!

  25. Brandie says:

    Peace be with you on and all mothers on this Mother’s Day Bodacious One’

  26. Tom P. says:



    3B: Matt Carpenter
    SS: Jhonny Peralta
    LF: Matt Holliday
    RF: Allen Craig
    C: Yadier Molina
    1B: Matt Adams
    CF: Jon Jay
    2B: Mark Ellis
    SP: Shelby Miller


    RF: Travis Snider
    2B: Neil Walker
    CF: Andrew McCutchen
    3B: Pedro Alvarez
    LF: Jose Tabata
    1B: Ike Davis
    SS: Jordy Mercer
    C: Tony Sanchez
    SP: Charlie Morton

  27. Barb says:

    Thanks Brandecita same to you. It’s been a tough one although I lost my Mom 20 years ago.

  28. Baywatch says:

    And MR. & MRS. BAY above the Clemente Wall, end of FIRST ROW next foul pole in fair territory! I’m the one in the tuxedo T-shirt!

  29. Baywatch says:

    AbsoBUCCNlutely, Branj! Good evening!

  30. Brandie says:

    You are in my heart my kind friend. Today has let me know just how much people care.

  31. Brandie says:


  32. Thundercrack says:

    +1 to Mr & Mrs Bay.

    When are you heading out of town? Not that I’m showing you the door…..

  33. Wonderful. Lunchie leading off again.

  34. Arriba Wilver says:

    If I didn’t know you, I would think you were kidding.

  35. Lad9 says:

    I just had the pleasure of meeting Mr and Mrs Bay and sharing an adult beverage. I am in the next section. What a great guy! Hey Bay. Up here! :).

  36. 21sthebest says:

    Aramis Ramirez headed to the DL.

  37. Brandie says:

    I am reviving up the vibes for total effort Revvie!!! Hoping for solid pitching and offense.

  38. Brandie says:


  39. 21sthebest says:

    Wieters too. Won’t see him next week either.

  40. Patrick(ri) says:

    Just appalling, how many camera shots of the city, the stadium and the fans.

  41. bpn8pitt says:


  42. Thundercrack says:

    I’m not a fan of Kruk but he did a good job callin out Tabata’s defense.

    And when Pedro takes that throw he should just bring the glove straight down and tag the sliding runner…not take his glove to the bag

  43. Thundercrack says:

    Looks like we got bad Charlie tonight.

    (How about striking someone out)

  44. pattonbb says:

    Horrible throw by lazy Tabata. Absolutely pathetic effort….again.

  45. bpn8pitt says:

    This starting pitching is going to crush this bullpen.

  46. Lad9 says:

    BRANDIEEEEEE!!!! Let’s start the comeback now!

  47. The Gunner says:

    Morton’s already thrown 31 pitches. Let’s see how the top of the 2nd goes for Charles.

  48. bpn8pitt says:

    Rinku in the house.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Damn. Just missed it, Pedro.

  50. Patrick(ri) says:

    Wonder if the pink bat cost Pedro a few feet? Sure sound different.

  51. Thundercrack says:

    I wondered the same thing about that bat.

    I give Pedro credit, he saw a pitch he liked and hacked at it.

  52. The Gunner says:

    Lousy throw by Sanchez

  53. Baywatch says:

    Up here, LAD! Pleasure to meet you! Down here on the STODGY pace of this game!

  54. Baywatch says:

    Early tomorrow, TC.

  55. Patrick(ri) says:

    Gonna have to stop saying awful things about Mercer. Really seems more into it.

  56. The Gunner says:

    Maybe the offense is coming alive tonight

  57. Patrick(ri) says:

    Wainwright is cool. These interviews are usually painful. His was charming, as my wife noted.

  58. bpn8pitt says:

    That’s how you throw, Montana.

  59. The Gunner says:

    He is auditioning for his life’s work. PS – Sanchez got caught with his pants down by Molina

  60. bpn8pitt says:

    He has hit better recently. But he cannot go MIA for a whole month like that.

  61. The Gunner says:

    Mercer seems like a nice guy, maybe he is snapping out of his slump.

    Let’s hope Morton can keep the Cards at bay.

  62. Patrick(ri) says:

    Right on, Kruk! Why give an out?

  63. bpn8pitt says:

    Awful pitching in this game.

  64. Florida Steeler says:

    Is Alvarez EVER going to play like a #1 draft choice??

  65. bpn8pitt says:

    He’s a slugger…Be glad we aren’t paying him 20 mil.

  66. The Gunner says:

    This will probably be the last inning for Charles Morton

  67. Andrew says:

    Haven’t seen much of the game, but I see all the appropriate homage and offerings have been made at the altar of Molina.

  68. The Gunner says:

    And the BMTIB never will – ha ha!

  69. bpn8pitt says:

    This starting pitching could get buried in Milwaukee and the Bronx, Andrew.

  70. bpn8pitt says:

    I think the Pirates are gonna get everything out of Alvarez necessary. Think he’s gonna age badly like Howard and Prince.

  71. Patrick(ri) says:

    Awful night for Pedro. A real “goat” tonight.

  72. bpn8pitt says:

    Alvarez now leads all 3B in errors. 9. Wonder what that number looks like in Sept? Ugh.

  73. Andrew says:

    Very true, hope for some you cannot predict baseball performances. Cole twice and Brewers’ offense has cooled off but in that park you never know.

  74. The Gunner says:

    Your comment on the starting pitching is right on the money. Then, if Wandy actually starts in Milwaukee as planned, it could get even uglier.

  75. bpn8pitt says:

    Its the walks and the defense. PNC seems to cover for them in that regard sometimes. Miller Park and Yankee Stadium wont. You keep putting guys on base, giving outs away you can get ten runner easy.

    I really don’t remember the last time they got a good 7-8 innings from someone. Prob Cole.

  76. Arriba Wilver says:

    Dave Littlefield is a genius.

    (OK, I lied.)


  77. bpn8pitt says:

    Don Draper is 2 for 2 tonight.

  78. bpn8pitt says:

    Not that I’m hollering for Polanco, but his stick there would have been nice. Marte too.

    Just had my fill of Tabata and Snider coming up short in big spots.

  79. Andrew says:

    How many stranded is that?

  80. bpn8pitt says:

    We have a Jaff.

  81. bpn8pitt says:


  82. Andrew says:

    Morris sucks, he cannot miss bats.

  83. The Gunner says:

    Snider is on borrowed time & Tabata is a real piece of work. They both really stink. Polanco isn’t arriving until late June. Then, there’s that A.H. Bryan Morris.

  84. bpn8pitt says:

    This is where I start to wonder if pen is overworked.

  85. The Gunner says:

    The starting pitchers have consistently stunk up the place thus far in 2014.

  86. bpn8pitt says:

    Yea. That bullpen needs a guy to give them a night off.

  87. Patrick(ri) says:

    This will be disappointing, but we still take 2 of 3 with a crippled team.

  88. theplanisworking says:

    One would have thought that Searage could have made some tweaks. I guess the problems might run deeper than expected.

  89. Steelag70 says:

    Here we go….

  90. theplanisworking says:

    I ‘wished upon a star’ earlier this week, and said it would be great to win 2/3 the rest of the year. The Bucs have done that in the 2 series since I said that.

    The upcoming games in the House of Horrors, and the House that Greed built will be very telling.

    Still would be super if the Bucs could win 2/3. :)

  91. Patrick(ri) says:

    Notice the guys getting the hits are not using the pink bats!

  92. Steelag70 says:

    Pedro did rip one his last time with the pink bat…

  93. The Gunner says:

    Friend, Law, Blass, Veale & Candelaria have retired so that won’t be happening

  94. Patrick(ri) says:

    Yeah, I am exaggerating as I often do.

  95. bpn8pitt says:

    Plunder the lox.

  96. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    He’s putrid. I keep hearing about the new Morris this year. Looks like the same wretched pitcher to me.

  97. Steelag70 says:

    Lurch “rang” it up that inning…

  98. Steelag70 says:


  99. Andrew says:


  100. Patrick(ri) says:

    Show them the pink!

  101. Steelag70 says:

    Petey should keep the pink bat…

  102. Vette60 says:

    Well, still at work and now listening to the Bucs…let’s hope that it’s a better outcome than the Pens…

    2 on, none out, bottom of the 9th, 6-5 Bucs battling back…3-0!

    Let’s go Bucs!


  103. Vette60 says:

    Bases loaded, none out, Ike Davis up to bat…end it with a base hit!

    Let’s go Bucs!


  104. Steelag70 says:


  105. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    All kinds of ducks on the pond out there. Come on Ike? Take a pitch.

  106. Vette60 says:

    Crap – pop-up in foul terrority – out. DP will end it.

    Let’s go Bucs!


  107. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Come on Jordy.

  108. theplanisworking says:

    I am following on Gamecast.
    Is it still bases loaded?
    Gamecast is normally behind….

  109. Steelag70 says:


  110. Andrew says:

    Well that sucked.

  111. Vette60 says:

    Son of a gun – 1-2-3 double play to end it…man alive.


  112. Steelag70 says:

    Bases loaded & nobody out…Ike one pitch pop-up and Jordy hits into a DP….smh…

  113. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    At least they won another series.

    Mercer stinks.

  114. Breakthestreak says:

    Jordy Mercer. Poor guy should NOT be in the majors. He sucks

  115. Patrick(ri) says:

    I would like to know the stats for bases loaded and no outs this year. Sure seems well below expectation? Alas.

  116. bpn8pitt says:

    Gnite guys. That was brutal.

    Poor fielding, bad starting pitching. LOBs, late rally. Poor situational hitting. Relief meltdowns. That was 2014 in a nutshell.

  117. Steelag70 says:

    Not going to blame Jordy for this one….

  118. theplanisworking says:

    At least the Pirates battled back, and were in a position to possibly win.
    They still took 2/3 in the series. :)

    Yeah, Mercer stinks. Dead horse alert.
    Pitching isn’t great either.

    Now the team has to play well in the House of Horrors.
    Has to. Steroid boy isn’t playing, neither is Ramirez.
    2/3, guys. 2/3.

  119. Nate83 says:

    Yet without him thy are not even in this game. Nothing wrong with what Mercer gave the Pirates during this homestand.

  120. Breakthestreak says:

    Is there a team in baseball who ever has had more trouble hitting sac flies than these guys the last 3 years. Goes to show how bad their bat control is. They can’t bunt, can’t move guys over and can’t hit sac flies. Who drafted and developed these hitters? They are poor athletes

  121. bpn8pitt says:

    Davis’s AB was inexcusable.

  122. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I’ve never seen a team worse at bunting at any level.

  123. Andrew says:

    There is a lot to complain about, but I’m not going to be mad that hitters don’t know how to make outs.

  124. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    That was mind numbing. The guy just threw a 4 pitch walk and couldn’t find it at all. Take a pitch.

  125. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    I hear you but there’s no excuse for our pitchers to be so bad at bunting.

  126. Breakthestreak says:

    Agree about bunts being outs but my point is they have no bat control. Walker and Cutch do but no one else seems too. And they added another odd swing with Davis

  127. Andrew says:

    Agreed, that Davis AB was bad, no command or control and you swing at a shoulder high fastball. On the bunting if your hitters cannot bunt, why keep trying it?

  128. bpn8pitt says:

    Like the Toronto series, they took 2/3. But when you sit back and watch those 6 games…its a team they can’t pitch or field well…but I hope they keep fighting like u said.

  129. theplanisworking says:


  130. Chuck H says:

    Actually, again it was bad managing. Should have had Mercer bunting. You have to tie before you can win. Seldom do you bunt into a DP.

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