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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Brewers 4, Pirates 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (17-22) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (25-15)

Time: 1:10 p.m.

Site: Miller Park, Milwaukee

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 is 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. Nate83 says:

    Big game today. 6.5 games back sounds a lot better then 8.5. Especially with Cards and Reds still within a game or two. Cards won the division and World Series with 84 wins one year so you never know.

    A little bit of a tough schedule the rest of May but the June schedule seems to offer some very winnable series.

  2. Jim S. says:

    What a difference a year makes. Last year, I thought it was pretty clear by the AS Break that this division would probably have 3 90+ win teams. And none of those teams were the Brewers. Now, this year the only team with a good record is the Brewers.

    I don’t know if the Brewers can win 90, but just going .500 the rest of the way will get them 86 wins. I believe their bullpen may falter more as the season goes along. Personally, I am not buying into a full season of K-Rod’s smoke and mirrors. But, their starting pitching looks pretty solid in comparison to ours.

    I think any of the Cards, Pirates and Reds can rally and easily get in the mid-80’s range by the end of the year and possibly battle the Brewers for the division. This would be a good time for the Bucs to get hot.

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    You apparently haven’t been watching the Pirates over the last several years. Sometimes they do better in the tough series than the “winnable” series.

  4. Nate83 says:

    12 or 13 games ago just going .500 would have gotten them 90 wins. I hate to admit it but maybe NMR was correct that they are more likely to end with 85 wins then 90 wins.

  5. Nate83 says:

    Ha, that’s funny because I almost added something similar to that to the end of my post. Everytime you see a stretch of games that they should win 9 or 10 out of 14 they do the opposite.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know. Last years season ending series at Cincinnati was supposed to be a killer. They swept, then won the WC game.

    Convinced me that strength of schedule really doesn’t matter much. Just need to win games.

  7. Baywatch says:

    I like Wandy. Just one of those things: Like the way he moves around in the dugout, the way he hangs on it to keep stretched out; the way he chunks the ball, the way he wears his hat, the way he’s so short … but then again, I like spinal taps.

  8. NMR says:

    4 out of 5 Brewer starting pitchers have ERA’s over a full run lower than FIP. Pirates pretty much wrote the “unsustainable” meme last year with better peripherals than that.

    Big regression coming, folks.

  9. NMR says:

    The Brewers are 7-2 against the Pirates despite only outscoring them by one run.

    You don’t get that kind of luck over 162 games.

  10. Jim S. says:


    I’m all for that. The pitching staff is certainly pitching better than their talent would suggest.

    ARam could be battling injuries all year, same with Braun.

    Still, I believe I read the Brewers are something like 52-13 vs. the Bucs in Miller Park over the past several years. We’ve been bad to very bad most of that time. But, it is not as though they have had a long string of winning seasons. The tide has to turn.

  11. Jim S. says:

    +++, Arriba.

  12. NMR says:

    How many more games do they have against the Pirates this year, Jim?

    Gonna have to find someone else to beat up on or else this ain’t lasting.

  13. Jim S. says:

    Hilarious, Bay!

    Root canals are fun, too. Not fun like a hockey practice should be, but fun nonetheless. ;-)

  14. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, we were doomed down the stretch with all those road games in Texas, Cincinnati, St. Louis, etc. Came through it pretty well, as I recall – except for the St. Louis part.

    I also remember thinking playing Detroit 4 straight nights in 2 cities was going to be a killer. Then, we whipped them 3x.

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pittsburgh Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers, 1:10 P.M. ET
    Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

    RF: Travis Snider
    2B: Neil Walker
    CF: Andrew McCutchen
    3B: Pedro Alvarez
    1B: Gaby Sanchez
    SS: Jordy Mercer
    LF: Jose Tabata
    C: Tony Sanchez
    SP: Wandy Rodriguez

    Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

    2B: Rickie Weeks
    SS: Jean Segura
    RF: Ryan Braun
    1B: Jonathan Lucroy
    3B: Mark Reynolds
    LF: Khris Davis
    C: Martin Maldonado
    CF: Logan Schafer
    SP: Yovani Gallardo

  16. Jim S. says:

    I think 9 after today, probably. Don’t they play 19 H2H in their division? We are 2-7 vs. Milwaukee heading into today.

  17. Nate83 says:

    I like Spinal Tap especially when they turn it up to 11, but not spinal taps. That’s just odd.

  18. JohninOshkosh says:

    Game is not on television locally here.

    Guess Fox North had to telecast poker or surfing.

    What am I supposed to do now ? Work ?

    Go Bucs!

  19. Nate83 says:

    Maldonado isn’t the catcher that cheap shot Snider is he? If he is he better be ready to take an 88 mph fastball from Wandy right in the side.

  20. Jim S. says:

    I heard Bowden say on MLB Radio on Sunday that Roenicke/Melvin approached Weeks about filling in the OF so that he could get more playing time since Scooter won his job at 2b. He said that Weeks told them no thanks, which sounded odd to me. So, he’s being rewarded by being given his job back? Has to be more to this story.

  21. Jim S. says:

    Never mind about the being given his job back part. Maybe 2 Bucco LHP in a row answers that. Just a platoon situation.

    I still don’t get the part about refusing to play OF.

  22. JohninOshkosh says:

    I had a spinal tap done once. My fever was like 105. My white blood cell count was like 10 trillion. I was dizzy and hallucinating colors. Doctor comes in with this needle the size of the Oklahoma panhandle and has me sign a bunch of releases regarding total paralyzation and or death.

    Lovely time.

  23. Jim S. says:

    Did you hear the sound system when Snider whiffed last night? They played that PINK song about starting a fight. It was kind of funny.

  24. NMR says:

    Wow. Please just put the ball in play. That Brewers defense is abysmal.

  25. Baywatch says:

    That’s the one, Nate! I wouldn’t be surprised to see Martin come off the bench to kamikaze Maldonado. He was pretty upset about that!

  26. chris says:

    why is tony sanchez not starting daily anymore? also what is the opinion on this board of the need to re-sign russell martin next year due to sanchez’s inability to make the simple throws.

  27. JohninOshkosh says:

    He is the gentleman. You are correct, sir.

    Hope he is wearing an ATF issued flak jacket.

  28. Jim S. says:

    One of the announcers last night, Neverett I think, said that Snider and Gomez ran into each other in a Milwaukee restaurant this week and hugged it out.

  29. NMR says:

    Also 8-4 in one run games.

  30. Baywatch says:

    LOL! Hugged it out! That sounds funny … wonder if they made “Kissy Faces” at each other, too! Yeah, I saw it on Twitter two days ago. Haven’t seen either one of them quoted on it.

  31. Baywatch says:

    Chris, I think you just answered your own question with the last part of your comment!

  32. NMR says:

    Tony Sanchez is overmatched in the field and at the plate. Just simply is not a big league catcher.

    They don’t necessarilly have to resign Martin, but they sure as heck better get someone.

  33. JohninOshkosh says:

    Fox North ran a show about Gomez returning to the Dominican. My God, the abject poverty he rose out of! Winding rubber bands together for balls. Using discarded lumber and sticks for bats. All because he had a skill and loved the game.

    Remarkable story but not that remarkable for just about any player coming out of the Caribbean.

    Made me look at him in a different way, that’s for sure.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Over the last three seasons, Juan D. has an ERA of 8.02 at Miller Park.

  35. Baywatch says:

    Someone on Twitter said that was better than the ERA of his Double A outings this year :-)

  36. Milo Hamilton says:

    A walking, talking & tweeting poster boy for signability.

  37. Jim S. says:

    This is one they need to get right. If Russell proves he can get healthy in the next couple of months, I think they need to make a serious run at re-signing him to build a bridge to McGuire. Hard to see any aspect of defense that Tony does particularly well. Maybe he’s a good pitch framer, which I can’t really observe. Maybe he calls a good game, which I also have to take someone else’s word for. If so, then I’ll take their word and trust what they do.

    But, the parts of catching that are easiest to see (receiving and throwing), I’m not seeing anything that says starter quality.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:

    Thank goodness the Brewers don’t have any AA hitters.

  39. Dom says:

    Aaron Hernandez charged with two additional murders:

  40. Baywatch says:


  41. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Hey…How bout that Carlos Gomez?!
    Goes crazy (again) on the field, and gets himself suspended for three (?!) whole days.
    Then he receives (for some strange reason) a very lengthy appeal process from MLB.
    Gomez then hurts his back in Tuesday nights game against the Pirates, and decides it would conveniently be a good time to accept the three game suspension, as he would’ve sat on the bench anyway.
    It’s funny how things work out so smoothly for a tough guy like Gomez……

  42. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Hernandez……One of the most dangerous men in not just the NFL….But the entire United States.

  43. JD says:

    Go to BW’s!

  44. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wish I could! :)

  45. Jim S. says:

    He has a fire to succeed, for sure, and made himself into a really good player. Nobody swings the bat harder than Gomez. No one can touch him defensively in CF. In fact, I think he would have caught Marte’s ball last night.

    I think you are right about the circumstances of a lot of these Latin players growing up. I bet of Marte, Polanco, Wandy, etc., etc. – most of them escaped horrible circumstances. The stories of Fernandez, Abreu, etc. from Cuba are pretty amazing, too.

  46. TK says:

    Pirate Catcher Stats (For what its worth, which is probably nothing):

    12 Chris Stewart 10 8 83 72 61 9 2 0 .972 7.59 2 11 4 .267 3.25 0.3
    21 Tony Sanchez 15 15 131 118 104 10 4 0 .966 7.83 1 15 3 .167 3.71 0.1
    29 Russell Martin 16 16 144 130 114 16 0 0 1.000 8.13 0 10 5 .333 4.25 0.2

  47. 21sthebest says:

    If Sanchez is overmatched at the plate, so are a lot of catchers.

  48. Jim S. says:

    Polanco only has a single and SB today through 4 innings. Slumping again, apparently.

  49. cmat0829 says:

    Its a good question, since Tony was getting most of the starts a week or so ago and that seems to have changed. I think it is because Clint and Ray believe the best chance to get our starting pitching on track is to go with Stewart… yes I know Tony has throwing issues, but he had them last week too. And Stewart hasn’t been perfect either on defense. I think with the offense coming alive, Clint felt they could afford to carry Stewart’s weak bat and go for the better receiver for the pitching game.

    I’m not as down on Tony as some are…. he does a lot of things well , especially block balls in the dirt. He seems to have a bat that could become comparable to Martin. Throwing is huge though… if he can’t regain that, he can’t be a starter, though seriously I would take Sanchez any day vs. McKenry, Barajas, Doumit, Snyder, Friar, and any of the rest…… that said, and I posted this before, the best $ spent by the PBC just might be to convince Martin to stay for 2 years… issue is Russell will demand 3 or 4 year contract I think.

  50. cmat0829 says:

    I haven’t seen or heard, but would’ ve expected to see Marte play today after coming up big in late innings yesterday… was there any comment made as to why he is on the pine again?

    Hoping it’s just the day game after the night game, taking it cautiously and not an aggravated injury….

  51. Bizrow says:

    Supposedly, he is still uncomfortable playing in the field. What with us going to the Yankees, he most probably will DH this weekend.

    Thats what I read anyways

  52. bradthedad says:

    Yeah, urban legend around these parts is the fans intimidated Cueto into losing composure. Heck, he’s from DR and ‘the crowd’ around here is kindergarden stuff compared to what he grew up with and played in front of.

  53. Wild Bill says:

    He’s tired from running out the single, double and triple of his last game.

  54. Jim S. says:

    He was in a 1/16 streak after the weekend, and there was speculation that maybe he was finally going to have to come back from some adversity.

    He went 6/8 Mon/Tues – 2 singles, 2 doubles, triple, HR.

  55. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Brad, I was there (no, I mean physically there). The crowd did rattle Cueto.

    But he WAS coming off an injury.

    Had to be there, man. Never forget it.

    Somewhat ironically, maybe, it was like a hockey crowd at a baseball game. Ask the players. No “urban legend ” involved.

  56. NMR says:

    Tony Sanchez has the second highest strikeout rate, lowest walk rate, and lowest power of any Major League catcher with at least 50 PA this seaosn.

    He’s been bad. Very bad.

  57. 21sthebest says:

    Hurdle said that after talking with Marte, they decided that it would be best to make him available to come off the bench today.

  58. Jim S. says:

    Maybe easing him back in, Biz? I sure do appreciate him more when I see the alternatives, defensively, when he’s not in the lineup.

  59. cmat0829 says:

    Stewart is hitting more like Martha at this point, last night’s most welcome abberration aside… I get that Tony is slumping somewhat but I still have more confidence in him at bat than Chris at the moment.

  60. Arriba Wilver says:

    They won’t pay the freight to keep him. Write it down.

    Just a hunch.

  61. cmat0829 says:

    makes sense was just hoping to see him in there.

  62. 21sthebest says:

    I remember a time when batting average used to mean something!

  63. cmat0829 says:

    just baffling that the Patriots gave him that big contract AFTER he had already become a multi-murderer… with all the NFL security protocols, shocking that Bill B. didn’t know that Aaron was up to.

  64. cmat0829 says:

    it will come down to years not dollars that keep the Bucs from signing him (if they don’t)…but let’s not underestimate NH on this position… he correctly identified the need for Martin in the first place….and if they don’t have a viable option otherwise I can see him pushing to re-sign him. But I can’t see NH going more than 2 years, maybe 3, and I think Russ wants one more big contract , and 4 years.

  65. bpn8pitt says:

    Not really sure about the catching situation myself. Much as I would like to see them re-sign Martin, IMO he is the best catcher available in free agency next year. Considering he’s only a year older than McCann, he’s going to get a serious paycheck. They will definitely be in the QO pickle again, if hes not dealt before the deadline…Still going to give Tony Sanchez and Stewart some time, but I agree with all the concerns.

    Im very glad Jordy and Ike have turned it around at the plate.

  66. bradthedad says:

    I’ll defer to you AW – I was at the others but not that one. I will admit they had a special feel to them ala Latin America ball games or, dare I say, soccer games (absent the smoke bombs). Maybe he was so startled that it sounded like home, he couldn’t hold the ball.

  67. Jim S. says:

    Interesting that you see him as good at blocking the plate, cmat. I know he has that reputation, but I keep seeing balls getting away that I think should be contained by him. They seem to hit his shin guard a lot and ricochet away. Maybe, as I said, it’s just that I don’t know much about catching.

    I think it will take at least 3 years on Russell. Tim Williams was speculating on the cost of a deal for him last night on twitter. I want to say he was estimating in the 3/$40 M range.

    I just know we can’t willingly go back to how it was 2 years ago. I think Martin and Stewart are much better defensively than anything we had before they got here. I think it is the most important defensive position on the field.

  68. NMR says:

    This is certainly an area where reasonable minds can disagree, but I think Tony Sanchez is brutal at blocking pitches in the dirt.

    I’ve counted three times already this year where runners have taken an extra base after pitches have richochet off his shin guards like a pin ball. The kid doesn’t even try to get a glove on the ball to deaden it.

    Also, Pirate pitchers have thrown one wild pitch per 20 innings Russell Martin has caught over the last two years. Pirate pitchers have thrown one wild pitch for every 10 innings Tony Sanchez has caught.

    Double the rate.

  69. Jim S. says:

    Or, that they didn’t know of his supposed issues at FL. Weren’t there reports that he shot someone at a traffic stop down there?

  70. NMR says:

    Ha, glad I’m not the only one seeing that, Jim.

  71. 21sthebest says:

    Regardless of the years, I think the dollars that Martin is going to be able to command is going to be too rich for the Pirates blood.

  72. cmat0829 says:

    I think we are both right. He has had a slew of balls richochet wildly off of his shin guard… but I have also seen him use a very good technique to block the ball with his chest protector and correctly not try to use his glove in those instances…. so I’m not sold that the book is closed on his not being able to be above average defensively as a catcher at this level. I also, early on, saw the supposedly very good defensive catcher, Stewart, not live up to that reputation… both in blocking and throwing. Maybe it’s just the overall sloppiness of the team and both will get better?

  73. Jim S. says:

    Maybe it’s the old SSS debate again. Just my impression, but I felt like he drove the ball with more authority last year. This year, so far, it seems to me that he is getting a lot of hits on bloops and well-placed ground balls in that 5.5 hole. I do think he’d hit better if he could get in a groove with more playing time, though.

  74. NMR says:

    .429 BABIP. He’s getting extremely lucky.

  75. Jim S. says:

    Arriba and 21:

    I fear you are both right, but I hope you are both wrong. The more I see this year, the more I want this guy back.

  76. Wild Bill says:

    Guess that qualifies as coming back.

  77. The Gunner says:

    Uh oh

  78. NMR says:

    You almost have to try to be so bad of a hitter that your batting average is .273 and neither your OBP nor SLG is .300.

  79. 21sthebest says:

    I remember a time when batting average used to mean something!

  80. cmat0829 says:

    question for the umpire… how is a pitch that starts a FOOT outside and then cuts to about 5 inches outside a STRIKE THREE CALLED?

  81. Patrick(ri) says:

    Buckner May be the worst HP ump in history. What a schmuck!

  82. Jim S. says:

    As I go through them in my head, I feel like he has had a lot of soft contact hits this year. I’ll take them while they last, but at some point you have to start hitting the ball harder more consistently or it won’t last.

    What happened to the guy who was learning to drive the ball to RC? I liked that Tony Sanchez. Maybe it is just a case of learning to keep his stroke w/o playing everyday. Every young player has to figure out how to do that if he wants to hit well as a part time player.

  83. The Gunner says:

    See, Jim – it’s true. GP is clearly not ready to take over RF for the Pirates.

  84. bpn8pitt says:

    Always wondered what Maurkice Pouncey knew or didnt know…Last couple years, pretty clear to me why they didnt draft Mike.

    You wonder with all that stuff with Hernandez, and some of the things the Pounceys have done, will they give Maurkice a new deal? Guy hasnt exactly been healthy all the time, to boot.

  85. Jim S. says:

    6 XBH in 60 ABs last year.

    1 XBH in 55 ABs this year so far.

  86. Jim S. says:

    I think you made a good point about him not using his glove to deaden the ball. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but now that you said that, I think he often just sort of throws his chest protector at balls in the dirt in front of him. The glove is an afterthought sometimes.

  87. Jim S. says:

    I think Stewart was struggling a bit, especially the one game vs. Cincy where he threw the ball around a bit. But, he was also coming off the minor surgery. So, maybe he was just getting healthy again. One thing I will say about Stewart is that, to me, he seems to get rid of the ball very quickly when guys are stealing. He doesn’t have Martin’s accuracy (no shame there), but he gets rid of it quickly, I think.

  88. Patrick(ri) says:

    +1 on the site.

    I know I am subject to selective perception, but years of watching this guy and Davidson convinces me they are really bad, not just weak.

  89. cmat0829 says:

    I think Cutch may be the most disrespected MVP in history in terms of not getting any close call ‘breaks’ etc. I just think Gallardo has a huge advantage if those pitches are gonna be strikes

  90. cmat0829 says:

    Ricky Weeks is just plain dumb. No sugar coating it.

  91. bpn8pitt says:

    There are some days I would rather go back to Iraq than umpire a Pony League game. The threat of violence is the same. Only half kidding.

  92. Nate83 says:

    Wow, it sounds like really bad base running by Weeks.

  93. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m sure it comes as no surprise to Ron Roenicke that Ricky Weeks is dumb.

  94. cmat0829 says:

    Wandy! Houdini. Sweet. Especially to get Lyin’ Ryan to GIDP.

  95. Bizrow says:

    I read that on Yahoo, I have him in one of my leagues, that was their speculation anyhoo ;-)

  96. Jim S. says:

    Just following on my phone. Looked like they had 1st/3rd with no outs. Then, it was 2 outs and a guy on 3rd. What happened?

  97. The Gunner says:

    And he has a bad attitude, too

  98. Bizrow says:

    Thank you Rickie Weeks

  99. Patrick(ri) says:

    It should work for both pitchers. We will see.

  100. cmat0829 says:

    which is why Melvin couldn’t find anyone to trade for him, though they have tried mightily…..

  101. NMR says:

    I’m gonna go against the grain here.

    I think Brian McCann is a poor comp because Brian McCann has a bat that can play at 1B and DH. Russell Martin does not.

    If the Pirates extend Martin a QO, I don’t think he gets more than three years guaranteed and more than $12m AAV. There just isn’t a history of teams paying for premium defense at catcher.

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Braun hit a comebacker. Juan D. turned a DP & Weeks casually stepped back on 3rd base.

  103. cmat0829 says:

    Weeks was aggressively leading off 3rd….was 1/3 of the way down the line before the pitch…. Braun hit it weakly back to Wandy… who correctly turned and started the double play… Weeks inexplicably just froze and went back to 3rd. A gift.

  104. Jim S. says:

    I thought the guy last night was giving the Brewers pitchers the left (pitcher’s view) corner all night, but not giving it to our guys. Travis often says umpires call b/s more favorably for the home team.

    Did anyone else notice that last night? Or, is that just me being a Buc homer (always possible)?

  105. Jim S. says:

    I love it.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can also think of 12 million reasons nobody wanted him.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    I thought it was ridiculous last night. And why that ump stands where he does (to our right as we’re watching) is something I’d like to know.

  108. NMR says:

    Exactly! Reminds me of how they teach kids to block. Make them focus on using the body, not the glove. That doesn’t fly at this level. Gotta do both.

  109. 21sthebest says:


  110. bpn8pitt says:

    Walk made a good point last night, that Liriano is not getting the calls with his slider as much. As well as teams laying off of it more.

  111. 21sthebest says:

    Looked like all of Wandy’s fastballs were 89 and 90 according to Gameday.

  112. Arriba Wilver says:

    You really can’t separate the years and the dollars, Cmat. That’s always been a false argument to me. You just can’t when you’re talking guaranteed money. Yes, he correctly identified the need and got him. In fact, the rumors were the Pirates wanted a 3 year deal (but knowing them, it was probably a team option), and Martin refused because he wanted to have better numbers to get a long term deal next time (now this time).

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Do I want to keep him? Absolutely.

  114. Jim S. says:

    I hope you’re right on that about Martin, NMR. I also hope it is the Bucs who get him again.

    I do think the Yankees overpaid for McCann because: a) They can do that; b) They really needed him; and c) They feel like he can hit a lot of bombs to RF in Yankee Stadium. I also agree that his value as a hitter could also play at 1b, whereas Martin does not have that value.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Couldn’t even work a “I’ll take your Weeks and you take mine” deal for Jamile. :-)

  116. Arriba Wilver says:

    But those catchers are good to excellent defensive catchers.

  117. FlBucco says:


    You guys really need to chill – let’s see how Tony does over a reasonable stretch – the sample size is small and he has shown that he can frame pitches and throw out runners in the past – these are not skills he needs to learn – he just needs to get comfortable in the majors – for some that takes time…

    I worry more about our power hitting first baseman who has cost us a lot and has ONE hr in 70 AB as a Pirate – not what we were promised.

  118. Jim S. says:

    Glad I’m not alone. It looked like Clint had enough of it and started complaining around the 7th inning or so.

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    According to a Rolling Stones article I read the Pounceys were assigned by the coach (Urban Meyer?) to try to babysit him because of the known issues with his questionable character and the fact they did have good characters. The idea apparently was they would rub off on him in a good way and keep him out of trouble. It obviously didn’t work out ideally, but, I don’t think you can reasonably paint them as bad actors because he is. They were following orders in befriending him. Some guys are just bad. JMO

  120. FlBucco says:

    All of the Martin discussion needs to factor in some health – catcher aging – concerns.

    Bench was a bigger man than Martin and never had over 500 PA after age 31 out of baseball
    at 35…

    The Carlton Fisks are few and far between….

  121. FlBucco says:

    I really think Cutch – and a lot of players need to get the bat off of their shoulders – swing at things that are hittable – worry less about working the pitcher for walks.

    As long as the calls are made the same for both teams players need to adjust and get the bat off of their shoulders.

  122. 21sthebest says:

    I agree. I’m just referring to hitting. I just thought saying he was overmatched at this point was a little over the top.

  123. FlBucco says:

    Sorry guys – your are delusional. The computers are not at all forgiving – umps need to deal with the data after EVERY game – and they get evaluated on results – not what things look like on TV….

  124. NMR says:

    I think Tim Williams nailed his valuation of Martin in his article this morning, except I don’t believe he factored in what a Qualifying Offer would do to that.

    Bucs should make the QO and then continue negotiating a multi-year deal.

  125. Jim S. says:

    I always worry more about not having a good defensive catcher than not enough pop out of a platoon 1b, FL. I hear what you are saying about Ike. I have also said that he doesn’t seem to be driving the ball much yet. But, he’s getting on base at a decent clip. Hopefully, the power will come.

    I did point out that I think Tony would hit better with more playing time. But, one XBH in nearly 60 ABs is not a good start, and nowhere near how well he hit last year.

  126. NMR says:


    Please list the last time an umpire was reprimanded, demoted, or fired due to job performance.

  127. Jim S. says:

    I prefer to say I think he is struggling with hitting at the moment. He could quickly snap out of it.

  128. NMR says:

    This is Major League Baseball, not Little League.

    No hitter is going to be successful swinging at pitches off the plate.

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    Do you mean $12 mil per year? (Don’t understand the AAV)

    Don’t expect them to offer the QO or to pay $12 mil average for 3 years. That’s what I was talking about above, without the numbers.

    They won’t do it. They’d re-up Stewart first.

  130. 21sthebest says:

    “Thank you Rickie Weeks”

    Biz’s fault!

  131. Patrick(ri) says:

    As I recall, Weeks used to try to pull everything (walk is saying it better as I type)…

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    He giveth, he taketh.

  133. Jim S. says:

    Atonement by RW.

  134. FlBucco says:

    Weeks takes a BP fastball deep – Wandy walks the next guy..

    Braun can make thing ugly fast.

  135. Patrick(ri) says:

    More weird stuff in Milwaukee.

  136. cmat0829 says:

    Keep calm.. All that has happened so far is a Miller Park special from Weeks….

  137. Jim S. says:

    Well, I think the .297/.383/.489 career slash line (which he is exceeding across the board this year, btw) Cutch is putting up in an era where pitching is fairly dominant is an indicator that he has a pretty good idea what he is doing at the plate.

    No #3 hitter in MLB has come to bat in the first inning with 2 out and none on as often as Cutch.

  138. Nate83 says:

    Halfway to the requested quality start that Jim requested (hoped) for. Now lets score some runs on these bums.

  139. Andrew says:

    Haven’t been able to follow the game but I see Wandy is doing a great job of sequencing. I hope the Pirates don’t leave this bandbox with only one homerun.

  140. Jim S. says:

    It’s about time for the Bucs to go on one of their HR binges. They’ve been a little light in that area over the last few weeks, but I can see that ending here and in NYC, maybe.

  141. 21sthebest says:

    The Committee to pick the next Commissioner has been formed.

    The committee will be chaired by William O. (Bill) DeWitt, Jr., principal owner and chief executive officer of the St. Louis Cardinals. The other members are Colorado Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort; Philadelphia Phillies general partner, president and CEO David Montgomery; Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno; Pittsburgh Pirates chairman Bob Nutting; Minnesota Twins CEO Jim Pohlad; and Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

  142. Bizrow says:


  143. Jim S. says:

    Wandy is doing his job, with just one big mistake. I can’t fault him so far.

  144. 21sthebest says:


  145. Jim S. says:

    I better start making phone calls. It could be another 15 years before I get a shot if I miss this opportuntiy.

  146. Nate83 says:

    Hopefully we can keep his pitch count going and get him out after the 6th or 7th.

  147. cmat0829 says:

    Cheap Nutting is on the board… they will no doubt go with the lower cost candidate.

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wow. Interesting group. Reinsdorf will be a force. Always is.

    Where do I send my resume ? I have a thought or two about running the league. I’ll even keep the office in Milwaukee.

  149. Jim S. says:


  150. Arriba Wilver says:

    And I’m not even worried about his hitting at this point. Dude has to be able to throw.

  151. cmat0829 says:

    personally glad that Tony S is in there today and not Stewart.

  152. Jim S. says:

    Like I said, Tony Sanchez will start hitting any minute. ;-)

    There’s that RC stroke I called for.

  153. 21sthebest says:

    Overmatched Tony Sanchez goes deep to give the Bucs a 2-1 lead. ;-)

  154. Patrick(ri) says:

    Early favorites: F. Coonally, K. Olhberman and B. Crystal. Dark Horses: GW Bush & Gov. Christie.

  155. cmat0829 says:

    they should go with Joe Torre.

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    You apparently never saw Sangy hit. Or, Roberto for that matter.

  157. 21sthebest says:

    Cy/Babe Rodriguez follows up with a base hit.

  158. Jim S. says:

    Mitch Williams types coaching, bpn?

  159. Arriba Wilver says:


  160. bpn8pitt says:

    For the record im not a fan of McCann.

    Just think Martin is going to be paid handsomely…Probably be a bidding war for him. Not saying he’s worth it either.

    But these teams still stun me at the money they hand out. Especially when they have a hole

  161. Milo Hamilton says:

    The answer is Rob Manfred. Write it down.

  162. Jim S. says:

    True. But, Martin just turned 31 over the winter. He is starting to get nicked up a bit.

  163. Jim S. says:

    Absolutely, NMR.

  164. Patrick(ri) says:

    The “computer analysis ” of Buckner must going berserk!

  165. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cardinal Dolan.

  166. Jim S. says:

    About 3-4 more weeks, I would estimate, Gunner.

  167. Nate83 says:

    Bottom of the order really coming through and doing more then enough lately.

  168. Jim S. says:

    This is where you need to finish a guy off.

  169. bpn8pitt says:


    Thought Mike Pouncey did some questionable stuff in Miami, Richie Incognito aside.

    Never can tell with some people these days.

  170. JohninOshkosh says:

    Danny McBride.

  171. Jim S. says:

    Well done, 21. Well done.

  172. JohninOshkosh says:

    Alyssa Milano.

  173. Nate83 says:

    Sweep the leg!!!!!

  174. Jim S. says:

    I imagine LaRussa’s name might also come up.

  175. Jim S. says:

    I’m on board.

  176. NMR says:

    You can’t predict baseball!

  177. Jim S. says:

    C’mon, Day-Dro.

  178. Milo Hamilton says:

    I love Cardinal Dolan.

  179. NMR says:

    Do the kids still play Mortal Combat?

  180. JohninOshkosh says:

    Vladimir Putin.

    But, only by annexation.

    OK, I’ll stop.

  181. Nate83 says:

    Sorry I just watched Karate Kid with my kids recently. That moment in the movie where he is told to sweep the leg to finish Ralph Macchio off is so over dramatized it’s almost comical. You would have thought he was being asked to saw his leg off.

  182. chris says:

    Whatever the case is the front office needs to get this right. If they stick with Sanchez, it has to be because they can fix his throwing issues and not just because he was a first round pick. If they don’t see his throwing getting better Martin needs to be a priority to sign.

  183. Jim S. says:

    Tim Neverett just had one of the most comical play calls there you’ll ever hear on the radio. He called it a base hit to RF, then said Weeks was going to play it, then said they had him played perfectly.

    I think they might regret not touching Gallardo for more there.

  184. 21sthebest says:

    What? Something overdramatized in a movie?

  185. Jim S. says:

    We’ve now had separate Alyssa Milano and Ralph Macchio references today.

  186. JohninOshkosh says:

    You and me both. I worked with him on some projects when he was in Milwaukee (well, me and tons of people). Would just plunk down and listen to him. Total gift of gab. Very funny. His brother is a great guy as well.

  187. chris says:

    Also, another good question would be if the buccos are still in it at the trade deadline, who would they want to trade for? The only positions I see they will need/want to upgrade are starting pitching (maybe), shortstop (maybe), and bench help. I can’t see front office thinking they need to trade for anyone because they are in the mindset that everything can be cured in house as we have seen this past off-season

  188. Milo Hamilton says:

    That lead lasted 2 pitches.

  189. 21sthebest says:

    Neverett’s killing me.

  190. Jim S. says:

    Bake McBride.

  191. NMR says:

    Average Annual Value, or salary per year

  192. Jim S. says:

    Maldonado’s HR was apparently such a no doubter that even Tim recognized it right away.

  193. Patrick(ri) says:

    We would have another run if CB had not made the absurd 2nd strike call on Snider.

  194. bpn8pitt says:

    Parents, Jim. Had more than one confrontation with a parent in a parking lot after the game. Alcohol has been a factor too at times. Then you really worry about the kid.

    Coaches are all different. Some very bright guys who are understanding, have even umpired themselves. Other guys that think winning at all costs, trumps instruction and good sportsmanship. Dont know the rulebook at all, and have never officiated anything.

    Umpired men’s slow pitch softball and a couple of girls fastpitch games. Tough. :)

  195. FlBucco says:

    You mean the man who led the steroid Zoo in Oakland – always amazed that he got a pass for his role in the roid era….

  196. Jim S. says:

    I think you nailed it on the needs at this point, Chris.

  197. The Gunner says:

    You sound surprised, Milo

  198. 21sthebest says:

    Saw her at the 2006 All Star Game. :-)

  199. Jim S. says:

    Did he play 2b right before Tommy Herr? :-)

  200. Jim S. says:

    I don’t really like him, either. But, I think he has a ton of clout. Wasn’t he one of the main guys behind devising this replay system?

    I like Torre.

  201. JohninOshkosh says:

    21 has a photo of her at PNC with her arm around his son, I believe. He posted it once a long time ago. I remember her, can’t recall the dude for sure, though.

  202. JohninOshkosh says:


  203. Milo Hamilton says:


  204. cmat0829 says:

    Yo- Gaby, Gaby! Chicks dig the long ball and the Buccos back on top.

  205. 21sthebest says:

    Overmatched Sanchez homers again.

    Alright I tried to get away with one there. It was Tony’s brother Gaby this time.

  206. Baywatch says:


  207. JohninOshkosh says:

    See above, por favor.

  208. Patrick(ri) says:

    He does seem to have found his stroke . . .

  209. Nate83 says:

    I’ve learned two thing today and that is Jim is a prophet and the Pirates will hit some home runs in NY this weekend.

  210. cmat0829 says:

    In that stadium, you just can’t pitch above the waist…. any type of barrel-up in the air and that ball is gone…. I like Gaby to get 1-2 starts a week, regardless of RHP or LHP… feel better about 1B situation with Ike and Gaby splitting 60/40 ish.

  211. NMR says:

    Hahaha, excellent.

  212. Milo Hamilton says:

    We need more guys named Sanchez. I loved Freddy.

  213. 21sthebest says:

    Jim his having a prophetic year. I vote that he grow his hair and beard out like Grilli did.

  214. cmat0829 says:

    Color me stupified I’m typing this phrase, but I want Wandy to go back out there for the 6th…. I like Justin but I think Wandy has one more in him.

  215. Nate83 says:

    Jim how do you feel about stepping on a rusty nail?

  216. Thundercrack says:

    That tie didn’t last long

  217. 21sthebest says:

    Ah!! That wasn’t me John. I vaguely remember hearing that story from someone though. I never would have posted a picture of family here. Not with you psychotic loons.

  218. Baywatch says:

    Tony clearly o’ermatched there.

  219. Baywatch says:

    Can’t seem to find the crayon for that one, cmat! LOL!

  220. JohninOshkosh says:


    You guys are entertaining me at work, this dreary cold May day.

  221. The Gunner says:

    Now the bullpen needs to bear down!!

  222. Nate83 says:

    When the wheels have come off for him this year they have come off quickly. I would like to see one more inning from him as well but it also scared the stuff out of me.

  223. Jim S. says:

    Gaby is putting together a nice little season at the dish.

    As usual, he’s destroying LHP to the tune of .360 with 6 XBH in 25 AB.

    But, he’s also hitting for power vs. RHP this year. Was hitting .250 coming into the game, but now has 3 HR and 5 XBH in 43 AB vs. RHP.

    11 XBH in under 70 AB.

  224. Dom says:

    One run lead thanks to the Sanchez brothers.

  225. JohninOshkosh says:

    You did, Dude. You noted that it wasn’t you in the picture!

    Believe me, I don’t joke about or forget anything concerning my next wife, Ms. Milano.

    Embrace of the Vampire.

  226. Jim S. says:

    Are you assuming I don’t already have that look going? :-)

  227. cmat0829 says:

    NICE focused outing from JWill.

  228. Jim S. says:

    I draw the line there, Nate.

  229. NMR says:

    Coming into today, Pirates had better OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ at 1B than the Rays, who you might remember signed some Loney guy this winter.

  230. cmat0829 says:

    yep, i call for a 60/40 1B platoon, or even 50/50. Gaby appears to be close to his Miami form.

  231. Jim S. says:

    Aging like fine wine.

  232. cmat0829 says:

    does Wilson get another inning or do we go Morris-Watson-Melancon.?

  233. NMR says:

    Finally somebody to join my crusade!

  234. cmat0829 says:

    never mind, got my answer with JW at the plate.

  235. Jim S. says:


    Who was the 40-ish hottie you ran into while jogging in NYC? Elizabeth Shue?

  236. cmat0829 says:

    I call for Marte to pinch hit for Snyder, foiling Roenicke’s big move here and getting us a better outfield defense for the last 3 innings also.

  237. cmat0829 says:

    I’m slow but will eventually come around…. :)

  238. Milo Hamilton says:

    Only 5 runs so far.

  239. Nate83 says:

    I bought a ticket on the first day. I always thought Gaby was as good as anything available in trade and was frustrated by Ishikawa getting so many at bats. I’m good with 60/40 or even 50/50.

  240. cmat0829 says:

    thanks Clint!

  241. Nate83 says:

    I’m OK with that number not moving. However neither of these bullpens performances lead me to believe that will be the final run total.

  242. cmat0829 says:

    yuck of an atbat by marte… way too anxious… all 4 pitches balls, though with CB as ump, it would be 2-2 probably.

  243. NMR says:

    Just think how good the Brewers would be if they had hitters better than AA players, Milo.

  244. Nate83 says:

    I assume nothing on this blog although I do expect that Jandy looks just like Mother Teresa and maybe just maybe AW is a mob boss.

  245. 21sthebest says:

    Yes! And she’s 50 now! Exact same birthday as mine.

    Alright I just checked the site where I’d upload pictures and can’t find anything. It’s possible I’m losing it. But I do remember my son having his picture taken with Miss Pennsylvania a couple of years ago when she was at the ballpark.

  246. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, bpn. I come at it from the coaching side, and of course the parent side. I’ve seen some terrible things said to referrees by parents in soccer, basketball and baseball. I never understood it.

    I am helping coach my 12 year old’s baseball team, and we have a rule among the coaches to keep our mouths shut about the calls. Best thing our head coach did this year was meet with the parents, coaches and players before the season. He told everyone that we are not going to argue about any call all season – coaches, parents or players. He said the umpires are honest people doing their best and doing it because they love youth baseball. They don’t care who wins, and they don’t want to miss any calls, regardless of what we might think. We have not had one parent open their mouth all season, and if a kid is frustrated by a call, he keeps his mouth shut and goes back to the dugout. It has been great from that standpoint.

  247. NMR says:

    Amazing how much many more comments guys posted about 1B during the winter when the team wasn’t even playing compared to now, when they are.

  248. The unhittable Duke of Milwaukee.


  249. Jim S. says:

    On 4 HR. You can’t let many runners on base in this place.

  250. Jim S. says:

    Gaby Sanchez, professional hitter.

    He’s the new Matt Stairs!

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s unbelievable. They must be juicing the balls down there. ;)

  252. cmat0829 says:

    OUTSTANDING outing from Justin Wilson today… he was in a zone. Love the way he mixed in more offspeed than usual….that can make his fastball that much more unhittable….

  253. cmat0829 says:

    or Matt Hague…oops, sorry.

  254. Wilson’s only thrown 21 pitches and they aren’t touching him. Let him pitch the 8th. He won’t pitch tomorrow, anyway.

  255. cmat0829 says:

    tempting but i think it will tony-markymark…..

  256. Nate83 says:

    +++ was just about to post something similar. Good signs lately that pitching is coming around. I think the Pirate we watched the first 9 games and the last 12 are closer to what they actually are instead of those 18 games where they went 4-14.

  257. Jim S. says:

    This just in. Johnny Cueto is healthy again.

  258. cmat0829 says:

    ADD ON, fellas… ADD ON… hope 3 is enough but i don’t wanna have to hope.

  259. cmat0829 says:

    NOW is the time for Pedro to sell out and pull any pitch, get Cutch to 3rd with one out and Sac Fly Gaby on deck….

  260. cmat0829 says:

    good gravy… game situation screams for a sac bunt, but Gaby at the plate…. I’d still call a bunt but I risk the wrath…..

  261. cmat0829 says:

    does thornburg ever throw a fastball?

  262. The Gunner says:

    So far today, 0 for 4 w/RISP – the Bucs are due

  263. cmat0829 says:

    i’d have bunted…. but tough luck for Gaby….

  264. Nate83 says:

    Hopefully we won’t need the funky bunch after that which would probably include Gomez, Vin or Morris.

  265. JohninOshkosh says:

    No. I could be losing it, too.

    Nice about Miss PA. Was she wearing the sash and tiara ?

  266. Jim S. says:

    That play was a perfect example of the season Milwaukee is having vs. the one the Bucs are having. 2 on, 0 out. 3 balls on the batter. One pitch away from bases loaded, none out. Ball scolded toward 3rd, and a great play turns it into a DP.

    I think they have caught quite a few breaks like that this year.

  267. Patrick(ri) says:

    How about an error on the new 3rd baseman?

  268. Milo Hamilton says:


  269. Jim S. says:

    I can’t even remember the last time anyone on this team got a successful bunt down.

    I’m ok with a red hot Gaby taking a swing there. He scorched it. Tough break.

  270. cmat0829 says:

    Missed opportunity… Gaby did scald it but was right at Reynolds…who did make a very good play, especially to keep focused and lead the double play.

    I will forever maintain I’d have bunted there, despite what the sabretooths say.

  271. Jim S. says:

    So, how many games in a row is this for Watson?

  272. Jim S. says:

    I’m not saying a bunt is a bad play there. Late in the game, moving 2 runners up with a one run lead isn’t a bad play. I just trust Gaby more swinging than bunting.

  273. NMR says:

    :) I love baseball.

  274. 21sthebest says:

    No! LOL!

  275. cmat0829 says:

    2nd, he didn’t pitch Tuesday or Sunday so he’s well rested

  276. NMR says:

    Plus, Mercer has hit like four ball out of the infield all year. Bunt just wastes an out.

  277. NMR says:

    And the pitcher just walked back to back hitters to start the inning. So yeah, let’s give him a free out. Makes sense.

  278. 21sthebest says:


  279. Milo Hamilton says:

    When Grilli is resurrected, there’s no reason for him to be anywhere near the 8th or 9th innings.

  280. Jim S. says:

    I admit I wanted him platooned all along. I still do, although I’m ok with him getting some ABs vs. RHP. He’s proving he can get it done so far.

    But, I think the platoon is working ok. I don’t want Gaby getting 250 ABs vs. RHP.

  281. cmat0829 says:

    wonder if he will tell Clint to STFD and give him the ball in the 9th… but I agree.. Watson and Melancon have earned their spots… I kinda like Grilli joining Morris and Wilson as key 7th inning guys…

  282. Patrick(ri) says:


  283. Baywatch says:

    He’ll be making millions on his book by then … NOT! :-)

  284. cmat0829 says:

    I guess we will just have to disagree… as I see it the only way to really kill that rally (1st and 2nd no out) is a double play… so to keep pressure on and give youself a chance to score there, I would play the percentages. One argument against I guess is that you won’t be able to execute the sac fly (or single through or over a drawn in infield)….

    I know you can’t always manage to avoid the negative outcomes but in a game where one more run could make a big difference I play for that and not the big inning.

  285. Jim S. says:

    Oh, I thought he pitched the entire series. My bad. Thanks.

  286. Baywatch says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t understand how major league players – WITH PRACTICE – can’t bunt the baseball any better than that! And it seems to happen all the time!

  287. cmat0829 says:

    i’m just sick with major leaguers, and especially Pirates, ridiculous inability to sacrifice bunt. They DO practice it… they DO work on it… I’m sick of excuses…. just sad sad sad the stabbing attempts at the ball and not just ‘catching the ball with the bat”.

  288. Patrick(ri) says:

    Be right up there with “The Art of Sacrifice Bunting,” by C. Hurdle & staff.

  289. Baywatch says:


  290. cmat0829 says:

    +++ :)

  291. Baywatch says:


  292. Jim S. says:

    Oh, there’s regression coming for that Milwaukee bullpen. Just not today, unfortunately. The Bucs should have this game well in hand.

  293. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh good, Braun is up.

  294. Jim S. says:

    Stabbing at the ball with the bat well in foul territory.

  295. Jim S. says:

    Where’s Grilli when you need him?

  296. NMR says:


  297. The Gunner says:

    I agree with you, but the BMTIB will no doubt re-anoint him as the official closer.

  298. Milo Hamilton says:

    Healing the sick.

  299. The Gunner says:

    Need to get a Hoover real quick

  300. Jim S. says:

    Let’s see if the Brewers comply with a DP ball like we do for them at key times.

  301. Patrick(ri) says:

    DP time!

  302. This year may be his swan song. Between book signings and his concert tour, he’ll need to retire.

  303. cmat0829 says:

    WALK EXACTLY RIGHT… “real good” hitters wait on that curve and LINE it the other way…. Pirates trail in this ability in a very noticeable way. Not sure there are any sabremetrics to bear that out… but my eyes don’t lie.

  304. Patrick(ri) says:

    Do we have issues with Buckner? Those have been strikes the whole game,

  305. The Gunner says:

    Get the rosary beads out!

  306. cmat0829 says:

    need a ground ball.

  307. NMR says:

    “…so to keep pressure on and give youself a chance to score there, I would play the percentages.”

    I appreciate the good reply, cmat.

    I do wonder, however, which percentages actually add up to being a greater chance at scoring a run? The bunt play means that you not only have to be successful at the bunt, but also at another play, be it a sac fly or hit.

  308. Patrick(ri) says:

    +++. Have not seen a Pirate since Freddy who could do that well.

  309. NMR says:

    Now here is where I would bunt, cmat.

  310. Jim S. says:

    Needs to pull a Trevor Rosenthal here.

  311. cmat0829 says:

    i think you have to play for the double play here up the middle…

  312. Andrew says:

    This place is haunted, Melancon with two walks.

  313. Milo Hamilton says:

    No way I’d have the infield in.

  314. 21sthebest says:

    Here’s some data which shows runners on first and second and no outs are more likely to get you a run than second and third and one out. But I think you need to look at the situation.

  315. Patrick(ri) says:

    At least we have walked all the good hitters.

  316. Jim S. says:

    Me, either.

  317. Milo Hamilton says:

    The bullpen has just killed them this year.

  318. Karen22 says:

    WOW – WHAT CR*P!! How many saves already this year?!

  319. hockeymonster says:

    Could this day get any more depressing?

  320. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs gave this one away… wrapped & all!!!

    What a bunch of bulls**t!!

  321. Florida Steeler says:

    Good job Melancon. Now, Walk will babble with excuses.

  322. Jim S. says:

    Game of inches. All playing out perfectly for Milwaukee almost every game. Rarely playing out well for the Bucs. I’m sure we got more than our fair share of good fortune last year. Just an amazing loss. Said that a lot this year.

  323. Baywatch says:

    How utterly TERRIBLE!

  324. Bizrow says:


    So far its not looking like our year here in the burgh

  325. Wild Bill says:

    Melancon had nothing today, simple as that.

  326. Dom says:

    On the bright side, Tony Sanchez had a good game.

  327. Karen22 says:

    Not so sure about Melancon anymore, either.

  328. The Gunner says:

    And lack of TIMELY HITTING!

  329. Patrick(ri) says:

    Credit to Braun and Buckner for shaking up Melancon. Seemed to lose it after the questionable calls.

  330. The Gunner says:

    Melancon absolutely STUNK THE JOINT OUT TODAY!!

  331. Jim S. says:

    So, the bases loaded, one run game situation in the 9th came up twice in the last 4 days for the Bucs … once with us batting down a run, and once while we were in the field up a run.

    Our guys managed to not push across even the tying run.

    Brewers managed to get the tying and winning runs across.

    Very costly.

  332. Breakthestreak says:

    10 blown saves. 6 in 9th inning and 4 in 8th. Grilli has 3 blown sand. Melanin 3 I think. Would be over 500 if we had a closer

  333. cmat0829 says:

    Bummer of a loss.. Melancon lack of control really surprising… though Buckner did change his stripes from excessively liberal to somewhat tight in that inning.

    So, Brewers down 1 run, bottom of the 9th, Braun up and Lucroy up…instead of swinging for the home run, Braun (patient on a curve and line drive opposite field single) and Lucroy (did not swing at several borderline pitchers, which were well placed for a pull into DP) took the walk…they started a rally and led to the win.

    I don’t think Cutch and Pedro can do that or will do that in a million years.

    Tough loss, especially with Wandy giving them a very good start…and the bullpen being lock down great up until the 9th….. what a difference a series win WOULD HAVE made, for a load of reasons… oh well, on to the Bronx but what a downer….

  334. 21sthebest says:

    Bullpen ERA is 4th in the NL and the team is 6th in the NL in RISP.

  335. Thundercrack says:

    What is almost as bad as them blowing the save in the bottom of the ninth….trying to follow the game on the At-Bat app while sitting at your desk at work.

  336. Karen22 says:

    I vote for Watson!

  337. Nate83 says:

    That is the season in a nutshell essentially. There is zero chance that this bullpen continues to implode like this in late innings. They are on pace for some historic numbers and it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s the same guys as last year for the most part. Hopefully the team gets healthy in New York both physically and mentally.

  338. twentytwo22 says:

    4 more months of this ****

  339. cmat0829 says:

    sometimes stats don’t matter. they are losing games due to blown saves (not counting the stupid give up the lead in the 6th inning blown save, but 9th-inning blown saves) and with inability to get key hits with RISPs…. no doubt about it…. i would say conservatively they have lost 6 games directly due to blown saves (real ones) and 2-3 more directly due to late game inability to hit with RISP. That’s enough for me, regardless of the stats.

  340. Milo Hamilton says:

    The 10 blown saves is tops in the majors. Hey, we’re first at something !

  341. 21sthebest says:

    Huntington should have acquired a closer!

  342. Nate83 says:

    “I don’t think Cutch and Pedro can do that or will do that in a million years”

    Cmat I agree with most of the things you post but I think this comment isn’t accurate at all. I’ve seen Pedro draw walks in many situation like the one you describe over the last year and obviously Cutch is capable of a good at bat in any situation. I’m sure if you researched it Braun and Lucroy have failed in those situations just as often as Cutch and Pedro and it has been because of bad at bats just as much as bad luck.

  343. cmat0829 says:

    I may be running counter to the mood, but I expected this one to be 11-2 Milwaukee given the matchup… so yes, devastating 9th inning, but if they can move on to the Bronx and win a series they can still right this ship…. think about the last few losses… all winnable games…. the losses to the Giants and the Cards SHOULD HAVE been wins…and they should have won today… the Cole loss is really the only one that was not really in our hands… so this 7-5 stretch really could be 10-2….

    it all depends on where they go from here…. win a series in NYC and they can go home and keep the climb going… a sweep (loss) in NYC and we’re circling the drain…..

  344. Thundercrack says:

    per twitter

    After 40 games in 2014 our record is 17-23
    After 40 games in 2013 our record was 23-17

    Grilli had 16 saves at this point last year. We have 9 total so far this season

  345. NMR says:

    Hey bpn, remember when I said the bullpen would be fine?

    Pile it on, brother! ;)

  346. Jim S. says:

    I actually thought the way they pulled out last night’s game, and then got a good start from Wandy today, and took a lead into the 9th, this might be the start of something good. 18-22 and 6.5 back is not very good, but it is so much better than 17-23 and 8.5 back.

    I guess we should have known the lead could not be held. We had a starting pitcher in line for a win. We only get one of those about every 2 times through the rotation.

    Oh well. Off to NYC. Maybe it will turn.

  347. Nate83 says:

    It’s shocking everytime I see that especially the bullpen ERA being 4th. I think they are probably 6th or 7th in runs scored as well. I don’t know how it’s possible to rank 4th out of 15th in something but dead last in a stat (blown saves) most would look at to see how good your bullpen. It defies logic.

  348. cmat0829 says:

    just going by me watching every inning of every game… pretty clear to me Cutch’s MO is to swing for the HR and not just deliberately push the ball oppo-…. i’m not saying Cutch/Pedro aren’t good… i’m a big fan…. just saying that other teams, especially the Cards and Brewers stars…and Joey Votto… seem to just purposefully settle for the rally starting singles and not always try to pull…. there are plenty of players that do it the Cutch and Pedro way, I just have never seen an at bat like Braun had today by any Pirate other than perhaps Tabata when he is going well.

  349. Chuck H says:

    When Melencon, with a lot of help from the HP ump, walked the bases loaded, why was he he not lifted for a pitcher who might have been able to get the Bucs out of the inning with maybe a strikeout and DP. See, Hurdle simply doesn’t
    have the foggiest idea of when a pitcher does not have it on any certain day. The Pirates have lost many games due to this lack of perception. GO, STEELERS!!!

  350. Breakthestreak says:

    Can Bylsma close? He’ll need a job.

  351. Jim S. says:

    We’ve also won our share of close ones. We still have about an 11-9 record in one run games.

    The problem is we are not getting wins where we dominate the game and win by 3 or 4 runs. If every game is extremely close, you can’t win them at a high rate. That takes a lot of good fortune. And, it takes forever to climb out of a 10-18 hole.

  352. Thundercrack says:

    Tony Watson might be the only reliever that could do what you described. And they wouldn’t have let him back in the game.

    And in regards to Hurdle, name me one manager that would have lifted his closer in that situation? Not only didn’t he have anyone else to go to – – nobody lifts their closer. (even if it would have been a good idea)

  353. Karen22 says:

    Well, THAT sure explains it!

  354. bpn8pitt says:

    Its okay, man. Thing is, i dont think Grilli is going to be the solution either when he comes back.

  355. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know about Cutch, cmat. It seems to me that he has a lot of hits this year to CF and RF.

  356. Nate83 says:

    There have been 4 or 5 loses this year that have been just painful. It’s extremely odd. I don’t remember more then 2 or 3 of those last year where you walked away thinking wow they let that one slip through their hands. It doesn’t feel like the losing that happened from 1994-2011 where the losing felt self inflicted and just overmatched.

    It just feels like one of those weird months in your life where everything goes wronge. They happen like every 2 or 3 years and your friends all say man a bunch of bad things have happened to you or has 3 things bad happened yet. You know they happen in 3’s. I hope today is the end of that. Maybe tomorrow we get a refund check for overpaying a bill or an unexpected bonus and things turn around.

  357. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, you’re sure. Not a hunch? ;-)

  358. Arriba Wilver says:

    Barry Bonds. I hear he’s reformed.

  359. Andrew says:

    The worst starting pitching in baseball coupled with an inconsistent offense will put you a lot of high leverage situations, and bullpen hasn’t been up to the task. Despite Wilson’s and Watson’s performance today they just haven’t missed enough bats.

  360. Nate83 says:

    Who???? Melancon is our best groundball pitcher to get a double play that was available. He actually probably has a higher strike out rate then all other options. It sounds like he got squeezed on a couple of pitches by the ump. The game winning hit wasn’t exactly hit hard.

  361. bpn8pitt says:

    Agree, Nate.

    I am hoping NY awakes the sleeping Pedro giant.

  362. Arriba Wilver says:

    Loved that movie, John. Watched it many times. Well, parts of it many times.

  363. NMR says:

    This season gives me the feeling that Aroldis Chapman would’ve blown five saves already if he were wearing a Pirate uniform.

    I’m officially at 2009-levels of baseball depression. Ready to talk about the draft and prospects.

    Who’s got a good prospect list handy?!

  364. NMR says:

    I remember when saves meant something!


  365. Thundercrack says:

    And it figures that this year we don’t have a top 5 draft pick.

  366. Jim S. says:

    No manager switches there. And no one saves a better pitcher for after the closer. So, yeah he could have brought in Jeanmar or Hughes, I suppose.

  367. Nate83 says:

    I don’t know. Cutch didn’t win the MVP because he failed to just make the correct baseball play in every important situation late in games. Cutch starts a lot of late inning rallies with hits to all parts of the field. Pedro seems to actually walk more in the 7th-9th innings then he does early in the game.

    I think you are understating this teams ability to be “clutch”or overstating how often other teams come up with a big hit. Baseball is 65-70% failure. All teams fans walk away from games saying I can’t believe they didn’t get a hit in that situation 70% of the time.

  368. Jim S. says:

    Are we officially “sellers” at the deadline?

    Hey, we’re still in a pretty crappy division. Anything can happen – as long as it starts happening pretty soon.

  369. Jim S. says:


    LA = late afternoon.

  370. NMR says:

    These guys come out of the gate playing like this last year and Huntington, et al are toast by the All Star Break.

    At some point the players just gotta start making plays.

  371. Chuck H says:

    I was thinking Mazzaro might have done the job. If a couple of bad calls from the HP ump can destroy your closer, then I think Hurdle had better name another closer. Melencon doesn’t deserve it anymore-just use him when you have a 4 or 5 run lead, or in the middle innings.

  372. Jim S. says:

    And, then making them sick again by force feeding them grilled cheese sammiches.

  373. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s an ugly stat.

  374. Arriba Wilver says:

    Too bad the NFL draft is over.

  375. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought Wandy’s outing was a bright spot today,

  376. Andrew says:

    You don’t have to give up many runs to blow one run leads.

  377. 21sthebest says:

    Of course they do! Never implied they didn’t. Just threw those numbers out there. I still think we have a lot of problems.

  378. Jim S. says:

    He’s a better pitcher than Mazzarro, though, Chuck, even if he blew it today. You could argue for Watson or Wilson as the closer. But, the 7th and 8th innings are often more pressurized than the 9th. So, we’d have a lesser pitcher in those innings getting us to the 9th.

  379. This series in NY has possibilities of not ending well. They don’t know or care that we won 94 + 3 last season.

    And, if we were to be swept or lose 2 of 3, that would probably get that “sellers” campaign going strong.

  380. Andrew says:

    I didn’t see the game but his line definitely looked good. I was more referring to the season in general, this is the 21st one run game, bullpen is being asked to pitch too many high leverage innings.

  381. Jim S. says:

    It is kind of amazing that Melancon has now blown, what, 3 saves in the 9th inning.

    Coming in to today, he had pitched 19 innings. He had allowed 14 hits, 1 BB, 0 HR, 12 K’s, 2 HBP. He had a WHIP of less than 1. His ERA was 1.42.

    I guess he has just picked bad times in close games to have bad outings.

  382. bpn8pitt says:

    Probably a good thing they miss Tanaka…Beyond him, Yankees pitching pretty ugly.

    Lot of offense, this weekend I imagine.

  383. Jim S. says:

    Well, at least the Yankees have not been playing all that well. Their bullpen has issues. Their lineup has issues. Their rotation won’t have Tanaka this weekend. Unfortunately, it won’t have CC, either.

    Last time I checked, they had been outscored this season.

    I don’t think we are taking on a juggernaut. But, it is their ballpark, and we have to stop giving games away.

    I don’t like the thought of Volquez pitching to a bunch of lefty batters there, I must admit.

  384. I’ve got 2 Yankee fans in this office with me out of only 8 total people in the office. Almost as bad as an office full of UK fans.

  385. Jim S. says:

    Yes, missing Tanaka is the best possible news. That is like missing Cueto or Wainwright.

  386. Nate83 says:

    They haven’t been the big scary Yankees for a couple of years now. The series really doesn’t worry me much at all. I actually think it will be a nice breather from what we have faced recently. Their pitching is bad.

  387. bpn8pitt says:

    I have nothing scientific Jim, only that he imploded in Boston last time he was closer.

    I am very, very uneasy about shuffling all these roles in the bullpen too. But what choice do they have?

  388. No juggernaut required for us to make Cy Youngs out of their staff, especially with RISP.

    They yap about Wilson, Morris (shutters as he types) and Watson being closer potential. Time to take a look based on your stats below.

  389. I hope you guys are right. I dislike the Spanks almost as much as the Brewers and Cards, but can’t get a good feeling about it yet.

  390. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, bpan.

    He could have given up a couple of runs last night and still won. No margin for error today.

    I think we all knew trouble was brewing when the Bucs nearly had bases loaded and no outs in the 8th, then Gaby’s smash became a DP. Then, we had 2 guys on with one out in the 9th and couldn’t score. DPs both innings there. I could continue to say a whole lot went right for Milwaukee again, but the truth is it doesn’t matter. They made plays and we didn’t – again.

    As for the bullpen, I don’t know how you shuffle them around to make it better. We could insert Grilli in the 7th and Watson in the 9th, with Melancon in the 8th. But, if a game is tied or we are up one run in the 7th, I think we might still want our best pitcher throwing then. If Watson pitches then, and holds the lead, maybe we add a couple more runs for Grilli to have an easier road in the 9th. I think that scenario was more likely last year. All of those innings in close games are very important.

  391. Jim S. says:

    Oops! bpn, not bpan.

  392. bpn8pitt says:

    Dejan, Im not taking a shot at you, but this is where I feel the ” Uncle Ray’s gonna fix him” mentality is wrong. I know he didnt forget to coach, and he’s gonna bust his ass to try and fix this. Just felt that was a little overplayed, thats all.

    Walk mentioned last night teams had approached Liriano a little differently so far this year. I cant help but think that goes for the entire staff.

    Probably get a lot of scoffs and laughs at this, but much like Super Bowl Hangover, I think we have a little bit of Playoff Hangover too. Just an opinion.

  393. NMR says:

    da da, da da…WIIIIIILSOOOONNNN!

  394. Jim S. says:

    This may sound weird, but I think we are going to win 2 there, and 3 actually would not surprise me.

  395. bpn8pitt says:

    Ive always thought closers were a little overrated, until you didnt have one.

    This team was playing 6 inning games last year because that bullpen was solid. Plus we often got 7, 8 innings from Burnett, Cole and once and awhie Morton, Liriano and Locke would work into the 7th.

    These short outings by the starters havent helped the bullpen either.

  396. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Absolutely zero TC. One pitch and MM is out of the inning. His cut fastball doesn’t get hit hard. Perfect DP pitch

  397. radio wave says:

    Too many games back, season over before Memorial day!

  398. JohninOshkosh says:

    You and me both, brother.

  399. JohninOshkosh says:

    There is a hotel on E. Wisconsin Ave in Milwaukee called the Pfister. Historic nice hotel where many professional teams stay at when visiting.

    Long rumored to be haunted.

    I don’t know if the Pirates stay there or not but perhaps some of the malevolent spirits are attaching themselves to the Pirates bus when they depart for Miller Park.

    That’s all I got. Just unbelievable.

  400. FlBucco says:

    To be a seller you have to have something to sell…

    I don’t see anyone on the Pirates roster that would draw much interest right now – maybe Pedro or Gabby.

    And I think the division is the problem – the Bucs are by any objective ranking the 4th best team right now.

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