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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Nationals 5, Pirates 2

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (22-26) vs. Washington Nationals (24-25)

Time: 1:35 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 I 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:

    Just had the funny thought: JHay will need a day off before too long! But … REJECTED. Us fans know we can’t do without our Angel In The Outfield. MAYBE after What’s His Name comes up!

  2. radio wave says:

    Headed to the yard. Looking for five.

  3. Thundercrack says:

    Was just reading an article about the lack of pitching in the Phillies farm system, and came across this sentence”

    ‘A.J. Burnett has an option for another year, but he is likely to retire.’

    Let the drama / soap opera begin!

  4. Baywatch says:

    Will one more win here diminish your Red Sox SUCKING lately, Radio?

  5. Lad 9 says:

    Today’s lineups. Get the brooms out!


    Doug Fister (R)

    1. Denard Span (L) CF
    2. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
    3. Jayson Werth (R) RF
    4. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
    5. Ian Desmond (R) SS
    6. Tyler Moore (R) LF
    7. Kevin Frandsen (R) 2B
    8. Jose Lobaton (S) C
    9. Doug Fister (L) P


    Francisco Liriano (L)

    1. Josh Harrison (R) RF
    2. Neil Walker (S) 2B
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Ike Davis (L) 1B
    5. Starling Marte (R) LF
    6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    7. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    8. Chris Stewart (R) C
    9. Francisco Liriano (L) P

    Gametime Forecast: 76°F • Clear • 0% PoP

  6. radio wave says:

    Thank you

  7. radio wave says:


  8. Baywatch says:

    They get LaRoche back. Hopefully, Frankie eats him up.

  9. Carlos Danger says:

    Laroche and his twin Ike Davis both playing. I thought they were the same person and that’s why they couldn’t play at the same.

  10. The Gunner says:


    I heard AJ says that either he plays for the Phillies for the rest of his career otherwise, he will retire.

  11. Thundercrack says:


  12. Baywatch says:

    Carlos! With the avatar! Looking nice! Yeah, be sorta like Clark Kent & Superman showing up at the same time. Hopefully, OURS is Superman today! Fister can be tough, but I’m calling a bomb for Marte. Or could it get weird and Chris Stewart hit his first out today?

  13. Carlos Danger says:

    I tried to keep the wiener pic classier this time. Learned from my prior mistakes.

  14. Baywatch says:

    DK! “I before E, except after “C!” (Does that old elementary school adage still hold water?)

  15. Carlos Danger says:

    I think that is a good rule of thumb. But Anthony Weiner aka Carlos Danger spells it like DK said. So either way he could be correct.

  16. Wild Bill says:

    But you have mustard on ya! This is a ketchup town.

  17. hockeymonster says:

  18. Brandie says:

    Good observation Untamed William!

  19. Carlos Danger says:

    Good call. I corrected it to one with both. Couldn’t find a good one with ketchup only.

  20. Huntington to a group of us just now: Cumpton will start Monday in New York. ‘He’s fearless, he attacks the zone, he gets the job done.‘

    I asked Huntington about Cumpton’s struggles second/third times through order. GM candidly replied changeup, slider have to get better.

    I also asked if he did enough to address rotation in offseason, and answer was easy to predict: ‘You never have enough starting pitching.’

  21. You were the only one who figured that out. :)

  22. Thundercrack says:

    By including the word ‘candidly’ proves that you are a Pirate Apologist! Ask about the money!!!


  23. Carlos Danger says:

    I realize they were counting on taillon to be up here. Still would have liked to see us more active in the offseason on a couple of fronts. Can you imagine the outcry about super-2 stuff if both taillon and polanco were waiting in the wings?

  24. Brandie says:

    I like you’re appearances on this here blog. I also like the way you just come right out and ask the uncomfortable questions. Please come around more often.

  25. Brandie says:


  26. Patrick(ri) says:

    We’ll chosen, Carlos. If you are denied any shades of grey, you may as we’ll be a red hot.

  27. Reading says:

    Need a mulligan.

  28. Wild Bill says:

    gNats acting like they want this one badly.

  29. The Gunner says:

    will Pedro hit a dinger?

  30. Wild Bill says:

    Liriano’s motion falls off to the right instead of carrying him toward the plate. Control has to be difficult with that.

  31. Brandie says:

    Can someone please yank Frankie? He is just not locating his pitches!

  32. Lad 9 says:

    Ike, Ike, Ike,……. SMH on that one

  33. Thundercrack says:

    Next off day is June 5. Going to give him every chance not to blow up the bullpen

  34. The Gunner says:

    Papa Francisco’s line thru 3 innings:

    Hits allowed – 3
    Runs allowed – 2 (all earned)
    Walks allowed – 2
    Strikeouts – 3
    Pitches / Strikes – 48/27 (56.25% strikes)
    WHIP – 1.67

  35. chethejet1 says:

    The good news is Frankie may be a pending FA who is not in big demand. The bad news……………….is the issue. Bucs brass have some interesting decisions this year and off season. Martin for sure, Frankie maybe as a low second high third pitcher in the rotation.

  36. The Gunner says:

    The BMTIB will most likely let both of these guys walk away

  37. Nice to see the place filled up on a routine Sunday afternoon. The Pirates need more of this to create genuine urgency toward weekday sales.

  38. Carlos Danger says:

    I think we need to keep Martin. Sanchez showed us what he has to offer while Martin was injured. Unfortunately he did not look like an everyday starter. I mean he will gain experience in the minors. But not convinced he would be the best everyday option next season.

  39. Brandie says:


    From The Tao of Tomlin.

  40. Carlos Danger says:

    I foresee a large increase in weekday sales when they call up polanco. As long as they are still in the hunt.

  41. Brandie says:

    Can’t wait for the first Gregory Polanco Bobblehead Day.

  42. Reading says:

    Looking at good pitches, swinging at bad pitches.

  43. 21sthebest says:

    Anthony Rendon could pass for Pedro from Napolean Dynamite.

  44. Thundercrack says:


  45. Pretty sure J-Hay didn’t see that ball off the bat. If at all. Almost nonexistent reaction to it, other than the sound.

  46. 21sthebest says:

    I thought he might have started to come in before he went back.

  47. A lot of breaks haven’t gone Frankie’s way today, to say the least, but only he’s responsible for half his pitches being balls.

  48. Carlos Danger says:

    Need to score more than 0 to have any shot. Let alone coming back from 4.

  49. Andrew says:

    Fister is a darn good pitcher and it is not like the Pirates are making it hard for him.

  50. Patrick(ri) says:

    Bullpen power.

  51. First sign of offensive life comes from — who else? — J-Hay with the deposit into the visitors’ pen. It’s 4-1 Nats in the sixth.

  52. Somebody has to win the Cy Young, Andrew. We’ve nominated enough of ‘em.

  53. Since May 6, Major League Baseball’s only hotter hitters than Ike Davis — now 21 for 53 (.396) in that span — are Yasiel Puig (.417) and Miguel Cabrera (.409).

    If only he’d been acquired in the offseason, then the Pirates might have done SOMETHING IN THE OFFSEASON.

  54. Andrew says:

    Not sure Harrison caught that.

  55. Andrew says:

    Very true. Double plays have erased a the few Pirate’s runners today.

  56. Reading says:

    I hope J Hay did not hurt his left wrist there. Looked like it got bent back on the dive.

  57. Reading says:

    Hughes has not let an inherited runner score. How about a change?

  58. Lad 9 says:

    Josh Beckett with a no-no after 8 innings against the Phillies

  59. Parrothead says:

    Is Gaby hurt or did he do something to tick Clint off. There have been a couple key at bats with runners in scoring position this weekend and Clint keeps sending Tabata or Snider to pinch hit. I would much rather see Gaby in the sixth than Tabata.

  60. Thundercrack says:

    Well, Beckett just got the no-hitter.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  61. Patrick(ri) says:

    Chicken & beer makes you strong!

  62. Jason81 says:

    Beer and chicken for everyone!

  63. And who did Josh Beckett just beat when he pitched that no hitter vs. the Phillies today?! AJ, that’s who-6-0!

  64. Reading says:

    So, the Polanco-less Pirates will give Beckett the opportunity to tie Johnny Vandermeer on Friday.

  65. Reading says:

    Making a move.

  66. Reading says:

    Pedro goes yard there.

  67. Patrick(ri) says:

    Waiting for Marte to outgrow his tendency to wave at the down and away pitch.

  68. chethejet1 says:

    Boy 180 million doesn’t buy much these days. My solution is the Phillies spend much more money.

  69. Parrothead says:

    I don’t know if Marte will ever learn. That at bat us pretty typical for Marte. If it keeps up Polanco should play left field when he arrives and keep Harrison in right.

  70. Andrew says:

    He was 2-3 yesterday and scored the winning run, there is a lot of failure in baseball, especially for hitters.

  71. Harrison, Walker and Davis are a combined 7 for 12, but Cutch and Marte came up completely empty at Nos. 3 and 5 spots. Nine men stranded for those two.

  72. Reading says:

    I might be wrong here, but didn’t teams put a shift on for Ted Williams?

  73. Thundercrack says:

    Remember when Marte was in the minors and they said he was an impatient hitter and needed to learn the strike zone

  74. Thundercrack says:

    One thing about the Nationals that has impressed me this series is their outfield defense. Getting to balls, throws

  75. Parrothead says:

    He did and there is a lot of failure for hitters, but watch his at bats closer and see how many tines he gets himself out by chasing balls out of the zone. He had a few at bats last week where the pitcher never threw him a ball over the plate and he still struck out. It’s getting hard to find him a place in the line up to hit. He strikes out to much to lead off and you don’t want him batting before or after Pedro because they are both probe to strike outs, which leaves a lot of runners stranded.

  76. Reading says:

    Cutch’s first at bat three-pitch backwards K set the tone.

  77. Lad 9 says:

    Wasn’t to be today. Let’s get the Metropolitans tomorrow. Cumpton on the bump.

  78. Andrew says:

    Obliviously he strikes out a lot, he just cannot seem to lay off pitches with hard horizontal break. It is frustrating because if he could keep his strikeouts in the low 20% range, he would be an All-star, but still with K rate near 30% he has been a better than league average hitter, combine that with his base running and manning a spacious left-field and he is very valuable player.

  79. Well, the Bucs took 3 of 4 vs. the Nationals and 4 of their last 5, and now, they’ll be hitting the road. Anyhow, you all know what they’ll be talking about tonight, considering that this is the first no hitter in 12 years.

  80. chethejet1 says:

    Marte has never been Mr Discipline at the plate. But the book on him is to let him chase and hit bad pitches. He is dropping in the line up and he needs to adjust to to what he sees. While baseball is a game of failure, it is how one fails that makes the difference.

  81. The Gunner says:

    AJ’s line today:

    Innings pitched – 7
    Hits allowed – 11
    Runs allowed – 6 (4 earned)
    HR allowed – 1
    Walks allowed – 1
    Strikeouts – 3
    WHIP – 1.71

    Not too impressive an outing for #34. The BMTIB did good not bringing him back for 2014.

  82. Reading says:

    Thanks Man, good article.

  83. Actually, the last no hitter was in 1996. And the Dodgers have pitched the most MLB no hitters with 21 and the Phillies have allowed the most no MLB no hitters. And I do believe that the last no hitter by a Pirates pitcher was in 1996 and I believe that two Bucs pitchers achieved this.

  84. Bizrow says:

    Francisco Cordova and the lefty we traded for Brian Giles.

    Crap, his name will come to me at 3 or 4 am tonight.

    I might have Frankies name wrong as well.

    It was 96, and I think it was extra innings? Or at least a walk off 3 run homer

  85. Bizrow says:

    Cubs hire Manny Ramirez to play part time in AAA and “mentor” their young hitters.

    I hope he mentors them in good things, and not things he did in his career ;-)

  86. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, that will save me some sleep tonight ;-)

  87. Bizrow says:

    Mark Smith hit the walkoff?

  88. Lad 9 says:

    Yes he did and he crushed it.

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi everyone.

    Hope all are enjoying the weekend and taking but a moment to remember the fallen.

    I always think of my mother’s brother who died in the crossfire at Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944. His feet never reached the terra firma of Normandy. He is buried at the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. He died years before I was born, but someday I’ll visit him. To paraphrase the poet, “For our tomorrows his today he gave.”

    A few years later my father would land in the amphibious assault at Inchon. Unlike the brother in law he never met, he lived.

  90. Neil says:

    These are this country’s real heroes, and they should always be honored and remembered.

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just to echo what John said, hope everyone is having a happy & safe weekend.

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nicely put, John. And Milo.

  93. Lad 9 says:

    +++++++++++ So many gave everything so that we could be free to do things like write in this blog. I am humbled every time I see the Stars and Stripes, but never more than I am on this weekend. Thank you to all who fought for us.

  94. Chuck H says:

    That hasn’t changed!

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