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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Brewers 9, Pirates 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (29-31) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (36-26)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, Radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page and our Bucco Blog. Travis Sawchik 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. Dadtackular says:

    DK. Congrats on 3 years at The Trib. Keep up the good work!

  2. Lad 9 says:

    Beautiful day for baseball in the Burgh! Let’s go Bucs!

    Matt Garza (R)

    1. Jean Segura (R) SS
    2. Ryan Braun (R) RF
    3. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
    4. Carlos Gomez (R) CF
    5. Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B
    6. Khris Davis (R) LF
    7. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
    8. Lyle Overbay (L) 1B
    9. Matt Garza (R) P

    Edinson Volquez (R)

    1. Josh Harrison (R) RF
    2. Neil Walker (S) 2B
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Ike Davis (L) 1B
    5. Russell Martin (R) C
    6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    7. Jose Tabata (R) LF
    8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    9. Edinson Volquez (R) P

    Gametime Forecast: 80°F • Clear • 0% PoP

  3. Baywatch says:

    I’m the leadoff spot, Bay “Mickey Rivers” Searage again? Gonna take more than one laugher, but I sure hope we send them packing as The Who Crew? tomorrow!

  4. Lad 9 says:

    Awesome. Same here DK! Many, many more would be my anniversary wish.

  5. Baywatch says:


  6. Lad 9 says:

    Bay. Up there! :)

  7. DJ says:

    Looking forward to The Belmont. Nothing more awe-inspiring than thoroughbreds vying for a Triple Crown.

    Hope Cali Chrome gets it done. Majestic horse and fantastic backstory — stuff of legend.

  8. cmat0829 says:

    SWEEP THE CREEPS!!! very RH loaded lineup the Brewers have… hope Volquez has the good stuff he has showed recently and can give us some solid innings….. glad the offense showed up and allowed us to rest Grilli, Melancon and Watson (and Hughes) last night… let’s do it AGAIN!!!

  9. Reading says:

    Observation: The Pirates have won the World Series more recently than a horse has won the Triple Crown.

  10. JohninOshkosh says:

    “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…”

    Keep your head about you, California Chrome. Run like a tremendous machine. This occasional handicapper has been waiting 2 generations for today’s victory.

    Lots of good stuff today. Sharapova proved she is one of the mentally toughest athletes on the planet. A horse chases probably the hardest crown in sports to capture. And… Go Bucs ! Go Kings !

    To paraphrase TS Eliot, June is the coolest month.

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Dog Song Morning Links

    The Dog Song Nellie McKay


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    2014 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Day Two Reactions – A Disappointing Draft, So Far

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates thump Brewers, 15-5


    A few more thoughts on Cole Tucker and the Pirates’ draft strategy

    8 Green Weenie

    Buc Bats Boom In 15-5 Romp Over the Brew Crew

    9 Rumbunter

    The Pittsburgh Pirates Don’t Have to Rush Polanco, Here’s Why
    Great Scot – Episode 17: Pirates: Neal Huntington – Egomaniac?

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Score Knockout In Series Opener Against Brewers

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Newsday

    Machine has helped Pirates improve pinch hitting

    12 CBS Sports

    Brewers vs Pirates Game Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    TELANDER: Wrigley’s charm can’t be remodeled

    14 Minor League Ball

    Bucs’ Bell collects career-high five hits

    15 Pirates Site

    Bucs ride eight-run sixth to blow out Brewers

    Volquez out to sustain recent success in start vs. Crew

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds roughed up by Phillies in series opener

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers pitchers take pounding in Pittsburgh

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Cards are powerless in defeat

    Bernie: Cards players should get their share of blame

    19 Fangraphs

    The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

    20 SB Nation

    MLB Draft grades 2014: Who nailed their first-round picks?

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    The last time a horse captured the triple crown, 1978, featured the great Affirmed narrowly defeating the ill-fated Alydar in what I still maintain was the greatest single sporting event ever contested. Affirmed, with his 18 year old jock mounted, defeated Alydar in a sprint for the ages down the homestretch.

    If California Chrome is to grasp immortality today, he will need to win it like Affirmed. He won’t out muscle his way to the finish like the gigantic Seattle Slew, or dispatch the field like Secretariat’s once in a millennium run. No Shams in the field this afternoon.

    I had the Sports Illustrated cover picture of Affirmed taped on my bedroom wall until I went off to college.

  14. Bizrow says:

    Thanks Lad

  15. JRay3 says:

    Some intrigue with Bucs rotation possibly? Locke pulled at Indy last night and now talk of Morton not making start tomorrow.

    Anyhow, great win last night and now a very good opportunity at taking third series in a row. Keep doing that and record and standing in playoff race takes care of itself.

    Hoping Volquez builds off his very nice start last Sunday in LA.

    Go Bucs!

  16. Bizrow says:

    What’s wrong with Ground Chuck?

  17. JAL says:

    maybe nothing, see this tweet

    Travis Sawchik ✔ @Sawchik_Trib
    Searage was asked specifically about Gerrit Cole’s status and declined to comment

  18. Carlos Danger says:

    Yeah I read that it wasn’t an injury to Morton, just pushing him back or changing up the rotation.

  19. Chuck H says:

    O.K. Pirates, Let’s hope you didn’t use up all your hits and runs last night, and continue where you left off. We want a sweep over the hated Brewcrew.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    Early in Morton’s last start I think they said he rolled his ankle – maybe covering a bunt.

    But he stayed in and pitched more than a few innings more.

  21. Maz in Iowa says:

    No Snider in RF and no Harrison at 2B??

  22. Bizrow says:

    Thanks all

  23. Maz in Iowa says:

    Stolmy is ready.So is Sadler

  24. Maz in Iowa says:

    Kendrys Morales, Twins Agree To Terms

  25. 21sthebest says:

    I had a kid on my son’s tournament teams when they were 12 and 13. He was gigantic and could throw a bazillion miles an hour but he almost killed everyone doing it. Couldn’t throw a strike. So I tried him at first and he couldn’t even catch the ball. And he really couldn’t hit. So he got a little time in the outfield here and there and pitched sometimes.

    He was taken in the 15th round today by the Pirates. Eric Dorsch, 6-8, 265 pitcher from Kent State University and North Allegheny High School. Also drafted last year 22nd by the Reds.

  26. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good story,But another pitcher from Kent State?Bucs drafted one of them before and…………

  27. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gregory Polanco-held hostage.Day 2………………………………..(trying to get Groat fired up)

  28. Cmat0829 says:

    Nice job boras.

  29. Naje says:

    And my birthday… June is bustin’ out all oh-oh-oh-oh-ver….

  30. radio wave says:

    Please don’t post the result, putting it on dvr till Sunday.

  31. Andrew says:

    This is rank speculation but I think Gerrit Cole is hurt, and this is why Jeff Locke was scratched last night. Cole would have been throwing a bullpen session yesterday.

    And this velocity chart was tweeted out by a David Manel. Cole velocities do not drop like that over a start.

  32. DJ says:

    Carousel fan, I see.

    Keep it down, Billy Bigelow.

  33. Maz in Iowa says:

    Edinson Volquez is 6-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 14 career starts against the Brewers

  34. DJ says:

    Of course not.

    I’ll be watching — margarita in hand — and DVR’ing.

  35. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s goin’ to kind of ruin the fun, radio, assuming he wins it. ;-)

  36. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sadler gave up 2 runs last night.

  37. DJ says:

    Maybe he should promise himself not to read the blog until tomorrow.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cool. Downward plane.

  39. Maz in Iowa says:

    Another 5 inning 100 pitch effort for a Pirate starter?

  40. Andrew says:

    And now Worely is skipped tonight for Indianapolis, so who knows.

  41. The Gunner says:

    What’s wrong with Cole & how serious is it?

  42. Thundercrack says:

    Why doesn’t Ike Davis just hold in to the ball there?

  43. JRay3 says:

    Gift run courtesy of Mercer and Davis. Have to help our pitchers a bit more.

    3 error inning….smh

  44. DJ says:

    Although the Derby, just to set the mood, here’s Mine That Bird in 2009.

    Disappears entirely off screen @ 1:17 mark, resurfaces momentarily @ 1:22 and makes his “move” — as if shot out of a cannon — @ 2:24:

  45. Wild Bill says:

    That Gomez takes jagoff to a whole new level.

  46. radio wave says:


  47. 21sthebest says:

    I actually thought they had a shot at Segura.

    I realize it’s only one inning but Volquez’ stuff looks filthy to me. Nice misses inside too. And I thought the same his last outing.

  48. Maz in Iowa says:

    Bucs are now next to last in fielding in the NL

  49. DJ says:

    Craziest part of race is Tom Durkin’s pause @ 2:48 as he fumbles to determine the leader.

    Had no clue. Might have cost him his job.

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was wondering if the timing was off on the audio. He was wayyyy behind on the call.

  51. 21sthebest says:

    28 Round, Overall Pick # 837

    Manziel, Johnny Texas A&M U (TX) SS R/R JR
    6’1″ 210lbs DOB: 12/06/92

  52. 21sthebest says:

    To the Padres

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    If there’s a Triple Crown winner for the first time since 1978 they may break into regular programming. ;-)

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    Was he still waiting in the room in New Jersey?

  55. Maz in Iowa says:

    Thank God.I love the circus, but that’s just not the same thing

  56. Maz in Iowa says:

    THAT is funny!!

  57. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lyle Overbay is one of my least favorite Pirate players ever.

    Took half a year off when he was a Pirate. What a bum!

  58. Bizrow says:


  59. John Lease says:

    Because he loves showing off his arm? Or because 3 error innings are a lot rarer than 2, and he had some money on it.

  60. Maz in Iowa says:

    Baywatch,you and the Mrs out there in the Texan cyberworld?

  61. 21sthebest says:


  62. Maz in Iowa says:

    Daydro is alive!

  63. 21sthebest says:


    And my son’s former teammate and fishing buddy to the Tigers in the 28th round. They went fishing last night and he knew Cubs or Tigers. Will Kengor, 6-5 SS from Slippery Rock.

  64. Arriba Wilver says:


  65. Arriba Wilver says:

    Has to be a relief pitcher, right? :-)

  66. The Gunner says:

    Overbay REALLY STUNK with the Pirates. I am with you AW, I guess you & I just worked way too hard for our money!

  67. DJ says:

    That’s what happens when you move from dead last to the lead in only 18 seconds in a 20-horse race.


  68. 21sthebest says:


  69. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good day for a brawlgame

  70. DJ says:

    Good point, AW.

    Hoof print, hoof print, hoof print [ = +++]

  71. Patrick(ri) says:

    Not to freak out the superstitious, but what are the odds of another 1 hit wonder defeat?

  72. Andrew says:

    Nothing, but I just remember Cole losing velocity last start and that Brooks Baseball chart confirms that. I’m completely speculating, but I found some the information in the Pirates pre-game press conference cryptic.

  73. Thundercrack says:

    I agree. Overbay stunk. Remember I was at a game and Clint had to make a double switch early in the game (5th?) and he took out LO. The expression on his face was priceless. Overbay couldn’t believe he was being taken out. (His reaction was borderline showing up Hurdle)

  74. Carlos Danger says:

    I hope you are right now that the bases are juiced.

  75. JRay3 says:

    Maybe Pedro coming through again will win some more fans over.

    El Toro with his second hit of game and his 2 RBI two out single gives Bucs the lead.

  76. Patrick(ri) says:

    Excellent. Putting that bases loaded jinx behind them.

  77. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Nice hidden vigorish call by Walk.

    Brewers suck.

  78. DJ says:

    Riverhounds get a post but not The Belmont for a potential Triple Crown?

    This cannot be, this just cannot be. Horse racing fans unite.

  79. Andrew says:

    Have to ask does Marte get to that?

  80. Carlos Danger says:

    Overbay summoned his inner Steve Pearce as ex pirates who crush their former employers.

  81. Florida Steeler says:

    Volquez is another “brilliant” signing by Neal. Where the hell is Polanco??

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    Polanco can pitch?

  83. cmat0829 says:

    no way

  84. cmat0829 says:

    its uncanny.. overbay couldn’t hit off a tee when he played for the Bucs…

  85. cmat0829 says:

    just bizarre how davis just can’t catch the baseball sometimes… has he had his eyes checked?

  86. 21sthebest says:

    Mariano Rivera III drafted in the 29th round by….

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree, I don’t think so, either.

  88. Patrick(ri) says:

    Umps must not like Gomez, either.

  89. cmat0829 says:

    NICE 5th inning by Volquez… especially getting that a-hole Carlos Gomez LOOKING…. I’d have preferred one in the middle of his back, but I’ll take the K.

  90. Patrick(ri) says:

    The Fort is 2 for 2 against Greinke, today.

  91. Thundercrack says:

    Not from Indy he can’t


  92. 21sthebest says:

    Brendan McKay, 34th round, Padres.

    I’m guessing he’ll go to Louisville.

  93. Carlos Danger says:

    What time will they actually start the Belmont?

  94. Carlos Danger says:

    Wow, I thought he would go way earlier. I also doubt he will sign.

  95. Wild Bill says:

    ESPN said 6:52

  96. JRay3 says:

    And Pedro airmails one into the seats on a play where he had all day.

    4th Pirate error of day. I’d say Volquez has pitched quite well working through the extra outs and gift run.

  97. rvfcprez says:

    Glad to hear it! Always like the Fort and wish he was still with the Pirates. I got to see him last week in Nashville when the Rockie’s AAA team was playing the Sounds. I got to talk to him for a few minutes. One of the nicest guys anywhere. Wish him only the best, except when the Pirates are playing the Rockies!

  98. Carlos Danger says:

    Thanks, I keep flipping back and forth and cannot take any more pre-race coverage.

  99. 21sthebest says:

    I wonder if Pedro and Tony Sanchez ever play catch with each other.

  100. Patrick(ri) says:

    We’ll said.

  101. Wild Bill says:

    That implies the throws would be close enough to be caught?

  102. JRay3 says:

    And Volquez bails out the Alavarez error to throw up the zero and keep Bucs in game.

    Solid 6 innings of work by Edinson today who has continued to be a solid back of the rotation arm.

  103. radio wave says:

    And opportunity to gain two games on the division leader. And opportunity to game two games on the team in front of you. An opportunity to reach 500. An opportunity to be only four games out of first place. An opportunity finally to be considered a contender this season, and they are playing wiffle ball.a

  104. Carlos Danger says:

    Is root sports down I anyone else’s cable?

  105. Carlos Danger says:


  106. JohninOshkosh says:

    Horses leaving the paddock and heading to entrance to Belmont Park to be greeted by 125,000 people.

    Dejan put California Chrome as his profile pic on Twitter. Love it!

  107. 21sthebest says:

    Yes. It’s Frank’s fault.

  108. Carlos Danger says:

    This is probably part of our top notch tv deal…

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    I figured it had something to do with an errant Pedro throw.

    Either that or radio doesn’t want us to know the result of the game.

  110. Andrew says:

    Bylsma sabotaged it, revenge for those stupid interviews.

  111. JRay3 says:

    Huge run for Bucs to tack on in 6th. One run game and I would say bullpen advantage lies with Pirates.

    Still very winnable game.

  112. JohninOshkosh says:

    Battaglia (Wicked Strong) and Neumeier (Tonalist) both pick against California Chrome.

  113. Arriba Wilver says:

    Time to pay attention to the Belmont.

  114. Cmat0829 says:

    Duh. Hasn’t happened since 1978 not exactly going out on a limb are they ?

  115. Arriba Wilver says:

    CC isn’t Secretariat, but is a very pretty horse.

  116. Cmat0829 says:

    Solid indeed we need it.

  117. JohninOshkosh says:

    Call to the post! This is very exciting. Fingers crossed!

  118. Arriba Wilver says:


  119. JohninOshkosh says:


  120. Arriba Wilver says:


  121. 21sthebest says:

    I thought he lost some weight?

    Ba dum tsssss.

  122. Thundercrack says:

    At least we don’t have to see those crowd shots

  123. Cmat0829 says:

    Really like how Jared Hughes has seized a bullpen spot. I was so wrong about him. That leaves only Gomez’ spot available

  124. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes let’s win this thing!!!!!

  125. Arriba Wilver says:


  126. pattonbb says:

    Did you see Eddie Olczyk picked Wicked Strong? He’s a great handicapper. Hope he’s wrong.

  127. Cmat0829 says:

    Second favorite. Given triple crowns don’t happen again not going out on a limb.

  128. JohninOshkosh says:

    I saw that. He picked the trifecta correctly in the Preakness, I believe.

  129. pattonbb says:

    My money’s on Tonalist, but I’d be happy to lose today.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:


  131. Cmat0829 says:

    Shocking. No triple crown.

  132. Cmat0829 says:

    When a relief pitcher walks two and hits a batter that ain’t gonna work.

  133. Andrew says:

    Great illustration of why Justin Wilson is overrated, and in the bullpen, he throws hard but lacks command.

  134. Cmat0829 says:

    Neumaier is right

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    You must be loads of fun at parties.

  136. Florida Steeler says:

    How they keep this Gomez over Mazzaro is beyond belief. He must have pictures of someone.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    Well, at least the owner was classy. [Groan]

  138. The Gunner says:

    The whole bullpen has to be burned out by now. Our only hope is that the Bucs can win tomorrow’s rubber game.

  139. Wild Bill says:

    Bullpen after Hughes didn’t have it today.

  140. Florida Steeler says:

    Crowd shots back–Root producers love them.

  141. Cmat0829 says:

    I’m bummed. But not surprised. very hard to do.

  142. Wild Bill says:

    That was a big rant, AW.

  143. Thundercrack says:

    He has pictures of Polanco

  144. DJ says:

    Hope you bet, pbb.

  145. Andrew says:

    True, Wilson is fine out the pen, when you lack command you are going to have an outing or two like this. He’ll never start.

  146. pattonbb says:

    I agree with him.

  147. 21sthebest says:


  148. Florida Steeler says:


  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    Would have been a little more credible if he had made it PRIOR to the Derby. ;-)

  150. DJ says:

    Steve Coburn taking other owners to task for skipping Preakness or ONLY running in Belmont. Says unfair to those horses who run the gauntlet and he’ll never see another Triple Crown winner for that reason.

    He’s probably right.

  151. DJ says:

    He’s got a point though.

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    If a horse owner wants to change over 100 years of history, probably should do it before the races start.

  153. DJ says:

    I do as well.

    Hope you bet a grand on Tonalist.

  154. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes but his timing is off. Complain before or long after. Not right after the race.

  155. Florida Steeler says:

    Stellar defensive effort by major league players?

  156. JohninOshkosh says:

    Purists in that sport are many and probably more powerful than purists in baseball, which also has its fair share.

    Races should be staggered out more. Field for TC should be set with field in KD.

    Followed the sport since I was a little kid. It needs to shake things up. A TC winner would do wonders for popularity of sport. Changes need to be done to help the troubled industry and help a horse win the TC.

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    Timing is important. A sore loser is a sore loser in my book.

    I’m no horse racing expert, or even Triple Crown expert, but since the last three Triple Crown winners have those rules been changed?

  158. DJ says:

    It would be interesting to see the stats on this, AW.

    I’ve seen three Triple Crown winners. While purely anecdotal, since Affirmed, it does seem it’s become more prevalent to see owners / horses not running three legs and sometimes only one leg.

  159. Arriba Wilver says:

    Or are we talking about relaxing the rules so “everybody makes the team?”

  160. DJ says:

    See my comment below.

    There is no way he’d complain about this before the race. Just wouldn’t happen.

  161. Wild Bill says:

    Need a much better effort than this tomorrow.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Have no idea, DJ. Regardless, I still have a problem with the timing. Class is class. Not going to lose any sleep because a horse won 2 races.

  163. Cmat0829 says:

    I’d love to see one change. No direct entry to Belmont. Must run one of first two races to be eligible.

  164. The Gunner says:

    Is Locke pitching tomorrow?

  165. Cmat0829 says:

    Walk just said Morton And cole in Monday.

  166. Cmat0829 says:


  167. pattonbb says:

    I did. Nothing crazy. My father in law caught 3 winners earlier and let it all ride on Tonalist. He had a very nice day.

  168. DJ says:

    Artfully stated, JiO. And the horses agree.

    My favorite animals, in spite of an allergy in adulthood.

  169. DJ says:

    OK, understood.

    Last sentence lends perspective.

  170. The Gunner says:

    I have more confidence in Morton than Locke. Cholly has his issues but Locke has more issues.

  171. DJ says:

    I’d say both absent injury but you’ve moved in right direction.

  172. DJ says:


  173. DJ says:

    . . . effin adulthood.

  174. Thundercrack says:

    Cole has shoulder fatigue. May go on the DL.

    We’re not in 2013 anymore.

  175. DJ says:

    . . . or Kansas, Auntie Em.

    Hope “shoulder fatigue” is not code for labrum.

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m fine if they want to change the rules. I don’t really have a horse in that race, so to speak.

    I do have a question if a Triple Crown would be as meaningful, but . . .

    But a crybaby is a crybaby. Time and place.

    Cowardly? Really?

  177. Maz in Iowa says:

    Refusal to talk about an MRI?Not good!

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