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Final: Pirates 8, Marlins 6

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (33-34) vs. Miami Marlins (34-32)

Time: 4:10 p.m.

Site: Marlins Park, Miami

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. Brandie says:

    Fell asleep before El Coffee put his stamp on the game. Go Buccos!!!

  2. Lad 9 says:

    Interesting lineup. J-Hay in the 5 hole. Let’s go Bucs!

    Charlie Morton (R)

    1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
    2. Starling Marte (R) LF
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Gaby Sanchez (R) 1B
    5. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
    6. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    7. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
    8. Chris Stewart (R) C
    9. Charlie Morton (R) P

    Randy Wolf (L)

    1. Rafael Furcal (S) 2B
    2. Reed Johnson (R) LF
    3. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
    4. Casey McGehee (R) 3B
    5. Garrett Jones (L) 1B
    6. Marcell Ozuna (R) CF
    7. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
    8. Adeiny Hechavarria (R) SS
    9. Randy Wolf (L) P

    Gametime Forecast: 85°F • Drizzle • 38% PoP

  3. dennis g says:

    Last night was the second time in the past few days that Andrew McCutchen did not bother running to second or sliding, but turned out into right field on a potential double play grounder. Is he under orders to not get hurt or is this just his own injury avoidance program a la Jose Tabata?

  4. Patrick(ri) says:

    Shame! It was really fun to see.

  5. Patrick(ri) says:

    Kudos, though, for making it past the 8th inning.

  6. 21sthebest says:

    Lots of players do that when they’re that far away from second base when the out is recorded and have no chance of helping to break up the play.

  7. Baywatch says:

    Don’t guess they’ll be platooning Polanco anytime soon. Yeah, appears to do pretty well against lefties. I really believe the kid when he says he just works hard and tries to get better every day. I mean only the UTMOST respect when I say it’s the Forrest Gump approach. His take-the-training-but-don’t-overthink-it approach is VERY refreshing!

    Calling AT LEAST one bomb for Gaby today vs. the old-timer Randy “Lazar” Wolf.

  8. 21sthebest says:

    Glad to see Pedro in the lineup against a lefty this time. And I’d love to see Harrison and Polanco switched but why rush the kid.

  9. 21sthebest says:

    Did anyone else see the post game interview with Polanco? When he thanked Rob and then turned to the camera and thanked us, I thought that was awesome!

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good kid.

    And, I agree with Bay, Robby is awful. Makes that woman from a couple years ago seem OK.

  11. Bizrow says:

    Yes, so far he has been just awesome with the media

  12. Baywatch says:

    And GREEDILY we’ll get to see more at-bats from Greg this way! :-)

  13. 21sthebest says:

    Lacie Underall. Errrr, Collins.

  14. DJ says:

    Polanco on his HR, lefty on lefty: “He threw me a slider. I hit it.”

    Maybe he rubs off on Pedro.

  15. 21sthebest says:

    I wish right now we could put Starling 5th, with Harrison and Polanco at the top. Or Polanco and Harrison at the top.

    I can’t believe I’m talking about Josh Harrison in this manner. That’s baseball!

  16. DJ says:

    Interested to see what effect solid play by Polanco and, with it, recognition, has on Pedro moving forward.

    Rise to the occasion as well or wilt?

  17. Thundercrack says:

    Seems like a real bright and polite kid.

  18. Thundercrack says:

    Well Pedro is moving down…in the order.

  19. The Gunner says:

    Can Charles Morton step up and have an outing similar to Volquez & Locke?

    If so, the Bucs will win tonight – write it down!

  20. DJ says:

    Polanco’s lower half (hips / upper legs) is impressive. Great base for his balance and drive.

    Slightly oversized in relation to his top half.

  21. cmat0829 says:

    ummmm after the way these 3 guys have performed in this order, I don’t think you start making changes to that, do you? Besides, replace Harrison with Walker and I think you have the lineup once Neil is healthy. JayHey will play SS on occasion, and spell Marte & Polanco here and there, but time to have the dynamic OF together 1-2-3 with Walker in an RBI spot.

  22. cmat0829 says:

    YES… LOVE the information Polanco gives… things like: guy was throwing 3/4s, so I was looking to go opposite field… he was throwing me outside all at bat, I was looking left center…. maybe Pedro thinks all those things too, but it is somewhat reassuring to hear Polanco give us his thought process….and nice to see that he can be looking outside, looking to go opposite way and then turn on a meatball and line drive it 400 feet for a pull field HR. WOW. So glad we didn’t listen to Jim Bowden and package Polanco last year for any and every one that he could think of.

  23. DJ says:

    And can we get Polanco a helmet that fits?

    Thought adjusting at bat was pure habit but looks to be holding the top on the base paths.

  24. DJ says:

    Cheapskate Nutting.

  25. DJ says:

    . . . avatar, naturally.

  26. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Thanks to all who showed class and kept the Chuck Noll thread respectfully about him.

    Incredibly, I had to delete four comments about the Pirates, two of them insanely trying to connect the two topics.

    Good Lord.

  27. DJ says:

    Agreed, cmat. Simplifies the game. See ball, hit ball.

    Kid’s a breath of fresh air.

  28. cmat0829 says:

    * Pirates have a chance to climb to .500 for first time in a looooong time today… they are 23-16 since falling to a season-low 8 games under in early May.

    * Pirates are 19-13 in games Russell Martin catches, 13-21 when he doesn’t. No wonder Pirates are very interested in re-signing Russell.

    * Starting pitching is so key, and it is very encouraging to see how Locke has pitched the past 2 starts…Morton’s ERA is 3.14…Volquez has been solid. No doubt we need Cole back, but like last year, the starting pitching instead of falling apart with the injuries, it has gelled together. Good to see.

    * It’s gonna be hard for Clint to break up the Polanco-Marte-Cutch trio at the top of the order…not only does it bunch speed and good hitters together, the 2 spot may be the spot to get Marte more fastballs (if Polanco is on base and threat to steal…and not wanting to walk him with Cutch next…plus it allows Walker to hit behind Cutch in an RBI spot.

    * This is the best offense the Pirates have had since oh…1992. If and when Pedro gets on a tear….clear the decks.

    * Bullpen – best to not overreact to last night’s 9th…though Clint Hurdle had a look of disgust I have not seen in 4 years… but also hard not to envision Watson in the closer role by the AllStar Break… key is how Grilli, as a fiery vet, takes to a 7th inning role… since many say it doesnt matter what inning it is after the 6th, it may be best to keep it as it is as Watson seems amenable to his role. But we’ll see.

  29. DJ says:

    Didn’t see all of his at bats, TC, but saw the last two.

    That was more than enough for me.

  30. cmat0829 says:

    Have to ask, at risk of jinxing the Pirates, how this Marlins rag-tag lineup has them near the top of the NL East. I mean Casey McGeehee in the clean up spot? I know they’ve got Stanton – who is incredble – and a bunch of young pitching, including Fernandez who is now hurt – but there is ZERO CHANCE this team finishes with more than even 76 wins. Look out below, only the Mess and Phils keep them from falling further.

    Let’s hit the slowpitch softball hurler today and bust out the brooms tomorrow.

  31. Bizrow says:

    Worley is coming up to pitch tomorrow

  32. Thundercrack says:

    I think Clint may have been especially disgusted last night because nobody could throw the ball over the plate.

    I know I was

  33. Baywatch says:

    It really is! And what an amazing human interest story. And, truth be known, may not be a whole lot of managers willing to break out of their utility player box enough to keep running him out there every day!

  34. pattonbb says:

    Cubs are taking offers for Hammel and Samardzija.

    Just saying….

  35. Baywatch says:

    That was so neat that he did that, 21, I noticed that, too. I mean he has that childlike, salt-of-the-earth quality. I hope he never loses it. Somehow, I don’t think he will.

  36. Baywatch says:


  37. Baywatch says:


  38. Baywatch says:

    Most of us follow DIERECTIONS real well, DK! :-)

  39. Baywatch says:

    I was, too. I’d just gotten off work and was headed for home when all the pitches started going south! I texted Mrs. Bay and told her I was going to run some more errands, knowing I wouldn’t be much fun for her to be around as they were BLOWING! That Wilson is really crackling when he’s on, but when he’s not … he may be a candidate to head back to Indy to work on his control.

  40. radio wave says:

    Distracted by disapointing hockey last night. All in on mlb until cfb.

  41. JRay3 says:


  42. radio wave says:

    What would give up for either one?

  43. JRay3 says:

    Your second * underscores why Russell Martin has to be the BIGGEST priority for this club in off season.

    If it comes down to locking up a Martin or another player like a Walker you have to get Martin resigned.

  44. JRay3 says:

    Luis Heredia, Harold Ramirez and another top 25 prospect?

  45. Bizrow says:

    More for Samardzija than Hammel

  46. Heredia is still on the mend. That would be a good deal right now.

  47. Cmat0829 says:

    I wouldn’t want to give up prospects in the division that will beat us for 6 years. But I’d target Hammel for a now pickup. Samardija will be a cub til jul 31 unless they are blown away.

  48. Thundercrack says:

    I heard there are lots of teams scouting Samardzija

  49. Cmat0829 says:

    Early. But bad cholly command do far. Good DP of the crappy Mcgehee to get out of it

  50. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes he will cost more than kc gave up for shields.

  51. The Gunner says:

    How many years of control would the Bucs have if they got Samardija?

  52. JRay3 says:

    Jordy Mercer tattoos one and Buccos strike first again today.

  53. Cmat0829 says:

    Mercer me!!

  54. radio wave says:

    Marlins all you can eat seats only $27, much lower than pnc.

  55. Cmat0829 says:

    Pedro polancos one thru the hole to left.

  56. Bizrow says:

    One more year

  57. JRay3 says:

    Just a nice piece of hitting by Pedro, waits on the breaking ball and shoots it the other way where the gaping hole is.

  58. Cmat0829 says:

    Embarrassing attendance n the new park. They need to relocate that team and Tampa.

  59. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t have criticized the decision to bat Mercer higher than Pedro in the order.

    Seems like a good idea

  60. JRay3 says:

    Stewart belts out Pirates 5th hit in first 8 batters.

  61. Cmat0829 says:

    Boy I want to suit up and take a hack at this scrub.

  62. The Gunner says:

    The BMTIB won’t go for Samardija if that’s the case.

  63. Thundercrack says:

    Those seats at PNC usually seemed to be filled. How about the ones in Miami?

  64. JRay3 says:

    Oh my Marlins defense is asleep and it is now based juiced nobody out and top of the lineup due up.

    Time for the big inning!

  65. Cmat0829 says:

    Over/under on randy wolf innings today: 4.

  66. Patrick(ri) says:

    At least they got one. Still duking it out with LA for worst with bags loaded.

  67. radio wave says:

    No big inning, but Wolfe not long for this game.

  68. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Very impressive to read that Polanco was the first player in over 100 years to have a five hit game (with an HR) in his first four career games.
    Great start!

  69. radio wave says:

    Morton will walk them back into it.

  70. The Gunner says:

    I hope Searage kicked Morton in the ass. He got the DP & he better get it together from this point forward!

  71. JRay3 says:

    Ground ball double play Charlie’s best friend today.

  72. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes he looks lost in terms of command. But maybe he will snap out of it. Otherwise get STOLmy ready.

  73. Patrick(ri) says:

    I watch lots of college BB, where I am often amused by how little coaches seem to accomplish with all those TOs. It is a pleasure to see Searage at work.

  74. 21sthebest says:

    Ummmm, did you read my post? Here it is again:

    “I wish right now we could put Starling 5th, with Harrison and Polanco at the top. Or Polanco and Harrison at the top.”

  75. 21sthebest says:

    Hey cmat, in case you don’t see my response above, I wasn’t suggesting we change the top 3 in the order.

  76. Patrick(ri) says:

    Gotta love Walk’s view on “made a bad pitch.”

  77. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes. I seem to recall kip wells and kris bensen were the masters of that.

  78. radio wave says:

    Hit 128 lifetime for Wolfe, most among active pitchers.

  79. Cmat0829 says:

    Huh? You said you wish we could bat marte 5th. That would break up the top 3 by definition. But no worries. I am of the belief that the sooner you get to a longer term lineup construction the better. Jayhey is a spark plug but not a long term cog.

  80. Cmat0829 says:

    Maybe he should hit but not pitch.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    I said I wish we could but I understand we can’t and I don’t want to. You like Harrison batting 5th? I don’t. Do you want this top 3 to stay like this forever? I don’t. Maybe it needs to for the rest of this season at least.

  82. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes this is my preferred top 3 for this season. With walker cleanup or 5th. Jayhey lower in order if hs plays ss or spells Pedro.

  83. Cmat0829 says:

    Wolf is throwing BP. We need to knock him out !!!!

  84. Cmat0829 says:

    And there it is. Cutch !!

  85. Bizrow says:


  86. JRay3 says:

    Cutch 3 run bomb as he deposits hanging curve.

    Absolutely sizzling!

  87. radio wave says:

    There’s your big inning!

  88. Cmat0829 says:

    Watching Wolf ‘pitch’ tells you all you need to know about the state of starting pitching in MLB. Makes you feel so much better about Cumpton, Locke, Worley as depth options.

  89. Thundercrack says:

    Looks like more Bucco fans there than ones for the Marlins

  90. Rock Ain't Dead says:

    Cutch – yea throw me that 70 mph deuce again…

    Got it! Polanco scoring a lot of runs.

  91. radio wave says:

    What’s hotter, cutch or the sun?

  92. Cmat0829 says:

    Cutch loves June!! And I wish we could face wolf every game.

  93. 21sthebest says:

    Not seeing Harrison at short.

  94. JRay3 says:

    Great job by Morton with the bat today, three great bunts today and this one for a RBI…7-2 good guys .

  95. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes it’s a beautiful thing.

  96. Cmat0829 says:

    Polanco!!! This offense is next level now. So nice to see.

  97. 21sthebest says:


  98. Cmat0829 says:

    Time for the first steal

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Glorious refrain of God Save the Queen played in heat/humidity of rain forest.

    Go England!

  100. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! I was outside with the dog and missed runs 7 &8

  101. 21sthebest says:

    Well it was a less than stellar throw from the outfield.

  102. Finished the lawns, now 8-2. Mercy. Hitting is contagious and I hope everyone caught it. Even Stewart with a 2-hit game.

    13 hits in 5 innings. Sounds like a week of April production.

  103. Patrick(ri) says:

    Fun stuff to see today. (Wonder what would be said if , say Braun, had done a couple of push ups? Don’t take that as criticism of Cutch.)

  104. Maz in Iowa says:

    Jordy Joe is pretty dang hot still

  105. Thundercrack says:

    B. Morris.

    This could be interesting

  106. Must be tough for him, 2 weeks removed from his teammates of the last season and a half.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    Please show us more shots of family.

  108. Thundercrack says:

    No truth to the rumor that Bob Nutting had authorized a $15 million bonus payable to Gregory Polanco.

  109. JRay3 says:

    And Morton gets through 7 as he continues his string if great starts.

    Bucs starters giving team good innings of late.

  110. The Gunner says:

    Good to see Cholly got his act together today & gave us 7 innings.

    Now, if the bullpen can close this one out & the Bucs get a similar type effort from Tim Worley tomorrow, this road trip will be off to a great start!

  111. Thundercrack says:

    Who did they send down when they added Stolemy to roster ?

  112. The Gunner says:

    Sadler I think

  113. JRay3 says:

    Very happy to see Morris performing very well with the Marlins since being shipped over there as he adds two more shutout inning to his Marlins line.

    Still believe he is going to end up a very MLB reliever.

  114. Thundercrack says:

    I thought Sadler was for M Martinez?

  115. JRay3 says:

    Walker to DL, Sadler sent down when Martinez recalled.

  116. JRay3 says:

    Very good MLB reliever.

  117. JRay3 says:

    Stolmy getting first game action since being activated from DL.

    Hitting 93 on the gun.

  118. Thundercrack says:

    I like Morris and think he could be good. I’m still wondering if he’ll be very good

  119. Thundercrack says:

    Liriano to the DL. Stolmy activates

  120. JRay3 says:

    Don’t look now but if Bucs hold on for three more outs they will not only be 9-4 in June and back to .500 but could be just 1 back of a WC spot and 5.5 back of Brewers.

    Lots of baseball left but it appears Polanco has given team a jolt and Cole and Walker returning in next week or two should do the same.

    This lineup all of a sudden looks very formidable top to bottom.

    Certainly team putting pressure on NH to bolster it with another arm.

  121. JRay3 says:

    Ah that’s right, good call.

  122. Florida Steeler says:

    Is Pimentel the best we have in the minors??–PATHETIC

  123. Lad 9 says:

    We can’t do this again!

  124. Steelag70 says:


  125. Steelag70 says:

    Or 2…

  126. The Gunner says:

    Better not! Can Grilled Cheese redeem himself from last night’s debacle?

  127. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe it’s me, both pitches on both home runs seemed to be pretty good pitches.

  128. Florida Steeler says:

    Do you think he will? Talks heating up for Smardja and Bucs are NOT one of them but the Brewers are in the chase. I don’t understand how smaller market Brewers try to win NOW and we keep “playing for the future”.??

  129. Steelag70 says:

    Deja vu all over again….

  130. JRay3 says:

    Behind seven solid innings from Charlie Morton and an 18 hit onslaught by the Bucs offense the Pirates take the middle game if the series with the Fish 8-6 and there was noooooooo doubt about it.

    With the win the Bucs are back to .500 at 34-34 and are 14-18 away from PNC while also winners of four of their last five series.

    The Pirates will go for their first sweep of the season tomorrow afternoon when Vance Worley makes his Pirate debut on the hill.

    Go Bucs!

  131. Steelag70 says:

    Or not….

  132. Steelag70 says:

    Raise it!

  133. The Gunner says:

    We had ‘em all the way!

  134. Lad 9 says:

    Raise it! .500 should just be a quick stop as we blow on through that mark. Tough assignment tomorrow, as Henderson Alvarez is a beast at home, but let’s go for the sweep!

  135. Patrick(ri) says:

    A little Miami heat in the 9th.

  136. Thundercrack says:

    Do you really think there are talks going on for Samardzaja?

  137. Well, the Bucs are back at .500, at least for tonight, and no thanks to the shaky bullpen, since Pimentel gave up 4 in the bottom of the 9th. At least they won again and got 18 hits and Charlie Morton gave them another good start. It’s just that the bullpen needs to tighten up, that’s for sure.

  138. Thundercrack says:

    Quietly the Bucs have gone 16-8

  139. JRay3 says:

    Quite impressive. And have to say a few weeks ago John Smoltz of MLB Network called it.

    When asked what team under .500 could make a run and possibly be a playoff team he stated the Pirates.

    Last night during highlights he retreated watch out this team is about to go on a run.

  140. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t see them, but I can guess who posted one of them.

  141. Maz in Iowa says:

    Tomorrow’s score should be 8-6 PIRATES….if history teaches us anything

  142. Chuck H says:

    What is this with those Marlins in the 9th inning. Too bad Morton had thrown over 100 pitches, or he could have finished the game. When Pimento gave up the second homer, I thought-here we go again. Just like Friday’s game. Just proves that Grilli is not capable of closing anymore. His fastball has lost a few MPH, and he is not as unhittable as he once was. My closer would be Tony Watson, no matter how many runs we were ahead. Those are my thoughts and I’m sticking to them. GO, BUCS!!!

  143. twentytwo22 says:


  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    Only thing is who takes Tony’s spot? Just moving chairs around. 4 runs in the 7th count the same a 4 runs in the 9 th.

  145. Thundercrack says:


    A lot of times it is about the hitters you are facing and not what inning you are pitching in

  146. Florida Steeler says:

    Who knows what is true but rumor has it that the Braves, Brewers,Mariners and Blue Jays have approached the Cubs about Samardzaja. These rumors will be flying until someone makes a deal.

  147. Maz in Iowa says:

    Gotta ask.Leave Marte batting #2 and put Walker at clean up?

  148. Thundercrack says:

    How about trying Pedro again?!

  149. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pedro seems to hit better lower in the lineup.More than anything I’m curious to see how Neil would do.Walker seems really confident and I just wonder if Petey tries a lil too hard at times.JMO

  150. Maz in Iowa says:

    When Walker comes back the line up will need to be adjusted.I imagine there will be a lot of discussion in the coming days on the blog.

  151. Brandie says:

    Went to see the Curve. Andy Vazquez with a home run and Gift Ngoepe with two defensive gems. Alas, our Curve lost to the Fighting Phils 5-2. :( Glad to see the Big Club at 500.

  152. How did Stetson Allie look?

  153. War_Horse says:

    Jose Fernandez? Who dat?

  154. dennis g says:

    I would understand Smokey Burgess doing it; not Andrew.

  155. dennis g says:

    I am guessing the BMTIB would gladly undo the Morris trade. The problem with keeping Grilli as a closer (aside from the fact that he is ineffective) is the fact that it artificially affects the relief rotation. The manager cannot use his relievers in the most effective way possible if he always has to be prepared to put Grilli (or any other pitcher) in when the save presents itself. Saves are nonsense and so is taking out Jeff Locke after less than 80 pitches. Let the starters pitch until they are ineffective or until you must pinch hit for them (or perhaps a pitch count, but certainly over 100.) Then come in with the best available reliever, depending on the situation, without regard for save statistics.

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