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Final: Cubs 6, Pirates 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (35-37) vs. Chicago Cubs (30-40)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Site: Wrigley Field, Chicago

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.

Comments

  1. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates
    Lineup 6/20
    Gregory Polanco RF
    Starling Marte LF
    Andrew McCutchen CF
    Ike Davis 1B
    Russell Martin C
    Josh Harrison 2B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Jordy Mercer SS
    (Charlie Morton P)

  2. Bizrow says:

    Yesterday, well, I forgot what day it was

    Soooooo

    • Welcome, Lunatics! If you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post:
    • Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – Sharing and celebrating our community.
    • Pittsburgh – Sochi – Moscow – New York – Fort Myers – Port Charlotte – Bradenton – Sarasota – Clearwater – Tampa – Orlando – Charlotte – Pittsburgh
    • Afghanistan – skeetermc*
    Arizona – Tucson, Chandler, Phoenix, Sunnyslope, Davis-Monthan AFB*, Lake Havasu City
    Argentina — Buenos Aires
    Arkansas – Rogers
    Alaska – Anchorage
    Australia – Mackay, Gold Coast, Geelong, Sydney, Balmoral (Queensland)
    Brazil – Vitoria, São Paulo
    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino, Clovis
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks, Perth – Ontario
    China – Beijing
    Crete – Vlites
    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
    Connecticut – Cos Cob, Bridgeport, Wallingford, Norwalk, NEWTOWN
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    Delaware – Newark
    Denmark – Greenland – Thule*
    District of Columbia
    England – London
    Florida – Palm Harbor, Orlando, Valrico, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Oviedo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Palm Beach Gardens, Cape Coral, Coco Beach (Major Nelson and Mary Ann), Niceville (Red Neck Rivera) and a*, St Petersburg, Pembroke Pines, Ft Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, W Melbourne, Melbourne, St Johns, Wesley Chapel, Fort Pierce, Lakeland, Neptune Beach
    France – Strasbourg,
    Georgia – Marietta, Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Acworth, Savanna, Hoschton, Grayson, Newnan, Macon
    Germany – Leverkusen/Cologne, Ramstein*
    Hawaii – Honolulu
    Idaho – Mountain Home, Coer d’Aline, Mountain Home AFB*
    Illinois – La Salle, Peru, Payson, Chicago, Palatine (3 inmates there), Lincoln Park, Grayslake, Algonquin, Chicago, Naperville
    Indiana – Indianapolis, Burns Harbor, South Bend, Bicknell, Ft Wayne, Westfield, Munster, Jasper
    Iowa – Bettendorf, Humboldt, Maquoketa, Urbandale, Muscatine
    Ireland – Dublin
    • Israel – Ginot Shomron
    Japan – Tokyo
    Kentucky – Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Georgetown, Russellville
    Kuwait – Relyks76*
    Louisiana – Slidell, Shreveport*
    Maine – Bangor
    Maryland – Arnold, Odenton, Severn, Baltimore, Waldorf, Hagerstown, Chevy Chase, Hampstead, Elkridge, Frederick, Bowie, Sykesville, Columbia, Towson
    Massachusetts – Boston, Tyngsboro, East Gloucester*, 617 Strong*, Medford, Hamilton
    Mecca – Slienmann*
    Michigan – Kalamazoo, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Mason, Battle Creek
    Minnesota – Yinzer, St Paul
    Mississippi – Biloxi, Ocean Springs
    Missouri – St Peters***
    Montana
    Nebraska – Omaha, Lincoln
    New Hampshire – Barrington
    New Jersey – Chesterfield, Princeton, Roxbury, Lebanon, Lincoln Park, Berkeley Heights, Somerville, Hammock, Barrington, Delran, Pennsville, Hammonton, Mullica Hills, JERSEY SHORE, Montclair, Monmouth Beach, Flemington, Oceanville, Mays Landing, Collingswood
    New Mexico – Mike, Albequeque, Blazer, Berkeley Heights
    New York – New York, Smithtown, Manhattan, Long Island, Nyack, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Lewistown, Stony Point
    Nevada, Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno
    North Carolina – Asheville, Hickory, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, High Point, Winston Salem, Fayetteville
    Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbiana, Westerville, Green, Hilliard, Toledo, Louisville, Columbus, Perrysburg, Pickerington, Youngstown, Cleveland, Olmsted Township, Liberty Township, Warren, Oregon, Wintersville, Austintown, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base*, New Philadelphia, Powell, Canton, Salem, New Albany, Bloomingdale, Powell, Howland, Grafton, Northwood, Middletown, Dayton, Cambridge, Martins Ferry, Akron
    Oklahoma – Tulsa – OKLAHOMA CITY/MOORE ,,
    Oregon – Roseburg, Eugene
    Pennsylvania – Downtown, Hopewell, Indiana, North Wales, Franklin Park, Forest Hills, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Du Bois, Reading, Crafton, Arnold, Wexford, Mt Lebanon, Canonsburg, Lancaster, Huntington, York, Boiling Springs, Philly suburbs, Morningside, Harrisburg, Lawrenceville, Bradford Woods, Norristown, Hanover, Clearfield, Sewickley, Plum Boro, Slippery Rock, Wilkes-Barre, Sharpsville, Bessemer, Greensburg, Washington, Imperial, South Side, Duncansville, Newville, Sheppton, Grove City, Butler, Allentown, Ross Township, Blairsville, Flood City (Johnstown), Overbrook, Danny’s Hoagies, Baldwin, Economy, Sharpsville, North Huntington, Bellfonte, West Mifflin, Kennywood, Pleasant Hills, Beechview (Mad Turk, No 200), Macgunie, Mechanicsburg, Uptown, Cambria County, Mon Valley, Salisbury, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Cranberry Twp, Garrett, O’Hara Township, McCandless Township, 115 Federal Street, Bethel Park, Harrison City, Penn Hills, Kittanning, Dover, Upper St Clair, Rennerdale, Oakland, Scranton, Moon (RMU), State College, Erie, Penn Twp, Stowe, Elizabeth, Hermitage, Easton, Carlisle, Finleyville, Belle Vernon, Madison, Sellersville, Waynesburg, Warren, Beaver Falls, Chambersburg, Greencastle, East Freedom, Leechburg, Banksville City, Ellwood City, Hollidaysburg, Bethlehem, Mars, Verona, Philipsburg, Phoenixville, Hippos Pond, Oil City, Verona, Hookstown, Squirrel Hill, Natrona, Charleroi, FREEDOM, Denver, Midland (the home of good food and many bars), Selinsgrove, Dormont, Scott Township, Blawnox, Arnold, Ligonier, Wells Tannery, Swoyersville, St Mary’s, Titusville, Shippingsburg, Sharpsville, Brookville, Mountain Top, Mt Joy, Bloomsburg, Portage, Carnegie, Homer City, Allepo Township, Irwin, Claridge, Downington, Cheswick, Antis Township, Union City, Export, Rector, Altoona, Blair County/PNG Ballpark
    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    Russia
    Serbia – Subotica
    Singapore
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston, Sumter*
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Uzbekistan
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna, Alexandria, Lynchburg
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg*, Grafton
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    476 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
    Beano
    Lemonade Guy
    The Gunner, Mr Bob Prince
    The Great One, he stays regardless
    Mike Lange
    Myron Cope
    The Honorable Mayor Richard Caliguiri
    Kevin McClatchy
    Mike Emrick
    Commander Hadfield, courtesy of the Space Station
    Fred Rogers
    Mario Lemieux, ditto to the Great One, he stays as an owner
    Chuck Noll
    Eddie Johnston, aka EJ
    Badger Bob
    Chuck Tanner
    Dick Groat, the best darn multi-athelete and announcer from Wilkinsburg/Swissvale
    Steve Blass
    Danny Murtaugh*
    Rocky Bleier*
    John Challis – Courage + Belief = Life
    All Servicemen and women that have been in battle, ever
    Sgt Doug Vitale
    Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band
    Barney Dreyfuss
    George Benson
    Phil Coyne
    Tony Dorsett
    Vince Lascheid
    John Barbero
    Art McKennan
    Steve ‘Dirt’ DiNardo*
    K9***, Rocco
    Rick Sebak
    First Responders***
    • Those ordinary/exceptional hero’s that we remember on Memorial Day*
    28 countries
    46 states, plus the District of Columbia, missing 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Kansas
    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s of any species, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 6/20/2014 1:09 PM

  3. John Lease says:

    That looks like a winner to me. I’d like Harrison hitting second though instead of Marte.

  4. Maz in Iowa says:

    Good Cholly or bad?Be nice to get 7 innings out of him

  5. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cubs have 2 hitters around .150.Plus Jackson has not been a good pitcher.Time for a good game and get that bad taste out of their mouths.Let’s Go Bucs

  6. Chuck H says:

    I see Davis is still batting cleanup. Why is that? Your cleanup hitter needs to hit once in a while, at least, that’s the way it was when I was playing sandlot baseball, back East, some
    60 years ago. Why not try Neil Walker at cleanup when he returns to action??? Just a suggestion to help this team win. They have got to play better against the Reds, Cards, and hated Brewers if they expect to be in the playoffs.

  7. dennis g says:

    Any particular reason Barmes is not playing after going 4 for 5?

  8. Chuck H says:

    Barmes will probably go 0 for 20 after his 4 for 5 game.

  9. Maz in Iowa says:

    Betting Walker at clean up is the plan.Pedro is batting barely .200 W/risp.Martin is more of a get on base guy.Hands are pretty much tied till Neal gets back.

  10. Chuck H says:

    Congrats to Polanco for setting record for rookies at start of career. Keep it up, Lad.

  11. Nate83 says:

    Marte has been hitting it nicely since batting 2nd in the line up. It’s because he is seeing more fastballs. I don’t think you move him out of that postion anytime soon. Not even after Walker comes back in my opinion.

    That’s not a knock on Harrison. It’s just maximizing Marte ability to contribute while keeping Harrison in a spot in the order he seems to be doing just fine in.

  12. Thundercrack says:

    Barmes yesterday = blind squirrel.

  13. dennis g says:

    So it is a scientifically based decision. I get it.

  14. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  15. dennis g says:

    I think it was just this type of thinking that got Brock Holt and Brad Moss traded and kept Josh Harrison sitting the bench for the better part of three seasons.

  16. Nate83 says:

    Bad Cholly went away in 2011. His starts don’t fluctuate anymore then a typical pitcher. I think this is based purely on reputation of a pitcher that was a completely different guy early in his career.

    He has only 3 starts out of 14 this year with an ERA over 5 and one of those games is 5.14. To put that in perspective the top 3 ERA guys in the NL (Cuato, Wainwright, Teheran) have an ERA over 5 in 2,3,2 games. Wainwrights and Teheran’s bad games where much worse then Morton’s with ERA’s above 10.

  17. Nate83 says:

    I think that will be the plan Chuck. I guess we will have to wait until Tuesday to find out but it seems to be the right move.

  18. cmat0829 says:

    oh God, let’s just go back in time and lament all the decisions with hindsight. NO ONE (and I was paying attention) wanted Brandon Moss to keep getting chances.. .much like Travis Snider right now. And I can’t remember ANYONE in Spring singing the praises of JayHey…. it’s an easy (and not so fun) game to trot out the ‘coulda, woulda shoulda’ takes…. not to mention that Clint Barmes is pretty much a pinata for all the missives he takes from the blog and fans in general… can’t find any who want him on the roster much less starting everyday.

    So here’s a challenge… for every ” i told you so” post that goes back in time, please post a “this is what they should do” …then we can keep score. OK?

  19. bpn8pitt says:

    Pot this is kettle. You’re black.

  20. cmat0829 says:

    here’s one: He isn’t very good. Not saying he’s not a decent utility infielder, especially defensively. But I think you can come up with a better back-seat driving post than questioning Barmes on the bench.

  21. 21sthebest says:

    We should undo that Hanrahan/Holt trade?

  22. cmat0829 says:

    lol, i’ve posted plenty about how much I was wrong about JayHey, Mercer, et al. Those posts were actually PROJECTING future performance and advocating a change… not sure I have ever posted any lament about past moves. If you can find one, please remind me. Past moves are the past, and not much use to debate them now. I dont think I’ve even ever complained about the ARAM trade to the Cubs because I understand it as a desparation move based on team finances at the time.

  23. Nate83 says:

    Those all happened because none of those guys showed the ability to be everyday player while with the Pirates. They painfully gave Moss more then enough time to show he deserved to play everday.

    Harrsion until the last 30 games hadn’t shown the ability to have more then a good average with a horrible OBP, no defense and little power. Since showing those skill he has not been out of the line up hardly at all.

    I’m not sure they gave up on Holt a much as just traded him before knowing what they may have had. To be fair Boston still doesn’t know what they have. He’s having a good year but his BABIP is .398. That is impossible to maintain. He has hit for zero power.

  24. cmat0829 says:

    My future move suggestions, for the record:

    1. Plug JayHey in near the top of the order, move Cutch to cleanup spot and Neil to #5.
    2. DFA Snider on Tuesday when Neil is activated.
    3. Send Cumpton back to Indy when Cole is activated.
    4. Acquire Soria or similar bullpen piece ASAP.
    5. Target starting pitching depth ASAP, but someone more like Hammel than a Price or Samardija.
    6. Play Gaby more of a 50/50 split at 1B with Ike.
    7. Sign Martin at ANY cost in offseason. Dump Stewart and live with TonySanchez as backup.
    8. Keep Pedro until he hits FA, give him a QO and watch him go bye-bye.
    9. Re-sign Neil but not at any cost..has to be reasonable value as he is most replaceable on this roster in the future.

  25. Dom says:

    No way!

    We go Melancon, Stolmy, and saved $10 million!

    Plus, we really don’t need Holt since we have Walker.

  26. cmat0829 says:

    No one asked me, but here’s my suggestion, first for Tampa (AL Park):

    Polanco RF
    JayHey 3B
    Cutch CF
    Walker 2B
    Gaby 1B
    Pedro DH
    Martin C
    Mercer SS
    Marte LF

    Lineup moving forward vs RHP

    Polanco RF
    Marte LF
    JayHey SS
    Cutch CF
    Neil 2B
    Pedro 3B
    Martin C
    Ike 1B

    vs LHP
    Polanco RF
    Marte LF
    Cutch CF
    Gaby 1B
    JayHey 3B
    Neil 2B
    Martin C
    Mercer SS

    JayHey can play everyday, 3B vs. LHP, SS vs. RHP except for occasionally spelling the OF’s or Neil.

  27. cmat0829 says:

    Holt is JayHey but not as good. It is remarkable but as to opinion, nothing looks as good as an exPirate from far away on another team and nothing looks as bad as a current Pirate who isn’t perfect in every way.

    File this away when Pedro in 2017 goes Chris Davis all over the American League. Many of the same who are absolutely skewering the man now will be grousing about why NH let him get away. But that’s blog-rules right?

  28. Bizrow says:

    I pulled for Brandon Moss. I’m pulling for Snider.

    I’m hoping they can move Tabata

    Now I’m going to go hide under the bed for a bit ;-)

  29. 21sthebest says:

    Melancon will now close according to Hurdle. T-Wat will also get some opportunities.

    Grilli to get his outings in when the team is behind.

  30. The Gunner says:

    Glad to hear Clint took Grilli out of the closer role – it’s a win for all sides.

    Now, Cholly has to give us a minimum of 7 strong innings today.

  31. bpn8pitt says:

    I kept telling Lucky I didnt think he’d hit .370 when he came up. He didnt. Hit about .400.

    I do think the power grows as his body fills out…Maybe a black alternate Polanco jersey Xmas time for bpn.

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Mark Melancon will be signing Grilli’s book when the team returns to Pittsburgh next week.

  33. casper in a-town says:

    Good afternoon, all. I agree with the decision to remove Grilli from the closer’s role. As this is the first time he’s been taken out of the 9th inning role based on performance versus injury, I’m hopeful that this will give him the motivation (maybe embarrassment?) to work a bit harder on his location. However, I’m not sold on Melancon as the closer. From what I’ve seen of Melancon this year, I just don’t think he has the intestinal fortitude to be a 9th inning guy on a day in, day out basis. I hope I’m wrong, though.

  34. NMR says:

    SS vs RHP?

    So for all intents and purposes Josh Harrison is the Pirates everyday shortstop?

  35. 21sthebest says:

    I’m going to predict Cumpton goes down after his start Sunday. Walker is activated for Monday, Cole is activated Friday and Snider is DFA’d.

  36. NMR says:

    Here’s another one: neither is Jordy Mercer.

  37. NMR says:

    BAHHH YOUR PIRATE OPINION STINKS. ;)

  38. cmat0829 says:

    I think if I were manager I’d get Josh in 4 or 5 out of 6 games… being flexible as to where those come from (and also recognizing that Josh is playing simply because he is a hot bat… if that cools then his playing time wanes…. if others cool, then the spot for him becomes obvious.

    Absent any players ‘needing a break’, then yes, his spot to get those games would be SS for the most part, at least 3 days per week.

    Just don’t see where else he gets the reps.

  39. cmat0829 says:

    ZING!

  40. cmat0829 says:

    then JayHey at SS it is!

  41. NMR says:

    The sequel sure should be interesting.

  42. bpn8pitt says:

    Agreed, casper. Not sure about Melancon either. I think when Grilli was on DL, Melancon had a couple rough outings himself.

    Plus you have to wonder, moving around these bullpen roles, robbing Peter to pay Paul….Like Watson, if he come in 8th or 9th inning to pitch, who now comes in to his role in the 6th or 7th as the fireman?Some people in baseball think when the game is on the line then, its more important than the 9th, depending upon the spot in the order and such.

  43. cmat0829 says:

    HokaJayHey, everyone!

    Agree with Grilli moving to the ‘hide him like a Rule5 player’ spot in the pen… and obvious that MM and TW are the ‘next men up’ but key question is, who else steps into a ‘leverage’ role now that Grilli is just gonna take up space (and presumably have much more time in the pen now to work on his next book).?

    Holding leads in the 6th inning on requires 5 relievers you are ok with in a tie or close game… MM, TW, Hughes and Wilson right now are 4 (with Wilson drawing mixed reviews)… that leaves gomez, pimentel and grilli. I guess Gomez is next man up? Can’t pitch Wilson-Hughes-Watson-Melancon every game…..

    Might be a few moves coming soon.. time to tune this roster based on 2014 reality…fact is we can’t afford the “luxury” of keeping Pimentel, Gomez and Grilli. Two of them likely need to go.

  44. NMR says:

    3B.

    Unlike in fantasy baseball, defense still counts.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    If he would have just waited 6 months to write the thing in the first place it would have been a blockbuster. OK, maybe not.

  46. pattonbb says:

    It probably won’t have the same happy ending.

  47. NMR says:

    Yeah, that’s exactly what a struggling pitching staff that relies on groundball outs needs.

  48. The Gunner says:

    The Bucs cannot be legitimate contenders with the current version of Grilli. I applaud the BMTIB for their sense of urgency in addressing the situation.

  49. cmat0829 says:

    In many ways, Lunchie reminds me a lot of Moss. High pedigree, showed signs, but overall struggled to show his stuff on the big stage. He’s hardly a scrub but just not a Major League player at this point. Despite the sudden Barmes love, you can make a case to DFA him (and talk him into playing in Indy as insurance as I doubt he gets picked up) and keep Lunchie and Tabby as left/right PH options. But then again, Pittsburgh for the next 5-6 years is not a good spot for an OF who hopes for a chance to break through…..

  50. NMR says:

    Oh, it would be absolute gold.

    You remember what he said about Leyland during his time in Detroit?

    No doubt at all that Hurdle is to blame for Grilli’s struggles in his own mind. Guy is a blatant narcissist.

  51. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who questioned Barmes on the bench? From my perspective, the majority of the people here who commented were fine with Barmes as a backup at $2 mil. I think you are stuck in the past, Cmat. ;/)

  52. Thundercrack says:

    I liked Moss and wanted him to get more chances.
    I may have forgotten to post that on the blog.

    And I also disliked John Russell

  53. cmat0829 says:

    usually i agree with you and my 2013 blog-self hyped the defense angle in support of Barmes playing as much as he did.. and I know I’ve done a 180 on JayHey…. but honestly today I lean toward giving JayHey the chance to either prove he can be good enough there or cost us a game or two… he’s been overperforming my expectations everywhere else… and we know others have had their chance to cost us a few games…..

  54. NMR says:

    He may not have intestines, but does he have balls?

    Intestines and testicles. Those seem to be the two greatest tools for closers.

  55. cmat0829 says:

    could be indeed recalling the tar and feathering of Barmes 2013 version, not the relative ‘leave the old guy alone’ blog indifference of 2014. I stand corrected.

  56. casper in a-town says:

    Hey BPN — I think at this point the closing role should be situational rather than one guy designated “the” closer. If we’re up 1 run, 2 runs or 3 runs; right-handed -vs- left-handed hitters coming up in the 9th; the pitcher’s success versus the first 3 due up; etc. I also think you can handle the 9th by committee. Bottom line is, we need our starters to go deep — at least 6 and change. From there, I think the manager has to go with his gut on the aforementioned match-ups heading into the 9th.

  57. The Gunner says:

    Well said, NMR

  58. 21sthebest says:

    Melancon has given up a run in 7 of his 35 outings. His WHIP is .78 and he strikes out almost 8 per 9. I’m pretty confident in the guy.

  59. casper in a-town says:

    I’d prefer location and velocity, but I’m not discounting intestines and balls, either. Lord knows they’ve played an integral role in my life.

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    Grapefruits & short term memory loss.

  61. casper in a-town says:

    Let’s revisit this in a few weeks. I hope the past remains a good predictor of the future, NMR.

  62. casper in a-town says:

    Sorry, that should have been to 21.

  63. bpn8pitt says:

    Absolutely on the starters…Thats my concern about the 2nd half. The Pirates have logged the most innings by relievers in the NL. 2nd in MLB.

    It may be part of the problem now. They are worn down.

  64. 21sthebest says:

    I hope so too but I’m not making a prediction.

  65. NMR says:

    I’m flattered!

  66. Baywatch says:

    We seem to have already seen our share of Jackson this year!

  67. NMR says:

    Nobody gets worn down in one half of baseball.

    But you guys are absolutely right on the starters. It wasn’t a problem last year because the Pirates went 6-7 deep in the bullpen. This year, that’s just not the case.

  68. 21sthebest says:

    As someone who has been wrong about Nate McLouth at least 3 or 4 times, I refuse to admit that I’m wrong about Harrison just yet. :-)

  69. casper in a-town says:

    Ha! I’ll take flattered over confused, as I thought perhaps my post may have made you the latter!

  70. Bizrow says:

    +++

  71. NMR says:

    Look, I just thought it was ridiculous, and hilarious, that everyone jumps on Dennis for questioning why Barmes didn’t deserve back to back starts when the guy that IS penciled into the lineup has the worst OBP of any shortstop in baseball.

    Seriously, what in the hell is the worst that could happen?

  72. NMR says:

    Already there, my friend. Already there. ;)

  73. cmat0829 says:

    ok, i have him as 3B vs LHPs are YOU advocating that Pedro ride the bench until JayHey cools off?

  74. Thundercrack says:

    NMR,
    Maybe because we’ve seen plenty of Clint Barmes at-bats

  75. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates are last in defense in the NL.No way will we see Harrison at SS on a regular basis.Harrison has very few games as a SS in the majors.I’m ok with him getting at bats as a utility player though.His bat over the last 2 months has been nice to see.It just doesn’t warrant him taking over at SS where he has little experience at the major league level.We already have a problem at 3B….why add SS as another trouble spot?

  76. NMR says:

    Absolutely. At least as a share of the four starts or so JHey should be getting.

  77. NMR says:

    Thunder, again, what is the worst that could happen?

  78. NMR says:

    Barmes doesn’t hit?

    Guess what, neither is Jordy!

  79. 21sthebest says:

    I didn’t think anyone jumped on Dennis for questioning why Barmes didn’t get back to back to starts. I think he was jumped for this comment:

    “I think it was just this type of thinking that got Brock Holt and Brad Moss traded and kept Josh Harrison sitting the bench for the better part of three seasons.”

  80. cmat0829 says:

    Dennis asked for ‘any particular reason Barmes isn’t starting today’… many gave him reasons.. I don’t think that is out of bounds for discussion blog. But that is a valid viewpoint, why a ‘ride the hot hand’ would’t be applied to SS.

    I differed more with the parallel Dennis drew in his next post…that not starting Barmes today is similar to trading away Holt and keeping JayHey on the bench. Logic there is all over the place.

    I think ‘picking and choosing’ what facts we rely on to make points is all fair in love and blogs… I could just as easily pulled out ‘small sample size’.. ‘unsustainable due to his hits being bloops and flukes that fell in’ to counter that Barmes 4-5 is not in isolation what should factor into today’s lineup. But I chose the shorthand…Barmes isn’t very good. Which is true.

  81. NMR says:

    Yeah, I’m not getting anywhere neeeaaar that one.

    Sorry dennis, you’re on your own!

  82. cmat0829 says:

    NMR, I get your point about Barmes vs. Jordy but I can use the same “what’s the worst that can happen” in defending JayHey playing SS vs. Jordy. I continue to think Barmes D is at least 25% better than Jordy’s ….so if we are optimizing D I’ll agree with you we should just play Barmes everyday, or at least half the time. But we don’t seem to be doing that, so in that case how much better is Jordy’s D than JayHey’s? Do we really know? AGAIN, before the retort, before now I’d completely opine that there is no way I want JayHey playing SS everyday. He is unproven there. In fact, I posted on this here blog many times in May to that effect. But, JayHey has proven me wrong and I’m willing to give him some starts at SS to prove me wrong there. WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

  83. NMR says:

    But again, I’m not arguing that Barmes is good.

    I’m arguing that neither is Mercer.

    If the response to dennis is that Barmes isn’t starting because he isn’t good, isn’t that relative to the guy who IS starting?

  84. cmat0829 says:

    Peace. We agree, I think, though Pedro needs a chance to bust out of this and get hot…. but for now, yes, 3B seems likely spot to get most of his starts.

  85. NMR says:

    The worst that can happen is very, very clear:

    -Harrison cannot field the position and the offense he generates on that day cannot make up for it resulting in a loss.

  86. NMR says:

    The solution seems to be staring everyone in the face.

  87. cmat0829 says:

    I know SS is different than 2B, but for 2 weeks I haven’t noticed JayHey there instead of Walker. I guess in a year that we are giving plenty of players a chance to prove it on the field, why not JayHey at SS before we go by reputation alone?

    But I’m a recent convert to JayHey at SS… so a few more good arguments and I just may change my mind… and the first time he makes an error at SS, I’ll be heating up the tar and cursing Hurdle.

  88. cmat0829 says:

    by the way, congrats all, we have now set a blog record for posts about Barmes and Harrison starting at SS for the Pirates in 2014. Previous record was ZERO posts.

  89. FlBucco says:

    Today’s let’s keep things in perspective post…

    UZR/150 ranking among NL starters by position

    Davis – 12th
    Walker – 13th
    Mercer – 8th
    Pedro – 11th

    so the Bucs are not very good anywhere in the infield defensively – and the right side is worse than the left…

    OF – no Pirate with enough innings in RF – Jay Hay seems to be a big improvement though over Tabata and Snider – small sample size caution

    Marte is solid in Left – ranks 4th – #1 is Yelich BTW

    The big surprise is the MVP
    Ranks 13th among NL center fielders – and yes Billy Hamilton is #1

    But even more depressing is he ranks 42nd among all NL outfielders who played at least 300 innings this year.

    The OF defense would get better if Cutch moved to Left and Marte to Center IMHO…

  90. cmat0829 says:

    careful, tread slowly when criticizing Cutch’s defense and arm. same with Neil, who is decent at best on D.

  91. Maz in Iowa says:

    3 games of : Len Kasper | Jim Deshaies.(shivers uncontrollably)

  92. FlBucco says:

    See below – the defensive problems are at every infield position – Pedro gets slammed for his throws – but he is ranked higher than Walker and Davis among fellow position players.

  93. FlBucco says:

    Not being critical – just reporting the numbers ;-)

  94. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Has anyone actually seen JayHey play SS?

    I’m not a fan of giving up the 2nd most important defensive position in favor of offense.

    Jordy stinks, I’ve always been a fan of Barmes’ glove and a 4-5 night should be given an extra start.

  95. NMR says:

    And who would ever advocate for Neil Walker playing shortstop? There isn’t just a difference, there’s a big difference.

    Watch how Harrison plays grounders at 2B the next couple days. Completely passive. Let’s the ball play him. Now picture that in the hole at shortstop.

  96. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    This might be the funniest thing I’ve ever read on this blog

  97. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    So……anything new today?

  98. Maz in Iowa says:

    Should be a UZR for managers.I wonder where” Big League Chew Hurdle” would be rated. :)

  99. Patrick(ri) says:

    I will risk agreeing with you about switching Marte & Cutch. (Taking a bigger risk, I think the best center fielder in the league, as a total player plays for the Brewers)

    I think CH should do a La Russa imitation and use Josh almost every day among an between SS,2B,3B,RF & LF. come September, the club should be rested and ready, physically — mentally, who knows?

  100. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I’m not touching the OF defense right now with Polanco.

    How much of that UZR takes into consideration that he’s had a fielding handicap to his left for the whole season?

  101. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Easy.

    4th in the NL central.

    Current win % of .486, 2 games under .500

    What more do you need to know?

  102. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Not being critical, you’re not really reporting, just cut and pasting.

    Lol

  103. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Missed Polanco hit for streak. Scorcher? Regardless, 10 games to open a career … wow.

  104. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wasn’t this a topic of conversation last year about the bullpen?

  105. NMR says:

    “soft fly ball the center fielder Ryan Sweeney”, apparently.

    And yeah, wow.

  106. Patrick(ri) says:

    Makes miss Harry? I always enjoyed his routines. I really did like Steve Stone(did’t he lose his job for being too critical of the players.)

  107. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Gamecast is not working.

    Hate working nights, can’t watch the game.

  108. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Why review this at all?

  109. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    When Polanco came up I had hoped he’d be the phenom we all hoped for.

    The Pirates needed that guy that takes over in his rookie season like we’ve seen before.

    Puig, Cespedes, etc.

    Glad that’s coming around.

    Should be a household name shortly.

  110. Milo Hamilton says:

    I compare Polanco to Manny Sanguillen so far. He’s a really good hitter & a terrible right fielder.

  111. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Now this drives me even more nuts.

    What’s getting reviewed?

  112. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Wth just happened?

  113. NMR says:

    Can’t wait to see how Chris Freaking Coghlan managed a triple to right field in Wrigley.

  114. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Oh. That’s why. Sorry. Just tuned in.

    Replay is good.

  115. TK says:

    Leaders (in categories) for former Pirate Pitchers

    Wins – Bronson Arroyo – 7
    Losses – Kevin Correia – 8
    Games – Zack Duke – 33
    Games Started – AJ Burnett – 15
    Complete Games – Arroyo – 1
    Shut Outs – 0
    Innings Pitched – AJ Burnett – 95
    Hits Allowed – Kevin Correia – 100
    Runs – AJ Burnett – 51
    Earned Runs – Kevin Correia – 46
    Home Runs Allowed – Bronson Arroyo – 10
    Walks – AJ Burnett – 43
    Strike Outs – Jesse Chavez – 78
    Saves – Chad Qualls – 8
    ERA – Starters – Jesse Chavez – 2.93
    ERA – Relievers (min 20 IP) – Zack Duke – 1.26
    WHIP – Starters – Jesse Chavez – 1.20
    ERA – Relievers (min 20 IP) – Zack Duke – 0.99

  116. Bman says:

    Greenville SC

  117. TK says:

    Leaders (in categories) among Former Pirates

    Abs – McGehee – 273
    Runs – Bautista – 52
    Hits – McGehee – 85
    2Bs – Byrd – 19
    3Bs – Byrd, Moss, Holt – 2
    HRs – Moss – 17
    RBIs – Moss – 55
    SBs – R Davis – 20
    CS – R Davis – 4
    SF – Moreau, G. Jones – 4
    SH – Arroyo, Maholm – 4
    Avg (min 100 abs) – Holt – 0.327
    Avg (min 200 abs) – McGehee – 0.311
    OBP – Bautista – 0.433
    SLG (min 100 abs) – S. Pearce – 0.552
    SLG (min 200 abs) – Bautista – 0.536
    OPS – Baustista – 0.969

  118. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Did anyone understand one blathering syllable of that Grilli-Searage explanation?

  119. Tom P. says:

    Foul tip?

  120. Milo Hamilton says:

    Apparently they don’t have right field corners in the minor leagues.

  121. Major Dad says:

    Pedro started making contact yesterday and gets two out of three day games this series. I predict one bomb each today and Sunday.

  122. Major Dad says:

    Not really, and really hate when they talk about players deciding what to do. The manager/coaches tell, the player should do.

  123. TK says:

    WHIP – Relievers (min 20 IP) – Zack Duke – 0.99

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ve found that watching these games muted makes for a much more pleasurable experience.

  125. Nick says:

    If Ike and Pedro don’t show progress I will be looking for those old Lefty McThump columns this off season !

  126. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Pretty sure at the MLB level there’s a respect thing there.

    A guy like Grilli’s been around a little bit, you just don’t tell him what to do, input isn’t a bad thing.

  127. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Unless that player is one who thinks so much of himself he pens a passage in his book likening himself to Christ.

  128. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Called up too soon Milo

  129. pattonbb says:

    Wow.

  130. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    JayHey strikes out?

    Apparently he can play SS for the Pirates

  131. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Good Lord.

  132. KING says:

    Well, Polanco has a 10 game hitting streak with a single. Then, he gets picked off. I hate looking at Edwin Jackson. He spurned the Pirates 3 year 30 million dollar contract a few years ago for a 1 year deal with Senators I think. Now with Cubs.
    Wonder if Polanco will end up like a Bonds type leadoff hitter 25-30 HR or 15 HR with more doubles & triples?

    The Pirates bullpen has blown so many games. 14 by my count. They should have 40+ wins. Simple math. Pirates need 55 wins out of 90 to get to 90 wins.

    Walker should be well rested when he returns. Signing
    Walker longterm the next step. KING

  133. Patrick(ri) says:

    Bunting in second, in Wrigley with your two slowest players is an odd choice. Imho.

  134. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    He meant the hair and beard

  135. pattonbb says:

    BLOCKING!!

  136. Robert says:

    How about only the third Pirates player in at least 15 years to hit 30 HR and drive in 85+ RBI in consecutive years batting clean up? The same guy also has a .295 avg, .377 OBP, and .819 OPS in June. Oh look, he just got a hit. Just saying…

  137. twentytwo22 says:

    bs either way.

  138. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t care what the rule says, he doesn’t deserve to be safe.

  139. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    You watch, they’ll call him out.

  140. Robert says:

    If they blow this one, they should blow up the replay office in New York and the rule book.

  141. twentytwo22 says:

    2 of 6 outs made on the bases.

  142. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    This rule is stupid. Just take it out and let it by umpire’s discretion if a runner goes out of his way to injure the catcher. That’s it.

  143. pattonbb says:

    I’m so confused.

  144. Thundercrack says:

    Why were my posts deleted from the thread about the Penguins’ H.C search?

  145. NMR says:

    Yeah, somebody please tell me that didn’t actually happen.

    Hurdle has lost his mind.

  146. NMR says:

    Because Dejan doesn’t like you as a person.

  147. 21sthebest says:

    The catcher was blocking the plate without the ball. But before the runner got there. And he ended up being in the only place he could really be to catch the ball and make the tag.

    Correct call.

  148. 21sthebest says:

    Exactly.

  149. 21sthebest says:

    He had to be called out.

  150. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Davis slow-Schierholtz-gun

    Not a good combo there, but I don’t mind the attempt early in the game. (Didn’t see it)

  151. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I’ll take your word for it, 21. It’s still stupid.

  152. Patrick(ri) says:

    Sure Morton is not throwing a whiffle ball? Love watcing his stuff on tv.

  153. Jim S. says:

    The poor base running by this team has officially reached a ridiculous level.

  154. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bob Davisdon is great. For it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 strikes your out at the old ball game. If I ever get in trouble I’m hiring his lawyer.

  155. NMR says:

    HEY EVERYBODY PEDRO ALVAREZ HAD A HIT WITH A RUNNER IN SCORING POSITION.

  156. 21sthebest says:

    It’s stupid. But the throw would’ve taken the catcher to that spot anyways. He caught the ball before the runner got there.

  157. Jim S. says:

    Davis actually stopped, Nor Cal, and only tried to score because Pedro got in a rundown by taking too wide a turn. Pedro obviously thought there would be a play at the plate.

  158. Jim S. says:

    Correct call. Stupid rule.

  159. Major Dad says:

    Agree that the experimental rule is stupid, but the explanation from New York may as well be coming from an East German Olympic judge.

  160. Robert says:

    What happened to letting adults be adults? If a catcher wants to stand in there and take a hit, let him block the damn plate. They know the risk. It’s baseball, not gladiators fighting to the death.

  161. pattonbb says:

    So of all throws to home are made to the 3b side of the plate, catcher can block?

  162. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Even Polanco’s outs are near-hits. Anyone else notice?

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    Has Delta Burke ever taken that weight off ?

  164. pattonbb says:

    0 rbi

    :)

  165. Jim S. says:

    With you on that, Maz. They’re brutal. DeShaies literally attempts to make a joke every time he speaks. He’s rarely funny.

  166. KING says:

    This blocking the plate rule dumbest thing since Coke changed its formula. It’s killing baseball. Every game you see these challenges at the plate.

    Reminds me of sexual harrassment in the 90′s. Watching videos at the workplace & seminars on what constitutes harrassment. A touch on the shoulder, a hug, a longing glance. By the time video over, you realize everything can be considered sexual harrassment. Just keep your hands in your pockets & look at the floor.

    Agree with Dejan…Just go back to umpire discretion at the plate.

    Morton looking strong early. Who should the Pirates trade for starting pitching wise? KING

  167. Patrick(ri) says:

    Would have been fun to see polanco and Marte rounding the bases!!

  168. JohninOshkosh says:

    ++++

  169. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Thanks for the clarification Jim.

  170. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    When he’s on he is fun to watch.

  171. Jim says:

    Why would Crawford be so bad?He has won a cup numerous division titles,coach of the year and won 400 games quicker then only2 other coaches

  172. Major Dad says:

    Some, but the big problem is that Meshach Taylor is still hanging around the house.

  173. twentytwo22 says:

    entertaining 3 innings

  174. Patrick(ri) says:

    One of my favorite “old timer” quotes was from Pesky about Clemente, like Ted Williams, getting good wood almost all the time. Looks like Marte may have that attribute. Hope so.

  175. Jim S. says:

    He has a chance to average close to an infield hit a week, I think. That’s a good way to hit .300.

  176. Milo Hamilton says:

    You know, Dixie was the only one that could ever control him.

  177. Patrick(ri) says:

    Uh, make that Polonco . . .

  178. NMR says:

    Bob Freaking Davidson

  179. Jim S. says:

    The bum hitter gets a free pass, courtesy of the ump. Now we have a real mess because of it.

  180. Milo Hamilton says:

    Coghlan walks on a 3-2 pitch & 5, count ‘em, 5 of the pitches taken were strikes. Unbelievable.

  181. Jim S. says:

    Really tough spot now. Thanks, Bob.

  182. Major Dad says:

    ++++

  183. The Gunner says:

    Cholly has to put his foot down

  184. Milo Hamilton says:

    Strike 5, take your base. My God.

  185. Thundercrack says:

    There is that. And twitter is probably broken today

  186. NMR says:

    Both sides of the plate, too. Absolutely ridiculous.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Ump Show. Nice.

  188. NMR says:

    Unbelievable.

  189. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Frank Rizzo

  190. The Gunner says:

    I just got in from cutting grass, sounds like the ump really sucks

  191. Florida Steeler says:

    So what–then screwed up in the bases.

  192. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Oh, Charlie.

  193. Patrick(ri) says:

    It’s ok, there is still time for us to bunt our way back into this.

  194. Jim S. says:

    Game likely over. Charlie made mistakes, but the ump tee’d this up. Really sad to see.

  195. Flbucco says:

    Looks like we will have to live with a good Charly, bad Charly year

  196. Patrick(ri) says:

    Bob Davidson.

  197. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    The one-bad inning thing can be an unfair knock. Not always. Things snowball for Charlie, both good and bad. Can’t happen. Even if squeezed.

  198. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Apparently not all teams come up empty with the bases loaded and no outs.

  199. Parrothead says:

    I’m like a broken record on this comment as I must have typed it a dozen times, but it must be nice to have hitters that actually get hits with the bases loaded .

  200. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Well then….

  201. Andrew says:

    Please go read a primer on defensive metrics.

  202. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Is Travis Snider warming up in the bullpen yet?

  203. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looks like it’s safe for Grilli to pitch today. I’m sorry, to “walk through the fire” today.

  204. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Even if squeezed?

    Hands are tied, hard to do anything else….

  205. Maz in Iowa says:

    Where is Jackson on the Cy Young watch?

  206. Jim S. says:

    Our opponents are certainly a lot more efficient with their runs per hits this year.

  207. Jim S. says:

    To your point, 0-2 on Castro. Can’t allow a HR there.

  208. Milo Hamilton says:

    If Luis Valbuena played for Milwaukee, he’d be right up there with Carlos Gomez.

  209. Jim S. says:

    In fairness to Pedro, Davis got a late stop sign. So, he probably looked to be going home to Pedro. But, Pedro can’t head toward 2nd unless he knows the throw went thru to the plate.

  210. Andrew says:

    Got home in time to see the folly that is the MLB umpires’ union.

    Way too much happening up thread.

    When is the last time the Pirates runs scored was within four of their hit number?

  211. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Yuck….nope

  212. Jim S. says:

    Edwin being Edwin to start the 5th. Let him implode, guys.

  213. Jim S. says:

    Jordy. Mercer.

  214. Major Dad says:

    Learned from the Gunner 40-some years ago that no lead is safe at Wrigley

  215. Patrick(ri) says:

    Isn’t it amazing what can happen when you do not surrender an out? Of course, there was no option this time.

  216. The Gunner says:

    Not yet, Milo – the Bucs are back in this one

  217. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Well then Jordy…

    My 6 year old loves to repeat Greg Brown’s “Jordy mercer, mercer me” phrase.

    Seriously, every. Time. Up

  218. 21sthebest says:

    Wednesday?

  219. KING says:

    Mercer 3 run HR bomb!!! Right on the money Jim. Pirates only losing 5-3 now. The 2014 Pirates can never be counted out. 1 thru 8 in the lineup can all hit HR. Wouldn’t be surprised to see 8 Bucs with 10 HR’s by October. Already have 3 with Cutch,Pedro,& Walker. KING

  220. The Gunner says:

    Yep, seems like yesterday the old Gunner was saying that

  221. Patrick(ri) says:

    Be fair, guys. Neverett got off a good one.

  222. Maz in Iowa says:

    I guess benching Mercer might not be that good of an idea

  223. Thundercrack says:

    Dear NMR
    that is why Mercer starts over Barmes

    #upside
    #potential

  224. Andrew says:

    Good call, I repressed memories of that game.

    I also just looked, before that it was June 9.

  225. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Is consistency teachable?

    Any sport?

    Better question: Teachable at the top level?

  226. Maz in Iowa says:

    Agree

  227. Maz in Iowa says:

    Rhetorical.

  228. JohninOshkosh says:

    The Schlitter is about to hit the fan.

  229. twentytwo22 says:

    Morton isn’t giving us a chance today. Falling behind some, serving up meatballs when ahead of others.

  230. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sell out in KC tonight.

    Great to see. Kansas City was the first town I worked in when I got out of college. Great baseball town.

  231. hockeymonster says:

    Pre-scout:

    It gets windy at wrigley. Keep the ball down.

  232. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh Schlitt.

  233. Jim S. says:

    He has so much life on his pitches, so much sink that it is tough to have the same control every time out, unfortunately.

  234. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates should:reset or panic button?(stole it from DK)

  235. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can’t help but think of Rod Beck.

  236. Jim S. says:

    Hey, other teams (like the Padres) have anemic rallies like this. Maybe it’s our turn to score a few off maybe one decent hit.

  237. KING says:

    Next Cutch hit will be 900 on his career. Looks like a 2500-2700 career hit pace. Who does Cutch remind you of Classic ball players of the past? His hitting stroke,speed, power etc.

    Hope Pirates win 90 games & a wildcard but 2 straight winning seasons is also an achieveable goal. KING

  238. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Another 3 run HR here would be nice..

    If the bases get loaded, can we say Schlitter’s full

  239. Milo Hamilton says:

    Stewart for Pedro ? Barmes maybe ? Or haw about Vance Worley ?

  240. Jim S. says:

    Harrison with a liner … right at Schierholtz.

    Rarely is there a game this year where the Bucs aren’t trailing for at least a portion of the game. That’s not out formula.

  241. hockeymonster says:

    HA!!! :)

  242. Jim S. says:

    Tabata?

  243. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

    Thanks, Andrew.

  244. bpn8pitt says:

    Thought Pedro had it.

    Seriously, in BP he should be thrown nothing but breaking balls. He hasn’t got a fastball in two weeks.

  245. Jim S. says:

    That’s a good question, King. No one comes immediately to mind for me.

  246. Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Nor should he

  247. Robert says:

    That’s what happens when a 30+ HR guy hits 7th. Teams take their chances pitching around him and to Mercer.

  248. Arriba Wilver says:

    :-)

  249. Andrew says:

    If something is average, by definition it is inconsistent.

  250. Robert says:

    Jordy Mercer blocked 2nd base!

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    You take a good look at this Cubs team and they are just awful. With very few exceptions, below average players at every position. And with a win today they’ll pull to within 2 of the Pirates in the loss column.

  252. twentytwo22 says:

    Another double play goes unturned.

  253. bpn8pitt says:

    Agreed. I think something similar should be done with him like with Marte. Sandwich him between two decent hitters.

  254. Jim S. says:

    Coghlan is apparently a superstar. Who knew? Sheesh.

  255. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pedro working on 12 straight games without an RBI?Not good

  256. Jim S. says:

    Cubs have some decent arms in that bullpen.

  257. The Gunner says:

    Can Marte or Cutch get the Bucs back into this one now??

  258. Jim S. says:

    Nice AB by Polanco. Very mature to lay off ball 4 there.

  259. Patrick(ri) says:

    Wow! Ump got em all right inPolanco’s AB.

  260. twentytwo22 says:

    Polanco swings at a 2-0 ball, doesn’t get skittish, and draws a full count walk.

  261. The Gunner says:

    Jim

    Are you at the game?

  262. mlrgenuine says:

    Maz, Can’t fault Pedro that Ike is too slow to score from second on a single with two outs. Move Pedro back up to clean up and watch the RBIs come with the top of the order setting the table

  263. Jim S. says:

    No, Gunner. I was in Seattle all week, and took a Red Eye home. I intended to go, but was too tired. My daughter took her friends with the tickets we had.

  264. KING says:

    The more you see Polanco smash the ball…It makes me wonder how many close games we could have won early in the year.

    Polanco really settled the lineup when he arrived. Putting Marte 2nd genius move. Great pitches to hit with Cutch 3rd. Walker sitting in the 4 spot coming back might be the option. He has power & usually makes contact. KING

  265. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cutch, late/close situations this year – 1 RBI.

  266. The Gunner says:

    Ok Jim – it’s all up to our MVP

  267. Jim S. says:

    Cubs catching a lot of breaks today on long outs by Bucs with multiple men on base.

    Once again, hitting w RISP not good so far. C’mon, Cutch!

  268. Maz in Iowa says:

    He is hitting under .200 W/risp.

  269. Milo Hamilton says:

    … and 9 strikeouts.

  270. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Wind blowing in is killing the Pirates today. Hate to say that, but …

  271. Andrew says:

    No, please don’t.

  272. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where is that stat?

  273. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    But the Pirates aren’t underachieving, I hear repeatedly. They just ‘failed to add in the offseason.’

  274. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cutch with another error on the flip from Jordy after the catch.

  275. Jim S. says:

    This tidbit courtesy of WGN crew – Cubs have 2 HR this year on 0-2 counts. Both by Starlin Castro vs Charlie Morton.

  276. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thanks. OPS late/close is .918.

  277. The Gunner says:

    Dejan

    You sound just like Bob Prince!

  278. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll give a couple of those walks for a clutch hit every once in awhile. 0 for 6 with 3 K’s with the bases loaded.

  279. Jim S. says:

    Nice AB by Ike. Ugh!

    JC is warming up in the Bucs pen.

  280. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    The Pirates have had some stupid losses of late. This would be another.

  281. bpn8pitt says:

    Got a Houston trip coming. Catch the Sox right before break.

  282. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

  283. Arriba Wilver says:

    The wind blowing in may help Grilli. Won’t hurt.

  284. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Well, even Christ had to tackle mundane labors, right?

  285. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not every shepherding job was high leverage.

  286. Jim S. says:

    At this time last week, it looked we had finally turned a corner. We had just played well to take 3/4 from the Cubs, then played well except for late bullpen implosions to win on Fri/Sat. Things were going great through 7 on Sun.

    Then, the bottom fell out. They have not played a decent game all this week.

    What a difference a week makes.

  287. Milo Hamilton says:

    You know why Jim ? Because they stink.

  288. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Sorry, Milo, but that’s just baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

  289. Jim S. says:

    Word has it he was washing the feet of the other players in the pen earlier. All in a day’s work.

  290. Jim S. says:

    +++.

  291. Thundercrack says:

    I’m a fan of Grilli. Good for him

  292. Milo Hamilton says:

    Didn’t even make them work for that one.

  293. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Someday, maybe soon, Polanco will get low pitches called balls. He isn’t right now. When that happens, he’ll go to some other level.

  294. Maz in Iowa says:

    Cubs closing in on the Pirates in the standings

  295. twentytwo22 says:

    And you can put it on the pile.

  296. bpn8pitt says:

    So much for the “easy” schedule ahead.

  297. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s both.

  298. Maz in Iowa says:

    Pirates desperately need to make a trade for another starting pitcher and some kind of relief help or this season is toast.BTW the clock is ticking with each game(loss)

  299. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++

    Yep, that always scares me.

  300. Jim S. says:

    Still time to change this, but ….. last year they found ways to win. This year, they find ways to lose.

  301. bpn8pitt says:

    Wow. Ken Macha on the postgame.

  302. Florida Steeler says:

    Huntington trade for another Vasquez?? No thanks–this ownership does not choose to WIN NOW.

  303. Andrew says:

    Going to have to hope Pitch/Fx goes away for that to happen, it could with MLBAM, but I’ve read there have been problems with implementation.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-strike-zone-during-the-pitchfx-era/

  304. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was concerned something must be up with Teke. There must be. Even before taking off he hadn’t been quite as sharp. Hope everything’s OK.

  305. The Gunner says:

    Macha is another former Charleston Charlie great! They said Teke is out on personal leave so #27 might be out for a while.

  306. Arriba Wilver says:

    Macha sounds like a Yinzer. (Just coming full circle).

  307. The Gunner says:

    Yep – Macha isn’t as smooth as Teke.

    I hope everything is OK with Teke, too. He was a helluva pitcher and a damn good analyst.

  308. Arriba Wilver says:

    I meant it as a compliment on his dialect. ;-)

  309. Flbucco says:

    Criminal – guess Saint Ray forgot to cover this mortal sin in his teachings

    Most over rated pitching coach in Baseball?

    Or am I wrong DK?

  310. Lad 9 says:

    Teke is a real good guy too. He did a lot for youth baseball in the South Hills. I know he had some health issues over the winter. Hope he is ok. FAM-A-LEE thoughts to you Teke!

  311. Flbucco says:

    And stupid losses are due to…
    1. Bad luck
    2. Pedro
    3. The manager
    4. The coaches
    5. The front office
    6. The players
    7. Other

  312. Flbucco says:

    So when will we get the details on how Grilli went off the rails
    Lots of noise about him “earning” his current situation – not a good teammate – not a good person – but nothing solid – just rumors…

  313. dennis g says:

    Holt made the catch of the year the other night in centerfield. I don’t think we tried him there, just as we never tried Walker at second until he was the last man available.

  314. dennis g says:

    I predict and I hate to say it, that Pedro will not hit as many home runs as a Pirate as Dick Stuart (117) did. How is that for a prediction? The question is not what is going to happen, but what the Pirates ought to be doing and one thing they ought to be doing is hiring better talent evaluators.

  315. dennis g says:

    The thinking I was talking about was not thinking at all. I wondered if there were a reason why Barmes was not playing, thinking that maybe Mercer is a career .350 hitter against Jackson or something, but no reason has been given other than Barmes is Barmes. That is not thinking. That is stupidity and that kind of stupidity kept Walker at third base in the minors, Holt in the infield with everyone saying he is a decent hitter but has no future in the Pirate infield and Moss and Harrison on the bench. (Did anyone see the catch Holt made in centerfield the other night.) Now granted Moss did not do anything great on our bench but Harrison did. He performed adequately at every opportunity, was an above average minor league hitter and more than deserved his opportunity this year. I just cannot believe the talent he has shown in the past and this year should be coming as a surprise to any astute talent evaluator.

  316. dennis g says:

    Fortunately, Scalia the strict constitutionalist was in the office today. Therefore the rule will be interpreted to give us the result we want. Except once again it goes against the Pirates.

  317. dennis g says:

    The catcher was a foot and a half up the third base line without the ball, blocking the lane to the plate. The fact that the runner was not that far and was out all the way does not mean that the catcher did not block the plate without the ball because he did do that. Good call, good ruling, ridiculous rule. I second the Kovacevic doctrine.

  318. dennis g says:

    +++++++++++++

  319. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tonight’s let’s keep things in perspective post . . .

    Using fielding percentage for the regular and semi-regular infielders, in order from lowest to highest

    P Alvarez
    C Barmes
    J Mercer
    J Harrison
    C Stewart
    I Davis
    G Sanchez
    N Walker
    R Martin

  320. dennis g says:

    Bames would have had at least two homers today (and he would have caught that DP ball from Davis.)

  321. dennis g says:

    Lou Brock? Tim Raines? Billy Williams?

  322. dennis g says:

    He went to Gateway H.S and Pitt. Bucs interviewed him for manager either to replace Russell or Tracy. I remember hoping he would get it at the time.

  323. Chuck H says:

    I agree, Maz, that side of the infield would be much worse.

  324. Chuck H says:

    And, regardless of the standings, the Cubs are a better team than the Buccos-better coached, better managed, more disciplined and they will soon be on top of our Pirates in the standings. Mark my words!!!

  325. Steve Blass insists that Jason Grilli will be fine, and I would he’ll be right about that.

  326. KING says:

    Pirates need to win 55 games to reach 90 wins. Down to 89 games in the season. 55-34 not impossible but a very strong run needed.

    Would you trade Pedro if you got a starter Ian Kennedy & a closer Huston Street in return from the Padres? KING

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