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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Pirates 5, Cubs 3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates (35-38) vs. Chicago Cubs (31-40)

Time: 7:15 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.


  1. Lad 9 says:

    Looks like it might be a tough one to get in with an 84% chance of rain. Let’s go Bucs! We should tattoo these jokers.

    Vance Worley (R)

    1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
    2. Josh Harrison (R) 3B
    3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
    4. Russell Martin (R) C
    5. Jose Tabata (R) LF
    6. Gaby Sanchez (R) 1B
    7. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
    8. Clint Barmes (R) 2B
    9. Vance Worley (R) P

    Travis Wood (L)

    1. Chris Coghlan (L) LF
    2. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
    3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
    4. Starlin Castro (R) SS
    5. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
    6. Junior Lake (R) CF
    7. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
    8. Eli Whiteside (R) C
    9. Travis Wood (R) P

    Gametime Forecast: 73°F • Rain • 84% PoP

  2. JohninOshkosh says:

    This is kinda rare, right ? A Saturday night game at Wrigley. I know they have played some, but not too many in the history of the venerable park.

  3. Chuck H says:

    Which Morton pitched in yesterday’s game against the lowly, but scrappy Cubs. Must have been the Bad Charlie because he threw one right down the middle for Buckwheat-
    that’s my nickname for Castro, with an 0 & 2 count. Smart pitchers do not throw perfect strikes on an 0 & 2 count to a kid like Buckwheat. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong with the Pirate team, but I’m assuming it’s the starting pitchers assembly. We have only one dependable starting pitcher, which is Cole, and, at times, Locke. Hurdle doesn’t have enough sense to know when a starter is not at his best and should be relieved, sooner is better than later, when the game is beyond winning. That is my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

  4. Lad 9 says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Must be due to being a Fox game.

  5. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, I didn’t know it was on Fox. Thanks, Laddie! Although, my guide says I am getting Braves/Nationals.

    Makes sense. Cubs and Pirates are in the Brewers division and Chicago is only a few hours away. Makes sense, NOT!

  6. Chuck H says:

    We are getting too close to the Cubbies in that loss column. Wake up, Bucs!!!

  7. Lad 9 says:

    Wow, that is stupid. You have to wonder who makes these programming decisions….

  8. FlBucco says:

    And here come the Phillies – AJ beats the Cards in St Louis with a complete game – first time his grandma saw him pitch…

  9. FlBucco says:

    Today’s facts are your friends post….

    Lot’s of folks are claiming Charlie made a bad pitch to Castro…

    Great site with great info…

    The HR pitch was down in the zone and maybe he should have bounced it – but sometimes you have to give the hitter credit…

    In any case Ground Chuck made an OK pitch – did not groove it as some have suggested.

  10. FlBucco says:

    beat me to it…

    Love the BrooksBaseball site…

  11. FlBucco says:

    Lookie, Lookie

    Know “the long term first base solution” today…

    Bad news is Gaby is 1 for 17 vs Wood

  12. Bizrow says:

    Is this just an off day for Marte?

  13. Andrew says:

    It would not have hurt Morton to bounce one there, but he has never been known to hit spots consistently.

    Batter vs pitcher splits are nothing more than trivia, especially at 17 ABs. If you are refereeing to Davis I think it was always understood he would be a platoon and I am not sure who viewed Davis as a long term solution, he was simply an upgrade over what the Pirates currently had to face RHP.

  14. Andrew says:

    I saw he is returning to the Dominican Republic for two days to handle a personal matter.

  15. Lad 9 says:

    I was trying to find out Biz and haven’t come across anything yet. The “crack” site of course has nothing.

  16. Lad 9 says:

    Thanks Andrew. You do better research than I do.

  17. Bizrow says:

    Thanks for the answer on Marte

  18. Andrew says:

    Ha research, I saw it either on Twitter or the ticker of of Ghana vs Germany game, I looking for the source right now, without luck.

  19. Thundercrack says:

    Per reports on twitter:

    Starling Marte is in the Dominican Republic today dealing with a personal matter. Hurdle expects him back Monday afternoon.

  20. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if this played in a role in his slump mid-late May

  21. Patrick(ri) says:

    Hope this plays. I think this might be an ideal spot in the batting order for Josh. I also hope Palanco will not interrupt his assault on one of the silliest hitting records in baseball.

  22. Bizrow says:

    Good point, he was in a fog about something

  23. theplanisworking says:

    In honor of Lucky, I am going to use a word that describes the Bucs play of late, and his quintuple bypass surgery ………


    Get better soon, Reverend.
    The Bucs need you.

  24. Baywatch says:

    Evening, Everyone! Let’s turn Vance loose today! A bomb and one sac bunt!

  25. Patrick(ri) says:


  26. Chuck H says:

    Yes, it was- I was watching on TV.

  27. Flbucco says:

    Like Wood…

    If you go back to Huntington’s post trade comments he talked about Davis as a LT solution with three years of control…

  28. Maz in Iowa says:

    Just ate tacos de carnitas……let’s hope Vanimal doesn’t make me throw up in my mouth a little. :)

  29. Matt hoffman says:

    Get well soon Luckmeister!

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Great day of baseball already. I’m helping coach my son’s 8U team, we’re losing 6-0, bottom of 6th (final inning) and 2 outs, and down to last strike. Then Jason Grilli appeared and we came back to win 7-6. Great feeling seeing those kids battle back to win first round of playoffs. Next game is Monday night.

    Polanco is a pretty good player…… No Marte, Alvarez or Davis… ugh

  31. Bizrow says:

    Nice comeback by the kids

    Pls send the Pens some of that magic ;-)

  32. Stuart says:

    Biz, do you mean the “joke” of the NHL?


  33. Bizrow says:

    Sounds like thats what they are turning into

  34. Bizrow says:

    In response, follow up to TC’s earlier post, its very easy to forget that players are, well people, ok, rich people, but they face the same types of personal things we all do.

    Second thing is its easy to forget us lunatics deal with the same things, except the rich part ;-)

  35. Stuart says:

    Pens “resetting” over the weekend. Do you suppose all eight (8 count ‘ em) management- level employees have to meet face to face, or do they do conference calls? Trying to imagine what it would be like for a coach with 8 “bosses”.


  36. JohninOshkosh says:

    Weird stat. The Chicago White Sox have not won a game on Saturday this season, 0-12.

  37. Bizrow says:

    Two things I have learned while watching the World Cup.

    Soccer can be pretty exciting

    Soccer refs are absolutely the worst

  38. Eric Bowser says:

    I think that’s a lost cause with the Penguins.

    Ownership, front office, whatever becomes of the embarrassing situation with the head coach & his staff, and then this roster. The Penguins are not a Stanley Cup contender, not sure why so many people are expecting the next head coach to work magic with a roster that needs a 1st line right-wing, 2nd line left-wing, 3rd line left-wing, and whole new 4th line. It isn’t acceptable having Crosby and Malkin in their prime with a roster like this but that’s what happens when your GM of the last eight years did nothing to develop talent at forward and was too afraid to rely on youth on defense, remember that when Scuderi is playing and Niskanen leaves as a free agent.

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    Imagine being the head coach knowing Bill Guerin will be their sounding board and if the players don’t like you and team struggles, you wonder what will be done after one year since many believe Detroit’s Mike Babcock wants the job.

  40. Eric Bowser says:

    Offsides in soccer is stupid….. and I’m a hockey fan.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Is there a rain delay? All of a sudden they are showing John ‘s game.

  42. Flbucco says:

    And very young and in some cases very far from home and family dealing with communicating in a second language…

    Not excusing – just trying to add some perspective ;-)

  43. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Where Charlie’s pitch wound up in relation to quality isn’t as clear- cut as looking at a graph. Watch Russ’ glove. Wanted it away. Didn’t get it. Bad pitch.

  44. 21sthebest says:

    Yup. Pouring at Wrigley. Looking at the radar, I’d be surprised if they start before 9. Don’t quote me.

  45. Flbucco says:


  46. JohninOshkosh says:

    At least hockey has a blueline and a defined rule. Soccer’s offsides relies on referee subjectivity, and often involves player subterfuge.

  47. twentytwo22 says:

    8 bosses didn’t work for Peter Gibbons.

  48. Thundercrack says:

    Based on some highlights it looks like Brock Holt might be a pretty good outfielder. And he’s hitting over .300

  49. Andrew says:

    Yes, pitcher vs batter stats are useless. Sanchez struggles with elite velocity, which doesn’t describe Wood, and is slightly worse against fly ball pitchers as opposed groundball/neutral pitchers which does describe Wood.

    Sorry, but I don’t put much stock in a GM’s public evaluation of a player they just traded for.

  50. Bizrow says:

    Yes, but everyone, no matter where you are from have problems, family ills and matters.

    Then add to that, in baseball, if you are really good, 7 of 10 times you fail at the plate.

    Kinda like I was, failure rate at my old job ;-)

  51. Thundercrack says:

    Didn’t you work at a nuke plant?

    I was hoping your failure rate would be a lot lower

  52. KING says:

    Dejan, would you trade Pedro if you could acquire a frontline starter like Ian Kennedy & Huston Street a lockdown closer from SD?

    I’m curious what deals Pirates make since you have to give something to get something.

    Credit Neal H. for NOT trading Marte & Polanco in recent trades when Pirates were close to the wild card.

    This last 89 game stretch sure will be interesting for the Pirates & their fans. KING

  53. Bizrow says:

    I’ve seen some of the same as you have. But, with the PBC, there is no room in the inn for him here.

    Thats one reason I’m hoping they move Tabby when PRNW gets activated

  54. Bizrow says:

    I think I heard Charlie say it was a bad pitch on an interview.

    And he was there ;-)

  55. No baseball tonight in Chicago on account of rain. After yesterday’s debacle, it’s just as well.

  56. Thundercrack says:

    I don’t have any regrets about that trade.

  57. Eric Bowser says:

    I don’t think you trade Pedro right now.

    Pirates need to acquire more talent to win now. I’d like to see if there’s a deal to be had for David Price with Tampa Bay Rays or James Shields with Royals if they fall off in the next month.

  58. Anyhow, the Pens have just released their preseason and season schedule and they still don’t have a coach. Now isn’t that stupid?

  59. Flbucco says:

    Think they have been trying to trade both lunchie and Tabata since spring training…

    DK seemed to think they were whistling in the dark on Jose as I recall

  60. Tom P. says:

    Get well soon. Lucky.

  61. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Similarly, Charlie is very honest when he thinks a good pitch was hit. I’m sure he’s calling it exactly like it was.

  62. Flbucco says:

    Who needs a coach when u have Mario?

  63. The Gunner says:

    AJ finally pitched a good game in St. Louis

  64. JohninOshkosh says:

    It hasn’t been officially postponed yet, has it ?. (As he runs out to the deck to tend the grill).

  65. Bizrow says:

    No, didn’t think you were saying that at all. You gotta give up things to get things, Holt was a NH draftee, wasn’t he.

    Always good when you draft a guy that gets to the show.

  66. 21sthebest says:

    I’m still seeing delayed James.

  67. Thundercrack says:

    Isn’t Shields a free agent after this season?

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    You think they should wait till they have a coach to have a schedule?

    Just in case they don’t get one?

  69. Andrew says:

    That is a fairly fundamental part of soccer.

  70. Andrew says:


  71. Well, if they can get the game in, I hope the Bucs can win. And I also hope they won’t get to Trowley as soon as they got to Charlie Morton yesterday.

  72. Bizrow says:

    A Saturday night game, a gazillion cans of beer to sell. The club has one more trip to Wrigley, I think, I’m not sure when MLB has control of rainouts, I think they wait a while, its only been 45 minutes

  73. Thundercrack says:

    I’m pretty sure the Pens are going to play next season.

  74. Arriba Wilver says:

    Always. I liked how he handled the kind of indirect question about the ump’s bad calls, too. He smiled, but didn’t bite. It was “my fault.” Should have thrown better pitches.

  75. RB says:

    I would think the Pirates have to be testing the market for a Pedro trade at this point. He’s simply become a terrible player and is regarded as one of the biggest busts in modern MLB history. And to top it off, he’s become an error machine.

    The problem with trading him right now is whether we’d get anything worthy in return? If he heats up, though, I believe the Pirates should trade him as quickly as they can and shed the team of that dead weight.

  76. Bizrow says:

    We will miss Pedro when he is gone

  77. Bizrow says:

    Pens who??? ;-)

  78. Flbucco says:

    Guess I just can’t believe my “lyin eyes” – curve ball – bottom edge of the zone…
    Yes it was middle of the plate and a BETTER pitch was possible in three directions – but Castro deserves some credit.

    And what I was reading was folks claiming Charlie grooved one down the middle for an easy HR.

  79. Bizrow says:

    For one that has been supposedly a flake, every time I hear him, he is Charlie, but has his head completely screwed on correctly.

    Does he still have Bailey? No dissing intended, I am a dog lover. I’ve had the pleasure of 9 great (dachy) friends in my life

  80. Flbucco says:

    I am feeling thirsty for an Old Style ;-)

  81. Bizrow says:

    IMHO, with my only experience in soccer being getting dragged into seeing Co Prins at Forbes, then having to play it one time due to our friend that dragged 10 of us there, then coaching “swarm ball” for three years, Eric, BTW, I used what I knew about hockey to do that, and finally my late lady being an assistant coach at the local high school.

    Bosnia got screwed.

  82. Arriba Wilver says:

    ” is regarded as one of the biggest busts in modern MLB history.”

    Ha ha ha. By whom?

  83. Cmat0829 says:

    I’d say it was a Mistake pitch, definitely wasn’t where he wanted it…… But it also wasn’t a meatball middle-middle either. Castro did a good job of golfing that one for a HR.

  84. Bizrow says:

    I think its so you can’t cherry pick, if that is still a word.

  85. Flbucco says:

    What are you smoking?

    Where can I get some?

  86. Bizrow says:

    I think that poster is related to Brian Bullington.

    No Brian Taylor?

    No, the No 1 pick that is serving 20 years being fed in Federal Prison?

  87. Hopefully, then, they can get the game in and Vance Worley can do better than Charlie Morton did yesterday.

  88. Flbucco says:

    We ran Joey Bats out of town

    And gave up way too soon on Moss

    We did screw the other team with the Giles and Bay trades so maybe these things have a way of evening out…

  89. Cmat0829 says:

    Fox just showed them taking the tarp off in Wrigley.

  90. Flbucco says:

    Chad Hermanson’s cousin

  91. Thundercrack says:

    Rob B reports game time is 9pm

  92. Bizrow says:

    Colorado, or so I’ve heard.

    40-45 years ago, it was my buddy, Wick

  93. Flbucco says:

    If you go to the PitchFx data you will see Davidson actually called a pretty good game.

    I know facts and data can be inconvenient – really screw up a rant…

  94. Anyhow, they now expect to get started at 9pm. Let’s see if the Bucs can score some runs.

  95. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, it might start before my bedtime

  96. And now, it’s raining again in Chicago. Will they or won’t they get the game in? Stay tuned.

  97. Andrew says:

    The call was bad, and it was from an experienced linesman, but complaining about the offside rule is like complaining about the line of scrimmage in football take it away and it is a completely different game.

  98. Andrew says:

    I have to disagree Bucco, when I see 4 or more balls called with the rule book strike zone, (not the generally call zone), I consider that a bad game, that is approaching a 10% error rate on in-zone pitches.

    And this doesn’t address the distribution of the errors, missing a call on a first pitch strike is not the same as giving a batter 5 strikes with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd.

  99. JohninOshkosh says:

    Rain delay trivia time. Instead of “Leave it to Beaver” reruns (what WGN used to show during Cubs rain delays) here are some random questions. A few rules, Gents:

    1. On your honor, please no Google.
    2. No prizes but prestige and bragging rights.
    3. Blog timeline rules.
    4. This is merely an exhibition, please no wagering.

    Here we go:

  100. JohninOshkosh says:

    First category:

    Maritime disasters/Music:

    1. The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee, but how many souls were lost when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 ?

  101. Andrew says:


  102. JohninOshkosh says:

    1. Yes!!!

  103. RB says:

    Do you think the Pirates should keep Pedro around then?

  104. Andrew says:

    Love the song, but can’t say I know much else by Gordon Lightfoot.

  105. JohninOshkosh says:

    Next category: Hollywood.

    2. This actress made her film debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Trouble with Harry” (1955). What is her name ? Bonus: What is the name of her famously oversexed brother ?

  106. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    When did Adam LaRoche become a rabbi?

  107. cobra39 says:

    Shirley MacLaine; Warren Beatty.

  108. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes!!!! Correct on both accounts!

  109. cobra39 says:

    Sometimes, it pays to be old..I mean “older.”

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Next category: Pirates baseball.

    3. Who started and won Game 3 of the 1971 World Series for the Pirates, and what Oriole pitcher did he defeat ? Bonus: Who was the Series MVP ?

  111. Maz in Iowa says:

    Tarp is off

  112. cobra39 says:

    Tough ones, but I’ll guess: Bruce Kison, Doug Cuellar, and Roberto Clemente (praise be upon him).

  113. Andrew says:

    Before my time, all I know is the Birds had four 20 game winners that year.

  114. JohninOshkosh says:


  115. cobra39 says:

    Orioles starting rotation was insane that year.

  116. JRay3 says:

    I think Cobra had them all but Pirates winner who I believe was Blass.

    And if memory serves from Reading of Bucs media guides he won games 3 and 7 of that series.

  117. bpn8pitt says:

    Always thought Wrigley looked good at night.

  118. JohninOshkosh says:

    The answer was Blass (complete game) , Cuellar and Clemente.

    Well, it sounds like they are about to play.

    Thanks for playing, guys!!

  119. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yep. JRay. You win!! Posted while I was posting!

    (By the way, I had to consult Wikipedia for the question. Kudos to you guys).

  120. cobra39 says:

    Wow. Understand Alvarez is slumping and a lefty is starting, but benching means Mercer, Barmes and Worley are your 7,8, and 9. Yikes.

  121. TJA says:

    And the City of Chicago, too. One of my favorites….

  122. The Gunner says:

    Is it my imagination or do night games @ Wrigley Field appear to be darker than the rest of the MLB ballparks?

  123. bpn8pitt says:

    They do Alvarez a disservice by batting him 7th.

    I hope when Walker returns, Alvarez moves back up and they find a way to get him right.

  124. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Throwing this out for no scientific reason, but Wood needed 17 pitches to retire those guys 1-2-3.

  125. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Wrigley is a festering cesspool that’s been disgracefully allowed to fall apart. Other than that, it’s awesome.

  126. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’ve always thought that, Gunner. Been to a few night games there, and it did seem less illuminated that the other parks I’ve been to at night.

  127. Andrew says:

    Alvarez is abysmal against LHP and not starting him a good decision. I actually think Alvarez has been better of late.,1830,2495

  128. bpn8pitt says:

    My experience with Wrigley is the walkways and bathrooms being worse than the Civic Arenas worse days….but you can’t beat that sea of green and ivy when you see it the first time.

  129. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ha! I agree. When you are leaving a crowded game, it takes like 45 minutes to get through the concourse because it’s like 10 feet wide.

    I can’t imagine what the press facilities are like!

    Give me the new parks any day of the week.

  130. cobra39 says:

    Since Oshkosh got us in a trivia mood: Before Worley, who was Pirates last bespectacled pitcher who held a regular spot in their starting rotation? I have a guess, but I’m sure I’m wrong.

  131. Andrew says:

    Aren’t it and Boston the only stadiums that predate stadium lighting, the place wasn’t designed for lights, so that might explain it.

  132. cobra39 says:

    Don’t say that around George Will. He’ll unleash some very obscure words at you.

  133. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    I’m really just talking about upkeep. The place is disgusting.

  134. The Gunner says:

    Lee Tunnell

  135. bpn8pitt says:

    Tampa is like a garage.

  136. The Gunner says:

    Worley got the Cubs out with 13 pitches (11 were strikes)

  137. cobra39 says:

    Wow. That was my guess too. And that was a long, long time ago.

  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    Right. No lights behind the bleachers.

  139. tomf says:

    the MLB strike zone is too small – and too many MLB batters complain about borderline called strikes

    swing the bat

  140. The Gunner says:

    Before Tunnell, it must have been Bob Veale

  141. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Right. And he’ll give away in the same breath that he hasn’t actually been there since 1918.

  142. cobra39 says:

    I agree as far as high and low is concerned, but there are umps in this league who call pitches that hit the batters’ box chalk as strikes.

  143. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Think you missed the point.

  144. cobra39 says:

    Boy, that’s going way back. But you’re probably right.

  145. The Gunner says:

    I went to many games at Forbes Field as a teenager and I remember the lights being really good.

  146. Cmat0829 says:

    Why would SD who is rebuilding want Pedro?

  147. Thundercrack says:

    Is the Ricketts family allowing that on purpose so they can get a new stadium or all the upgrades they want ?

  148. The Gunner says:

    Our guys are impatient

  149. JohninOshkosh says:

    Every time Rizzo bats, I have the urge to blurt out, “I’m walkin’ here!”

    I wonder if Anthony Rizzo has ever said that to the catcher and ump after drawing a walk ?

  150. bpn8pitt says:

    What is Harrisons arm like from 3b?

  151. Thundercrack says:

    Good to have you around during the games.

    Well…at least until we think you say something stupid or we strongly disagree with. :-)

  152. tomf says:

    high bordeline pitches not called strikes are my beef ; umps almost refusal to call strikes above the belt

    the tiny strike zone is a major contributing factor to the increased length in games

    taking pitches and working the count (to increase pitch count) has become significant – possibly too much

  153. JRay3 says:

    And that makes 9 consecutive shutout innings for Worley in a Bucs uniform.

    Once again have to believe options play a part in who stays and who goes next week when Cole returns.

  154. JohninOshkosh says:

    Absolutely. It’s great he is here. Now, where is Groat ? He’s always calling for this.

  155. JRay3 says:

    Very decent arm from the corner, believe it is his most natural position of the ones he plays.

  156. Thundercrack says:

    I am a fan of Jordy Mercer!

  157. JRay3 says:

    Mercer going yard for second straight game and Hammel of the Cubs during interview says he is swinging a hot bat right now.

  158. Thundercrack says:

    I read that some ‘experts’ think the tiny strike zone contributes to all the a injuries

  159. cobra39 says:

    Jordy will catch fire now that he has protection from Barmes.

  160. tomf says:

    quick glance – and Hammel could pass for younger brother of Ben Roethlisberger

  161. tomf says:

    nobody asked me –

    but Barmes might benefit from a shorter bat and shorter swing

  162. cobra39 says:

    Alright — I’m stumped. Does it have to do with 17, 1, 2, and 3 being prime numbers?

  163. Cmat0829 says:

    Did yinz catch Hurdle’s comments about the 4th and 5th outfielders? I doubt it and still think Snider is DFA and I also think he clears waivers by the way….but he made it sound as if keeping both Tabby and Snider was a thought……

  164. bpn8pitt says:

    Really wasn’t thrilled picking Worley up, but starting to think coming back to NL helps like the announcers said.

    Read Jim Benedict re-tooled some things.

  165. Bizrow says:

    Oh, ye of little faith

    Down by 6 in the last inning yet

  166. The Gunner says:

    Oh man, this one is way beyond me for sure

  167. Bizrow says:

    Well, there are those “hidden latent errors” though ;-)

  168. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Vance Worley evidently is the answer.

  169. Bizrow says:


  170. Cmat0829 says:

    Never understood the furor over picking up Worley. Cost NOTHING. Blocked NO ONE. Always wait for results on pick ups like this. He’s young. Athletic. Seems to have a clue.

  171. cobra39 says:

    Yikes. I’ve been calling him Vince.

  172. Cmat0829 says:

    So far so good. I like the way he throws strikes. We seem to have missed that memo as a rotation this year.

  173. RB says:

    Why? What has he done this season that warrants so much faith in him? I’m honestly curious and not trying to provoke.

  174. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    For better or worse — from your perspective — I’ll be here a lot from now on. Really rethinking some stuff in the broader scheme.

  175. Bizrow says:

    But they sell that beer stuff., that is what they are all bout

  176. JRay3 says:

    I’ll say this about Worley, you can understand why he has had some success in the past, he is a pitcher.

    A pitcher in the respect that for a guy who does not have over powering stuff, throws his entire arsenal and works both the outside of the zone and also pounds inside. Changes the eye level of the ball on the batter as well which aids him in keeping the batter off balance a bit.

  177. bpn8pitt says:

    Going from opening day starter to DFA makes you wonder.

    Some baseball people a lot smarter than cmat gave up on him twice.

  178. Bizrow says:


  179. Andrew says:

    This is wrong, the strike zone has expanded, the rise is strikeouts is primarily due to rise in called strikes.

    Games have gotten longer because the pace of play rules are not enforced.

  180. cobra39 says:

    The next time a player says something interesting during these dugout interviews will be the first.

  181. Cmat0829 says:

    Just reacting to why we’d have ANY reaction to a minor league signing much less be “less than thrilled”. Has nothing to do with the quality of the player and evaluations other teams have done. The Volquez signing is different. Major league signing’ $5m Had other alternatives. Etc.

  182. Bizrow says:

    And he wears those funky glasses.
    Its early, but Vanimal could be a good dumpster dive by NH.

    Thats why you search there.

    The Fox announcers make me wish for Timmy

  183. The Gunner says:

    Hell, my cousin calls him Vancent

  184. Cmat0829 says:

    Agree. Yawn. Either interview the manager or the GM or even a media type from that team. But starting pitchers on their day off. Yawn.

  185. Cmat0829 says:

    Oh god yes. Boring.

  186. 21sthebest says:

    I thought Allen Iverson was the Answer.

  187. cobra39 says:

    “Vanimal.” Love it.

  188. Cmat0829 says:

    Practice? Practice? We’re talking bout practice? Not a game but practice?

  189. cobra39 says:

    Are hard tags an unintended effect of replay?

    In the old days, the shortstop / 2d baseman knew he could sweeptag and get the call, as long as the ball arrived before the runner. No more.

  190. RB says:

    I have been thinking a lot about the value of social networks for the kind of work you do. Twitter, especially, is a lot of noise and people shouting at each other rather than actual conversation. I’m not sure any longer that those broad networks provide any value in the long run. I’ll be interested to see your progress in trying some new things.

    I work in technology so this kind of stuff is of real interest to me, especially in media. I think the Trib radio stuff is great and is the kind of thing that the newspaper business can do to stay relevant in an evolving marketplace.

  191. Cmat0829 says:

    I thnk he is close friends with JAff Decker

  192. bpn8pitt says:

    The guy went in a year from being traded for Ben Revere and being an opening day starter to a year being traded in Spring Training for cash.

    That’s a hell of a drop off. And like you said still young too.

    Glad to see he’s pitching well. But lets keep 10 innings in perspective.

  193. cobra39 says:

    Everyone has a cousin like that!

  194. The Gunner says:

    The Fox announcers are awful

  195. Cmat0829 says:

    Welcome. Glad to have ya DK

  196. hockeymonster says:

    Barmes and Gabby need to train with Scary Gary. Or bonds.

  197. Cmat0829 says:

    Oh I definitely have perspective. Had no reaction to the signing and just happy to see a starter of ours attack hitters. Locke is doing the same. I say we roll the dice with vanimal till he proves otherwise. I’ll take it one inning at a time

  198. Cmat0829 says:

    This series the warning track has gotten the best of us. Pedro yesterday. Gaby and Barmes today.

  199. 21sthebest says:

    My favorite sports rant ever. Herm Edwards a close second.

  200. Andrew says:

    I think sliding ability, getting the tag down, if those are things, will be important if replay stays around.

  201. Bizrow says:

    Not just boring, but also awful

  202. hockeymonster says:

    I saw Glen Allen Hill hit a ball onto one of those rooftops. Warning track didnt have a chance on that one.

  203. JohninOshkosh says:

    Darryl Sutter should be required by law to give every single in-game interview…in any sport. That stuff was golden, must-see television.

  204. Bizrow says:

    So the announcers are talking about Cole and Liriano coming back and what that would mean to Vanimal, then they start babbling about Taillon

    Oh crap

  205. hockeymonster says:

    Useless effin warning track.

  206. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lee Elia about the Cubs fans.

  207. Cmat0829 says:

    My favorite sports rant and there is no close second. Susan Waldmyn’s slobbering monologue when Roger Clemens returned to the Yanks.

  208. cobra39 says:

    I didn’t see those. I’m guessing abrasive, no nonsense stuff?

  209. I wouldn’t necessarily pin that on the player.

  210. Cmat0829 says:

    We need to score some runs!!!! Nice hitting by rizzo he is blossoming. Cubs now have ONE good player

  211. Cmat0829 says:

    Yes. Just like bunting is a lost art, ability to interview players seems to escape most nowadays.

  212. Cmat0829 says:

    Dennis Green about the Bears

  213. Cmat0829 says:

    Jim Amira’s “Playoffs?? “

  214. Cmat0829 says:

    Oops. Jim Mora.

  215. I’ve liked that kid for a long time. That’s a hell of a home run. Went way down on a good pitch by Worley, golfed it out. And no accident. He was mashing at PNC Park a couple weeks ago.

  216. cobra39 says:

    Regardless who’s to blame, they’re just boring. But I have to believe the target audience is younger viewers who probably do get a thrill hearing from their heroes. Anything to get kids interested in baseball and I’m for it.

  217. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t think I could give them their due respect by trying to explain them! Unexplainable stuff.

  218. Cmat0829 says:

    Good trade for both sides. Cashner a good young starter for Padres

  219. cobra39 says:

    Would the Cubs trade us Rizzo if we packaged Tabata, Barmes, Grilli and …. Sorry.

  220. Cmat0829 says:

    No chowder

  221. KING says:

    Pirates give up lead 2-1 Cubs. Another Rizzo HR versus the Pirates. Why not just pitch around him?

    Pirates stubborness costs them. Reminds me of all the times Ramirez & Soriano hit HR’s to beat them.

    Those 4-5-6 Innings are usually Bermuda Triangle innings for Pirates pitchers. Mysterious & strange things happen…Hitting batters,broken bat hits, long blast HR’s.Must find a way to beat Cubs tonight. KING

  222. Cmat0829 says:

    Hey hey jay hey.

  223. cobra39 says:

    Josh Harrison. Da man.

  224. Cmat0829 says:

    Tie game. Sac bunt!!! Leads to a run.

  225. Patrick(ri) says:

    Way to go Josh. Almost as much fun to watch as Holt.

  226. J-Hay does it again, but man, that’s all about Polanco’s at-bat. Great stuff. What maturity. Knew Cubs had no real intention of pitching to him, laid off, laid off, laid off. Special.

  227. JRay3 says:

    JHay attacks first offering by Wood and does what he has all season, come up with a big hit.

    Wood at nearly 100 pitches, won’t be out much longer.

  228. cobra39 says:


  229. Lad 9 says:

    Tommy LaSorda on Dave Kingman’s “performance”.

  230. JRay3 says:

    A couple of two out RBI’s this time it is Cutch Ina clutch moment and Bucs answer right back and retake lead.

  231. Cmat0829 says:


  232. The Gunner says:

    Now they bunching a couple hits together. Gotta keep it coming.

  233. JRay3 says:

    Cubs pen beings asked at least 4 1/3 innings tonight as Bucs chase Wood who can’t get out of 5th.

  234. Cmat0829 says:

    Renteria managing like it’s the playoffs. Quick trigger. Doubt veteran pitchers like that.

  235. DJ says:

    Oh schlit, here comes Schlitter.

    And his schlit-fingered schlider.

  236. Quick trigger? Wood just topped 100 pitches.

  237. Patrick(ri) says:

    Just a single, but I believe he has the second highest SLG on the team (may say more about the team, than about Josh)

  238. JRay3 says:

    His knowledge of the strike zone at such a young age and as you say ability to lay off on pitches that the guy on the mound is baiting you to swing at puts on full display his growing potential .

  239. Throw in Snider, and we’ll talk.

  240. Cmat0829 says:

    With two outs in 5th I’d let him get out of his own mess.

  241. Thundercrack says:

    Wood was at 99 pitches

  242. JRay3 says:

    Ugh….”being asked to cover at least 4.1 innings”

  243. Cmat0829 says:

    That’s how Wehner pronounces it anyway.

  244. The Gunner says:

    Very humorous, DJ

  245. bpn8pitt says:

    Its kinda scary to think how much worse we would be without Harrison. Who would have thought that in Bradenton?

  246. Andrew says:

    Great at bat, not sure I agree that the Cubs had no intention of pitching to him, Wood’s location has been bad all night.

  247. Cmat0829 says:

    No soup for you either DK. But JAff Decker has to be included too. Cubs don’t have enough AAAA left handed outfielders. (Schierhoktz, Coghlan, Sweeney)

  248. Jim S. says:

    Why would a guy pitch carefully to Cutch, take the count to 3-1, with Russ – who he owns – on deck, then decide to challenge Cutch? Glad he did it, but that was bad pitching.

  249. Brett says:

    I’d love to see walker in the cleanup when he comes back. Fully healthy lineup for this team could be just what the doc ordered.

  250. My fault. That’s last I saw on the ticker, thought he had pitch that followed.

    Still …

  251. Thundercrack says:

    Ha! And everyone is always ( or used to be) yelling at Hurdle for keeping the starter in and not having a reliever warming up at all times

  252. Seconded. I mentioned Walker in this regard in Tuesday chat.

  253. Thundercrack says:

    My post was in response to cmat ( I didn’t see yours). But I’m with you…it wasn’t a quick hook

  254. Paul Adomshick says:

    Problem is, the comments section on a blog page is the wrong way to do what is turning into a chat room. Formatting and refreshing isn’t made for this.

  255. M Woncheck says:

    DK –

    What would be your lineup when Walker and Marte return? Marte seems to be progressing in the 2 hole between Polanco/Cutch. The 4 hole continues to be an issue on this team do you think its time to move Cutch or Walker to 4?

  256. I’ll let everyone else have at that first …

  257. Cmat0829 says:

    If that were Hurdle and say Jeff Locke, this blog would be 10-1 against the move. That’s all.

  258. DJ says:

    If only LaRoche and Moss grew beards while with the Bucs.

    Who knew?

  259. M Woncheck says:

    I am torn because Walker strives when he is protected by Cutch….with Polanco’s ability to get on base why not move Cutch to the 4 spot?

    Polanco L
    Marte R
    Walker L/R
    Cutch R

  260. cobra39 says:

    Russell is getting drilled back there…..

  261. We have other options here that can be exercised, including auto-update. But this has worked here for quite some time. And it’s not at all like our chat format, which is little more than Q, then A.

    I’m certainly open to your suggestions, Paul. I’m sure that ALL of them will help the site more than Twitter will.

  262. cobra39 says:

    I think Neil at 4 makes more sense than Cutch.

  263. Cmat0829 says:

    With Pedro and Ike struggling as run producers , you can probably use jay hey lower in the order. So I’d go polanco-Marte-cutch-walker-jay hey -Pedro-Martin-Ike. Jayhey is ss in this lineup. If we don’t like that plug in mercer at ss and replace Pedro with Jayhey.

  264. DJ says:

    Walker at clean-up.

    Why mess with 1-2-3?

  265. Jim S. says:

    Essentially, there are two guys in the Cubs lineup with any sort of consistent pop – Castro & Rizzo – and we allow them to hurt us every game. Why not pitch around them, at least occasionally?

    Other teams seem to have figured out how to pitch around Cutch quite often.

  266. Jim S. says:

    Martin 2. .400+ OBP.

  267. Cmat0829 says:

    So if Martin is 2 what is your lineup?

  268. Thundercrack says:

    Remember that day in spring training when we made fun of NH for picking up Vance Worley?

  269. Cmat0829 says:


  270. M Woncheck says:

    Because everyone is forgetting Walker is hitting .280 with 11 home runs in front of Cutch…..he’s been having a great year in front of Cutch

  271. Cmat0829 says:

    In fairness we didn’t know he went by Vanimal

  272. Thundercrack says:

    If Locke was at 99 pitches in the 5th inning we’d be worring about who would take his spot in the rotation.

  273. Andrew says:

    I don’t like Marte in the two hole, he is not a consistent on-base guy, and aggressiveness on the base paths is better used lower in the order. I do like Walker 4th, I haven’t minded Davis there but as he seems to attempting become more contact, less power, hitter he is better suited elsewhere.

  274. EvilSam says:

    Just got home. What where is the game? Cannot find it.

  275. cobra39 says:

    I’m not saying this just because he K’d, but … some players just seem to be natural ballplayers and some do not. Tabata seems he is not. It seems like he fights everything.

  276. cobra39 says:

    Mine is on MLB channel, but Fox is doing the broadcast.

  277. Jim S. says:

    Polanco continues to lead off. I like Cutch at 2 or 3, to maximize his at bats. But, I think I’d leave him at 3, with Russ and his .400 OBP at 2. Walker, or an eventually straightened out Pedro at 4. Marte and the other of those 2 at 5/6. Ike at 7, followed by Jordy. That’s a high OBP lineup. They need to hit better, collectively, w RISP.

  278. bpn8pitt says:

    Remember when Liriano was one of the best starters in the NL?

  279. Brett says:

    I really never make a judgement on a player based on what he has done for other teams before he’s played a single inning for Pittsburgh, especially pitchers. I figured after Liriano and Burnett fans would be more willing to give reclamation projects patience and time to either pan out or fizzle.

  280. DJ says:

    Wouldn’t touch Cutch right now (too hot) and Marte has benefited.

    Martin behind Walker though.

  281. cobra39 says:

    Exactly. A player’s awesome nickname needs to be part of the evaluation process.

  282. Wile. E says:


  283. KING says:

    J-Hay has proven he’s more than a utility player after extended weeks of .300 hitting & good defense. Big RBI tonight vs. Cubs. Should be hitting .350 when you think all those outs to the wall.

    I would bat Walker 4th. He has decent contact & has been hitting with power all season. Don’t want to mess up chemistry Polanco,Marte,Cutch

    Worley really is a godsend. Good deal for Neal H gave up nothing to get him.

    Congrats to Cutch on hit #900 tonight. Should be another 1500 in his future. KING

  284. Jim S. says:


    I think there is some flexibility to change things up based on RHP or LHP.

  285. dennis g says:

    The game is on Fox.

    They have to go with Marte in CF eventually. Why not now? (Yes I know he is in DR.) I mean as soon as humanly possible.

  286. RB says:

    Polanco, Marte, Cutch, Walker, Harrison, Martin, Mercer, Davis

  287. bpn8pitt says:

    …how may runs has Volquez given up again?

  288. Wile. E says:

    I think hurdle loves the Polanco_marte_cutch 1-2-3. That’s not going to change. If that’s the case then walker naturally fits in at 4.

  289. cobra39 says:

    Contrary to circulating rumors, Vanimal is related to neither 70s game show Hall-of-Famer Joann Worley nor to Steeler near great Tim Worley.

    As interesting aside, his mother is Chinese.

  290. DJ says:

    That’s the on-the-ground advance scouting we’ve come to expect from you, Jim.

    Shoot Hurdle a text, will ya.

  291. Patrick(ri) says:

    On days when Josh plays(which should be most) : Polanco, Marte, Josh(3b), Cutch, Walker, Mercer, Martin. Davis/Sanchez.

    If Alvarez plays, put him 7th. If Josh is spelling other players, just plug him in their slot.

    I would be tempted to switch Marte & Walker on occasion, but keeping 5 pretty fast and effective hitters leading off is enticing. Should produce lots of early leads.

  292. M Woncheck says:

    I think ultimately it will be:


    But I really do like the idea of Cutch moving to cleanup

  293. Jim S. says:

    TC, I always was ok with the move because I knew he was a pretty good pitcher for 2 yrs at a very young age in a hitter’s park. I’m not going to say I expected this, but I thought maybe he could give us what Cumpton did last yr. Right now, he’s exceeding my expectations, of course. His control has been impressive. I was actually surprised no one else wanted him.

  294. Vance Worley is your father.

  295. Patrick(ri) says:

    Make that 4 “fast” + one average.

  296. Wile. E says:

    I have no problem with that.

  297. I like RB’s, but I’ll flip Marte and J-Hay.

  298. Jim S. says:

    Won’t happen. I agree with you that Marte is a better CF than Cutch, but Cutch is still pretty darn good out there, and … no one moves the face of the team and league MVP if he doesn’t want to move. Why anger Cutch?

    Yanks didn’t move Jeter when they acquired ARod even though ARod was considered the better SS.

  299. JRay3 says:

    Man Barmes has had a series of tough luck AB’s beginning with his one off of Chapman the other day.

    Hitting the ball hard but zero to show for it.

  300. War_Horse says:

    I wake up at 0400 here in England and the Bucs-Cubs game is STILL IN THE 6TH! What great luck! The sky is already brightening and so are my hopes for a win. Go Worley! Go Bucs!

  301. cobra39 says:

    How about Vanimal in the clean up spot?

  302. Brett says:

    I have a confession to make. I was calling for Octavio Dotel to return as Pirates closer since Grillis troubles have started haha…

  303. Oh, man. Polanco sure looked safe at first glance.

  304. M Woncheck says:

    I like J-Hay a little further down the lineup because any production in the bottom of the order is huge…

  305. JRay3 says:

    Safe…make it an 11 game hitting streak to start career for Polanco.

  306. Bizrow says:

    Did the end of the world just happen?

  307. cobra39 says:

    Hitting streak lives!

  308. Andrew says:

    Starlin Castro type play right there, but who knows the outcome when the replay process gets started.

  309. Jim S. says:

    Well said, Cobra.

  310. bpn8pitt says:


    Cumpton, Volquez, Locke, Vanimal

    Matheny and Roenicke should just concede the division.

  311. Good for the kid, huh? See his reaction when he was called out? Don’t think he wasn’t already keeping the streak at least in the back of his mind?

  312. Patrick(ri) says:

    Wonder how the NY guys would have ruled if this were the 56th game?

  313. pattonbb says:

    The legend continues…

  314. DJ says:

    So JHay as SS?

    I can’t go for that . . . No-oh-ohh . . . No can do (with apologies to Hall & Oates).

  315. Patrick(ri) says:

    The man strikes again! Part time, my ***

  316. Bizrow says:

    How bout JHay??

  317. cobra39 says:

    Goodbye Mister Spaulding!

  318. J-Hay. Ridiculous. For anyone asking where J-Hay plays when whoever returns from whatever … the correct answer is, wherever he damned well pleases.

  319. Andrew says:


  320. Thundercrack says:

    I think JHay is your father.

    And he may have knocked over a couple of beers in the bleachers

  321. Bridger says:

    and you’ll like it!

  322. cobra39 says:

    Excellent question. Selig would probably intervene and declare it a “tie.”

  323. twentytwo22 says:

    Josh Harrison is a good hitter.

  324. hockeymonster says:

    Jhay lookin like sammy sosa on that one.

  325. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Patrick. This lineup suddenly has a great deal of flexibility.

    By the way, Polanco’s legs just made it possible for JHay to go all JHay there. That’s 2 runs we would not have had if just about anyone else had hit that rocket to Castro. Polanco is an impact player every night.

  326. Bizrow says:


    A very nice problem to have

  327. Bridger says:

    who pitches tomorrow?

  328. Bridger says:

    who pitches tomorrow?

  329. Jim S. says:

    +++, JRay. I was thinking the same thing.

  330. Cmat0829 says:

    Yessir! Tho me thinks it will be at 3b and lf primarily.

  331. pattonbb says:

    Seriously, where does he play?

  332. Brett says:

    Why does Harrison continually have to prove to people he’s more then just a temporary hot plug in and a good utility guy. Clearly since he has been in the lineup this year consistently he has proved he is a quality major leaguer. I trust my eyes and I see a guy who can contribute a great deal for a long time in roles that fit him here.

  333. Cmat0829 says:

    Cumpton Cumpton.

  334. mark lloyd says:

    Harrison has been great this season, can play at different positions and is solid at hitting the ball

  335. Thundercrack says:

    Clint wins the challenge, JHay hits the homer

  336. mark lloyd says:

    Brett I agree, definitely a great utlility player

  337. Bridger says:

    Brandon “straight outta” Cumpton

  338. Where do you play him? One spot only. Go ahead.

  339. RB says:

    Exactly. I cannot see the Pirates continue to play Pedro over Harrison once Walker returns. Harrison has earned the chance while Pedro has quickly become a problem this year. It would be pure insanity to sit Harrison once Walker is back.

  340. tomf says:

    have not seen Marte in CF enough

    but in one recent game when he played CF – he badly mis-played a ball

  341. Cmat0829 says:

    Defense counts too. I love Jayhey but you have to acknowledge the challenge here is finding a spot on D. But he’s earned 3b for the time being.

  342. cobra39 says:

    I hate to say it, but….3B.

  343. Reading says:

    Rumors of J Hay’s slump were greatly exaggerated.

  344. Bizrow says:

    I’m thinking right now

    Lets win this one

  345. Cmat0829 says:

    3b if I can only pick one.

  346. Thundercrack says:

    Why does Russell Martin still have his mask on at the play at the plate?

    He’s got to hold on to that throw

  347. Jim S. says:

    Lets not forget Walker can not hit batting righty. I don’t like JHay’s defense at 2b, but with his bat he can spell Walker or Pedro vs LHP.

  348. pattonbb says:


  349. JRay3 says:

    Worley pounded zone all night with 68 of 89 pitches strikes.

    6.2 and 7 innings in his first two starts and a 1.98 ERA.

    Giving team chance to win again, another professional effort.

  350. Bizrow says:

    And, um, get a face at gravatars, make sure your residence is logged in

  351. Cmat0829 says:

    Nice outing by Vanimal. Too bad the DP wasn’t turned tho tough hop for Barmes.

  352. Cmat0829 says:

    And where do you DK?

  353. Jim S. says:

    Well, Pedro has a bit of a power track record and JHay has hit great for all of a month. I don’t see him playing 3b often vs RHP.

  354. Furnish5 says:

    Play the hot hand. Pedro needs to produce. Even though it hurts future trade value, time for a full platoon situation (or more). The future is now. Jay Hay gets it done. Time for the “big boy pants” Pedro. No pun intended. Don’t produce , don’t play. This isnt the Pirates of 5 yrs ago where u play if u have a pulse.

  355. Patrick(ri) says:

    2b. Walker to 1st.

  356. tomf says:

    from the posts above many would think Harrison was a butcher in the field

    Harrison made two (or three ?) ESPN Top Ten plays in a two week span

    (note: Polanco has failed to make two catches in RF – and made a throwing error)

  357. Jim S. says:

    3b vs LHP. Occasionally, 2b vs LHP. Might get the occasional start in LF. That’s about it, until someone else has an inflamed appendix.

  358. Reading says:

    Get the man a first base mitt.

  359. Brett says:

    Pedro is about as scary as Andy Laroche right now.

  360. cobra39 says:

    That one confuses me. Walker defensively is a better 2Bman than Harrison.

  361. Patrick(ri) says:

    And stilts to handle Pedro.

  362. Hey, if you guys will excuse me, I’m going to spend a little time working on this Monday soccer column. I trust you’ll let me know how that Chicago eighth inning goes?

  363. War_Horse says:

    I wonder how much the improvement in Harrison’s hitting is due to the coaching of Jeff Branson and Clint Hurdle. Otherwise, how does a career .260 hitter come alive like this? Or is this a streak?

  364. Baywatch says:

    I like me some Vance! Just call me a Worley Bird! 89 pitches through 6.2, and the dude works fast!

  365. JRay3 says:

    I am in the minority but I play him at SS while he is still this hot unless it is a LHP and than I play him at 3B.

    I know we have heard about the defense but I’d like to see it a bit. Many said he could not play RF for a myriad of reasons and he played it adequately, showed off an arm, covered some ground and had a flair of making the great play.

    So until he showed me otherwise, I’m not in the position to doubt he could man it decently enough.

  366. Bridger says:


  367. JD says:

    +++ DK. Less twitter, more of anything else.

  368. Patrick(ri) says:

    No argument, but the game is to choose one. Walker could return to third.

  369. Thundercrack says:

    I wonder if it has more to do with the fact that he’s been playing every day.

  370. Bizrow says:

    Thanks for being here.

    Very happy to hear from Lucky and all others

  371. cobra39 says:

    Working fast should be emphasized more. Your teammates in the field appreciate it

  372. Furnish5 says:

    DK. Working on a column @ midnight ? Bravo. I can barely function @ this point. Yawn….

  373. Reading says:

    Tomf, you can’t use your eyes. You have to have metrics, graphs, and scouting reports. No, never just watch a guy drive in runs, get basehits, appear on Top 10 Plays. No, none of that stuff matters. Only metrics.

  374. Patrick(ri) says:

    +++. Lots of the comments remind me of Bouton’s rants in Ball Four (ancient book), about how a “book” forms about a player that is often outright wrong.

  375. JB Destiny says:

    Wait, you’re working on the Monday soccer column before the USMNT play on Sunday? Holy smokes, if it starts with ‘I told you so..’ then you are officially Ron Cook

  376. Jim S. says:

    Please. Polanco has already caught a few balls JHay doesn’t sniff in RF just by getting a better jump. Don’t confuse a few athletic catches by JHay with being an actual good OF. I’m not faulting JHay. He was never an OF coming up. And, he has no arm in the OF.

  377. Cmat0829 says:

    Shhhh polanco is perfect. Per Jim Bowden.

  378. Cmat0829 says:

    Ha. Watson just did his job.

  379. Jim S. says:

    Watson took the ball and merely did his job …. again.

  380. JRay3 says:

    With the way Hughes has pitched this year and Watson doing what he always does have to say feel a lot more comfortable holding this lead.

    Hughes, Watson and Melancon a formidable backend.

  381. That trite, vapid, hollow, predictable, outdated, reflexive, unsupported statement?


  382. Andrew says:

    Typically players peak years are 26-28, he is in that time frame. Also he isn’t chasing pitches outside the zone as much as he had in the past, and seems to being making better contact.

  383. JB Destiny says:

    Watching Pirates game online from Austin Texas + Lone Star beer = double posting by mistake.. (Did I mention double posting?)

  384. He did, indeed. Unreal.

  385. Major Dad says:


  386. Breakthestreak says:

    Watson. Dam impressive!! But let’s get an extra couple runs for our new closer tonight

  387. Jim S. says:

    Well, War, he was a career .308 hitter in the minors. Maybe he just needed consistent at bats to get comfortable in MLB. I have a feeling he is settling in as a dependable MLB hitter now. He now knows he belongs. Reminds me a bit of Brandon Phillips’ dad, Tony.

  388. JB Destiny says:

    Fox announcers lamenting if Melancon should be the closer.. umm, yes, next question.. consolation prize for Grilli is that his book is outselling Hillary’s.. just hope he doesn’t hurt himself

  389. Patrick(ri) says:

    +++. Steve Pearce was asked a couple of days ago to explain his current form. He said he could not remember ever getting 10 straight at bats. Of course, I think he got that many as a Pirate, before he got hurt, but the point is well taken that consistent abs have to be a critical element.

  390. cobra39 says:

    C’mon Pedro.

  391. Bridger says:

    Ill go to time -out. Just don’t like the sport and find it boring. And yes I know how much it’s growing

  392. Jim S. says:

    Good call, TC. Just made the same point.

  393. Patrick(ri) says:

    I think he is getting more criticism, too.

  394. Robert says:

    Stupid question. Got home late, don’t have a TV Guide thingee tonight, and am trying to find the game. Apparently not on Root. Any help?

  395. That’s fine. No one asked.

  396. Cmat0829 says:

    Question is how Grilli and Wilson recover and can be reliable options. If not we need to find a couple more arms. Three is not enough.

  397. Casey says:

    I’ve heard the argument about Harrison playing ss but why never he not a better fielder than jhay? In the scenario that walker and jhay are your middle wouldn’t you rather have walker at short?..yes I know this is a scenario that will never happen but it confuses me people always want to put jhay there but never walker’s arm that much worse?

  398. Jim S. says:

    I doubt Ruggiano even saw the pitch he complained about.

  399. Bizrow says:

    Ok, I got my matches staged, not too much hair left, dogs are protected from flame, lets go Bucs

  400. Jim S. says:

    +++, Biz.

  401. Breakthestreak says:

    Fox guys saying Pedro maybe a DH for some team at some point but playing time will be cut due to JHey performance

  402. Bridger says:

    thought a question mark meant you were asking.

  403. Cmat0829 says:

    As to Jayhey I think it’s simple. Assuming he can’t play 1b, he will get time in lf and 3b. Pedro and Marte have too much talent to not get a shot to assert themselves but they will have to do it. If they hit they play. If not they sit. Ride the hot hand.

  404. Jim S. says:

    Remember last summer when Bowden said they should trade Polanco, Hanson and more for Alex Rios because “you have to go for it now” and because Polanco was not going to be an impact player. He such a dope.

  405. Andrew says:

    I think Wilson is fine, he always had command issues, which can lead to the occasional blowups.

  406. Cmat0829 says:

    Lol Pearce had plenty of at bats thank you.

  407. Bizrow says:

    One down

    Just want the W

  408. Cmat0829 says:

    Big time loser and idiot. But otherwise I think he is swell.

  409. hockeymonster says:

    If marte gets it going how bout this lineup:


    also like

    polanco/jhay depending on righty or lefty starter

    Martin’s average sustainable? Thinking mercer’s may be on the way up and martin’s may be coming down to earth.

  410. Bizrow says:

    Thats 2

  411. Bridger says:


  412. JB Destiny says:

    your message sounds like a coded telegraph for the Invasion of Normandy.. matches staged.. no hair left.. dogs protected from flames.. over

  413. Cmat0829 says:

    Ok cool. As my 5th reliever I am ok with Grilli actually. If he can stay motivated.

  414. Jim S. says:

    Or, you could just go by all the internal and external scouts who all agreed he couldn’t play SS, is not an everyday OF and he’s below average at every defensive position. He’s always been a good hitter in the minors. Why do you think he was never given a starting job? It wasn’t metrics. It was the eyes of scouts.

  415. Bridger says:

    Like it …….but switch JHay & Polanco

  416. JRay3 says:

    Wow a quick and easy 1-2-3, so that’s what it’s like. Great finish by Melancon as Bucs even series. Go for series win tomorrow in a few hours.

  417. Bridger says:

    meant Marte& Polanco

  418. Bridger says:


  419. Lad 9 says:

    Raise it! That is a solid W. Vanimal, J-Hay, Polanco , Jordy, the Shark…. a team effort. Go for the series win tomorrow!

  420. JRay3 says:

    Agree with you on Wilson.

  421. JB Destiny says:

    .. It’s the 4 hole, bud.. Polanco, Marte, Cutch is pretty (edited) for 1-2-3 .. J Hay refuses to stop hitting! Is he a clean up hitter.. (TV cliche coming up) if not he.. then who? (Alvarez IMHO)

  422. Baywatch says:

    Up here, EVERYBODY!!! A drama-free close!

  423. KING says:

    They should just call the Pirates outfield The Blob. They cover everything in that OF. You pretty much have to clear the wall to get it by them.

    Great work Melancon!!! Striking out the side. Pirates win #36 a tough 5-3 game. J-Hay has his fingerprints all over this win.

    Raise the Jolly Roger Pirates fans!!! KING

  424. Bizrow says:

    And, Cool Beans
    Lucky, sleep well

    And all lunatics everywhere

  425. Andrew says:

    Grilli is an enigma, but when it comes down to it he cannot miss bats, use him earlier in games and preferably not when protecting small leads.

  426. Cmat0829 says:

    Raise the Jolly Roger. Nice clean game. Outstanding start, perfect pen, and some longball magic from mercer and Jayhey. Let’s get the series tomorrow.

  427. Night, all. And welcome, newcomers. Love to have you. Tell your fellow Pirates fans about our blog.

  428. Nick says:

    No way Pedro gets an extension . Does Walker eventually move to 3rd ?

  429. War_Horse says:

    Night, DK. Some of us will be watching the World Cup with interest if not passion today (Sunday). Cheers.

  430. Bizrow says:

    No, just ready for the BP to shuttem down

  431. Bizrow says:

    Good night Dejan

  432. Mark says:

    Nice win Bucs!!!

  433. Bizrow says:

    No offense Nick, good question, please come back tomorrow (with an avatar)

    Good win though, right?

  434. The Bucs finally got it in and for once beat the last place Cubs 5-3 and Vance Worley went 5 and 2/3 and now it’s time to go to bed. Hopefully, there are no weather issues tomorrow afternoon.

  435. The World Cup will be on tomorrow at 6 pm. Good night all.

  436. BrianC says:

    A little out of the box here, but what has our 1B platoon added that Jay-Hay hasn’t?

  437. BrianC says:

    How do you get retweeted on the blog?

  438. dennis g says:

    Why do you think Cutch would not listen to reason on the issue?

  439. dennis g says:

    He is career .317 in the minors, including Indy.

  440. dennis g says:

    Sorry Jim did not see your comment when I made my incorrect one.

  441. Pucknutz says:

    YES ! :)

  442. Scott says:

    So the Royals who are 4 games OVER .500 and are a HALF game out of a WC are going to trade a guy that can help them get to the playoffs, where they haven’t been since 1985? I do like the idea of a deal with TB though.

  443. Scott says:

    Reigning NL Home Run champ is one of the biggest busts?

  444. Scott says:

    Hopefully you keep posting links to columns on the Twitter machine. Otherwise its back to a news reader and I’m not sure if that helps you cause for clicks either. If you ever want to have a broader discussion, let me know.


  445. Scott says:

    You know who was the very best at this? Greg Maddux and his “column of milk”.

  446. pattonbb says:

    JR House.

  447. Scott says:

    Yep. after just 11 games, his oWAR is up to almost a half game (0.4). Now if Marte can pick up some of that plate discipline…

  448. Scott says:

    first glance I agree with you there. My only question is how much better has Marte produced in the 2 spot? Will his confidence take a hit if he gets dropped in the order?

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